Keystone RV Forums
 

Go Back   Keystone RV Forums > General Forums > Towing

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-14-2012, 04:02 AM
JRTJH's Avatar
JRTJH JRTJH is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,507
Default Towing Fifth Wheel with F150

We've long discussed the merits/pitfalls of towing a fifth wheel with a half ton truck. Some consider it a viable option, some don't. While reading the latest issue of Trailer Life, I ran across an interesting long term test that just began. The technical team at Trailer Life announced a long term test of the Fox Mountin compact fifth wheel. They selected a 2006 Ford F150 Crew Cab Short Bed (5'6") to tow the trailer. Specs on the trailer indicate an empty hitch weight of 1400 lbs, empty axle weight of 6600, GVW of 9500 and gross axle weight of 5200 (x2). The truck is a "used" F150 equipped with proportional brake controller and 7 pin trailer wiring. Specs are: GCWR 15000LBS, max trailer 9200, (with 17" tires and 3.73 rear end). I'm not sure of the exact specs for the truck, I got these from Ford's website, but the truck being used may have 18" tires which would reduce the max trailer weight.

At any rate, we've long debated operating a tow vehicle "at the limit" or "just over the max" and it looks like Trailer Life is going to tackle exactly that situation in their long term test. It will be very interesting to see how the "experts" equip, customize and operate this rig which borders on being "over the limit when loaded."

Stay tuned for information as it is published and, if you subscribe to Trailer Life, check out the June 2012 issue, page 61.
__________________
John



2013 F250 FX4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS

Previous RV's
1971 VW Campmobile
1972 Dodge Camper 7500/Harvest Cabover Camper
1968 Airstream 26' TT
1972 Jayco Jayraven 20' TT
1966 Apache Tent Camper
1978 Dodge SuperCab/Real Lite Cabover Camper
1993 Ford F250 7.3L Diesel/34' Alumalite TT
1999 Ford SD F250 7.3L TF Diesel
1994 33' Seabreeze Motorhome
2005 Ford Ranger FX4/Sunlite Skyhawk Popup Camper
2010 Ford F150 FX4/Springdale 242FWRLSS
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-14-2012, 05:57 AM
mhs4771's Avatar
mhs4771 mhs4771 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Genesee Valley Region of Western New York
Posts: 478
Default

No matter what the outcome, we'll now have a ton of folks buying big 5th wheels and trying to tow them with their 1/2 ton TVs.
__________________
2011 Chevy Silverado 3500HD Ext Cab LT DRW Duramax/Allison pulling a 2012 SOB (still Thor, but not a Keystone), Dual ACs, 4 Door Fridge, Fireplace, Sleep Number Bed, Level-Up Auto Levelers, Disc Brakes, Winegard DirecTV SlimLine Auto Dish, Onan 5.5K, Splendide Combo Washer/Dryer, GY G114s on HiSpec 17.5 wheels, TrailAir Tri-Glide Pin Box, Mor/ryde IS.

Michelle & Ann Sullivan and 4 American Shorthairs
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-14-2012, 06:20 AM
Festus2 Festus2 is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Fraser Valley BC Canada
Posts: 5,178
Default

Given the specs that are now known for both the Ford 150 and the Fox 5th, IF someone were to ask "Can my truck tow this?", what would our answers be and how will they compare to the actual test results? I am also wondering if Trailer Life receives advertising revenue from Ford and what would happen to those funds IF they should find that the Ford truck couldn't safely tow the Fox? Yes, the test results will be interesting.
__________________
2008 Cougar 5th Wheel 27RKS
2005 2500 GMC Duramax

Last edited by Festus2; 05-14-2012 at 08:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-14-2012, 06:52 AM
JRTJH's Avatar
JRTJH JRTJH is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,507
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Festus2 View Post
Given the specs that are now known for both the Ford 150 and the Fox 5th, IF someone were to ask "Can my truck tow this?", what would our answers be and how they will compare to the actual test results? I am also wondering if Trailer Life receives advertising revenue from Ford and what would happen to those funds IF they should find that the Ford truck couldn't safely tow the Fox? Yes, the test results will be interesting.
Festus, Based on the specs of the trailer they are testing and the 2006 F150 with a 4 speed transmission and a max trailer weight below the GVW of the Fox trailer. I'd be reluctant to suggest to anyone that it would be a "good match" The newer F150's have markedly increased tow ratings, and payloads up to 2800 lbs. That's an entirely different animal than what they are testing.

We've often said, "You can't increase the axle rating" etc about upgrades. I'm very interested in what TL does to "modify" their test truck to make it more suitable for towing a trailer that apparently outweighs the truck's specs....

