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Old 03-15-2007, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pulling 5TH wheel

Iam getting ready to start pulling a 35 foot 5th wheel with my 250, anything I need to check out before towing? I have never pulled with my f250 before....
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

You might want to scroll down to the towing forum and ask there.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

You might check the weight. Thats a heavy trailer for a 250.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

I pull a 32ft. fiver with my 350 and eventually added air bags to the rear suspension, it made a big improvement.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

Unless you have found a very skinny 5er, you are technically overweight on both GVWR of the truck and GCWR of the lash up. My .02
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

Add a larger trans cooler to protect your trans. T
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

Depending on the trailer, I agree with the others, you might be over weight. They do make some very light "ultra light" units these days. So I'm not going to jump to conclusions on that one...rv salesmen will sometimes say anything to sell a unit.

With that being said, make sure to give yourself plenty of stopping room. Make sure you got your brake controller dialed in. I like to do some slow rolling easy stops as I pull out of the neighborhood and dial it in so that it grabs, but doesn't "jerk" the truck. You will feel it if set too high. You also don't want to step on the brakes and not feel it grab. Play a little bit and you will figure out what feels good.

I don't like using grease on my fifth wheel plate because it seems to "jump" off the plate and get on whatever I am wearing. So I like to buy the polymer lube plates - they are merely white plastic plates that you slip up on your king pin on the trailer and act as the lube between the fifth wheel king pin and hitch plate. Just put some grease on the pin itself and that is it. Much cleaner and doesn't seem to get on all my clothes.

I've heard great things about ride-rite air springs, and am considering picking a set up. Depending on where you are driving (hilling, hot, etc). The additional trans cooler might be a good thing. So far, I don't see much above 170 for a trans temp pulling my 5er (see sig), so I haven't considered it. That is even in the mountains when it is 95+ degrees.

Practice your wide turns when you make right 90 degree turns. They take a little practice to keep it in the road/lane and not go over the curb!

In general, take it easy for those first few runs until you comfortable with it! Everything takes longer - speeding up, and especially slowing down, lane changes, etc. It won't take long and you will be feeling more confident.

Finally, for backing it up, bring some two way radios (walkie-talkies) and have someone guide you if you need help. Make sure to use drivers side and passengers side instead of "left" or "right". Then there is no misinterpretation. It doesn't take long and backing up becomes no big deal. But the first few times can be a bit of work. We've all been there, so don't worry about it!

Sorry this is so long...good luck and have fun!

MM
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

For some time, I pulled my 32' 5'ver (see sig) with a 2000 F-250 CC SWB truck....which I traded for the F-350 LWB CC now in my sig. Here's why:

1. My TRUCK was overloaded...above the GVW, even though I was just below the max axle load on both front and back axles. This doesn't matter much until some idiot cuts you off for an exit or a deer runs out in front of you...or some such thing which WILL happen if you keep towing long enough. When an emergency situation occurs, and there's nothing you can do to stop another driver, you are much safer if you are below (way below is even better) the gross weights.

2. The problem is not climbing hills or mountains, it's going down them. The F-350 dually's have 4:10 rear ends and that little change makes a big difference on the downslopes. Your trailer, most likely, has electric drum brakes, and they will fade long before the disc brakes on your truck. Step on-and-off the brakes going downhill so the drums on the 5'ver don't get hot. On really nasty mountain passes (when I can't avoid them), I get down into 3rd or even 2nd gear and creep down... on-and-off the brakes.... with an eye on the engine revs. I can always go into the ditch (or side of the mountain or escape lane) if I lose brakes if I'm going slow.

3. The longer the 5'ver, the more the 5'ver wheels cut inside on turns. You'll likely run over some curbs figuring out how much your rig cuts inside the truck radius. Practice this because a tree in a campground will bring it to you attention if you forget it.

3. A SWB truck is likely, sometime in its life, the have the front corner of the 5've hit the back quarter panel of the truck in a tight turn (or tight backing turn) and likely also break out the rear window of the truck.

You need to weigh your rig and know what all the axle weights are, and the total weight. Remember that most trailer brakes are NOT automatic adjusting and you have to manually adjust them.

Your truck will pull fine on level ground....but it will take a lot longer to stop it than you are used to. Try to get your head out several hundred yards ahead of your rig and be ready to evade or slow down. That said, you will still get caught in a dangerous situation sometime and I hope you are able to handle it. It will take you a lot longer to slow from 60 to 40 than from 40 to 20, even though in both instances you are dropping your speed by 20MPH.

