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Old 10-26-2022, 08:13 AM   #1
Rharris
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Can we tow this?

Hello all,
We are new here and have a question for you experienced Montana owners.
We are in the process of purchasing a Montana 2022 3931FB. And now I am worried that we don't have enough truck to pull it. We have a 2021 F250 6.7 diesel truck. We don't go on long trips, not more than four hours and mostly on main interstates. But after reading lots of confusing information, and I am the worrier in the family, I am concerned. We are not new to towing. We have a 38' Keystone Outback now and the F250 pulls it like a dream. The 3931FB has a lower pin weight than some of the other models but are we asking for trouble here? Thanks for your advice.
 
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Old 10-26-2022, 08:45 AM   #2
jsb5717
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Welcome aboard! Thanks for thinking about safety. Here are the numbers to pay attention to:
  • Your trailer's GVWR = 16500 lbs (ignore the dry weight numbers as they mean nothing in real life)
  • 23% of 16500 = 3795 lbs - this is the weight to use as a calculated loaded pin weight of your trailer.
  • Total the weight of all people, hitch, misc gear (basically everything else you'll be putting in the truck) - for now let's say that's 500 lbs
  • Now look at the yellow sticker inside your truck's driver door. There is a statement that reads something like "Total cargo and passengers not to exceed xxxx lbs" That number is your trucks rated payload. That's how much weight you can put on to your truck.

Your trucks rated payload should = more than the total of all the other weights that you'll be loading onto your truck. For the above example you'll need a minimum payload of 4295 lbs to safely carry your trailer.

In reality your going to need a 1 ton dually for that rig.
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Old 10-26-2022, 08:59 AM   #3
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I think it's better to use the actual numbers by getting a scale weight. I don't think a 3/4 ton can do it, but a 1 ton, and possibly SRW, but if you have to get a new truck, a dually would be best.
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Old 10-26-2022, 09:05 AM   #4
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Welcome to the MOC.

I have a 2022 295RL and a 2020 GMC 2500. My gross trailer weight is 14300 lbs. I know I'm at the limit...most likely slightly over. My personal choice is to run the combo. I've pulled it enough that I'm fully confident with the rig. I wouldn't be comfortable adding another ton. Sorry but I'm with jsb on this.
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Old 10-26-2022, 09:15 AM   #5
Rharris
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Can we two this?

My husband is planning on putting air bags on the F250. Do you think that would help?
Thanks
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Old 10-26-2022, 09:45 AM   #6
jsb5717
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rharris View Post
My husband is planning on putting air bags on the F250. Do you think that would help?
Thanks
It can help to stabilize the ride. But does nothing to change the numbers or increase your payload or strengthen the trucks frame or suspension. It will feel better and potentially give you a dangerously false sense of safety and control.

I'm sorry the news isn't good. There's definitely a margin of safety to consider when matching a truck to a trailer.

The issue isn't whether or not the truck can pull the trailer down the road...it can. The issue is whether the truck is designed to carry that much weight...safely. Adding 2000 lbs over and above a trucks rated payload puts a tremendous amount of stress on frame and suspension simply not designed to carry it. The added stress of bouncing down the road will only exacerbate the strain and potentially work to break the weakest points. Then there are the emergency situations that will call on the truck to safely manage the trailer in fast braking, evasive, or high wind situations. Those situations can and will occur. In that moment will you wish you had more truck?

The ultimate decision is obviously yours. One of the purposes of this forum is to help folks understand the numbers and encourage safe choices for your family and others on the road with you. We're here to help...
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Old 10-26-2022, 09:49 AM   #7
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Can we tow this?

Thank you for the advice. That is why I am consulting those of you who do this all the time. We don't want to make an expensive mistake. We need to rethink these choices, either a smaller trailer or a bigger truck.
Thanks
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Old 10-26-2022, 11:01 AM   #8
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I have a similar model to yours. I have towed our rig with a 2014 Chevy C3500 long bed and my current Chevy dually. The dually does a better job. Below are pics of our weights (Me + DW + 70lbs Aussie + 50lbs Heeler) and the truck with just me inside.
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Old 10-26-2022, 11:16 AM   #9
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When we traded our 2010 for our 2017 we began having problems with the rear tires on our 2500. It was a pin weight problem and you could not buy tires that would carry the weight. You are smart to investigate since we ended up with a new trailer and a new truck.
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Old 10-26-2022, 12:15 PM   #10
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Can we two this?

