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Old 10-01-2014, 01:43 AM   #1
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Default towing fifth wheel with F150

Hi, I am thinking about towing a 5th wheel with my 2013 F150 crewcab (5.0 V8 5.5 short short bed 3.55 rear axle with a 7100 lbs. GVW package) and it does come with the tow package. I would like to hear from both sides, those who have done it and those who say its not wise. I will be looking for the shortest and lightest 5th wheels out there. thanks for your responses.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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It's all about your payload. I think you will have a very difficult time staying within your truck's rated capacity. Most (not all) "1/2 tons" pulling a 5'er are grossly overloaded.
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Old 10-01-2014, 11:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jadiazin View Post
Hi, I am thinking about towing a 5th wheel with my 2013 F150 crewcab (5.0 V8 5.5 short short bed 3.55 rear axle with a 7100 lbs. GVW package) and it does come with the tow package. I would like to hear from both sides, those who have done it and those who say its not wise. I will be looking for the shortest and lightest 5th wheels out there. thanks for your responses.

If you stay within Ford's recommended loadings you will be fine. I've pulled a smaller 5th wheel trailer for 24 years with my F150. Aside from needing a bit more power on steep hills, it pulls just fine. A 5th wheel is much more stable than a weight equalized travel trailer. This is due to the hitch point being ahead of the rear axle, instead of behind the back bumper. It avoids the tail wagging the dog problem.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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You are very unlikely to stay within ratings, even if you get a 1/2 ton towable. I traded my F150 HD with 8200GVWR and 4800 rear axle because I was overloaded with a light 5th. It's funny because we just got back from our last trip of the season and nearly 50% of the 5th setups are 1/2 tons. I'm certain, after owning the previous setup, that almost every one is at least slightly overloaded. Some, like one standard F150 I saw with the rear sagging about 2" lower than the front, are terribly overloaded.

It's deceiving because they handle so well compared to a TT even if they're well over the limits.

Despite the norm, it can be done with attention to detail. Rear axle rating will be the limiting factor if GVWR isn't.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Buck50HD View Post
I'm certain, after owning the previous setup, that almost every one is at least slightly overloaded.
F150's with the HD payload package may be an exception to this. Otherwise, yes.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:39 PM   #6
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You'll exceed the GVWR of your F-150 with even the smallest of the normal 5ers. You can probably tow something like the 19' Scamp 5er without being overloaded, if you load almost nothing in the pickup and very little in the trailer.
http://www.scamptrailers.com/showroo...-trailers.html


My 5er is a 25' with one slide and GVWR of 7,900 pounds. My F-150 is similar to yours, with 7,100 GVWR. Here is my CAT scale ticket when moving the 5er from Austin to my house a few months ago. The 5er was loaded to the roof with Darling Daughter's full-timer stuff, so it grossed about 8,000 pounds:


3300 steer axle (front GAWR 3750)
4680 drive axle (rear GAWR 3,850) so 830 pounds over the rGAWR
-----------------
7,980 GVW (7100 GVWR) so 880 pounds overloaded over the GVWR
6800 trailer axles (7,000 combined trailer GAWR)
---------------
14780 GCW (17,000 GCWR)
==========


Well below the GCWR, so no desire for more power to pull the big hills in the Hill Country.


My F-150 has the 6.5' bed and I did not have a slider hitch, so no problem with cab to trailer contact as long as I was going forward. And I made darned sure that I never had to back the trailer on that 350-mile tow through the Hill Country to my house. But your shorty 5.5' bed is a different story. You must have a sliding 5er hitch, or as a minimum a Reese Sidewinder pinbox on the 5er, and maybe both - if you want to have a normal RVing life with no fear of cab to trailer contact.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron AKA View Post
A 5th wheel is much more stable than a weight equalized travel trailer.

That may be true if you are towing the TT with a cheap hitch. But with a quality weight-distributing sway control hitch a properly loaded TT can tow just as stable as a properly loaded 5er. I've towed both for dozens of thousands of miles, and my TT tows just as good as my 5er.


But as a minimum, you need a high-end hitch for the TT, such as the Reese Strait-Line Dual-Cam hitch with the correct spring bars. Or even better is my ProPride hitch I now use on my TT.


My 5er with an ordinary Reese 5er hitch with 4-way tilt also tows good, but no better than the TT when the TT is properly connected and the hitch properly adjusted.


Quote:
This is due to the hitch point being ahead of the rear axle, instead of behind the back bumper. It avoids the tail wagging the dog problem.
Engineering and design can fix that problem for a TT. My ProPride moves the pivot point from the ball up to the rear axle of my tow vehicle. Works great. And the older design Hensley Arrow does the same thing.
www.propridehitch.com

Last edited by smokeywren; 10-01-2014 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:54 AM   #8
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I tow a 28 ft fifth wheel camper with my 2011 Eco scab and have 2 bikes on front hitch, generator on top of fifth wheel hitch then pull a quad on a small flatbed trailer behind. I have helliwig pro silencer helper springs on the back of the truck I have absolutely no issues towing what I do and stopping aswell everything has trailer brakes so not an issue
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyTyler View Post
I tow a 28 ft fifth wheel camper with my 2011 Eco scab and have 2 bikes on front hitch, generator on top of fifth wheel hitch then pull a quad on a small flatbed trailer behind. I have helliwig pro silencer helper springs on the back of the truck I have absolutely no issues towing what I do and stopping aswell everything has trailer brakes so not an issue
That's fine, but have you weighed your rig? Like smokeywren and others have said, you are probably overweight. Mostly likely over both the truck's GVWR and rear GAWR.

Problems associated with being over weight do not appear immediately and depend upon how often and how much you are over.

If you are grossly over your rear GAWR for many miles, you will probably blow a rear axle bearing. Not a happy prospect if you are travelling at speed with a trailer.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brulaz View Post
Problems associated with being over weight do not appear immediately and depend upon how often and how much you are over..
I've pulled a 5th wheel with my F150 for 24 years now. 1990 truck and trailer. No problems with the truck, but I have had one broken spring on the trailer. The hitch weight of a 5th wheel typically does not increase as the trailer is loaded up. The main thing is to avoid putting any significant weight in the truck.

Last edited by Ron AKA; 10-12-2014 at 09:49 PM.
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