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Old 10-30-2020, 06:54 AM   #41
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Hi there. My husband is the one with all those answers but I just wanted to give you my opinion about the hitch you are going to get if you buy a travel trailer. Buy a Hensley Arrow hitch. It is amazing. We now pull a 5th Wheel but when we had our 26' travel trailer, we found there was a lot of swaying when we passed or where passed by transport trucks. My husband did research on this hitch and everything he read on it was true. They are expensive but worth every penny.Good luck with your purchase. RVing is the best. We have been doing it for 14 years and now winter in it full time in the south.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:58 AM   #42
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We have a 30' TT with a dry weight of 5960. Tongue weight listed as 680. I alwasy use the WD hitch.
I've pulled it empty for 60 miles up to 70 mph on flat highway with our Expedition which has 3.73 gears and max trailering and all that. It towed fine. The ecoboost and gears towed it really well through town and quite easily power-wise on the highway. A little sway from semi's but nothing blasty feeling.
I replaced the trailer's castle rock tires with GY endurance tires and they are supposed to help with trailer stability.
We loaded up for a 3 night trip at a site 50 miles from our house. I towed it with our GMC sierra 1500 6.2L and 3.42 gears which also has a tow package. It towed a little better in town and on the highway I can say even with the family and loaded trailer. Maybe the new tires helped...?
I stopped at a CAT scale...the total weight (truck, cargo, wife, 2 kids, 30lb dog, gasoline, trailer, camping food and cargo) was 13,100. I pulled truck off scale and the trailer loaded weighed 6480.
So the loaded TRUCK with tongue weight and people and cargo weighed 6620. Well under the 7,000 max gvwr for the truck. I wanted to weigh just the truck with the tongue weight included with the trailer tires hanging off the scale, but the people at the CAT scale could not for the life of them figure out why I wanted to do that. They kept saying to unhook the trailer then drive just the truck on. I explained I wanted to have the tongue weight included. And then they said that in order to do what I wanted to do I had to pull on entirely again to reset the scale then back the trailer off. Well, the scale kept going back to zero before the trailer was completely off the scale again. So I just used the first two weights that I did get and subtracted the trailer weight from the total weight.

Like I said, the truck (longer wheel base) towed a little better as far as sway and road feel on the highway. But the truck engine was in a power band that was at an absolutely annoying whining noise on the highway doing 60-70mph. The ecoboost in the Expedition does not reach the noise level of the 6.2L GM engine. We are planning a quick trip to the same park soon, 50 miles away and I am going to use the expeditoin this time. Will probably be comparing apples to apples between the two TV's.

If we decide to upgrade our TV it will have to be a truck because the Expedition has the highest tow capacity out of any modern day regularly produced SUV. I do not want to, and will not get into a 3/4 tin truck. I just think they are ridiculous to have and try to justify driving and parking one of those daily just because you tow a trailer a few times a year. I will look into a heavy half ton truck. Even the 2020 Ram truck with the eco diesel has a 600 lb more cargo capacity than my truck and a 12,500 trailer tow capacity with a fuel range of 800 miles not towing. You could add a reserve tank and tow all day in that truck. (on paper of course)

All in all, for medium, half day distances, in flat land, I would not hesitate to haul this TT with either of our half ton vehicles.
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:14 AM   #43
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Actually, determining what trailer to shop for is not that hard. First thing is find out how much real payload is available. Load up the truck as you would when traveling, people coolers etc. then head to a CAT scale and fill the fuel tank then get a weight. Subtract that from your GVWR on the sticker.

The balance left is how much tongue weight you can handle before going over GVWR.

Now divide that by 13% and that is the GVWR of the trailers to look at. 13% is the middle of the road for tongue weight and compensates a bit for not fully loading the trailer to it's GVWR, so gives you a good idea of where to start.

Lets say you have 780 pounds Real payload left, divide that by 13% and you get 6000 pounds. Now you know to shop for trailers in the 6000 GVWR range.

All those other numbers, towing capacity, hitch ratings, etc. throw them away, Real Payload dictates how much the truck can actually tow.
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:19 AM   #44
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I found this link elsewhere on the FR Forum:


https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-guide.html


Plug in your VIN and you get your specific vehicle max payload and max towing weight.
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:23 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bhrava View Post
Actually, determining what trailer to shop for is not that hard. First thing is find out how much real payload is available. Load up the truck as you would when traveling, people coolers etc. then head to a CAT scale and fill the fuel tank then get a weight. Subtract that from your GVWR on the sticker.

The balance left is how much tongue weight you can handle before going over GVWR.

Now divide that by 13% and that is the GVWR of the trailers to look at. 13% is the middle of the road for tongue weight and compensates a bit for not fully loading the trailer to it's GVWR, so gives you a good idea of where to start.

Lets say you have 780 pounds Real payload left, divide that by 13% and you get 6000 pounds. Now you know to shop for trailers in the 6000 GVWR range.

All those other numbers, towing capacity, hitch ratings, etc. throw them away, Real Payload dictates how much the truck can actually tow.

