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Old 11-18-2013, 09:22 AM   #1
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Axle upgrade?

I have a 21' Micro Lite with slide out couch and a new Ford F150 5.0 Flex Fuel truck. Great package. When I say go, or uphill, it does it.

Of course, now I get the bug for a nice recliner and separate bedroom. I am looking at a small 5th wheel. The one I would like to see is the Flagstaff 8524 RLWS (rear living). I do realize: no storage. I can not find one in the country to see. I am in Florida camping, right now, so on the lookout. But we live in Indiana. The 8526RLWS is a good fit, but it weighs 7371 dry and I know I have at least 900 pounds of stuff. We do like the MicroLite, by the way.

Anyway, has anyone upgraded the axle on there Ford F150 and is it worth it? Do you think it would be safe if I upgrade my axle? Payload for my vehicle is 1870.
Appreciate any advice.

Engine Axle Ratio GCWR (lbs.) 145-inch wheelbase 5.0L V8 3.31 13500 - 8100 5.0L V8 3.55 14900 9500
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:55 AM   #2
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Are you talking about putting in a (3/4) ton axle assy or changing the gears? Youroo!!
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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What the details on your F150...year, model. engine, axle?

Have you thought about a 8528RKWS...they're the lightest pin weight and with the rear kitchen layout, your loaded pin weight will be the same % as when it's empty...around 15%. We have the Rockwood equivalent and has a loaded weight of 1300/8300# pin/total.

You could change gear ratio to 3.73 or higher (quite expensive on a 4x4) for more towing capacity as long as the truck can handle the loaded pin weight.

Dave
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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I think you are going to want a lower gear ratio pulling that load with a naturally aspirated engine. I would opt for at least 3.73s.
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:30 AM   #5
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has anyone upgraded the axle on there Ford F150 and is it worth it? Do you think it would be safe if I upgrade my axle? Payload for my vehicle is 1870.
anything is upgradable, I did a complete axle swap on a old f150 years ago and helped a buddy on a solid axle install of his 07 dmax 4x, got rid of the IFS front end. so yes it can be done, on the cheap NO unless you do it yourself
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:55 AM   #6
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Our truck is a 2013 F150 5.0 rear wheel drive -Supercab. Axel is 3.31, 8100 towing capacity, payload 1870, GVWR 7100. Yes, we really like the 8528 RKWS. We just looked at one at a dealer as we were passing through Jacksonville, FL. Yes, we noticed its lighter weights. So changing out the axel? or changing just the gears? or do we have to do both? 1. We would love to go to the fifth wheel 2. But we don't want to buy a new truck (just bought this one in August) 3. We also don't want to have to worry about pulling a fifth wheel through higher elevations; even Smokies, and definitely out west.....with an inadequate vehicle. 4. We have been told by many, that towing a fifth wheel is much easier than towing a travel trailer. (presently, our TT is 21.5 ft) Opinions?
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #7
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By the way, Thank you for all of your advice and opinions. Don
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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To address the payload/pin weight question, you could weigh your truck with full fuel, passengers, gear and subtract that weight from the GVWR of the truck. As I mentioned earlier, expect a loaded pin weight around 1300# if you're considering the 8528RKWS. A hitch will also add about 150# to the rear axle weight. They come with a Revolution pinbox, so you won't require a sliding hitch.

As your truck is RWD, the gear change won't be too expensive...I'd recommend going to 3.73 ratio.

I found that towing the 5ver better compared to a TT...a better aerodynamic package IMO. Sway with a 5ver is an non-issue.

Dave
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Old 11-18-2013, 07:01 PM   #9
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By the way, Thank you for all of your advice and opinions. Don
I pull a 2012 Flagstaff 8528RKWS with a 5.3L with 3.23 rear end. Pulled thru the Appalachians, Ozark and Smokey's. Just get in the truck lane and go. No problems, I pass a lot of semi's in the mountains and get passed a lot also. From Concord, NC to Orlando I don't have any problems towing 55-65 mph. Ave from 9.0 to 11.2 mpg.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:09 AM   #10
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Why not just buy it and try it? Just be prepared to do the gear swap if necessary. Be aware that you might also decide to install air bags to level the ride, so be prepared for that expense.
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