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09 F150 FX4 SuperCrew SWB & 5th Wheels

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09 F150 FX4 SuperCrew SWB & 5th Wheels

 
  #1  
Old 10-28-2009, 01:37 PM
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09 F150 FX4 SuperCrew SWB & 5th Wheels

Does anyone have any experience towing a 5th wheel with a new model F150 Super Crew short box (the short short box 5'7"))? Or with anything with a bed < 6' for that matter?

I'm driving a 2009 F150 FX4 Super Crew with the 145" wheel base giving it the 5'7" box. My specs are as follows - 5.4L v8, 3.73 axle ratio, Max Trailer Tow Pkg(upgraded rear suspension, super engine cooling, integrated trailer brake) My payload max's out at 1968lbs, my max towable amount is 11300lbs. The RV I'm looking at is a 2010 Keystone Cougar 293SAB (33'6" L x 8' W) which has a GVWR of 11500lbs but a dry weight with options of only 8900lbs. The hitch weight of the RV is 1300lbs. So I'm good on payload, even with a couple of hundred lbs for the hitch and 1000-1500lbs of gear and passengers should be more than enough. I haven't bought it yet - exploring my option right now but we want a 5th wheel. The RV comes with an extended pinbox but I'm trying to figure out my options for a 5th wheel hitch setup.

For a hitch my research has yielded my only option being the Pull Rite Superglide 12k. If I change the pinbox on the RV I could use a Fifth Gear Sidewinder(or Sidewinder/Airborne combo).

Does anyone have any insight/experience on using either of these with a shorter than short bed pickup?

Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 10-28-2009, 09:48 PM
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I bought my 09 SD a few weeks ago because I was tired of being in the dilemma you are facing. I had bought a Forrest River Sandpiper 30' travel trailer with a simiar dry weight as the trailer you are looking at. The truck was a dog and I only towed it around the local parks on flat surfaces. The braking sucked even with the brake controller, the truck was a new style 04 FX4 5.4, 3.73 limited slip,4x4 with the 6 1/2 bed, it struggled to pull the trailer and I never used overdrive. Perhaps the 5th will be better but I sold that trailer and was looking at the Rockwood Ultra Lite brands (5th wheel) which are under 7k dry advertised (depending on size) and told the wife no more. This time the truck before the trailer even though I think the old truck would have done better with the lighter 5th. Good Luck
 
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:02 AM
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I too had an 04, it did stuggle but not so sure that the newer one would be so bad. My concern for you is that you will be close to being maxed out. No room for error or to grow.

But I think you can do it.with the integrated TBC you can adjust the gain to help keep it straight.

Also dosen't the F150 come standard with anti sway now? That will help tremdously.

I would be concerned about the tailgate so here it is:
TAILGATE CLEARANCE CONSIDERATIONS WHEN TOWING A FIFTH-WHEEL OR GOOSENECK TRAILER
F150 56-60 inches according to the tow guide:
https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/...nvFifthTow.pdf

suggest you take some measurements before the purchase. Ensure you have a slider so that you don't take the cab off if you turn real sharp.
 
  #4  
Old 10-29-2009, 11:28 AM
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Also look at Note #1 at the same link that Senix provided.
 
  #5  
Old 10-30-2009, 01:48 PM
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I would be careful on using dry weight. Once you start loading up, you will be surprised how heavy the trailer will end up. You will max out rear axle rating very fast with pin weight. Pin weight is usually 20-25 % of the trailer weight. 11500LBS. trailer weight = 2300LBS. pin. (20%) Here is some good info to read.



The ABC’s of matching up trucks with fifth wheel trailers…

(Not just one man’s opinion but a collection of thoughts from fellow Rv’ers.)
How much fifth wheel can I tow, how big of a truck do I need, is diesel better than gas, what about duallies or 4x4? Let’s have a look.
First there are a few terms and concepts to get familiar with….

