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Old 04-25-2010, 08:40 PM
the_justin the_justin is offline
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2009 F250 5.4L Towing Question (Urgent)

I just sold my Fleetwood Evolution popup camper I had bought when I had my 1/2 ton. Looking at getting a regular (not a 5th wheel) travel trailer. I have a 2009 F250 5.4L 4x4 Crew Cab with the 4.10 gear package (Automatic) . Checking Ford's documents, it says this configuration is good for a conventional towing capacity of 11,300 pounds.

I have found a deal on a trailer I just can't pass up. It's a 29 footer with a weight of approximately 7,000 lbs, probably a bit closer to 8,000 loaded (so says the seller). I'm supposed to drive out to another part of Alaska to pick it up. It's about a 3 hour drive each way. The trailer has no sort of WDH/Sway setup, just a traditional tow ball type tow and go setup (which is what I wanted for simplicity).

I know the Ford docs say I'm within spec, but I also know how manufacturers have a tendency to, how shall I say, embellish their statistics.

My question is, is this too heavy for this truck? My old camper was only about 3,000 - 3,500 lbs loaded and I could fly down the highway like it wasn't even there, but I've never towed anything this heavy before. My normal camping adventures take me from Anchorage to Kenai where the roads are for the most part flat. There are some minor inclines, but nothing too major. I make this drive several times during the summer months to fish (its 99% highway roads, very easy wide open roads), the rest of the year it will be parked away in a back lot.

My next question is, if it's too heavy, would it be safe enough driving the ~ 3 hours back home into town until I could get a WDH style setup done by a local RV shop?

I really want this trailer, but the only way I can get it is driving out there to Seward and towing it back into town with me. I had planned on making an offer tomorrow so I'd like some opinions. Like I say I'm a towing newbie, just had that Fleetwood Evo camper as my only tow toy. Need some advice ASAP! Normally I'd get a smaller (prolly 22-25 foot) trailer, but at this price I just can't pass it up ($9,000 fully loaded with (2) LCD HDTVs/DVD/CD !). Thanks to anyone who can offer any insight.



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Old 04-25-2010, 08:49 PM
montecarlo31 montecarlo31 is offline
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I'd have no issues if that were my truck. That being said I'd make sure that I had a good brake controller incase you get into some sway you can apply the trailer brakes for a few seconds to bring things under control. If you have the built in one your good to go.


I wouldn't worry about the weight dist hitch for that one time tow. I might even feel out what it's like and decide if I wanted to drop the coin on a WDH with a trailer that small on a truck that big.

You have to remember at 7 to 8K lbs your truck is very close in weight to the trailer so there won't be a lot of the tail wagging the dog going on.

Good luck and have a safe trip.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:56 PM
the_justin the_justin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montecarlo31 View Post
I'd have no issues if that were my truck. That being said I'd make sure that I had a good brake controller incase you get into some sway you can apply the trailer brakes for a few seconds to bring things under control. If you have the built in one your good to go.


I wouldn't worry about the weight dist hitch for that one time tow. I might even feel out what it's like and decide if I wanted to drop the coin on a WDH with a trailer that small on a truck that big.

You have to remember at 7 to 8K lbs your truck is very close in weight to the trailer so there won't be a lot of the tail wagging the dog going on.

Good luck and have a safe trip.
My 250 was a Lariat Ultimate+, came with the factory break controller which worked great. I had it set to 1.0 to 1.5 on my Fleetwood camper and it stopped that thing damn near on a dime (what do you expect towing a popup with a 3/4 ton )

Really did not want to get a WDH because of the extra time to hitch and un hitch. I just like to drop it on the tow ball and hit the road. A lot of times when I get into Kenai I like to unhitch my truck so I can goto different fishing spots and venture out a bit, its just so much easier with a traditional tow ball type setup.

Ahhhhh, fishing season is almost here
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_justin View Post
I have a 2009 F250 5.4L 4x4 Crew Cab with the 4.10 gear package (Automatic) . Checking Ford's documents, it says this configuration is good for a conventional towing capacity of 11,300 pounds.

I have found a deal on a trailer I just can't pass up. It's a 29 footer with a weight of approximately 7,000 lbs, probably a bit closer to 8,000 loaded (so says the seller). I'm supposed to drive out to another part of Alaska to pick it up. It's about a 3 hour drive each way. The trailer has no sort of WDH/Sway setup, just a traditional tow ball type tow and go setup (which is what I wanted for simplicity).

