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Old 01-09-2014, 02:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Please read if you are buying a toyhauler !

This may be long to some, but after my experience it may save some of you some TIME, THOUGHTS, MONEY and HEADACHES ! To others it may be just a good laugh!

I purchased a Chevy Silverado 1/2 ton 4x4 with tow package about 6 months prior to us knowing that my wife and I were going to purchase a toy hauler for some trips into West Virginia and around Ohio taking our new Polaris RZR.

After discussing what we wanted we decided on the XLR27HFS Hyper Lite. Yes I spent a considerable amount of time on this Forum and some others trying to find out if the truck would be able to haul the trailer. The dealer (of course he would) said yes the Polaris ZRZ would fit in the 9 foot garage and the truck will pull it with no problem. Others told me it MIGHT pull the trailer, but you will have your hands full. Live and Learn !

We purchased the trailer and it had to be ordered. Now the fun starts. First off I asked a couple of my buddies that pulled work trailers and livestock trailers and they told me to definitely put airbags on the truck. So I did.

I get a call the trailer is in and also the new sway hitch that they will install when I get there.

A four hour trip one way to get the trailer, then do the walk through and put the hitch on. The gentleman that put the hitch on and did the walk through told me that the sway hitch is one of the best and after he has it set up I should never have to adjust it once the trailer is loaded especially with the airbags on the truck. He asked me what I was hauling in the garage and I told him a RZR 800 and he gave me a questionable look. He was under the impression I was hauling a golf cart or a motorcycle. With the look I asked if I was in trouble and he told me 1. the length of the RZR in the garage may be a problem 2. the sway hitch will work just fine 3. the trailer will haul the RZR ok as far as the weight and 4. I WILL HAVE MY HANDS FULL WITH THE 1/2 TON TRUCK WHEN LOADED but it WILL pull it.

So we left for our 4 hour journey back home. The truck did pull the trailer ok. I drove about 55 to 60 with about 80 % of the driving being interstate. The truck has a automatic 4 speed and I think a 4.7 litre engine. As a whole it did fine getting home and this was my first time at pulling a travel trailer. I have pulled boat and car trailers, but never anything this long or with a sway hitch so I did not know what to expect.

The OLD gang found out I have a RZR now and a toy hauler. Phone rings and I hear... HEY you are going with us to Hatfield and McCoy trails in May get your permits and we are going to the new trails down by Virginia.

OK !!! ROCK and ROLL first trip out. My buddy asked me about a week before we are ready to go... have you loaded up the RZR and pulled that rig any where or are you going as a virgin. I said a virgin. Now mind you all the times that I have been down South on Interstate 77, I always told myself there would be NO WAY IN HECK I would pull a trailer down through those mountains!

FUN TIME BEGINS I take the trailer home from my storage area and set it up to go over with the wife how everything works. HA HA problem is we both forgot half the things that we were told at the walk through. Break out the manuals!

I did measure before we bought the trailer the length of the RZR and the garage on the trailer (they had an RV Show by us) and I did know it would be a tight fit, but with a 1/2 ton truck this is as big as a garage as we could get and trailer. I pulled the RZR in and I do have front and rear brush guards on it and it fit, BUTTTTT the brush guard on the back will rub the woodwork to the bathroom door and the front brush guard will rub the toy hauler door! No problem although a HEADACHE I will have to pull the front brush guard off to give me about an inch of clearance on both ends.

Now the day is here we are loaded up and meet the gang at a local parking lot. All the guys look at my rig and say ... Wow the truck and trailer are setting level ... airbags helped out... looks good BUT YOU WILL HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL !!!! Na I said I will be OK I pulled it 4 hours from the dealer with no problem.

Off we go about 40 miles to get to the Interstate. Oh yea ... now loaded with RZR and gear going up and down small grades is a little bit of an issue now with the 1/2 ton, but it is bearable, just GAS consuming! The old tachometer would stay about 3200 rpm then with grades kick down a gear and we would be at 4800 rpm.

