GVWR and Hitch Weight concerns for new 5'er purchase - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 09-02-2011, 05:30 AM
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GVWR and Hitch Weight concerns for new 5'er purchase

I am looking at buying a 5th Wheel very soon and am trying to figure out what is a safe UVW and Hitch Weight for my 2007 -F250 PSD. The fleet specs claim I can tow 15,500 as a GVWR which give me tons of great options but I have seen many threads where people are recommedning against going with the bigger trailer. Are fords numbers off and are they being to generous?

My wife and I love the Heartland 395 Road Warrior but it seems that once it is loaded up the hitch weight will be too much for my truck.

Couple of questions: Can I do anything to my truck to beef it up (Air Bags, new rear end gears, etc) to help me handle the load? Do I need to upgrade the brakes as well? Or do I really need a new TV - hate to get rid of my truck as i bought it new and have taken great care of it.

Thanks in advance.
-Rob
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Old 09-02-2011, 07:04 AM
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I wish you had a response bc I'm in the same boat! My new trailer is 18,000 lbs and I have an F350 srw with a 3.73 gear ratio! I'm over weight by 1650 lbs and have to remove weight to go down the road. Now doing research on a new vehicle and want to know the best tow vehicle!
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Old 09-08-2011, 08:59 PM
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The recommended max towing capacities from Ford are exactly that, recommended. Legally you have to stay under your GVWR for your truck and your GVWR for your trailer.

I drive a 2011 F350 SRW with an 11,000 pound GVWR. My truck weighs in at 8500lbs empty so I can put 2500lbs of weight in it including the pin weight and cargo. I pull a 40' Heartland Landmark that's rated at 18,500lbs. Now as long as my trailer has less than 18,500lbs of weight and my truck is under 11,000lbs, I am legal. This is all to say that the most important thing in towing is to stay under your GVWR for your truck.

You can add airbags to help handle the load(I've got em). New gears help get things going but not much else.

d3grier: What constitutes you being overweight? Are you over your towing maximum or GVWR or axle rating? I tow a 24,500lb gooseneck on a regular basis, it's over my recommended max by about 5,000lbs but I'm under my GVWR and axle ratings on my truck and I'm under my GVWR for my trailer so I'm still legal.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:24 PM
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I was told that GAWR was what the DOT uses as the max capacity for a vehicle.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:28 AM
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You're correct GVWR is the combined front and rear GAWR.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:02 PM
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I'm confused,I was always told by my insurance co. that DOT went by gross combination vehicle weight,(gcvw) meaning truck and trailer weight combined

A truck is built to tow a specific amount of weight,otherwise,overloaded as a combo,yet I hear some beefing up trailer weight and braking specs....guess I have some researching to do...I'd love to get a toy hauler,but the one I like is 18,000 gvw,and I have a 99 f350 srw that has a gcvw of 20,000 lbs, and the truck is 9,900 lbs gvw

Now I'm curious,'cause I just don't know

Gotta do some research
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:43 AM
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The problem with DOT going by GCWR is that there's no way for the DOT to know what you're specific trucks rating is. There's no database that you can look it up by VIN. You can look up the GVWR but not GCWR. Each truck is different even ones from the same year differ depending on gear ratio, cab style and they can de down rated from the factory if you want. Do DOT goes by each vehicles individual GVWR as well as axle rating. As long as your under your axle rating for the front and rear and your not hauling commercially, you can haul a trailer of your choosing. So on your toy hauler that you want just make sure that you can keep the pin weight under what your truck can handle and you should be ok. It's all in the magic of proper loading and weight placement. Good luck with your research. There's a lot of wrong info out there. I suggest calling the local Highway Patrol or DOT office to get straight facts. Also, each state has different rules but typically if you're legal in he state you're registered in then they'll let you go.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:49 AM
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The pin weight should be around 20% of the 5th's total weight. So at 18,000 fully loaded your pin weight should be around 3600# which is a lot of weight. Add that to your trucks weight loaded and fueled to see if the numbers work. If your empty truck is 8500# add the 3600 to it and you get 12,100 which is 1,100 over your limit without fuel, the 5th wheel hitch or you in it.

That's why I bought a F-350 dually with the tow master set up with 410 gears. I can now pull my house down the road...
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Old 10-30-2011, 04:53 PM
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I have many years experience selling Ford trucks to fleets and RV'ers. There are more misconceptions about tow ratings than opinions on politics!

GCWR is the total weight of the truck and trailer and payload. Tow ratings are easy to find on manufaturers web sites. Fifth wheel tow ratings will be higher than bumper pull. Rear axle ratio, tire size, engine, transmission are the biggest factors in what your truck is rated at. Spring rating is usually not a factor. For instance, most F-250's are rated to tow the same as a similarly equipped F-350. If your F-250 SRW is rated to tow 15,600 lbs worth of wieght using a fifth wheel hitch, exceeding that may or may not get you in trouble with the DOT, it will get you in trouble if you have a wreck and are found negligent by the other parties attorney. This is one of the most important reasons you should not exceed tow ratings. Individual axle weights need to be checked, as well as tire load ratings. Frontal area used to be more important, but with the power of modern engines it is usually not even brought up now.

Tow ratings are set by the manufacture after extensive testing. Look at the size of the springs on Super Dutys. They are wider and have a much larger bolt holding them to the frame than other brands. Braking capacity is a big factor. Frame strength is paramount, excess flexing leads to problems.

If you are going to spend the money on the big rigs, buy the truck built to safely transport them.
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