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Old 07-27-2018, 06:42 AM   #1
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What am I missing?

Everytime a thread starts up alluding to a 1/2 ton truck towing a heavy trailer one comment always seems to pop up..... yeah but can you stop it? My trailer weighs in at between 7300 and 7500lbs loaded. My truck weighs about 5500lbs. I have had my Tekonsha P3 set up improperly and had to panic stop and my anti lock brakes kicked in. It stopped. I have been on the interstate and realized I did not fully connect my camper connection and rolled into a rest stop. It stopped. My truck is rated to tow 9800lbs but there is a limit to what even I would try

An F250 weighs in at about 6500lbs and they haul much heavier campers. If those trailer brakes didn't work they would also have a tough time stopping those campers. Now, I'm no engineer but it seems to me that it is ONLY the weight of the truck on those rubber patches in contact with the ground and how much the camper weighs that factor into this equation. A one ton difference between a camper and an F150 and a 2 ton difference between a camper and an F250 both mean you better have properly adjusted trailer brakes or you will be pushed a bit. As I said, I am no engineer so I am fully open to explanations.

Not looking for an argument. I have only been at this camper towing game for about 2 years and am truly curious because it is a recurring theme.

Marty
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:17 AM   #2
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I had a 1/2 ton truck towing a 6000lb TT. Never had any problems stopping and I thought the truck handled the load well. I moved to a 1 ton SRW diesel in expectation of moving to a 5th wheel. The difference in overall control and braking is night and day. My opinion is that this is where these comments come from. My personal experience with a 1/2 ton + 6000lb TT, 1 ton + 6000lb TT and now a 1 ton + 12000 lb 5th wheel is that the braking and overall control of the trailer are not even comparable. The first time I towed my TT with my 1 ton I immediately noticed the difference in overall control of the trailer. My 1/2 ton set up felt like it did the job. My 1 ton feels like it controls the trailer. And I'll add, like you, I have no intention with this post to start an argument or tell those with 1/2 ton trucks they aren't safe. Just offering my observations as someone who recently moved from 1/2 to one ton.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:30 AM   #3
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I am right there with you. I used a 1/2 to tow my 5'er. I was maxed out and admit that. With that said I put over 10k miles towing the camper even out west and back. I never had any issues starting, pulling a grade or stopping. I even had a few situation where I had to do emergency maneuvers and it did fine. I just recently bought an F250, haven't towed with it yet.

I know it will do better. I really don't have any complaints about my 1/2 ton either. I just know I was maxed out and continued to add\upgrade things in the camper that just pushed the envelope too far and needed to make the move.

I think the thing that gets lost most on this forum the minute you mention a truck or 1/2 v 3/4, 1 ton, gas v diesel...ect is we are all here for the same reason. We are here to learn, share stories, ideas, laughter, experiences and most of all have fun.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:01 AM   #4
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AMEN , I had the same discussion about Braking on another forum
i think of it like power to weight but brake to weight
like you said.
If the brake rotors a larger on a F250 , I would think they would be since they rated to tow heavier loads. I would think that the truck brakes for either the 150 or 250 would be able to stop a trailer with failing brakes at least once.

if a F250 is rated for 15000# towing and a F150 is rated for 10000# towing , and they are both towing at the max , they both are going to have the same issue if the trailer brakes fail . Momentum/inertia (if i am using the correct term) , does not change just because it is a 250 I would think it would take longer to stop the 250 maxed out due to the higher weight

Truck brakes are meant to stop the truck and the trailer brakes are meant to stop the trailer
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:07 AM   #5
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3/4 and 1 ton trucks have bigger brakes than 1/2 tons. Look at the wheels......

But the point is worth considering......it's why I changed to disk brakes on the trailer.

Also agree that your size is important, and very different among 'us'. You are 14K lbs total..........I'm 27K lbs total, almost double. Stopping both setups will be very different. So blanket statements are hard to decipher.
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:23 AM   #6
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my 3/4 ton truck takes longer to stop with 9700 lbs or so than my 1/2 ton ford with 6200 pounds..

Its a bogus claim in my mind, if the truck is rated to tow 11K, it is rated to stop 11K, etc.. yes 3/4 ton and 1 tons do have larger brakes, but they also carry a good bit more weight empty that somewhat offsets it INMHO. My ram weighs nearly 1500 lbs more than my f 150 did.

