Am I being misled

We are considering the purchase of a Wild Cat 27RL Fifth Wheel. It is manufactured by Forrest River. This trailer has a Dry Weight of 6,995 lbs. and a GVWR of 11,070 lbs. I have a Ford F150 with a 5.4L V8 and the Towing Package.

The dealer is telling me that this trailer was designed to be pulled behind a 1/2 ton pick up and my truck will handle the load no sweat. Ford says that my truck will pull a fifth wheel up to 8,200 GVWR.

The dealer says since the Dry Weight is 6,995 this gives me the ability to add another 1200 lbs before getting to the 8,200 pound limit that Ford specifies as the maximum.

Am I being misled ?


Senior Member
Am I being misled

Yes, you are being misled, and in at least one of those statements, nearly criminally. A half ton pickup, particularly one with a small block gas engine, should be limited to the smallest, lightest trailers, of which this is not even close to one of. I'd say you probably want to be looking at trailers whose MAXIMUM (GVWR) weight is well under 7000 pounds. And even that will likely will be aggravating at best (and possibly unsafe at worst). Let's face it, your truck is not a pulling machine, and that engine is not a pulling engine.

Can your truck really pull an 8200 5th wheel? I don't know; my equivalent Chevy couldn't, but if yours can, it would be at sea level, on flat ground, with an empty/stripped truck with only a 150 pound driver and a gallon of fuel. In the real world, you will probably be straining up hills, have difficulty with emergency stops, and put the truck in its grave before its time. Besides, the real problem with 1/2 ton pickups and 5th wheels is that even if the trailer weight does not cause you to exceed the GCVW (trailer plus truck), the pin weight (up to 20% of the trailer weight) will often cause you to exceed the truck's rear axle weight rating.

The statement that the trailer is 'designed to be pulled by a 1/2 ton' is either an outright lie, or the worst case of engineering ever recorded. Trailers 'designed' for 1/2 tons would have a dry weight of 3 to 4 thousand and a gross weight of 6000 or less. Since no 1/2 ton in the world would be rated to tow 11000 pounds, no trailer which is rated at 11000 pounds could ever be considered appropriate for a 1/2 ton truck.

The 'well only use 1200 pounds of your capability' solution is technically true, but in reality, pathetic and unwise. Are you going to weigh everything you put into the trailer and keep a running log? Besides, even the dry weight is not a reliable measure; it sometimes does not include some of the options installed in or on the trailer. Don't forget that the dry weight definitely does NOT include any water, food, waste, clothes, hoses and fasteners, propane or any other stuff you put in the trailer.

If you are serious about trailering, you will need to get a serious truck. The ideal scenario is to find the trailer you want, and then get the truck needed to tow that. No matter what the ratings say, you will probably not be satisfied with the performance of a gas engine; diesel rules in towing. If you must get a gas engine, get a BIG one. And about those ratings: riding the edge of the ratings is like riding a bicycle along a cliff - you may not fall in, but if you do it will likely be catastrophic.
Am I being misled

Hi, SongDoctor; Yes, you are certainly being misled. This guy just wants to sell,and knows nothing about towing.PJ's posting a few days ago is similar to your situation,but he is looking at a TT not a 5th wheel which puts much more weight on the rear axle,maybe too much for a F-150.
Am I being misled

Thanks, Gentlemen!
You've confirmed what I already suspected.
And, helped me make up my mind about purchasing an F250 with a 7.3L Diesel.