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Old 10-21-2019, 04:56 AM   #21
FBO Cookie Monster
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
NO, It's NOT the only number you have when shopping for an RV.

You can drink the Kool-Aid and pretend that the advertised "shipping weight" is something you'll see on a dealer's lot or you can ignore what you say "is the only number I have when shopping RV's" and use the "rest of the numbers provided by every RV manufacturer.

It's much more relevant to use the trailer GVW (not some fantasy "shipping weight") Then, statistically, the pin weight will be somewhere between 20-25% of that GVW.

Using empty weights to determine if "it will work" is like pretending that flapping your arms will make you lighter when you're standing on a scale.... FANTASY.....

And, for the record: I also cringe when I see an F250 towing a 15,000 pound fifth wheel. Doesn't matter if it's a diesel or gas powered 3/4 ton, it's overloaded with that trailer in tow (assuming they aren't using "shipping weight")....

The purpose of my post was not to engage in a "weight/overloaded truck/too heavy of a trailer" debate, rather to give you some "first hand experience that I had with an F150 and a "super light" 25' fifth wheel that the dealer told me was good to go and the factory advertised it as a 1120 pound pin weight.... PURE FANTASY....

Use my experience or not, that's entirely up to you. But, from your follow-on post, it's clear to anyone reading that "the advertised shipping weight is the only information that you have to use"....
I come at it with an engineering background. I also have towing experience, just not a camper. But I have to ask, what do you know that the Ford engineers didn’t? You’re right, the empty pin weight are not the only numbers, I also have pictures from each trailer I am looking at of the weight sticker on the front right of the trailer. The max gross is significant, but coming in at a minimum 1200 to 2000 lbs under that number. I also feel that in these light weight “half ton units” that the 20 to 25% number is off, they seem to put the wheels further forward. The actual weight threads bear this out, with numbers that I stated.
As an example, the trailer I looked at had an empty weight weight 7080 lbs and gvw of 10,000. Ok, I get 60 lbs of propane, and 100lbs of battery. Add in another 150 for inverter, a few hundred watts of solar, and associated wiring. (Going BIG lithium). Now are you going to tell me I am going to stick 2500 lbs in a 25’ trailer? I would like to know how, I bet I have to come up with some molds to pour lead?
Again, if the numbers fit, why not? I fly for a living, and often load that thing up to 1% below max ramp weight (which is higher than my takeoff weight). I certainly am not worried about taking a truck and trailer below their designated limits.
Also, let’s look at how much a 1/2 ton, ( and specifically a heavy duty half ton) have evolved over the years. Back in 96, my half ton would more than equal many of the 1 tons on the market. My brakes are significantly bigger and more capable, the 3.5 ecoboost has MUCH more power and torque than the diesels from then, and the gas engines were laughable in comparison, and the payload? Greater. The math works, the preconceived notions.... Not so much. https://youtu.be/Qnu6cITBQ7w
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:26 AM   #22
flybouy
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Already all glassy eyed from seeing "the pretty RV" and the sales pitch. Maybe we should start a new BTDTGTS group. Naw, I doubt many would return to say they wished they would have listened.
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Old 10-22-2019, 04:17 PM   #23
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Oh, you're an engineer. Never mind all the spot on advice you've received from folks who have pulled RV's.

Just go ahead and let 'er rip. But please, just call 816-867-5309 before you leave to let me know your flight path so I can plan accordingly.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:11 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by FBO Cookie Monster View Post
And why is it no one bats an eye on a diesel f250 towing a 15000 lb fiverand that truck has less payload than mine?

If Ford says it can do it, I'm doing it.
Absolutely, Ford wouldn't give false information to sell a truck!!! Dealers know exactly how much every truck can tow!! (Tongue in cheek)
I totally agree with Chip, don't call though, post your itinerary on here so that we all can avoid the rodeo you're asking for.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:17 PM   #25
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I own the fifth wheel you are looking at. It's a nice trailer that we enjoy.

My tow vehicle is a 2500 with 3031 pounds of payload. The sliding hitch with the mounting rails uses 300 pounds of that. The pin weight squats my truck until it is level, about 5".

The truck tows it fine, but I am already planning on upgrading to a diesel in the future. This is a TALL fifth wheel, it stands 12'6" the aerodynamic drag is pretty bad, on level ground at 60 MPH I'm lucky to get 8 MPG.

I know its listed as a lightweight fifth wheel, but I would never try towing it with a half ton truck. If you decide to do it pay close attention to your rear axle weight limit, and the tire weight limits, you will probably be well over them. Half ton trucks usually don't come with load range E tires, or floating rear axles.

