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Ford F-350 6.7 V8 Diesel 4WD SRW Crew Cab & Long Bed and Towing Capacity


pamc

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Forgive the long-winded post, but we are desperate to get some solid answers!

 

We just purchased our 2014 tow vehicle in May. We want to buy a 5th Wheel and go full-time RVing in about a year’s time. (Yes, I know, we should have done the purchasing the other way around…but, alas, we didn’t – so we’re stuck)

 

The Towing Capacity posted by Ford says we can tow a loaded trailer at a weight of 15,900 lbs . Boy, did we get a rude awakening when reading the Trailer Life Towing Guide and using some of the on-line calculators. We are actually angry that Ford would so blatantly misinform its customers!

 

Even the calculators and Trailer Life have different recommended tow weights … one says 9000 lbs and another says about 11,000 lbs. You can’t get a decent full-time rig with “all-season” features even close to that weight.

 

We are at our wits end and don’t know what to do – Just purchased the truck in May, so trading it in is not an affordable option. Anybody know something we don’t and have options to suggest?

 

We realize that the rear-axle load is the most critical part of the weight limits ….

QUESTIONS:

We’ve been told that we can put air bags in rear wheel wells to help overcome any sagging issues.

What about drum brakes vs disk brakes on the trailer? Is one better than the other as far as stopping capabilities?

Are wider tires an important factor in stopping?

What is the most critical factor in determining towing capacity? If stopping is the most critical factor then disk brakes on trailer should be a factor in determining the weight of 5vr that one can pull, correct?

Ford has the built in engine brake …Is adding after-market Jake Brake to this Ford F350 effective?

 

In other words, are there other considerations and options that would increase our towing capacity?

Here are our numbers:

GCWR 23,500

GVWR 11,500

GAWR-Front 6,000 actual: 5200 weighed on scale

GAWR-Rear 7,000 actual: 3820 weighed on scale

GVW 9,020 Weighed at scale with passengers, fuel, & cargo (but no 5th wheel hitch)

Max Tow Rating 15,900

 

Here are our calculations for a 14,500 lb loaded 5th Wheel:

GCWR 23,500

- GVWR 11,500

12,000 3,900 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)

 

GCWR 23,500

-GVW 9,020 Actual truck weight GVW

14,480 1420 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)

 

Pin wt. for 14,500 lb 5ver 2,900 Pin Wt for trailer adds 2900 lbs to back of truck
14500 x 20%

+ Truck Wt 9,020

11,920 420 lbs OVER truck's GVWR of 11,500 lbs

and just 312 lbs UNDER rear-axle limit of 7000 lbs

2900 + 3788= 6688 pin Wt + rear axle wt

 

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QUESTIONS:

We’ve been told that we can put air bags in rear wheel wells to help overcome any sagging issues.

What about drum brakes vs disk brakes on the trailer? Is one better than the other as far as stopping capabilities?

Are wider tires an important factor in stopping?

What is the most critical factor in determining towing capacity? If stopping is the most critical factor then disk brakes on trailer should be a factor in determining the weight of 5vr that one can pull, correct?

Ford has the built in engine brake …Is adding after-market Jake Brake to this Ford F350 effective?

 

In other words, are there other considerations and options that would increase our towing capacity?...

Pin wt. for 14,500 lb 5ver 2,900 Pin Wt for trailer adds 2900 lbs to back of truck

14500 x 20%

+ Truck Wt 9,020

11,920 420 lbs OVER truck's GVWR of 11,500 lbs

and just 312 lbs UNDER rear-axle limit of 7000 lbs

2900 + 3788= 6688 pin Wt + rear axle wt

 

You have discovered the risk in choosing a SRW pickup to tow a 5th wheel. A DRW would have likely had a GVWR in the 13,000+ range and higher rear axle ratings. It is my understanding that no amount of after market devises will change the ratings of the truck. There have been many discussions and speculations on this and other forums about liability, denial of insurance claims and other consequences of ignoring weight ratings. While it did not involve an RV, this case involves possible criminal charges for towing a trailer that weighed more than the hitch rating, so accident investigators do look at the specifics of the tow vehicle and trailer in at least some cases.

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QUESTIONS:

We’ve been told that we can put air bags in rear wheel wells to help overcome any sagging issues.

What about drum brakes vs disk brakes on the trailer? Is one better than the other as far as stopping capabilities?

Are wider tires an important factor in stopping?

