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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 03-08-2001, 06:56 PM
mc mc is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

Hello all,

I have a 1996 F250 HD crewcab, 4x4, 460, auto, with 3.55's. I have looked in my owners manual and determined that the max tow weight is 9100 lbs by using the charts. 12000 lbs if i had 4.10's

Here's the question, is this weight for a bumper pull trailer, or a fifth wheel. Are they the same or would they be different. The reason i ask is that i see these tow guides on the RV dealers walls, and they always list a tow capacity that is different for trailer vs fifth wheel.

Unfortunatly, the tow guide is for 2000-2001, so it doesnt have my year, or i wouldnt be asking. And the dealer says my truck can do 10000 lbs of trailer, or 12000 lbs of fifth wheel.

The fifth wheel my wife wants has a dry weight of 8200lbs, and a hitch weight of 1600lbs, I think it is to heavy, the dealer and my wife say NO Problem! What do you experienced towers think?

Anyone help clear this up for me?
Thanks a bunch
MC
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2001, 07:15 AM
DeenHylton DeenHylton is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

You must be looking at the "manual transmission" chart. I have an owners manual for my 1989 F250 460 C-6 and it shows a max of 7,000 lb. trailer weight (11,500 lb. combined) for a MANUAL trans. but for a C-6 automatic you go up to 10,500 lb.trailer weight and 15,000 lb. combined weight (truck PLUS trailer). That is with the 3:55 gearing. I currently tow a 9,000 lb. tag trailer. Any way it looks like your wife and the dealer are correct.


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Old 03-12-2001, 01:07 PM
perrymb perrymb is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

mc,

I cut and pasted this from a previous post I placed on the same subject...

"I've got a '95 F250 XLT 4X4 460/ZF/3.55:1 outfitted with a Banks Power Pack. I pull a 28 foot fifth wheel with a push out... that weighs in at 9000 lb and stands nearly 12 feet tall. The Ford manual says I should only be pulling a combined weight of 13,000 lbs. Mine with kids and all packed in is 16,500 lbs. I have no problems at all, most rocky mountain grades I was able to pull in O/D as long as I kept the road speed up around 110 km/h (about 70mph). In other words I need about 1800 rpm for most grades, by this I mean less than about a 6% grade, or I have to back shift to fourth.

I'm not sure why Ford rates the maximum recommended combined weight so much less for the five speed than for the auto. Can't recall off hand, but, it is rated 3000 or 4000 pounds less. Incidently, I am not exceeding my GVWR, but, I am right at it.

Someone told me that Ford typically under rates their trucks on the GVWR sticker, and that if you write to them they will send you a sticker with a higher GVWR. But I don't know about this."

Your combined capacity with your drive train should be plenty for what your planning to pull.

Perry
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Old 03-12-2001, 04:18 PM
jim henderson jim henderson is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

Hello, I do a fair amount of towing with my 1994 F250 supercab with 460 etc, fairly similar to yours. So I have a few recommendations after doing this for a few years, and more mistakes than I like to admit.

The tow weight ratings are in the user manual and off the top of my head I don't remember what they are, and I may get some of the names wrong but it will be clear from the manual. You need to take several things into mind when figuring out the tow rating. The maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating(GCWR), the maximum Gross Axle Weight Rating(GAWR)and the maximum Gross Tow Rating, I am not sure if this is right but it is the weight of the trailer. These ratings are in the manual and also usually posted on the door jam.

I tow a 30 foot travel trailer, not a fifth wheel, but the weight ratings etc I think still apply. You need to make sure the trailer does not exceed the towed rating, you also need to make sure the truck and trailer combined weights don't exceed the maximum GCWR, and lastly you need to make sure you don't exceed the GAWR or tongue weight, ie the weight in the bed of the pickup.

Your best bet is to check out magazines like Trailering and the Good Sam magazines, I am sure there are others, they all have good tips. I am new to this list and didn't realize when I reply to a posting I can no longer see your posting so I don't remember what you had listed so I will wing it, probably butchering the figures but just read the manual to be sure, or write me and I will get mine a day after hearing from you.

The tongue weight can be varied by shifting the load in the trailer, ie moving it around from front to back. The dry weight is exactly that, the trailer with nothing in it except the Standard trailer items. This means if you have the optional air conditioner, heavy insulation, optional furniture, optional whatever, you already have more weight than the dry weight on the trailer listing. Put water in the tank and have a full black and gray water tank and have some food and travel stuff, and you can easily have a lot more weight than you think. The dry weight is just a starting point and it is ALWAYS LOW.

If you put too much load on the hitch and in the bed, then you may exceed the GAWR. This can make the rig hard to handle, fishtail, hard to brake and may over time wear out that axle bearing set and brakes.

You need to calculate the total weight of the trailer with load and the truck with it's load(people, pets, stuff, gas)and check if that exceeds the GCWR. Exceeding that can also have similar effects as above plus put extra wear on the drive train.

