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Buyer2021

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Just FYI, some info on my '5th wheel' RV rig, a bit less massive than some of the others which have been posted. I'm a 70-years-young solo traveler with a lifetime of RV-ing going back to my youth with the parents' rigs.

The F150

A 2022 Lariat SuperCab 3.5EB 4x4 ordered specifically for my towing fun but also my daily driver. Full specs as ordered are in my signature block below. Aftermarket mods, many affecting available payload, include:
  • LINE-X spray in bedliner
  • B&W Turnoverball underbed gooseneck hitch
  • Andersen Ultimate trailer hitch (ties to the B&W above)
  • In-bed trailer connector socket / box
  • Receiver drawbar with 2" ball
  • Running boards (solid cast aluminum)
  • Bilstein 5100 shocks (4 wheels)
  • Rear Spacer Blocks removed (= 2WD ride height)
  • 2WD Bump Stops installed (= recover full suspension travel with spacer blocks removed)
The Trailer

A 2021 Escape 5.0, built to my specifications by Escape Trailer Industries (ETI) in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. ETI has no dealer network, all trailers are built to order for direct sale to customers in both the USA and Canada. I ordered mine September of 2020 and it was delivered to me in Texas August of 2021. The delivery lead-time and the trailer price have both increased significantly since then.

The trailer has a GTWR of 5500# running on tandem Dexter torsion axles and 15" tires; 21' overall length, 7'4" overall width, it's a molded fiberglass shell on a steel chassis with wood interior cabinetry. Queen bed space in the loft, wet bath with toilet and shower, full galley with 6 cubic foot 2-door refrigerator / freezer, dinette with seating for 4 adults. NO slide-outs.

This is the second generation of '5th-wheel' trailer designed by ETI, intended specifically for the full-size half-ton pickup tow vehicle. With my 6.5ft box the trailer can be backed to a 90-degree+ jackknife with generous cab clearance.

LARIAT WITH ESCAPE 01.jpg


LARIAT WITH ESCAPE 02.jpg


Some Weight Data (spec and CAT Scale)

1673999461445.png


When the empty trailer is hitched the truck rear sags 1-1/8" and the front sags 1/4" measured at axle centerline; the trailer sits level on level ground and the box-rails are level (all good! (y)).

Work In Progress

I'm currently in the process of making some significant mods to the trailer:
  • 400Ah LiFePO4 house battery + 800W rooftop solar array + 3000W DC>AC Inverter
  • installation of an inverter/variable-speed mini-split AC / Heat Pump
The weight of these mods will all fall behind the trailer axles; the freshwater tank is behind the axles, the black and greywater tanks are in front of the axles. I expect these mods to increase the total trailer weight but have minimal impact on pin weight / the 'stance' of the rig.

Summary

I've not hit the CAT Scale on a fully loaded-for-travel trip but I'm confident everything is well-below all of the truck and trailer weight ratings. The rig tows and handles like a dream, seems immune to crosswinds and passing big-rigs in any direction. Locking the tranny out of 9&10 noticeably reduces the 'boost excursions'; I've not taken trips yet of length to allow calculation of meaningful mileage, but my attitude is "it is what it is" and I'm very happy with the power on steep grades and passing.

Loving my Lariat and loving my Escape 5.0, the rig is a gift to myself in retirement and I'm super-happy with everything about it.

Yep, we are having FUN now, retirement is GREAT ! :)
 
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Buyer2021

Buyer2021

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Any interior pictures? Very interested.
I'm withholding those at the moment because my interior is a bit disheveled with the mods in progress - I'll post here when it's 'presentable'. ;)

In the meantime, click the link in the "trailer" section of my post or in my signature block to see what ETI is currently offering; here's their 'walk through' page for the 5.0 model, showing the 'maple' cabinetry which is what I happen to have (with different flooring, upholstery, and countertops).

Cool setup.
Thank You.
 

