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How to Determine Towing Capacity 2011 Ford F250

Question:

Hello, I have been searching for almost a month now and watched way to many YouTube videos warning me not to overload and may be a little paranoid now. I found this site https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/vindecoder.php that seems to do all the dirty math work on telling me what my truck can do but wanted your opinion if this site is giving me the correct information. It says for my 2011 Ford F250 Super Duty VIN 1FT7W2BT7BEB88859 that it can do a max 5th wheel weight of 15,700 lbs with a hitch/pin weight of 3925. Back to watching all the YouTube videos they all seem to say F250s have no business towing 5th wheels. The trailer I am wanting to purchase has a hitch weight of 2,520 lbs and unloaded weight of 12,687 and can hold 100 gallons of water + 834 lbs. This brings me to 13,521 lbs with 2,179 to spare on trailer weight and 1,405 on hitch weight. I am sure the wife will bring at least 600 lbs of food, clothing and other things. 75 of the time I would be towing without water in the tanks Do you have any experience with website above being correct on the numbers it gives and if the numbers are good do you think I am safe to make this purchase and be safe on the road? BTW - I visited 3 different dealerships and they were all saying the truck can do that and much more no problem, right before handing me a contract that states it is my responsibility to ensure my truck can handle the trailer. Based on the web site data and my math I am getting close but still under so with this being my 1st 5th wheel I thought I would ask the experts before doing the 5th wheel or staying with a bumper pull.

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Expert Reply:

During my research, I found the Super Duty towing guide through the Ford Fleet website. As you've found, it's pretty difficult to definitively determine the exact tow capacity of a truck because there's so many variables involved.

The actual towing capacity of your truck will depend on the cab configuration, the engine and the rear axle ratio as shown in the chart I provided for you. You'll also want to ensure that the pin weight of the 5th wheel doesn't exceed the payload capacity of the truck. The payload capacity should be listed on the sticker placed in the drivers door jamb.

The payload capacity could be where you run into trouble. Generally speaking, the more well-equipped the truck, the lower the available payload capacity will go. Even if the towing capacity of the vehicle is higher than the payload capacity, you should limit yourself to towing below the lowest capacity.

I've never used the VID decoder you mentioned, so I couldn't comment on how reliable it is, but I'd tend to trust the information provided by Ford. It's just a matter of wading through it all.

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Mike L

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