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Old 02-06-2011, 03:18 PM   #1
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Towing a "fiver" with a Half Ton

I have noticed some "weekender's" who tow their unit 2 hours at 50 mph now purchasing these new "lite weigh" fifth wheel units and towing them with a half ton truck to a local campsite.
If these folks decided to make a trip south to Florida are there any states who police the Gross Combined Weight Ratings (GCWR) from the truck manufacturers. Does anybody have experience with being questioned regarding tow weigh compliance? What state ?? My experience has been, no questions until you cause some damage in an accident.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:33 PM   #2
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It has been my experience that unless you are grossly and obviously overweight you won't be pulled over as a hazard to the road. Since you are not a commercial rig you don't have to stop at weigh stations, there is little likelihood of you being taken "en passant" as the chess players say.

That is not to say an overloaded rig is not a hazard or danger to yourself, your family, and the motoring public.

Note: Just so there is no mistake. If your tow vehicle has commercial signage on it (like a company name or logo); even though you are towing a camper you MUST stop. This is one of the dangers of towing with dual purpose trucks. You had better watch your P's and Q's if you do. CDL and the works. If you blow by the weigh station, one day you may just have a conversation with a bored state trooper.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Several years ago,we had to roll the scales in Iowa on I80 outside of Des Moines, there was a trooper flagging all trucks with trailers even p/u over the scales, we had a ford ranger and a coleman popup at the time, greenlight all the way through for us.
Thats the only time I have ever been scaled on the interstate.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:59 PM   #4
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There is only place I have ever heard of private vehicle weights and that is BC Canada. That being said there is no excuse for stupid. People will go to no ends to use the lightest smallest vehicle tow the biggest trailers. I just don't understand that philosophy. Someone please explain to me how this makes any sort of sense.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:31 PM   #5
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There are a number of light fifth wheels that can be safely towed with a half-ton pickup. A 2010 Ford F150 with the 5.4 liter V8, a 3.73 rear end, and the tow package has a tow rating of over 11,000 pounds and a GCWR of 16,700 pounds. There are quite a few of light fifth wheels that fall within those specs.

Forest River offers the Flagstaff, Rockwood, Cherokee, Wildwood, and Salem that have fifth wheel floorplans that fall well within those towing specs.

Over the years Ford, Chevy, and Dodge have been working hard trying to out do each and the consumer has benefited from the increased payload of these trucks. Just because you see a half-ton pickup hauling a fifth wheel, it doesn’t mean it’s overloaded.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:44 PM   #6
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Technically they no longer manufacture 1/2 3/4 1 tonne trucks. If you look at any of their literature that are referred to(dodges anyway) 1500 2500 and so on. they haven't made reference to 1/2 tonne in the 10 years I have worked for dodge.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #7
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Sk RCMP are cracking down on rec vehicles for being overweight. same with not having a properly registered weight for towing/hauling. you have to be over 5000kg, 11000lbs combined to need the registration. my trailer alone weights 11,000lbs empty.



i once had 1400kg of clay in the back of my mini truck and i was telling the story about it to a guy and he flipped on me! going on about how the roads are terrible and im not helping and that im an a-hole, there is laws about that and i should be thrown in jail etc, etc etc. all i said to him was 'did i say i drove on the road' and he shut up lol
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:16 PM   #8
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Not sure about the eastern seaboard states, but here in BC if your truck looks overloaded you can be pulled over and weighed.

"looks overloaded" is highly subjective too. The statute leaves it pretty much to the RCMP officers discretion. For example:

Tires look "bulged"
Tow vehicle in "tail down" or "lights up"
Trailer in "nose down" or "tail up"
Trailer just looks "too big" for the tow vehicle
"I just don't like the way that looks"
"I really bored, let's weigh the next trailer"
"Boy I'm Pee'd off today, let's ticket someone"

You can be pulled over at a weigh station. The vehicle weighed and if you're over the OEM stated CGVWR, GVWR, or GAWR of or either the tow vehicle OR the trailer you're leaving it by the side of teh road until you can bring it into compliance or get a special one way move permit.

