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Old 12-21-2013, 10:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Texasdiver View Post
I will have to read up on what goes into getting a 1/2 ton with max payload package. Is it just some simple changes like heavier springs and shocks that could just as easily be done after market? Or are the changes deeper than that? Because I poked around over on the F150 forums about guys doing all manner of things (airbags, added leafs, air shocks, etc.) to beef up their cargo capacity and got the sense that it is very common.
The Heavy Duty Max Payload package includes a heavy duty rear axle and springs. It is not an after market add on like airbags or bigger shocks. The option is only available on the Supercrew 6.5' box 150 and you will probably need to order the option along with the Max Tow package. Most of the stuff guys on the 150 forums are doing to their trucks are for appearance.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:40 AM   #16
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There are a lot of great ton pickups on the market, but their common achielles heel is they have limited payload and trailer tow ratings. The GVW of the 31' Flying Cloud Bunkhouse is 8,800 pounds. While the Airstream marketing literature claims a tongue weight of 885 pounds for an empty trailer with no load equalizer hitch attached, there are many on the forum whose real world tongue weight numbers exceed 1,000 pounds.

So if one is considering two young adults, the spouse and bikes and kayaks and a grill and a couple of generators and some chairs and a bed cover for lockable storage etc, what looked like a large number for a payload could be inadequate for the job.

I did a "build on line" for the Ford ton Eco-Boost with the King Ranch trim line. That trim line ate up 470 pounds of the useful load and brought it down to around 1,300 pounds when configured for towing. My existing 25FB had a 1,200 pound tongue weight and when I considered what else I wanted to carry, it lacked the necessary payload.

So before signing a contract in ink, wear out lots of pencils doing the math on all the possible tow vehicles you might like so there is no disappointment when the vehicle arrives. Also, when signing the order form, specifically write into the contract the specified payload number and if the vehicle comes onto the lot with less, you have the right to cancel the purchase order. That is an important escape clause.

Most vehicle sales folks are truly clueless on how to crunch the numbers for towing. Look for a truck dealer with lots of white vehicles on the lot and "perhaps" there is a staff member that knows how to configure commercial vehicles working there.

Good luck on your search and ask questions here. Lots of answers will be forth coming and some will be correct. Your job will be to discern truth from fiction, opinion or wishful thinking.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:28 AM   #17
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I have always discovered ways to utilize a slightly larger truck than what I need. In your case, that means I might tend to pick a 3/4 T truck since you're up towards the upper limit of 1/2 T's, based on the gross weight and hitch weight of a 30' Flying Cloud.

Regarding Gas vs. Diesel: for the number of miles you would be driving it, and the amount of those miles that will be towing, it might not be the most economical choice to get a diesel. Be sure and price oil changes and fuel filter changes when doing your calculations.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:18 PM   #18
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I have always discovered ways to utilize a slightly larger truck than what I need. In your case, that means I might tend to pick a 3/4 T truck since you're up towards the upper limit of 1/2 T's, based on the gross weight and hitch weight of a 30' Flying Cloud.

Regarding Gas vs. Diesel: for the number of miles you would be driving it, and the amount of those miles that will be towing, it might not be the most economical choice to get a diesel. Be sure and price oil changes and fuel filter changes when doing your calculations.

That is the gist of the matter. Since the truck will almost certainly come before the trailer I don't exactly know what trailer we will eventually end up with. Once I have an adequate truck and the popup is sold and out of the way we will start the longer-term project of finding the perfect trailer. That *could* mean ordering up exactly what we want new from a dealer. But it could just as easily mean buying a reasonably late model used trailer if we can find the right one within striking distance. One fear is that we end up coming across the perfect used trailer that is just pushing the limit a little bit too far for the truck we have and then have to make the hard decision about (1) overloading the truck, (2) walking away from the perfect trailer, or (3) taking the big financial bite of swapping out a recently bought truck for something larger.

From what I have read it appears that I can pretty much count on a minimum tongue weight in the 1000-1200 lb range for a loaded trailer in the size ranges we are looking at, especially if one considers the weight of the hitch system. I know I can push some of that back and forward with a good weight distribution system. But that is still over a 1/2 ton of weight before anything else is even added.

Then again I see all these photos of people hauling big airstreams with rigs like suburbans with all kinds of gear like canoes piled on top. So people are obviously making it work.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:28 PM   #19
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Some folks are unaware they are overloaded until things are checked at the accident scene.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:44 PM   #20
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One way to know when the truck argument is running out of fuel is when you start seeing warnings about liability or legal weights.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:53 PM   #21
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Some folks are unaware they are overloaded until things are checked at the accident scene.
I've driven by a lot of accident scenes in my life and I've never once seen any police out there weighing things at an accident scene.
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:56 PM   #22
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I have only seen about 2 RV crashes in my life- probably due to lack of weight distributing/anti-sway hitch combined with driving too fast for conditions. Insurance rates for RV's sure are low, indicating to me that there are not that many RV crashes. The only time I have ever even been in a close call/near miss is due to some idiot pulling right out in front and then parking on the highway in combination with other drivers going too fast and unnecessary lane changes in combination with other drivers following too closely- just bad driving habits in general by 99 out of 100 people behind the wheel.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:04 PM   #23
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[/QUOTE]"If I'm not using the truck for daily short haul use, why do you recommend gas? Just for the cost savings? I'm not exactly sure why I'm enamored with diesel but I'm guessing that a diesel truck would be happier if it is only gets weekend highway miles when not towing. My idea is that at some point we'll be doing long cross country hauls and maybe a run up to Alaska at some point so I want to get the right truck for towing and make do with it as necessary for around town provided that it doesn't actually harm the truck."

