2018 RV-Dreams Spring Educational Rally - April 23 -29, 2018 in Pahrump, Nevada
Spots Still Available!! Click Here To Get More Information & To Register


Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Can my truck handle a Fifth Wheel?


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 34
Date:
Can my truck handle a Fifth Wheel?
Permalink Closed


TRUCK: 1997 F-250 Heavy Duty 7.3L Powerstroke 4x4.

There seems to be lots of detailed information about weight (dry v. loaded, what the truck's rated at, etc). According to Ford, provided I'm reading the document right, the GCWR for a 1997 4x4 manual 7.3L F-250 is 20,000lbs & 14,000 trailer weight. What is the maximum weight I can safely tow?

So I'm just now starting to investigate fifth wheels & I have a few novice questions that I'm hoping the community can help me with:

What modifications, if any, will improve ride quality & safety of my 1997 F-250 Heavy Duty 7.3L Powerstroke 4x4 when hauling a 5th wheel?
I'm currently looking into the TorkLift StableLoad, sway bars, add-a-springs, helper-spring kits, airbags & tires. I'm starting to get a bit overwhelmed and afraid of being sold something at the RV dealership that I can't safely tow... Does anyone have any recommendations on any of these mods?

Roughly at what trailer weight do people need to upgrade duallies?

Any experienced recommendations, suggestions & stories are much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!



__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 454
Date:
Permalink Closed

What you need to find out is the weight the rear axle can support. That will be your limit on a 5th wheel. I also advise you to not figure on max weight. Trucks do not like to be run maxed out a lot.

__________________

2003 Teton Grand Freedon  2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3 SOLD     2006 Freightliner Century 120 with Detroit 14L singled, ultrashift,  hauling a 2016 Smart Passion



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 137
Date:
Permalink Closed

Your GCWR is the total weight of your truck with passengers, hitch, fuel, etc plus the weight of your trailer. So, if your GCWR is 20000 pounds and your truck fully loaded is 9000 pounds, you can haul a fully loaded trailer that weighs 11000 pounds. Of course, as Glenn West mentioned, you shouldn't really go to the max. In this particular example, I would want a trailer a couple of thousand pounds below the 11000 pound figure.

__________________

Joe and Dodie and Furkid, Maggie

2012 Cedar Creek 36CKTS

2015 F350 Dually Lariat

http://joeanddodiesrvtimes.blogspot.com/

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 289
Date:
Permalink Closed

7point3, no single number will give you your answer--they must be looked at together and not exceed any. Joe and Glenn have both given you good advice. Do your homework and do not let a salesman talk you into something you know is not right. Nothing you can do to the truck will increase the tow capacity of your truck, however there are things you can do to make it a little more comfortable ride. I would not do much until you have your rig and pulled it around a bit, if you are having trouble with the ride or the stability then you can figure out the solution. Staying within your weight limits you (probably) should be alright. You may need to add some Torklift stable loads (big overload pads) to bring the overload springs into play much earlier than the OME pads. I'm towing a 9,300 lb dry weight, 11,700 lb loaded fiver (I carry no water, not even in the water heater) with no problem. Of course yours may be different. There is a lot of good info on this site---use it wisely and you will figure out witch one will work with your truck and be safe for you.


flyone

__________________

Team Cockrum:
2001, F250 Diesel, 2012 33 FT. CrossRoads Cruiser Fifth Wheel



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 134
Date:
Permalink Closed

Sure your truck can handle a fifth wheel. The primary question to answer when thinking about towing the fifth wheel is the amount of cargo weight the truck can carry in it's bed. Normally that's going to be the deciding/limiting factor.

 

FastEagle 



-- Edited by FastEagle on Tuesday 2nd of September 2014 06:34:08 AM



-- Edited by FastEagle on Tuesday 2nd of September 2014 06:35:15 AM

__________________

USN RET PDRL - DOD RET - SSA RET

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 34
Date:
Permalink Closed

Thanks for the informative replies everyone. I'm really learning a lot.

flyone wrote:

7point3, no single number will give you your answer--they must be looked at together and not exceed any. Joe and Glenn have both given you good advice. Do your homework and do not let a salesman talk you into something you know is not right. Nothing you can do to the truck will increase the tow capacity of your truck, however there are things you can do to make it a little more comfortable ride. I would not do much until you have your rig and pulled it around a bit, if you are having trouble with the ride or the stability then you can figure out the solution. Staying within your weight limits you (probably) should be alright. You may need to add some Torklift stable loads (big overload pads) to bring the overload springs into play much earlier than the OME pads. I'm towing a 9,300 lb dry weight, 11,700 lb loaded fiver (I carry no water, not even in the water heater) with no problem. Of course yours may be different. There is a lot of good info on this site---use it wisely and you will figure out witch one will work with your truck and be safe for you.


flyone


 

I understand that there are many variables. However, our trucks are very common; there've got to be tons of people towing 5ers with this truck. Generally speaking, how much can our non-dually F-250 rear axles safely (not max) support? I'm assuming since you don't haul water that you don't feel comfortable at 12,000lbs... Thanks :)

What is our rear GAWR?



