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Weight Question - Towing Keystone Montana High Country 294RL with Ford F-250


jamity
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Hi - I posted this one the Escapee FB page and was advised to post it here. Thank you!

We've just purchased a 2021 34' Montana High Country 295RL (14,300 lb. GVWR) and a 2021 7.3L Ford F-250 (10,000 lb. GVWR with 14,700 lb. towing capacity) and have been checking all the numbers again and getting conflicting results and lots of unanswered questions. Based on one calculator, with our factory-supplied numbers, we're over 121 lbs. on the GCVWR.

What we can't figure out is the likelihood of us actually being overweight on the road. As everyone says, water is heavy and you don't travel with a full tank, but we do want the option of boondocking and might sometimes need to travel with water, so should we be factoring a full tank into our fifth wheel's GVWR?

Also unclear is whether the fifth wheel can ever safely be over its GVWR, even parked. Is passenger weight part of the "carrying capacity" (3,065 lb. in our model), or is carrying capacity only what is being hauled down the road? Do we need to leave 300 lb. "free" for passengers while camping? If so, and that weight transfers to the truck during travel days, that might bring us under weight for towing.

We're also having trouble calculating the hitch/pin weight. Keystone says the hitch weight is 2,300 lb., but we're assuming that is based on the shipping weight and will go up if we're fully loaded. That seems to be about 20% of the unloaded shipping weight of 11,235 lb., so should we expect the hitch weight to be 20% of the GVWR (about 2,860 lb.) when fully loaded?

We've read dozens of articles, used every calculator and app we can find, and just become more confused. We thought this 3/4-ton truck and "lightweight" Montana High Country combo would work based on our prior research, but are scrambling now to make sure that's 100% right before we have the hitch mount installed in the truck this week.

Thank you for any help/opinions you can provide!

Edited by jamity
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  • jamity changed the title to Weight Question - Towing Keystone Montana High Country 294RL with Ford F-250

You need to fill the trailer with your gear and the amount of water you would haul. Now go weight the whole rig at the cat scale then unhook the trailer and weight just the truck. Now you can calculate the weights to see where you are. Remember just because you can pull it doesn't mean you can control the rig in an emergency situation.

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1 hour ago, durangodon said:

IMO, that is not enough truck for that trailer.  However, I see lot's of similarly loaded rigs going down the highway at 75 mph with no consequences.

Good luck with your new rig.

I agree not enough truck especially if your carrying a full tank of water or waste. And then a half tank of water is bad in sloshing back and forth.

Go to the scales to verify. Actual weight when you parked with the jacks down is not a concern

Regarding durangodon statement. If you follow the 75 mph person long enough you will find a RV at the side of the road as the 65 MPH rated tires give up with consequences.

Clay

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Best advice is to load the unit as ready to camp and get your real weights.  Loaded, you pin weight will be closer to 2900# than the brochure weight.  The 14,700# tow rating on the truck is a maximum and based on a base model and no passengers, no cargo and no hitch.  All of these items reduce you maximum tow rating.

You need to be more concerned with the trucks payload capacity and the rear axle weight rating.  Get the truck weighed and see what weight is on the rear axle.  on the door jamb, there is a sticker that provides the payload capacity and rear axle GAWR.  Using the actual rear axle weight, add the estimated (2900#) pin weight, add the hitch (unless it was already in the truck).  Are you under the stickers rear axle GAWR?

As for 75 mph, forget it.  Lots of the RVs are shipped with tires that have a speed rating of 65 mph.  

Ken

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what is legal, and really possible are two completely different numbers, sure you can safely tow well over the gcwr of any truck.

but... get stopped by that cop and your month is shot. or have a accident ( not even your fault) and your insurance co can say sorry your account is void.

every truck out there is made stronger than the rating says, it's a liability thing to protect the manf. only. (most all 3/4 ton frames are the same as the 1 ton frames, only the springs and sticker are not, some 1 tons do get better brakes).

but if you are going to tow on the heavy side. even under your gcwr then UP - grade the bakes.

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On 4/12/2021 at 7:48 AM, jamity said:
 a 2021 34' Montana High Country 295RL (14,300 lb. GVWR) and a 2021 7.3L Ford F-250 (10,000 lb. GVWR with 14,700 lb. towing capacity)

I like to advise folks to 80% of their vehicles factory rating.  For your towing cap of 14,700 lbs, I would look at/under 11,760 lbs. Your choice as to what you would do.  Can your truck pull it, probably.  Can your truck handle it in an emergency situation, probably.. not.  Myself, I can pull 18,400 lbs.  I try to keep my camper at/under 14,720 lbs even though I can easily handle 18,400.  In the end, it's up to you and your insurance when you can't stop quick enough to prevent damage to another vehicle (not to mention yourself and others in your vehicle).  Can your conscience and wallet handle the consequences of an OH SHYTE moment? 

Edited by NDBirdman
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On 4/12/2021 at 8:48 AM, jamity said:

Also unclear is whether the fifth wheel can ever safely be over its GVWR, even parked. Is passenger weight part of the "carrying capacity" (3,065 lb. in our model), or is carrying capacity only what is being hauled down the road? Do we need to leave 300 lb. "free" for passengers while camping? If so, and that weight transfers to the truck during travel days, that might bring us under weight for towing.

I'm not sure what "carrying capacity" means.  Look at the pillar inside of the driver's door.  There is a sticker that probably reads something like:  "The combined weight of cargo and occupants should never exceed ___ kg or ___ lbs."  (That what it says on my F350 dually). In your case that is the GVW (10,000#) minus the curb weight (truck plus fuel).  If that number is 3065# you are likely under trucked.  That 3065# number does not include anything that is in the truck that was not there when it left the factory except fuel.  So passengers, dogs, coffee cups, purses, maps, stuff in the bed, etc., all count against it.  The hitch weight counts against it.  Any aftermarket items (tonneau, aux fuel tank. etc.) count against it.  If you have no accessories and 300# of passenger with 20# of stuff (I'm betting there is more) you have 2745# for pin weight and hitch.  So if your 2,860# pin number is over even if you ignore the safety margin of 20%.

This calculation does not consider the gross axle weight ratings (GAWR). Ford appears to hide that number well but it should be on one of the door stickers.  Here is what Ford says about this issue:

"Be sure the addition of tongue load or king pin weight does not cause the key towing vehicle weight limits (GVWR and Rear GAWR) to be exceeded. Remember, GVWR and GAWR are found on the vehicle’s Safety Compliance Certification Label. If either of these limits is exceeded, you should go with a larger vehicle or a smaller trailer."  From "Ford RV & Trailer Towing Guide" p.44 (I added the boldface emphasis.)

We did this dance when we bought our 5er.  We started with both truck and RV sales people telling us, "Sure a 250 diesel is enough.  As you can see below, we have a 350 dually.  If I had it to do over it would be a 450

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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My apologies.  When I read "carrying capacity" I assumed you were referring to the truck.  The RV will handle weight up to its carrying capacity.  That does not include occupants.

My comment bout the truck still stands although the 3065# doesn't relate to the truck.  The F-250 payload numbers are close to that number.  The only way to accurately measure pin weight is to weigh the loaded vehicle.  That doesn't help you if you are trying to decide which truck you want. 

Weight of the trailer transferring to the truck does not affect towing capacity - it didn't go away, you are still pulling it and it will still push you when you try to stop.  The weight of occupants will not be part of towing weight unless the people are in the trailer - Bad idea.  The occupants will be part of the payload.

For better estimates from us post the numbers from the door plates.  There are many different possibilities depending upon your vehicle configuration and accessories.  I still think the truck is iffy or worse.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

 

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