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Old 11-13-2018, 02:39 PM   #1
Bigdawgwill44
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Cougar 25BHSWE Weight w/ My Truck

My wife and I are thinking about purchasing a new travel trailer. She has her eyes set on the Keystone Cougar 1/2 Ton 25BHSWE. My concern is if my truck is enough to safely tow this trailer. Here is what I have:

2016 F-150 w/ 5.0 V8 SuperCrew Cab w/ 6-1/2' bed & max tow package.

According to Ford's website, this truck can tow 9,100 lbs. The Cougar has a dry weight of 6,050 lbs. and a GVW of 8,000 lbs. Hitch weight is 620 lbs. and overall length is 29'.

My wife sees the GVW of being less than what Ford says I can tow so she is convinced there is no reason why we shouldn't buy this trailer. I just want to make sure we are safe and not getting sold by the sales person.

What do you guys think?
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:01 PM   #2
JRTJH
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There is a "disconnect" in the way Ford advertises their "max trailer weight" and the Max GCWR. If you look up the GCWR for your truck, then subtract the GVW rating for the truck, it will not equal the maximum trailer rating for the truck.

As an example, in this "Ford F150 Specifications" chart: https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/201...s/f150-lariat/

If you look up the 4x4 145" WB 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 3.73 specs, you'll see that the GVW is 7600, the GCWR is 16200 and the maximum trailer is 10,900 lbs. -

Doing the math, if the GCWR is 16200 and the truck weighs 7600, then the maximum trailer can weigh no more than 8600 (16200 - 7600 = 8600)

There is some "marketing division input" into the "sleight of hand" that every vehicle manufacturer follows.... To me, it's false information, to them, it's "If you tow the trailer with an empty truck....." You can't (as a consumer) tow the trailer with an empty truck unless you leave the DW and DK's at home and don't load any camping equipment in the truck.....

So, look beyond the "specs chart" and analyze what you have and what you're buying. The numbers have to match up and if you just go to one column in the chart, they will lead you down the "rose colored path" to being overloaded.....

ADDED: If you post your specific truck's data, you'll get a much better (and more accurate) assessment of what you are facing. You'll need to post the truck maximum payload, GVW, GCWR, GAWR (front and rear), axle ratio and curb weight. With that information your "real world capability" expectations can be discussed

ADDED/ADDED: According to the 2016 F150 towing specifications https://www.ford.com/resources/ford/...50_r1_Oct2.pdf The only 5.0l crewcab/6.5' bed with a 9100 pound trailer maximum rating is the 3.55 axle ratio truck. If that is your truck, then the GCWR is 14500. At max GVW of 7600 pounds then the maximum trailer weight would be 6900 pounds (14500 - 7600 = 6900) The GCWR is the maximum the "rig" can weigh and every pound in the truck must be subtracted from the trailer "max rating" in order to stay under the GCWR.

So, if the charts are correct, the truck you own is the one with the 9100 max trailer rating and the GCWR is 14500, then if you have more than you and the DW in the truck, you're probably going to be "overloaded" with a trailer with a 8000 lb GVW.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:55 PM   #3
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The only time that, or any rv, was at it's so called "dry weight" was the day it rolled off the assembly line, no liquids, no propane, no batteries & no dealer added items, & will NEVER EVER weigh that again.
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Old 11-13-2018, 04:37 PM   #4
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Post the critical numbers from the stickers inside your driver's door; gawr (f/r), gvwr, payload. With a gvw of 8k on the trailer you will be looking at a tongue weight of approx. 1k or more. Then look at your payload. Not being smart, but what your wife "thinks" about weights is actually meaningless since they are posted in your truck and on the trailer....they are what will dictate, along with a scale ticket, what you can or cannot load up safely. Reading manufacturers tow ratings is like reading pure "wishful" thinking....and believing them is dangerous. Remember, the bottom line is to keep you and your family (along with everyone else) safe.
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:30 PM   #5
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Here are the photos from my truck:

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Old 11-13-2018, 06:58 PM   #6
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According to the info you provided, your truck is equipped with 3.55 electronic locking differentials and the information I posted earlier regarding GCWR (14500) is correct. Your truck GVW (according to your photos) is 7050, so when loaded to your truck's GVW, the maximum trailer you can tow would weigh 7450 pounds.

