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Old 07-17-2005, 04:48 PM   #1
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Ford F-150 4x4 Crew Cab TV?

I am about to buy a 2006 25' Safari that, as equipped, has a dry weight of 5385#. I this too much trailer for my 2003 Ford F-150 4x4 Crew Cab 5.4 Ltr V8 with factory towing package (trans cooler etc.). The specs on this truck show a Max GCWR of 12500# and a Max trailer weight 7100#. Curb weight for this truck is listed as 4655# but doesn't specify what size engine that is with.

Assuming fluids (gasoline, water, propane etc.), passengers and gear, all seems to calculate within the limits but it will be close. What are your thoughts on this rig considering some travel in the Rockies?
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Old 07-17-2005, 05:17 PM   #2
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Ford F-150 4x4 Crew Cab TV?

Greetings Buzzy4!

Welcome to the Forums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzy4
I am about to buy a 2006 25' Safari that, as equipped, has a dry weight of 5385#. I this too much trailer for my 2003 Ford F-150 4x4 Crew Cab 5.4 Ltr V8 with factory towing package (trans cooler etc.). The specs on this truck show a Max GCWR of 12500# and a Max trailer weight 7100#. Curb weight for this truck is listed as 4655# but doesn't specify what size engine that is with.

Assuming fluids (gasoline, water, propane etc.), passengers and gear, all seems to calculate within the limits but it will be close. What are your thoughts on this rig considering some travel in the Rockies?
Based on my experiences with a similar setup, I would be very cautious about proceeding. The Gross Weight of my '64 Overlander International is 6,100 pounds when it is loaded for a typical trip -- it has 900 pounds less in its empty weight state than the coach you are considering. My previous tow vehicle was a K1500 Z-71 Chevrolet Club Cab pickup with full heavy duty trailer towing package and 5.7 liter V8 -- it was EXTREMELY underpowered for comfortable travel in the Rocky Mountains -- was struggling to maintain more than 20 MPH when traveling through the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 with the Overlander in low gear.

My suggestion would be to look at the GVWR rating of the coaches that you are considering and try to stay below 80% of the trailer tow rating of your tow vehicle if you are considering regular trips into the Rocky Mountains. Remember that the published empty weight of the coach doesn't include options, accessories, or fluids -- you may find that the actual coach as optioned may be several hundred pounds heavier. I strongly suspect that you would have a real challenge to keep the loaded ready to travel weight of the coach much below 7,000 pounds (I know that I would based on my Overlander as my empty weight is 4,440 pounds with 1,660 pounds added for fluids and personal possessions).

Good luck with your research!

Kevin
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:36 PM   #3
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It may be time to move up to a 3/4 ton vehicle. As mentioned, you are really close to the 80% rule of thumb everybody on this forum tries to adhere to. Where did that rule of thumb come from? Beats me, but it makes sense from a safety factor. You really would only leave about 300# for fluids and passengers in the truck. That's is unrealistic if you are going to stay reasonably close to the 80% rule. If you plan on keeping your truck for more than a couple of more camping seasons, you might want to look at a 22' AS.

I opted for a 3/4 ton diesel just so I wouldn't have to worry about hills, mountains, or being confined to the right most lane on the interstate with a 30' Safari. I also keep a truck for 10 years and don't want the last six of them to be spent at the repair shop. Truck payments are cheaper and a lot more satisfactory than repair bills, not to mention their impact on long awaited vacations.
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Old 07-17-2005, 07:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice

Thanks for your quick reply. I have seen enough to know what I didn't want to admit. I need an F-250 with a Turbo Diesel.

Regards,
Buzzy4
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Old 07-17-2005, 08:54 PM   #5
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Buzzy4 -- Good conclusion there! I own a 2004 Nissan Titan, a model that I believe pushed Ford into the inflated "Towing Capacity" claims as they introduced their new F-150. 9000 pounds -- WOW! At the time I had a 4000# empty weight Argosy. As you can see I am also heading for a 25' Safari. My decision on the Titan is looking a bit anemic. These 5.4L engines (Ford's & Nissan's) are great and have all that power. But a half-ton is a half-ton is a half-ton....

A stable tow requires tongue weight to be 10-15% of the overall trailer weight. Figure closer to 15%. Also look at http://www.airstream.com/product_lin...aq.html#weight

It is critical to look at the tow vehicle's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Restriction) -- as it stands alone! Now the Titan's "Vehicle Load Weight Capacity" (Useful Load) is as high as 1641# in the simplest form, and my 4WD King Cab's is only 1367#, while a 4WD Titan Club Cab's is as low as 1202#. At the F-150's website I see that Ford's 4X4 Club Cab has a "maximum payload" of 1530#. That vehicle has a 30 gallon tank I see -- okay, 189#. Your various options weigh: (fill in the blank). A truck cap weighs: (fill in the blank). You and your partner are a charitable 350#. By the way, did you actually put anything in the bed of the truck? All of a sudden the maximum tongue weight must be under 700# and your gross trailer weight must be something under 5000#.

So, yes, I definitely am loading light after I get my new trailer. Once I settle into the finances of that purchase I am looking at a 3/4-tonner for sure (gotta love those Power-Strokes, though the Allison trannys start a whole 'nother argument). But you are ahead of the game because you didn't upgrade from your 2003 to a 2006 F-150. The GVWR for an F-250 is still somewhat finite -- an F-350 will carry anything but the suspension is mighty hard on an Airstream belle! Congrats on a well considered decision!!

Live Aloha,
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