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Old 01-18-2011, 06:22 PM   #11
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You keep talking about your business needs but don't seem to be concerned about your families safety. I have towed all sorts of trailers my whole life, with living on a farm, auto and motocross racing and camping. There is NO way I am towing a trailer that measures 31 feet overall and weighs in at 6500 lbs with a Explorer or minivan. That's just an accident waiting to happen in my opinion. Camping is a great way to spend time with your family but just like everything else in this world it cost money.

I did a search on our local Craiglist postings and I found at least six 1 ton dually's with extended cabs and toppers for under 4000, and all of them were newer then 94.

Good luck, I hope you can come to some kind of happy medium.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:28 PM   #12
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Prof, IMO the WB to TT length chart is something that has been around a while, so long in fact that many people regard the limits in the chart to generally apply to vehicles that do NOT use any sort of sway control. Those length restrictions/suggestions are meant to make sure the TT does not have the moment arm advantage over the tow vehicle.
Do a little hunting around the net on this, come to your own conclusions. You are a mechanic for 15 years, you know how the rubber meets the road...
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:30 PM   #13
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A pick up with an 8 foot bed will hold 10 foot long pieces of rigid conduit. Has to go across the bed, left front to right rear, or opposite, but it will go in and the tailgate will shut, nothing sticking out. In the trucks you mentioned, neither had an 8 foot bed.
As for the chart on wheel base, basically you multiply your trailer length in feet, by 5, and that gives you the minimum wheelbase in inches. In your case, 28 foot trailer time 5 equals 140 inch wheel base vehicle.
Now you asked for help, but reject all the advice. Your decision. We're just trying to keep you and us safe, and make sure that towing is not a white knuckle experience in good weather. Also, at the moment you are only thinking of one campground, but let's say something came up and you wanted to tow it a little farther, or in some more mountains? If you buy a marginal tow vehicle, that is as good as it will ever be, marginal.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:08 PM   #14
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Why do you say no Suburban for a 28" trailer? Go to an Airstream rally. You will see Suburbans all over the place pulling 34' Airstreams. They seem to do it well. A 3/4T Suburban is quite a good pulling beast.

BTW, I have never had a Suburban. I use a 3/4T Cummins Dodge.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotocrossCamper View Post

I did a search on our local Craiglist postings and I found at least six 1 ton dually's with extended cabs and toppers for under 4000, and all of them were newer then 94.

Good luck, I hope you can come to some kind of happy medium.
You pay for a third vehicle I'll drive 1000 miles a year - or pay my fuel bill so I can drive it every day.

Chevy (because I looked is why I'm using them) shows their suburban in 2 forms - 1/2 ton and 3/4. The 1/2 ton is listed as towing 8100 lbs -but if you check their GCWR it can really only tow 5700 (including vehicle payload - not much huh?). If you get the 3/4 ton with the 6.0 engine suddenly the GCWR goes up 5000 lbs. Gas mileage is 10mpg....sorry, I love the environment a bit too much to DOUBLE my fuel usage for everyday driving. Besides, I can't afford to spend another $250 a month on gas. Just can't do it.

Maybe if I can find some old, cheap used up truck just to tow with - but what about realiability? When you buy an old work truck you get (in my expereince) something useless - worn out, unreliable, unsafe and rusty.


Can an explorer pull a 30' 6500# load, safely? Depends IMO. at 70 mph through the mountains? No. At 50mp probably. Would I want to choose this combo for a 5,000 mile ride? Probably not.