I know the Ford docs say I'm within spec, but I also know how manufacturers have a tendency to, how shall I say, embellish their statistics.
Better check your owner's manual again. This is from the 2009 F-250 Owner's Guide:

Click the image to open in full size.

Notice the difference? Your truck is only rated for 6,000 lbs without a WD hitch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by montecarlo31
I wouldn't worry about the weight dist hitch for that one time tow. I might even feel out what it's like and decide if I wanted to drop the coin on a WDH with a trailer that small on a truck that big.

You have to remember at 7 to 8K lbs your truck is very close in weight to the trailer so there won't be a lot of the tail wagging the dog going on.
This is WRONG. There is more to it than the weight disparity between the truck and trailer. DRW trucks weigh less than 500 lbs more than SRW trucks but are rated for an additional 2,000 lbs without a WD hitch.

The camper is over 6,000 lbs. It NEEDS a WD hitch. If you don't want to hassle with it get a lighter trailer.

Otherwise your truck should be fine with it. I'm not familiar with the terrain you're going to be towing over, but you should have no trouble maintaining speed on most slight inclines. Moderately steep inclines will slow you down some, but not a huge amount. The TorqShift transmission you have does a great job keeping the engine where it needs to be for pulling, and you also have an engine that loves to rev.

As long as you understand you won't be able to stay with traffic up steeper grades, you should be very happy with the way your truck will handle this trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_justin
My next question is, if it's too heavy, would it be safe enough driving the ~ 3 hours back home into town until I could get a WDH style setup done by a local RV shop?
As long as you keep your speed reasonable and avoid any sudden maneuvers you should be fine. But please, for everyone else's safety if not your own, get the proper towing equipment!

Have fun and enjoy the new trailer!
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  #5  
Old 04-25-2010, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_justin View Post
I just sold my Fleetwood Evolution popup camper I had bought when I had my 1/2 ton. Looking at getting a regular (not a 5th wheel) travel trailer. I have a 2009 F250 5.4L 4x4 Crew Cab with the 4.10 gear package (Automatic) . Checking Ford's documents, it says this configuration is good for a conventional towing capacity of 11,300 pounds.

I have found a deal on a trailer I just can't pass up. It's a 29 footer with a weight of approximately 7,000 lbs, probably a bit closer to 8,000 loaded (so says the seller). I'm supposed to drive out to another part of Alaska to pick it up. It's about a 3 hour drive each way. The trailer has no sort of WDH/Sway setup, just a traditional tow ball type tow and go setup (which is what I wanted for simplicity).

I know the Ford docs say I'm within spec, but I also know how manufacturers have a tendency to, how shall I say, embellish their statistics.

My question is, is this too heavy for this truck? My old camper was only about 3,000 - 3,500 lbs loaded and I could fly down the highway like it wasn't even there, but I've never towed anything this heavy before. My normal camping adventures take me from Anchorage to Kenai where the roads are for the most part flat. There are some minor inclines, but nothing too major. I make this drive several times during the summer months to fish (its 99% highway roads, very easy wide open roads), the rest of the year it will be parked away in a back lot.

My next question is, if it's too heavy, would it be safe enough driving the ~ 3 hours back home into town until I could get a WDH style setup done by a local RV shop?

I really want this trailer, but the only way I can get it is driving out there to Seward and towing it back into town with me. I had planned on making an offer tomorrow so I'd like some opinions. Like I say I'm a towing newbie, just had that Fleetwood Evo camper as my only tow toy. Need some advice ASAP! Normally I'd get a smaller (prolly 22-25 foot) trailer, but at this price I just can't pass it up ($9,000 fully loaded with (2) LCD HDTVs/DVD/CD !). Thanks to anyone who can offer any insight.



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u want the WD hitch.. 95% of the work is at the hitch.. getting the ball setup.
the arms have a bracket that clamps over the trailer frame rails, and poof done..
and it only takes 5 minutes to hook up the arms..

I installed a 10,000lb er for my car trailer in about 25 mins, including putting the chains on the arms.. I paid $210 delivered from EBAY.. Alaska always more..
here is one to look at http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Reese...efddddfb6#shId

I've done the white knuckle drive with too much weight on the hitch and no WD... 29ft travel trailer, on a safari van.. dumb.. but on an F250... maybe ok.. just take it slow.. braking will be the issue as the front will loose more traction as u brake..

Sam
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2010, 11:57 PM
the_justin the_justin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy001 View Post
Better check your owner's manual again. This is from the 2009 F-250 Owner's Guide:



Notice the difference? Your truck is only rated for 6,000 lbs without a WD hitch!



