Can I pull it?????

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by 4camping, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. 4camping

    4camping New Member

    This is my first camper purchase and was hoping to not have to purchase new vehicle also. The 5th wheel I am looking at is a 1997 Wilderness by fleetwood 27-5 (can't seem to find weight on this). My truck is a 1998 ford f150 4.6L 4x4 auto (one chart I've found says only capable of pulling 6300 lbs)
    Will be pulling this short distances (less than 60 miles and fairly flat terrain)

    Thanks
     
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Can I pull it?????

    Your truck is only a 1/2 ton and is not likely to have the proper weight rating to tow that trailer. You need to start by checking the weight ratings that are posted on the data plate of the truck and then weigh the trailer. The truck will have a rated GVWR, which is the gross weight rating and that is the most that the truck can safely carry. It will also have a GCWR which is the gross combined weight rating or the most the truck and trailer together can safely weigh. It will also have a max. tow rating which is the most the truck is designed to tow, no matter how little weight may be in the truck. All three are very important to your safety and to the reliability of the truck.
     
  3. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Can I pull it?????

    My 1/2 ton chevy with a 350 v8 claimed to be able to pull 7200 pounds, but wasn't happy pulling a 5500 empty trailer home from the dealer (20 miles on the flat), but it did it. I immediately got the 2500HD (wimpy 1 ton) with 6.0L, which was plenty stable and pulled great on the flat and down hills, but struggled getting the trailer up hills (semi-loaded, about 6500 pounds). It did it, just not at highway speeds.

    One of the most likely problem areas with a fifth wheel and a 1/2 ton vehicle is the Rear Axel Rating of the truck. Fifth wheels apply 10 to 20 percent of their entire weight to the rear axel. So even if all the other weights are ok, the Rear Axel weight will likely be your problem area. You can usually tow a heavier travel trailer than fifth wheel, because the pin weight should be less.

    For a trailer that size, you will probably need at least a 3/4 ton with towing package. If you don't have hills to worry about, a 'small' (6L) gas engine may be acceptable.

    When doing the weight limitation computations, keep in mind that the values you get from the manufacturer are based on the truck being EMPTY. No passengers, no accessories, no cargo, just a 150 pound driver and a bit of fuel...
     
  4. 4camping

    4camping New Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Thanks for the input so far.....keep it coming.

    Now, all weight ratings aside (cuz I already know would be slightly over mfr's labeled ratings)

    My intentions are to pull this camper to a seasonal sight for the summer, leave it there, and pull it home in the fall (60 mile trip). If the family enjoys camping like I think we will, I will then look into the "proper" vehicle (can't stomach the purchase of both right now!)

    The camper weighs 6600 lbs, tongue weight is 1100 lbs. I do understand that no one can guarantee anything...... but I would like to hear opinions from folks that are more familiar with this, maybe someone who does this regularly....or maybe someone who tried it once and had trouble. (I can put up with an uncomfortable ride twice a year!)

    Thanks for your help
     
  5. Shadow

    Shadow Senior Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Just a thought here. If your only going to move it twice that short a trip, maybe you could find someone to haul it there for you. You could do the setup and enjoy it for the summer. You wouldn't be out the cost of the hitch and break controller. If ya'll really enjoy it, and I think you will. Thats when you can think about upgrading your truck.
     
  6. 4camping

    4camping New Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Indeed that thought has crossed our minds, and is still an option. Our dilemma however, is that we are unable to go to the seasonal sight untill next year and would like to use it a few times this year locally to get familiar with it. (don't really want to bug someone each time we go)
    In talking with other people around locally, I've heard of guys pulling even heavier fifth wheels but do so very slowly and not great distances. I think I will be okay, but still like to hear responses.

    Great site by the way! a lot of helpful info hear for beginners.

    Thanks,
     
  7. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    You might get away with exceeding your weight limits, but there are risks.

    1) You may cause the truck to break or wear excessively

    2) You increase your chances of having an accident

    3) You risk being denied for any warranty claim

    4) If there is an accident, you encourage a larger lawsuit.

    5) The best you can hope for is a 'white knuckle' trip, but then you have already 'accepted' that.
     
  8. Poppa

    Poppa Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    You say the tonque weight is 1100 lbs. if it were me and its not, I would weigh the front end of my vehicle and then the back. then I would set my hitch in a location that would spread out the load to both the front and rear ends keeping in mind the ratings listed on the vehicle GVW.

    Use two 55 gallon drums of water that way you keep them side by side and move them around in the bed to see where the center of your hitch need to be at.
     
  9. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Poppa, I thought that the location of the hitch relative to the location of the rear axel was fairly critical. Doesn't it 'have' to be about 1 3/4 inches in front of the axel in order to ride right?
     
  10. ToddLary

    ToddLary New Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    While your truck may be able to pull this trailer you must consider your insurance and State Laws. If you do have an accident and your insurance company finds that you were overweight then they may choose to deny your claim. The State may also write you a citation for being overweight as well. I pulled an overweight trailer with my truck and never had any problems, but just be aware of these potential pit falls.
     
  11. Poppa

    Poppa Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Hertig,

    The location of the hitch should be in front of the rear axle. but in this case he wanted to know if he could make a set up to get by with in the intermin. It will help the axle loading and will let him know if he exceeds the front and rear axle loads or exceeds the total GVWR which is a NO NO.
     
  12. Shadow

    Shadow Senior Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Hey 4camping, Did you buy the 5th wheel? If so, have you got to use it yet and what you pulling it with?
    :bleh:
     
  13. 4camping

    4camping New Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Yes, did buy it!!!
    The maiden voyage was last weekend, it went great!!! the family is already hooked!!
    pulled it with my f150, it went as I expected, tough/slow up the hills and didn't break any speed records on flats. but not intending on pulling it great distances untill I get the appropriate tow vehicle. Plenty of camp sites within 100 miles!

    I have a number of questions after using it once, hoping to get some answers from here as time goes on.

    Thank you all for your input.
     
  14. Shadow

    Shadow Senior Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Great!! Glad everything went well for you. If you need answers to your questions you came to the right place. Lots of good people on this site, with a lot of experience. Take care and happy camping. :)
     
  15. bazzer

    bazzer New Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    Re:Can I pull it, Keep it clean there are women reading this, :laugh: :laugh: Bazzer
     
  16. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    RE: Can I pull it?????

    Hey bazzer, it's not hard to keep it clean over here, we don't quite get the English humor or we are too old or not hip or maybe we are on the road RV'ing too much and our minds tend to concentrate on RV terms and we don't relate them to whatever. :bleh:
     
  17. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Re: Can I pull it?????

    4camping, start asking all the questions you want....someone will give you answers here..... ;)
     

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