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Old 06-16-2018, 05:59 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Suggestions

We have a Ď17 Rockwood Signature travel trailer, 8328BS. Itís in a park this year but intend to travel with it next year.
Iíve done a bit of research on the Ď19 RAM 1500 with the 5.7 and available tow pkgs.
It looks like it will work as it will also be my daily driver for my 90 min commute each way to my office.
Iím trying not to go HD if I donít have to.
Trailer dry weight is 8500 lbs
Tongue weight is 1100 lbs
Your thoughts and recommendations are always appreciated.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:07 PM   #2
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I think u may need a 2500. 8500 lbs for a 1/2 ton seems like a bit of a stretch.
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:19 PM   #3
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Buy a 2500 gas motor and a cheap commuter and go. 1500s are really limited to aroind 7500 loaded or GVWR. Your looking at over 8000 dry. Adding your stuff and passangers tou will be way overloaded.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:10 PM   #4
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Take your time find a half ton that can tow it I towed a similar weight weight trailer with a 2014 Tundra and a 2014 F 150 eco boost yes payload wise I was over I needed a W/D hitch and installed airless airbags on both but I had W/D with my 2500 Ram just for the sway I towed with my Tundra from West Texas to southern Oregon on I 40 thru the Grand Canyon Vegas Reno came back thru Lake Tahoe and around that area no problems. The tongue weight might push you to 3/4 ton if you donít want to be overweight. My 350 power stroke gets about 15 mpg on highway even got 20 for a 180 mile trip but usually in 15 range
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:07 AM   #5
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First you need to find the numbers for the particular tow vehicle you are looking at, this varies based on the vehicles weight, the more options, the heavier the less towing capacity. I was always told add a thousand pounds to dry weight for all of your stuff you will be putting in the trailer so that brings you to 9500lbs.
As an example, my 2016 F150 has a GCWR of 15,200lbs, my truck loaded weighs about 6000lbs. 15,200-6000=9200lbs, the max weight I can tow. Of course you also need to check tongue weight capacity of the particular tow vehicle, mine is 1200lbs. the hitch tongue weight limit is the weight the hitch structurally can support.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:12 AM   #6
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Thanks all, yep Iíve got some homework to do!
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:21 AM   #7
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I will keep it simple. Regardless of what brand truck go 3/4 ton.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:47 AM   #8
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I will keep it simple. Regardless of what brand truck go 3/4 ton.
Amen, and go diesel as well. You don't have to worry about finding RV friendly gas pumps to get in and out of, just get in line with the big boys at truck stops.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:59 AM   #9
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I think you'd be better off looking at the max weight for your trailer. None of them ever weight the dry weight. People will swear they travel light, I will at times as well... But it is a amazing how much stuff adds up. Whether it is fresh water, tanks with fluids in them or just your pots and pans. I pulled a 30ft 9k lbs or so camper with a Chevy 1500 5.3 v8. It did well and was a nice ride as my daily driver. It would not struggle on hills but did need to be run at a higher rpm. It also would not do well using cruise control because of the hills.

Not everyone needs an HD truck. We towed almost every weekend and for several long trips a season. I did move to an HD truck with the same camper and it was night and day. But I am also fine with my 60 mile highway drive to work each day.

What is your camping style? A few trips a year or all the time?
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:09 AM   #10
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Forget that dry weight number; it's just a marketing ploy. Your TT never really weighed that number.

Your TT's GVWR is 11,136 lbs. You're most likely to be closer to that number than any dry weight number. In addition, the "dry hitch weight" they quote is about 13% of the dry weight.

Looking at your floor plan, I'd guess most of what you'll load (clothes, etc) is going to be at or in front of the axles. So I'm guessing your tongue weight is going to be a lot closer to 13% of the GVWR, or 1437 lbs.

Personally, I'd ditch the 1/2 ton pickup plan. 3/4 ton minimum.
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:30 AM   #11
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Why would anyone advise to tow overweight??
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:01 AM   #12
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I tow our Mini Lite (approx 6200 lb loaded) with a Chevy 1500. It does just fine, but I wouldn't tow with anything smaller. If/when we upgrade to a larger tt, I will upgrade to a 2500 or larger. I don't feel comfortable being near or at capacity when it comes to towing....rather have more than just barely enough.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:58 PM   #13
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I tow our Mini Lite (approx 6200 lb loaded) with a Chevy 1500. It does just fine, but I wouldn't tow with anything smaller. If/when we upgrade to a larger tt, I will upgrade to a 2500 or larger. I don't feel comfortable being near or at capacity when it comes to towing....rather have more than just barely enough.
Wise decision.

I know there is a difference between towing locally on good dry roads without much incline and towing cross country. You might get by if careful, but I adhere to the 65% rule. It's not just about towing, it's also about stability and braking.
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Old 06-17-2018, 01:08 PM   #14
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Wise decision.

I know there is a difference between towing locally on good dry roads without much incline and towing cross country. You might get by if careful, but I adhere to the 65% rule. It's not just about towing, it's also about stability and braking.
X2.