Getting on Interstate 77 we are doing ok for about the first half mile THEN at 60 MPH the trailer starts swaying and it is windy and MY HANDS ARE FULL . WOW I did not experience this bringing the trailer home! I backed down to between 50 to 55 mph and it helped, tapped the trailer brakes a few times to stop it from swaying. We went about 30 miles to the first rest stop. All the old gang was there for a FEW MINUTES and waiting on us to pull in. One buddy was on the ground laughing and all the others were snickering. Did you have YOUR HANDS FULL I was asked. Boy you should see your face, you look like you seen a ghost! I got out of the truck and ran back to the hitch to make sure I didn't forget to hitch the sway bars or tighten something. The sway bars were on the 7th link like the man said to put them in, the truck was setting level and the trailer also, so what gives ??? I even checked all the tire pressures again. My buddy said open the back up and lets see if the RZR is centered or shifted and we did. It was centered and strapped down tight. Well if she is swaying you need more tongue weight. Take all your gear and put to the front of the trailer. So I piled the bed with all our gear, took garage items and put up front. Believe me the only gear we had was the RZR, a couple cases water a small cooler with 2 bags of ice, 2 small paper bags of groceries and a suit case. It was not like we were overloaded. I did not fill the holding tanks or fuel cell. We were as light as we could get.

Buy this time I am really getting MAD, NERVOUS, POed AT THE WORLD and HAVE SORE HANDS! Off we go again. We get to the WVA Turnpike and the Mountains and by this time with the wind and the swaying going on I am ready to go home. YES MY HANDS ARE FULL!! At times the sway would be so bad I would have to get down to 40 mph plus tapping the trailer brakes to stop the swaying and was never able to get above 55 mph without it starting. I must say this is the first time in my life that I had felt like a drivers education student for the first time. Both hands on the wheel with a death grip for 7 hours NOT FUN! I am thinking to myself what did I get into? Am I going to have to go through this every time we want to go camping and riding?

Finally we arrived at the campgrounds. YES the truck pulled the trailer there and we made it, BUT now I have BLISTERS ON MY HANDS, I am MAD and not in a good mood. All my friends are laughing about it though and my rig gets named the Wiggle Wagon.

We did have fun riding all week and with some discussion for the trip home we decided to drop the links on the sway bars to the minimum which was 5 anything less than that would have no effect on the sway bars. The weight of the trailer was close to the same on the way home minus a couple bags of groceries and the RZR was loaded the same way. Coming home I was able to get to 60 mph sometimes and still had the swaying problems of the trailer and blisters . I am glad the wind was not blowing as hard.


Fall Season rolls around and I get a call... HEY are you taking the Wiggle Wagon with us back down to H & M to ride in October, we need a laugh. Yes I will be there! WELL AFTER SOME SERIOUS THOUGHT my wife and I made some changes for the fall trip.

1. I sold my SS Camaro and traded in the truck in on a Chevy 2500 3/4 ton 4x4 with tow package. I had measured hitch height from the 1/2 ton so I could be close when setting up the 3/4 ton hitch for they sway bars to the new truck. When I set the hitch up on the new truck I had to turn the hitch over to get to the right height because this truck sets about 2 inches higher. HEAVIER TRUCK SUSPENSION.

2. I took the trailer on a test run after loading up the RZR and some gear (a lot more than we took on first trip). We went on about a 60 mile trip up and down grades, county, state and Interstate roads.

No sway, 65 to 70 mph down the Interstate. Could this be that I finally made a good call ?

On the fall trip with the toy hauler there was no sway... wind or no wind... 65 to 70 mph down the road... a little bigger motor in the truck 5.0 litre-6 speed transmission. Gas mileage went from 6 1/2 on old truck to almost 8 with the new truck and high rpms on the tachometer was about 3600 and traveling rpms were about 2800. Trailer towed straight as an arrow (buddies followed me).

So in short yes a 1/2 ton truck may pull it, BUT you will regret it and be MAD, GROUCHY, and HAVE NO FUN. Do not believe all the trailer brochures you read! Even though both trucks had the tow package and snow packages the heavier suspension on the 3/4 ton made the difference. It was not the trailer, hitch problems, or tongue weight problems ( IT WAS THE 1/2 TON TRUCK). In fact I put the sway bar back up to the 7th link like the gentleman told me at the trailer dealer on the 3/4 ton.

