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Old 01-20-2021, 07:38 PM   #1
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How do you tow large TT's?

OK, so this is one of those winter waste of time questions: "gee, I wonder how you tow large travel trailers"

(TLDR) So here is the background just in case your wondering. In 2019 we bought our first trailer, a 2018 Rockwood minilite 2104. 22' long. Eight moths later we traded up to our current Flagstaff 30' travel trailer.

My wife likes looking at trailers. Earlier today she asks "so what type of trailer should we get when you semi retire?" At 55, and wasting money on things like trailers, retirement is still a ways away. I think semi retire means when she stops working and we start doing things like taking 2,3,4,,, week long trips 1,2,3,,, times a year. Which means I need some space to setup a computer and try to get work done.

I'm not a big fan of fifth wheels, but I'm thinking for this a 35' 5ver would be something to consider. More room than our current trailer, but our overall length should remain about the same. I also think 5vers are better suited for extended travel and stays.

I did some scanning of the Rockwood Ultra light and Signature series. Nothing jump out at me. As a goof I looked at some of the Signature TT's. Some of the floor plans were a little better, but these trailers are pushing 37', 1300+ pound dry tongue weight, and 12K lbs GVW.

Now onto the question. Looking at my truck I'm wondering can I tow this? I'm guessing that the 1300+lb tongue weight is really over 1600lbs when loaded. My truck has 2800lb payload, no problem there. It has a tow rating of 13.5K or 15K, I forget, but still no problem. I have an Anderson WDH with 2 1/2" shank and 2 5/16 ball. Its rated for 1600lb tongue and 16K trailer. Hum... kinda on or above there. The manual says my truck is rated for 1500lb tongue weight with or without WDH. hum.... over weight now.

I'm not part of the weight police but the one area I would not want to exceed is the hitch ratings. I mean there is no backup. No air bags, or helper springs. No getting bigger tires. That little ball its all thats keeping your trailer attached.

Right, so how do you tow these trailers. I think I've seen even bigger ones. First off I wouldn't want a 37' TT dragging behind me. I've never seen a WDH for over 1400lbs. So I would need something with 1800lbs and the matching hitch on the truck. I'm guessing that it can be done, I'm just wondering how.

Thanks
Jim M.
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Old 01-20-2021, 07:56 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
OK, so this is one of those winter waste of time questions: "gee, I wonder how you tow large travel trailers"

(TLDR) So here is the background just in case your wondering. In 2019 we bought our first trailer, a 2018 Rockwood minilite 2104. 22' long. Eight moths later we traded up to our current Flagstaff 30' travel trailer.

My wife likes looking at trailers. Earlier today she asks "so what type of trailer should we get when you semi retire?" At 55, and wasting money on things like trailers, retirement is still a ways away. I think semi retire means when she stops working and we start doing things like taking 2,3,4,,, week long trips 1,2,3,,, times a year. Which means I need some space to setup a computer and try to get work done.

I'm not a big fan of fifth wheels, but I'm thinking for this a 35' 5ver would be something to consider. More room than our current trailer, but our overall length should remain about the same. I also think 5vers are better suited for extended travel and stays.

I did some scanning of the Rockwood Ultra light and Signature series. Nothing jump out at me. As a goof I looked at some of the Signature TT's. Some of the floor plans were a little better, but these trailers are pushing 37', 1300+ pound dry tongue weight, and 12K lbs GVW.

Now onto the question. Looking at my truck I'm wondering can I tow this? I'm guessing that the 1300+lb tongue weight is really over 1600lbs when loaded. My truck has 2800lb payload, no problem there. It has a tow rating of 13.5K or 15K, I forget, but still no problem. I have an Anderson WDH with 2 1/2" shank and 2 5/16 ball. Its rated for 1600lb tongue and 16K trailer. Hum... kinda on or above there. The manual says my truck is rated for 1500lb tongue weight with or without WDH. hum.... over weight now.

I'm not part of the weight police but the one area I would not want to exceed is the hitch ratings. I mean there is no backup. No air bags, or helper springs. No getting bigger tires. That little ball its all thats keeping your trailer attached.

Right, so how do you tow these trailers. I think I've seen even bigger ones. First off I wouldn't want a 37' TT dragging behind me. I've never seen a WDH for over 1400lbs. So I would need something with 1800lbs and the matching hitch on the truck. I'm guessing that it can be done, I'm just wondering how.

