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General Information
How to Order
During Your Order
At Delivery Time

Oil Change
Automatic Transmission
Coolant System
Rear Differential
Fuel System
Transfer Case/4x4 System
Part Numbers

Trouble Spots
Unsolved Mysteries

Tips and Tricks
Trailer Tow Mirror Lights
New FoMoCo Cupholders
Torque Converter Diagrams
Turbo Bolt Wiring

Frequently Asked Questions
Where should I get Fuel?
How long does it take to break in?
Why should I get a diesel?
How much can I legally haul?
What is a good price?


How Much can I Legally Haul?

SmokeyWren anwsers this question with a great explanation.

Smokey Sez:

It’s very easy to order too light a pickup or truck to do what you intend to do. Before you order, understand exactly what the weight ratings will be on your rig, and understand how that applies to the load you plan to haul or tow. There are three weight ratings you need to understand.

GVWR - Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GCWR - Gross Combined Weight Rating

Max trailer weight

The GVWR is the maximum a loaded vehicle can weigh, with fuel, passengers, luggage, "stuff" in the cab and in the bed, tool box, trailer hitch(s), and trailer hitch weight on the 5th-wheel hitch or on the receiver hitch. The payload is the difference between the GVWR and the empty but "wet" truck before you add driver, passengers, luggage, cargo, and hitch weight. [Wet means full of fuel and all other fliuds needed to drive the truck).

A wet SuperDuty with a PowerStroke diesel (PSD) engine weighs about 6,000 pounds for the lightest regular-cab short-bed 4x2 pickup with no options, to almost 7,000 pounds for an XLT CrewCab single-rear-wheel (SRW) 4x2 with an automatic transmission, up to over 7,500 pounds for a loaded Lariat CrewCab dually 4x4.

The GVWR for an F-250 SuperDuty is 8,800 pounds. So the XLT CrewCab mentioned above would have a payload of only about 1,800 pounds, or a little more than three-quarters of a ton. (Mybe that’s why they call it a three-quarter-ton pickup".) For two people and their luggage and "stuff" and a full toolbox with a combined weight of about 1,000 pounds, that leaves only 800 pounds for the gross weight of a camper or for hitch weight of a trailer. Believe it - 800 pounds is not much of a camper, and only 800 pounds hitch weight is not much of a 5th-wheel trailer - although you could pull a reasonable-size tag-along trailer over 7,000 pounds GVWR that has a hitch weight of less than 800 pounds.

But keeping the weight of passengers and gear down to 1,000 pounds will be a real challenge to some travelers. If the driver and passengers and gear weighs 1,800 pounds, then you will be traveling at your truck’s GVWR without any camper or trailer hooked on. And for your own safety you never want to exceed your rig’s GVWR.

Note: The Ford 2000 RV and Trailer Towing Guide includes a chart for maximum weight of slide-in campers. But the raw numbers in that chart are misleading, even wildly optimistic, if you don’t read and apply all the fine print. For example, the chart shows an F-250 PSD Crewcab 4x2 could haul a camper that weighs up to 1703 pounds. But after reading the fine print and doing a lot of calculations, you will determine that the real practical weight limit on a camper for that pickup would be less than 800 pounds.

An F-350 SRW has a GVWR of 9,900 pounds, or 1,100 pounds more than the F-250. So with a curb weight of about 8,500 for your truck with passengers and minimum gear, that would leave about 1,400 pounds of camper weight or hitch weight. Which means a light camper, a small to medium-sized 5er, or a very nice tag-along trailer.

The big boy, a "one-ton Dooley" has a GVWR of 11,200 pounds and weighs about 7,500 pounds, for a gross payload of about 3,700 pounds. Subtract 1,000 pounds for people and minimum stuff , and that leaves about 2,700 pounds for camper or hitch weight. Nice camper, or nice medium-size 5er, or a huge tag-along .

If you have (or plan to have) a heavier camper or 5er (or gooseneck trailer), then you’ll need to move up to a bigger truck so you can remain within the GVWR of your rig.


The GCWR is the maximum combined weight of your loaded tow vehicle and the loaded trailer. The GCWR of all PSD SuperDuty F-250 and F-350 pickups is 20,000 pounds. The GCWR of your rig, minus the curb weight of the loaded truck, tells you the maximum weight of the loaded trailer you could pull if you didn’t have to also consider GVWR.

Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight

The maximum loaded trailer weight of a tag-along (conventional) trailer you can pull with a receiver hitch is 10,000 pounds with any PSD truck . So you don’t have to worry about GCWR if you are hooking up to a conventional trailer with a PSD with single rear wheels. With a dually, the most the loaded truck could weigh is 10,000 pounds before you hooked up to the 10,000-pound trailer.

To figure out how much 5th-wheel or gooseneck trailer you can pull while staying within the GCWR of your rig, load the truck up with a full tank of fuel (i.e., a "wet" truck) then add all the tools and luggage and "stuff" and driver and passengers that will be in the truck while you’re towing your trailer. Then take the loaded truck to a scale and find out how much it weighs - i.e., the curb weight. 8,000 pounds? 9,000 pounds? More than that? Subtract that weight from 20,000 pounds, and that will give you the maximum weight of the loaded trailer you can pull (considering only GCWR, but note that you must also consider GVWR of the tow vehicle!)

Note: The Ford 2000 RV and Trailer Towing Guide includes a table of maximum loaded 5th-wheel trailer weights. But that table has been known to be misleading, even wildly optimistic, so use it as a very rough guide only and subtract about 1,500 pounds from the weights in the guide. For example, that table says the maximum loaded trailer weight for an F-250 CrewCab SRW 4x2 with PSD and automatic transmission is 13,400 pounds. That assumes that the loaded F-250 tow vehicle with passengers and gear weighs only 6,600 pounds. Which is ridiculous, because my wet truck with hitches and empty aluminum tool chest, but without any passengers or gear or tools, weighs 6,920 pounds. So the real-world max 5th-wheel trailer weight for that F-250 would be about 12,000 pounds or less, depending on the number of passengers and tools, etc.

And that’s only if you consider the GCWR without considering the GVWR of the tow vehicle. With an F-250, you will bump up against the GVWR of the truck long before you will have to be concerned with the GCWR. Because the hitch weight of a 5th-wheel or gooseneck trailer is about 20 to 25 percent of the total trailer weight, if you have only 800 pounds remaining for hitch weight before you hit the GVWR of your F-250, then the maximum trailer weight you can pull is less than 5,000 pounds - nowhere near the 12,000 pounds you would compute if you were figuring only GCWR.