Sneezy

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Good looking setup 👍🏻 I prefer the way a 5th wheel tows and I imagine your F150 handles it really well. Hope you get to enjoy many adventures on the road
 

GregBC

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Good looking setup 👍🏻 I prefer the way a 5th wheel tows and I imagine your F150 handles it really well. Hope you get to enjoy many adventures on the road
I was just going to ask! Is that the main advantage of 5th wheels, their handling? I certainly don’t see them very often on 1/2t trucks, the smaller 5th wheels do seem quite rare.
 

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Buyer2021

Buyer2021

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The only 'fiver RV' experience in my past was a 2-horse+living quarters trailer, a heavy all-steel beast, towed with an F350 7.3L Powerstroke Crew Cab Dually (married to a trail-riding horsewoman at the time). Obviously very different from the current setup but that one did tow like a dream, too. I have had a fair amount of experience with gooseneck utility trailers (hauling hay and ag equipment) which offer similar great towing. I still own and regularly bumper-pull 8' and 17' flatbed utility trailers (life on acreage in rural Texas, ya know).

But for RV's I've much more experience with bumper-pulls, from 31' Airstreams to my immediately previous trailer, a 2005 17' Casita. Like my parents before me I evolved from small to large and back to smaller trailers, though they pulled Airstreams exclusively in their 20-year heyday of post retirement RV-ing (boxing the compass from the ALcan Highway to the islands of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces; Key West to Copper Canyon in Mexico and Baja; good for them, my 96-years-young Mom still tells great stories of their travel adventures!).

I loved my little Casita for 16 trouble-free years (also a molded fiberglass trailer, it's hell-for-stout method of construction) but wanted to get something a bit larger so I didn't have to convert the dinette for sleeping every night, a bit more storage especially the reefer / freezer.

Upon touring a 2018 Escape 5.0 owned by a couple near me in Austin, the die was cast - I'd found the trailer for me! The 5.0 provides a truly decadent amount of space and storage for a solo traveler but is actually a few inches shorter than a 17' bumper-pull in overall rig length.

Yes, I find the fiver a much easier and more comfortable tow than any bumper-pull. My main measure is how relaxed I feel at the end of a long day on the road in 'taxing' weather and / or road conditions. A reasonably-sized 'fiver' with a properly-matched tug is very hard to beat in that regard, IMO. 'Bucking' and 'sway' are terms that drop from your vocabulary - they simply never occur. The truck-to-trailer connection is always silent with not one iota of 'slop' (at least with the Andersen hitch).

I also find the fiver much easier and quicker to set-up and break-down, especially in comparison to trailers with a weight-distributing hitch (wonderful devices but a bit of a PITA). Hitching the fiver is a snap, even for a solo traveler, made even easier with modern F150 cam systems and the lariat's step-saving fully-powered up / down tailgate.

Backing onto tight spaces .... well it takes a bit of learning (re-learning for the long-time bumper-pull driver), but once you get the hang of it the fiver is much easier to thread through 'circuitous knotholes' in reverse.

All just one person's experience and opinions, and I suspect very different from towing those monstrous fivers with standing-room spaces over the bed of the truck and slide-outs (I've never been a fan of slide-outs of any sort).

For me this rig is proving the ideal KISS but super-comfortable solution, I expect it will be my last, but everyone's priorities differ, especially those traveling with families. Buying an RV+tug is always a difficult set of decisions, compromises, and a bit of a gamble. I managed to get lucky, hope y'all do too in finding what works for you.

Happy travels! :)
 
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Sneezy

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I was just going to ask! Is that the main advantage of 5th wheels, their handling? I certainly don’t see them very often on 1/2t trucks, the smaller 5th wheels do seem quite rare.
Yeah they handle better due to the tow pin being in front or on top of the rear axle, so the the trailer doesn’t have as much leverage to sway/yaw the back of the truck side to side. A 5th wheel trailer will perform better while steering and under braking as well due to the fact the weight of the trailer is further forward between the axles of the tow rig. This shifts some of the payload from the trailer to the front axle of the truck which is what gives you better control. A bumper pulled trailer will lever weight off the front axle, which is what makes an overloaded, or improperly loaded trailer with too much tongue weight so dangerous.


