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Old 03-16-2009, 05:19 AM   #21
Famtwo
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Life is to busy and I haven't been on for awhile. Thanks for all the input. As for the pitculars about the truck it is a 2006 F250 Super Cab, long bed, 2wheel drive, Turbo charge diesel. We haven't had any problems as of yet but was worried about the mountian travel.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:19 AM   #22
sreigle
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Famtwo, I don't know if my experiences will ease any of your concern or not. With out 2005 F250 diesel automatic 4x4 we towed...

1. I-70 through Colorado from west to east, over all the passes and up to and through the Eisenhower tunnel.

2. Quite a number of 10%, 8%, 6% grades in Utah and in Pennsylvania and maybe other places.

3. A 14 percenter, 4 miles long (can provide a picture of the grade marker if you like) on UT highway 12. Going uphill.

4. Death Valley in May (I know, really dumb). We towed from the south entrance to the center then out to the west entrance where our campground was located (Panamint Springs CG). Outside temperature was 114 degrees. Engine and tranny temperatures as well as EGT were running high, real close to my limit when climbing the long 10% grade westbound, just east of Panamint Springs CG. Would I do it again? Not if I knew in advance the surface temperatures was that high. But I'm glad to know the truck handled it just fine, although I was worried about the temperatures. The Montana weighed 14,620 so it was not exactly a light load.

Your F250 will do a sweet job for you. And it will brake very well, same brakes as the F350. You may or may not need airbags to level the truck, depending on your pinweight.

Mountain downhills were not a problem. My Ford did not have an exhaust brake. On grades of less than 6% tow/haul handled it without need for me adding any braking except to slow for curves or something like that but not for the grade itself. Above 6% I had to occasionally give it three or four seconds of brake. That was anywhere from once per half mile to once per quarter mile depending on the steepness. An exhaust brake would make it even better.

Handling was never a problem, either. Your Ford has bigger tires standard than the GM's. LT265 on the Ford. If I were you, and based on my past experiences, I'd just go and not worry about it. But, of course, you have to make your own decision.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:31 AM   #23
PowellsMonty
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I wouldn't worry about the 250 as much as I would 2WD vs 4WD. Some don't care but I have had to put it in 4wd to start forward in a parking lot with no trailer before. And where you live, you know of which I speak! Air bags were ther best thing I ever bought when we had our F250,7.3, Day & night! Handled like a different truck.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:30 AM   #24
Famtwo
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Thanks for all the advice. Already thinking of getting the air bags. Anyone have a problem with bumping in the cab while pulling the 5ver? Only seems to be on the freeways. Not sure what to do for that.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:53 AM   #25
exav8tr
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Famtwo, we had that same problem of the bumping on the freeways when we first got our rig. One solution was to add the MorRyde pin box, others have Fifth Airborn and some others. The bumping you feel is the expansion joints in the concrete. Rig is actually going up and down and it is transferred to the truck by what is called "chucking". After we added the new pin box it relieved about 70% of this. We later added a Trailersaver Air ride hitch to the truck, the unit seems to float down the freeways now. Keep in mind we are fulltimers and the added costs of all this must be weighed with how often you pull.

When we had our 2500 we added air bags to keep from "bottoming out" (which we never did). We also added an extra leaf spring to the 2500, made for a stiff ride without towing but helped overall while towing.

This was MY solution only, we later traded for a 3500 dually, which, I feel, is more suited for the 3400. Keep in mind this is my opinion only and you will receive others as well.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:01 AM   #26
timbuktu78
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I had a '05 Ram 2500 CTD 4x4 pulling a '06 3400RL. The truck had no problems pulling the 5er and bc I lacked the overload springs, I put airbags on it to keep me level (which I loved!). But all in all, I'm ashamed to admit that while fully loaded with everything (I full-timed in it for 2 years), I was about 1,500-2,000 lbs over my GVWR.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:06 AM   #27
goin2themountains
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While not a Ford, I am pulling the 'tana in sig with a 2500HD, and agree with everyone else about the airbags. Beyond some chucking you have already noted, we have had no probs pulling in AZ or CO mountains. Pulled North out of the Verde Valley in AZ a couple weeks ago, 6% grade for 25 miles or so at highway speed. I did put some stiffer shocks on the Chevy after we made the trade from a lighter 5er as I really noticed the old ones were shot, but beyond that, take care and have fun.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:06 AM   #28
cmawendy
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We tow our 2008 Montana with a 2003 Dodge 2500 cummins diesel that has a pacbrake and the juice. pacbrake works great....so does the extra power from the juice.
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:30 PM   #29
Art-n-Marge
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Hi Famtwo,

To answer your question, it has NO bearing what others have or have done, Chevy, Ford or Dodge, whatever year, because as far as a rating is concerned unless you are talking about the SAME truck and SAME trailer no one can compare their experience with your chances. What we can do is provide the information you need to figure out the answer to your question, and how to improve (not increase) your configuration.

When setting up a rig, you MUST know the GVWR of your trailer and the Towing capacity and Combined GVWR of your truck. For example, I have a 2006 F250 4x4 (not 4x2) and tow a 2006 3500RL Montana. The fifth wheel tow rating of my truck is 15,200 lbs (travel trailer rating is 12,500). The Trailer's GVWR is less than 14,000 lbs at full load. I have weighed my trailer and found that it is always far less than 14,000 lbs. This allows for more than 1,000 lbs of leeway IN MY CASE but for my case I am well within the specifications. To IMPROVE the ride I have added airbags to raise the rear end and eliminate the shuddering that occurred when I first towed the trailer with my 4x4 but that did not mean I was out of spec. The airbags eliminated the shuddering as an improvement not as an increase of my tow/towable ratings. I also never travel with full tanks because they can get filled at my destination and at an average of 7 lbs per gallon that's a LOT of weight I do NOT want to haul around for hundreds of miles.