Best explanation of how to get started and what to shop for.
FWIW, most recycle / landfill facilities have scales they do not charge for. That is how I got my trucks total/ front/ rear weights. Saves time and a couple bucks at the CAT scale.
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:48 AM   #46
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Directionally, the advice above is mostly correct. However, there were a few wrong turns on the math involved. Bhrava's was the best write-up that I read. I'll take my stab:

GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This is the maximum total weight that your vehicle or trailer is rated for.

Payload = the amount of the GVWR left over after accounting for your specific vehicle's weight. For the trailer, this is often called the CCC or Carrying Capacity or Cargo Capacity. The concept is the same, though. It's the GVWR minus how much the vehicle weighs. The difference is the available capacity that you can use.

For trucks, the Payload will be specific to your vehcile, because each vehicle will weigh a different amount based on its set of options, trim level, and tolerances. Therefore, your truck's payload is unique. As mentioned above, vehicle payload cannot be looked up online or in any manual or printed literature. Those are all garbage, misleading numbers. You have to look on your truck's door jamb (not jam) for the sticker.

That's it. For your truck, nothing else matters. The tow capacity is merely interesting. For towing RVs, it's as meaningless as your 8th grade fall semester math score.

OK, you checked your truck's door jamb sticker and it read 1,488 lbs. This will be the limiting number. Use this and walk backward from there:
- You and spouse = 330 lbs. Make sure this is a real number, fully clothed, with boots, and whatever. Not your stipped naked, aspirational weight.
- Add 50 lbs for the WDH
- Add 100 lbs for other "stuff." Clothes, bags, tools, aftermarket options you might have added, etc.

Round this up to 500 lbs. This is pretty thin and 600 lbs is probably better, but I'll use this number. So, how much do you have left for your trailer? 1,488 - 500 = 988 lbs.

OK, so if a trailer dropped 988 lbs on your hitch, how much would that trailer actually weigh? 988/.13 = 7,600 lbs.

You are shopping for trailers with a GVWR of less than 7,600 lbs.

Ignore trailers' UVW, dry weights, and other associated unloaded/dry measurements. Garbage numbers that will lead you into poor decisions.

There is no way to increase your truck's payload capacity without removing weight from it (e.g., tossing out your spare tire, ripping out your factory stereo/speakers).

Stick with the simple math: (Tow Vehicle Payload from the Door Jamb Sticker - All Occupants - All Stuff In or On the Vehicle -50 lbs for WDH) / 13%

The result of that equation will be the max GVWR of the trailer you should be shopping for.
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:13 AM   #47
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^^ He gets it!

I prefer to use the scale method, no guessing involved. Usually the Payload is spot on. When I first bought my truck, and before anything was added to it, including the "stuff" that comes out of the cab of the old truck, I weighed it, and with a full tank, subtracting my fat arses weight, the payload and gvwr-scale was spot on within a few pounds.

Not all trucks though are spot on since there could be aftermarket add-ons like different wheels, or running boards, so always a good idea to get at least one scale reading to know the actual real payload. Doesn't have to be a certified scale either, if there is a feed store in the area, they usually have a scale, or the township might have one. Even some weigh stations have readouts when they are closed. Don't do it when open though, they frown upon that.


One other thing to consider, CCC of the trailer. I have seen some with as little as 1100 pounds CCC. Fill the FWT and you are left with very little payload left on the trailer and can easily overload it, going over the trailer GVWR, so make sure there is decent CCC on the trailer too. This will protect you from overloading the trailer too. Very easy to put more weight in than you think.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:03 PM   #48
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Better off with overkill

I pull a Mini-lite 2104s with a RAM 1500 5.7 hemi. 4700 empty weight. Really overkill as per forest River customer service. Makes me feel safe driving down the road. First time with a travel trailer. Old tent people. And having 22 feet plus 5 foot tongue is a lot to have behind you if you are not used to it. But 22 feet or 25 feet is not going to make a big difference when driving. Just backing up.
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:57 PM   #49
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My Experience

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Originally Posted by JohnAmi View Post
My husband and i are purchasing a travel trailer. We both camped growing up but have no experience in towing or setting up camp.

We have a 2019 Ram Rebel Crew cab 5.7 V8 3.92 rear axle ratio short bed. We do not understand what to look for in weights and lengths of campers. We have searched GVWR etc and donít understand it. Can someone explain in simple terms for me please?
Also, should we be looking at something small since we havenít towed before or is it just as easy yo haul a 25í as a 30í? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
I think you will find that you can, with the proper weight distribution hitch, pull most any maximum 26 foot trailer of less than 8000 pounds gross weight (loaded) comfortably. I pull a 2018 Rockwood 2507 with a 2012 Toyota Tundra 5.7 easily and comfortably.
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Old 11-02-2020, 10:53 PM   #50
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We still need the receiver rating from your truck.
Your truck will need an electronic brake controller.
Forget the 11,200lb tow rating...you will never reach that number without exceeding other ratings on your truck. Your truck has a low cargo capacity number (1488)...this will be the weakest link.

