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Old 07-05-2019, 09:31 PM   #1
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Towing 2018 30.5 MLOK fifth wheel with half ton pick up

Just lending my experience of towing our 2018 30.5 MLOK fifth with our half ton Ford pick up.
We decided to downsize from our Cedar Creek 34 RLSA which was 4’ longer and 4000 lbs heavier than our current Jayco. We pulled it with a 2016 Ford F-250 Power Stroke which pulled it with relative ease. I had some issues with the def system on the diesel and since we pull less than 1500 miles a year of the 20,000 I drive yearly, I decided to go for comfort and a better ride with a 2018 F150 XTR with the max tow package and with that we decided to also downsize our fifth wheel.
I installed Air Lift air bags and run them with 40 lbs of air and lowered the pin box to give myself a bit more room between the rails and the fifth wheel. It runs about an inch or two high but now there’s 7” of space between the rails and fifth wheel.
We just returned from a 600 mile (1000km) round trip through north eastern Ontario with a trip through Toronto each way. The truck and trailer combination surprised me in how well it handled. Other than a little chucking over some deep dips and rough spots, it handled very well.
Braking was good, not great but if you leave enough space there are no worries, even through Toronto traffic.
The truck has ample pulling power through the long climbs and surprised me in the fuel mileage. I set the cruise at 65mph (105 km/h) and averaged a little over 9 mpg (26l/100 km) for the entire trip including a bit of a head wind coming home. I wasn’t sure what to expect but overall I’m happy with it.
Overall I was very impressed with both the handling and the pulling power. It’s no diesel but for $9000 less and a better ride for the 95% of the time I’m not pulling, I have no complaints, in fact I’m very happy overall.
A little background on me. I’ve been driving tractor trailer full time for 25 years with almost 2 million miles of safe driving in both the city and on the highway. I’ve also been pulling different size fifth wheels for 20 years from 23’ to 37’ and 5000 lbs to 15000. To be honest this combination pulls and handles as well as any we’ve owned.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kway3 View Post
Just lending my experience of towing our 2018 30.5 MLOK fifth with our half ton Ford pick up.
We decided to downsize from our Cedar Creek 34 RLSA which was 4’ longer and 4000 lbs heavier than our current Jayco. We pulled it with a 2016 Ford F-250 Power Stroke which pulled it with relative ease. I had some issues with the def system on the diesel and since we pull less than 1500 miles a year of the 20,000 I drive yearly, I decided to go for comfort and a better ride with a 2018 F150 XTR with the max tow package and with that we decided to also downsize our fifth wheel.
I installed Air Lift air bags and run them with 40 lbs of air and lowered the pin box to give myself a bit more room between the rails and the fifth wheel. It runs about an inch or two high but now there’s 7” of space between the rails and fifth wheel.
We just returned from a 600 mile (1000km) round trip through north eastern Ontario with a trip through Toronto each way. The truck and trailer combination surprised me in how well it handled. Other than a little chucking over some deep dips and rough spots, it handled very well.
Braking was good, not great but if you leave enough space there are no worries, even through Toronto traffic.
The truck has ample pulling power through the long climbs and surprised me in the fuel mileage. I set the cruise at 65mph (105 km/h) and averaged a little over 9 mpg (26l/100 km) for the entire trip including a bit of a head wind coming home. I wasn’t sure what to expect but overall I’m happy with it.
Overall I was very impressed with both the handling and the pulling power. It’s no diesel but for $9000 less and a better ride for the 95% of the time I’m not pulling, I have no complaints, in fact I’m very happy overall.
A little background on me. I’ve been driving tractor trailer full time for 25 years with almost 2 million miles of safe driving in both the city and on the highway. I’ve also been pulling different size fifth wheels for 20 years from 23’ to 37’ and 5000 lbs to 15000. To be honest this combination pulls and handles as well as any we’ve owned.
Have you had it weighed yet to compare to your trucks specs?
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:34 AM   #3
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Have you had it weighed yet to compare to your trucks specs?
I’ve never had a truck scaled. Not a big believer in nitpicking over a couple hundred pounds.
If it sits level, pulls well and I’m comfortable with it, I think that’s all that matters.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:14 PM   #4
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I’ve never had a truck scaled. Not a big believer in nitpicking over a couple hundred pounds.
If it sits level, pulls well and I’m comfortable with it, I think that’s all that matters.
I agree, to much nitpicking about needing bigger trucks to pull a camper.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:45 PM   #5
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Need to be cautious!

