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Old 09-15-2019, 12:03 AM   #1
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Tow vehicle planning

I know threads about "proper" tow vehicles abound, and I've read many of them, but haven't found any that exactly match my details, so I want to ask the experts to double check my math/sanity.

The background story: The wife and I are considering making the move to full-timing. We don't currently own a trailer (or TV), but are planning on getting a Serenity 30RB. We looked at smaller options and none of them felt like "home", but the 30RB did instantly.

We're looking at a 2019 (or probably 2020 by the time we're ready) F150 Lariat SuperCrew 6.5' bed 3.5 EcoBoost. The tow rating says 12,900 lbs, with an 18,400 GCWR. Door jamb sticker on one configured the way we want it listed payload at 1634.

With the trailer GVWR being 8800 we're obviously good there.

Airstream lists tongue as 864# for the trailer, so we're down to 770# payload left. I estimate about 100# for WDH, and 50# for a Honda 2200 genset, bringing us to 620#. Wife and I combined are under 300# (420# left), and the only other thing we plan to carry in the bed is a few bikes, weighing in at a combined 75# (345# remaining).

Am I missing anything or is this doable?


I looked at stepping up to an F250, but my wife is only 5'2 and she was very uncomfortable with a truck that large, especially since it will be our only vehicle.

Thanks folks!

- Jeremy
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:32 AM   #2
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There are a bazillion threads on this very issue.

I towed a 2016 flying cloud 25 footer with a 2015 F150 3.5 ecoboost, and later with a 2017 F250 6.2 V8. Both crew cabs and 4x4.

I KNOW the difference now.

Currently tow an International Serenity 30 ft. with the same F250.

Never going back to an F150 (unless I'd get in to a 23 ft or less unit)

Think of it this way, if you were parachuting, and you weighed 200 pounds, would you want the string used to hold the 'chute to be rated at 200 pounds? or 400?
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:42 AM   #3
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Here's a recent discussion you may wish to read.....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...fb-200687.html
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:05 AM   #4
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Certainly the Ford you are looking at will tow the trailer. I would think full timing you are going to do more unhooked driving than towing? Certainly a 2500 will tow it better and carry more stuff. I would probably make the compromise towards the 150 and just tow overweight a little if I had to. I would be sure I had good tires that are rated for the load. Size wise the 2500s do not take a lot more space to drive or park than a 150. Every time I park mine next to a extended cab Tundra I am reminded that they are about the same size. We do have the quad cab and a 6.5' bed rather than one of the huge trucks.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:20 AM   #5
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Full Time 30'/F150 Max Tow

The F150 will probably tow it and all your bring along stuff but it will be biting off all it can chew. Once your on the road you WILL accumulate additional stuff. If you do go with the F150 make sure your hit the CAT scale right away to get the real numbers on your rig. With 1600 LBS of cargo capacity there is not a lot of reserve. The tongue weight of the 30' will likely be higher than you think. Pay attention to the rear axle capacity and the CAT scale weight.

Make sure the F150 you get has the proper tow mirrors. On the F150 I think they are a stand alone option and not included with the tow PKG. Not sure about this but I have seen many F150's with factory tow PKG and regular mirrors.

Congratulations on making the leap to full timing. Hope it goes well for you.

P.S. I would get a 2020 F250 XLT Super Cab, 6.5 Bed, 2 wheel drive and order it with the new 7.3 gas V8/Max tow PKG and call it done. You will have plenty of truck and cargo capacity for the future. Happy travels.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:08 AM   #6
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I agree with the basic thoughts above. I also moved from a 1500 to a 2500 and would NEVER go back. You do accumulate stuff that you have not listed: tools, grills, supplies, air compressor, tables, chairs, parts, etc. The list just seems to keep growing. Then there is your method of protecting all of that. The 2500 allowed me to put a real topper on, instead of a hard tonneau cover. More weight. I was at the limit or over for my 1500. No worries now.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:17 AM   #7
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How much does the "stuff" you need/want to carry weigh?
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:21 AM   #8
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Full timing w/30' trailer = 3/4T or 1T TV
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:35 AM   #9
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To get a realistic estimate of your UNBUILT F-150's payload. Take a look at this thread on the F150 forum. Has a long list of trucks with model year, trim level, engine, wheel base, and other options. F-150 payload can go from not enough, to well over 2,000 lbs. There is an excel spreadsheet with many trucks and additional ones are in posts.

