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Old 03-11-2013, 07:50 PM   #1
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Ford F350 Diesel for Cardinal

I'm thinking of buying a 2013 Cardinal 3030RS. My tow vehicle is a 2011 Ford F305 diesel, crew cab, long bed, single wheel. Any thoughts and honest opinions from members with similar tow vehicles and fifth wheels in this weight range. Thanks

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Old 03-11-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
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I think that combo is a match - they were made for each other. You are going to love the trailer. It travels extremely well and you will love the interior.

2014 Ford F-350 Lariat Crew Cab
2013 Cardinal 3030RS
Cummings Onan 5500 generator
Hitch - Husky 26K slider
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
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With a dry hitch weight of 2,550 lbs you are definitely correct about the F350. As stated above, that would be a match made in heaven. Loaded, the unit's pin weight should be around 3,000 pounds. The SRW will handle it, but you might WANT(notice I didn't say NEED) airbags to help stabilize it. Good luck and happy camping! By the way, once the little guy no longer goes with us, we'll have a Cardinal!
2012 Sandpiper 365SAQ weighing @ 15k, Onan, 2nd air, slide toppers, TST
2013 F350 6.7L Lariat 4x4 CC DRW,Viair 1007, Ride-Rites, Edge CTS, B&W
2001 Chevy 3500CC DRW 4x4, 8.1L, 4.10 gears w/ Detroit TrueTrac
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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F350 for Cardinal advice

Thanks for the feedback about the towing limits and handling characteristics with the F350 and the Cardinal 3030. I was checking out the Keystone's Montana with their MorRyde 4000 and Heartland's Big Horn and Forest River's Cedar Creek use of the Trail Air suspension system. From what I've been able to learn, Cardinal's MorRyde 3000 can handle the trailer pretty well. Glad to know from the personal use that the Cardinal rides well. I'll check out the possibility of airbags for my truck for better handling.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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forsailors - nice camper! I love the units with the kitchen islands, they feel so homey! And the opposing slides really have to open up the space.

To be certain, you can do the math to figure out if your truck is spec'd well enough to carry the fifth wheel. My gut tells me it's fine, but it's not too hard to figure out.

First things first, I do all of my math based on the maximum weight that the trailer can be (the "Gross Vehicle Weight Rating" aka "GVWR"). I don't use nor care for "unloaded vehicle weights" aka "dry weights" as they're simply unrealistic. More times than not, it's before options, accessories or necessities like propane, battery(ies) or any water on board. Not to mention, the factory can't know/guess what you'll carry for making s'mores and poops and stuff.

The gross weight of the 3030RS is 14,550 lbs. For a fifth wheel, you'll have a pin weight usually between 20% and 25% is going to give you a pin weight of 2,910 lbs (at 20%) and 3,638 lbs (at 25%).

The real question is does your truck have the payload capacity to carry that weight. To figure that out, look for this sticker in your truck:

See where it says "the combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed 4,297 lbs"? That 4,297 includes a 150 pound driver and a full tank of fuel - everything else deducts from that number. So, for me, I'm (cough) a little over that 150 pound driver (cough), I'd first have to add the (my weight) - 150 pounds. Then my wife's, daughter's and son's weights as well as an infant seat, a booster seat for them. I also need to factor in the weight of my hitch. And finally, I have to add in the randomness that we carry in the truck with us (random maps + road-side guides, food/snacks, waters, toys, umbrellas, coats, you get the picture).

After all of those deductions, do you have enough payload capacity to carry your fifth wheel's pin weight? (You can make ballpark guesses for most - but the most accurate way to know is to pack your truck like you're going camping and then go get your truck weighed.)
2012 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:33 PM   #6
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I'm pulling a 3030 with a 2008 F350. It tows great and I didn't add airbags as it sits and rides just fine without them. The trailer is awesome and we've had some great times in it so far.

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