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Old 10-24-2019, 09:05 AM   #26
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from towing with a half-ton, it’s that half-tons are not real work trucks. They’re a glorified sedan with a pickup bed. They’re constructed nothing like a 3/4 or 1 ton which are MADE TO WORK.

IMHO half tons have no business pulling fifth wheels.

Upgrades don’t change this.

But what do I know, I’m not an engineer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:24 AM   #27
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" I fly for a living, and often load that thing up to 1% below max ramp weight (which is higher than my takeoff weight). I certainly am not worried about taking a truck and trailer below their designated limits."

Common sense would dictate that what applies to a "multi-million dollar machine" may not apply to sub $100K machine.
Air craft - many, many thousands of hours with many, many, engineers of many disciplines testing to standards that are mandated by the FAA. This results in precise wt and balance tables based on center of gravity etc., performance tables based on temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc.
Pick up truck - Many engineers to ensure "crash worthiness" and that the drive line can handle X amount of weight. Designers to make sure they can SELL it, and wordsmiths to present the package.
I'm not aware of ANY auto manufacturer (and yes, 1/2 trucks are built by auto manufactures), or ANY RV trailer manufactures that publish beyond max axle weight or max tongue weight.

The above information isn't provided for the ENGINEER in the room as he or she SHOULD know this. It's for those reader's that aren't ENGINEERS.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:06 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
" I fly for a living, and often load that thing up to 1% below max ramp weight (which is higher than my takeoff weight). I certainly am not worried about taking a truck and trailer below their designated limits."

Common sense would dictate that what applies to a "multi-million dollar machine" may not apply to sub $100K machine.
Air craft - many, many thousands of hours with many, many, engineers of many disciplines testing to standards that are mandated by the FAA. This results in precise wt and balance tables based on center of gravity etc., performance tables based on temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc.
Pick up truck - Many engineers to ensure "crash worthiness" and that the drive line can handle X amount of weight. Designers to make sure they can SELL it, and wordsmiths to present the package.
I'm not aware of ANY auto manufacturer (and yes, 1/2 trucks are built by auto manufactures), or ANY RV trailer manufactures that publish beyond max axle weight or max tongue weight.

The above information isn't provided for the ENGINEER in the room as he or she SHOULD know this. It's for those reader's that aren't ENGINEERS.
It's been my experience that most "crash worthiness testing" is done by "third party government or insurance industry studies" and, if the results are "5 stars" they are used on the first page of the truck manufacturer's brochure. If they are ""1 or 2 stars" they're included in the tiny print under the "Your Local Dealer" address on the back of the last page.... As for "weight capacity" I've NEVER seen a truck brochure (or build sheet) that includes any specific truck (optioned as ordered by a consumer). It's ALWAYS the "base model vehicle" that's been stripped of all safety equipment normally required for sale and operation on the street. In other words, the "base model" with no rear bumper (optional equipment on all trucks until 1988) and no spare tire (wheel only/no tire until 1976) and NO optional equipment to "attain the best advertising weights for the consumer" although the consumer can't buy or operate that model of truck the way it was tested for "advertising purposes".....

In other words, most "advertised capacities and capabilities" are "unicorns disguised as features"... Unicorns you'll never see on any street model tow vehicle.....

ADDED: I suppose my point in all this is that if you're going to go "within 1%" on any vehicle manufactured by an auto company that's competing with 5 other auto companies for your dollar (with limited regulation and minimal testing) you're very likely to "get it wrong".... On the other hand, if you're conservatively staying 15% below the maximums, you're probably "in the safe zone", but even that's no guarantee that the manufacturer got it right or even close enough for horse shoes or hand grenades....
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:17 PM   #29
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I own the fifth wheel you are looking at. It's a nice trailer that we enjoy.

My tow vehicle is a 2500 with 3031 pounds of payload. The sliding hitch with the mounting rails uses 300 pounds of that. The pin weight squats my truck until it is level, about 5".

The truck tows it fine, but I am already planning on upgrading to a diesel in the future. This is a TALL fifth wheel, it stands 12'6" the aerodynamic drag is pretty bad, on level ground at 60 MPH I'm lucky to get 8 MPG.

I know its listed as a lightweight fifth wheel, but I would never try towing it with a half ton truck. If you decide to do it pay close attention to your rear axle weight limit, and the tire weight limits, you will probably be well over them. Half ton trucks usually don't come with load range E tires, or floating rear axles.

