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Old 10-02-2010, 09:22 PM   #15
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You are limited to 5'er choices with a half ton truck; however, do not be disheartened. We use a 2004 Dodge Quad Cab with a tow rating of 7900#; we pull a 30' 6900# Puma Travel Trailer......here is what works: Make sure that your truck has LT tires; we bought Firestone Transforce HT for ours. This is a 10 ply tire (the same as on a tractor trailer, just in our size). They are rated at 80 psi, but we run them at 60 psi for a softer ride. The tires were actually about $200.00 less than the popular P rated tires that came on the truck.
We use an equalizer hitch with sway attachment; I would never bumper pull without one. We were driving through Columbia, SC in July (returning from Myrtle Beach), had the cruise set @ 60mph, and were in the "curb" lane; well, this guy wanted to move to our lane, which he had room for, but then he decided to try to make the exit also. As a result, we had to panic stop from 60 mph in afternoon traffic (on both sides of us), and with the equalizer and sway, the truck and trailer acted like they were one unit. We slowed down quickly and straight as an arrow. I know to some people, all of this seems like overkill, but when you need it to work, you are very glad you have got it.
5'er's are definitely nice, but two things swayed my decision on the purchase; one was we already had the truck and it is paid for, so why buy another truck. And two, we looked at two trailers with the exact same floorplan; one was a TT and the other a 5'er. There was $16,000.00 difference and they were the EXACT same layout.
We recently spent a month in New Mexico and Texas on vacation and the truck and trailer performed great. We averaged 9.0 mpg and up to 11.5 mpg in the flatlands of Texas. We even took the tour of Paloduro Canyon in Canyon, Texas and "pulled" the 10 degree grades with no problems at all. In fact, since the end of July, we have logged over 3200 miles on our little rig, and ar leaving in two weeks for a week long stay at a fishing camp in upstate South Carolina, and then Myrtle Beach for Christmas. Buy wisely, and plan on having fun.
If you like, send me a private message and we can talk on the phone.
Happy RVing.............

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:29 PM   #16
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We also, pull a 30' RKS; send me a private message and I can call you to give you some maintenance tips and issues concerning pulling rear kitchen travel trailers. Remember, all of your appliance weight and cabinet weight is on the "tail".....this can give you alot of surprises on less than smooth roads.......

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Old 10-02-2010, 11:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by OneRVer View Post
Just remember on thing. You are not the only one on the highway. Putting your family in to harms way is you business but to put other people family in harms way, while you get the point. I hope you have a good repair shop for brakes, transmission, tires, and suspension, ect. The list will go on. What is your GCVW? Also remember the weight of water is 8.33 lbs per gallon now add in food, clothes, bedding, lawn furniture, ect,ect. Why start out with something that is questionable??
Good luck and don't say you have not been warned.
Not trying to people in an uproar but it seems that that is impossible unless you just agree with all the senior members about what they say. Yes I am one of those 3/4 toners that everyone says can't don't.My 2500 Dodge Cummins GVWR is over loaded when I pull my 39' 14,000# fifth wheel and with the 4,000# bass boat behind that I am over lenght (82') and over loaded also.I don't know where you get your 5'ers but mine has brakes and it stops itself and the boat the same so the truck just has to stop itself.The truck has 50,000 miles on it and 90% of those miles are loaded as stated above. I do all of my own service and rotate my own tires.Brakes are less than half worn and I still have 6/32 tread left on the original set of tires. I don't know about the transmission because that is just one of those things.I do have a Bully Dog Gt programmer install so I'm sure that is going to tear the trans out because all the ole timers said it would.LOL I do know that I get 14 MPG hand calculated because of the GT.

So I guess I am just a horrible person for breaking the rules and I'm sorry.I am very comfortable towing this. If you want to worry we need to worry about the big rigs. I drive one at work and believe me my 3/4 handles the 5'er and boat alot better than a road tractor handles an 80,000# load.Then we also have over weight permits to haul heavier. I haul a crane that weighs 65,000# by itself not counting the semi and trailer. I am grossing over 100,000# and as long as I am not over on axles I am legal.
When you get pulled over by DOT the look at your axle ratings and tires not the GVW or GCVWR.Each axle is suppose to stop itself.If you can't stop your rig then you have brake problems.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by transamz9 View Post
My 2500 Dodge Cummins GVWR is over loaded when I pull my 39' 14,000# fifth wheel and with the 4,000# bass boat behind that I am over lenght (82') and over loaded also.
If you choose to tow overloaded and overlength, then there's little I can do about that. On the other hand, when a newbie asks for advice, I'm going to tell them how to stay within the manufacturer's GCWR and GVWR ratings when selecting an RV. If they choose to do so, fine. If they choose to tow overloaded, that's fine as well. At my age, I'm not going to argue about it since people are going to do what they want to, anyway. Heck, if ratings and limits are meaningless, just hitch up that 43' Teton to the good ole 4 cylinder Ford Ranger out in the driveway and get 'er done!