One heck of an annoyance for a local, unbelievable troubles for someone from the states or another province....can you say "Tourism Killer?"

Now, I understand the "gross offenders" (you know what I'm talking about, we've all seen 'em on the road), BC has some pretty big mountains to contend with and an out of balance/overloaded rig is really dangerous out here.

But really, make a law that makes some sense. Not this subjective pull over whoever the hell you want crap.

I despise this hippie loving, tree huggin', gang war havin', spiralling out of control prices, illegal drug producing, income sucking, BS province........I can't wait for my tour to be up and I can move back east again.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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Weight

Newbi here and thought I would chime in on 1/2 ton -3/4 tone. In shopping for a 5th wheel it was hard to find a rig that fit with my truck. I am about to take the plunge and purchase a FR 8528RKWS Super Lite. My Tundra can tow 10300 and has a payload of 1580 and combined 16000. the base dry of the trailer 6866 and GVWR 9253. I am under my limits but pushing the edge. I think if you keep within the limits and don,t bring a house full of junk all should be well. I was shocked last week when I cleaned out my Travel Trailer to sell it. What a collection of stuff I have hidden away over the years. Not all the 5th wheels are running over.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:53 PM   #10
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All this talk of 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton makes me chuckle. I'd hate to think what everyone would say about the trailer I used to tow in the '60's with my Buick LaSabre.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by wfmdfm View Post
Newbi here and thought I would chime in on 1/2 ton -3/4 tone. In shopping for a 5th wheel it was hard to find a rig that fit with my truck. I am about to take the plunge and purchase a FR 8528RKWS Super Lite. My Tundra can tow 10300 and has a payload of 1580 and combined 16000. the base dry of the trailer 6866 and GVWR 9253. I am under my limits but pushing the edge. I think if you keep within the limits and don,t bring a house full of junk all should be well. I was shocked last week when I cleaned out my Travel Trailer to sell it. What a collection of stuff I have hidden away over the years. Not all the 5th wheels are running over.
I have a payload of 1755 lbs and a tow of 11200lbs and was looking at the same FW. It has a pin weight of 1134lbs , and I figuered I was over weight even if we travel lite. I figure 350lbs of passengers, 200 lbs of hitch, 1134 DRY weight for the FW, leaves me no room, so I'm going with a TT.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Snowsail View Post
I have a payload of 1755 lbs and a tow of 11200lbs and was looking at the same FW. It has a pin weight of 1134lbs , and I figuered I was over weight even if we travel lite. I figure 350lbs of passengers, 200 lbs of hitch, 1134 DRY weight for the FW, leaves me no room, so I'm going with a TT.
I'll offer my opinion.

We've towed a Rockwood 8280WS the past 1 1/2 yrs with a 2005 Ram 1500 QC 5.7L with a factory tow package. I've just recently purchased a 2008 F250 CC V10 but have yet to tow the camper with it.

In the past 1 1/2 years we've camped about 12 weeks...our closest destination was about 3 hr drive from home. We've also towed from Ontario to the mountains in West Virginia twice. The last trip to West Virginia we drove all the way there in one day..about 550 miles and the same deal on the return trip home. I believe that should convince anybody that this set-up wasn't a white knuckle, near death experience. The Hemi doesn't pull the camper up a 7% grade in cruise control in 5th gear, but whose set-up does!

I weighed our camper loaded, ready to camp at 8300 lbs total with a pin weight of 1240 lbs (I weighed it at 1120 lb pin, 7400 lb total as delivered). The pin weight puts the truck about 450 lbs over its GVWR and right at it's RAWR with a full load of fuel. The combined weight was 14,020 lbs on a rating of 14,000. I had air bags on the truck since new and inflate them to 25 psi for a level ride and also switched the OEM rims/tires to LT 17's load range E's.

I now have the V10 F250 that I've been looking for the past year. Having to tow with the 1/2T didn't keep me from enjoying the camper wherever we wanted to camp.

