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Old 10-06-2010, 12:18 AM   #1
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Sv-305?

Hi all!

Just found this forum as I sit up late waiting for tomorrow afternoon when I hopefully will take delivery of a 2011 SV-305. I am new to TTs and my camping experience has always been in tents at best (sometimes not that nice). Before I sign on the dotted line, I am hoping for comments, suggestions, etc... My concern so far (other than the financing term ) is Do I have enough truck for pulling it? I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab 5.9L, 4x4 w/ tow package. The dealer (who by the way is celebrating their 51st year in business) is installing what is supposed to be a really nice equalizer hitch, sway control, and brake controller (I know nothing about these other than they are needed). The dealer (owner's son) claims that I will not have any towing issues, but I am hoping for some opinions. I tried the changing gears calculator, but I don't think I put the numbers in the right places (acronyms get confusing), but it looks like I will be maxed out or close to it. What do you all think? I haven't payed for anything yet other than the hitch package and not signed anything yet. I really like the camper, but I don't want to get anything unsafe w/ my tow set up.

Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:48 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotdaddy1 View Post
Do I have enough truck for pulling it? I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab 5.9L, 4x4 w/ tow package.
Your truck will be fine.

Quote:
The dealer (who by the way is celebrating their 51st year in business) is installing what is supposed to be a really nice equalizer hitch, sway control, and brake controller (I know nothing about these other than they are needed). The dealer (owner's son) claims that I will not have any towing issues.
He's right. The Equal-i-zer Hitch is a very good choise for your set-up.

Quote:
I haven't payed for anything yet other than the hitch package and not signed anything yet. I really like the camper, but I don't want to get anything unsafe w/ my tow set up.

Thanks.
You'll be fine.


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Old 10-06-2010, 07:15 AM   #3
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Thanks

That's reassuring. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Do I have enough truck for pulling it? I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab 5.9L, 4x4 w/ tow package.
See if you can find the towing stats for your truck. The older models didn't have the high towing weight capacities as the newer models. And you didn't mention the final drive ratio, which would affect the towing. Also, check your hitch stats....there should be a sticker somewhere on the hitch with those maximums. That 705 lb. tongue weight could increase signficantly when loaded for camping.

You can plug your truck engine, transmission, and final drive stats to come up the maximum towing, but this webpage only goes back to 2002....you might be safe with those figures: http://www.dodge.com/towing/D/vehicl...&engine_trans=.

Even with the best case scenario (3.92 final drive), I am coming up with a 7100 lb. maximum towing weight. The listed 6522 weight of the SV 305 will probably be close to thatwhen you add the most popular options, and that will just be the dry weight.....then you gotta load for camping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotdaddy1 View Post
The dealer (who by the way is celebrating their 51st year in business) is installing what is supposed to be a really nice equalizer hitch, sway control, and brake controller (I know nothing about these other than they are needed).
Get specifics on what hitch he going to use. An "equalizer hitch" is a generic term for a weight distributing hitch, and the sway control could me a friction type system.....definitely a no-no for the longest trailer that Surveyor makes. Make sure that when the dealer says "equalizer hitch" that he is referring to the Equal-i-zer brand, or another brand with integrated sway control.

You failed to mention what bed setup you have on your Dodge. The quad-cab puts the wheelbase up in the 140s with the short bed, but in the case of that of that long of a trailer an 8' foot bed would be better......that is a really long trailer.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:13 AM   #5
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Thanks MTNGUY for the dodge link. It was way easier to use than the other formula I was attempting.

The dealer said it was more than just a friction controller, but I still am illiterate with that stuff...hopefully, I will not learn it all the hard way I will probably drive him nuts this afternoon with questions at the shop.

The numbers look like I will be just under the max, and I don't plan on keeping the water tanks full, so that should help even more (I was adding about 300 pounds for water weight, and 500 pounds for "junk").

Oh, the hitch on my truck says load carrying of 500 pounds and load distributing of 1000 pounds.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:57 PM   #6
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Pilotdaddy1, I see in another thread that you picked up your SV 305 today. What weight distributing hitch did the dealer set you up with ?? How did your Dodge tow ?? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:33 PM   #7
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SVT-305 towing (for those inquiring minds)

Well, the dealer set me up with a chain type WD hitch, adjustable friction sway bar, and a digitally adjustable brake control. Strapped a few elephants to the back of my truck, and up the road I went. I did not exceed 60,kept the OD turned off, and it felt ok to me pulling it.Knew it was back there, but OK. I towed it about 15 miles from the dealer to my house. About 12 miles of that was Interstate 75. Had 3 or 4 big rigs pass with no swaying that I noticed. It will take some time to get used to the extra mirrors on the truck and the extra length behind me. I did manage to back it up my driveway with a little effort and a spotter (that was a big concern for me). It wasn't easy, but I got it on the 3rd attempt. This thing is HUGE, and I must admit, I am a little intimidated...I think it grew on the way home, too!
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:07 AM   #8
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I know the feeling.....my SV 263 grew longer from the time we looked at it on the lot, until I hooked it up the my truck for the 1st time......and hasn't shrunk back to it's original size yet.

