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Old 01-14-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
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Towing Surveyor SP296

Curious to find out if anyone else is towing the Surveyor Sport SP296 with a Ram 1500.

In another thread I've had discussions regarding towing and load capacities, etc, but would like hear from anyone that is specifically towing the SP296 or similar TT with a Ram 1500 or other make of 1/2 ton.

Interested in tire selection, shocks, WDH used and any hints and tips.

Thanks
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:46 AM   #2
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I towed our 2013 Surveyor SV305 with a 2010 Crew Cab Hemi for a few trips. It did it with no problems. The 305 is slightly longer at nearly 37' and once loaded I weight 9,000LBS. I only towed local with it to a lake within an hour of our home. I did add air bags to the truck which was a MUST with the tongue weight I had. I Didn't like being just shy of my gross vehicle weight rating with just the camper hitched so I did trade for my 2500 Cummins. I have no regrets in trading to my current truck and I would do it again in a heart beat! I absolutely loved my hemi and so did my wife, the wife actually wasn't happy I wanted to trade... Our first trip father from home and she understood why I wanted to trade!

Ultimately you will be fine with your current truck if you so choose but you are heavy enough but mostly LONG enough to where I would rather have the weight of a 3/4 ton diesel in front of the trailer going down the road. I say this due to the fact that we enjoy traveling farther from home on our trips. If you are planning to be an hour or two from home at the most I wouldn't worry about it! It will all come down to what your plans are. We religiously bring all the fire wood with us for the group, I actually generally load a pallet of scrap junk wood from work with a fork lift into the truck for this so the added payload is great! We also load a 4 wheeler in the bed on some of our trips when I have my brother in law with us...

Have you towed with your current rig much!? How do you like your surveyor? Any issues thus far?
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information. It's very much appreciated.

We bought our Ram 1500 new in 2010. The towing/load capacity had been raised that year, but at the time we hadn't planned purchasing a TT. The initial purpose was to haul lumber, other general materials and be a daily driver.

We purchased the trailer new at a show last February and picked it up from the dealer at the beginning of May. It was advertised as 1/2 ton towable, which it is and thought great from the specs we had for both the truck and trailer it will work. However I now kind of wish we had a Ram 2500.

We have a fairly short camping season here at our parks. Normal season is from mid May to the September Labor Day weekend. The parks are still open till the end of September for camping, but with reduced services.

We were able to get out for 8 separate trips for about 32 nights of camping in 2013. The parks we went to last year were about 1 to 1 1/2 hours from our home base.

I haven't taken the truck or the trailer to the scales yet, but think I'm pushing close to the max load capacity. I haul the trailer with the fresh water tank full, which is 36 gallons and I think is about 360 lbs of water. In the bed of the truck I usually have a couple lawn chairs, some tools and 12 gallons of fresh water that we use for drinking.

The main issue I seem to have right now is sway and a squirmy feeling in the back of the truck. It can be pretty windy here on the flat prairies.

We bought the WDH from the dealer and they installed it when we picked up the trailer. However after joining this forum and reading various threads it looks like dealer probably should have used heavier bars. The WDH the dealer installed has 800lbs bars and doesn't have sway control.

I currently have Firestone air bags in the rear coils and have them inflated between 40 and 45 psi when hauling the trailer. The shocks on the truck are the stock ones that came on it from the factory.

The truck has 3.92 gears and 20" wheels. The tires are the P metric that came with it and are ready to be replaced after normal wear. With 20" wheels there isn't much of a selection available to me here for a heavier sidewall, so will be getting E rated Nitto tires.

I'm wanting to replace the the WHD with something heavier and that has sway control, but there are so many brands out there I can't figure out what to go with. I told the TT dealer about the sway and they figure the bar chains are to tight and taking to much weight off the back of the truck. So recommend I back them off a bit and they don't like to steer people towards using sway control.

Also thinking about replacing the shocks with something a bit heavier to help with "porpoising" if a heavier WDH does't fix it.