Every truck coming from the factory has a “maximum cargo capacity” rating that appears on the yellow/white door sticker. That is something that you absolutely have to look at when deciding on how much trailer you can pull. Airbags do not add one ounce of additional cargo carrying capacity to your truck. It just makes it so your truck doesn’t squat when loaded to the gills. Your truck can pull the load, that’s not the issue, but the weight that is sitting on your tires and axle is the big concern. The F-150’s typically do not have very robust cargo capacity ratings. I would double check just for your safety and others on the road. The last thing you want to have happen is to hit a bump in the road and have your axle fracture or blow-out a tire on the highway. You need to make sure that your payload rating is around 2500 pounds, because the hitch weight of your 30.5 MLOK is 1519 pounds. Once you add in weight of the passengers, the hitch, propane and battery and 250 pounds of gear (which is traveling ultra-light) you’re easily up to 1000 pounds. Add that to your hitch weight of 1519 and you’re sitting at around 2500 pounds. If your truck is only rated at say 1800-2000 pounds, then you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but you’ll void the warranty if yo do have an incident.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:19 PM   #6
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:31 AM   #7
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Maybe someone can explain this to me. I have set my truck up perfect. Everything is within specs. My pin weight is 1500 lbs. That weight is over my rear axle. My buddy “Bubba” comes camping with me. He’s 350 lbs. Now I’m 350 lbs over my payload. Bubba is sitting in the front passenger seat. How does Bubbas extra weight that is 75% to the front right of the truck all of a sudden get shifted to the fifth wheel of my truck, causing catastrophic damage to my trucks axle and tires?
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by K Holbrook View Post
Every truck coming from the factory has a “maximum cargo capacity” rating that appears on the yellow/white door sticker. That is something that you absolutely have to look at when deciding on how much trailer you can pull. Airbags do not add one ounce of additional cargo carrying capacity to your truck. It just makes it so your truck doesn’t squat when loaded to the gills. Your truck can pull the load, that’s not the issue, but the weight that is sitting on your tires and axle is the big concern. The F-150’s typically do not have very robust cargo capacity ratings. I would double check just for your safety and others on the road. The last thing you want to have happen is to hit a bump in the road and have your axle fracture or blow-out a tire on the highway. You need to make sure that your payload rating is around 2500 pounds, because the hitch weight of your 30.5 MLOK is 1519 pounds. Once you add in weight of the passengers, the hitch, propane and battery and 250 pounds of gear (which is traveling ultra-light) you’re easily up to 1000 pounds. Add that to your hitch weight of 1519 and you’re sitting at around 2500 pounds. If your truck is only rated at say 1800-2000 pounds, then you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but you’ll void the warranty if yo do have an incident.

You must be a ranking member of the weight police.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kway3 View Post
Maybe someone can explain this to me. I have set my truck up perfect. Everything is within specs. My pin weight is 1500 lbs. That weight is over my rear axle. My buddy “Bubba” comes camping with me. He’s 350 lbs. Now I’m 350 lbs over my payload. Bubba is sitting in the front passenger seat. How does Bubbas extra weight that is 75% to the front right of the truck all of a sudden get shifted to the fifth wheel of my truck, causing catastrophic damage to my trucks axle and tires?
You say your pin weight is 1500# but you also state that you don't believe in "nitpicking" or going to a scale. So where did you get the 1500# pin weight? From the sales brochure? A professional truck driver should know published specs are not all that accurate.

If you have not weighed the TV/TT at a scale, you really don't know if you're withing "specs" or not. You are guessing (hoping) that you are within specs.

If your buddy Bubba puts you 350# over your payload, then it sounds like you have about 1500-1700# payload on your F150. Post a picture of the yellow sticker on the DS door that indicates the payload for your truck.
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jimp View Post
You say your pin weight is 1500# but you also state that you don't believe in "nitpicking" or going to a scale. So where did you get the 1500# pin weight? From the sales brochure? A professional truck driver should know published specs are not all that accurate.

If you have not weighed the TV/TT at a scale, you really don't know if you're withing "specs" or not. You are guessing (hoping) that you are within specs.

If your buddy Bubba puts you 350# over your payload, then it sounds like you have about 1500-1700# payload on your F150. Post a picture of the yellow sticker on the DS door that indicates the payload for your truck.
It was a hypothetical question.
I was putting numbers out to try to understand how the payload affects my axle weight. If there’s “1500 lbs” over my axle because of the weight of the trailer how does “Bubba’s” extra 350 in the front seat all of a sudden result in catastrophic numbers on my axle. Axle weight and payload are two separate issues as far as I’m concerned. I’d much rather be on my numbers axle wise and be over on my payload instead of the other way around.
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