Looking at a 5th wheel. Have a few questions?? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



Looking at a 5th wheel. Have a few questions??

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Old 06-18-2017, 08:26 PM
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Looking at a 5th wheel. Have a few questions??

Alright. I currently have a pull behind camper. Love it, got a super great deal when I bought it so I went with it. Just spend about 10 days on the road and my wife and I are thinking of going a little bigger. We really had fun this trip so thinking about trying to camp more often. Anyways I am gonna sell this one and buy a different one. For the money we have we are looking in the 98-01 range. My current camper ways 3,250 empty. I pull with stabilizer bars, truck pulls it pretty well considering she is probably around 4,000 loaded. Now we found a nicer old 5er. I was totally on board with it but saw the empty weight is 7,500. Now my current camper is a 20' no slide. This is a 29' with one slide. Just seems that a lot!! Or is that just a 5th camper? Or because it's old? Never pulled a 5th wheel before, Are they easier to pull? Harder? Since the weight is positioned different does that effect how much the weight is handled? I don't want to kill the mileage too bad considering we are trying for more road trips. Currently got around 12 mpg this trip which I thought was pretty darn good for my truck.

I know I will have to buy a 5th wheel hitch. What is a good one? Will I have an issue with a short bed w/ tool box?

Any advice would be great.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:37 AM
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You would have to remove the tool box and your hitch would need to be a slider with an older 5th wheel.


It is in the range weight wise but the newer ones are lighter in materials but still weigh more because of content.


We would need to know what truck/motor/year you have to advise if you are within the capabilities of the truck.


They do pull differently and tend to be easier on the ride but your mpgs will probably be worse. If you look at 5th wheels they are taller and therefore catch more wind.


Turning with them is easier since the tracking is different though.


Tell us about your truck.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:50 AM
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7,500 lbs. is a small, light fifth wheel (ours is just under 14,000 lbs. loaded with 3,100 lbs on the pin). You need to tell us about your truck before we can give you any advice. 1/2 ton trucks are completely unsuited to pulling a fifth wheel because of the limited capacity for payload on the rear axle. 3/4 ton trucks can be marginal - for the same reason - depending on the year and configuration of the truck.

Forget dry weights for anything - truck or trailer. Use the GVWR on the trailer sticker and calculate 23% of that for an estimated loaded pin weight for the fifth wheel. Weigh your truck (separate front and rear axle weights) with full fuel and all occupants. Add the weight of a fifth wheel hitch (about 200 lbs.) to the scale weight for the rear axle. Subtract that number from the GVWRR (rear axle weight rating on the truck's sticker) to get your leftover payload. If this last number is less than 23% of the GVWR on the trailer sticker, it's too much fifth wheel for the truck.

Fifth wheels are a joy to pull if you have the right tow vehicle. Tell us more about both the truck and the trailer (GVWR) so we can help you better.

OK... just looked at your profile. A '99 F250 won't have the payload capacity that the late model trucks have, so weighing your truck and calculating the available payload is even more important. The 7.3 is a great motor and will pull anything you put behind it - but pulling is not the issue here - payload is. It also looks like your truck has been lifted. This can be a real issue with a fifth wheel - especially an older fifth wheel. It's a bad idea to pull a fifth wheel nose-high and you need to maintain at least 6" clearance between the truck bed rails and the underside of the fifth wheel overhang. Just more things to consider...

Oh - and don't let anyone talk you into a gooseneck adapter for a fifth wheel RV. The trailer frames aren't built to take the torsional forces exerted by a gooseneck adapter (gooseneck trailers are built very differently in the front).

Rob
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:54 AM
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I don't know that a 5ver is easier to pull or not but gotta be easier to hitch up...don't need a spotter to watch... you just click it in and go. No need for weight distributing or sway bars. Fifth wheel hitches (and goose neck) are very stable means of towing since the connection is made just a hair in front of your rear axle.

As with any trucks just need to compare your weight ratings and tow ratings for safety sake. Some people experience "chucking" but many don't. I've towed our 5ver (32 ft, 5 ton) with 2 different 3/4 ton trucks and it pulls/rides nice.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:13 AM
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Sorry about the lack of truck info, thought it was down below

99 F-250 Ext Cab Short Bed 4x4 w/ 7.3. 290,000 miles

i am looking at the trailer at an RV place, let me see if I can get a sticker for it. I will post the sticker for my truck here in a min.


truck is not lifted. Just a level kit in the front. Everything else is the way I bought it. Not large leaf blocks or anything. As far as I know just stock.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:53 AM
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99 F250 with the 7.3 pulling a 5ver that won't likely weigh more than 5 ton fully loaded...I'd say you're good to go. Always a good idea to check all the specs (gear ratio, axle rating, tire rating etc) but honestly, nobody will blink an eye at what you're proposing.

I'll throw in the usual disclaimers for an 18 year old truck... make sure your maintenance is all caught up, healthy brake system including lines and hoses, etc
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:53 AM
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I pulled a close to 9000 lb (old) 5th wheel with my 1st F250 diesel.... it was an early ('92) 7.3 normally aspirated and it did great ... until it saw a hill. I put a Banks turbo kit on it and then it even did the hills fine. Ran it for a lot of miles too. I think you'll do fine if the truck is kept in good condition. Put a good trans cooler on it. Most use one from a 6.0 Ford.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:20 PM
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Here is my truck info gonna call the dealer and see if I can get the trailer info
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:51 PM
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Here is the trailer sticker.

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Old 06-19-2017, 02:10 PM
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I went from a travel trailer to a fifth wheel last year. the one thing that made a difference is the frontal area. The fifth wheel is just pushing more air so it pulls a little harder.
Plan on the camper weighing at the gvwr when ready to roll (12000)
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:29 PM
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I used to have a 32 ft travel trailer that came in at around 9500 lbs fully loaded. Last year we upgraded to a 313RE Montana High Country 5th wheel that is right about 12K lbs fully loaded.

My truck is in my signature.

We pulled the travel trailer from GA to Seattle and back in a month and a half and had a great time. Truck did great. We towed the camper to a lot of camping spots within about 400 miles. Truck did great.

We bought the 5th wheel from a private part in Milwaukee, WI. My first experience towing the 5th wheel was great. Truck did even better towing the 5th wheel, even through the TN mountains. Going uphill the boost climbs to about 20-28 and holds while I maintain speed. Just make sure your truck is up to the task by performing simple maintenance tasks and checking all fluids. Things like the Andersen hitch (if front cap of 5th allows for it), air bags, auxiliary fuel tanks and what not simply make life easier.

See my MPG in my signature loaded and unloaded.

Just my .02 on the matter.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:55 PM
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Keep it coming guys. I do keep up with maintenance. I do need injectors and they are on the list. I do have rear air bags already also.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:25 PM
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OK - the weight stickers are good information. A fully-loaded estimated pin weight for that trailer will be about 2,760 lbs. Provided the rear axle of your truck weighs 2,210 lbs. or less (on the scales with fuel, hitch, and occupants), you'll be fine. My Sierra 2500HD weighed 3,080 lbs. with an Andersen Ultimate lightweight hitch, but it had a 6,200 lb. rear axle rating. You may be 300 - 800 lbs. over with your older truck. People will tell you to just add air bags, etc., but you can't do anything legally to change the ratings on the truck - and that's not accounting for brakes, etc., either. As I said before, older fifth wheels were lower to the ground and with your lifted truck, you'll need to be careful about keeping the trailer level and adequate clearance to the bed rails.

Rob
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