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Old 02-25-2017, 05:29 PM   #1
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First Towing Experience - Florida to Texas

I've been putting off a review of my first towing experience with the F350/Andersen Hitch/Cyclone 4100 King until I was able to get an empty weight on the truck. For a big city, I had to go along way to find a scale around Austin. So, here's the empty weights, normal stuff in the truck, myself, and a full tank of gas:

Front: 5100
Back: 3400
Total: 8500

When I weighed with the trailer attached, I would estimate I had about 500 pounds of stuff in it at maximum. No water in the tanks, and about 10 gallons of gas in the rear fuel tanks. The luggage that I had in the truck was all in the garage, as it was packed to go home after I dropped the trailer off in storage. The bed of the truck had a cooler and the hitch in it. Cab had my normal crap - some odds and ends, backpack full of electronics, and me. Full tank of gas as well.

Front: 5060
Rear: 7100
Trailer: 13380
Total: 25540

Rear axle spec is 7000, total GVWR is 11,500, so I was a little over weight. I would estimate the cooler at 100 pounds, hitch and chains probably 50 pounds, so pin weight of the trailer was around 3550. Total trailer weight at almost 17k - pretty heavy compared to the label on the trailer.

The truck and trailer looked level when I had it hooked up, but later on the road, it looked like it was towing nose high. Does that affect pin weight?

Overall towing experience - the truck wasn't bottomed, but it did sag when hooked up. From the rub/wear marks post towing, it was obvious that it did bottom out while driving - I-10 sucks, as do most interstates. I plan on installing both a Helliwig heavy duty sway bar and air bags before I take it out again. The hitch - I read all these people that say the hitch doesn't chuck at all, and I don't have anything to compare the towing experience to. The hitch didn't make any noise while towing. However, when I hit rough road, it did pull backwards quite a bit - not enough to be miserable, but not pleasant either. By the end of a 12 hour trip, I was sick of it. On smooth roads, no problem.

I had the truck in tow/haul mode, drive, and engine brake engaged. The truck had plenty of power to tow the trailer - most of the time it stayed in sixth, even with gradual inclines. The only time I really hit a hill was going over the Mississippi river, and it did downshift to fourth gear, but plenty of power to keep up with traffic. Due to the Towmax tires on the trailer, I set the cruise control to 65, as it was too easy to drive faster.

When in crosswinds or while semis passed me, there was no issue with the trailer swaying. In fact, I didn't really even notice the semis when they passed me. I did notice sway at the rear of the truck associated with "quick" - relative term when towing a 44 foot trailer - lane changes/turns.

Stopping - I set the trucks brake controller to medium, as low didn't really seem to engage the trailer brakes very much. On medium, there were no problems stopping the trailer, even when traffic stopped a little unexpectedly. With that being said, I did ensure plenty of distance between me and the traffic in front of me.

Overall, the towing experience as is wasn't horrible - I wouldn't do more than 8 hours a day in the future, as is. I realize I'm a little over loaded, and will accept any criticism for that, but there are plenty of people that need the honest, frank feedback for planning. I can't believe it, but I was passed by SRW F-250's hauling as big or bigger toy haulers, bottomed out, on the road. This is the biggest trailer I will tow, as I don't plan on purchasing anything that has a GVWR in excess of 16k. In the meantime, I look forward to the airbags, and will continue to drive nice and slow on the road. Hope this helps people out there doing their research.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:51 PM   #2
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AKnavy, In 2012, I had a Chevy 3500 SRW when I bought a 2013 4100 new. Salesman said "no problem". It wasn't a problem until I tried to put something in it. OK, I put a Kawasaki Mule, a full size Weber gas grill, full water, gas, and a 60 gal diesel tank.

