Originally Posted by biebeda1
Thank you to everyone that responded with help to my question. Based on the feedback and research, I am opting for a Ford F-350 DRW. I want to be comfortable and not worrying about overworking my truck.
It really comes down to the actual pin weight of the camper. Unfortunately, the dry weights are completely fictional when it comes tot he real world as we all add things to the camper, either in dealer add-ons or simply the stuff that we put inside of it. In my opinion, the bigger the camper, the more stuff we add to it.
To figure out how much carrying capacity of the truck your need (called it's payload), you have to take an estimated loaded weight of the camper and multiple that by .2 which is 20% of it's overall weight. Most fifth wheels run anywhere from 16% to 25% of loaded weight in pin weight. (To help you estimate here, it's usually a safe bet to take the dry weight of a camper that size and add 1,500 pounds as a good starting number.)
This is what the camper will push down on the truck bed and make the truck carry. In addition to that, you have to add the weight of the fifth wheel hitch, any passengers that you carry, the driver's weight over 150 pounds *and* anything else you carry in/on the truck. For instance, my beautiful RetraxPro rolltop bed cover runs about 150 pounds. That comes off of the truck's payload. We usually carry a cooler full of snacks and food, a variety of things for the kids - activities and whatnot. As well as a plethora of electronic gadgets, maps, atlases and guidebooks.
The truck's payload has to carry all of that.
Be educated and be aware. Don't trust dealers- they either don't understand this stuff like they should or don't care to.