Now I am really confused.. We dropped down to the 3231CK 37' Montana. The
specs are Dry Weight12,752 lbs. Payload Capacity3,928 lbs. GVWR16,680 lbs.
Hitch Weight2,680 lbs.

The 3931FB - 41' Montana- Dry Weight 13,542 lbs. Payload Capacity2,958 lbs.
GVWR16,500 lbs. Hitch Weight2,530 lbs.

I don't understand what I am looking at. I am trying to determine if we drop down to the 3231CK can we pull it with the F250 diesel. The GVWR is more on the shorter trailer. Is that good or bad? We really don't want to have to buy a new truck too since it is my husband's everyday truck.

thanks and sorry for so many questions. We put a hold on the 3931FB until we can figure out what to do.
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Old 10-26-2022, 12:33 PM   #11
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You're still in the same boat. The OEM specs on weight are indeed partially related to length. But also about configuration and amenities. The 3231CK weighs more than the 3931. Regardless, it's always about the numbers. No matter which trailer you're considering you'll need to start with the math. Since you have your truck you should know what your working payload is. Have you checked the yellow sticker yet? That number is one of your key starting points.

Every trailer will have an OEM posted GVWR. Take 23% of that number to use to calculate loaded pin weight. Still add people, hitch, gear, etc. The total of those numbers is the amount of weight you're going to put onto the truck. If the total weight is significantly higher than your truck's payload then you've got a problem.

The problem you're going to continue to have is that there really aren't many full size 5th wheels that should be towed with a 3/4 ton truck. Just set yourself up a simple test grid:

A - Truck
Truck Payload (A) (from yellow sticker) = _______

B - Weight
Trailer GVWR x .23 = _______
Hitch weight = _______
Total People = _______
Add'l gear = _______

Total (B) = _______

A - B = _______

If your answer is a negative number then you've got a problem. That means that your total weight going onto the truck exceeds its rated payload.

Does this make sense?
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Old 10-26-2022, 12:36 PM   #12
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I think there are "lots of folks" on the forum that pull a 3121RL with a 2500 truck. I am not saying the numbers work for a 2500 to pull that unit, and I don't know how many combinations like that are here on the forum to make a statement like "lots of folks"...but I have noticed some.

I was not familiar with the layout of the 3231CK so I looked it up and it looks very much like the 3121RL, except the shower orientation is different, and the stove and the pantry are different.
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Old 10-26-2022, 12:57 PM   #13
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And a decision cannot be about what other people do. There are many, MANY drivers hauling unsafely. Everyone has to make a decision about how much risk they are willing to assume for their family.

The good thing about math is that it doesn't lie. The numbers are the numbers. There's over weight and there's WAY over weight. OR, there's not over weight, which means you have a truck properly rated for the trailer you want to pull. But these are the decisions that everyone has to make based on budget, experience, risk, etc.

The wise, safe thing to do is to either buy a trailer that your truck can safely pull or buy a truck that can safely pull your trailer.

Be safe...
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Old 10-26-2022, 01:57 PM   #14
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The first, and most important step IMO, is that you are asking the question. Secondly by doing so, no matter what choice(s) you make, you will be educated on how the numbers work and where you stack up in the safe, or not so safe, category. Once you know the facts it may eat on you as it did me (and I know others) and precipitate a change.

Based on calculations your 3/4 ton is going to be overloaded with that trailer. Short trips, "carry no water" etc. don't really mean anything. If you don't own the trailer you have to calculate and the only safe way to do that is using the gvw of the trailer and the percentage mentioned previously to stay somewhere close to being safe. Having extra cushion weightwise is a good thing, overloaded isn't.

Lengths of RVs don't predicate their weight. The layouts, appliances etc. all have a hand in it and as you've found, a "shorter" trailer can weigh more than a longer one. That's why you look to the weights.