Will definitely be an interesting read....... and, as for Ford's sponsorship... Hmmmm there's also dodge and GM sponsorship in TL's advertising budget, so who knows how that will "temper" the outcome (I hope they are truly unbiased)
__________________
John



2013 F250 FX4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS

Previous RV's
1971 VW Campmobile
1972 Dodge Camper 7500/Harvest Cabover Camper
1968 Airstream 26' TT
1972 Jayco Jayraven 20' TT
1966 Apache Tent Camper
1978 Dodge SuperCab/Real Lite Cabover Camper
1993 Ford F250 7.3L Diesel/34' Alumalite TT
1999 Ford SD F250 7.3L TF Diesel
1994 33' Seabreeze Motorhome
2005 Ford Ranger FX4/Sunlite Skyhawk Popup Camper
2010 Ford F150 FX4/Springdale 242FWRLSS
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-14-2012, 06:56 AM
JRTJH's Avatar
JRTJH JRTJH is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,507
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
No matter what the outcome, we'll now have a ton of folks buying big 5th wheels and trying to tow them with their 1/2 ton TVs.
I just can't resist..... If a "TON" of folks buy "1/2 ton" trucks, they'll have to buy two trucks each to tow their new 5th wheel...
__________________
John



2013 F250 FX4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS

Previous RV's
1971 VW Campmobile
1972 Dodge Camper 7500/Harvest Cabover Camper
1968 Airstream 26' TT
1972 Jayco Jayraven 20' TT
1966 Apache Tent Camper
1978 Dodge SuperCab/Real Lite Cabover Camper
1993 Ford F250 7.3L Diesel/34' Alumalite TT
1999 Ford SD F250 7.3L TF Diesel
1994 33' Seabreeze Motorhome
2005 Ford Ranger FX4/Sunlite Skyhawk Popup Camper
2010 Ford F150 FX4/Springdale 242FWRLSS
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-14-2012, 11:23 AM
smiller smiller is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Full-timing
Posts: 447
Default

A lot depends on how you define 'the limit.' If the limit is always >>> THE STICKER!!!! <<< regardless of any other considerations then the test is over before it starts, so that obvioulsy is not their criteria. If they are looking at real-world issues then the limiting factor safety-wise usually ends up being the rear axle rating, which is usually determined by rear tire rating. Since my guess is that this combination would be within the ratings of E-range tires then if those are added and appropriate springs and other simple mods are done then the rig probably won't turn into a mushroom cloud or be a particular danger on the road.

But... none of that addresses how much fun the thing would be to actually move down the road and the big difference between a driving experience of quiet confidence vs. white knuckles and a constantly laboring engine is something most of us have experienced. I'm not sure how they are going to factor that last part.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-14-2012, 01:21 PM
JRTJH's Avatar
JRTJH JRTJH is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4,507
Default

smiller, The worst "white knuckle" experience I've had while towing RV's for the considerable time I've been behind the wheel was in a 3/4 ton superduty turbodiesel towing a 34' Holiday Rambler travel trailer. Trailer weight of 7600 lbs with a GVW of 10000 lbs. Properly set up weight distribution hitch, good tires, good sway control and excellent driving conditions on a new stretch of super highway at 65 MPH. A sudden gust of wind, a semi passing at the same time and I was all over the road, trying to control a trailer that desperately wanted to pass my truck. I got it stopped, quite shaken and not really wanting to drive any further. I've never experienced that kind of situation in a half ton truck. (I'm not suggesting it isn't possible, just that I've never experienced it)

So, to suggest that replacing a half ton truck with a 3/4 ton truck somehow will "improve quiet confidence while eliminating white knuckle driving" and decrease laboring engines is just not what I've found to be the situation. A "white knuckle" situation can --and does-- happen in 3/4 ton trucks, in fact, it probably happens regardless of the size of the truck being driven.
__________________
John



2013 F250 FX4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS

Previous RV's
1971 VW Campmobile
1972 Dodge Camper 7500/Harvest Cabover Camper
1968 Airstream 26' TT
1972 Jayco Jayraven 20' TT
1966 Apache Tent Camper
1978 Dodge SuperCab/Real Lite Cabover Camper
1993 Ford F250 7.3L Diesel/34' Alumalite TT
1999 Ford SD F250 7.3L TF Diesel
1994 33' Seabreeze Motorhome
2005 Ford Ranger FX4/Sunlite Skyhawk Popup Camper
2010 Ford F150 FX4/Springdale 242FWRLSS
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-14-2012, 01:47 PM
smiller smiller is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Full-timing
Posts: 447
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
A "white knuckle" situation can --and does-- happen in 3/4 ton trucks, in fact, it probably happens regardless of the size of the truck being driven.
Oh absolutely, no argument. I may not have communicated clearly... I wasn't saying that a 3/4 ton or 1-ton or whatever-ton truck is a magical solution, only that marginal setups are more likely to lead to marginal experiences. And yes, sometimes a combo that seems good on paper (especially it it involves a long, heavy trailer) will have an inexplicable problem that involves a lot of investigation to track down. The more capacity you have in the bank the less the likelihood for such an occurrence, but there are never any guarantees.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-14-2012, 01:52 PM
Halibutman214 Halibutman214 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 192
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
smiller, The worst "white knuckle" experience I've had while towing RV's for the considerable time I've been behind the wheel was in a 3/4 ton superduty turbodiesel towing a 34' Holiday Rambler travel trailer. Trailer weight of 7600 lbs with a GVW of 10000 lbs. Properly set up weight distribution hitch, good tires, good sway control and excellent driving conditions on a new stretch of super highway at 65 MPH. A sudden gust of wind, a semi passing at the same time and I was all over the road, trying to control a trailer that desperately wanted to pass my truck. I got it stopped, quite shaken and not really wanting to drive any further. I've never experienced that kind of situation in a half ton truck. (I'm not suggesting it isn't possible, just that I've never experienced it)

