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Old 11-25-2012, 04:53 AM   #1
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Another one: Too much camper for my truck?

I am a newbie to the forum, but have been browsing around for quite a while. My wife and I are looking at our first camper and I am amazed at how many options/floorplans their are out there. I think that we have finally narrowed down what we are looking for and what will possibly be a good travel trailer for my truck. I am currently deployed overseas, so I have some time to do a little research and make sure that we make a good choice when it comes time to buy.
My tow vehicle will be a 2010 Ford F-150 SCREW. It has a 5.4 L V-8 with 3.55 axle. I also have the tow package. We have been looking at the Rockwood Ultralight 2907 and like that, but have also been thinking about the Rockwood Ultralight 8311ss. However, I am not sure if the 8311 is a little too much camper for my truck. The specs of this camper are: Hitch weighght- 786 and dry weight 6951. The specs are almost right at the max of what I think my truck could safely handle. Almost all of our trips would be short (within 25 miles) and maybe 1-2 longer trips per year (75 miles). So, what do the experts on here think about towing the 8311ss with my truck? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 11-25-2012, 05:49 AM   #2
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Its also very important on a proper hitch set up in making for a good experience. I asked a similar question before buying my 34' TT and was told I did not have enough truck for such weight. Lots of folks chime in on this, it almost prevented me from purchasing as I thought I was either going to buy something my family of 6 would outgrow in a very short number of years or i was going to risk killing them by towing with to small of a TV.

I have an 11' Expy 4x4 with HD Tow package and it does great towing the Tracer 3150BHD. I also have a Hensley Arrow Hitch, that was the key for me. My wheel base is 119" vs your F150 which is longer (better). Having never towed before and having a brand new 34' TT, I was a bit OCD on ensuring the family would be safe. We made 9 trips this year, there was lots of wind on the highways, and I will say that the Hensley hitch made the difference. Most of our trips had small inclines, I do want to hit YellowStone next year, that will be a challenge with the mountains, etc. but something I still think can be done safely. Take your time, keep your distance and under 65mph and you should be fine.

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Old 11-25-2012, 06:39 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tffsoldier View Post
Almost all of our trips would be short (within 25 miles) and maybe 1-2 longer trips per year (75 miles). So, what do the experts on here think about towing the 8311ss with my truck? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Are you kidding me?? You're going to buy a new trailer and always stay
within 75 miles of home? Nah, I think you're just kidding yourself

Yes you can pull with what you have with the right hitch and by being
careful. No you don't want to limit yourself to that.
My advice go with the lighter one or plan on a bigger truck soon.

I can and have towed my rig all over at interstate speeds. I get down to
2nd gear on a few of the high mtn passes. I can tow in 2nd at 45 MPH all
day if necessary but it's rare to be in 2nd. My TT weighs about 4300 loaded
with food water and gear. I occasionally add a 500LB motorcycle in the
bed of the truck.

Go ahead and get the trailer you (or your wife) wants. Then upgrade your
truck! We've just about all been there!!

Happy Camping!
Dan & Rita D
2004 5.3L Silverado 1500 ext. cab 2WD
1999 Suzuki Intruder Motorcycle
Blue Ox WD hitch, AirLift load levelers

Camping days 2010-53, 2011-47, 2012-41,
2013-41, 2014-31, 2015-40, 2016-38
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tffsoldier View Post
I am currently deployed overseas, so I have some time to do a little research and make sure that we make a good choice when it comes time to buy.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Currently Deployed.. thank you for your service. You will have to move that TT sooner or later to your next duty station (something to think about). While there may be plenty to do within 25 miles of your home right now doesn't mean that at your next duty station you will be that fortunate. Or you may want to explore a but further afield.