That pull home can be the longest trip you ever do. The 1st 10 miles on my trip home was through heavy city traffic in the rain, then another 50 on interstate with rain and wind, then another 20 miles on back roads with wet limbs hanging down on the side just waiting to get me. That trip was much longer than the 500 milers I have done.

I hope your friction style sway bar works for you. Maybe the dealer knows that that system works good with your trailer. I always understood that an integrated sway system seemed to work better for long trailers.

Keep us posted.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilotdaddy1 View Post
I did manage to back it up my driveway with a little effort and a spotter (that was a big concern for me). It wasn't easy, but I got it on the 3rd attempt. This thing is HUGE, and I must admit, I am a little intimidated...I think it grew on the way home, too!
I would recommend a set of 2-way radios. You can get a nice set with NOA weather alert for about $40. That way you and your spotter will communicate better. Your spotter is often out of sight and may also be hard to hear. You are often going to be turning significantly when backing into a site. You need your spotter on the side that you can't see when turned.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:56 PM   #10
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That's a good idea for the 2 way radios with the spotter. Thanks for the tip.

As far as the "integrated" sway control system vs. the friction control arm, I was, at the time, relying on the dealer to get me properly set up. I don't have any experience with either one, but it seemed fine on the ride home, and I do like being able to unhook the sway control for backing it up my sorta steep driveway. Oh, the brand was a Reese digital brake controller...is that a good one? Seems good so far.

Wow! That trip you had home with the traffice, rain and limbs and all sounds like it would have been a white knuckler all the way!!!
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:44 AM   #11
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Wow! That trip you had home with the traffice, rain and limbs and all sounds like it would have been a white knuckler all the way!!!
I take all of that in stride now with no problems. But the trip from the dealer was the 1st time that I had pulled a full-sized camper. After 40 miles or so on the interstate, I got sorta relaxed, so I sat back, listened to some music.....and promptly missed my exit. That caused me to do the 20 miles of back roads I hadn't intended to do.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:34 PM   #12
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I'm now all hooked up and waiting for my daughter to get home from school, then we're off... Hopefully, it will be a stress free event...I'll keep ya'll posted.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #13
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Congrats on your purchase and welcome!
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:08 PM   #14
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First campint trip w/ TT

Just thought I'd tell about my trip to Big Hart, GA. Camper towed very smoothly, and relatively easy until I got into some hills. As long as I could get a bit of a running go down one hill before the next, I could maintain 50-55. The steepest hill dragged me down to about 40. At the campsite, unhhoking, leveling, etc... went well. Had a great lakefront view with a nice sunset over the water...absolutely great!!! Had a few small issues with the camper: Outside kitchen faucet seeped while off, and inside fridge outside drain line was dripping onto wires (tube not coming through screen). Minor, but took it to dealer to get remedied right after our trip. Still waiting to get it back and get it up the driveway again...Already planning a trip for Thanksgiving...tossing around either Blue Ridge, GA, or Jekyll Island....My only true complaint is I can only get about 180 miles to a tank of gas, but I knew that was coming.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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I'm envious. Here in Minnesota, I'm already winterized!!
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:45 PM   #16
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How heavy is your SV 305 loaded ? My F-150 has a 26 gallon tank and I get around 270 miles to the tank. it does not get much better than that unless one has a diesel engine and a bigger tank I am told. If I baby it, I get around 13 mpg, which is excellent towing a trailer.

Welcome to the forum and enjoy your trips !
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:47 PM   #17
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Acadianbob,
I can imagine it's already super cold up there in Minnesota! A friend of mine at work has relatives up there that he visits and last time he went, I think late October or early November last year, he said the highs were only in the 50's...NO THANKS!!! However, Georgia heat in the summertime will melt most anything...plants, animals, and people, too!! That's actually one reason why we went from tent camping to getting something with A/C so we could go more often in hotter weather.

Take care.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:57 PM   #18
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hmmm high 50's look just fine to me in November I should remember to test run the snow blower before too long
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:58 PM   #19
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Goomph,

I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 w/ 5.9L (360). I average 270 to 300 miles per tank back and forth to work (24 or 26 gallon tank...I forget which)...but my fuel display shows an average of 13 MPG...It's been that bad ever since I've owned it, but it's paid for, so I guess maybe I should buy some stock in an oil company or 2. When towing the trailer on my first trip, I averaged 8 MPG according to the display, but I don't let it get below 1/4 tank. Also, the road was very hilly, but I don't expect any better mileage with my truck. The camper weight is about 7300 loaded, I think...haven't weighed it yet...still waiting to get it back from dealer.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:14 PM   #20
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I thought you had a Dodge, they seem to be (No offense to anyone owning one) a little bit more hungry for gas. I camp with a number of buddies and the Dodge owners seem to get lower mileage out of their trucks, but they have more power to play with. My trailer is around 6,000 Lbs all loaded, that also makes a difference of course.


The way I understand you got 180 miles out of three quarters of tank, which is not really that bad. I also always fill it up when it has a quarter tank left too, but I calculate my mileage manually in addition to what Scangauge II says. usually 225 miles to the tank or so, I fill up.... One never knows which gas station is suitable to get in with a trailer behind me and fill up. I would hate to unhitch to fill the tank.
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