Now we will take the 600lbs you are loading into the truck and subtract that from 1488. You have 888lbs left over (provided your receiver is rated high enough). Your travel trailer needs to have a loaded tongue weight of less than 888lbs. The problem is that trailers are published in dry weights (not ready to camp). So you have to do a little figuring to find the ready to camp tongue weight. Find the specs for the trailer you are looking for and multiply 13% (guestimation) by its gross weight...this will give you an approximate tongue weight.

If I were you I would be looking for a camper with no more than 6000lbs gross (total weight ready to camp).

I don't think you can make either of those trailers work...too much tongue weight. The 2516 has 880lb dry tongue weight...if you put a bag of chips in the camper you will be overloaded. The other one is 796dry tongue...a battery and a bag of chips and you would be overloaded.
This is about the most accurate and reasonable response possible for your circumstances. Since 1970 I have towed boats, RVs, and utility trailers. In my experience a 6,000# rig is heavy and you better have the brakes, wheels, and tires on the truck to control it or a heavy trailer will control your truck. Id go to a one ton or at least 3/4 ton for more than 6,000#.

Before you buy, tell the sales person you want to hook up and take it out for 25 miles of mixed driving. Find some steep hills. You have a great truck but you might stay away from anything more than about 25'
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Old 11-02-2020, 11:08 PM   #51
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Forgive my second message but I did want to add:

Think about how heavy your provisions will be.

Boondocking and dry camping are a ton of fun. You may want to stay out in the wild for 2 weeks or more. It is easy to add 500# and more for a full water tank. You will want a full propane tank, lots of gasoline and we seem to need more and more heavy batteries. Adding a generator?

Canned food and four or five cases of Hamms beer, frozen walleye filets and loon breasts quickly add up to half a ton.
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Old 11-08-2020, 12:32 AM   #52
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Also, should we be looking at something small since we haven’t towed before or is it just as easy yo haul a 25’ as a 30’? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Be prepared to change your dream.
DH and I looked & researched for 3 years. I think we looked at everything out there. We finally narrowed it to a FR Rockwood. The quality was better than everything I saw in our price range.
I wanted a living area (theater seats) dining area, separate bedroom and a big bathroom.
DH has the big Nissan Titan. It's 4x4 and 8 cylinder so I figured it would pull just about anything. Wrong!
Like you I wanted the front kitchen. Between food stuff, dishes (plates, cups, bowls, storage stuff) cooking ware, utensils and whatever extra like coffee pot and toaster that killed the tongue weight.
DH is a retired OTR truck driver. Now we have to be at certain weights per axle.
I was not happy and a couple of times I told him to just forget it.
After finding the TT of my dreams he announces the max weight that he felt comfortable towing any where. He also threw me a curve ball on length. A lot of state parks want except anything 30' :sad:
Looking at all those home away from home TT my options narrowed way down. We ended up narrowing the choice to the 2511, 2512 (discontinued) and 2506.
When it was all said and done we chose the 2511with theater seats. With the slide out it feels huge. (I am claustrophobic) I was worried about storage but I have room to spare. I have everything on my wishlist except separate dining. I purchased a couple of TV trays that fit nicely next to the theater seats. We use those if we can't eat outside.
Otherwise we love it. The best part is making it your own with your own little tweaks.

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Old 11-08-2020, 06:57 AM   #53
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I’m so happy after all of that you found a camper to suit your family. We did too. We pick it up next Saturday. We found the 2507s. We to, are very happy with the quality and construction of the Rockwoods. Happy camping to you!!
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Old 11-08-2020, 03:55 PM   #54
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Forgive my second message but I did want to add:

Think about how heavy your provisions will be.

Boondocking and dry camping are a ton of fun. You may want to stay out in the wild for 2 weeks or more. It is easy to add 500# and more for a full water tank. You will want a full propane tank, lots of gasoline and we seem to need more and more heavy batteries. Adding a generator?

Canned food and four or five cases of Hamms beer, frozen walleye filets and loon breasts quickly add up to half a ton.
Since I boondock, I go in with a full tank of water. My tongue weight with that full tank of water is over 14 percent. It adds up quickly, and if your water tank is forward of the axles, that tongue weight can get close to 15 percent. Since my trailer only weighs about 5000 lbs, that 14 percent tongue weight isn't a problem for my max tow equipped truck with 1910 lb payload capacity and 1200 lb max tongue weight. That means I still have enough capacity to haul all the stuff mentioned above. But get a 7000 or 8000 lb trailer with a low payload capacity truck and you're going to be busting weight limitations. So boondocking definitely means a lot more weight.
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:47 PM   #55
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"When it was all said and done we chose the 2511with theater seats. With the slide out it feels huge. (I am claustrophobic) I was worried about storage but I have room to spare. I have everything on my wishlist except separate dining. I purchased a couple of TV trays that fit nicely next to the theater seats. We use those if we can't eat outside.
Otherwise we love it. The best part is making it your own with your own little tweaks."


For 2 week vacations in the mountains, we rented a 25' one year and a 26' bunkhouse another year. A lot of family members arrived and stayed in tents. We found that size to be comfortable.

We also found that Forest River products have the best value for the equipment and the components with higher quality.
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