If I recall in your case, your truck has about a 15,600 lb (or more? check your owner's book) fifth wheel rating, but your Trailer rating is heavier than mine and that also assumes you are not overloading your trailer either. First, make sure your the Trailer's GVWR weight does not exceed the max rating of your truck. When the trailer is empty it is a LOT lighter so then make sure that what you put in your trailer does not exceed your trailer's GVWR rating. Then you should be good to go. That's it!!! You are done, or might think so...

After that you can make improvements to your truck to IMPROVE the ride like air bags, or fifth wheel air suspension. You CANNOT increase your towing capacity except by getting a new truck with a higher rating.

Other things that can IMPROVE your rig's ride is adding a Diesel tuner or increased exhaust to increase acceleration or can improve mileage depending on how you drive. If you got the Ford tow package in your 2006; mine came with an integrated brake controller and Tow/Haul option so I have not been able to find an air brake system for our model year because they conflict with the intelligence of the Tow/Haul mode. Tow/Haul is different than the older option of turning off Overdrive because it doesn't necessarily avoid the overdrive gear of your transmission but changes the transmission shifting characteristics to increase RPMs before upshifting or better yet, sense when you are trying to slow down and will downshift to assist in braking.

Lastly the way you drive is another important factor for how safe your rig will be. I am amazed at how many rig drivers think they can drive 70-80 mph just because their foot can press the pedal that hard. I have not seen ANY trailer tires that are rated at higher than 65mph so anyone driving that fast is an accident waiting to happen since the higher speeds will cause the tires to overheat, breakdown and eventually fail. Since the speed limit is mostly 55mph for towed vehicles anyway, what's the point of manufacturing tires for higher speeds. If I am going on a long uphill, I cannot sustain 65mph anyway, and if I am going downhill I use the tow/haul mode (depress the brake pedal) to downshift and usually end up less than 65 mph to prevent run away. Mentally speaking it's a mindset I have to instill in myself. Weather is another consideration (rain, fog and especially wind - head or tail or the worse case of lateral winds). If I am on open highway I will enable cruise control, but will turn it off when approaching up or down hills.

Okay, this should be plenty of information to start with. As you can see, you asked a very simple question that with a little research you can come up with the answer positively. After that, there are many factors on how to affect your rig's safety but the good news is if you are within specifications everything should be good, unless things break. Other than that there are many ways want to IMPROVE (not increase) your rig ratings.

Oh-oh, one more thing, in trying to save weight in the trailer, be mindful to not overload the truck and exceed its cargo weight. For example, do not exceed the CGVWR (Combined Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of your truck with trailer.

Stay safe and Happy RVing,

Art Martinez,
Murrieta, CA

2006 3500RL Montana
2006 Ford F250 Crewcab 4x4 Longbed
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:21 AM   #30
Famtwo
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Thanks for all the input. I just checked GVWR on both and believe we should be good, but when weather warms we will take it to a scale and check all weights ourselfs. Those tags on the camper and truck are really confusing to me.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:29 AM   #31
sreigle
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We towed ours with a 2005 F250 diesel, put 85,000 miles on the truck in a couple of years and had no towing problems with it. Some thought we were nuts going from a 2003 F350 SRW diesel to the F250 but the F250 had considerably higher ratings then the 2004 and prior F350 SRW trucks except payload rating was not quite as high as the F350. GVWR, GCWR, Tow ratings were higher. In other words, that 2005 F250 was a stronger truck than our 2003 F350 SRW. We were over the payload capacity but the truck did an excellent job of towing. As fulltimers doing a lot of traveling, a lot of those miles were towing.
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Old 04-26-2009, 12:33 PM   #32
Dean A Van Peursem
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We pull a 2006 Montana 3400RL with a 2003 F250 Lariat 7.3L D Ext Cab LB SRW 3.73 ratio rear end. Have done so for the last three years and have about 12,000 miles or so on the combined units. 87,000 miles on the truck. Purchased the 2003 F250 new with all HD options for equipment trailer pulling but not for a 5th wheel. The 3400RL (Pin Weight) exceeds the cargo capacity rating on the F250 but we added Firestone airbags on the rear axle which solved a slight sag in the rear. Am running fully loaded under the GAWR on all axles, truck and 5th wheel. The only real difference between the F250 and the F350 in this model year was heavier rear axle overload springs (more cargo capacity(Payload) rating) on the F350. All the rest was and is identical. So the Firestone Airbags have brought the F250 up to F350 cargo capacity ratings.

Would I like more power and braking capability, of course, but a 2003 F350 doesn't add anything in these areas over a F250. If I purchased a new truck I would buy a 1 ton but am a long time Ford truck owner and until Ford comes out with a reliable new Diesel engine that I can trust to replace the tried and true 7.3L, I'm staying with what I have. But the key for me is I don't try to go down 6% mountain grades any faster than I can go up. Saves allot of wear and tear on everything and is allot safer. Quite often I can go down 6% grades w/o ever using the truck brakes, with the truck downshifted a gear, but depends a bit on how long the slope is. I keep the down side speed between 45 and 50 mph religiously. Very comfortable. No regrets at all. We are not buying a new truck because we really don't need one. Have elected to not chip the truck for more power, add exhaust braking or go to disk brakes on the 5th wheel. The 2006 Montana 3400RL has been quite troublesome while the truck has performed flawlessly. If your F250 is equipped properly I would hook on to the 5th wheel and enjoy it without worries. I would make the following statement for any F250 or F350. Just drive safely and conservatively.

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