Hope this helps, I used to drive big rigs for a living, but typing it out so it makes sense is completely different 😂
 

Tosh

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Very Nice! I pull an Escape 21NE with my 2021 Lariat Powerboost. I'm pretty happy with the setup. I was lucky to find an Escape for sale that was only 6 months old. It had already been setup properly for a Toyota Tundra which was so close to the geometry of the F-150, that I didn't have to change anything.

I'm also fiddling with things in the interior, changing out the bed, dinette cushions, adding storage systems, etc.

I'm just amazed at how well the truck tows this 5,000 lb trailer. No lack of power!

In '24 we'll be driving to Texas to view the solar eclipse and visit family. Might be on the road all summer!
 

Lariatom

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Just FYI, some info on my '5th wheel' RV rig, a bit less massive than some of the others which have been posted. I'm a 70-years-young solo traveler with a lifetime of RV-ing going back to my youth with the parents' rigs.

The F150

A 2022 Lariat SuperCab 3.5EB 4x4 ordered specifically for my towing fun but also my daily driver. Full specs as ordered are in my signature block below. Aftermarket mods, many affecting available payload, include:
  • LINE-X spray in bedliner
  • B&W Turnoverball underbed gooseneck hitch
  • Andersen Ultimate trailer hitch (ties to the B&W above)
  • In-bed trailer connector socket / box
  • Receiver drawbar with 2" ball
  • Running boards (solid cast aluminum)
  • Bilstein 5100 shocks (4 wheels)
  • Rear Spacer Blocks removed (= 2WD ride height)
  • 2WD Bump Stops installed (= recover full suspension travel with spacer blocks removed)
The Trailer

A 2021 Escape 5.0, built to my specifications by Escape Trailer Industries (ETI) in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. ETI has no dealer network, all trailers are built to order for direct sale to customers in both the USA and Canada. I ordered mine September of 2020 and it was delivered to me in Texas August of 2021. The delivery lead-time and the trailer price have both increased significantly since then.

The trailer has a GTWR of 5500# running on tandem Dexter torsion axles and 15" tires; 21' overall length, 7'4" overall width, it's a molded fiberglass shell on a steel chassis with wood interior cabinetry. Queen bed space in the loft, wet bath with toilet and shower, full galley with 6 cubic foot 2-door refrigerator / freezer, dinette with seating for 4 adults. NO slide-outs.

This is the second generation of '5th-wheel' trailer designed by ETI, intended specifically for the full-size half-ton pickup tow vehicle. With my 6.5ft box the trailer can be backed to a 90-degree+ jackknife with generous cab clearance.

LARIAT WITH ESCAPE 01.jpg


LARIAT WITH ESCAPE 02.jpg


Some Weight Data (spec and CAT Scale)

1673999461445.png


When the empty trailer is hitched the truck rear sags 1-1/8" and the front sags 1/4" measured at axle centerline; the trailer sits level on level ground and the box-rails are level (all good! (y)).

Work In Progress

I'm currently in the process of making some significant mods to the trailer:
  • 400Ah LiFePO4 house battery + 800W rooftop solar array + 3000W DC>AC Inverter
  • installation of an inverter/variable-speed mini-split AC / Heat Pump
The weight of these mods will all fall behind the trailer axles; the freshwater tank is behind the axles, the black and greywater tanks are in front of the axles. I expect these mods to increase the total trailer weight but have minimal impact on pin weight / the 'stance' of the rig.

Summary

I've not hit the CAT Scale on a fully loaded-for-travel trip but I'm confident everything is well-below all of the truck and trailer weight ratings. The rig tows and handles like a dream, seems immune to crosswinds and passing big-rigs in any direction. Locking the tranny out of 9&10 noticeably reduces the 'boost excursions'; I've not taken trips yet of length to allow calculation of meaningful mileage, but my attitude is "it is what it is" and I'm very happy with the power on steep grades and passing.