BTW, the Rockwood 8280WS is the floorplan that we love, but is also the lightest dry pin weight in the Rcokwood/Flagstaff line of 5th wheels. Another thing is that the pin weight is 15% of total weight empty or loaded. The pin weight at 15% of total is the low end of the suggested range but it towed fine with no 'chucking' at all.

Dave
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wfmdfm View Post
Newbi here and thought I would chime in on 1/2 ton -3/4 tone. In shopping for a 5th wheel it was hard to find a rig that fit with my truck. I am about to take the plunge and purchase a FR 8528RKWS Super Lite. My Tundra can tow 10300 and has a payload of 1580 and combined 16000. the base dry of the trailer 6866 and GVWR 9253. I am under my limits but pushing the edge. I think if you keep within the limits and don,t bring a house full of junk all should be well. I was shocked last week when I cleaned out my Travel Trailer to sell it. What a collection of stuff I have hidden away over the years. Not all the 5th wheels are running over.
There is plenty of information here that explains why you are most likely making an error. If you are convinced that you are "Good To Go" nothing posted here will convince you otheriwse. Go safely friend. Keep your speed down and drive defensively.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:05 PM   #14
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There is plenty of information here that explains why you are most likely making an error. If you are convinced that you are "Good To Go" nothing posted here will convince you otheriwse. Go safely friend. Keep your speed down and drive defensively.

Well, I'm going to put the target on my back and defend myself and others that are or have towed 5th wheels with half tonnes.

There's many posts of actual positive feedback regarding 1/2 T towing of lightweight 5th wheels here on this forum also.

However it still seems that 'opinions' have more weighting than actual towing experience.

I'm not condoning that a 1/2 T truck can pull any fiver that fits on the hitch. If you pay attention to the pin weight and not exceed the RAWR of the truck you're probably in the same circumstances as most 3/4 T trucks pulling heavier fivers...over the truck's GVWR but under the RAWR.

And please no BS about 3/4 T trucks having bigger brakes and more stopping power. My gas F250 weighs 1700 lbs more than my Ram 1500...no question which one stops better. The better braking is only applicable if its a diesel with an exhaust brake.

Dave (getting out the body armor)
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:34 PM   #15
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I despise this hippie loving, tree huggin', gang war havin', spiralling out of control prices, illegal drug producing, income sucking, BS province........I can't wait for my tour to be up and I can move back east again.
I love living in BC. Mind you I am not living in a city. It is true though:

BC = Bring Cash
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:10 AM   #16
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:34 AM   #17
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I'll offer my opinion.

We've towed a Rockwood 8280WS the past 1 1/2 yrs with a 2005 Ram 1500 QC 5.7L with a factory tow package. I've just recently purchased a 2008 F250 CC V10 but have yet to tow the camper with it.

In the past 1 1/2 years we've camped about 12 weeks...our closest destination was about 3 hr drive from home. We've also towed from Ontario to the mountains in West Virginia twice. The last trip to West Virginia we drove all the way there in one day..about 550 miles and the same deal on the return trip home. I believe that should convince anybody that this set-up wasn't a white knuckle, near death experience. The Hemi doesn't pull the camper up a 7% grade in cruise control in 5th gear, but whose set-up does!

I weighed our camper loaded, ready to camp at 8300 lbs total with a pin weight of 1240 lbs (I weighed it at 1120 lb pin, 7400 lb total as delivered). The pin weight puts the truck about 450 lbs over its GVWR and right at it's RAWR with a full load of fuel. The combined weight was 14,020 lbs on a rating of 14,000. I had air bags on the truck since new and inflate them to 25 psi for a level ride and also switched the OEM rims/tires to LT 17's load range E's.

I now have the V10 F250 that I've been looking for the past year. Having to tow with the 1/2T didn't keep me from enjoying the camper wherever we wanted to camp.

BTW, the Rockwood 8280WS is the floorplan that we love, but is also the lightest dry pin weight in the Rcokwood/Flagstaff line of 5th wheels. Another thing is that the pin weight is 15% of total weight empty or loaded. The pin weight at 15% of total is the low end of the suggested range but it towed fine with no 'chucking' at all.

