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Old 02-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #11
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Sorry Acadianbob

It's the fifth wheel, not the truck, that I'm referring to as being a "1/2 ton series" or "1/2 ton towable" but yet most 1/2 ton trucks, it appears, aren't up to the job.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:18 PM   #12
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The problem comes in that if you only tow "the camper" and no cargo or family the smaller trucks can do the job. The issue is that no one camps that way. We bring tools, chairs, tables, food, booze, soda, food in cans, steaks and burgers in the freezer, clothes, coats, stereos and CD/DVDs, video games for the kids, bikes and lord knows what else. The biggest complaint is NO STORAGE. We would put in 10,000 pounds of junk in there "Just in case we need it". STILL working on winnowing out stuff we never use. Yet it seems at the last minute I throw it back in anyway. I have never been on a trip yet that the rig weighed less than 9,000 pounds and the truck at 9300 pounds.

In my honest opinion, your 1/2 ton will tow an ultra-lite TT just fine. I saw a Prime Time Travel Trailer at the Phila RV show that has all the room and floor plan of my 8526 and then some. Get a good quality WD hitch with sway control. Make your NEXT truck a 250/2500HD and then when you are ready get a bigger 5th wheel.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:23 PM   #13
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You are right Rselzler, most half tons are not up to the job. It is a marketing gimmic and a lot of people fall for it, then most of them end up with a new truck. They give you a 'dry' pin weight and the actual pin weight will be several hundred lbs. more. Then your payload is exceeded before you load your pickup with stuff and people. Better to learn that now than later.

I also think your 7% math is off a bit.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #14
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Researching some TT's now. I'm glad I found this forum as otherwise I'd surely have believed in the dealers sales pitch because I really wanted to believe. Think I'll go with a TT and save the 5th wheel dream for another day.

Thanks ALL!
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:14 PM   #15
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That's a good idea and even with that you're going to be careful. You've learned one really important lesson. The dealer will tell you whatever they have to in order to make the sale.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:20 PM   #16
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another thing to add is when I bought my 04 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 it had a sheet that says not to tow a 5th wheel - not sure if your Ford came with that documentation or not.

also keep this in mind - you might not want to go to the max range of the combined tow vehicle and trailer combined - you might be able to pull it fine but stopping it is another ball game -since we have half ton trucks the brakes are not up to par to stop a heavy beast.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rselzler View Post
Researching some TT's now. I'm glad I found this forum as otherwise I'd surely have believed in the dealers sales pitch because I really wanted to believe. Think I'll go with a TT and save the 5th wheel dream for another day.

Thanks ALL!
You are not the Lone Ranger in that. Confidence men know that fact very well. You can not fool a sceptic. (Well you can, but it is harder). People WANT to believe there is a million dollars at the end of the rainbow without actually having to save or work for it. That makes them easy marks for Nigerian Scammers and State Lottery ticket sellers.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:17 AM   #18
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We've been camping several years now and have upgraded from tent, to pop-up, to small TT, to large Tt and now to fifth wheel. Our son works for a RV Dealer and is responsible for the upgrades. He is also responsible for upgrades in trucks. My advice is start with a big truck, to save a lot of frustration and money.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:40 AM   #19
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also keep this in mind - you might not want to go to the max range of the combined tow vehicle and trailer combined - you might be able to pull it fine but stopping it is another ball game -since we have half ton trucks the brakes are not up to par to stop a heavy beast.
I think that is good advice. I bought a trailer that weighed 1/2 the weight of my listed maximum tow capacity, and now ready for camping it is at 57% of my maximum tow capacity. I can get things up to decent speed at uphill interstate entrances without over reveving, My transmission temperature will get to 210F on some of the mountain passes around here. I am comfortable with that, and the truck tows it great, but I know that I would not want to go to 100%.

Also, read up trailer length vs. tow vehicle wheelbase discussed on many forums here. The "suggested" safe maximum trailer length in feet is the truck wheelbase in inches divided by 5. According to that equation, my 28.5' trailer length is the maximum that I would want to pull with my 145" wheelbase truck.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #20
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There is a big difference in being able to pull somthing and pulling it comfortably. Most 1/2 ton trucks with even a v6 will in fact pull most trailers out there, it will however be a very unnerving experience that will greatly shorten the life of the truck and possibly that of the driver or some other motorists.
Take it from someone who learned the hard way anout towing witout enough truck (I wrecked a 1/2 tone reg cab swb with utility trailer and another vehicle loaded onto trailer).
ALWAYS go with more truck than you think you need!
No way I would pull a 5th with ANY 1/2 ton. It will not hold up long with that kind of load.
Remember, the tow ratings are set my the manufacturer, there is NO standard by which they are set. Comparing truck a tow rating to truck B and C is almost pointless because they are not measured by any standard to get those numbers. Manufactures put a number on them that they think will cover their butt and that the running gear will hold up to for a while.
Also, you added larger tires to your truck that would struggle to comfortably handle that weight even with stock tires, did you even think about regearing to make up for the loss? Going up 1 or 2 inches in tire size is slightly noticeable during regular driving, but makes a huge difference when the weight is doubled by adding a trailer not to mention the added wind resistance.
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