As for the trailer itself, we love it. Have had some cosmetic issues inside, but nothing I haven't been able to fix myself with some additional and better screws. I need to take a better look at the power awing this spring. The end towards the back of the trailer doesn't seem to be rolling up as tight to the side of the trailer as the end towards the front.

We probably could have gotten away with a smaller trailer, but we liked the floor plan of the SP296. We also have 4 young grandsons, so when they come to visit, the jack and jack bunks are ideal and laid out in away they can't fall out when sleeping.

Sorry for being so long winded, but wanted to give you a bit of history of where I'm coming from. I agree for any long haul trips a 2500 should be used, but just can't swing that purchase at the moment.

Any tips/hints you can give that you used when hauling with the Ram 1500 will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
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A better shock will definitely help with some of the porpoising you are talking about. I have installed Bilstein 5100 series as it was highly recommended by many I asked and once I installed them I agree with them! They are a little on the firm side for daily driving but REALLY help when towing!

A WDH with sway control on a 30'+ trailer is a MUST!!! Definitely find one that is slightly over rated for what you will be at but not too far as that will create a harsh ride! Being 30' long I suggest trying to get more like 12-15% tongue weight rather than the minimum 10% that is generally stated. I actually am in the process of having my work (sheet metal facility) torch me a custom 1/2" thick steel plate to cover the A frame of the tongue of my trailer to add additional weight to help keep the trailer under control! I have experienced some squirmy trailer issues as well like you mentioned behind both of the trucks I mentioned and have come to the conclusion that I am too light on the tongue for the overall length.

You are on the right track with some E rated tires. As well as if you are still having some sway issues I may suggest a stiffer rear sway bar for your truck! Hellwig 7709 Rear Sway Bar Dodge Ram 1500

You probably wont notice a LOT Of gain from this as you currently have a sway bar anyways but this would help stiffen the stock bar up some...

Something I may suggest to see if it helps the trailer behave a little more for you is to try and add some dead weight to the tongue of the trailer. I added a tool box for my battery and placed some dry concrete bags in it to add dead weight and see if it helped or not. In my case it did.... I also re located the spare tire from the rear of the trailer to under the front tongue in an effort to get more tongue weight!

Are you getting the hint that I needed more tongue weight?
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:44 PM   #5
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LOL...I think maybe you should add some more tongue weight, eh!!!

Hopefully I can find a good WDH with sway control here.

Thanks again for the info. I appreciate anything you can provide. I'll have to look into a different sway bar for the truck.
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:48 PM   #6
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https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...4-00-1061.html

that is what I currently have on mine. It works well but I think I am going to go with this if adding my plate doesn't help enough.

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...e/RP66074.html

the benefit of the dual cam set up is that it is CONSTANTLY fighting to keep the trailer directly behind the truck...
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avolnek View Post
https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...4-00-1061.html

that is what I currently have on mine. It works well but I think I am going to go with this if adding my plate doesn't help enough.

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...e/RP66074.html

the benefit of the dual cam set up is that it is CONSTANTLY fighting to keep the trailer directly behind the truck...
Okay thanks for the information. I will have to look into that. I have ordered stuff from etrailer.com before and haven't had any problems getting it shipped here.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:00 PM   #8
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If you run into too much trouble let me know and you could ship to me and I could ship to you if for whatever reason Etrailer wont... Not sure why they wouldn't!
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avolnek View Post
If you run into too much trouble let me know and you could ship to me and I could ship to you if for whatever reason Etrailer wont... Not sure why they wouldn't!
Okay thanks.

Shouldn't be any problem, I've ordered from them before, but will keep that in mind. They have shipped me other products in the past without a problem.

There are some places that don't ship to Canada, but most do.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:38 AM   #10
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I have the exact same set up. Same truck and travel trailer,even the same concern you have about a 2500. Mine pulls just fine. I have no air bags in the back but that is gonna change this spring. I feel the suspension is the weak point in these trucks,it's ment for a daily driver and occasional small trailer or boat ect.. But the motor has enough power to pull it just fine. I feel comfortable pulling it with the set up I have.
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