Felicia & Jeff - Missouri
2013 Columbus - 320 RS 2012 F350 CC DRW - 6.7L PSD
2012 Camping 59 DAYS; 2013 50 DAYS; 2014 WAITING
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #5
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Three years ago we started as you are doing with a shorter and smaller TT. It was a Heartland 24-RBS- 27' long dry weight around 5,800. We have the Equal-i-zer anti-sway 4-point hitch. There are some better but for the price it is good. We had no problems pulling it 2,000 to FL and back on our first trip. After one trip it was too small. We searched again and settled on a 26-FKWS Flagstaff by Forest River. It's 29' long and around 6,200# dry with 900# of carrying capacity. It's just a few feet longer and a few pounds heavier. The long & deep (39") slide really opens the kitchen area. It's a really great floor plan and a quality unit. I really love the Tor-Flex Dexter axle with self-adjusting brakes. It pulls very easily and once I got used to backing a trailer it was very easy to get into our tight parking area at the house. Our TV is a 2010 F-150 with 4.6-L engine & tow package. Reasonable fuel mileage (10-11) and pulls very well. I was told once that few people trade for a smaller unit and most trade for a larger one. At first I was also concerned about weight, length, handling, etc. After a few hundred miles I got comfortable. One more piece of info. We had the Flagstaff 6 weeks last summer and it was totaled by a dump truck in a gas station as we were trying to leave to head home to AR. We had camped in it about 3 weeks when this happened. We loved everything about it and 30 days later ordered a new one exactly like the first. JMTCW
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:44 AM   #6
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Thank you for your services. With the right set up and patience I think your truck will be ok. Good luck. And thanks again.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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Too much ????

JUST ME.... ALWAYS DO YOUR OWN MATH. Better to have safety and less stress with a comfortable ride than a white knuckle nightmare camping trip. keep you and your family safe and happy. Check out this link its an eye opener.

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Old 11-25-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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I recently purchased the 2013 8315BSS and tow it with an '07 Expedition Max (EL in the US) so my TV and TT weights, capabilities and wheelbase (131") are very similar to yours. I did notice some slight sway while towing it back home the 80kms from where we bought it and camped but then I was only using a WDH with 750lb spring bars and no sway control (the dealership told me I'd be just fine - should have gone with my own intuition and upgraded the bars). The TV pulled it just great at 100kph (62mph), sitting at about 2500rpm. For the spring, I plan on purchasing 1200lb spring bars and some additional sway control. These should help reduce any sway but as it is a big unit anyway I know it will still catch the wind and vortex from passing semis.

I'll be just within my capacities but then I never travel with water or waste in my tanks nor do we have a huge amount of provisions as we tend to purchase these when we arrive at our destination.

For next year, we are planning on heading to YNP and the Flathead Lake in MT - traveling from Calgary. I tend to set off I the early hours to avoid the traffic and while the winds are are their lowest.

I think you should be alright, just watch what you load into the trailer when packing.

Thank you for you service, stay safe.
Richard & Diane
2014 Cedar Creek 38FL
2016 F350 Lariat CC DRW
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:05 PM   #9
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according to the Ford Towing Guide, you have a towing capacity of either 9800 or 9700, depending on whether it's 4x2 or 4x4.

don't use the useless and fictional "dry" weights. #1 newbie mistake, along with listening to the RV salesman.

the GVWR of the trailer, at 8450lbs, is well under your tow max.

just get a good WDH, like the Equal-i-zer or Reese Dual-Cam and a Prodigy brake controller and you'll be good to go.
just don't put a lot of payload in the truck. the actual tongue weight will be around 750lbs.
just like Ford says: "Trailer tongue weight should be 10-15% of total loaded trailer weight."
Dan-Retired Firefighter/EMT
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and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:15 PM   #10
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Like Dan said "how much can I tow" should be based on the maximum your proposed camper can weigh; not the least. That way you have "wiggle room" for extra people or gear for a particular trip.

Also, remember that posted tow ratings for your truck are based on an EMPTY truck! Every pound in the truck comes OFF the maximum camper you can tow.


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