What is the most critical factor in determining towing capacity? If stopping is the most critical factor then disk brakes on trailer should be a factor in determining the weight of 5vr that one can pull, correct?

Ford has the built in engine brake …Is adding after-market Jake Brake to this Ford F350 effective?

 

Air bags will help the sag, I like them and used them on a couple trucks. Others swear by other overload devices that I can't comment on.

 

Adjusted properly both types of brakes will have the same maximum stopping force but the disks will tolerate more use in a short time period and with a good controller seem to do better at matching the truck's brakes than the electric drums on the rigs I've driven or ridden in.

 

Tire width won't make a lot of difference since you usually can't put tires a lot wider than stock on the truck or fiver. You'd only notice the difference in the few brief moments between when a narrower tire would start to slide and the wider tire would start in the same situation.

 

You can't add a Jake brake to a Ford engine, they don't (as far as I know) don't make them. if you have a built in exhaust brake that is probably as good as you'll get, without a built in exhaust brake adding one is a very good idea. Several folks make nice ones including Jacobs that also makes the Jake engine brakes for larger diesel engines.

 

 

Last and out of order, towing. You have to consider the entire system when thinking about maximum towing situations, you also need to consider your personal tolerance as what one person will tell you feels like "it isn't even back there" another person will refuse to drive a second time.

 

The numbers Ford and the other truck makers use are carefully crafted by the advertising and legal departments, engineering doesn't get much of a place in the number publishing process. First they get the numbers for a stripped truck, no options that do not add to the tow rating, then add 1/8 tank fuel, a 150 pound driver, no hitch and no cargo of any sort. But they don't stop there, then they (down in the fine print) mention 60 square feet of frontal area, a small horse trailer not an RV unless you are pulling a pop-up or teardrop.

 

They also do not consider driver comfort or stress levels. I too made a very poor truck purchase, I was under my rated weight by several hundred pounds (way less than your 3900) so being new and dumb I thought I would be happy. Failing to learn I then dumped about $3000 into trying to improve the truck, air bags, a pile of Banks Power gear and a really nice Pac-Brake. Well it set level and I could drive up and down the hill to Flagstaff without needing the front rotors turned so that part was a success. Power even with the Banks gear maxed out was marginal and the engine would over-fuel and shut down under any extra load (hill or wind) if you let the RPMs drop so we got used to running without the overdrive and often in 3rd. Stopping was not fun, I upgraded the brake controller and it improved but stopping distance was still a lot longer than I was comfortable with. I also had the brake controller set as high as possible which meant I locked the trailer tires under hard braking if there was anything on the pavement.

 

My advice is to buy a fiver you can safely and comfortably pull, if you don't you will come to hate having to move and the places you are willing to go will be limited. If that means a too small trailer for you to be happy then maybe you should just plan on trading the truck. That is going to hurt, I know how badly I got hit when I traded mine off. Worse the modifications cost me on the selling price since the buyer (and a couple lookers) correctly assumed it had been run hard and dropped their offers accordingly.

 

In your situation you might be able to shift 5% of your pin weight back onto the fiver by careful loading and limiting cargo in both the truck and trailer. That would help both your rear axle weight and the GVWR but adding in the corrections needed to get from the factory "fantasy world" numbers to real world towing numbers I think you'll still find yourself a bit short of truck with that weight trailer.

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To be blunt and to the point. You're going full time but cant afford the trade in to correct a mistake?

 

IMO, by the time you spend all the time and huge money working your way around the problem, you'll find you would have been better off taking the bath on the trade. IMO. Air bags, which are basically only for load leveling and do not care what your tires are doing, are several hundred dollars. Exhaust brake? Now you will be into huge money for something that is stock on Dodge. I have a Ram 2500 with 6.7L and exhaust brake. And in the transmissions's tow/haul mode it does work very well.

 

If you keep your ford and spend all this money to make it what you might think is right, and if I were a gambling man, I'd put money it would only last 6-12 months before you would then loose all the money you put into it as well as the trade difference. You'll be white knuckling any back road and 3 hours of cross wind will send you to the shrink for very expensive therapy. IMO.

 

I'm not talking from the hip on this. I've make this mistake a time or two in the past and just had to write it up as a very expensive life lesson.

 

Good luck in what ever you diced.

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I don't know where you got your numbers, but my 2012 F350 CC 6.7 dual has a towing capacity of about 23000#s. The spec sheet for the same 2015 shows the same 5th wheel capacity 23,300#s.

 

Edited to add: Sorry I miss read your post. didn't realize you were talking SRW. I also never realized that adding the extra rear wheels added so much towing capacity.