GVWR – That’s the most weight your loaded truck can weigh and stay within manufacturers limits (the total weight resting on all four or six tires). This is important when selecting a fifth wheel because you actually “carry” part of the trailer rather than just “pull” it.

GCWR - That’s the most weight you can have with the truck and trailer combined but remember, staying under the combined limit and over on the GVWR isn’t good.

GAWR – Is the axle weight rating which is always higher than the combined component rating of the truck (GVWR). Don’t get sucked into using this rating alone just because it allows you more weight capacity. You have to consider all the components on the truck including the weakest link which probably isn’t the axle!

Base or “Curb” weight – My personal favorites! Most brochures advertise “Best in class” type weight ratings and tout huge trailer weights but if you read the fine print you will see what it takes to achieve those weights… a stripped down base truck, smallest engine, std transmission and no options, not even a bumper hitch, mirrors or floor mats.

Weigh the truck – It all starts here. Without the REAL weight of the fueled truck, you are only guessing at the outcome of your capacities. If guessing suites you, read no farther because the rest of this will be boring. If you haven’t bought the truck yet don’t worry, take one for a “test drive”… straight over to a set of scales and weigh it. I did it and so can you.

Pin Weight capacity formula – Add the fueled truck + passengers + hitch + anything else you plan on sitting on or in the truck including that auxiliary fuel tank you just installed, it adds weight too. Subtract that total from the trucks GVWR and you will see what you can handle in the way of kingpin weight.
Note: Weight capacities are manufacturer suggestions NOT legal limits.



Let’s run through an example…
Our dream fiver has a “dry” weight of 12,500 lbs with a pin weight of 2,400 lbs.
Our hypothetical brand X truck has a GVWR of 9000 lbs; it weighs 6,000 with a full tank of fuel. Working back from 9,000 lbs lets subtract our “stuff” and see what kind of weight capacity we’re left with.
9000 – GVWR of truck
-6000 – truck with fuel
- 150 – fifth wheel hitch
- 50 – spray in bed liner
- 60 – nerf bars
- 130 – driver, Susie
- 210 – husband, Fred
- 110 – daughter, Sarah
- 140 – son, Michael
- 60 – pit bull, fluffy
That leaves a grand total of 2,090 pounds for additional capacity of which all or part can be allocated for the pin weight. Wow… that’s not much of a pin weight, what happened to that 15,000 pound towing figure I read someplace in a brochure? Oh, yeah, that was based on the stripped down “base” model wasn’t it? Sort of trick advertising isn’t it?
So it looks like we can’t tow that sharp trailer we had our eyes on because the pin weight is well over 2090 lbs, darn. Not only is it over when the trailer is “Dry” but you can bank on the fact that the pin weight will grow with every can of corn you place in the pantry.
A wise person on the RV forum (I cannot remember the name) once posted a formula for determining the maximum trailer weight. Most loaded fivers average 20% pin weight so if you multiply the GVWR of the trailer by 20% you will have the heaviest weight the pin will likely ever be. Select a truck that can support that weight and you’ll never worry about pin weight again.
What can we do, what are our options? Well, four options jump right out;
1. Choose a lighter trailer with a lighter pin weight.
2. Choose a truck with a higher GVWR.
3. Leave the kids and fluffy home, there’s a savings of 310 pounds right there!
4. Ignore the numbers because your buddy has a similar truck and “it pulls just fine”.
A higher GVWR, now there’s an idea. Well let’s see, the next step up is around 9,900 pounds, that might work, then there is a big jump to 11,400 lbs GVWR… wow what’s up with that, oh wait… it’s one of those duallies, I hate those, they make bad daily drivers ya know!
Duallies or dooleys – The most hated of all trucks, what good are they? There are arguments all up and down the spectrum but when it comes down to it, they do one thing well, they support more weight… a lot of weight, which is what fifth wheel trailers add to a truck.
Diesel versus Gas – Volumes can be written on the arguments but it comes down to one thing… which do you like? Many think the extra low RPM torque of the diesel is more suited to towing the heavier loads.
4x4 or 4x2 – If you plan on going off road, boon docking or camping on beaches, a 4x4 might just be the ticket. But if all you are going to do is stay on highways, park in RV parks and the occasional gravel/dirt campground, a 4x2 is the way to go. If honesty gained points I’m sure a few 4x4 owners would step forward and admit they have never switched into 4-Lo yet. I did twice in a year.
Here are a few miscellaneous items to keep in mind when shopping around.
Trailer brakes – The bigger the better. You will hear many say the truck has to be able to stop itself AND the trailer, but that simply isn’t true. The trailer brakes are designed to stop the trailer. If you have an option to buy larger brakes or disk brakes on the trailer, by all means do so.
Truck Wheelbase – The longer wheel base you can have on the truck, the smoother the ride you will get. The drawbacks are maneuvering around town and their turning radius. You need to decide if the amount of towing you do warrants the longer truck over the inconveniences of everyday driving around town. If you decide on the longer wheel base truck, your back will thank you the first 3000 mile trip you take.
Number of AXLES on the trailer – Two axle trailers tow (track), handle better, are easier to back than single axle trailers. Triple axle trailers aren’t any smoother and actually are harder on the tires in turns but are required to carry the heavier loads on the larger trailers. While we’re on axles, the total weight of a trailer rests on two things… the axle(s) and the kingpin. If you see a trailer with a GVWR of 16,000 lbs with only two 7,000 lb axles, don’t worry there is no mistake, the kingpin will carry a few thousand pounds of the load.