You have a 2021 F250 diesel; what does that payload sticker say?? Maybe 2500lbs. or so? As was pointed out earlier the "guesstimated" load could easily run well over 4k - not good. In reality a 16,500 trailer should have a dually under it. I know lots of folks pull all kinds of trailers, and sizes, with a 3/4 ton truck. When they started putting the strong diesels into that size truck folks decided "it can pull it"...and it can. The underpinnings were built to carry the gvwr listed on the truck but the diesel makes folks think that that part is irrelevent....it's not.

In your situation if you want to keep the truck you need to be looking at a much lighter RV, or, get that dually. Looking at a SRW 1 ton diesel isn't going to get you where you need to be with that much weight. Good luck in your search and decisions.
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Old 10-26-2022, 02:38 PM   #15
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You can get tires to carry the weight but you have to get different wheels .because they are 19.5 dia.
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Old 10-26-2022, 02:53 PM   #16
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The pin weight varies percentage wise. If the wheels are back a little more, up goes the pin weight. My rig weighs around 14K full. My truck GVWR is 10,000. So my pin weight should be 3220 by your methods. However, over the scales it is around 2400 to 2500. So pin weight can not be calculated exactly in this method.

Oh, also, Keystone said the pin weight was 2055. I guess their numbers are probably with an empty coach, etc tho.
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Old 10-26-2022, 05:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rharris View Post
...........The 3931FB has a lower pin weight than some of the other models but are we asking for trouble here? Thanks for your advice.

The Montana 2022 3931FB GVWR is 16,400 lbs and the 38' Keystone Outback GVWR is 10,500 lbs.....big difference. Your pin weight weight will be close to ~3220 lbs, same as mine (based on weighing at a local scale) but weigh it to confirm. See the advertised towing capacity for your truck depending on axle ratio and configuration https://letstowthat.com/2021-ford-f-...ng-capacities/.

Tow it with your F250 and see how it deflects the leaf springs, tows (stability) and brakes. If you do not like it then move up to a F350 crew cab long bed for long wheelbase and DWR (with added TorkLift Stable Load Suspension Upgrade for Upper Overload Springs) and you will will find towing the new longer and heavier trailer is more stable with more towing capacity safety margin.
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Old 10-26-2022, 11:04 PM   #18
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Until a couple of months ago we puled our 12,160 lb empty / 14,260 lb GVWR 331RL with a 2500 Ram diesel. We had and shorter, +2000 lb model from another manufacturer on order when we found our MHC and the wife fell in love with it. I didn't bother pulling the rig across CAT scales. I knew I was well overloaded for pin weight. We couldn't go up in load rating for the tires without changing out wheels as well and hated the squirrelly 20" tires sidewall flex. Found a nice slightly used 3500 Ram dually diesel to use instead. DW commented on first pull how much more stable the ride felt. As said in previous posts, crunch the numbers and do what works out best for you and your family, as well as your family's safety. Good luck!
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Old 10-27-2022, 07:30 AM   #19
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Weighing the rig and doing the math is the only way to tell. But, any 250 will have a puny load capacity next to a big fifth wheel. Now, the truck has the power and will tow fine in that regard. Some guys are happy enough with that. It’s up to you if you want to be safe and legal.

I’m (not) surprised the dealer hasn’t run some preliminary numbers on the weights. If you have a financial commitment to the purchase I would use that to get out of it.
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Old 10-27-2022, 07:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rharris View Post
My husband is planning on putting air bags on the F250. Do you think that would help?
Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rharris View Post
... We really don't want to have to buy a new truck too since it is my husband's everyday truck...
I'll not repeat the same stuff everyone else stated above. The information above is spot on.)

You are wise in asking the right questions before making a costly purchase that will end up in a costly disappointment shortly thereafter.

I would like to give you something else to think about. You said you'll be towing the trailer, maybe at the most, 4 hours and on interstates and your husband uses your current truck for a daily driver ... and you really don't want to purchase another truck. Here's my quote (it's mine original, so feel free to share it) ....

“You really need to think in terms of what is the ultimate extreme usage you'll be experiencing with your tow vehicle, not what is the lightest usage and hope it's OK when the extreme happens."
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