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I also wonder where those number came from? My 2011 F250, CC, longbed, RWD, diesel has a GCWR of 23,500 lbs and a fiver tow rating of 16,200 lbs .

Because of the pin weight limit you can't tow that much but you should be able to tow a 13,550 lbs fiver with your pickup?

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I have a Ford F350 Dually 6.7 diesel, LWB, Crew Cab, 4x4. The engine brake is very effective with a 15K to 16K trailer coming down some fairly steep grades (Monteagle in TN for example) and the towing capacity is much greater than a SRW model. My neighbor has a F350 just like yours and is already starting to regret his purchase and for many of the same reasons. He is pulling a lowboy with equipment and figured out he was way over the limits of the truck for what he wanted to do.

 

If you are pulling a fiver, bite the bullet and trade for a dually. In the end, you will be safer, more stable, able to stop better and most importantly, when things get out of shape, the life you save might be mine.

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Forget about all o the magic numbers and magic calcs. Read the manufacturers towing specs and throw all of the other mags away. The manufacturer knows more about their products than all of the mags making money from advertising and the truck expert wannabes. I saw 16,300 for your truck. You are right, you should pick the trailer first and then the truck needed to handle the trailer. If you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter how you get there.

 

http://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/

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Wandering1, That is exactly what I did, following folks that gave the same advice you do.

 

I was not happy with the result of just taking the numbers and buying a truck that was rated to tow the weight I had. If I had read all the footnotes, conditions and legal ant tracks and added in corrections for the factory's spin I'd have been a bit happier. If I had taken the time to think about what being at the maximum rated weights really meant for safety, driver's stress and just how enjoyable driving the truck would be and added some cushion to my numbers I'd have have been much happier.

 

Folks truck shopping have to pick which advice to follow or even just to buy something without regard to any of the numbers. Then they have to live with their results.

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Just to add to Wondering1 and Stanley's advice don't cut it so close. Our trailer weights about 16500, with our towing capacity of 22000#s I know I don't have any thing to worry about. As others have suggested if you are going to full time trade in the truck for one with the capacity to tow what you want.

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The only way to know for sure is to weigh the truck fully loaded and fueled and use the truck rated GVWR and GCWR.

 

GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer you can tow within ratings.

 

GVWR - loaded truck = Max loaded trailer pin weight you can tow within ratings.

 

As noted earlier, the "Towing Capacity" is for a theoretical truck that is light in weight so that the tow and payload numbers can be inflated.

 

Ken

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pamc has the numbers correct when I look at the 2014 Ford documentation that I kept when we purchased our F350 dually last year. Based on his F350 configuration the Ford documentation fifth wheel towing capacity is 15.9K with a 3.55 rear end. His point is:

 

GCWR 23,500

-GVW 9,020 Actual truck weight GVW

14,480 1420 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)

His 23.5K pound GCWR is from the manufactures documentation..

If he uses the trucks GVWR of 11.5K pounds his towing capacity is nowhere near the stated 15.9K tow rating.

Here are our calculations for a 14,500 lb loaded 5th Wheel:

GCWR 23,500

- GVWR 11,500

12,000 3,900 lbs less than quoted towing ability (15,900 lbs)

He probably purchased the truck based on the 15.9K towing capacity in the documentation.

Am I missing anything my fellow mathematicians? Greg

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What about the pin weight on the truck? My 211 F250 has a GVWR of 10,000 lbs, the truck ready to go is about 7,500 lbs and the pin weight of 2,300 lbs puts it just under the 10,000 lbs.

Ford lists in their towing guide for 2011 as GCWR at 23,500 which in the above case would limit me to about 13,500 for the fiver weight.. To me that is still to much and my fiver is just under 10,000 ready to go.

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It's also a mistake to put too much reliance on the trailer's brakes, whether disc or drum. There is only one small wire, going thru several connectors and at least one electronic device, between your battery and the trailer brakes. If any of these connectors develop corrosion or come apart or if the brake controller fails or if the one wire breaks, you have no trailer brakes at all. Will your 8000lb truck be able to stop your 15,000lb trailer? Don't really want to start the MDT/HDT argument, but they are the safest choice and can be had for no more or even less than your pick-up.

 

Rich

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Look at the footnotes and small print on the tow ratings. They leave a back door by stating something to the effect that none of the ratings are to be exceeded in towing the trailer...GVWR, GAWR or GCWR.

