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Old 01-15-2019, 10:55 AM   #1
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Surveyor 266RLDS

We need advice, and are considering purchasing either a new 2018 or 2019 Surveyor 266RLDS this week. The alternative is the Grand Design Imagine 2670MK. Opposing slide-outs are important to us as well as keeping the dry trailer weight below 7000lbs. I have a 2015 F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine; any concerns or recommendations with the trailer or tow truck? Should we consider the Grand Design trailer; however we like the Surveyor layout best? What equipment is recommended with the new trailer (2 AC units, 50 amp compatible, 2 batteries, rear bike rack...?) Thank you.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:47 PM   #2
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....Opposing slide-outs are important to us as well as keeping the dry trailer weight below 7000lbs. I have a 2015 F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine; any concerns or recommendations with the trailer or tow truck?...
Please spend some time to educate yourself on the importance of payload in relation to your trailer weight. Realistically, both trailers will be running at their respective GVW which would be closer to 7700 for the Surveyor and 8500 for the Imagine. The untold truth of tongue weight is that by the time you add dual batteries, dual propane tanks and put stuff in the front pass through storage, you've increased it by at least 200 pounds more than the listed weight.

Prior to purchasing any trailer, find out your actual available payload. Use the listed Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of your truck and subtract the actual weight of your truck. Head to the scale with a full tank of fuel, your travelling companions and anything else that will be typically loaded in the bed for a camping trip. Then, subtract the scale weight and 100 pounds for the weight distribution hitch from the GVW. That is your available payload allowed for the tongue weight.

I hate to say, but based on the actual weight numbers you may find that your F150 Eco is not enough truck to tow either of these trailer. I found that out as my family went from 2 to 3 kids and we were taking more gear than expected...hence the truck in my signature.

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......Should we consider the Grand Design trailer; however we like the Surveyor layout best?.....
Yes, it never hurts to compare and consider other models. My next door neighbor has a GD Solitude 5er and we have a Surveyor. Both are awesome trailers. And, honestly, the features of the GD look more refined and higher end. On the flip side, both my neighbor and I have each had some major issues with both trailers that make us question if there is any quality control at either company and their suppliers (Lippert specifically). The 2 trailers being equal, go with the dealer that will give the absolute best warranty and long term support and service. ASK FOR CUSTOMER REFERENCES. This will alleviate a mountain of frustration as a trailer owner.

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What equipment is recommended with the new trailer (2 AC units, 50 amp compatible, 2 batteries, rear bike rack...?) Thank you.
That size trailer can likely get away with (1) 15,000 BTU AC unit.

The trailer will have either a 30 or 50 AMP plug depending on it's electrical panel. Adapters can allow you to plug a 30 amp trailer into a 50 amp outlet without harm. Adapters can also allow you to plug a 50 amp trailer into a 30 amp outlet but will limit what you can use at any given time.

2 batteries is a must in my book. I would use (2) 6 volt deep cycle batteries over (2) 12 volt. The 6 volt batteries will drain evenly together and are built for heavier duty, deep cycle use. For the same physical size and weight, you'll get more Amp hours (AH) out of dual 6 volts.

The bike rack on the Surveyor was a selling feature; however, we found it a hindrance once on the road. It limits access to the hot water heater, weighs about 80 pounds and it is very difficult to strap bikes to it. I also didn't love the idea of having $1000+ worth of bikes hanging off the rear bumper when they could safely be tucked and locked in the bed of the truck.

Other things to consider is the outdoor kitchen on the GD.....it's a nice feature that we use on our Surveyor every camping trip.

I also like the larger tank capacities of the GD. This will allow for more freedom of being able to use the trailer without water or sewer service during trips. Think, being able to stay 3 instead of 2 nights without dumping....you get it.

The dual doors on the Surveyor is a very nice feature that makes it more functional. Ours has 2 and it's great for access while on the road. With the slides in, the Surveyor has more access directly to the restroom and the kitchen and refrigerator area, the GD does not.

You're smart in thinking dual slides. When we first started looking, I was set on only 1 slide and my wife wanted 2. Since I am the man of the house, we got 2! I truly appreciate that my wife held to her guns and we went with 2 slides. It allowed us to purchase a shorter length trailer but gave us maximum room. Totally worth it in my mind.