I don't see how 1 foot of wheelbase can make that much difference.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:19 PM   #16
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Towing a trailer means different things – from a manufactures point of view you could be towing a 4’ high16‘flat deck @6500 lbs or (what you) have are a 10’7” high 31’ long TT @6500 lbs. On paper, the explorer you mention can tow both but how well is the question. The engine (hp&tq) trans, axle ratio, tires address tow capacity not driving quality.
What you are reading here is experience that is trying to tell you that there are a number of additional factors when towing a TT – wheelbase etc - along with opinion on what others believe will best meet your needs. IMHO, a TT of that size will easily be towed with a t burb or Excursion lesser vehicles may certainly be able to tow the trailer (based on paper numbers) but the experience will most likely be less than enjoyable.
If you are interested, see the following article regarding the new SAE Towing Standard - SAE J2807 – though not in place for older vehicles, it is something to consider
Tow Ratings Finally Pass the Sniff Test - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) - Automobile Magazine

just my 2cents
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:43 PM   #17
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I read the SAE article in question - did you? It mentions many things to be considered for tow rating - but no mention of WB vs trailer length or any mention of either. There is mention of other things - starting and stopping ability, corning ability - which is I suppose most of what is being talked about here in a roundabout way.

Folks have been towing long trailers for a long time -and we didn't have 140" wb vehicles to do it with and if it was all that dangerous there'd be some law to protect us from ourselves.

I'm not denying a big 1T dually TV isn't a better TV than a 1/2 ton SB or explorer. But it's also relative - if'n I was going to pull said trailer thousands of miles or every weekend I'd be looking for a larger, more robust TV for comfort, longevity and such. If I intended to pull it 75mph every day all day in all weather vs 50mph 4 times a year (when I can pick at least 2 of those days' weather) I might be swayed more toward a bigger badder vehicle.

It's not so much the TV and TT as the driver - a few years ago I saw an excursion flipped in the median with an open top uhaul trailer along side - the TV easily outweigh and out-lengthened the TT but it didn't stop something from going awry.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:45 PM   #18
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When we started camping in 2000 i towed a 29' Fleetwood Mallard travel trailer and tow with a 1997 GMC Suburban 3/4 ton for 5 years and had no problem, we bought the Suburban used from a dealer in PA. In 2006 We bought the camper we have now and towed with the same Suburban until 2008 and sold the Suburban last Winter. We had two kids and three Retired Greyhounds that camped with almost every weekend and including a trip to Disney World for 15 days and had plenty of room.
The wheel base on the Suburban was 130" and had no problems handling the load. No matter what brand of truck or suv you select i would not go with anything under 130", my new truck has a wheel base of 144" and this truck handles the same camper even better. When i look around in the campgrounds to see who is towing with what i see more Suburbans/Yukons XL as far as suv's being used then any other suv's towing large campers.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:55 PM   #19
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Seems you have your mind made up so why ask for the help in the first place? Accidents can happen in any vehicle at any time, but there is no harm in trying to be as safe as you possibly can. What are the cost in having a third vehicle? I have 6, I use 2 on a daily basis and the other 4 have a more specific purpose, when I need to use them I call the insurance lady and tell her I need coverage for a few days. It cost me about 25 bucks a year to license them and that's it. You said you are only using it a couple times a year for about 2 hours, you can find a truck build in the 50's that will be reliable enough for that. Also if your concern for the enviroment out weighs your families safety then maybe you should have thought twice before you bought the TT.

I see no problem with a Suburban, but an explorer has the same wheel base as a Chevy Camaro, so why not just use that? It has more Horsepower and Torque? Just my opinion.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:14 PM   #20
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I did read the article - my point with the article is that they will soon include a number of additional factors for tow capacity covering a range of trailers but still not the full range - per" The SAE towing committee purposely defined the scope of this standard not to include brake fade and durability aspects related to the tow vehicle such as the endurance of chassis, powertrain, suspension, and brake components. Other SAE standards and each manufacturer's own internal requirements instead address these towing issues."
With regards to the wheel base issue can perhaps it can be explained better at David's RV Tips: How long?
.
IMHO A well matched TT/TV setup will may help a less than skilled driver but any driver that becomes overconfident or has no regard/understanding of what is safe can become a dangerous driver or end up flipped on the median very quickly.
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