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Old 03-12-2014, 04:35 PM   #1
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5th wheel - strength, durability, with lift?

Hello,


We Just purchased new 2104 f450 platinum to be our tow vehicle and now researching a 5th wheel to tow!

Looking for top of the line, strength, durability are key - cost is not much of an issue, budget is 150k- front living room, rear bedroom, FULL size bath room are a must, just the 2 of us will be traveling- we have a spread in south Fl that is bought and paid for which will be our home base for winter, looking to spend 6 months or more on the road in north and south america durring summer.

One other thing, we have HD road king that must come with us - have seen a few 5th wheel that have class 1 hitch for tow, seen the dolly spindle wheel setup too.... but would really want to have lift for it and have not seen any lift that will work on 5th wheel because 5er not strong enough frame for the lift.

Presume we would purchase 5er with IS suspension or have it added on, disc brakes, upgrrade the axles and/or add whatever is needed to support the lift, beef up the frame, etc

Any one know of manufacture that can offer such a rig? Is it a stock offering or has to be custom build?

have also looked at toy haulers but dont find any that come closee to the "class A" top line 5th wheel rigs or have the floor plan she wants

Thank you in advance
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:56 PM   #2
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Well, the standard answer seems to be Drv, Excel, New Horizons & Spacecraft. I understand New Horizons & Spacecraft can be more custom than a Drv or an Excel. I know the Drv's Mobile & Elite Suites have strong frames, the Tradition model less so. You might post this question on owners sites like www.suitesowners.com or Excel owners site. Google New Horizons & Spacecraft for owners' forums. Actual owners can give you answers on spec's.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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We toured the DRV plant twice. If possible I highly recommend taking the time to see how they are built, they have high standards.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:48 PM   #4
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150k is not quite enough to buy a new New Horizons or SpaceCraft or Forks RV. But can buy a very very nice late model used model. They are very heavy and will push the limit of a F-450. Usually these units are towed with MDT's and even HDT's.

Next are DRV, Excel. These units can be had for 80k to 110k and can be towed with a F-450.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:33 AM   #5
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We priced a nicely appointed Space Craft and it was less than $150K. Also, they make there own very strong frame, so adding a lift on the back is a good possibility. However, an F450 is probably a little light for their rigs.

Excel also makes their own strong frame, and you can order a lift with it. They are a little lighter than the Spacecraft, so the 450 just might work. Excel RVs: The Nations Top-Rated Luxury 5th Wheel - Excel RVs

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:31 PM   #6
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Thank you very much for the info, will do some more research into those brands. We do want to try and keep the length to no more than 40 feet, and still have the floor plan we are looking for. The F450 is rated at a max towing loaded trailer weight of 24,700 # for 5th wheel towing with the factory installed prep package and accessory hitch a pin weight of 6250#. The vehilce sticker has a GVWR of 14,000# and rear axle GAWR is 9100#. Obviously those are all max ratings that shouldnt be exceeded. When you say the truck is a little lite or will push it's limits can you explain further what you mean, is there a recomended %, say 75% of max ratings that one should strive to achive? Thanks for any help and the education
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmeris View Post
Thank you very much for the info, will do some more research into those brands. We do want to try and keep the length to no more than 40 feet, and still have the floor plan we are looking for. The F450 is rated at a max towing loaded trailer weight of 24,700 # for 5th wheel towing with the factory installed prep package and accessory hitch a pin weight of 6250#. The vehilce sticker has a GVWR of 14,000# and rear axle GAWR is 9100#. Obviously those are all max ratings that shouldnt be exceeded. When you say the truck is a little lite or will push it's limits can you explain further what you mean, is there a recomended %, say 75% of max ratings that one should strive to achive? Thanks for any help and the education
I just looked at the Payload specs for the 2014 F450 on the Ford website...depending on the cab you have, the payload is anywhere from 7,260 with the regular cab to 4,420 for the mega cab. I am stressing payload because many people look at the GVWR, which is generally high enough for most 5ers - even the real heavy ones such as the New Horizon rigs - but don't pay much attention to the payload, or what the truck can carry. If you add up the weight of passengers (for us that is DW and our dog) and cargo (for us this is a tool box with tools, 150-lb. generator, and 150-lb hitch; in some cases depending on the manufacturer you also have to add the weight of the fuel), then add the pin weight with the 5er fully loaded, you will arrive at a number that the truck has to carry. If you are at or under the payload rating I would say you are in good shape.

Jim
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