-- Edited by 7point3diesel on Tuesday 2nd of September 2014 01:46:19 PM



-- Edited by 7point3diesel on Tuesday 2nd of September 2014 01:46:30 PM

__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 34
Date:
Permalink Closed

Front FAWR 4600 lb

Rear GAWR 6084 lb

GVWR 8800lb



__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 289
Date:
Permalink Closed

7point3 check your PM



__________________

Team Cockrum:
2001, F250 Diesel, 2012 33 FT. CrossRoads Cruiser Fifth Wheel



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 34
Date:
Permalink Closed

I think I figured it out!
www.youtube.com/watch">Data stickers & www.youtube.com/watch">Understanding ratings

So, as I understand these explanations, the trailer's GVWR is not the same as the trailer's UVW.
The trailer's GVWR is the maximum weight the trailer's axles can handle: weight of the trailer + weight of (potentially) a lot of cargo is the maximum weight the trailer can safely have on its own axles.
The more important numbers to look at on the trailer, in order to know if the truck can tow it, is the Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) & the Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC). We need to add the the UVW + what we think our CCC's going to be to know if we can to it or not. GVWR means nothing for towing.
Example:
UVW of trailer: 7,000 lbs
CCC of trailer: 2,000 lbs
GVWR of trailer: 14,000 lbs
GVWR of truck: 10,000 lbs according to people I trust & 13,800 according to manufacturer
Since UVW + CCC = 9,000 lbs we are under 10,000 lbs. Conclusion: we can safely tow it!
In this case, if the CCC is 3,001 lbs + UVW = 10,001 probably unsafe for my truck to tow.
In this case, if the CCC is 7,001 lbs + UVW = 14,001 probably unsafe for the trailer to carry this much cargo.

This calculation does not take into account GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) of truck. Which is just as important to calculate. The truck's Front Axle Weight Rating (FAWR) is 4,600 lb & it's Rear Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is 6,084 lb.
The trailer will have 20-25% of its weight on the truck's axles (front & rear, but mostly rear).
In this case if our UVW + CCC = 9,000 lbs the Hitch Pin / Tongue Weight (the weight the truck's axles can hold with a fully loaded trailer pushing down on the 5th wheel hitch) is 1,800-2,250 lbs. The truck's axles can easily take it!
:)

__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 190
Date:
Permalink Closed

7point3diesel wrote:

... GVWR means nothing for towing.

....
 The trailer will have 20-25% of its weight on the truck's axles (front & rear, but mostly rear).
In this case if our UVW + CCC = 9,000 lbs the Hitch Pin / Tongue Weight (the weight the truck's axles can hold with a fully loaded trailer pushing down on the 5th wheel hitch) is 1,800-2,250 lbs. The truck's axles can easily take it!
:)


You are correct that Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is not as important as your GVW (actual Gross Vehicle Weight), but GVWR is an important number to consider when you are think about how much personal cargo, water, propane, etc. can be carried.

Another important considerations is the hitch pin / tongue weight -- is how much additional weight is on the rear axle of your truck (i.e, the actual weight of the axles, tires, truck bed, fuel and anything you might add such as tools or auxiliary fuel tank in the bed), that all needs to be added to the hitch pin / tongue weight number. you shared above

Just a couple things to consider. I am sure other will chime in and/or perform a search for the GAWR, GCWR, etc. and you will find a wealth of information.



__________________

2014 New Horizons Majestic 40'
2014 Ram 5500 HD with Utility Bodywerks hauler body

Enjoying this chapter in our lives!!!



RV-Dreams Community Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:
Permalink Closed

Well, a few months before when I had bought my RV, I had preferred to hire an experienced auto shipping California company who had served me with professional transporters in transporting my RV. Well, the main reason that I had used transporters because RV are very heavy vehicle and I had read this article regarding RV transport that there would be any down fall is the wear and tear on the motor home and on the miles also.



__________________
Gloria Cessna
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us