Thanks
Jim M.
If you're talking 5th wheel then the pin weight is in the center of the bed above the axle . hitch weight is on the ball "bumper pull" even the large pull behinds will not have a hitch weight exceeding 1400lbs . i run about 1150 to 1200 with my andersen 33'11 total length toy hauler . 1800 lbs never have i seen a weight that high for a bumper pull . 5th wheels can be 1200 to 2800 or more depending on the unit . if you want large then you need a 5th wheel and remember some of that length is over the bed of the truck so a 35' 5th wheel will have a shorter over all length then a 35' TT when hooked up
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:04 PM   #3
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I’ve pulled into campgrounds before with 37’ers already parked there and wonder how people enjoy towing those around.
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
If you're talking 5th wheel then the pin weight is in the center of the bed above the axle . hitch weight is on the ball "bumper pull" even the large pull behinds will not have a hitch weight exceeding 1400lbs . i run about 1150 to 1200 with my andersen 33'11 total length toy hauler . 1800 lbs never have i seen a weight that high for a bumper pull . 5th wheels can be 1200 to 2800 or more depending on the unit . if you want large then you need a 5th wheel and remember some of that length is over the bed of the truck so a 35' 5th wheel will have a shorter over all length then a 35' TT when hooked up
Mr M. These are the specs for a Rockwood 8336BH:

SPECIFICATIONS
Hitch Weight:1320 lb.UVW9669 lb.CCC1651 lb.Exterior Length:36' 8"Exterior Height:11' 7"Exterior Width:96"Fresh Water:54.00 gal.Gray Water:130.00 gal.Black Water:50.00 gal.Awning Size:11' & 10'

Thats 1320 lbs dry. I don't have tremendous experience, but everything seems to suggest that the loaded weight will be a good 200lbs over that. Yes you can play games loading the trailer, move batteries to the rear bumper,.... but for planning purposes I would say you need to expect 1600lbs. Maybe thats why the newer trucks come with 3" receiver hitches?

BTW My trailer is 30' and has a tongue of ~1200lbs (bathroom scale measured). My Anderson handles it well. I've pulled 15' horse trailers for many years, but 30' TT's are just a little bit different. Right now I'm still thinking that its too big for every place I go, but I get it in without too much trouble. Maybe after 5-6 years of towing it 37' will seem like nothing.

Thanks
Jim M.
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Old 01-20-2021, 08:32 PM   #5
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I've looked at both the Rockwood Signature 8329 and the 8332 both have a claimed dry hitch weight of 1130 lbs...GVWR is 11,130lbs on both....My RAM 2500 diesel has 2159 for payload and I have a Husky Centerline hitch rated for 1,400 hitch weigh....The RAM has a Class V hitch with a 2.5 inch receiver opening that is rated for I believe 1,800lbs and can tow a max of 17,180 lbs...I realize my weakest link would be my payload but I wouldn't hesitate to buy either trailer with the truck I have now to tow it.

I would think if your truck has the payload and the tow capacity to handle any of the Rockwood Signatures your going to need a Class 5 hitch if you going to be over 1,500 TW like you mentioned that some of the Signatures are you can always upgrade the hitch to 2K TW and 20,000lb GTW like the Blue Ox Sway Pro if you need more hitch.
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Old 01-20-2021, 09:29 PM   #6
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For me it all depends on what type of plans do I have for traveling. I bought my 5th wheel and truck brand new in 2016 for a four month trip to Alaska. It worked out great for me.
Since then I have made two long range trips of over a month, two spring break trips with grandkids and a few family three day campouts.
The summer of 2019 we stayed in an RV Resort in the White Mountains of Arizona the wife and I and two dogs. Made and extra trip back home and brought up the CJ5 and Polaris Ranger and played on the mountain trails all summer.
My 5th wheel id a 27 footer and most times just the right size for the wife and I. But with family gatherings where my wife wants to be the central food point it gets pretty small. Even three months and two dogs it's a little tight for all the extras we need.
But for just us and a three or four day campout it's just fine.

So just how big of a rig you want or need depends upon the style of traveling and living in the unit you plan on doing.
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Old 01-20-2021, 10:38 PM   #7
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So I kinda answered my own question. I went out and checked my truck. Its a GM V5 rated hitch with a 1500lb tongue and 13500lb maximum trailer. I confirmed this in the owners manual. But then I noticed that if I had gotten the long bed version of my truck the hitch would be rated at 2000lbs tongue, but the same 13,500 max trailer. This is with the 6.0 V8. Strangely the owners manual had no ratings for the Diesel engine.

So I guess the long bed version has a beefier rear frame or something.

I told my wife we should have gotten the long bed.... but no.... the previous truck was too long...

