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Old 07-19-2018, 01:03 PM   #1
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1/2 Ton Towables

Hey y'all. This post is for anyone considering a larger 1/2 Ton Towable unit and plan to use their 1/2 ton to tow. I can't speak for anyone else's experience but I thought I would share my experience with 1\2 Ton Towables.

I bought a Coachmen 292BHDS 29' TT (6700 dry, 7000ish loaded, 7600max) last year and worked all the numbers to make sure that my Ram 1500 could handle it. It was a lengthy calculation process that included TV GVWR, GCWR, TT GVWR, TV payload, tongue weight, and effects of w/d hitch. After the pencil dust settled I was within MYcomfort zone. What I realized is that there is a big difference between theoretical(numbers) and actual(reality). Yes, the Ram could tow it.

What I mean by that is that it could pull the trailer comfortably on slightly uneven ground at 45 to 50 mph. But if you plan to take it on the highway at 60-65 mph or tow in the West it became a totally different animal.

So, here was my experience. The Ram performed admirably for how much it was hauling. But I quickly found it's limits here in AZ. We towed the TT to WA, UT, CA, and locally in AZ. Routinely the oil temps ran in the 260-280 range and really scared me when I saw 295! We pulled up a 6 degree grade for several miles at OAT of 90+, elevation 6000', and the Ram ran out of HP. We finished the hill in 2nd gear, crawling at 20 mph, engine roaring, watching oil temp approach 300. Lesson: get more momentum on long grades and stay in high RPMs. Addition: aftermarket oil cooler. Average mpg: 8

The Coachmen is a great trailer. We love it. But it is 33' from tip to tail. Plus about 20' of truck means approx. 55' total length. The standard fuel island now becomes a challenge. We seriously used aerial recon(google satellite maps) before stopping for fuel. I got stuck once. Not fun. But 55' also catches a lot of wind. Every ripple from passing trucks and semis or x-winds was noticable. Down hill in a x-wind with semis passing? White knuckle Disneyland adventure ride!! Tail wagging the Dog. Lesson: get another sway bar(makes 2). Level the ride. Addition: rear air bags and another anti-sway bar. Hellwig rear roll bar for Ram.

After a year, we finally decided to trade in the Ram 1500 Hemi for a Ram 2500 Diesel(don't even think about getting into that discussion!!). Every time towing the trailer with the 1500 felt like the suspension was swimming down the highway. The new TV? HUGE DIFFERENCE!!! No more sway, no more power outages, no more suck-you-in-spit-you-out from passing trucks, no more squishy suspension feel. Rock solid now. MPG: 23 unloaded, 11ish towing.

I know what you're thinking: But the 1/2 ton CAN tow it and it's so expensive to go to a 3/4 ton! Trust me. Don't make my mistake. Pony up and get a 3/4 ton. Or else look for a TT WELL BELOW YOUR MAX TOW! It's no good getting to your campground worn out and nerves a wreck. Your marriage and kids will thank me.

The Verdict: 1/2 ton towables are towable by 1\2 tons. But limited in serious ways. Speed, grades, temps, winds, all are operating limitations for all TVs but especially for 1/2 tons. IMHO. Discuss.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:09 PM   #2
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You just described perfectly my first year owning my 36' TT and towing it with a 1/2 ton. Traded up to a 2500 Chevy Duramax and the difference was night and day.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:17 PM   #3
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1/2 Ton Towables

depends on the 1/2 ton, towing package and engine. I had no issues towing a similar rig with a Tundra 5.7l with towing package. YMMV. We towed our 28' TT (31 bumper to hitch) through out the Rocky Mountain West for ten years and never experienced elevated transmission temp, sway or any other issue.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:26 PM   #4
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Totally agree with you.

Went from towing with my Esky to my new to me F350. Night and day difference.

I know I would've blown that Esky out west this spring.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:28 PM   #5
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Took road trip last summer out to Yellowstone and back. Can't imagine how that would have worked with a 1/2 ton.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:32 PM   #6
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I started out towing my TT with a 1500 Silverado and Equalizer hitch. It performed pretty well (TT about 6000 lbs.). In preparation for a 5th wheel next yr we bought a 3500 Duramax DRW. Of course it tows the TT very comfortably, still use the Equalizer hitch. While the 1500 performed ok, at this point I would recommend anyone planning to tow an RV over 5000 lbs get at least a 3/4 ton truck. There is nothing like being totally relaxed while towing.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:41 PM   #7
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Sounds like that RAM was either near capacity or slightly over. No wonder it didn't perform.


Max towing for a RAM is about 8700lbs minus your dry weight leaves 2000lbs for hitch, propane, passengers, clothing, cooking utensils, food, and anything else that is added.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:44 PM   #8
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There are plenty of real 1/2 tow able tt's out there . a 33' would not be one of them . maybe 27 , but 24 would be even better .
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:47 PM   #9
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I think the real problem here is that trailers are being marketed as "Half-Ton towable" and really aren't. While the dry weights make sense, the real world numbers put the half ton truck in a world of hurt.

There is a very small percentage of trucks in that class that are actually up to the task.
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jd50i View Post
Sounds like that RAM was either near capacity or slightly over. No wonder it didn't perform.


Max towing for a RAM is about 8700lbs minus your dry weight leaves 2000lbs for hitch, propane, passengers, clothing, cooking utensils, food, and anything else that is added.

Sounds like you are confusing towing capacity with cargo capacity.
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