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Old 07-05-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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Looking to buy but need help

Hello forum members. I am looking to buy a 2011 StarCraft Autumn Ridge 297BH. I know this is a Jayco forum but the StarCraft is a close family member. My TV is 2005 Ford F150 Crew 4x4. On the driverís side door and on the sales sticker it says my tow rating is 7200. When I look it up in the ford tow guide it says 9200. The TV unloaded VW is 5360, hitch weight is 680, and gross VW is 7500. I canít wait to join this community I just donít want to buy "too much" RV and then need to buy a new truck in a year. Let me know if you need any more details. PLEASE HELP.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Jayco Forum!!! Glad to have you here!!!!

I have a 2006 F150 Crew Cab that is rated at 9400lbs.
I have 3:73 gears which gives a bit more towing than someone with 3:55 gears, so I would recommend looking into what gears you have.
I would say you can tow the trailer going by your weights, but can you do it safely and easily?
The general rule of thumb is to stay at 80 - 85% of tow capacity.
Do you have a brake controller? Are you planning to purchase any kind of weight distribution system? How many people will be in the tow vehicle to add more weight? Does your truck have a tranny cooling system?
All of these add to you choice and if you can safely and easily tow this trailer.

The short answer from me is "Yes you can do it, but.................."
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:49 PM   #3
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I will be purchasing an Equalizer hitch. My gear ratio according the purchase sticker 3.73 and I am planning on having the dealer install the brake controller when I pick up the TT. My wheel base is 138.5. I have not looked into a tranny cooling system but I guess I could if people think itís necessary. Part of my confusion comes from the difference in the purchase sticker and door panel and what the Ford tow rating shows. Again thanks for your insight.


I have a 2006 F150 Crew Cab that is rated at 9400lbs.
I have 3:73 gears which gives a bit more towing than someone with 3:55 gears, so I would recommend looking into what gears you have.
I would say you can tow the trailer going by your weights, but can you do it safely and easily?
The general rule of thumb is to stay at 80 - 85% of tow capacity.
Do you have a brake controller? Are you planning to purchase any kind of weight distribution system? How many people will be in the tow vehicle to add more weight? Does your truck have a tranny cooling system?
All of these add to you choice and if you can safely and easily tow this trailer.

The short answer from me is "Yes you can do it, but.................."[/QUOTE]
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:22 PM   #4
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snip......Part of my confusion comes from the difference in the purchase sticker and door panel and what the Ford tow rating shows......snip
Not sure what you are referring to when you say "purchase sticker".

Normally the door sticker on a TV has the TV's GVWR, not the TV's tow rating.... but I could be mistaken (some may have both?).

First, always work with "loaded" weights, not UVW or dry weights because most of us don't tow an empty TV or TT. Also, when you do reference unloaded weights of a TT, it's best to work with the actual "ship weight" in lieu of a published UVW rating.

Until you confirm your specific TV's tow rating, let's assume it's 9,200lbs.

The manufactures tow ratings are based on the "curb weight" of your TV's base model. The curb weight includes a 150lb driver and full tank of gas. The curb weight doesn't include vehicle options, cargo and passengers. This means that the weight of your vehicle options, cargo, and passengers gets subtracted form the 9,200lb specified tow rating. Taking your TV to a CAT scale and weighing it will give you your TV's loaded weight, just subtract the published curb weight from the CAT scale weight, then subtract the remaining weight from the 9,200lbs will give you your "real" remaining towing capacity.

The TV's door panel normally will provide you with maximum front & rear axle weight limits, and your TV's GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating).

The other thing that you can do with your loaded TV's CAT scale weight is subtract the CAT scale weight from your TV's specified GVWR, the remaining weight is what you have left for the "loaded" TT tongue weight.

The StarCraft 297BHS TT has a UVW is 5,360lbs, GVWR of 7,500lbs, Dry tongue weight of 680lbs. Lets assume that you load your TT for an average family, that would put you about 6,500lbs for a loaded TT weight. Your loaded TT tongue weight would be 13% to 15% of 6,500lbs..., or 845lbs to 975lbs. Based on these assumptions you would want a 1,000lb rated Equal-i-zer WDH (weight distributing hitch).

Again, please note that I have made some loaded weight assumptions.

I hope this information gives you an idea of some of the weights you want to be considering.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
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wow..so much to figure out. I wish I could trust the sales guy. I pulled out my owners manual for my truck. With my engine and axle ratio it puts me at a GCWR of 14500 and a maximum trailer weight of 8700lbs. The sticker on the inside of the door says a GVWR of 7200.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:34 PM   #6
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On my truck you have to look in the owners manual to get the tow rating. You match up the gear ratio, engine, and cab style with the tow ratings in the table. It is not on my door sticker either as Rustic Eagle says. I understand on some of the newer models you have to go online to find the tow ratings, my BIL did with his Dodge, the owners manual directed him to do so.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:39 PM   #7
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Do you have the 5.4 liter engine and have the tow package? If so I think you can pull this trailer. I`m pulling the Jayco twin sister 28BHS with the truck in my sig. Will not win any races but gets it done, if not by a lot.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:41 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I think I am getting this figured out. My tow rating is 8700lbs. My truck GVWR is 7200lbs and my GCWR is 14500. Now I just need to get an idea of what my GVWR is with a full tank of gas and me in it. Once I have that I can estimate how much gear and people I can safely take in the truck. I will always assume the trailer is loaded to 7500lbs.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:27 PM   #9
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snip......I think I am getting this figured out......snip
Looks like you're catching on fast!

Understanding how the weights work makes you a well informed customer...., watch how the RV sales personal react

Working with a TT GVWR of 7,500 lbs covers for worst case scenario, and will give you a recommended loaded tongue weight of 975lbs to 1,125lbs (13% to 15%). Don't forget that the TT's loaded tongue weight has to be added along with your TV's gear and passengers and all fall within the TV's GVWR.

If you find that the 7,500lb TT GVWR puts you a little over your limits, keep in mind that this specific TT's CCC (cargo carrying capacity) of 2,140lbs gives you some room to reduce the TT's actual loaded weight.

Note: Don't let a RV sales person tell you that a WDH reduces the TT's loaded tongue weight on your TV, the tongue weight doesn't move. The WDH removes (and distributes) weight from the TV rear axle, doesn't remove any weight from the hitch ball.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:46 PM   #10
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Truck Total

My truck came in at 5880 on the CAT scale today. I am a little disappointed it was so high on the scale because I was estimating lower. When you consider the hitch weight @ (13%) it leaves me with very little wiggle room for stuff in the bed. Most extras will have to go in the TT.

I need help checking my numbers. The dry weight of the Jayco is 5305. If I add in 750 lbs for water (90 gallons of fresh) and an additional 60 for full propane tanks (dry should be included in the dry weight) that takes me to 6115 lbs. How much "extra" weight should I plan on for a small family of 3 (4 in Oct). I estimate around 700 lbs. but that is a pure guess. What should that number be?

The good news is I have the Jayco Dealer and the StarCraft Dealer now bidding for my business. They both have me at 17500 out the door tax, title, and license on the 2011 Jayflight 28BHS and Autumn Ridge 297BH. They are both going to split the cost of the hitch and they are the same on the install for the trailer brake. The StarCraft has a nice double full bunk in the back but the Jayco has a two year warranty. My wife and I are going to look at both today and decide. I will let you know what we decide to do.
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