I have included, so you can see for yourself, my set ups and the RZR in the toy hauler (when I was looking on this forum I could find no pictures of the RZR in the garage). By the way the toy haulers extra rear bed will set above the RZR's top just fine (we have one but not in pic). You will not be able to get a RZR 900 or 1000 in this garage! The black truck is the 1/2 ton and the silver truck is the 3/4 ton.
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:06 PM   #2
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What a read! Pretty amazing that the bigger truck made such a difference.

Have you been to a scale with the camper to find out where you're at with weights (overall, tongue weight and tongue weight percentage)?

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Old 01-09-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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Been there, done that, learned that lesson!
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #4
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This Spring I will take it down to the scale house and weigh. We actually had more weight on the rear of the trailer. I had about 15 gal in the fuel cell for the generator on our fall trip which sets behind the rear axles. I also was able to store all gear where it should be instead of the front of the trailer. Overall probably another 300 pounds extra on gear. It is night and day between the trucks. I can drive with one hand and be relaxed and keep up with the others in our group at 60 to 70 mph. The transmission in the new truck is amazing!
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:51 PM   #5
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There can be so many factors involved with towing. I think you were wise to make some adjustments even if it meant a new truck. Since you no longer have the swaying problem I can't help but grin when I think of "Wiggle Wagon".
Great choice for "Living within my means" and camping for one...

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Old 01-09-2014, 04:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dannyabear View Post
Been there, done that, learned that lesson!
Everett & Joan after 60 years together. 2004 1/2 ton Chevy & 2011 Rockwood 1809S

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Old 01-09-2014, 04:46 PM   #7
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Great story. I'm sorry you had to go though all that. I think that particular half ton and that trailer is a bad match. I have a half ton, a toy hauler and a sidexside and don't have those problems. But everything I have is different than yours so must have just been a bad combo. Glad everything worked out.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Terier View Post
There can be so many factors involved with towing. I think you were wise to make some adjustments even if it meant a new truck. Since you no longer have the swaying problem I can't help but grin when I think of "Wiggle Wagon".
Ditto. I laughed out loud at "Wiggle Wagon" (then looked around to see if anyone saw me laughing at my computer!).
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Old 02-04-2014, 01:36 PM   #9
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Please read if your are buying a toyhauler !

Be sure your truck can haul it also. We originally planned on getting a toy box tow behind so in November I bought a 2013 left over brand new F350 single rear wheel with a 3.73 axel to have a tow capacity of 12500lbs.

I than made the mistake of taking wife for some input to the CT and NJ RV shows and she said "no how are we getting a tow behind after walking into a few 5th wheels."

The 2014 Vengeance 312a we purchased is 10576 dry!! That leaves no room for much as my Harley is 900lbs and "we have to have her favorite cast iron cookware" I would be pretty much maxed out all of the time.

I made the decision to approach ford with my options to upgrade to a Dually with 4.3 axels to increase capacity.
Well the 2013 had 1800 miles on it ... they can't sell it as a used trade-in because used must be over 5000 miles to trade in. To my surprise they bought it back for what I paid!! I did loose the $1000 deposit, aftermarket window tinting, and a set of mud flaps but only made one payment so I basically rented it for just over month and a half.

I was able to get into a 2014 F350 Dually for a great cost, a little higher payment and was able to move the back rack & tonneau cover to the 2014. They also transferred my paint protection and 100,000 mile bumper to bumper over to the new truck.

The dealer now has it on the lot as a "Dealer Demo" vs. used so they can resell it at a higher price than used.

All in all it was a paperwork nightmare, $90,000 in debt with the camper, hitch, truck, window tint, mud flaps etc..... Let's just hope we have great weather this season to enjoy it all.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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it's stories like this one, that make it worth being called a member of the "Weight Police"!

ESPECIALLY for a toyhauler.

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