Looking at your payload of 1677 lbs, you can anticipate being at maximum GVW or overloaded when towing a trailer weighing 8000 pounds. You can anticipate a trailer tongue weight of about 10% of the total trailer weight, add 150 pounds for the hitch, add the weight of your family, all cargo in the truck cab as well as in the truck bed, add any extra equipment you've installed on the truck (running boards, bed liner, bed mat, tool box, mud flaps, floor mats, etc). As an example, if the trailer weighs 7500 pounds (that's about 1450 pounds of cargo, which is very easy to load when you consider 60 pounds of propane, 50 pounds for a battery, 300 pounds for half a tank of fresh water and the normal pots/pans, dishes, linens, camping gear, food, clothing and other "required" items). So, you're looking at about 800 pounds of tongue weight, 150 pounds for the hitch (950 total added to the truck receiver) which leaves 727 pounds for your family and all the gear you'll have in the truck. Assuming your family weighs 500 pounds and you have nothing in the bed of the truck, your payload would be about 950+500=1450 pounds.

So, with a GCWR of 14500, a truck weighing about 6825 (around 225 less than GVW) and a trailer weighing 7500, you are at 14325 total. That's 175 pounds below your maximum GCWR. So, don't plan on adding a generator and a 5 gallon gas can to the bed of your truck, you'll be overloaded.

We've got a couple of current threads discussing how close to maximum we should operate our equipment, some have suggested a 20% reserve (20% below GCWR) some have suggested a bit more "leeway" while some advocate "you're OK running right to the maximum, maybe overloaded because all the vehicle manufacturers "build in a fudge factor"... But nobody has ever been able to determine just what that "fudge factor" is or should be, so relying on that is, at best, irresponsible.

My guess is that with your truck loaded to about 225 pounds below GVW and that trailer loaded to about 500 pounds below the GVW, even though you'll be "below the GVW of both" you'll be overloaded when considering the GCWR and we haven't even considered the 3800 pound maximum rear axle rating. My guess is that you'll be over 3000 pounds on the rear axle, how much ??? I have no idea, that depends on whether you decide to take that generator, gas can and maybe a couple of bikes in the truck bed.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
According to the info you provided, your truck is equipped with 3.55 electronic locking differentials and the information I posted earlier regarding GCWR (14500) is correct. Your truck GVW (according to your photos) is 7050, so when loaded to your truck's GVW, the maximum trailer you can tow would weigh 7450 pounds.

Looking at your payload of 1677 lbs, you can anticipate being at maximum GVW or overloaded when towing a trailer weighing 8000 pounds. You can anticipate a trailer tongue weight of about 10% of the total trailer weight, add 150 pounds for the hitch, add the weight of your family, all cargo in the truck cab as well as in the truck bed, add any extra equipment you've installed on the truck (running boards, bed liner, bed mat, tool box, mud flaps, floor mats, etc). As an example, if the trailer weighs 7500 pounds (that's about 1450 pounds of cargo, which is very easy to load when you consider 60 pounds of propane, 50 pounds for a battery, 300 pounds for half a tank of fresh water and the normal pots/pans, dishes, linens, camping gear, food, clothing and other "required" items). So, you're looking at about 800 pounds of tongue weight, 150 pounds for the hitch (950 total added to the truck receiver) which leaves 727 pounds for your family and all the gear you'll have in the truck. Assuming your family weighs 500 pounds and you have nothing in the bed of the truck, your payload would be about 950+500=1450 pounds.

So, with a GCWR of 14500, a truck weighing about 6825 (around 225 less than GVW) and a trailer weighing 7500, you are at 14325 total. That's 175 pounds below your maximum GCWR. So, don't plan on adding a generator and a 5 gallon gas can to the bed of your truck, you'll be overloaded.