I recently replaced a 2018 with a 2019 F-150. Nearly identical trucks except I dropped my bed side steps (with a soft tonneau cover in place, I never used them). Interestingly my payload went up 150 lbs, way more than what I thought the steps weighed.

Good luck on your purchases.


https://www.f150forum.com/f82/post-your-payload-332538/
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:39 AM   #10
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I tow a 27FB with a 2017 F150, payload sticker about 1650 lbs. Trailer tongue weighs 900 lbs according to the scale. Wife, myself, and large dog (400 lbs). Camp chairs, generator, ice chest, golf clubs, tool box, ladder, cleaning supplies, etc, in the truck bed. Been to Alaska and various other destinations for months at a time, over 30,000 miles.

Everything within axle GAWR spec according to CAT scales with room to spare. A well set up weight distribution hitch will move some of the payload you've calculated back onto the trailer axles. Also, the sum of the front and rear GAWR ratings (minus actual weight of your empty truck) will show true perfectly balanced payload to be one or two hundred pounds higher.

I chose the F150 as it's also my daily driver and find it difficult enough to drive and park in urban areas. A F250 or 350 hauls more stuff but a compromise when unhitched.

BTW - Rig pulls over steep grades like found in the Rocky's just fine contrary to assertions that will be made. It also stops fine and quickly enough.

Nonetheless, I predict in a few threads further you'll be advised to purchase a one ton diesel truck otherwise you'll be a deadly threat to yourself and those around you. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:51 AM   #11
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I am no advocate of 3/4 tons. I pull my 28’ with an F150. But I don’t full time. If you are full timing, I would go with at least a 3/4 ton gas just because it is beefier on the payload. You will by nature carry more stuff.

Or if you want to go with the F150 then Ford makes a Max Haul feature with a payload of near 2000lbs in the Super Crew.

I would also check out the Dodge 2500 RAM 6.4L.. Pretty nice driving truck from what I understand.

Tough decision. But the difference in cost from a 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton isn’t much. Also you can put more creature comforts on the 3/4 ton that will still give you plenty of payload such as steps to get into the truck bed; which for me is a critical feature of my next truck

But as said you will get plenty of opinions and some will say you will be a hazard on the road without a 1 ton diesel.

By the way if you do choose to go diesel look for a good used one. Will save big big bucks. We have a dealership close to where I live in WI that deals just with trucks of various types and a used diesel with 30,000 miles on it is about 15,000 less than a new one. 30,000 on a diesel is nothing. Of course the problem is finding one with everything you want on it.

And let us know what you get just for kicks.

Just a suggestion. If you go with F150:
1). Get stiffer towing tires.
2). Get a roadmaster suspension kit to eliminate porpoising. Cost about $600 installed. I had it installed on my F150 and it really helps.
3). Consider a Propride or Hensley hitch. Made a world of difference in my towing experience.
4). Consider Bilstein shocks as well.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:54 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone for your input, it's greatly appreciated. Responses follow, somewhat in order of the points brought up by all of you.

If I go with the F150 it will definitely have the towing mirrors.

A trip (or several) to the scales will certainly be in order.

My calculations tell me that I should be under the payload, with a few hundred lbs to spare, and I am also now planning to order one without at least one heavy option (the tailgate step, 40#) which would bring the payload up a small amount from what I posted yesterday. Side steps are unfortunately a requirement as my wife is barely over 5' and can't climb into the F150 without them. For the 150 I'm really looking for someone to verify or counter my calculations. Safety is very important to me, given my wife and I will be in the vehicle, and the rest of the world will be driving next to me.

Thankfully for us cost isn't a factor between the 150 or 250, as we'll be selling both of our current vehicles and the house in order to pay cash for TV and TT. The F250 optioned out the way I'd want it is only 9k more than the F150.

She still strongly prefers the F150, but after a lengthy discussion on payload and 1/2T vs 3/4T differences during a Lowe's run today (have to finish some updates to sell the house) she agreed that we should go out one day soon and drive the F150 and F250, and the Ram 1500 and 2500 all back to back, with no prejudices about size. (Chevy is out as the new ones are hideous, and the GMC is out as there's just too much chrome (we're in our 30's, chrome just doesn't do it for us)).
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvToaster View Post
T
My calculations tell me that I should be under the payload, with a few hundred lbs to spare, and I am also now planning to order one without at least one heavy option (the tailgate step, 40#) which would bring the payload up a small amount from what I posted yesterday. Side steps are unfortunately a requirement as my wife is barely over 5' and can't climb into the F150 without them.

