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Old 06-23-2007, 11:31 PM   #1
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Question Pulling Rockwood 8280SS 5th with F150

Here's the deal...

After certain financial objectives are met we will order a 8280SS 5th wheel. This will happen next spring.

I have a conventional TT towing capacity with the F150 of 8600 pounds and this trailers GVWR is 7898. The empty pin is 898. The cargo capacity of the F150 is almost 1800 lbs. (And I know that includes me, the wife, etc)

To me I am within the numbers by 10% margin. I am not towing in the Rockies. I don't plan to tow over 65 MPH. We are not fultimers. The kitchen and most storage is in the rear.

We really like this floor plan. We will not trade the truck. This will be the only trailer we will ever own (Plan to take good care of it!) and we'll just be doing weekend up to 2 weeks stuff.

Why should I not get this trailer?



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Old 06-25-2007, 09:38 PM   #2
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I’m not going to say that it can’t be done. I’ve seen a few F150s pulling 5’ers and I’m guessing they do it fine. Most trucks have a higher towing capacity for 5th wheels compared to conventional towing. This is because of the placement of the pin weight.

My opinion however would be that you would be pushing it. 10% as you state is not a lot of room to play with for loading up. Propane (2 ea. 30lb bottles up front that is NOT included in the documented pin weight more than likely), your camping chairs, cooking supplies, food, water, grill, maybe a bed upgrade, and all the other not so heavy items that you can’t live without. 5th wheel towing GVWR for any truck is different than conventional. Do you know what yours is? Pin weight is a big deal. What is the hitch weight that your conventional towing rating of 8600lbs is rated at?

I drive an F350 4 door 7.3 PSD dually. My wet weight (fuel, passengers…) is around 8,000lbs and my GVWR is 11200lbs giving me 3200lbs of payload capacity in the bed. The GCWR is 20,000lbs, the maximum conventional trailer weight is 10,000lbs. This puts me 2000lbs shy of my 20k lbs GCWR. My 5th wheel dry (no water, no propane, no extra goodies) weighs 8,940lbs with a GVWR of 10,900lbs. This only allows me 1,500lbs of “stuff” to carry in the trailer. Add my propane at 60lbs (right over the pin), 10 gal water 83lbs (I rarely travel full, it holds 38gal), upgraded bed, cooking stuff, food, bikes, clothes, beer……… I’ve added an extra 600-700lbs bringing my “wet” trailer to 9,640lbs well within the 10,900lbs GVWR. Add a full tank of water and make it just under 9,900lbs. Pin weight dry on my trailer is on the light side at 950lbs (my old one was 1,250lbs) so “wet” with the bed and propane and other stuff stored in the front compartment is close to 1,200lbs. To calculate 5th wheel maximum trailer weight for my truck, subtract the GVW from the GVCWR so I’ll take the 20,000 - 8,000 and come up with 12,000lbs of 5th wheel trailer weight that I can safely tow. That’s a BFT (Big Fancy Trailer) which I don’t have. My truck is chipped for an extra 40HP while towing and let me tell you it makes a HUGE difference in performance and fuel economy. No chip and I’m struggling to get up hills and my mileage is down below 10mpg. Chipped and I have no issues going up hill whatsoever and I average over 11mpg.

I guess what I’m getting at is can you tow that trailer with your half-ton truck? Probably. Can you tow it safely? Maybe. Could it damage your truck? I don’t know. Would I tow that trailer with an F150? I don’t think so. Then again I’m spoiled with my truck. I hitch up and go. I don’t even know the trailer is back there. My wife tows as well and I instruct her in hitching and backing up every chance we get. I wouldn’t feel safe letting her tow using anything less than an F250. But then again that’s me.

I bought my truck long before I got a 5th wheel trailer. Did I want a dually? Nope, right place, right time, right price, and it was used. Did I ever imagine I would own a 5th wheel? Nope. Fact is we had tent camped for years and continued for another year after the truck. Then we got a popup and then we got our 1st 5’er several years later. If I didn’t have the truck then I wouldn’t have gotten the 5’er.

I’m not the weight police. This is YOUR decision not mine. It sounds like you have already made up your mind as to what you want and what you’re going to get. Waiting until you can purchase it outright is a great decision.

Your statement of “Why should I not get this trailer?” is asking for the weight police to chime in and is pretty confrontational instead of advise asking… You know what your conventional towing capacity is. What is your 5’er capacity? It should be in your owner’s manual.