We've got a couple of current threads discussing how close to maximum we should operate our equipment, some have suggested a 20% reserve (20% below GCWR) some have suggested a bit more "leeway" while some advocate "you're OK running right to the maximum, maybe overloaded because all the vehicle manufacturers "build in a fudge factor"... But nobody has ever been able to determine just what that "fudge factor" is or should be, so relying on that is, at best, irresponsible.

My guess is that with your truck loaded to about 225 pounds below GVW and that trailer loaded to about 500 pounds below the GVW, even though you'll be "below the GVW of both" you'll be overloaded when considering the GCWR and we haven't even considered the 3800 pound maximum rear axle rating. My guess is that you'll be over 3000 pounds on the rear axle, how much ??? I have no idea, that depends on whether you decide to take that generator, gas can and maybe a couple of bikes in the truck bed.
Thank you very much for this response. If you had to say a max gvw or dry weight trailer I should be looking at what would that be? Here is a link to another one we are looking at which is lighter.

https://www.kz-rv.com/products/connect-travel-trailers/C241BHK.html
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:20 PM   #8
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Before making any recommendations on a maximum trailer size/weight, first I'd ask, how big is your family? How much weight (cargo) do you anticipate loading in the truck cab and bed? Consider the age of your children, if they are now 3,4 or 5, they will grow (adding weight to the truck) and their interests in "toys" will change from a tricycle to a dirt bike to a ATV.... It may not seem like they'll ever grow older, but trust me, before you get the trailer paid for, they'll be in High School, college and possibly bringing along grandchildren, so don't assume that if they weight 60 pounds total now, that's all you'd need to consider in 3 or 4 years......
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:30 PM   #9
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My suggestion is ONLY look at the GVW, not the dry weight, of whatever rv you're interested in as, believe me, that's what it will be loaded to by the time you pull it to your 1st camping weekend.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:33 PM   #10
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Myself, wife, 4-year old and a 1-year old. Down the road we can always upgrade truck and trailer size but for the next 5 or so years we are looking to keep the f150.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:50 PM   #11
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Looking at the trailer you asked about, in comparison to the Cougar:

Cougar front bed 70x80 KZ front bed 60x80 While the bed is smaller, the space on each side of the bed is 5" greater.

Cougar propane 60 lbs, KZ propane 40 lbs. Cougar has 20 pounds more. That will make a difference in cold/cool weather camping.

Cougar fresh water 60 gallons, KZ 40 gal. That extra 20 gallons could mean an extra 1 or 2 days of dry camping.

Cougar black tank 38 gallons, KZ black tank 32 gal. More or less a "wash".

Cougar gray tank 76, KZ gray tank 32 gal. Cougar has more than twice the capacity which means the KZ doesn't have enough gray capacity to even use all the fresh water... Something to consider....

Cougar 15" wheels, 12" brakes, KZ 14" wheels 10" brakes. Although any trailer can have problems stopping or carrying its own weight, the Cougar has significantly better capacity/potential for upgrade than the KZ.

I am speculating here, but I'd guess the purchase price (after some negotiations) will be very similar on both trailers. So, what would be the value given some of the differences above? Each buyer has their own preferences, priorities and limitations, so it's impossible for me to "walk in your shoes".....