Gary
Have you put on the scales?
The tires are load range C.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:21 PM   #30
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The payload sticker, aka the compliance sticker, is generated as the truck comes off the line from directly weighing it. Therefore, my 2500lb payload is legitimate, not some advertising brochure bs that is cooked up. My truck weighs 5300 lbs with a full tank of gas (36 gallons), and has a 7800lb gvw.
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Old 10-24-2019, 10:23 PM   #31
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It's been my experience that most "crash worthiness testing" is done by "third party government or insurance industry studies" and, if the results are "5 stars" they are used on the first page of the truck manufacturer's brochure. If they are ""1 or 2 stars" they're included in the tiny print under the "Your Local Dealer" address on the back of the last page.... As for "weight capacity" I've NEVER seen a truck brochure (or build sheet) that includes any specific truck (optioned as ordered by a consumer). It's ALWAYS the "base model vehicle" that's been stripped of all safety equipment normally required for sale and operation on the street. In other words, the "base model" with no rear bumper (optional equipment on all trucks until 1988) and no spare tire (wheel only/no tire until 1976) and NO optional equipment to "attain the best advertising weights for the consumer" although the consumer can't buy or operate that model of truck the way it was tested for "advertising purposes".....

In other words, most "advertised capacities and capabilities" are "unicorns disguised as features"... Unicorns you'll never see on any street model tow vehicle.....

ADDED: I suppose my point in all this is that if you're going to go "within 1%" on any vehicle manufactured by an auto company that's competing with 5 other auto companies for your dollar (with limited regulation and minimal testing) you're very likely to "get it wrong".... On the other hand, if you're conservatively staying 15% below the maximums, you're probably "in the safe zone", but even that's no guarantee that the manufacturer got it right or even close enough for horse shoes or hand grenades....
Coming from someone who is more than likely overloaded on their own truck. Lets see, payload on yours is what 2100lbs? Whats the pinweight of the 27’ fifth you are hauling around? Have you run it over the scales?
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:05 AM   #32
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Coming from someone who is more than likely overloaded on their own truck. Lets see, payload on yours is what 2100lbs? Whats the pinweight of the 27’ fifth you are hauling around? Have you run it over the scales?
Yes I have "run it across the scales" and I do that every year at the start of the camping season. I'm close (as I've stated in MULTIPLE threads on this forum) and I have to watch my trailer weight carefully and I also have to watch anything/everything I put in the truck. I have NO problems "pulling" the trailer, and with either the boat or the slingshot behind the Cougar, I "lessen the pin weight" that's seen on the truck.

I've long advocated NOT being "caught in the trap of too close" as well as I've advocated NOT towing overweight.... For me, (thanks for asking or trying to justify your issue by my example) I'm TOO CLOSE for my own comfort and every trip we take, I have to manage the load carefully.

My advice (based on my own truck payload) is to suggest to others that are in a position to avoid this hassle is to buy more truck than I have because it's a "freaking hassle" every trip... If you'd like to join the "freaking hassle group" by all means, jump in, the water's not comfortable, if you're wanting to "learn from my mistakes" then buy a bigger truck....

Free world, you're free to do what makes your "fancy tickle"...

ADDED: For the record, the 255SRL is roughly the same "shipping weight" as my trailer but the "empty pin weight" is 255 pounds heavier. If it's "too heavy" for a 3/4 ton truck, it's assuredly "too heavy" for a semi-floating rear axle on a half ton truck. But, since you're an engineer, you already know (and have considered) all that in your extensive research...

And again, as posted by numerous members (and experienced by me) I've NEVER seen the "shipping weight" on any CAT scale that I've weighed my trailer. EVERY weight, even the first one with none of our camping equipment or personal items was SIGNIFICANTLY heavier than the "shipping weight and empty pin weight"...
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:44 AM   #33
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Going back to the OP regarding clearance and the "auto-level" function, I'd like to point out that the discussion would appear to indicate that it might be ok to tow "off level" because the Level-Up would correct the level when parked. IMO the total rig should be reasonably level when hooked up and towing. This provides more uniform weight distribution on axles, more stability, and allows the unit to be used without being un-hooked (e.g. sleeping in a rest stop, etc.).

It wasn't until post #8/9 that weight issues got started...pretty clear the OP already had his mind made up...also pretty clear from the OP that he might be new to 5th wheels.

Add me to the list of people who would like to avoid this rig on the road.