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Old 10-03-2010, 04:09 AM   #19
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Thumbs Up RustyJC; I agree completely.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:19 AM   #20
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I'm not saying to hook a 43' Teton to a Ranger.If you read it that way then I'm sorry. I really don't know what a Teton is but I would say that it would probably overload the axle on the ranger.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:28 PM   #21
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My husband and I are new to the rv world and purchased a tt almost 30' tounge to bumper. I'm still working on understanding all those numbers for weight. What I can tell you is we had a Ram 1500 and thought it would handle the pull. It did to an extent. We live in TX and the short, flat distance from the dealers to our house (25 miles) put a load on the engine. With the mountains and hills in WA I don't know as I would try it with your 1/2 ton. We are now the proud owners of a 2006 Ram 2500. BIG difference.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Cheryle View Post
We have the new truck. ( 2010 Ford Pick Up with MAX TOW. 1/2 Ton. .... according to Ford, we can have a total weight of 11000 lbs. ). We are asking for advice as to what to buy. 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer. We live in Washington State and are ready to buy soon. We want to travel around the US. Stopping here and there for a few weeks at a time. What do you suggest? Thank you.

Hi my west coast friend ! I dont want to upset anyone here but I am going to be honest and give you the same advice I gave my Mom and Dad 5 years ago when they started look at there second camper. The first one was a 20' that My dad had for one summer and was towing it with a 2001 toyota v-8 tundra. He tought the truck ahd what was needed for 600lb on the back bumper and 3900lb of weight . well Not so fast Dad..... first the rear spring couldnt hold the weight then the cooling system couldnt deal with the weight on long up hill pulls and to be honest the truck is just to light all the way around tires , brakes, payload, power......... there is nothing worse then a truck that makes your arse pucker when something big passes the trailer or a cross wind pull the rig across the road when you cant control it. So now Dad goes out and starts looking at a 2500 HD crew cab 4x4 with a 6 liter gas motor used and gets it knowing they want to get a bigger trailer. Well they pick out this VERY tall 29' citation that tips the scales around 7700lbs and is 12'-6" tall so its a huge amount of wind the camper catches , so I tell them IF you buy the camper your not going to be happy with the truck pulling it. They dont listen to me and do what they thought was right in there eyes. Well the first and only 450 mile pull that made was never going to happen again , 300 hp and 380 ft tq cant pull a sail that big at highway speeds up hill for chit. 27 mph on a 5% grade was all it could do after a 3 mile climb. My deisel on the same hill with the cuise control on set at 71 mph with 9200lbs in tow never slowed down or down shift a gear . So now that many of us have give you something to think about please dont listen to ANY rv dealer on what you can tow we are saying its not real world and you shouldnt tow it. Buy a diesel tow rig what ever brand or 3/4 t or one ton and buy what ever trailer you want and go where ever you want! I know for a fact out there in Washington state you guys have some really big hills so dont be foolish and think a 1/2 ton can pull or stop loads like what your hopeing to pull. I have pulled my skidsteer many thousands of miles , its 22,800lbs combine weight (truck trailer and cargo) with my 2500 hd . I know what the truck can do and its at it the max when you try to stop that kind of weight and pulling isnt a problem even in the mountains.

Be safe and I hope I have helped and not offended anyone
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:30 PM   #23
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Well made points made by many here, My thoughts are 1) actully weigh your tow vehicle with you, spouse, gear etc., 2) when looking at trailers a good # to go by is the GVWR - once you add water, propane, batteries + clothing, food + beer;-), 3) a 5er will tow better than a TT, 4) there ARE some nice looking light wt + hybrid units that could be done with a 1/2 ton - do your shopping! 5) do not use cruise control while towing - saw people who flipped thier bumper pull TT when they topped a hill, kicked off the cruise controll - not good when the trailer passes the towing truck! They + their 2 children were fine. Trailer was in small peices!
There are many beautiful places to camp in WA + OR - get the right rig for you + enjoy!
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:50 PM   #25
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Everyone is added their 2 cents, here's mine:
We have a 2004 Chevy Trail Blazer, 4.2 L straight 6, per the GM charts it should have been able to handle our old 24 foot Prowler TT that we were pulling with a 95 Reg Cab 1/2 Ton, 350 V8. There we hills that the 1/2 was down to 2nd gear and loseing ground. My guess is the Blazer would have been going backwards down the hill instead of up. We now have a 12,000 pound 34 foot 5th Wheel, but we're towing it with a 1 ton dually, Duramax Diesel and Allison Tranny.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:50 PM   #26
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With a 1/2 ton truck you can pull a 5 th wheel but you can not stop. Please be careful my wife and I have been pulling RV's for 34 years and have seen some bad things. Your trans will fail due to heat. You can add springs and air bags but the truck just can do it. We have seen the ultra light trailers that have flipped on it's side and some lost control due to wind. Get the right set up and I can not tell you how nice it is. It will cost big bucks but the safety factor is worth it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:24 PM   #27
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There is a lot of good advice from folks that have been towing for a number of years and like me, started small and undersized on a tow vehicle and were some what happy. But as we got experience (without the knowledge of the internet) we discovered that RVing is fun and a lot more fun if you have a properly sized tow vehicle.

As Rusty noted, we will tell new members what the rating mean and how to calculate the correct numbers. I do not advocate towing over the manufacturers rating.


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what should we buy?

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