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Old 10-22-2014, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default Travel Trailer Advice Needed

I have a 2013 F150 STX Supercab 5.0L 3.55 rear with the tow package. My question is am I better of looking for a small lightweight 5th wheel, (Scamp or Jayco 20'), or a lightweight trailer that hooks to the trailer hitch. I'm not sure if carrying more of the load on the truck is an advantage or disadvantage.

Just looking for thoughts. I've pulled from the hitch before but I don't have any 5th wheel experience.

Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltruckguy View Post
I have a 2013 F150 STX Supercab 5.0L 3.55 rear with the tow package. My question is am I better of looking for a small lightweight 5th wheel, (Scamp or Jayco 20'), or a lightweight trailer that hooks to the trailer hitch.

A tag trailer has an average of around 13% hitch weight. A small 5er has average of around 17% hitch weight. So assuming you have 800 pounds of unused payload capacity available for hitch weight , then that's a TT with a max weight of 6,153 or a 5er with a max GVWR of 4705 pounds.


There are a several TTs available with GVWR less than 6,200 pounds, including my Sunline Nomad Joey model 196S at 5,600. The tiny Scamp 5er is about the only 5er with GVWR less than 4705.


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I'm not sure if carrying more of the load on the truck is an advantage or disadvantage.
Disadvantage. Your limiter is the GVWR of the F-150, so hitch weight is your limiter as to how heavy a trailer you can tow without being overloaded. So look at both, but I could not tow any suitable 5er with my F-150 without exceeding the GVWR of the F-150. No, the single-axle Scamp is not a suitable 5er for me.


We like our TT just fine for two old folks and two dogs. We had a 25' 5er with one big slide for 12 years, towed by an F-250 diesel, and that was a perfect match. We still have that 5er, but it severely overloads my F-150 so we leave it parked beside the house where DD lives in it. You've heard the joke about grown children living in their parents' basement? We don't have a basement, so our grown daughter lives in one of our campers.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:47 PM   #3
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I am a service manager at a moderate sized RV dealer. I have helped countless customers match trailers to their vehicles, and I have also personally owned a scamp. My advice, get the biggest camper you are comfortable towing while leaving a cushion below your tow capacity. If you have a 4x4 you could look at trailers up to 5600lbs or if you have a 2x4 you could go to 7300 lbs without over taxing the truck. There are 30' fifth wheels with three slide outs that are in that 7300lb category! Fifth wheels tow NIGHT AND DAY better than a travel trailer and are way easier to maneuver. I would pay attention to the hitch, the industry standard hitches (most popular) have up to a 3/8" tolerance in the latching mechanism and can magnify the bucking or chugging that some people experience at hwy speeds. Some of the more premium hitches have down to .0030" tolerance making for a much more solid, secure attachment. The thing that you are probably aware of with pulling a travel trailer is sway. You have probably seen the big fancy hitches with bars and chains and sway bars and and and... The great thing about fifth wheels is there is no concern for sway, because the weight is directly over the rear axel, the trailer shares the SAME pivot point of the truck when turning and eliminates the possibility for sway. Why do you think all semis are fifth wheels!?

Sorry for such a long winded response, I just figured I was the best person to answer the question!

Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by tooltruckguy View Post
I have a 2013 F150 STX Supercab 5.0L 3.55 rear with the tow package. My question is am I better of looking for a small lightweight 5th wheel, (Scamp or Jayco 20'), or a lightweight trailer that hooks to the trailer hitch. I'm not sure if carrying more of the load on the truck is an advantage or disadvantage.

Just looking for thoughts. I've pulled from the hitch before but I don't have any 5th wheel experience.

Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:56 PM   #4
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He should have 1500-1800lbs of payload cap... A tongue weight of 1200-1400lbs is not unreasonable for a fifth wheel in a f150.

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Originally Posted by smokeywren View Post
A tag trailer has an average of around 13% hitch weight. A small 5er has average of around 17% hitch weight. So assuming you have 800 pounds of unused payload capacity available for hitch weight , then that's a TT with a max weight of 6,153 or a 5er with a max GVWR of 4705 pounds.