Added: Thanks to John for making the best of a bad situation and making every attempt to act responsibly with his RV & towing weights. I have similar experiences and that's why I ultimately landed in a DRW. Every vehicle iteration over the years has always been "bigger and heavier" - it's something we all have faced. If you can't just replace something, then follow John's example; act responsibly with what you have.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:18 AM   #34
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Going back to the OP regarding clearance and the "auto-level" function, I'd like to point out that the discussion would appear to indicate that it might be ok to tow "off level" because the Level-Up would correct the level when parked. IMO the total rig should be reasonably level when hooked up and towing. This provides more uniform weight distribution on axles, more stability, and allows the unit to be used without being un-hooked (e.g. sleeping in a rest stop, etc.).

It wasn't until post #8/9 that weight issues got started...pretty clear the OP already had his mind made up...also pretty clear from the OP that he might be new to 5th wheels.

Add me to the list of people who would like to avoid this rig on the road.

Added: Thanks to John for making the best of a bad situation and making every attempt to act responsibly with his RV & towing weights. I have similar experiences and that's why I ultimately landed in a DRW. Every vehicle iteration over the years has always been "bigger and heavier" - it's something we all have faced. If you can't just replace something, then follow John's example; act responsibly with what you have.
If I "had it to do over again" I'd have built a bigger garage and bought a DRW. At the time, I "thought I'd be OK" and, for the most part, I am OK, but it's not been without the FRUSTRATION of leaving things at home, not including trips that we wanted to take, not feeling safe to travel the Alcan, this close to max weight and a host of other limiting factors that make for a "less than ideal situation"... It's no fun having to decide between taking the grandson and the generator or having DW follow behind with the "rest of what we need for the trip"....

The reason I'm so "vocal" about "keeping a 15% margin" is because I don't have that luxury and nearly every trip we face "do we tow overweight or do we leave things we want to take?"

From what I've seen in this thread, EVERY fifth wheel owner that's had the experience has said, "Don't do it with a half ton" and the "engineer (with no towing experience) is saying "But the numbers work"....

At this point, it boils down to "experience or the slide rule".... Remember, however, that math doesn't sit in the seat and subject the family to reality, In this situation, it just "confirms closeness to the max".....
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Old 10-25-2019, 09:25 AM   #35
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Comparing "light trucks" (yes, 1 ton and under are light trucks) purely by payload and GVW numbers is like comparing a male to a female. They may have the same capacities but they are built different.
As an owner of a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton that set side by side in the driveway it's easy for me to visualize. I have friends with one tons and larger and I've observed those differences. I'd urge anyone yearning to tow near max capacity with a 1/2 ton truck to drive to a dealers lot and park beside a higher rated truck. Crawl under them and make a comparison and "see for yourself" where the differences lay.
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Old 10-25-2019, 11:23 AM   #36
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Have you put on the scales?
The tires are load range C.

I have not taken this trailer to the scales yet, its winterized right now. To get an accurate weight it needs to be done at the start of a trip, with all the food and water in the trailer, along with the cooler, firewood, and extra water in the bed of the truck. I plan on weighing it in the spring, but I'm pretty sure its very close to, if not over the max cargo weight of the truck.


From my experience with our last trailer, a 23' hybrid, I can tell you that you will add a lot more weight to the trailer than you think possible. Our hybrid had a light weight of 3560 pounds, from the sticker that shows the actual shipping weight. Ready to camp this 23 foot trailer was 4800 pounds. We have put even more stuff in the bigger trailer.


If you go back to look at the 255SRL there should be a yellow sticker in the door jamb that shows the actual shipping weight. Ours is 7080 pounds from the factory.


You need to look up the F150 rear axle weight rating. Load the truck like it would be for towing, all passengers with normal gear and full tank of gas, and see what the rear axle weight is. This will give you a more accurate maximum pin or tongue weight.


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Old 10-28-2019, 12:58 PM   #37
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You need to look up the F150 rear axle weight rating. Load the truck like it would be for towing, all passengers with normal gear and full tank of gas, and see what the rear axle weight is. This will give you a more accurate maximum pin or tongue weight.

Gary
This was the eye-opener for me.

The tow capacity and payload numbers all “work” for me.... but with the trailer hooked up and only me and my tools in the truck, I’m approx 200lbs shy of my rear axle gross weight. This is despite being nearly 600lbs shy of “payload” capacity, 1500lbs shy of “gross combination weight”, and 1800lbs shy of “tow capacity”. It’s no wonder the dealer only talked about that last one!

The only way to learn this is by visiting the scale.

Since learning it, my family and the dogs all ride in my wife’s vehicle until we upgrade the TV. I’m also firmly in the “never exceed gross weight” camp.
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