Make sure the brakes are properly functioning on the TV and properly adjusted and functioning on the RV and dont worry about it.
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Old 07-27-2018, 01:00 PM   #7
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rjc1024 wrote; "I had a 1/2 ton truck towing a 6000lb TT. Never had any problems stopping and I thought the truck handled the load well. I moved to a 1 ton SRW diesel in expectation of moving to a 5th wheel. The difference in overall control and braking is night and day. My opinion is that this is where these comments come from. My personal experience with a 1/2 ton + 6000lb TT, 1 ton + 6000lb TT and now a 1 ton + 12000 lb 5th wheel is that the braking and overall control of the trailer are not even comparable. The first time I towed my TT with my 1 ton I immediately noticed the difference in overall control of the trailer. My 1/2 ton set up felt like it did the job. My 1 ton feels like it controls the trailer. And I'll add, like you, I have no intention with this post to start an argument or tell those with 1/2 ton trucks they aren't safe. Just offering my observations as someone who recently moved from 1/2 to one ton."

This is well stated logical and an experience many has had. This is largely because your HD is a much heavier truck with a larger margin for error (in hitching & weight distribution) over that same 6,000 pound camper.

If your half ton was set up wherein the loaded with 6,000 camper steer weight was set to match your unloaded steer weight. Verified on scales. Full braking power would have been available to you.(can't prove it wasn't) Also replaced unloaded steer weight in conjunction with tongue weight in the say 12 to 14% range should provide comparable stability. Again as verified by the scales then test driven.

After which a measured stopping test say from 60 mph with both trucks and the same trailer should show one truck or the other with an advantage of a only few feet.

Bigger brakes on the HD should stop the heavier truck in the same ish stopping distance as the 1/2 ton. But this may or may not be true based on the brake effectiveness of the particular trucks.

I know few people take the time to learn and adjust their tow setup per scale results to experience this. But if you have taken the same rig with no weight reduction only WDH adjustment & weight redistribution in the truck & trailer per scale results to take it from skitish & won't stop to stable and stops seeing is believing or experiencing is knowing. Naturally if your setup weight distribution TW percentage didnt go from one extremely bad and out of spec setup to dead on you are not going to experience this to know how much was left on the table so to speak and or how valuable this can be.

Also fwiw once you have your rig reasonably good as you can get it you don't have to come back to the scales unless you have a more major change in loading.
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The answer to what can my 1/2 ton tow; Generically whatever TT has a GVWR less than TVís max tow rating. Specifically is found on CAT scale via weight distribution with TV TT & WDH. Best motor & gearing all 5 Mfgs within specs IE safe & stable normally to 8k but passengers & bedload reduce this. RAM 1500 ED max tow 9,200, max axle ratings 3,900, max 09-18 CVWR 15,950, axle weights me & gear 3,240 steer 2,560 drive
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Old 07-27-2018, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eurojet View Post
AMEN , I had the same discussion about Braking on another forum
i think of it like power to weight but brake to weight
like you said.
If the brake rotors a larger on a F250 , I would think they would be since they rated to tow heavier loads. I would think that the truck brakes for either the 150 or 250 would be able to stop a trailer with failing brakes at least once.

if a F250 is rated for 15000# towing and a F150 is rated for 10000# towing , and they are both towing at the max , they both are going to have the same issue if the trailer brakes fail . Momentum/inertia (if i am using the correct term) , does not change just because it is a 250 I would think it would take longer to stop the 250 maxed out due to the higher weight

Truck brakes are meant to stop the truck and the trailer brakes are meant to stop the trailer





If the trailer brakes fail on a semi / tractor the little old 15-18K pound tractor will have a heck of time stopping a 60K+ trailer!
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:08 PM   #9
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towing

I towed w/ a half-ton Tundra, 7200lb. Did 3K trip, only problem w holding cruise @60 MPH. Well within total max weight, over on cargo weight. Seems to be the case for most 1/2 trucks. When I weighed @ CAT scale, I realized how much. Switched to a 3/4 ton, big improvement. I find my mileage per day has increased by about 75 mi. a day.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:41 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the reasoned responses. I am one of those weirdos who loves the process of towing. I really don't get nervous but I do like a comfortable experience and I can fully understand how a 3/4 ton with my camper would be a much better experience. That said, I remain very comfortable with my current set-up. I think I have it dialed in. I appreciate the help as I learn!!

Marty
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