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Old 09-23-2009, 03:12 PM   #1
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Question Need some advice

I am in the market for a travel trailer. I just looked at a 2006 Puma 27FQ which appears to be a super buy. It is immaculate, is priced right, and is equipped just the way I want.

My dilemma is whether or not my tow vehicle can SAFELY handle this trailer.

The trailer is 30'7" overall length, has a UVW of 5350 lb, GVWR of 7530 and tongue weight of 530 lb.

My tow vehicle is a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.7L Hemi, Quad Cab with tow package. It is rated to tow 8750 lb with a gross combined weight of 14,000 lb.

My big concern is the length of the trailer. If I use the commonly accepted formula, I shouldn't go over a total length of 27.6'.

Will an Equal-i-zer hitch allow me to tow this trailer without becoming a hazard to myself and others? If not, would a Pullrite or Hensley?
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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We have the basically same Dodge. We have a Wildwood Sport 23FLSRV which is 27' 10" total length and dresses out when fully loaded at 10815 lbs and a tongue weight of 655 lbs. We routinely haul it pretty full with 2 full dress bikes or one dresser and a golf cart or Polaris RZR. With all the normal load of personal items etc we travel fairly normally. We have not modified the TV and with a BlueOx 1000 lb WD hitch setup we only see the need for some air bags on ocassion when the road gets rather bouncey. We will be adding them some time soon but it is not in our opinion necessary. The rear of the truck drops within recommended amounts and the truck and trailer combination is awesome as far as we are concerned. We rarely notice it's even there except for the dreaded fuel mileage difference.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:23 PM   #3
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Rule of thumb I have heard and some of the trailer experts here can confirm but for safety and handling concerns the trailer should be no longer than 1.5 times the wheelbase of the tow vehicle, up to 2 times longer if a 5th wheel.

My friend used to have a 1-ton, quad cab, Cummins turbo diesel Dodge pickup with all the goodies. He used to brag about how much it could "haul" but he admitted that the problem was stopping it. The brakes were not enough to stop what the truck could haul.

Error on the safe side, after all your family is at stake.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:43 PM   #4
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I thought the trailer brakes are supposed to stop the trailer. The truck brakes are meant for the tow vehicle other than perhaps an extra 1000#. That is why brakes are required on trailers over 1000# or per state req'ts.
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dezolen View Post
I thought the trailer brakes are supposed to stop the trailer. The truck brakes are meant for the tow vehicle other than perhaps an extra 1000#. That is why brakes are required on trailers over 1000# or per state req'ts.
In a perfect world yes. But in my buddies case with his Dodge he admitted that the truck brakes were not sufficient for the amount he "could" pull with it.

I have seen guys pulling trailers, both regular and 5ers that just make me cringe in fear. Bumpers practically dragging the ground, trailers that dwarf the tow vehicle and should probably realistically be behind a Kenworth tow rig, trailers pulled out of level so that a majority of the weight is on one axle rather than both and mostly because some RV dealer told them "you can pull that trailer with that rig, no problem!" There is so much more behind being safe with a trailer that there should probably be a course in it.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:39 AM   #6
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I towed the 280 in my sig with a 1500 Ram, 5.7 Hemi, 20" tires, 3.92 gears and it towed it well. The GS-280 is 31' long and weighs 6100 lbs loaded. I used (and still do) an Equal-i-zer with 1000 lb bars. I wouldn't be afraid to tow that combination anywhere. In fact we towed it to Yellowstone with that 1500. The fuel economy sucked but the truck pulled the unit good. Fuel economy is the reason I traded for the truck in my sig.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWJeeper View Post
Rule of thumb I have heard and some of the trailer experts here can confirm but for safety and handling concerns the trailer should be no longer than 1.5 times the wheelbase of the tow vehicle, up to 2 times longer if a 5th wheel.
I agree that a shorter trailer is better as far as safety and handling, but with the 1.5 figure quoted then my 145" wheelbase truck could only pull a 18 footer. To pull a 30 footer you would need a 240" wheelbase truck?? I don't even think the make such a puppy.

Here is a chart that has been floating around on RV sites that is a little more realistic....the 1st figure is the wheelbase of the TV, and the 2nd is the total maximum "suggested" length that you would be able to tow with a conventional travel trailer:

110" 20' .... 150" 30'
114" 21' .... 154" 31'
118" 22' .... 158" 32'
122" 23' .... 162" 33'
126" 24' .... 166" 34'
130" 25' .... 170" 35'
134" 26' .... 174" 36'
138" 27' .... 178" 37'
142" 28' .... 182" 38'
146" 29' .... 186" 39'

At 145" wheelbase, I should be able to tow between 28 and 29 foot......which I am right at that limit.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the help. It looks like I could safely tow the trailer, but might be right at the upper limit of length for my truck. I may still buy that trailer (it is a super deal!), but I am going to look at one tomorrow that is 2 feet shorter and close to 1500 lb lighter. It is a little older (and a little cheaper) but has essentially the same floor plan. If it is in really good shape, it may be a better choice for me. It will have to be really good though, I got kind of spoiled by the one I looked at yesterday.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:33 AM   #9
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Good Luck WoodLark.

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:33 AM   #10
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Hi Woodlark. I have the same truck, as well, 2006 model. I pull a Flagstaff Vlite 30 foot, rated at 7575 uvw. I have the Reese Dual cam setup, and just put on a set of bilstein shocks. My mileage is 7 to 8 mpg at 65 in flat Florida. I don't feel that the Ram is all that bad, but if I had a choice, I would opt for a 2500 diesel. I would NOT pull my setup through any mountains....not enough power. I have a 3:54 rear end, and 17" stock tires, with the 545 RFE Overdrive auto. trans., and always try to pull in Tow/Haul mode. So in summary, you can get by with your truck and the Puma, just stay reasonably close to home. Randy
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