I'm sure there are other significant differences that I haven't addressed that you need to consider. I'd suggest you do some research on the type of construction (wood walls vs aluminum wall studs) type of insulation, type of sidewall exterior (fiberglass vs aluminum) size of air conditioner (13500 vs 15000), thickness of foam on dinette and bunks are just a few of the things I don't have any information about the KZ.
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:52 PM   #12
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This summer, I was exactly where you are now. I had a crew cab f150 and was going through the same thing. By the time I added all of the extra "stuff", i had the rear axle weight overloaded. The truck towed well in ideal conditions. When wind picked up, or there was any other variables, i did not feel safe. I now tow with an F250 with a diesel.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:09 PM   #13
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bigdawg - I would encourage you to look long and hard before buying a KZ trailer. Not trying to knock them or anything else, but John has given you a laundry list of reasons that the unit you are looking at is "insufficient" IMO. With a family of little ones growing up you need MORE capacities, not less - and it will only increase. I'm not a big "fan boy" of Keystone products, but after spending countless hours, days and weeks looking over all kinds of RVs they are my choice for bang for your buck. Now, when we get over 150k or so the field gets bigger.
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:11 PM   #14
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As an example see my trailer below. Tongue wt. dry/unloaded was listed by Keystone at 560 lbs as I recall. I weighed at a scale, loaded full propane, 2 batteries, fresh water tank, food, clothing, camp gear for 3 days for 2 people was 920 lbs.
Just went dry camping/ hunt trip for 11 days, food, winter clothes, guns ammo for 3. Truck bed carried tent, wood stove, chain saw, more food, generator, 15 gals extra fuel for truck and genny, 20 gals extra water and tools to fix broken stuff.
I wanted to check the wt.s but did not have anytime. Glad to have that extra capacity when needed and not be over wt. No white knuckle driving for me.
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Old 11-13-2018, 10:14 PM   #15
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bigdawg - I would encourage you to look long and hard before buying a KZ trailer. Not trying to knock them or anything else, but John has given you a laundry list of reasons that the unit you are looking at is "insufficient" IMO. With a family of little ones growing up you need MORE capacities, not less - and it will only increase. I'm not a big "fan boy" of Keystone products, but after spending countless hours, days and weeks looking over all kinds of RVs they are my choice for bang for your buck. Now, when we get over 150k or so the field gets bigger.
Good call, I Appreciate the comparisons by John. I am not shopping on price so the side by side comparison was nice to see. Another model we are very interested is a Grand Design Imagine

https://www.granddesignrv.com/showro...orplans/2400bh

Quite a bit more money but the features look very high quality. The GVW comes in at 7,495 (500 lbs less than the cougar) and 28'. Any thoughts on this? Would I be safe to tow this with my truck? Thank you for all the help, one day when I become an experienced trailer guy I hope to help a young guy in my shoes.
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:19 AM   #16
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I was in ur same shoes a couple months ago. Had a 2016 F150 3.5tt with a payload of 1940. Book says it will tow 11,900. Looked at most all 150 series 5ers. Not 1 would work. Frusturated because I bought this truck 18 months ago with a small 5er in mind. Ended up buying the fifth wheel we wanted and upgraded the truck to a 2018 f350 drw td. Problem solved.
Good luck in ur hunt.
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Old 11-14-2018, 06:18 AM   #17
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Sort of like Cinderella. You have the shoe, now it's time to find the foot that fits in it.
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:33 AM   #18
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https://www.granddesignrv.com/showro...orplans/2400bh



Will the weight/length specs on this trailer work better for me than the Cougar?
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:49 AM   #19
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The length than would be what your comfortable with within tow specs.
My ole Springdale was 33' and I didn't have any problems. Click image for larger version

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Old 11-14-2018, 07:56 PM   #20
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Ok, guys. I have to admit to scratching my head over a few responses to the OP’s question of if the camper weight is OK for his F-150.

First we heard that the Cougar will probably be over his limits and is not a good idea. But, when a lower weight/ smaller tank capacities camper (the KZ) was also offered up, then it was stated why that camper wouldn’t be a good fit for a growing family. And, for the record, I totally understand that. I don’t know that I would be telling anyone to ever get a camper with smaller grey/ black tanks. I wish ours were larger for dry camping! But, on the flip side, if that KZ is a better match to the trucks capabilities, is that a better first camper?

So, are you guys suggesting for him to look real hard/ get the heavier camper since the lighter one doesn’t have as big of capacities, even if it’s over his trucks limits? Or are you stating he should get a larger truck? Or?

Or am I just reading everything wrong and getting confused since my brain is already fried from this work week? Which is a very good possibility.
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