I've been towing since I was in college and I have 3 such events burned in my mind. That's why I tow at 60 on multi-lane roads and 55 on two-lane roads.

All that said, I prefer towing a 5'ver to all other types of RV's and I've owned them all. And I expect you will get a lot of enjoyment out of using it.

Good luck with your new adventure.

Florida Ed
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

Keep stuff out of the bed of the truck, at least lighter stuff, the vacuum it creates will suck things right out of there.

Many other good tips above, is it an aluminum frame or stick built? You should be allright with the 250, but check the weights out and see what the thing scales in at and what your truck is rated for. What kind of hitch are you going with? The slider types are nice for backing and getting into place.
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

FloridaEd, well said. A 2001 F250 has a GVWR of 8800lbs and a GCWR of 20000LBS. Any one can go over those numbers, but is it a good idea? Screaming WHOA won't help one slow down. My only addition is possibly an exhaust brake.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

[ QUOTE ]
FloridaEd, well said. A 2001 F250 has a GVWR of 8800lbs and a GCWR of 20000LBS. Any one can go over those numbers, but is it a good idea? Screaming WHOA won't help one slow down. My only addition is possibly an exhaust brake.
jgr

[/ QUOTE ]

After going to the AutoZone website & checking, I found that I can buy exactally the same brake pads for the 2001 F250 and the 2000 F350 SRW. How is one going to stop so much better then the other if the brakes are exactally the same and the bodies are the same & the tires are the same?
Both also have the same engine and transmition.
Please explain, I really don't understand.
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
FloridaEd, well said. A 2001 F250 has a GVWR of 8800lbs and a GCWR of 20000LBS. Any one can go over those numbers, but is it a good idea? Screaming WHOA won't help one slow down. My only addition is possibly an exhaust brake.
jgr

[/ QUOTE ]

After going to the AutoZone website & checking, I found that I can buy exactally the same brake pads for the 2001 F250 and the 2000 F350 SRW. How is one going to stop so much better then the other if the brakes are exactally the same and the bodies are the same & the tires are the same?
Both also have the same engine and transmition.
Please explain, I really don't understand.

[/ QUOTE ]
This question about 2001 (maybe 2002) F250 and F350 SRW truck being the same has been hashed many times. There is no difference other than the 'paper' rating and emblem on the side of the vehicle. I went to Ford and asked about improving the rear suspension on my F250 and he pulled the specs for the F250 and F350. The springs were the same PN.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

the RV weight is 10,000 poonds.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
FloridaEd, well said. A 2001 F250 has a GVWR of 8800lbs and a GCWR of 20000LBS. Any one can go over those numbers, but is it a good idea? Screaming WHOA won't help one slow down. My only addition is possibly an exhaust brake.
jgr

[/ QUOTE ]

After going to the AutoZone website & checking, I found that I can buy exactally the same brake pads for the 2001 F250 and the 2000 F350 SRW. How is one going to stop so much better then the other if the brakes are exactally the same and the bodies are the same & the tires are the same?
Both also have the same engine and transmition.
Please explain, I really don't understand.

[/ QUOTE ]
This question about 2001 (maybe 2002) F250 and F350 SRW truck being the same has been hashed many times. There is no difference other than the 'paper' rating and emblem on the side of the vehicle. I went to Ford and asked about improving the rear suspension on my F250 and he pulled the specs for the F250 and F350. The springs were the same PN.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ed went from a gasser to a diesel and I would think that lower his GVWR but don't know for sure.

The only thing that might make a differance between a 250 or 350 is if you get the tow command system or the tow boss package .

Seems every year Fords gets better tow ratings and what they change between years is hard to see the differance , [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img]
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Old 03-26-2007, 02:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Pulling 5TH wheel

My original tow rig was a 93 F250 with the 351 gas. It was more than enough for the 6800 pound 29 foot bumper pull I started out with. But as things go i traded up for a 2001 Prowler 5ver. It sat in the back for almost 3 months untill I found the 96 F350 in my sig. That first 32ft fiver was 12,360 pounds with 2,800 of that on the hitch. I would never attemp that on a single rear wheel truck with the 5ver wider by almost a foot on each side. One missjudgememnt of a tight exit ramp and that 5ver would have eaten the F250 as it rolled in under the 5veronce the rear tires of the truck broke loose and it jack knifed.

The thing you gain most from a dually is stability in corners and in wind and others. Don't get me wrong I see hundreds or F250 pulling some pretty large 5vers but you would never see me doing it.
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