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Old 04-17-2012, 07:52 PM
MadogLlewellyn MadogLlewellyn is offline
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Pulling a Fifth Wheel Camper

Who has pulled the heaviest trailer?

Looking at a DRV Elite Suites 36RSSB3 GVWR is 18-20k... I know the max GCWR for these trucks is only 20k... Just wondering if anyone has pulled something that heavy? Or is it possible? I'm looking at getting Firestone Air bags and upgrading the springs to 1 tons.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:18 PM
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If you plan on towing a 20k lb trailer on a regular basis, you'll be better off with a DRW truck. I've pulled 24k with my SRW 350 with airbags before, but not on a regular basis.

The truck will tow the weight just fine (some issues on the hills), the real problem comes in with stopping and maneuvering at speed. Not a good idea for a 250 in my opinion.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:17 PM
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Is the trailer 18-20k pounds? or is the combined weight of the truck and trailer 18-20k pounds? If so the trailer weighs between 10-12k pounds. Seems like guys here pull 10-12k all the time...of course you are gonna want to be careful and just always remember that it takes a lot longer to stop something that heavy.

I cant see pulling a 18-20k pound camper with a 3/4 ton truck, that seems like a job for an f450 or bigger.

But hey what the heck do I know lol I don't even have a 5th wheel haha
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:28 PM
Chipworkz Chipworkz is offline
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I have pulled my 16k - 17k trailer with my old SRW truck just fine. It has lighter pin weight than many brands though. With an 18k - 20k trailer, you are going to be pretty heavy on the pin weight. Somewhere between 2700 to 3000 on the lighter side for that trailer. Pin weight is normally around 15% or more of the total weight of the trailer.

I am not part of the weight police by any means but that is a pretty heavy trailer for a SRW truck. Even after upgrading the springs and using air bags, you still need to look at the weight on your rims and tires.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:53 AM
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I believe that the springs are the same on SRW 250/350's The 350 just has a taller block on the axle
Air bags will help level it out, I personally think you'll be ok. I see more srw trucks pulling big 5'rs than duallys anymore.
Take your time and upgrade you trans cooling and you'll be fine.
Thats a gorgeous 5'r by the way.
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:05 AM
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I have a DRV 36something. NO WAY would I pull it with a 250 OR a 350 single wheel truck.
you're just asking for trouble. you're pin weight will be somewhere between 3 and 4K. you will be so far over the axle GVW and CGVW that it not even remotely funny. 19'5 tires would be a start but still you're way over the design limits of the rear axle so plan on having bearing issues. Air bags may level the truck but it won't increase the GVW, they are just a band aid in my opinion. before you put your family and mine in a bad situation, go get a 1 ton dually ATLEAST.
sorry for the rant but I see questions like this and they just **** me off. just cause our trucks will pull a train does not mean it can carry it or stop it when some dumb*** turns in front of you. and you know its going to happen.
Barney
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:22 AM
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I would not do it with a 250!
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:29 AM
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I wouldn't recommend it. That's a big load. Mine is about 13,500 lbs and I wouldn't want to attempt anything heavier. Really you need to be looking at F450 and bigger for that size load. Technically, a drw F350 is rated to tow less 5th wheel than a srw because the gcvw is still 20,000lbs and the dually is heavier. This info comes out of the ford towing guide.
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:36 AM
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I wouldn't do it either.. Mine is around 11,600 loaded. (Using a 250) And i have the air bags pumped up to 50psi.
If ever i feel the need to go bigger/heavier, i am getting a dually.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:07 AM
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Here are the specs for that camper, It's pushing it a bit, but It's not a 18k lb trailer.
I also don't know how much pin weight a 250 is rated for.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:45 AM
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Good post Frank, its nice to deal with the facts.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:43 AM
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You can pull just about anything with a F250, stopping is the problem.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overthehillbill View Post
You can pull just about anything with a F250, stopping is the problem.
^^^That right there about sizes it up quite nicely.

There isn't a lot of difference between my F250 and F450 while towing a 16,500 lb trailer.....EXCEPT for the brakes. My F450 at 27k gross stops nearly as well as my unloaded F250 (8k lbs). No exaggeration.

F-250/350 trucks have 13.03" dia rotors(front) and 12.83" dia(rear).
F-450/550 trucks have 14.53" dia rotors(front) and 15.55" dia(rear).
This translates to a total swept area increase of 12% (front) and 20% (rear). However, the gross lining area is where the real benefit shows up. Lining area increase of 12% up front (which matches the swept area increase) but the rear lining increase is a whopping 60% compared to F-250/350 brakes.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend towing that 18-20k trailer on a regular basis with a SRW F250 or even a dually F350 simply because the brakes weren't designed for that much weight (and the pin weight for that unit looks like it might be pretty high).

I tow a 16,500 lb 5th wheel with my SRW F250 but my trailer only has 2600 lbs of pin weight and it has 6 wheels with brakes....plus I have an exhaust brake. I couldn't imagine towing that much weight through the mountains without an exhaust brake.
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File Type: pdf Axle and Brake Specifications.pdf (16.9 KB, 99 views)
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:45 PM
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RV.NET is a good place for this question to be asked.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:08 PM
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Madog, just to give ya an option. I thought about a 5er but since its just me and the misses, opted for a TT. Its 26ft with NO slides (to leak or dork up). Weights in at about 5500 fully loaded. I'm baged too, single rear wheels. Folks ask me all the time if my truck even notices it. Yes it does. The biggest thing is that I'm confident with stopping. Sure it still takes longer, but with the brake controller properly set I feel I'm good to go, and I'm not taxing my truck too badly. Flip side, buddy with a 3 axel toy hauler. This thing will block the sun! He also has a 350 srw. Lots of issues hauling and stopping that thing around here. He actually doesn't look forward to gettng it on the road. Those hills play hell with his egt's and stopping that unit isn't too fun i'm sure. Plus that has to be working his truck awfully hard (ok, I just threw that in there without any mechanical proof). Point is, whatever you decide, make a sound decision based on your families needs and the ability of your truck. Have fun camping!
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