Overall, both trailers would likely serve a couple very well. Do know that things will break and if you're a handyman, it will come in handy. It's an adventure no matter what but either trailer will be a great starting point.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:54 PM   #3
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Thank you for the kind reply. I have followed your input and after speaking to Ford and following the online towing information guide I have determined the following:

GVW max for the 2015 F150 is 6800 lbs = curb wt of 4930 lbs + cargo wt max of 1370 lbs + passenger wt of 500 lbs

Therefore, I can have up to 1370 lbs of cargo wt. But does the trailer tongue wt also get added to cargo wt further reducing the 1370lbs max?

The truck is rated by Ford to pull 12,200 lbs. I can’t get anyone to tell me what the GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating) is. The Gross Combination Weight (GCW) must be less than the GCWR. So, the GCW = the GVW (6800 lbs) + the loaded trailer (6100 lbs dry trailer + 750 lbs inside stuff and hitch, guess) = 13,650 lbs.

Very confusing. Any further insight?

Thank you
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:05 PM   #4
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Ussix, it would help if you provided more info on the truck.
Pics of the door stickers, especially the Tires and Loading sticker.
Also, engine size, cab size, bed size, 4x4 or 4x2, trim level, factory tow package or not, rear end ratio.
Ford makes 30-40 different variations of the F150, each with specific towing capabilities.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:58 PM   #5
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....
Also, engine size, cab size, bed size, 4x4 or 4x2, trim level, factory tow package or not, rear end ratio.....
Along with the info above, the 2 ratings circled in red are what we are really after. Actually, if you can post a pic of those 2 stickers for your truck, that would be best. They are found in the driver door jamb.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ussix View Post
..... I have determined the following:

GVW max for the 2015 F150 is 6800 lbs = curb wt of 4930 lbs + cargo wt max of 1370 lbs + passenger wt of 500 lbs

Therefore, I can have up to 1370 lbs of cargo wt. But does the trailer tongue wt also get added to cargo wt further reducing the 1370lbs max?....
Yes. The tongue weight and the trailer hitch weight get added to the cargo weight of the truck.

Basically, the truck weighs XXXX from the factory. Anything added (people, cargo, gear, trailer hitch, tongue weight) to the truck is payload. The factory weight plus payload cannot exceed the GVW.

In your case, if the GVW is listed as 6800, you cannot exceed that with the weight of the truck, people in the truck, gear in the bed and tongue weight on the hitch.

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Originally Posted by Ussix View Post
.....The truck is rated by Ford to pull 12,200 lbs. I can’t get anyone to tell me what the GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating) is ....
Per the Ford brochure and towing guide, the 2015 F150 Ecoboost had a maximum tow rating of 12,100....AND, that would be properly equipped to a very exact truck. Yours is likely closer to the 10,700 maximum if you have the proper tow equipment.

Do you have a factory brake controller on the truck?
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:46 AM   #6
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Yes, our truck came with a Factory installed electrical break system with controller in the cab. Based on the VIN number, Ford tells me it can pull up to 12,200 lbs. It may not make any sense to do so but that is the party line. It seems that the real limitation will be the total truck weight load of 6800 lbs. The truck is around 4900 lbs curb wt, trailer tongue wt is 750 lbs + 100 lbs for the hitch, passengers and inside truck stuff guess 600 is lbs which leaves up to 450 lbs truck cargo.

Trailer wt is 6100 lbs dry therefore, with 750 lbs of inside trailer stuff the trailer will total less than 7000 lbs. So, it seems this could work although the total allowable truck load is approaching the maximum of 6800 lbs. Have I missed anything important in this understanding which should be further considered?

Yesterday, a Dealer was quite actively trying to sell me a 5th Wheel that was developed for 150 series trucks with a trailer wt of 8100 lbs and pin wt onto the truck bed of 1350 lbs. + 300 lb hitch wt. Although, it as very nice and we preferred it to the tow trailer, we would not consider the situation and would likely load the truck beyond the 6800 lbs maximum weight. They were fully convinced it would work and it is apparently done frequently.

