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Old 02-19-2014, 09:15 PM   #11
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from another thread:

Buy the trailer already!!
Then when you find out you can't pull it safely or up any size hill,
go out and get a bigger truck.
It's the American way!
(been there done that......)

.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:00 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the info. I believe we are going to go forward with the purchase and just watch the weight limits and take thing easy until I get a better idea and experience behind the wheel. If worse comes to worse like Chuckinca stated Buy the trailer already!!
Then when you find out you can't pull it safely or up any size hill,
go out and get a bigger truck.
It's the American way!
(been there done that......). Looking forward to camping season.
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:49 PM   #13
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I've upgraded trucks and campers 3 times each in 4 years. Up to a 1 tons diesel and 5th wheel now. Got so hooked on camping and do it so often, wasn't hard to justify upgrades.
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Old 02-20-2014, 03:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckinca View Post
from another thread:

Buy the trailer already!!
Then when you find out you can't pull it safely or up any size hill,
go out and get a bigger truck.
It's the American way!
(been there done that......)

.
Exactly what happened to me. All because of a large hailstone went through the roof of my first rv. Dealer said I could pull the new trailer with my 1st generation Tundra, I thought it might work. Pulled it home. Got a new Ford following spring. Very happy now.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:22 PM   #15
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Wish someone would make an app where you plug in the numbers and it gives you the honest answers.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:42 PM   #16
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the best number to start with, doesn't need an app.
the yellow sticker weight number(or white sticker on older RV's.)

all you have to do to the yellow sticker weight number is add the weights of battery, propane, water and cargo.
battery, propane and water are pretty easy to figure out. it's the cargo that will be the challenge.
but even without the cargo added, you'll have a very good ballpark number to work with.

my Roo 23SS's sticker weight was 4471lbs.
add 90lbs. for two group 24 deep cycle batteries, 40lbs. for propane in both tanks and 250lbs. for 30 gallons of water.
so, before any cargo/food/supplies, it now weighs around 4850lbs., ready to be loaded.
its GVWR is 6367lbs. which gives me over 1500lbs. for cargo, which i could never even come close to.

don't need an app for that.
i have plenty of skoosh that i really shouldn't need to go to scale unless i wanted to.
but by starting with the actual sticker weight, i can at least get a real world number to work with, without even owning the trailer yet.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:31 PM   #17
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It has been my experience that most folks do not want "honest answers." That is why they are so easily scammed by dishonest salesmen; they actually WANT to believe they can tow a space shuttle with a Ford Ranger.

Weigh your tow vehicle with a full tank of gas and all your people on board.
Subtract that number (plus 100 pounds for the hitch) from the door post sticker.

With that number (your actual available payload), you then DIVIDE that number by:

For a Travel Trailer - 0.125 (12.5% optimal trailer weight to tongue ratio) to find the OPTIMAL SIZE (GVWR - NOT DRY WEIGHT!) camper you can tow. Still compare to combined weight but you should be good).

For a 5th Wheel Trailer - 0.200 (20% optimal trailer weight to PIN ratio) to find the OPTIMAL SIZE (GVWR - NOT DRY WEIGHT!) camper you can tow. Still compare to combined weight but you should be good).

For example, if you are shopping for a travel trailer and after you weigh your 2005 F150 4x4 supercab 5.4 Liter 6 foot bed pickup with your family, full tank of gas, and whatever junk you plan on hauling in the bed (plus 100 pounds for a WD hitch) you get 6,100 pounds and your truck's pillar GVWR is 7200 pounds.

Your remaining available payload is 1100 pounds. DIVIDE 1100 pounds by 0.125 and you get a Travel Trailer camper with a GVWR of 8800 pounds MAXIMUM.

However if you are shopping a 5th wheel, your choices disappear quickly. Due to the weight being placed slightly forward of the rear axle, more of the camper's weight rides in the truck. Divide the 1100 pounds by 0.2 and you will get a MAXIMUM GVWR 5th Wheel Camper of 5,500 pounds.

This is why when the dealerships say a 5th wheel is 1/2 ton towable, they are ONLY talking about THE DRIVER ALONE and no one or anything else in the truck.

That SAME truck with just the 150 pound driver (curb weight) would have a remaining payload of 1670 pounds.

At the Optimal distribution of 20%, the maximum camper size is 8350 GVWR.

Loaded at FULL MINIMUM PIN AFT LOADING (15% - not possible with many floor plans), you can boost the towed camper size to 11,133 pounds! This will cause some pretty squirrelly handling (nose wander) and excessive tire wear.

Bingo! 1/2 ton tow-able. Until you actually put people and gear in the truck and camper; then you need a 3/4 ton again.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:32 PM   #18
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herk7769, I agree with everyone you said 100%, but only thing that needs to be changed, if going 5th wheel, add 250lbs for hitch. That puts a big dent in most half tons payload.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwedell View Post
Wish someone would make an app where you plug in the numbers and it gives you the honest answers.

I'm starting that. Right now it is a website, but it is designed to be phone and tablet friendly. After I get a few more calculators figured out- I'm hopeful that it'll be an easy transition to becoming an app.

http://www.towingplanner.com

I'd love to work with you on ideas for how to make the calculators better, more easily understood or other calculators that you think would be helpful. PM me.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:59 AM   #20
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Trailer hitch's are all over the place (weight-wise). You can look up the one you are thinking of buying online to get a more accurate figure.

FYI: Min - Max "SAFE" range for towing Total Camper weight to pin/tongue

Travel Trailers: MIN 10% MAX 15% OPTIMUM 12.5% (Many Sources)

5th Wheel Trailers: MIN 15% MAX 25% OPTIMUM 20% (Also many sources)

Trailer handling degrades as you move away from the optimum weight distribution percentage and at the extremes you can get acute sway and steering issues (depending on whether you are bouncing up against the MIN or MAX distribution).
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