For a travel trailer, you must use a good weight distributing hitch, I think it's the law. The bumper hitch is not adequate for the trailer you are thinking of. I think my bumper hitch is only good for 5,000 and in my opinion it would be hard to handle at that weight. The weight distributing hitch will equalize the load over the entire frame of the truck and trailer. If you have seen trucks that were dragging their tails, they needed a weight distributing hitch and or were over loaded. On an F250 it is hard to tell by eyeball when the GAWR is exceeded. I once accidentally loaded over 3,000 pounds in the bed of my truck and it looked fine. Only way to tell is to put it on a scale.

The fifth wheel hitch is something I have no experience with, so I can only generalize. The trailer will still have some kind of tongue weight and that weight must not exceed the GAWR, including any load in the truck. I think the advantage is that a fifth wheel hitch puts the load right over the axle instead of out at the tail end. I assume it helps make the ride more stable. The total GCWR limits would still apply for a fifth wheel.

Hope this helps, and I know it is too long, even so I have left out a lot.

Jim Henderson
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Old 03-13-2001, 01:42 PM
perrymb perrymb is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

Jim,

I agree with most of what you've written.

The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), Gross Axle Weight Rating - Rear (GAWR-R), Gross Axle Weight Rating - Front (GAWR-F) are all critical ratings, which, in the jurisdictions I tow in must not be exceeded. These ratings have serious safety and handling implications to what the vehicle is capable of handling. There are legal penalties for exceeding safety ratings of this nature, in most jurisdictions. I do not recommend exceeding these ratings in any case. There may be additional restrictions in your area concerning brakes, hitches, B-trains, etc.

On the other hand, Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) described in your owners manual relates to the manufacturers recommendations for maximum loads for the drive train, rather than a safety and drivability issue, and provides the manufacturer with some piece of mind for warranty issues.

In the situation which I described above, my truck and trailer are way over on my GCWR by about 3500lb... I don't recall exactly. I am also over on the maximum frontage recommended in the manual.

I have taken my complete unit over the scales to see where I stand and how the load is distributed. With kids, wife, luggage, fuel and gear, I am under my GAWR-F, under my GAWR-R, and right at my GVWR. I am under on the trailers GAWR. And, if I'm B-training, I am under on my Sea-Doo trailer's axle as well. Incidently, I rarely travel with water on board, and I always dump the black and grey water before travelling.

If I had 4.10 gears or the Auto tranny, I'd be much closer on the GCWR... if I had both I think I'd be under, but, can't recall off hand. All other ratings would be unchanged.

I was concerned about over working the drive train when I first got my trailer. I checked with a few places that knew about the ZF tranny as it was the item in the manual that seems to drive the rating down so much. Most places could not understand the low rating for the set up, as Ford uses that tranny in bigger trucks than pick-ups. It is also mated up behind the Powerstroke and is rated for more torgue than the 460 produces. What the concensus came down to, after quite a while and quite recently, was people can't drive standards properly and they destoy clutches. Ford knows this so they rate the setup real low.

Just the same, I've taken some precautions with the drive train. I've completely converted the drive train to synthetic lubricant. The ZF calls for it behind the Powerstroke, but, I also did the diffs, transfer case and engine. With the engine I have by-pass oil filtration system to keep things real clean. Then came the Banks Power Pack to add some HP and torgue. I am now running around 300 horsepower and 500 lb/ft of torque. If I've got a safe stretch of road, I have no problems passing most other RVs on the highway.

Last summer, a semi decided he didn't want me to pass after I was already beside him and committed to the deed. By the time I was around him I looked down and my speedo said I was doing 145 km/h (about 95 mph). It surprised me and I was impressed, but, I won't be trying that again. Oh, I did't have the SeaDoo behind the fifth wheel at the time... those little wheels would have caught fire... LOL!

Anyway, I would recommend to mc any day, that he'd have no problems with the fifth wheel he and his wife are looking at and the truck he's got. Go for it buddy! It's a great way to travel.

Perry
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2001, 04:25 PM
jim henderson jim henderson is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

A couple other points to mention. With an auto tranny, I might recommend adding an auxilliary cooler or upping the size of the one there. You might even look into the Perma Cool aux tranny filter with temp gauge. If you are running in hot country, I recommend a cool down in idle before shutting the engine off, or you may risk boil over as the temp of the water rises as it absorbs the engine heat.

After having a gray water tank fall out on my almost new trailer a couple years ago, I highly recommend emptying both tanks whenever they get about half full, especially if the weather is hot. I don't know about other brands but my trailer relied on a plastic lip on both sides of the tank plus a small(3/4 inch?) angle iron under the tank, held in place by two nail sized pins. Well if it is hot, I am guessing that the plastic tank becomes a bit soft and sags and pulls the lips away from supporting the tank, putting a lot of stress on the angle iron. Thank God it wasn't the black water tank as I lay under the trailer in a puddle of water by the side of I5 in the middle of the San Joaquin valley with 105 degrees air temp. Besides who needs to pull several hundred pounds(about 600 on my rig) of dirty water when you don't have to?