After a couple windy trips to AZ, across west Texas, I traded for a 2013 F350 DRW and the difference was night and day. I pulled it like that for 17K more miles. It crossed the scales at 30350, which was only 150 below the DRW's CGWR. Can you imagine where it would be on a SRW?
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:01 PM   #3
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That was probably a pretty heavy trailer. I'm not putting any toys in this thing, only our clothes/normal stuff. This is just temporary as we finalize what we want and purchase it. No way would I tow this thing fully loaded as my full time rig. I only plan on fulltiming for a couple years, then getting a house and a boat, which I'll use the truck for towing. If we decide we love the lifestyle, and telecommuting is still an option, then we'll buy a dually and upgrade our trailer. For now, we're looking at buying a trailer that's at about 16k loaded, which will be no problem.
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:16 PM   #4
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Considering it was basically empty you will be way overloaded when you put toys and camp equipment in it. Airbags and sway bars will do nothing for over worked tires and wheels, or axles and springs for that matter. I would proceed with caution.
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Old 03-02-2017, 05:15 PM   #5
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aknavy great review. I also am learning the ins and outs of towing my new 5th wheel with the Andersen Ultimate hitch. I get some of the push/pull action on rough roads but I have a standard pin box; so wondering if a MOride or similar cushion hitch would be better.

Planning a cross country trip this summer so I've got to get more miles of shakedown before doing the long trip.

Just wondering if you have chains for your Andersen? Don't know all the various laws but I just purchased a pair.
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloraBama View Post
aknavy great review. I also am learning the ins and outs of towing my new 5th wheel with the Andersen Ultimate hitch. I get some of the push/pull action on rough roads but I have a standard pin box; so wondering if a MOride or similar cushion hitch would be better.



Planning a cross country trip this summer so I've got to get more miles of shakedown before doing the long trip.



Just wondering if you have chains for your Andersen? Don't know all the various laws but I just purchased a pair.


Apparently in most sales and i I believe in Canada you need safety chains for a goose neck or all hitch. So I jus installed my Anderson gooseneck hitch and had a anchor oiled on my kin pin o secure he chains.
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Old 03-02-2017, 07:04 PM   #7
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I think this is pretty common deal. My wife and I went to the Atlanta rv/camping show a few weeks ago and on our way there we saw a ton of campers. My wife who isn't very attentive to these sort of things made the comment about how many F250 or 2500 model trucks with the rear end down towing a 5th wheel. Then 2 weeks ago my buddy buy's a 2500, after he bought it he decided to look up what it could tow after him and I discussed it what we saw going into the RV show made sense. I honestly believe that a lot of people over estimate the carrying and load capacity of the half ton trucks. Is what it is, i just went the class A route to avoid the math
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:49 AM   #8
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I did purchase the chains. I was a little disappointed in the quality/size of the smaller shackles that they provided, and the hitch covers up my factory pucks to I improvised a bit. Went to Tractor Supply and picked up a pair of heavy duty hooks, and attached them like this:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...ThCV3Fkckt5TG8
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Old 03-03-2017, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by aknavy View Post
I did purchase the chains. I was a little disappointed in the quality/size of the smaller shackles that they provided, and the hitch covers up my factory pucks to I improvised a bit. Went to Tractor Supply and picked up a pair of heavy duty hooks, and attached them like this:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...ThCV3Fkckt5TG8
And you painted the adapter red, that is cool. Looks like you have a standard pin box as I do; so if you ever upgrade let me know if it takes away any of the push/pull action.
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:55 PM   #10
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Yeah, this trailer has standard pin box and nothing for suspension...so probably the harshest ride possible. Definitely not what I would buy...or I'll upgrade as soon as I buy.

Actually, the adapter guide came in red. It's a super hard plastic/poly carbonate, so no scratching/rusting/scuffing from hooking up. It's pretty nice. Super easy to hook up. I put the ball on it's highest setting so I could see it, backed it up to the trailer, set the emergency brake so the truck wouldn't shift, dropped the ball to the height I wanted, and dropped it on. Easy to do by yourself.
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