There are a several TTs available with GVWR less than 6,200 pounds, including my Sunline Nomad Joey model 196S at 5,600. The tiny Scamp 5er is about the only 5er with GVWR less than 4705.



Disadvantage. Your limiter is the GVWR of the F-150, so hitch weight is your limiter as to how heavy a trailer you can tow without being overloaded. So look at both, but I could not tow any suitable 5er with my F-150 without exceeding the GVWR of the F-150. No, the single-axle Scamp is not a suitable 5er for me.


We like our TT just fine for two old folks and two dogs. We had a 25' 5er with one big slide for 12 years, towed by an F-250 diesel, and that was a perfect match. We still have that 5er, but it severely overloads my F-150 so we leave it parked beside the house where DD lives in it. You've heard the joke about grown children living in their parents' basement? We don't have a basement, so our grown daughter lives in one of our campers.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:36 AM   #5
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It's not about gross trailer weight, it is about the payload capacity of your truck and the pin weight of a 5'er.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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I have the same truck as you assuming yours is 4x4. I have a payload of 1800lbs per my sticker. I think you will be good to go.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screwtremor View Post
He should have 1500-1800lbs of payload cap... A tongue weight of 1200-1400lbs is not unreasonable for a fifth wheel in a f150.
Not unreasonable, but with standard suspension and a normal load in the F-150, it will exceed the GVWR of the F-150. My 2012 F-150 4x2 has a GVWR of 7,100 pounds, and with just me and Sweetheart and Puppydog and a toolbox, the 1,200 pounds pin weight of my 8,000-pound 5er severely overloads the GVWR and rGAWR of my pickup. 880 pounds over the GVWR and 830 pounds over the rGAWR. It's not safe to be towing while that much overloaded.

Even if I had the relatively rare Max Tow Pkg with 500 pounds more GVWR, I would still be overloaded. I'd need the very rare HD Payload pkg to be within my F-150's weight limits.


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Originally Posted by Screwtremor View Post
Fifth wheels tow NIGHT AND DAY better than a travel trailer ...
Baloney. That's true only if you are towing the TT with a cheap hitch. I have both a TT and a 5er, and my TT with ProPride hitch tows just as good as my 5er with a Reese 16k 4-way tilt hitch. In fact, before I got the ProPride hitch I towed the TT with a Reese Strait-Line dual cam WD hitch. Even with the Strait-Line hitch that can be bought on-line for less than $600 including the adjustable shank, My TT towed just as good as my 5er.

I have towed that 5er over 100,000 miles since I bought it in 2001, and I have towed the TT over 10,000 miles since I bought it in 2011. So that's not just a first impression.

Quote:
I would pay attention to the hitch, ...
Exactly. For a TT hitch, any you can buy on-line for less than $500 are cheap hitches. Stay away from those. Insist on a Reese Strait-Line, Equalizer, or Husky Centerline. The good hitches will list for around $1,000 and cost you over $500 from an on-line discounter such as ETrailer.com or Amazon.com. For a 5er hitch, best in the affordable class is the Reese R16 or the older 16k Reese hitch that is not a "Pro Series".


Here's the 5er hitch I used for around 100,000 miles of towing an 8,000-pound 5er:
http://www.etrailer.com/Fifth-Wheel/...eid=2012642689


Note that is just the hitch and does not include the install kit with bed rails. The install kit you need depends on your exact pickup, mainly bed length.

Quote:
The thing that you are probably aware of with pulling a travel trailer is sway. You have probably seen the big fancy hitches with bars and chains and sway bars and and and... The great thing about fifth wheels is there is no concern for sway, because the weight is directly over the rear axel, the trailer shares the SAME pivot point of the truck when turning and eliminates the possibility for sway.
The ProPride has the same pivot point as a 5er hitch - over the rear axle.

TTs cost less than similar size and quality 5ers, so you can probably buy a TT with ProPride hitch for about the same price as a 5er with the Reese 16k hitch linked to above. If you compare a TT with a 5er that will not exceed the GVWR of your F-150, you'll probably prefer the larger TT.
www.propridehitch.com

Last edited by smokeywren; 10-23-2014 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:15 PM
 
 
 
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