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Old 07-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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M.O.C. #10606
New Member from Missouri

Greetings to everyone.

We are David and Lori from Southeast Missouri. We have only owned a pull behind camper since 2006 and we are chomping at the bits to own a Montana Fifth Wheel. I have been scouring the internet for all the info I can get.

We have a 2002 F-350 SRW SuperCab 7.3 PSD, the last year I believe they made the 7.3 for the Ford. We currently have a small 24' Coachmen Cascade and we have had a great time with it. Started out with a Dodge 1/2 ton and it pulled it ok but I wanted bigger and better in case I upgrade someday, so I got the F-350 I can pull that little camper up the side of a tree with it.

Anyway we are looking to get maybe a Montana 3400RL in a few months(12460 empty, 15,400 GRW). I have been told by a salesman, I am sure like a lot of other people that I can pull anything he has on the lot with that 350 SRW except maybe a Presidential Suite. I believe my truck has a fifth wheel tow rating of 13,000 and a GCRW 20,000. Are we dreaming? I know a little about ratings and know some go over the ratings and are comfortable with that. I do not want to be unsafe and I realize if I travel with empty tanks and try to keep the load in the area of 1,000 to 1,500 pounds of living stuff I probably wouldn't go over the rating but maybe a 1000 lbs or so. Is my thinking critically flawed on this as we really want the 3400. Hope I didn't post this in the wrong place, any help appreciated.
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:39 PM   #2
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David and Lori,
First ---- Welcome to the MOC. We're glad you are here.

Regarding the trailer. The 3400 is a great rig. We currently have a 3295 but will probably upgrade in the next couple of years. If we were to upgrade today we would go with the 3400.

As to the tow vehicle.... Well that is a whole other world. If you look back at topics here on the MOC Forum you will find this topic to be one of the most hotly debated issues. I won't go into this issue any further than to say I looked at the numbers and decided we needed a smaller trailer or a larger truck (at the time we had a 250 PSD). We ended up with the PSD 450. We've been happy since. You will find many folks perfectly happy with towing with the 250, 350 and the corresponding Chevy / Dodge /GMC.... regardless of what the numbers show. Good luck and happy travels.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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Welcome David and Lori!

Are you sure about those ratings? They seem a little light for the 2002 F-350 but your driver's side door pillar and the user manual should document these things so you can know for sure.

The way the CGVWR of 20,000 works is, subtract what your trailer weighs, and this is what you want your TV should weigh.

HamRad is right about this topic being discussed A LOT but I wouldn't say it's hotly debated, because you are either over any weight rating your not - that's pretty much it, no hot debate needed. What is discussed a lot is how to determine this and what you decide to do is yours to live with. It's not considered the safest to be if you are overweight (at any point of the ratings per industry experts) and just because your truck can race up a mountain with your rig doesn't make things right either. Just keep in mind besides the engine and tranny there are many other components that are used to provide the manufacturers weight rating, such as axles, differential, drive shaft, brakes, leaf springs, shock absorbers, tires, wheels, and many other things. There are enough problems with some of us who stay within weight but I can only imagine what is happening to components that are overstressed in time since they break with age anyway and the repercussions and liabilities when it breaks.

If you have already made your purchase, then get to the scales and find out where you stand. It is estimated that 40% of all RVers are overweight (not just 5ers, but all) by some amount. Two years ago I was overweight, one year ago I was okay, but it's time to check again since I've moved some things, removed some things and added other things.

BTW - My BIL had a 2003 F-250 with a 7.3, so I think THAT was the last year. I then bought my first F-250 in 2004 and the 7.3 was no longer available.
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:50 PM   #4
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Congratulations and welcome to the forum!
I believe the 3400 is a good unit. I think you will certainly enjoy it.

2011 GMC 4X4 dually CC, 6.6 Duramax with Allison Transmission. Formally 2001 Montana,2007 3400RL Montana, presently 2018 3401RS Alpine.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:32 PM   #5
stiles watson
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Sounds like you are ready, enjoy! Happy RVing...............
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of the replies, I have been looking through all the posts and learning a lot from you folks. Will be back here often.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
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I m Boazdexter. Today I use this forum first. I learn very much from your forum. Please give me more guidance as well as support also. I am very happy after using this forum.

Thank You.

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Old 08-23-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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Congratulations on your pending purchase! I think it's a wise one.

Your F350 7.3 will be a good tow vehicle for your Montana. There are many of those right here in this forum. I know you're trying to get a comfort level so will let you make your own decision and will just list what we have towed and with what during our 7 1/2 years and somewhere beyond 150k miles of fulltiming. Listed starting with the first one. All of them have done an excellent job of towing.

1999 Ford F350 SRW (single rear wheel), V10, gas (traded for diesel at 70k miles) - 2003 Montana 3295RK

2003 Ford F350 SRW 6.0L diesel(traded at 69k miles) - 2003 Montana 3295RK

2005 Ford F250 SRW, 6.0L diesel (traded at 91k miles) - 2003 Montana 3295RK and 2007 Montana 3400RL

2007 Dodge 3500 SRW, 6.7L diesel (currently has 65k miles) - 2007 Montana 3400RL

By the way, 2002 was the final full year for the 7.3 but they did put some in the early 2003 models, those built prior to Jan 1, 2003, when the new emissions standard was effective. So there are some 2003 7.3's out there. It's a good, solid engine.

Good luck to you folks. Hope to meet you on the road sometime.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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Seems your TV would not be suited for the 3400 (if in fact your TV is rated at 13000 for a fifth wheel and you already have pretty good numbers for the 3400); however, you may want to get confirmation on your TV's actual numbers. If you find that you can tow the 3400, it is a very nice rig...or at least we think so. Welcome to the forum and hopefully you will get the setup you are looking for.
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