It sounds like even if you don't use the truck for the short commute you will still have a lot of city driving between trips. If you read up on the diesel forums you'll see that it is not unusual to have the oil change monitors going off in only couple thousand miles when they are used for city driving. This adds a lot of cost to operation, also this use is just asking for trouble with the particulate filter. There are a lot of technical reasons why this happens and if you are interested you can do some more research.

We use our diesel for about 40% towing and the balance rural driving. For us it is normal for the oil change monitor to go 5000 miles at least in local driving and the full 7500 miles when we are on a trip. I don't see you having an issue with a gas in 3/4 ton as far as enough power or life of the engine either if you take care of it and run it 200k or so. The 3/4 ton just gets you out of concerns with overloading your tow vehicle. As to the max payload F150 or whatever Ford calls it,when I looked at them a year or so ago, the heaviest package also had a larger rear axle not just suspension pieces. This buys you larger bearings etc sized to take the heavier load, when you start making changes to springs etc you are only dealing with part of the issues involved in carrying more weight. Generally the 3/4 ton trucks are a completely different chassis than the 1/2 ton versions, different frames etc.

Sure people exceed the tow and load rating of their tow vehicles all of the time. Just remember that if you decide to do this it should be your decision and you should make that decision with your eyes open to what you are doing. Also remember you are the one paying for the vehicle not any of us so you need to be comfortable with your decision.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
I did a "build on line" for the Ford ton Eco-Boost with the King Ranch trim line. That trim line ate up 470 pounds of the useful load and brought it down to around 1,300 pounds when configured for towing. My existing 25FB had a 1,200 pound tongue weight and when I considered what else I wanted to carry, it lacked the necessary payload.
Lariat is the highest F150 trim on which Ford offers HD Payload, you were shopping the wrong model for the purpose.

For the OP:
I think at least for 2013, HD Payload includes Max Tow by default (HD Payload is only available with a 3.73 limited-slip diff, the other 2 major components of Max Tow are relatively cheap, the integrated trailer-brake control and the extendable mirrors.)

As has been mentioned previously, you'll likely have to order HD Payload if you go the F150 route. Most people buy pickups to use as cars so dealers stock lots of short box, 3.13 or 3.31 diff trucks with cosmetic options.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #25
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Purchased the 2013 Ram 3500 Mega Cab- LOVE IT

I also had the same questions back in summer prior to buying our 2012 27FB Eddie Bauer. We wanted something with good gas mileage, roomy for the family, rides nice, has power, carry 2 large dogs, babies, and we wont grow out of. After looking at many SUV's that were at the limit of what we could tow, none of them really met our needs.

We purchased the new 2013 Dodge Ram 3500 Mega Cab. Its an entire new frame for 2013, rides soft compared to other 1 ton trucks, has ALOT of rear space (the rear seats can recline), gets 22 mpg not towing (18-20 mpg in town), 15 mpg towing, and has a big bed for the dogs (truck capper), and has crazy amount of power. Also its a non-dually.

Overkill- yes. However we have an everyday driver that is super comfortable on long hauls, has the space we need to "pack up and go", and the opportunity to grow. The problem I now have is that my 5' wife always wants to take my truck instead of her PT Cruiser :-) The other day she got clocked at 83 in a 65- her first ticket 20 years- in our truck. Don't get hung up in the whole 2500 vs 3500 leaf spring, hard ride anymore. With the new technology and frame, the 3500 just made sense to us.
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Old 12-21-2013, 01:47 PM   #26
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Our pickup is the DMAX crew cab long box model (to carry our tandem)....longest outfit out there. We're on the road 5 months a year. When unhitched, it's our daily driver. The only, only problem with it is it's size. So we avoid conjested downtowns and tight parking lots. We always park at the far end of big parking lots and take two spots.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:05 PM   #27
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You may want to investigate the soon-to-be-available Ram 1500 with 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #28
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We are away from home half the year with our Airstream. We traded a 140" wheelbase Tundra pickup for a 120" wheelbase reg cab Ram because it is comparatively inexpensive to buy and operate, but mostly because allows us to easily maneuver our Airstream in tight locations and use as a daily driver with ease and few restrictions. A ProPride hitch keeps it absolutely stable in all driving conditions.

Our next vehicle will probably be an SUV unless they continue to become outrageously expensive. If they do we'll look to the Ram 1500 with small diesel and compare. But it won't be a long wheelbase truck because we don't need it or want it.

Everyone has different needs.
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