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Old 05-01-2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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I have some questions for this board. I am shopping for a new truck. I have a question regarding "how much can I tow (ultra-lite's)with a 1/2 ton c/w all the proper HD tow equipment. I have used the calculator at Changing gears http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml
and for each truck Dodge, GMC, Ford and Toyota, the calculator shows a max towing capacity of 6667 lbs. It tells me that I am over the tow limit of the truck, but under the GCWR. This is with the curb weight of an unladen truck. If it shows this now, I would bet that I will be overweight when the truck and trailer are loaded for travel. So how do I stay within saftety margins, with a 1/2 ton? If I unload the trailer to just above dry weight, this calculator says its good. Each of the 4 trucks above will tow - Dodge 9000lbs., Ford 9500 lbs., and GMC and Toyota 10300 lbs. each. From what I am seeing, for the 15 - 20% safety margin, a 3/4 ton truck is the only alternative. How much added towing capacity is there with an equalizer hitch or the hensley arrow? The more I research the more confused I get.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:42 PM   #2
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I have some questions for this board. I am shopping for a new truck. I have a question regarding "how much can I tow (ultra-lite's)with a 1/2 ton c/w all the proper HD tow equipment. I have used the calculator at Changing gears http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml
and for each truck Dodge, GMC, Ford and Toyota, the calculator shows a max towing capacity of 6667 lbs. It tells me that I am over the tow limit of the truck, but under the GCWR. This is with the curb weight of an unladen truck. If it shows this now, I would bet that I will be overweight when the truck and trailer are loaded for travel. So how do I stay within saftety margins, with a 1/2 ton? If I unload the trailer to just above dry weight, this calculator says its good. Each of the 4 trucks above will tow - Dodge 9000lbs., Ford 9500 lbs., and GMC and Toyota 10300 lbs. each. From what I am seeing, for the 15 - 20% safety margin, a 3/4 ton truck is the only alternative. How much added towing capacity is there with an equalizer hitch or the hensley arrow? The more I research the more confused I get.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:54 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">How much added towing capacity is there with an equalizer hitch or the hensley arrow? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No hitch can add towing capacity. They help control the trailer, improve safety, and make entire towing process better.

The only safe answer is to stay below your GVWR, and your GCWR.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:27 PM   #4
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Forget the question on the hitches at the end. I just realized something after reading a few other postings on other threads. Most replies use the dry weight of the trailer rather than the Gross trailer weight for the calculations. This assumes that we don't overfill our units above the GVWR. Does this make sense?
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:54 PM   #5
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To someone new to towing it can be very confusing. The manufacturers inflate their towing rating by using the lightest weight base model possible with no cargo, no hitch, no accessories and only a 154# driver. For every pound you add over this base weight, you reduce the towing capacity by the same amount.

Too many people read the brochures and take the dry weight of the RV as golden. Again, the dry weight does not include anything that is listed as an option, such as; A/C, microwave, batteries, awning, full propane bottles and definitely no water or your camping supplies.

Practically speaking, a well equipped 1/2 ton truck will pretty well be at maximum with a 25' travel trailer or a bit smaller 5th wheel.

If you really want to pull a trailer in the 26 to 30' range, you should really be looking to a 3/4 ton truck. There is a big difference between towing at or slight over your limits compared to a well matched tow vehicle.

A good hitch will help control the trailer, but will not increase your tow rating. I am using a Reese Dual Cam HP and it is great, but I am way over trucked for what I tow.

It is very good to be doing the homework and getting a good understanding of doing before you spend a lot of money.

Ken
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wakamicamper:
Most replies use the dry weight of the trailer rather than the Gross trailer weight for the calculations. This assumes that we don't overfill our units above the GVWR. Does this make sense? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not to me. Speaking for myself, using the same assumption of not overfilling it, I always use the GVWR of the trailer. This way I can insure the TV can handle the trailer when full. Using the unloaded weight one can easily end up with an overloaded TV.

That said I agree with Ken with regard to the 3/4 ton TV.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:44 AM   #7
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In my opinion there isnt ANY 1/2 ton trucks designed to tow more then 4500~5000lbs and that is only if you have heavy duty cooling and 3.73~ 4.10 gears. Lt duty trucks just dont have the cooling and support gear needed to run at the higher GVCW of a heavy spec 3/4 ton truck. Tires , brakes ,springs,frame , motor TQ and HP rateings at a usable RPM (not at 5200 rpm), cooling, Trans size and rating....every one of these key points get upgraded once you move into a heavy spec 3/4 ton truck. Its safe to say stay 15% under what ever the OEM says you can tow for your EXACT spec truck, as pointed out not all models have the same rateing and dont trust your car salesman they dont know 99% of the time . LOOK for it in black and white in the sales guide to trailer for your model and the options yours has. In the end you and your family will be much better off.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:12 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wakamicamper:
Forget the question on the hitches at the end. I just realized something after reading a few other postings on other threads. Most replies use the dry weight of the trailer rather than the Gross trailer weight for the calculations. This assumes that we don't overfill our units above the GVWR. Does this make sense? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
No. Read what Ken said very closely-again. Using the advertised "dry weight" is a really bad practice. This means you cannot carry any drinking water, clothes, food, dishes, etc. and still be within the truck's rated capacity. Sure, the truck may be able to pull more on flat ground, but, you may be climbing hills with your foot on the floor at 35 MPH! Then the truck may not outlast the warranty, you'll be tensed up at every hill, both up and down. That is not a relaxing event! Those are some reasons that one, and other calculators, only use trailer GVW in calculations.
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:09 PM   #9
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Perhaps I am too simplistic, but I have only one thing against 1/2 tons in towing. I owned one for a long time... even a couple of Rancheros. The biggest important difference between 1/2 ton and 3/4 (or larger) is the rear axle. A 1/2 ton will come with a non-floating rear axle and the 3/4 (most anyway) will come with a full-floating rear axle. I won't take up the space explaining the difference, but in a nutshell, in a non-floating axle, the axle does the power transfer AND it carries the weight... on one wheel bearing. With a full floating axle, the hub is on two bearings and there is no weight on the axle at all. The two bearings transfer the weight to the axle housing rather than the axle. IMHO, this is a serious issue in heavy hauling situations. Cars have non-floating axles and bigger trucks have full floaters. There's good reason for that. Easy to see from the outside: non-floaters have the wheel flat against the axle flange. A full floater will have a housing sticking out in the middle of the rear wheel with a series of bolts. The bolts are actually bolting the axle flange to the full floating hub. The wheel lug nuts are connecting the wheel to the hub as well.
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Old 05-09-2008, 04:42 PM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by wakamicamper:
I just realized something after reading a few other postings on other threads. Most replies use the dry weight of the trailer rather than the Gross trailer weight for the calculations. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That is the wrong thing to do -- unless, of course, you're planning on traveling with a totally empty trailer -- and results in overloading.

Always use the GVWR of the trailer when doing calculations.
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