Jim M.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:08 AM   #8
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38' 5th wheel. I did it without a problem. Just a little getting used to after tree 28' travel trailer. It does limit where I can go and what spots we can use. The wife is happy, but we have 2 kids and there is plenty of room.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:45 AM   #9
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We have a 35 ft 5th wheel and I always say it`s only comfortable for 2. Yes we have had kids and grandkids stay with us and there is the room for that. I tow it with a GMC diesel dually long bed, crew cab, 4x4. I used to tow it with a 3/4 ton, short bed, 4x4, crew cab GMC diesel but it's much safer with the dually. We have had a couple of straight trailers, a pop up hard top camper that slept 6 and a couple of 5ers. Each one got progressively longer. You get used to the length and what it takes to get into a camping spot. Sometimes while driving down the road, I look into the rear view mirror and wow there's a trailer behind me. We have traveled across both Canada and the US with all of them and as long as you have the right set up, you are comfortable hauling them. Do it right and have the right tow vehicle with the right set up, you'll be safe for you and other people traveling down the road also.
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:56 AM   #10
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This is with the 6.0 V8. Strangely the owners manual had no ratings for the Diesel engine.

Jim M.
The Diesels have their own supplement
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
Mr M. These are the specs for a Rockwood 8336BH:

SPECIFICATIONS
Hitch Weight:1320 lb.UVW9669 lb.CCC1651 lb.Exterior Length:36' 8"Exterior Height:11' 7"Exterior Width:96"Fresh Water:54.00 gal.Gray Water:130.00 gal.Black Water:50.00 gal.Awning Size:11' & 10'

Thats 1320 lbs dry. I don't have tremendous experience, but everything seems to suggest that the loaded weight will be a good 200lbs over that. Yes you can play games loading the trailer, move batteries to the rear bumper,.... but for planning purposes I would say you need to expect 1600lbs. Maybe thats why the newer trucks come with 3" receiver hitches?

BTW My trailer is 30' and has a tongue of ~1200lbs (bathroom scale measured). My Anderson handles it well. I've pulled 15' horse trailers for many years, but 30' TT's are just a little bit different. Right now I'm still thinking that its too big for every place I go, but I get it in without too much trouble. Maybe after 5-6 years of towing it 37' will seem like nothing.

Thanks
Jim M.

Well with a 1600 lbs tw then i guess you're screwed . like i mentioned i'm at or close to 1200 and my andersen handles it well . 1600 or 1800 just gewt a 5th wheel you will be better off. Also with a 1600 lbs tw you would be beyond you max tow rating .
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
So I kinda answered my own question. I went out and checked my truck. Its a GM V5 rated hitch with a 1500lb tongue and 13500lb maximum trailer. I confirmed this in the owners manual. But then I noticed that if I had gotten the long bed version of my truck the hitch would be rated at 2000lbs tongue, but the same 13,500 max trailer. This is with the 6.0 V8. Strangely the owners manual had no ratings for the Diesel engine.

So I guess the long bed version has a beefier rear frame or something.

I told my wife we should have gotten the long bed.... but no.... the previous truck was too long...

Jim M.
That's odd my 2019 6.0 2500 has a max tow of 14100. LB makes a big difference
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:47 AM   #13
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We went from a F-150 (Super Crew, 6' bed) pulling a Mini Lite (25' hitch to bumper) to a F250 diesel (super crew, 6' bed) pulling an Arctic Wolf 5th wheel (I think its 32'). The combined length of tow vehicle and trailer increased (trying to go off of memory because I did measure both setups while connected for comparison) about 3.5 feet in total length. But the interior space of the fifth wheel feels like its about 3 times more. So your thought process on getting a larger trailer but keeping everything the same towing length isnt far off.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:17 PM   #14
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Bigger RV

If you are planning ahead, a 34' 5 th. wheel length works out to the same total length as a 30' TT. You have the advantage of more outside storage so you do not have to load the pick-up bed w/ totes. The 5 th. wheel tows easier because the weight is directly over the axel. On longer trips, the 5 th. wheel is easier to tow and more livable IMO. I also feel the structure is stronger on the 5 th. wheel. I have both. We currently have a 27.5 Flagstaff VSL TT, newer style Windjammer. We have found it fits better visiting national parks and staying inside the parks. It is an odd duck in the fact that it has large tanks and dual A/C in that size trailer. As both wife and I have retired, looking to go back to a 34' 5v th. wheel when COVID clears up.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:17 PM   #15
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We went from a F-150 (Super Crew, 6' bed) pulling a Mini Lite (25' hitch to bumper) to a F250 diesel (super crew, 6' bed) pulling an Arctic Wolf 5th wheel (I think its 32'). The combined length of tow vehicle and trailer increased (trying to go off of memory because I did measure both setups while connected for comparison) about 3.5 feet in total length. But the interior space of the fifth wheel feels like its about 3 times more. So your thought process on getting a larger trailer but keeping everything the same towing length isnt far off.
What's cargo capacity with that diesel engine? I'm looking to move up to a fifth wheel, expecting 20% hitch weight. Most diesels knock maybe 800 lb off the cargo capacity. I was thinking I'll need to go with the full 1 ton truck if I want the diesel.
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:23 PM   #16
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With an F250 diesel. Wish I had the 350
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
OK, so this is one of those winter waste of time questions: "gee, I wonder how you tow large travel trailers"

