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Old 05-31-2017, 08:44 AM   #1
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Fifth Wheel towing

I have a 2016 F-150 with the max towing package but not the max payload package. Tows great but squats a bit more in the back than I like so my question is about airbags. What is everyone using? The style that has been around forever that goes between the frame and the axle? I saw some that bolt to the side of the frame then mount to your torsion spring but in my mind that wouldn't work as well. Basically just looking for input on styles, brands, good experiences, bad experiences... Anything.
I had a set of Firestone bags on my old GMC 2500 and they seemed to work well just didn't know if there was anything new and better out there.

Thanks
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:47 AM   #2
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Would you overload the axle bearings since you don't have the payload package?
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:53 AM   #3
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The truck is rated for over 11 and I'm only Towing 10 with it so I wouldn't think so.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jferris View Post
The truck is rated for over 11 and I'm only Towing 10 with it so I wouldn't think so.
Hi, jferris, and and to our campfire.

The tow rating tells you the weight your drivetrain can PULL, but ignores the payload capacity of your F-150. 5ers have more hitch weight percentage than TTs, so even a small 5er will overload an F-150 that doesn't have the heavy duty payload package (HDPP). A wet and loaded 5er that weighs 10k will have around 1,800 to 2,000 pounds pin weight, plus another ~200 pounds for the weight of the installed hitch. ("Pin" weight is the weight of the kingpin on the hitch. Hitch weight is pin weight plus the weight of the hitch.)

Check the payload capacity of your F-150 on the driver's door frame. It's probably not near enough to haul your normal payload of people, pets, tools and other stuff, plus up to 2,200 pounds of hitch weight.

I towed a 5er that weighed about 9,000 pounds with an F-250 for about 100,000 miles over 10 years. And that smaller 5er slightly overloaded the payload capacity of my F-250. So you can bet you're going to be severely overloaded with a 10k 5er towed by an F-150 that doesn't have the HDPP.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:27 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply.
I took all this into consideration before we bought the truck. Checked all the ratings and actually had E rated tires put on.
Play 10,000 camper is what I would be considering it wet. She only weighs 8000 but I am estimating high that we have two thousand pounds worth of junk in it. We never carry water and our tanks are always completely empty every time we tow. According to all of Ford specs this truck can handle it.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:57 AM   #6
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With all due respect, OP, I think you will be unsafe and cause premature wear and damage to your truck. What does the yellow sticker on your F150 say your max cargo capacity is? We have a '13 F150 3.5 EB with Max Tow and last year while shopping for a new trailer we looked at some so-called "half ton towable" 5ers and as soon as I saw their hitch weights I immediately ruled against getting one. While I know the newer F150s may have a bit more cargo capacity than mine I think you will be severely overloaded by the time you get everything in the trailer and truck. It's not "what" you can tow, it's the cargo capacity you have to worry about in this case.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:36 PM   #7
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Per the RV manufacturer my pin weight is 1600lbs
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:20 PM   #8
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Take your truck to a cat scale weight the rear axle of your truck without the trailer hooked up then hookup with the trailer fully loaded as you would be towing.
This is the only True way you will know your pin weight. As long as your within the limits then research your airbags and go for it
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jferris View Post
Per the RV manufacturer my pin weight is 1600lbs


Again, what does the yellow sticker say your cargo capacity is? How much other stuff, people, hitch, etc., will be in the truck and how much does this all weigh? If you have, say 2,000 lbs of cargo capacity (my F150's is 1,650) and your pin weight is 1,600 that leaves 400 lbs for the other stuff. Now subtract your hitch weight of 100-200 lbs and you are left with only 200-300 lbs for passengers and anything else you may want to carry. See my point? But hey, it's your truck, so stay legal and then do as you wish.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:41 PM   #10
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Per the RV manufacturer my pin weight is 1600lbs
That's for a dry trailer with no options and nothing in it. As I posted above, you can count on wet and loaded pin weight of at least 1,800 pounds, and probably more.

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According to all of Ford specs this truck can handle it.
I doubt it, not without being overloaded (exceeding any of the Ford specs). But since you already have the truck, it's easy to check. Load the truck with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing. Don't cheat yourself - include all the tools, jacks, jack stands, cooler, campfire wood, toys and anything else that might be in the truck when towing, including the installed 5er hitch. Drive to a truck stop that has a CAT scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded tow vehicle. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded F-150 from the GVWR of the F-150. The result is the payload capacity available for pin weight. If the payload capacity available for pin weight is not at least 1,800 pounds, then you will probably be overloaded when towing a 5er that grosses 10,000 pounds. If the payload capacity available for pin weight is not at least 1,620 pounds, then you will probably be overloaded when towing a 5er that grosses 9,000 pounds.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:19 PM   #11
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Answering your question directly without being a Nanny, Firestone airbags will get your truck back to level. Think there is one other co. out there but can't recall the name. Some might mention Timbrens, but they're not a leveling device.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:20 PM   #12
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Payload is 2260, it's fine.
I have access to a scale at work. Loaded up with myself in the truck (not counting my 120lb wife) I'm weighing in at 14,880. Well within the 17,100 GCWR.
Does anyone have any input on airbags?
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:21 PM   #13
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Thanks Ralphie, I had them in the past but it's been a while, didn't know what the latest and greatest was out there.
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:36 PM   #14
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Great advice SmokeyWren. As usual, dead on.
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