This is WRONG. There is more to it than the weight disparity between the truck and trailer. DRW trucks weigh less than 500 lbs more than SRW trucks but are rated for an additional 2,000 lbs without a WD hitch.

The camper is over 6,000 lbs. It NEEDS a WD hitch. If you don't want to hassle with it get a lighter trailer.

Otherwise your truck should be fine with it. I'm not familiar with the terrain you're going to be towing over, but you should have no trouble maintaining speed on most slight inclines. Moderately steep inclines will slow you down some, but not a huge amount. The TorqShift transmission you have does a great job keeping the engine where it needs to be for pulling, and you also have an engine that loves to rev.

As long as you understand you won't be able to stay with traffic up steeper grades, you should be very happy with the way your truck will handle this trailer.



As long as you keep your speed reasonable and avoid any sudden maneuvers you should be fine. But please, for everyone else's safety if not your own, get the proper towing equipment!

Have fun and enjoy the new trailer!

Wow thats an eye opener, this is what I got my numbers from, was a PDF direct from Ford's site.



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Maybe it is assuming a WDH setup with those numbers?

Looks like I'll have to buck up and get a WDH hitch after coming home then. Ah well, no biggie!
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2010, 12:02 AM
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Kajtek1 Kajtek1 is offline
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WD need depends on the pickup suspension. I towed tons of trailers in my life and never used WD bars. Here is my F450 towing 31' trailer.
What you might not see on the picture -I had like 30" hitch extension (with reinforcement) in order for the trailer to clear my liftgate.
Would not even think about WD. Absolutely no need in my setup.
So for OP -I think you should be fine with the careful towing even if later on you will figure out that WD bars are helpful.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:03 AM
the_justin the_justin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdetweil View Post
u want the WD hitch.. 95% of the work is at the hitch.. getting the ball setup.
the arms have a bracket that clamps over the trailer frame rails, and poof done..
and it only takes 5 minutes to hook up the arms..

I installed a 10,000lb er for my car trailer in about 25 mins, including putting the chains on the arms.. I paid $210 delivered from EBAY.. Alaska always more..
here is one to look at Reese Round Bar RB2 Weight Distribution Hitch 12,000lb : eBay Motors (item 270547148726 end time May-13-10 15:30:02 PDT)

I've done the white knuckle drive with too much weight on the hitch and no WD... 29ft travel trailer, on a safari van.. dumb.. but on an F250... maybe ok.. just take it slow.. braking will be the issue as the front will loose more traction as u brake..

Sam

yea we always have to pay more here, for *EVERYTHING* !! . I'm not too good with installing anything vehicular myself would just have it done at A&M RV which our big local RV shop. Last time I asked I think they wanted anywhere from 500-750 (including install) for a WDH setup. That's probably the route I'd have to go as just for reference on that ebay setup you had selected, the shipping alone on that to Anchorage is 200 bucks
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:02 AM
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I tow a little above 8000 pounds (without a weight distribution hitch) with my truck and do not have any issues, and I have the 3.73. gears.

To be specific, you won't win any drag races, but your truck won't have any issues pulling the load.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
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yea we always have to pay more here, for *EVERYTHING* !! .
Yeah, but you get to live in Alaska!
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:40 AM
Grumpy Moose Grumpy Moose is offline
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There's a high wind advisory for Turnagain Arm through Monday afternoon. Sounds like it may quiet down by late afternoon.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:07 AM
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To the original poster; I was towing a 7000 pound travel travel with the identical set up as you, except my truck was an 06. You will really need the weight distributing hitch system. I also added an anti sway bar for $60.00 and it was money well spent. I found the whole hitch system on Craigslist for $200.00. Trust me, that's a heavy rig to pull down the road!
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:49 AM
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I have a 2010 F250 and had a 2006 F250. You will want to use a WD setup for that TT. I tow a smaller 19ft. 5000 pound trailer and will not used WD setup on short trips but, on longer trips it is nice to have.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:15 AM
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I had an 06 F250 with the 5.4. It will do the job. I used it to pull 8K TT. You really need to have the WD setup, otherwise I would not do it.

Remember with the 5.4 most of power is going to be with the higher RPMs. Don't be afraid to put it to the floor.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:51 AM
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FWIW using WD bars does not add that much time to hitching up. With all of the other crap you need to connect (7 pin, breakaway cable, 2 breakaway chains) adding WD bars to that is no big deal.
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