Dave
Thanks Dave, your loaded weight is exactly the same as I estimated (8200). I'm really surprised the pin weight is only 1240. You convinced me, to go back to the 8280WS. Do you think that by installing my trucks spare tire and bikes behind the FW, the pin weight would be a little less?
Thank's
Mike
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:04 AM   #18
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I'll offer my opinion.

We've towed a Rockwood 8280WS the past 1 1/2 yrs with a 2005 Ram 1500 QC 5.7L with a factory tow package. I've just recently purchased a 2008 F250 CC V10 but have yet to tow the camper with it.

In the past 1 1/2 years we've camped about 12 weeks...our closest destination was about 3 hr drive from home. We've also towed from Ontario to the mountains in West Virginia twice. The last trip to West Virginia we drove all the way there in one day..about 550 miles and the same deal on the return trip home. I believe that should convince anybody that this set-up wasn't a white knuckle, near death experience. The Hemi doesn't pull the camper up a 7% grade in cruise control in 5th gear, but whose set-up does!

I weighed our camper loaded, ready to camp at 8300 lbs total with a pin weight of 1240 lbs (I weighed it at 1120 lb pin, 7400 lb total as delivered). The pin weight puts the truck about 450 lbs over its GVWR and right at it's RAWR with a full load of fuel. The combined weight was 14,020 lbs on a rating of 14,000. I had air bags on the truck since new and inflate them to 25 psi for a level ride and also switched the OEM rims/tires to LT 17's load range E's.

I now have the V10 F250 that I've been looking for the past year. Having to tow with the 1/2T didn't keep me from enjoying the camper wherever we wanted to camp.

BTW, the Rockwood 8280WS is the floorplan that we love, but is also the lightest dry pin weight in the Rcokwood/Flagstaff line of 5th wheels. Another thing is that the pin weight is 15% of total weight empty or loaded. The pin weight at 15% of total is the low end of the suggested range but it towed fine with no 'chucking' at all.

Dave
I find it interesting that you say your setup is fine, but after 6 months you started the search for a 3/4 ton truck. Upgrading the rims/tires on the Dodge was an excellent move for safety's sake.

Congrats on the F250. I think you're going to like it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:13 AM   #19
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Like Dave said, not all 1/2 ton trucks-------

As Dave said, Not all 1/2 ton trucks are up to towing a fifth wheel. I have been towing my 8285Ws now for the last 8500 miles with a F-150, 5.4L engine, with the towing package.

I make sure the gray tanks are empty or close to it, the black tank is very low as close to 1/3 as can be. I only carry enough fresh water to flush the "JOHN" as needed. I use air springs @ 45# to mostly level the system out. I make sure any heavy items such as tool box, drill box is placed between the two chairs in the rear. I carry a folding table that is placed under the sofa behind the wheels. I have never experienced "CHUCKING"
with my set up.

I really hate to get into a discussion with the "WEIGHT POLICE" on any forum, as they have the "BRUTE TRUCK" that will tow the Empire state building if they can get it on wheels up a 10% grade and "NEVER SHIFTING OUT OF OVERDRIVE".

Until I get my $$ out of my present TV, I will continue to use it as my TV.
I do not get in a hurry on the road, I let a lot of TV's pulling at high rate
of speed pass me. I will get there just about as soon as they do, using less fuel. I do not condemn anyone for having a diesel or bigger (250, 350, 450, 2500HD) gas engine or larger truck for I know the weight limits of the
the tow trucks and their ability.

I did my calculations with my 8285WS and the F-150, I am satisfied with it!

Enough said on my part.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:33 AM   #20
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Thanks Dave, your loaded weight is exactly the same as I estimated (8200). I'm really surprised the pin weight is only 1240. You convinced me, to go back to the 8280WS. Do you think that by installing my trucks spare tire and bikes behind the FW, the pin weight would be a little less?
Thank's
Mike
Mike...sounds like you need to take it to a set of scales and weigh it to get actual numbers. The pin weight always going to depend how the camper is loaded.

In my case, the campers' spare tire is in the basement and I carry 2 bikes on a carrier at the rear.

Dave
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