Short bed VS long bed trucks – Face it, a fiver averages over eight feet wide which means if the front gets too close to the rear of the truck cab, something is going to break in a sharp turn! With a long bed truck the hitch is far enough away from the cab to prevent accidents but not so with short bed trucks. The foolish thing to do is install the hitch behind the axle centerline; the smart thing to do is buy a “slider” hitch. The slider hitch is set on rails and with a throw of a switch can be manually moved back about 10” so you can make those tight turns without hitting the cab. They are for backing and slow maneuvering though and not for highway driving. Some say it’s a waste of money but compare an extra $120 for the slider to the cost of a rear cab window with metal damage.
Matching a truck to your “driving style” – Properly matching up a truck to a trailer is more than just looking up weight capacities in a brochure. Will you feel comfortable driving up a 5 mile long 7% grade pulling that 13,000 lb trailer with the 6 liter engine screaming just to go 25 mph, then worrying about the trailer pushing the truck down the hill on the other side because it just doesn’t “feel right”? Or would you feel more comfy pulling the same trailer with a more powerful engine? Half the trip is in the driving, no sense in making it a “white knuckle” experience.
Trucks are expensive – Buying one today only to find out you really should have bought a more capable truck only adds frustration and who needs more of that? Take time evaluating what is important to you now as well as what may be important LATER, which could be as soon as next year. It’s tough trading in a one year old truck… I know! A few more dollars a month in payments or fuel costs may be easily offset by a more pleasurable towing experience on your vacation.
Well, there you have it, now you have enough knowledge to go out and look at trucks and trailers without some salesperson taking advantage of you. Hope you gained something useful out of this.
 
  #6  
Old 10-30-2009, 05:19 PM
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I'll go on record as saying, that is too much trailer for an F150, and I think you will be sorry.
 
  #7  
Old 10-30-2009, 06:12 PM
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bpounds is probably correct. Pin weight of a fiver is usually designed to be at 18-22% of gross weight rating, so the PW is around 2000 to 2300lbs. I don't think it will be a good experience towing the trailer, assuming he can get the hitch done correctly. It will be over the payload capacity when empty.
Joe
 
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:11 PM
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There are plenty of Bumper pull TT's out there that are just as nice..that is what I have as I prefer to fill the bed up with all sorts of other items for camping.
 