Good luck and let us know what you do.


greg
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:37 AM   #3
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here is a good resource for specs on Ford trucks..

http://www.fordf150.net/specs/
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:54 AM   #4
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and another http://www.trailerlife.com/downloads/01towingguide.pdf

For your year model replace the 01 with what year you have 99-04. And this is not just Fords but other makes and models as well.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:12 AM   #5
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Anyone else??
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:36 AM   #6
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My two cents:
I am pulling a 8528RKSS (Flagstaff) with a 898 LB pin weight (per the sales information) with an F150 w/5.4L and 3.73 rear end. Travel has been in IL since purchasing it this spring, so no real hills. As stated, when you add the extras (gas, awning, chairs, tools, etc. ) the pin weight (as weighed) is 1150. The F150 has a Max Load (per the door sticker) of 1753LB. So, when you add people, the hitch, pin weight, etc. you are coming very close to the max load. The truck GAWR for the rear axle more room to spare than the max load for the 5th. The 5th GVWR is still about 520LB below max. We really have never loaded for a long trip yet. Right now I am thinking of trying adding some water when traveling to remove some of the pin weight. I understand that the fresh water tank is a little aft of the axles and will remove some weight if it has water in it. Long answer, but that being said, it pulls fine around the areas we have gone up to now. BUT, I am looking at going to a F250 next year before we tackle the east and west coasts mountains. I just will few better with more room to spare on the weights.

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:54 AM   #7
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segel10,

Thanks for the post! You say you tow mainly on the flat but how does it do on hills? What kind of mileage hit do you take when you hitch up?
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:39 AM   #8
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We live close to St. Louis. It is pretty flat. Some hills, but not like east Tenn and have not headed to southern Mo to the Ozarks yet. As to the mileage, I have not gone far enough yet to use a full tank while towing. So, no help. I do have a friend who towed the exact same trailer from here to Florida and back. He has the F150 crew cab and 3.55 rear end. He got 10.5 for the whole trip.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:50 PM   #9
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Rambling thoughts and disjointed musings...

I guess hanging around engineers all day causes me to be a bit "thick skinned" and by asking "Why should I not get this trailer" I am asking the same type of question I would at work.

"If we have X and we have Y why should we not Z?" Having put forth the reasons why I should, I now need to know why I shouldn't.

I'm familiar with the weight police. I am the self apointed Weather Radio Sherrif What? No SAME weather radio? You trying to get KILLED or WHAT?
Some of these WP guys just love big trucks or are over compensating for something.

I'm a big fan of Dave Ramsey, and my philosophy (to use a big word) towards owning an RV is to own it and not let it own me, financially. So a certain level of minimalism is at play - minimal truck, minimal trailer, minimal investment and upkeep cost. (Offset by meeting certain requirements, otherwise it would be a Toyata and a pop-up. That's OK for my brother but not what I want) These are after all, big toys. I bought the F-150 first on purpose, to limit myself to length and weight and therefore cost. I had resigned myself to conventional travel trailers until I came across this one particular 5W. The numbers add up and yes, I'm right at the margins. But as said, I'm not full timing and my trips are short. Also, I'm an ex-backpacker and have lived for a week on what the wife and I could carry on our backs. I don't think I'll be taking a lot of stuff with me.

And if I have to, I can alway add airbags and 4.10 gears. But I ain't trading trucks.

I am finding it easy to get conventional towing numbers but just can't seem to find good 5W towing numbers for this truck, maybe someone can help:

2007 F-150, 5.4L Trailer Tow Pakage, 3.55, 144.5" wheelbase, extended cab (not crew cab)

One of the nice things about saving up is that I have time to think. If I had financed the first trailer I thought I liked, it would have been OK, but I know I would have been disapointed with myself after seeing the Rockwood 8280SS that I could have had if I had been more patient. Besides, having a small note (or no note!) means more money to go travel, right?

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Old 06-28-2007, 09:28 AM   #10
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Ok got some info for you and a site with some numbers........
http://www.ford-trucks.com/specs/200...rd_f150_1.html
and
http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/features/specs/


Assuming Supercab 6ft bed 4x2

engine=5.4L Axle=3.55 curb weight=5169 payload=1820 GVWR=7050 GCWR=14000 Conv Tow=8800 (doesn't really matter here)

now 5th wheel towing is based on GCWR-GVW("wet" weight)
let's assume:
2 avg adults @ 330
hitch with slider @ 180 (you don't need a slider with a short bed but it sure makes life easier backing up)
27 gal fuel (6.25 a gal) @ 169 (Not included in the curb weight)

That adds up to 679 I'm gonna round up to 680 so your GVW is 5848 and I'm also going to round this up as well to 5850 so.... 14000-5850= 8150 worth of 5th wheel trailer.. the one you are looking at is 7898 we'll call it 8000 (just because I like to round up)

So this only leaves you with 150lbs to spare in the truck. This my friend is a scosh to close for me. Again I'm spoiled with my Big Red Truck (which by the way is paid for and my trailer will be in less than a year as well my wife is also a Ramsey fan) I like to be in the safe zone a little bit further.

You've stated you aren't getting rid of the truck so I'm assuming it's paid for And you stated you would consider 4:10 gears and airbags, so...... according to the info on that page, the 4:10 gears will bump up the GCWR from 14000 to 15300. That my friend is a whoping 1300lbs Major safety net. Add the airbags or 3/4 ton springs to increase your GVWR (for your payload, I.E. pin weight) and you've got a truck that will now tow that trailer safely.

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