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Old 09-13-2014, 05:14 PM   #1
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New to towing - F150 & 23FB FC

Hi!

My wife and I have been itching to buy a 2015 Flying Cloud, 23FB. We have been considering the purchase for a while, doing our homework, and are about ready to make the purchase. But, I had a question come up that I was hoping to run by the many thoughtful and experienced folks on the forum.

We have a 2013 F-150 3.5L V6 SCREW as the TV. Our F-150 comes with the trailer tow package, and the heavy duty suspension. However, it does not come with 'MAX Trailer Tow Package'. According to Ford's website, the payload for the vehicle is 1570 LBS, with a GVWR of 7200.

We thoughts this was sufficient for the 2015 FC 23FB, which has a tongue weight of 467 lbs (I've been assuming a wet tongue weight between 600-700lbs**). Math below:

1570 lbs = 700 lbs (tongue weight*) + 400 lbs (passengers) + 300 lbs (gear) + 170 lbs (other)

* The dealer has told me the weight distribution hitch will lighten the tongue weight considerably - is this true? I have assumed no.
** Thoughts on this assumption?

However, looking on the side of the driver's door of the TV, I saw the specs on the 'Tire and Loading Information', and saw that 'the combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed' 1323 lbs (photo attached). I am now concerned the TV does not have enough payload for the 23FB, and wonder if I can increase the payload by swapping out the tires for something heavier duty? Or, am I worrying too much, and will 1323 lbs be enough if we have a proper weight distribution hitch?

I've tried speaking with folks at Ford and the dealership, but have not been too successful. The dealership says I don't even need to consider GVWR, and the folks at Ford are saying my payload is 1520. Any thoughts and comments would be well appreciated.

Best,

M&D
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:54 PM   #2
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I think you have more than enough truck to pull a 23' Airstream. I would suggest a good WD hitch, tho. It will take up some of your tongue wt, and you will be much safer driving down the road.
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Old 09-13-2014, 08:36 PM   #3
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Welcome! U should b fine with that setup. Get the proper WD hitch... (It doesn't lighten the tongue load, it distributes it further forward if setup properly.

You don't "need" sway control... But you should consider the risks of not having.

Take your time when towing... You will want to keep speeds under 65. And not how often the Trans shifts on grades and flat towing. You may be able to anticipate a hill while on level ground and build a bit of momentum before your climb. On descent slow early and you may have to shift to "manual 3 or 2 gear so you can engine brake instead of riding brakes.

Make sure your trailer brakes can lock tires on gravel just before your truck locks tires. That way the trailer is assisting a little in stopping.

Have fun!
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danandmimi View Post
Hi!

My wife and I have been itching to buy a 2015 Flying Cloud, 23FB. We have been considering the purchase for a while, doing our homework, and are about ready to make the purchase. But, I had a question come up that I was hoping to run by the many thoughtful and experienced folks on the forum.

We have a 2013 F-150 3.5L V6 SCREW as the TV. Our F-150 comes with the trailer tow package, and the heavy duty suspension. However, it does not come with 'MAX Trailer Tow Package'. According to Ford's website, the payload for the vehicle is 1570 LBS, with a GVWR of 7200.

We thoughts this was sufficient for the 2015 FC 23FB, which has a tongue weight of 467 lbs (I've been assuming a wet tongue weight between 600-700lbs**). Math below:

1570 lbs = 700 lbs (tongue weight*) + 400 lbs (passengers) + 300 lbs (gear) + 170 lbs (other)

* The dealer has told me the weight distribution hitch will lighten the tongue weight considerably - is this true? I have assumed no.
** Thoughts on this assumption?

However, looking on the side of the driver's door of the TV, I saw the specs on the 'Tire and Loading Information', and saw that 'the combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed' 1323 lbs (photo attached). I am now concerned the TV does not have enough payload for the 23FB, and wonder if I can increase the payload by swapping out the tires for something heavier duty? Or, am I worrying too much, and will 1323 lbs be enough if we have a proper weight distribution hitch?

I've tried speaking with folks at Ford and the dealership, but have not been too successful. The dealership says I don't even need to consider GVWR, and the folks at Ford are saying my payload is 1520. Any thoughts and comments would be well appreciated.

Best,

M&D
That chill up your spine is telling you something that you probably don't want to hear.

That P/U truck is just not big enough for the job as it has far too little payload. The reason that the numbers on the door don't match up with the other numbers you have is most likely due to the weight of options on the truck. Every option you buy on the truck reduces your payload. The door is always right when it comes to payload. Ignore what the dealer said, and what Ford is telling you.

You are right to ask about the tongue weight of the trailer. I can't specifically help you there other than to say that your estimate might be (probably) low. AS trailers have notoriously high tongue weights. I see people talk about 1,000 lb. tongue weights all of the time. They don't discover the surprise until they get it to the scales. There is an active thread running right now about real-world tongue weights that might give you a more accurate estimate.