I have been sceptical of dealer recommendations on towing capacity ever since a local dealer said the little V6 Ranger they had on sale would pull a 23 foot trailer just fine. I am pretty sure that trailer would easily have exceeded most if not all ratings on that truck. Yes the truck could tow it, but how safe and for how many miles, who knows. I am thankful I chose the F250 with 460. Would have liked a diesel but didn't find one I liked for the amount of money I had to spend. The best advice is "Just show me the book" and don't exceed the ratings except at your own risk(money or legal). Heck I have towed a 30 foot Motorhome with a 1800cc Datsun truck, but I don't recommend it for long.

Jim Henderson
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2001, 01:30 AM
perrymb perrymb is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

mc,

I agree with Jim on the tranny cooler. A friend's dad had the same drive train as you. He burnt down two automatic trannies before looking for a powerstroke... mind you, he pulls a 35' fifth wheel that tips the scales at about 11,000 lbs, and he pulls it a lot and he pulls it far. From Canada, to Arizona to Texas and back every year.

So, the tranny cooler would be a wise investment, as would a good synthetic ATF. A good synthetic can drop the temperature in your tranny by 50 degrees all by itself.

I've got the manual out for my '95 there is no listing for F250 crewcab in '95, but the GCWR should be 15,000 lbs, as this is consistent for the drive train in all cab configurations. The trailer weight listed for the supercab is 9400 lbs... by looking at other listings I would expect the trailer weight to drop by 400 lbs as it does for other comparisons between super cab and crew cab.

Again, mc, I doubt you'd have a problem, but, I would invest in the cooler and some synthetics, to be on the safe side.

Perry
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Old 03-22-2001, 03:03 PM
mc mc is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

Thanks to all those that replied, thought i would give you an update.

well after looking at several brands, i convinced my wife that a shorter fifth wheel that weighed slightly less would do us just fine! Ended up with a prowler 30 5s

I ended up ordering a 32' foot model (bike rack to extended pin) that is 7200lbs dry and has a max 10,500 lbs. i think it will work out just fine, as long as i can figure out how to manuver the thing around tight corners, without hitting my cab(due to short box). it is a lot longer than my 25 foot boat trailer, so i am sure it will take some getting use to!

again thanks

MC
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Old 03-22-2001, 08:48 PM
perrymb perrymb is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

Swing wide mc,

I put some wrincles in mine the first time I had it out... pulled so well I forgot it was there and brushed up against a tree. LOL!

Your hitch should have extra holes in it to allow you to move the fifth wheel assembly back about 9 inches... for manouvering in tight spots.

Happy trailering.

Perry
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Old 03-22-2001, 11:17 PM
PAUL_2 PAUL_2 is offline
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Towing Capacity - Fifth Wheel or Trailer

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Old 01-12-2010, 01:01 PM
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Just found this doing a search fro towing capacities. Old Rusty is a '91 F-150, E4OD. No towing package = no frame hitch. What is the maximum BUMPER towing capacity? Am thinking about renting a You All Haul car carrier trailer to haul a car ( approx. 3,500 lbs. + trailer is what I've been told ) about 400 - 450 miles. In my mind, it's not going to hold up, but I'm seeking professional ( ) advice. If the rear end wasn't going out of the car, I'd drop the driveshaft & throw it on a dolly.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:13 PM
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Chevy 6.2D Chevy 6.2D is offline
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mc, I don't think your truck will have any problems pulling that camper. Tow ratings don't normally change much from bumper to 5th wheel/goosneck, but keep in mind the 5th/goose will be MUCH more stable. I'd say go for it.

1OldFordMan, that's not too much weight for the truck, but I'd be worried about the bumper. If you were going <50 miles it would be a different story but to go 400-450 I would invest in a frame-mounted receiver hitch (new one is $125~) and possibly a brake controller (not entirely necessary, but since you have an automatic it wouldn't hurt) Then again if it's mostly flat ground and no big city traffic you could probly get by w/o trailer brakes.
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy 6.2D View Post
mc, I don't think your truck will have any problems pulling that camper. Tow ratings don't normally change much from bumper to 5th wheel/goosneck, but keep in mind the 5th/goose will be MUCH more stable. I'd say go for it.

1OldFordMan, that's not too much weight for the truck, but I'd be worried about the bumper. If you were going <50 miles it would be a different story but to go 400-450 I would invest in a frame-mounted receiver hitch (new one is $125~) and possibly a brake controller (not entirely necessary, but since you have an automatic it wouldn't hurt) Then again if it's mostly flat ground and no big city traffic you could probly get by w/o trailer brakes.
Thanks for the bad news. Not a big shock. What I expected to hear & what I wanted to hear didn't match again ( think lottery jackpot numbers ). Again, not your fault & what I expected to hear. I don't trust bumpers for that much weight. Was hoping some great guru of would come along & say " Hey, it's a FORD, no problem ". Oh well such is life. Back to the drawing board.
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Old 01-21-2010, 09:11 PM
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These are great questions, is this where I post a question?
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:56 PM
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The limiting factor with fifth wheelers is usually the pin weight exceeding the trucks payload capacity. Besides the actual weight on the pin you have to count the hitch weight, passengers, and anything your hauling in the truck.
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Old 01-21-2010, 10:56 PM
 
 
 
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