 

The short coming is usually the pin weight when added to the loaded truck will be over on a single rear wheel truck.

 

Read the fine print.

 

RBH, that is usually the argument to go to a MDT or HDT, but these same trucks are towing trailer with 50.000# or more and the brakes on them are not rated to stop that much weight. They too depend on the trailer brakes.

 

It is not just an issue with brakes. The brakes are meaningless unless there are tires and surface area on the pavement to take the braking force.

 

 

Ken

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Boy am I getting confused. I was always told the tag in the door had nothing to do with the towing capacity of the truck only the load capacity in the bed combined with the weight of the truck. On our 2012 F350 2wd 6.7 CC Dual Lariat the tag has a GVWR of 13300#'s. Our truck weights, with 2 people, our dog, tool box and full of fuel 8620 lbs. Deduct that from our 13300 and it give us a load capacity of 4680#'s. 1230#'s more than our pin weight of 3450's. I don't see the correlation between that and the towing capacity of the truck. Where am I going wrong?

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Ken, there is a big difference between the brake actuation on a semi rig and on our trailers. As I said, I don't want to open that can of worms but saying that we don't need to worry about braking performance because a big rig tows heavier loads doesn't make much sense to me. And, it's the better brakes combined with the greater weight of an MDT or HDT that makes the difference for us. MDT size brakes on a LDT would do no good since an un-braked trailer that weighs twice as much would simply elbow the tow vehicle out of the way even if the tow vehicles brakes were locked. The safest lash-up is a tow vehicle that weighs as much or more as the trailer and has the brakes to stop both in an emergency. The closer you can get to that ideal the safer you are.

 

Rich

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Bobi Ruby and Dick McKee, You aren't going wrong, there is no direct correlation between the two weights.

 

Carrying capacity is mostly based on what the truck weighs and can carry without popping a tire, bending something or flattening the springs. Towing and combined capacity is more about available power (which is why the 60 square foot dirty secret hurts so many folks) and drive-line durability, for a pull trailer add in the rear frame strength.

 

You do need to look at both ratings to pick something safe as neither should be exceeded and you may be happier with some cushion on both too.

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Ken, there is a big difference between the brake actuation on a semi rig and on our trailers. As I said, I don't want to open that can of worms but saying that we don't need to worry about braking performance because a big rig tows heavier loads doesn't make much sense to me. And, it's the better brakes combined with the greater weight of an MDT or HDT that makes the difference for us. MDT size brakes on a LDT would do no good since an un-braked trailer that weighs twice as much would simply elbow the tow vehicle out of the way even if the tow vehicles brakes were locked. The safest lash-up is a tow vehicle that weighs as much or more as the trailer and has the brakes to stop both in an emergency. The closer you can get to that ideal the safer you are.

 

Rich

So based on your assessment, all of the big rigs hauling our goods down the road are unsafe? None of the tractors out weigh the loads being towed.

 

Let's be realistic and compare apples to apples and not throw and orange in the mix.

 

Ken

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So based on your assessment, all of the big rigs hauling our goods down the road are unsafe? None of the tractors out weigh the loads being towed.

 

Let's be realistic and compare apples to apples and not throw and orange in the mix.

 

Ken

 

Ya they do. half of the trailer load is on the truck. We're talking with an 80,000 gross, at least 46,000 is on the truck.

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So based on your assessment, all of the big rigs hauling our goods down the road are unsafe? None of the tractors out weigh the loads being towed.

 

Let's be realistic and compare apples to apples and not throw and orange in the mix.

 

Ken

Ken, sorry but you're the one that brought semis into the conversation.

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Ken, there is a big difference between the brake actuation on a semi rig and on our trailers. As I said, I don't want to open that can of worms but saying that we don't need to worry about braking performance because a big rig tows heavier loads doesn't make much sense to me. And, it's the better brakes combined with the greater weight of an MDT or HDT that makes the difference for us. MDT size brakes on a LDT would do no good since an un-braked trailer that weighs twice as much would simply elbow the tow vehicle out of the way even if the tow vehicles brakes were locked. The safest lash-up is a tow vehicle that weighs as much or more as the trailer and has the brakes to stop both in an emergency. The closer you can get to that ideal the safer you are.

 

Rich

No me...look at Rich.

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RBH, that is usually the argument to go to a MDT or HDT, but these same trucks are towing trailer with 50.000# or more and the brakes on them are not rated to stop that much weight. They too depend on the trailer brakes.

 

 

 

 

Ken

Ken, see your quote above. Nuff said.

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