You are also right to discount your dealer's suggestion that tongue weight is offset by the weight-distribution hitch (WD). In fact the WD actually reduces your payload further. Some of the fancy, expensive hitches weigh almost 200 lbs.! If someone chimes in saying that the WD equipment doesn't get charged to the car, ask them if it should instead increase the tongue weight. All the WD hitch does is transfer weight towards the front of the tow vehicle. It doesn't decrease the overall weights.

Swapping out the tires won't likely effect the payload. However, an argument could be made for replacing some heavy 22" whoppers with some 17" tires with allow wheels. Perhaps the towing gods would allow you to add some payload back onto the door's number. But realistically, how much weight would you save anyway? Going to a higher load rating tire will have no effect on payload. About all you can hope to do is to ditch the spare tire. The key here is that the door's number should be treated as the gospel.

Here is a tool that I like to use when I'm trying to deal with all the variables.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...75097201,d.aWw
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by terryV View Post
I think you have more than enough truck to pull a 23' Airstream.
Yup!
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:16 AM   #6
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Get that shiny silver camper, get a WD hitch, and go campin'!
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1/2 ton truck pullin' a 30', maybe not ideal, but gittin'-r-dun four years!
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:29 AM   #7
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I wouldn't think twice about towing a 23 footer with any 1/2 ton truck. It simply won't be an issue. You do need a good weight distribution hitch, and you do need it set up properly.

Go camping, and have fun.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:40 AM   #8
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A good weight distribution hitch (with sway control) to distribute the hitch weight among the truck's axles and some to the trailer axles, and you're good to go. Load the truck lightly and forward of the rear axle, and load the trailer evenly front to rear concentrating heavy stuff over the trailer axles.

A nicely matched combination.
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Old 09-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #9
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Doug summed it up nicely.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:54 AM   #10
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Thanks everybody for the input! Sounds like it should not be an issue - Airrogant I hear you, and will be sure to always check the scales. However, we are picking the FC 23 FB in part because of the tongue weight. We will keep the truck light, load weight forward in the TV, and pack the AS accordingly.

Doug - do you have a make and model weight distribution hitch you would recommend? The TV does have the tow package, including trailer sway control.

Thanks again everyone! This helps comfort our concerns. Once we make our first trip, we will send photos!

Best,

M&D


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Old 09-14-2014, 10:00 AM   #11
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We have been towing our 23FB with a 2011 F150 Ecoboost (similar load numbers you mention) and are very comfortable with the combination. After about 1500 miles towing, we did swap our P275/55R20 tires with LT285/55R20 E-rated tires on the truck. That change was not for payload, we just that felt the stock 20's on the truck were bit soft for towing and it was about time for a change on the truck anyhow.

We usually top out our speed around 62 on the interstates and experience no problems on hills. Additionally, by our camping style we don't throw in a lot of heavy stuff in the bed, but also don't skimp on what we need to enjoy our trips!

Tom
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:12 AM   #12
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We bought the $2500 ProPride hitch, the best money we have spent on the truck and trailer. It stays on the trailer and the stinger slides into it for towing. Effortless towing, sway eliminated because all push and sway forces on the trailer are projected to the truck rear axle and stabilized, rather than leveraged to the truck steering axle where you will always know they are there.

The economical buy is an Eaz-Lift hitch with two separate friction sway control bars. The hitch will distribute tongue weight and the friction bars will resist sway forces. Very effective hitch when properly adjusted.

Everyone has a favorite.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by schkube View Post
We have been towing our 23FB with a 2011 F150 Ecoboost (similar load numbers you mention) and are very comfortable with the combination. After about 1500 miles towing, we did swap our P275/55R20 tires with LT285/55R20 E-rated tires on the truck. Tom
Hi Tom... When you switch tire types was there a noticeable difference in the towing experience? Thnxs
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:56 PM   #14
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Just FYI, there are no standards for calculating the payload. Many people make purchases based on the published payload only to realize the actual payload is much less (sometimes hundreds of pounds less). I really hope, now that the SAE towing standards are adopted by most car companies, SAE focuses on defining a payload standard. Enough people have been screwed by the lack of a standard.

Some manufacturers include a 150# driver, and some don't. Most do not include a full tank of gas/diesel. Options and accessories are not included. Ford apparently removes the spare and the rear bumper before calculating the payload (this is not a joke). GM decided to follow suit, there was an uproar, so they stopped, but Ford apparently still has that practice (they spun it like 'our customers want that' or something).

The most accurate way is to go to CAT scale and weigh your truck and subtract the value from GVWR.

I think your setup is fine, unless you travel VERY heavy.
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