Just FWIW,
I find the tailgate step extremely useful, I won't order a truck without one.
We have the power deployable running boards so my 5'1" wife can get into the truck and my DW loves them. Side steps to access the truck bed, if you have any type of bed cover (cap or tonneau) are useless.


I'm running a stock F150 Platinum trim, 5.5 bed. No moon roof due to weight. I think the only way to get a truck without the moon roof is to order it. I have the 3.5 EB. My SOB trailer scales in at 7k lbs and has a 7,642 GVWR. I now have over 25k miles on the trailer with this basic setup. My just received 2019 has 1,650 lb payload.


Also, if you get a Ford. Start reading up on Forscan. Software to modify the truck computers. Lets you make a number of changes. I've enabled hi-beams and fog lights simultaneously, turn off the horn honk if the engine is running (very annoying when hitching up in a CG and the door swings shut when you get out to check something. You can disable or modify how the alarm button works on the key fob, have actual trans and oil temps displayed, etc... Very active group on the F150 forum to support all this. The software is free for non-commerical use but does require one of several connectors that can be had for about $50. Also lets you read DTC codes and clear them if you want to.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:21 PM   #14
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Well, it looks like my math was off. I forgot the cap (200#), and tools and work stand for the bikes (add'l #25), and failed to subtract the weight of WDH, so I'm actually at -14# remaining payload with the F150 we spec'd.

Looks like a 3/4t is the only option unless we want to downsize the trailer.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:56 PM   #15
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Tow vehicle planning

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-a-200913.html

Recent post above on this topic.

I also moved from a capable 1/2 ton setup to a 3/4 ton for our 30’ international. I wouldn’t go back either for what it is worth... tows nice and level fully loaded. Rear axle is rated to 6,200 lbs with 75psi. I run fully loaded between 5,500 - 5,700 lbs on the rear axle with WD applied.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:00 PM   #16
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...-a-200913.html

Recent post above on this topic.

I also moved from a capable 1/2 ton setup to a 3/4 ton for our 30’ international. I wouldn’t go back either for what it is worth...
Yeah. I'm sure we could make the 1/2 ton work, but I'm worried that after dropping all that cash on a new truck we'd want to trade it in after a very short while. Might as well do it right the first time.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:05 PM   #17
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Tow vehicle planning

Yeah you don’t really know what you are missing until you move up. Doing so out of the gate is wise, especially if you are at / near you axle ratings. A 3/4 or 1 ton is a completely different animal infrastructure-wise as compared to a 1/2 ton. I’ve towed about 30k miles with a 400hp very capable 1/2 ton vehicle with 7,500lb GVWR. I wouldn’t go back...
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:16 PM   #18
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Well, it looks like my math was off. I forgot the cap (200#), and tools and work stand for the bikes (add'l #25), and failed to subtract the weight of WDH, so I'm actually at -14# remaining payload with the F150 we spec'd.

Looks like a 3/4t is the only option unless we want to downsize the trailer.

Or re-spec the truck. Get one with the Max Payload package (not the same as Max Tow) and you'll have a payload over 2000lbs. You will loose some of the creature comforts though. Ford doesn't offer max payload on the higher trim levels. Their are folks out there pulling 5vers with F150s with max payload.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:30 PM   #19
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Or re-spec the truck. Get one with the Max Payload package (not the same as Max Tow) and you'll have a payload over 2000lbs. You will loose some of the creature comforts though. Ford doesn't offer max payload on the higher trim levels. Their are folks out there pulling 5vers with F150s with max payload.
It'll be our only vehicle and we'll be spending a lot of time in it, the creature comforts are a requirement.

Not to mention there are some really nice towing goodies that you can get on a Superduty, like trailer cam and trailer TPMS built in. The only feature we like on the 150 that you can't get on a 250 is lane keeping assist, but I'm mostly interested in that as a warning that we need to pay better attention or get off the road, and the 250 has lane keeping alert which takes care of my need.

All of this is of course academic unless the wife is comfortable behind the wheel. If she's not then the entire plan may be thrown into jeopardy.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:36 PM   #20
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Tow vehicle planning

My wife prefers towing with the 3/4 ton hands down.... for what it is worth (we split driving duties)
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