So, to suggest that replacing a half ton truck with a 3/4 ton truck somehow will "improve quiet confidence while eliminating white knuckle driving" and decrease laboring engines is just not what I've found to be the situation. A "white knuckle" situation can --and does-- happen in 3/4 ton trucks, in fact, it probably happens regardless of the size of the truck being driven.
As for me I didn't take smiller's post anywhere close to what your saying here and not sure I get your point. I've had white knuckle experiences with just about anything I ever drove and my worst was with a VW Bug. When I moved from a 1/2 to a 3/4 ton however it wasn't a "constant", white knuckle experience when towing and in fact it was day and night even after numeruous upgrades to the 1/2. The only thing in my book that will eliminate the reving is a Diesel and that was a day/night difference as well. Happy trails
__________________
2012 Passport 26BHWE
2008 Dodge RAM 6.7 Cummins (I love my truck)
and a bunch of toys I don't need
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-14-2012, 05:51 PM
rhagfo's Avatar
rhagfo rhagfo is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 499
Default

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
smiller, The worst "white knuckle" experience I've had while towing RV's for the considerable time I've been behind the wheel was in a 3/4 ton superduty turbodiesel towing a 34' Holiday Rambler travel trailer. Trailer weight of 7600 lbs with a GVW of 10000 lbs. Properly set up weight distribution hitch, good tires, good sway control and excellent driving conditions on a new stretch of super highway at 65 MPH. A sudden gust of wind, a semi passing at the same time and I was all over the road, trying to control a trailer that desperately wanted to pass my truck. I got it stopped, quite shaken and not really wanting to drive any further. I've never experienced that kind of situation in a half ton truck. (I'm not suggesting it isn't possible, just that I've never experienced it)

So, to suggest that replacing a half ton truck with a 3/4 ton truck somehow will "improve quiet confidence while eliminating white knuckle driving" and decrease laboring engines is just not what I've found to be the situation. A "white knuckle" situation can --and does-- happen in 3/4 ton trucks, in fact, it probably happens regardless of the size of the truck being driven.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Halibutman214 View Post
As for me I didn't take smiller's post anywhere close to what your saying here and not sure I get your point. I've had white knuckle experiences with just about anything I ever drove and my worst was with a VW Bug. When I moved from a 1/2 to a 3/4 ton however it wasn't a "constant", white knuckle experience when towing and in fact it was day and night even after numeruous upgrades to the 1/2. The only thing in my book that will eliminate the reving is a Diesel and that was a day/night difference as well. Happy trails
The biggest issues with taking a 1/2 ton to the "Limit" or beyond is that as a rule 1/2 tons are more like "Heavy Duty" Cars, and a 3/4 or 1 ton PU is more like a small big truck.

All 1/2 tons run "semi floating" rear axles where the driving axle is also supporting the payload. If the axle were to break, you will loose the tire and wheel.

Most 3/4 ton and all 1 ton PU use "Full floating" rear axles, this is where the weight of the payload rest on a set of bearings, and all the axles do is just turn the wheels, if you break an axle you just stop moving nothing falls off. These have much more weight carrying capacity.

There are some light duty 3/4 ton PU that still run 6 lug semi floating axles, I tend to stay away from those.

If you stay with in the load margins a 1/2 ton will tow a correctly sized trailer just fine and safely, I have always felt more secure in a 3/4 ton, with a camper or trailer.
__________________
Russ & Paula
The Beagles Hedwig and Precious.
Portland, OR.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS
2001 Dodge 2500 5.9 Cummins, 5 speed, Pacbrake, DS Power Puck, Bilstien 5100's, 3.55's, only 268K.

Last edited by rhagfo; 05-14-2012 at 06:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This forum is owned and operated by Superior Network Solutions, Inc., a California corporation. It is not authorized or endorsed by the Keystone RV Company and is not affiliated with the Keystone RV Company or its related companies in any way. Keystone RV® is a registered trademark of the Keystone RV Company.