Loving my Lariat and loving my Escape 5.0, the rig is a gift to myself in retirement and I'm super-happy with everything about it.

Yep, we are having FUN now, retirement is GREAT ! :)
Are you not over your payload limit?
 
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Buyer2021

Buyer2021

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Are you not over your payload limit?
Not at all ....

Sticker payload is 1848 with a sticker 7050 GVWR
7050 GVWR - 1848 sticker payload = 5202 'sticker derived' curb weight with full tank but no mods, no driver / occupants
(FYI it wasn't convenient to hit a CAT scale before any mods because the B&W turnoverball was installed the morning after I took delivery of the truck in Granger Iowa, at the B&W factory in Kansas on my way home to Texas)

CAT scale of truck with all mods, full tank, and driver = 5620
7050 GVWR - 5620 scale weight = 1430 remaining useable payload

Cat scale sum of both truck axles with all mods, full tank, driver, and trailer hitched = 6400
7050 GVWR - 6400 scale weight = 650 remaining useable payload

The difference between CAT scale sum of both truck axles without trailer and with trailer
6400 - 5620 = 780, that being the pin weight of the trailer (the load the trailer imposes on the truck)
 

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Lariatom

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Not at all ....

Sticker payload is 1848 with a sticker 7050 GVWR
7050 GVWR - 1848 sticker payload = 5202 'sticker derived' curb weight with full tank but no mods, no driver / occupants
(FYI it wasn't convenient to hit a CAT scale before any mods because the B&W turnoverball was installed the morning after I took delivery of the truck in Granger Iowa, at the B&W factory in Kansas on my way home to Texas)

CAT scale of truck with all mods, full tank, and driver = 5620
7050 GVWR - 5620 scale weight = 1430 remaining useable payload

Cat scale sum of both truck axles with all mods, full tank, driver, and trailer hitched = 6400
7050 GVWR - 6400 scale weight = 650 remaining useable payload

The difference between CAT scale sum of both truck axles without trailer and with trailer
6400 - 5620 = 780, that being the pin weight of the trailer (the load the trailer imposes on the truck)
I must have read your chart wrong. You list available payload at 1848. Then you list 1430 total for truck and 650 for rig. 2080 total, no?
 
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Buyer2021

Buyer2021

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I must have read your chart wrong. You list available payload at 1848. Then you list 1430 total for truck and 650 for rig. 2080 total, no?
With apology for my table shortcomings, I intended cell entries the row titled "Available Payload" to reflect the payload remaining at the load condition described in each respective column header with "Rig" being the truck+trailer combination.

So adding cell values across the data columns should never occur, just read each data column straight down on its own merits, discrete from other columns.

Eventually I'll add another data column "Rig Actual (loaded trailer)" when I hit the CAT scale after all trailer mods are done and I'm loaded with gear and provisions for a typical trip. I'll post that updated version of the table in this thread along with pics of the 'finished' rig inside and out.

Hope that helps clarify, again with apology if the presentation is confusing, and thank you for your interest / comments.
 
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Lariatom

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With apology for my table shortcomings, I intended cell entries the row titled "Available Payload" to reflect the payload remaining at the load condition described in each respective column header with "Rig" being the truck+trailer combination.

So adding cell values across the data columns should never occur, just read each data column straight down on its own merits, discrete from other columns.

Eventually I'll add another data column "Rig Actual (loaded trailer)" when I hit the CAT scale after all trailer mods are done and I'm loaded with gear and provisions for a typical trip. I'll post that updated version of the table in this thread along with pics of the 'finished' rig inside and out.

Hope that helps clarify, again with apology if the presentation is confusing, and thank you for your interest / comments.
Got it! Definitely my fault for looking at it differently. Thank you! Gives me more hope!
 
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Buyer2021

Buyer2021

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Got it! Definitely my fault for looking at it differently. Thank you! Gives me more hope!
No harm, no 'fault', no worries! Wishing you the best with whatever "Rig" is in your future! (y) . :)
 

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