And some folks will say you don't need to worry about TV braking because the trailer brakes should be stopping the trailer and the TV brakes stop the TV. But given the number of reports here of leaking TT hub grease seals and grease on the brake pads, I'd be leery of counting on the trailer brakes in an emergency. TV brakes are much more reliable, so I like to have my margin there.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:33 AM   #15
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The biggest mistake that newer RV-ers make is trying to get by with a grade smaller tow vehicle than they need. They figure if the 1/2 ton pickup can tow the dry weight of their travel trailer on a sunny day on flat pavement ten miles from home then they should be fine. They aren't counting on that sudden storm which washes mud across the highway or brings stiff cross-winds as you cross a high bridge. You'll want a truck that can handle the bad conditions that any trip can unexpectedly throw at you.

By going with the 1/2 ton truck you are giving up better stability with heavier suspension, especially in wind, larger brakes, bigger charging systems. The bigger trucks (3/4 ton and bigger) are made for towing. The 1/2 tons are made to look like cool trucks and have some big boy features but when you get in an emergency situation out on the road with strong crosswinds or steep downgrades with no guard rails, you'll be very thankful for a HD truck's suspension and brakes.

I got lost once on a Tennessee logging road with switchbacks and no guardrails with my Rockwood Signature 8282 fifth wheel. If I went too wide, there was a steep drop off and no railing; if I cut the turn too tight there was a deep ditch my fifth wheel could drop in to. I needed a truck that could be slow and powerful in pulling up some steep switchbacks. I was very glad for my HD truck. (I also needed a better road atlas!)

I'd also recommend towing with a 4WD truck. There are many situations, especially after a big storm, that campgrounds which are normally fine can become a mud bog. You can end up staying an extra day or two if your 2WD can't get out. I know many folks feel they don't need it but I think it's a necessity for cross country camping for three seasons.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:33 PM   #16
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The biggest mistake that newer RV-ers make is trying to get by with a grade smaller tow vehicle than they need. They figure if the 1/2 ton pickup can tow the dry weight of their travel trailer on a sunny day on flat pavement ten miles from home then they should be fine. They aren't counting on that sudden storm which washes mud across the highway or brings stiff cross-winds as you cross a high bridge. You'll want a truck that can handle the bad conditions that any trip can unexpectedly throw at you.

By going with the 1/2 ton truck you are giving up better stability with heavier suspension, especially in wind, larger brakes, bigger charging systems. The bigger trucks (3/4 ton and bigger) are made for towing. The 1/2 tons are made to look like cool trucks and have some big boy features but when you get in an emergency situation out on the road with strong crosswinds or steep downgrades with no guard rails, you'll be very thankful for a HD truck's suspension and brakes.

I got lost once on a Tennessee logging road with switchbacks and no guardrails with my Rockwood Signature 8282 fifth wheel. If I went too wide, there was a steep drop off and no railing; if I cut the turn too tight there was a deep ditch my fifth wheel could drop in to. I needed a truck that could be slow and powerful in pulling up some steep switchbacks. I was very glad for my HD truck. (I also needed a better road atlas!)

I'd also recommend towing with a 4WD truck. There are many situations, especially after a big storm, that campgrounds which are normally fine can become a mud bog. You can end up staying an extra day or two if your 2WD can't get out. I know many folks feel they don't need it but I think it's a necessity for cross country camping for three seasons.
I second all of this. I guess we all learn from our experiences and hope others can benefit from it.

There is one thing I would add and that is to have a good brake controller, and know how to adjust it and use it. There are times when you need to bump your TT brakes and not apply all by using your brake pedal. You don't want that scary experience of having your load push you on a wet down hill grade or off ramp.

The best thing someone new to towing could do is take some long drives in areas where you know there will be little traffic (just like teaching a new driver) and in different conditions and get the feel of the capability and safety measures you can take. Always expect the unexpected because you can't just stop these rigs as you've been used to.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:38 PM   #17
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Tow vehicle

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Originally Posted by tdidad View Post
We have a Ď17 Rockwood Signature travel trailer, 8328BS. Itís in a park this year but intend to travel with it next year.
Iíve done a bit of research on the Ď19 RAM 1500 with the 5.7 and available tow pkgs.
It looks like it will work as it will also be my daily driver for my 90 min commute each way to my office.
Iím trying not to go HD if I donít have to.
Trailer dry weight is 8500 lbs
Tongue weight is 1100 lbs
Your thoughts and recommendations are always appreciated.
I think that you should forget any 1/2 Ton options. Your payload capacity is going to be the rate limiting factor. I have a Rockwood 2703 WS GVWR 7600# that I towed with a 2008 Tundra and was always at or slightly above max payload even though the Tundra advertises a tow capacity of 11,500# with a weight distributing hitch.

I now have a Ford F-350 and donít sweat payload anymore and have moved the heavy stuff from the TT to the truck to keep the Ultralight under GVWR.

I went with the diesel and judicious use of the accelerator pedal nets me about 16 mpg when not towing.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:49 PM   #18
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I tried towing a 2016 Rockwood 8312SS with a 2016 F150 EcoBoost. It never was stable even with a Equalizer hitch. I tried adjusting it multiple times. Springs are too soft. I went to a 2016 F350 SRW diesel. It drives like a dream, no sway, plenty of power and can put almost anything I want in the bed without having to worry about payload issues.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:57 PM   #19
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ive seen the ads for the new ram 19 ram. some pretty hefty payload and max tow numbers. I guess the questions that can be answered by you are how much stuff am I going to carry and how far and how often am I going to tow?
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #20
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So everyone knows the towing capacities of the 2019 Ram 1500.Click image for larger version

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