(TLDR) So here is the background just in case your wondering. In 2019 we bought our first trailer, a 2018 Rockwood minilite 2104. 22' long. Eight moths later we traded up to our current Flagstaff 30' travel trailer.

My wife likes looking at trailers. Earlier today she asks "so what type of trailer should we get when you semi retire?" At 55, and wasting money on things like trailers, retirement is still a ways away. I think semi retire means when she stops working and we start doing things like taking 2,3,4,,, week long trips 1,2,3,,, times a year. Which means I need some space to setup a computer and try to get work done.

I'm not a big fan of fifth wheels, but I'm thinking for this a 35' 5ver would be something to consider. More room than our current trailer, but our overall length should remain about the same. I also think 5vers are better suited for extended travel and stays.

I did some scanning of the Rockwood Ultra light and Signature series. Nothing jump out at me. As a goof I looked at some of the Signature TT's. Some of the floor plans were a little better, but these trailers are pushing 37', 1300+ pound dry tongue weight, and 12K lbs GVW.

Now onto the question. Looking at my truck I'm wondering can I tow this? I'm guessing that the 1300+lb tongue weight is really over 1600lbs when loaded. My truck has 2800lb payload, no problem there. It has a tow rating of 13.5K or 15K, I forget, but still no problem. I have an Anderson WDH with 2 1/2" shank and 2 5/16 ball. Its rated for 1600lb tongue and 16K trailer. Hum... kinda on or above there. The manual says my truck is rated for 1500lb tongue weight with or without WDH. hum.... over weight now.

I'm not part of the weight police but the one area I would not want to exceed is the hitch ratings. I mean there is no backup. No air bags, or helper springs. No getting bigger tires. That little ball its all thats keeping your trailer attached.

Right, so how do you tow these trailers. I think I've seen even bigger ones. First off I wouldn't want a 37' TT dragging behind me. I've never seen a WDH for over 1400lbs. So I would need something with 1800lbs and the matching hitch on the truck. I'm guessing that it can be done, I'm just wondering how.

Thanks
Jim M.
You do it just like smoking a pork butt: low and slow! Just kidding!

I pulled a 37' Venture Sporttrek with my former 2019 F250 Powerstroke shortbed. It pulled it fine, but I got tired of fooling with the WDH all the time, so we got a 36' Cedar Creek 5th wheel. I was way over payload on that rig, but it handled well. I now have a 42' Solitude and an F350 DRW. No more payload issues. I think your truck will be fine for a long TT, as long as you verify your hitch situation. BTW, the 5th wheels do tow soooooo much better than the TTs. Also, hitching and unhitching is much much less physical. Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2021, 02:50 PM   #18
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What's cargo capacity with that diesel engine? I'm looking to move up to a fifth wheel, expecting 20% hitch weight. Most diesels knock maybe 800 lb off the cargo capacity. I was thinking I'll need to go with the full 1 ton truck if I want the diesel.
You are correct. F350 for sure.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:28 PM   #19
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Because my wife and I knew we wanted to travel the country when we retired and live in our 5th wheel full time, we purchase one of the biggest you could buy, even though we had never RV'd before. We tow our 8 ton (16,000 pound) 40 foot 5th wheel with a RAM 3500 long bed diesel dually.

We practiced a lot in large parking lots before hitting the open road. Now, 5 years latter, we are still on the road, having traveled 37 states, including Alaska, and 3 Canadian Provinces.

My advice, if you have the spirit of adventure. Go for it. Don't buy something too small, or too weak to pull what you buy.
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Old 01-21-2021, 04:01 PM   #20
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We've had five 5th wheels one bumper pull and one pickup camper, each one was bigger than the last. Our current one is a 2015 Cedar Creek 36 CKTS that I pull with a 2014 Chev 4 door long bed single rear wheel Duramax. This trailer is 39 ft. 19 in. long. The only problems I've ever had is parking in some older campgrounds that were made for trailers back in the 60-70"s. It just takes a lot of jockeying around to get parked some times. Just remember you need to make wider turns.
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