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Old 02-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
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Towing..a small rant...I'm sorry

I have only pulled pups..now I am trying to learn all I can about travel trailers so we can get into one later this year. Not going to mention any particular models..When I read some trailer specs that say they are 1/2 ton towable..add for people and cargo..do the math..there is no way it can be towed by a 1/2 ton...and stay with in the safety rating...Then I might read some one pulled an even bigger trailer with ther 1/2 ton all over the place with no problems. I am not talking about FR products here, just travel trailers in general. It's just frustrating when you are trying to learn what you can safely tow with so much mixed information.
Thnks for your ear, Wolfie
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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Well, i am one that tows with a 1/2 ton, but it is not a standard 1/2 ton. I have a 2008 Chevy Pick up Heavy 1/2 ton that is rated to tow 10,500 lbs. It has a 6.0 gas engine @ 367 HP, 4:10 rear, a heavy duty 4 speed automatic transmission with a heavy duty tow package and factory installed brake controller.

I tow a 2006 Forest River 8314ss with a full load weight of 7,910 lbs. I am well with in a safe tow range if the camper was fully loaded, but in most cases people do not load there campers to the max and that is how one has to buy if you are going to tow.

If you need a bigger and heavier camper then a heavy 1/2 ton is not the truck to use and if i went to a 5th wheel then it would have to be a 2500 HD, i would not tow a 5th wheel even if the dealer or a stick on a camper at an RV show said i could.

The first thing you have to do is to decide what size camper you need, or what you like to have, then know what the future holds, are you going to up grade any time soon there after, then look at tow vehicles.

The best thing i can tell you to do once you have some idea ask question here on the forum, you will get the right answers.

Now with the price of fuel going up, i have no plans on up grading my tow vehicle or camper. They say that gas prices could get to 5 bucks a gallon, just think what the price of diesel is going to cost.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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all these manufacturers use that line. and technically, if the TV has just the driver and no cargo, and the trailer has no options nor battery, water, propane, cargo, then it is "1/2 ton towable".

they are stretching the truth by these kind of specs, instead of real world specs.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:37 PM   #4
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It is really pretty simple. Stay within every weight rating of the truck and trailer and allow enough available payload to have a 12-13% tongue weight. Then load the trailer so you have this amount of tounge weight. Get a good integrated sway control hitch like the 4point Equalizer or Reese dual cam.

You will be safe as possible and it will be an enjoyable ride. Isn't that what it's all about?

Follow those simple rules and do not listen to anything a salesman tells you.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:47 PM   #5
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I share your frustration. I bought my first travel trailer on the 1/2 ton towable BS line. I can tell you that my 30' Surveyor SV304LE was scray as heck to drive with my 1/2 ton. I bought a F350, we wanted a fifth wheel at some point, and haven't looked back.

I make a point every year at our Camper show to call Sales people liars when they have pictures of 1/2 tons towing 30'+ 7000lb + trailers.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:00 PM   #6
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It is really pretty simple. Stay within every weight rating of the truck and trailer and allow enough available payload to have a 12-13% tongue weight.
This is correct. Specifically, you need to be under your truck's gross vehicle rating (GVWR), which will take care of payload, its gross combined weight rating (GCWR), and the axles' ratings (GAWR front and rear).

All at the same time.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:36 PM   #7
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I kind of lucked out and bought a F350 crew cab diesel with tow package to tow a 7000lb 26tbss... kind of overkill! But hey I bought a fleet return truck for $5K I wonder if its back there sometimes,,,

Daniel
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:50 PM   #8
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i trust my simple math over dealer propaganda, but dude, WTH...say what you mean, and mean what you say...Is that not what customer loyalty should be built on..? I have been in wholesale sales for 30 years..if I treated my customers like these retail trailer guys I would have been out on the street a long time a go...wolfie
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:36 AM   #9
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In telling a salesman that I was looking for lightweight trailer under 28', the salesman asked me what was going to be my tow vehicle, and I gave him the specs. His statement was "why are you looking for a small trailer, when you can tow anything on our lot ??" That was not what I wanted to hear, and I ended up buying elsewhere.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
all these manufacturers use that line. and technically, if the TV has just the driver and no cargo, and the trailer has no options nor battery, water, propane, cargo, then it is "1/2 ton towable".

they are stretching the truth by these kind of specs, instead of real world specs.
Dan you hit it square. When towing a 5th wheel, TV "payload" and " MAX 5th wheel trailer weight" are the two most important numbers you need.

20% of 5th wheel camper weight is your "nominal" pin weight for safe handling. The "safe range" is 15%-25% of camper weight. Calculating with your MAX camper weight will let you know what you CAN do and if you load less in the camper, it adds to safety margin.

Add 150-200 pounds for your 5th wheel hitch.

Subtract these two numbers from "payload" for your configuration. Remember diesels WEIGH more than gas engines so while they can pull more; they have less available payload for the same truck series.

What is left (if anything) is all that is available for your family, generator, spare fuel, and any other stuff you plan on loading into the truck.

Exceeding GVW of the truck will break something over time. Just like airframes; you can over G it a few times and no one will be the wiser. When the wing comes off for no reason though; it may not be you flying it. Same with overloading your TV. Except it will be you and your family stuck on the side of the road with a broken spring; axle shackle; frame crack; or worse.
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