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:25 PM
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You will be asking for problems with the extra short box. Under some conditions you will get into very tight turning events. Getting out to slide the hitch may not be an option while driving.
Extending the pin box is not a good idea. The frame has been designed for a specified pin box length to load. Modification may cause it to fail at the frame. My 5er has the pin box close to 2ft behind the front cap (34ft tow lenght titled at 36ft). I have wanted to extend the pin box to gain more space above the truck bed and the bottom of the rig. I was told that the frame at the attachment point was not stressed for the additioanal load.
Keep in mind that we all over load our rigs at some time.
 
  #10  
Old 11-02-2009, 08:52 AM
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The payload on that trailer, with 1500lbs of cargo and the hitch would be in the neighborhood of 1900-2300lbs. That is not including your passengers. I think you would agree that is too much weight.

I dont think I am alone in saying that you dont have enough truck for that trailer. I might even hesitate in towing that trailer with my truck. According to Ford, that trailer is heavier that the recommended weights for my truck. I have bigger axles, bigger brakes, heavier springs, heavier frame and more "***" to my truck than you.

What is your rear axle weight limit?

Bigger truck or smaller trailer, IMO. Good luck.
 
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:38 PM
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I am in the middle of dealing my 08 F150 in for a F350, I was pulling approx the same as you want to and it is hard on the truck. I just decided to bite the bullit and upgrade the truck. I would either buy a smaller 5er or a bigger truck. You will for sure need air bags to level her out. Sorry
 
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Old 11-03-2009, 02:34 PM
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F150 + Heavy Trailer = Bad Idea
Short Bed + Fifth Wheel = Bad Idea

Now add those two together and you do the math.
 
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:38 PM
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I also agree that you have too much trailer and not enough truck.
 
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:42 PM
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like i said earlier, go to a bumper pull TT if you want to keep your current truck. There are lots that are just as nice as a 5th wheel.

Unless you can afford to trade up to a SD.
 
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Daverdc View Post
Does anyone have any experience towing a 5th wheel with a new model F150 Super Crew short box (the short short box 5'7"))? Or with anything with a bed < 6' for that matter?

I'm driving a 2009 F150 FX4 Super Crew with the 145" wheel base giving it the 5'7" box. My specs are as follows - 5.4L v8, 3.73 axle ratio, Max Trailer Tow Pkg(upgraded rear suspension, super engine cooling, integrated trailer brake) My payload max's out at 1968lbs, my max towable amount is 11300lbs. The RV I'm looking at is a 2010 Keystone Cougar 293SAB (33'6" L x 8' W) which has a GVWR of 11500lbs but a dry weight with options of only 8900lbs. The hitch weight of the RV is 1300lbs. So I'm good on payload, even with a couple of hundred lbs for the hitch and 1000-1500lbs of gear and passengers should be more than enough. I haven't bought it yet - exploring my option right now but we want a 5th wheel. The RV comes with an extended pinbox but I'm trying to figure out my options for a 5th wheel hitch setup.

For a hitch my research has yielded my only option being the Pull Rite Superglide 12k. If I change the pinbox on the RV I could use a Fifth Gear Sidewinder(or Sidewinder/Airborne combo).

Does anyone have any insight/experience on using either of these with a shorter than short bed pickup?

Thanks.

Before you buy a new truck or trailer, do a search in the 2009 F150 forum for the "payload" thread. You will learn that the numbers published by Ford for payload and trailer weights are technically the max available.

The weight of every option on the truck is subtracted from that "max". Any nicely optioned truck (KR, Lariat, FX4) will have ~ 500 lbs OR MORE of options. Some of the really loaded KR's, with 157 wb, are down around 900 lbs of payload (in 2009). Ford has raised the GVWR of some of the F150's for 2010 to compensate for this.

So, to determine the max payload for your specific truck, you need to look at the yellow sticker on the driver side door pillar. That will give you the actual payload figure, adjusted for all the options on the truck.

For a good size 5'er, you will find you need an F250/350.

Tim
 
 
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