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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm sure this has been discussed extensively, but I'm having a hard time finding the concrete answer. Either that or I'm just not comprehending it correctly.

My questions are: How is towing capacity calculated? And how much with this rig tow?

The truck specs are: 1996 or 1997 7.3psd, CCLB, 4x4, auto vs. manual, 3:55 vs 4:10 (stock only)

My family and I are looking to purchase a 5th wheel with a Unloaded Vehicle Weight of 12,440 lbs.

Thank you for the help!
 

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At the very minimum you are going to need a F350 dual wheel drive truck if not more.

You will put another 2000 lbs into that trailer and truck by the time you decided to drive it down the road. Water, fuel, food, and everything else adds up real quick.

https://www.thedieselstop.com/faq/9497faq/geninfo/95ttg/16.php3
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. On the chart provided It shows the same 12,500 lbs for the drw and srw amd a 20,000 gcwr.

I know a cclb weighs about 5300 lbs.

5300 (truck) + 12,440 (5th wheel) = 17,740 lbs. That's 2,260 lbs under the chart figure of 20,000.

What am I missing?
 

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Your curb weight is off. My single wheel 4x4 comes in at over 6K empty.

You also have to figure that the trailer weight you are looking at is empty. No water, propane, food, clothing, beading, and junk. All that stuff adds up in a hurry.
At the very least you need to fill up the water tank and add the propane to the trailer and then go weigh it to see just what it really weights. Don't just go by the brochure or the salesman or even the plate riveted or stuck to the trailer.

Also for a trailer that big you want a dual wheel truck. Yes, a single one will pull it but what are you planning on doing if a tire should blow out? I had a friend that thought that his single wheel 4x4 was pulling his trailer just fine until that happened. Both the truck and trailer were totaled. Him and his wife were lucky to walk away from it
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We are looking for at a 5th wheel for a full time living situation, not for taking road trips or camping. We live in Florida so we are not worried about climbing or descending steep grades. For what it's worth; the 5th wheel's we are looking at have their own braking systems. We simply need to haul the 5th wheel from a dealership to an RV site. While we tow it, it will not have any water/waste tanks full, or any generators or extra equipment like that, and it will not have all of our stuff like clothes, food, etc. until we are connected at our sight and begin to move in.

One particular 5th wheel model has an Unloaded Vehicle Weight of 12,440 lbs
My wife, kids, dog and myself weigh in at: 450 lbs (however we have another vehicle that my family can be transported in if we travel)
What I've recently read is that the 1997 F350 CC LB 7.3 4x4 srw weighs in at 7100 lbs.
Will have a toolbox in the truck bed, lets say it adds 200 lbs with what I have.

adding these figures together = 20,190 lbs if my family is in the cab while towing the 5th wheel

The numbers I've seen show GCWR of 20,000 for a 1997 f350 7.3 CC LB 4x4 w/4.10 gears

So I'm over by 190 lbs, or 1% of the suggested GCWR

All of this considered; it seems to be common consensus that the GCWR suggested by Ford are set artificially low for liability reasons, and that insurance companies use them as well when evaluating a claim. Also, there are multiple posts on various sites suggesting that obs F350 7.3 can haul 16k, 18k, 20k lbs. no problem.

I've read that there are modifications one can make to add some towing capacity, or payload capacity to a truck. Like better rated tires for example: going from rear tires rated at 3000 lbs to 3400 lbs would be an increase of 800 lbs total rating for the rear. Some other info about "overloading" the rig is that a good trans cooler, and an upgraded turbo will go a long way when exceeding the GCWR of 20,000 lbs. I've seen this info repeated on multiple sites.

TL;DR

We want a 1997 F350 7.3psd CC LB 4x4 with 4.10 gears to haul a maximum potential 14,100 lbs across flat land. We don't want a dually. And do not plan to travel far, if at ever hauling this 5th wheel.

Looking for your thoughts on the possibilities, safety, needed upgrades, ets.

Thank you!
.
 

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5th wheels are rated different then TT or any bumper pull because of the added wind drag and the rear axle weight. Your limiting factor will be the SRW sterling 10 1/4 rear end. Fords manual says CC auto 7.3 auto can tow a 13,400 5th wheel but that puts around 2600 extra over the rear axle. I had a 97 and towed a 5th wheel and had a very detailed ford towing guide that I cant find any more. It listed everything and my truck was always limited by rear axle weight. Nothing you can do to change the towing capacity of the truck unless you get a modified title and find some shop to agree the mods done add towing capacity. Buy the best rear tires with the highest pound rating and go for it. One thing I found out talking to the DOT police in my area is they don't have a clue, if the truck doesn't look overloaded you give them no reason to pull you over.
 

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My 95 f250 with the 4EOD sees around 22k commonly in during the summer. It hauls hay or tractors at that weight just fine, but it is by no means a speed demon.
 
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