Do you feel we are within the safe Truck limits with a 6100 lb trailer and available 450 lb truck cargo wt allowance? And, will the truck be safe to drive assuming the proper hitch arrangement is used? Thank you!!!
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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2015 Ford F-150 VIN

2015 Ford F-150 VIN
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:55 AM   #8
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The truck is a 4 x 2 Platinum Supercrew with 5.5’ bed, 145” wb, 3.55 gear and 3.5 Ecoboost engine. According to Ford material it can tow with a stabilization hitch 12,200 lbs and have up to 1220 lbs tongue wt. GVW max is 6800 lbs.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:02 PM   #9
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....... The truck is around 4900 lbs curb wt, trailer tongue wt is 750 lbs + 100 lbs for the hitch, passengers and inside truck stuff guess 600 is lbs which leaves up to 450 lbs truck cargo. ...
The listed hitch weight (Tongue Weight) for the Surveyor you are considering is 778. Add 2 propane tanks and 2 batteries and the hitch weight is closer to 950 + 100lbs for the weight distribution hitch. The added weight to the truck from the hitch and tongue weight is 1050 lbs. That's a very realistic figure. Example: The listed hitch weight on my 247BHDS is 581 but it is really 800 once the trailer is loaded.

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Originally Posted by Ussix View Post
.....Trailer wt is 6100 lbs dry therefore, with 750 lbs of inside trailer stuff the trailer will total less than 7000 lbs. So, it seems this could work although the total allowable truck load is approaching the maximum of 6800 lbs. Have I missed anything important in this understanding which should be further considered? ....
You are still OK so far. 4900+1050+600=6550. That is under 6800. That is nearing the maximum but still safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ussix View Post
....a Dealer was quite actively trying to sell me a 5th Wheel that was developed for 150 series trucks with a trailer wt of 8100 lbs and pin wt onto the truck bed of 1350 lbs. + 300 lb hitch wt....

DO NOT LISTEN TO A SALES PERSON!!!
They are there to sell a trailer and have no concern for you or your family's safety. That is too much trailer for your truck.

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Originally Posted by Ussix View Post
.....Do you feel we are within the safe Truck limits with a 6100 lb trailer and available 450 lb truck cargo wt allowance?...
So far, YES.

[QUOTE=Ussix;2006222].....And, will the truck be safe to drive assuming the proper hitch arrangement is used? Thank you!!![/QUOTE

Yes. If the hitch is properly set up AFTER the trailer is loaded and ready to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ussix View Post
The truck is a 4 x 2 Platinum Supercrew with 5.5 bed, 145 wb, 3.55 gear and 3.5 Ecoboost engine. According to Ford material it can tow with a stabilization hitch 12,200 lbs and have up to 1220 lbs tongue wt. GVW max is 6800 lbs.
The truck itself sounds like it has the right configuration to tow the trailer up to about 7500 lbs. The last piece of information to confirm this is we need the number circled below. That will provide a very accurate number for us to advise you. That's your realistic payload that will tell us a more exact curb weight of your truck.


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Old 01-16-2019, 12:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ussix View Post
We need advice, and are considering purchasing either a new 2018 or 2019 Surveyor 266RLDS this week. The alternative is the Grand Design Imagine 2670MK. Opposing slide-outs are important to us as well as keeping the dry trailer weight below 7000lbs. I have a 2015 F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine; any concerns or recommendations with the trailer or tow truck? Should we consider the Grand Design trailer; however we like the Surveyor layout best? What equipment is recommended with the new trailer (2 AC units, 50 amp compatible, 2 batteries, rear bike rack...?) Thank you.
We have a 2018 Surveyor 265RLDS (the only difference is you are looking at the model with residential refer which adds 80lbs to the overall weight). We pull it with a 2015 RAM 1500 4x4 5.7 HEMI with the Tow package, 8 speed, & 3.22 rear end ratio. It pulls the trailer fine with the only caveat being to keep the weight in the trailer balanced. I purposely loaded the trailer nose heavy as a test (I use CAT scale alot) & it makes the trailer sway terribly. When loaded balanced and even though we are right at the GVWR of 13900 or a little over it pulls & handles fine. You will love the layout of the opposing slides & island kitchen on the Surveyor. The Bike Rack works very well for us & does not impact the water heater on this model. The issue as others has stated is expect there to be issues with either Brand as Quality Control on RV's is crap.
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