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Old 01-24-2014, 09:08 AM   #1
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Trip Advice

We are planning a trip to the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, and Devil's Tower this summer. My question is with my TV. Its a 2010 Dodge Ram HD 2500 gasser. We have a 2013 Sandpiper 32QBBS fifth wheel. This would be are first long trip with it.

We have had the camper for about a year and when we got it I couldn't believe how nice it pulled over are travel trailer.
I know I am way over on my GCVW, about 3000 lbs but like I said it pulls easier than are old travel trailer. Its not in the budget for a diesel for a year or two.

So my question is would some of you out there go for it with what I have or play it safe and do the motel thing???? This is a pic of are set up...


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Old 01-24-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
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If it were me, I'd take the camper and go, but the weight police say I shouldn't even pull my Flagstaff with my Silverado 1500 on flat ground. I don't have any problems, so I just keep going. Been thru the Appalachians, Ozark & Smokey mountains several times with no problems, just get in the truck lane and get passed some and also pass a few myself.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:49 AM   #3
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Like Coot, I'd take the camper. Realize that your MPG are going to be one of your biggest costs (not because of the gas engine- just pulling a camper in general).

I know that, for me and a 10-day trip that I had planned for this past Thanksgiving, it was awash cost-wise to take my car and hotel it vs. take the camper and use that. I use spreadsheets to plan trips, figuring mileage between points and calculate estimated costs ahead of time. Comfort level, food and potty-stops with the camper is way better.

Being over your ratings, I'd just plan on being extra careful in the mountains. But, heck- even within ratings, I give the same advice!
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:00 AM   #4
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Since you are considerably over your maximums, I'd make sure to travel at a modest speed; like 55 mph. I've towed out that way many times and can tell you that you are very likely to see some heavy winds. Cross-winds are particularly tricky. Be conservative to be safe.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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I agree with OldCoot, go for it. Since you’ve owned the camper for a year I’m sure you well aware of the capabilities of your truck. I don’t believe you will encounter any serious mountain grades going to the places you mentioned so towing shouldn’t be much different from what you’ve already experienced. The elevation gain going west across I-90 in SD is pretty much gradual. Just don’t expect to get great fuel mileage.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:14 AM   #6
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Being a gasser, your gross combined is not as much a "safety" issue, but more of a "mechanical" issue. You "technically" don't have the power to pull the weight, but your truck is otherwise capable of pulling(payload) and stopping your 5er. If you're comfortable with it, do it.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:31 AM   #7
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I just did 3 weeks last September through Rockies, Yellowstone, Montana, badlands, Rushmore, SD and more. From Louisiana, pulling 8800 lbs with 1/2 ton tundra. Got 10 mpg and never strained. Even came out of Yellowstone by way of Beartooth scenic hwy, which I learned later is not recommended for towing RVs. Beautiful drive and I had no trouble. You have way more RV than I have but more truck too. Enjoy.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:49 AM   #8
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Opinion from a former resident of the Black Hills

We lived in the Black Hills for several years (school, worked and married there). Some of the roads are step and some have very tight turns and narrow. My suggestion is enter thru the city of Hot Springs, travel past Custer and camp at Rafter J Bar Ranch which is between Custer, Hills City and Mt. Rushmore. It's located in the center of the hills; a very nice park with roomy and shaded sites, it's where we stay. If you enter from the Rapid City (Hwy 16 Mt. Rushmore Road) side, there are many parks along this stretch (I have no recommendations on any of these). You can go south from Rapid City on Hwy 79 to Hot Springs also. When pulling our RV to the hills we always enter from the Hot Springs side because of the roads.

Don't pull your RV through the hills to site see; gas cost and tight places. This was posted on the forum Travel Nightmare about someone pulling their RV in the Black Hills, you might want to view this.

We are going to the hills this summer, but not taking the RV this time. We are staying at the Black Hills Accommodations | South Dakota vacation | Powder House Lodge in Keystone for our 30th wedding anniversary and the wife did not want work on this trip.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:33 PM   #9
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Been there did that! But i was within my weight limits.
Just dont drive needles highway hooked up, but its worth the drive threw..
The KOA at devils tower is a very nice park with a great view of the tower.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platokidd View Post
Been there did that! But i was within my weight limits.
Just dont drive needles highway hooked up, but its worth the drive threw..
The KOA at devils tower is a very nice park with a great view of the tower.
Yes on needles highway. Unhook, fold in your mirrors and take the drive. And yes on koa devils tower. Community campfire each evening and free outdoor showing of "Close encounters of third kind" each night. Byo popcorn.
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