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Old 09-03-2013, 07:49 AM   #15
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I lost confidence in 1/2 ton pickups years ago when I was pulling a travel trailer. In the early 1970's I had a 26 ft tt and pulled it with a Chrysler station wagon with a two barrel 440. Using a equalizer hitch, that wagon did a very credible job of moving that 7,000+ trailer. The old time campers gave me a hard time because that wagon was not suited to pull a trailer. I soon bought a 1/2 Chevy and found that it would not plow the ground! Glad I kept the Chrysler, as it was much better suited for the job. This past spring I saw a fellow camper pulling a 37ft 5er with a Toyota p/u. I resisted the urge to tell him that would not work.

2007 Dutch Star 4320
2010 Mazda Miata 6 speed
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:40 AM   #16
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I guess if you use the truck manufacturers published rating numbers (1 150# driver and no options) along with the RV manufacturers published unloaded weight numbers some trailers will work out as being towable by a 1/2 ton. Is it realistic, mostly no.

Sure the truck manufacturer can up the truck curb weights to include the popular options, but then they need to justify what options to use and which not to use. Additionally, doing so would probably kill sales in their most popular line - marketing suicide. So they continue using the criteria they have always used.

RV manufacturers have less info to go on. They have no idea how much, if anything, someone will load into the trailer. One can argue that they could apply some logic and add some fudge factor, but how much. I may go out with nothing more that a pack of paper plates, a box of plastic utensils and a change of clothes; nothing else. Most others will take more than that, but how much more? Who can tell? Thus they use the unloaded weight. How can anyone create and justify a fudge factor in this case? Everyone has their own opinion on what is reasonable to load into a trailer or not. Do we really need to take our own water? I don't unless I know I will be boondocking. But again, that is me.

I am not justifying the practice, just telling it as I see it. That is why I always preach that the buyers do their homework to be safe. After all I am responsible for the safety of my family, nobody else. And I accept that responsibility. I've been overloaded with my 1st truck/5er combination and swore I would never do it again. I do the math and make sure I am within the limits.

Just sayin'

John, Joyce & Libby the Yellow Lab. - Fulltime since `08

2005 Kountry Star FW-35LKSA by Newmar
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:29 PM   #17
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Just stopped and looked at 1/2 ton trucks. I was surprised at how small they look to me now. A 1/2 ton truck weighs 5,700 lbs. while a heavy duty truck weighs 7,700 lbs.

Just an observation.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #18
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I owned a 90 GM 1500 diesel and curb weight was 4300lbs and 6300lbs GVW. The next one was a diesel 2500, curb weight was close to 5300 lbs with 8600lbs GVW. they had 2000 and 3300 lbs capacity. My 7500lbs F250 has 2500 lbs capacity
What has gone wrong, one ton more of truck capable of carrying a little more the the 90 1500.

Now 1/2 tons are bigger then ever and we question their capacity?

I towed for nine years a 11500 lbs 5th wheel, with a 2000lbs car in tow, was very comfortably with my 5300 lbs GM. It was rated at 8600lbs trailer capacity. So I feel much better towing my 15000 lbs unit with my 7500lbs Ford.

So heavier 1/2 ton trucks should surely be better at towing heavier trailers.

In all my readings here I never saw once the comment of limited towing capacity is due to overheating. And I have friends that experienced it with 1/2 tons. And modified trucks can accomplish more then rated. Of course they are not covered by warranty. I never used a warranty in all my years of truck ownership and never needed it anyway.
Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:12 PM   #19
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The best advice is as stated, USE SOME COMMON SENSE. If you don't it's going to bite your butt. We had three TT's. When looking I always wanted to stay no more than 80% of the maximum for my truck. My F-150 said I could tow about 10,000 lbs so we stayed well under 8,000 lbs loaded. I think the heaviest we pulled was 7,000-LBS. We also weighed it at a CAT scale.

That part was OK. What was not OK and it took me 3 TT's to realize it, was the fact that most all TT manufacturers don't give a hoot about your safety. If they really cared about your safety then they wouldn't put 6,000 lbs axles under a TT rated to carry 7,000 lbs. I know they figure that the TV will shoulder some of that weight. Hey weight is still weight any way you look at it. Secondly the tires are rated just barely enough to carry the expected weight with no margin for error (accidental overloading). It's no wonder that the tires wear out before their time and many complain of bad tire wear with only a few thousand miles. Three hundred or more dollars later they find out that the axles are bent (cambered negatively).

Here's the bottom line, and that's just it. It's all about the bottom line$$$$$ for them. I would estimate that 80-90% of the TT industry builds on the edge of disaster. Find me a TT that has axles that are rated even slightly over the recommended maximum capacity for that unit. I don't think you will find one. About how much extra would it cost to put axles, tires and brakes rated at 500 lbs over the the maximum for that particular TT. With their large buying power I doubt it would cost $1,000. When you spend 20-60-K for a unit what's another $1,000 or even $2,000? Some spend that much and a bunch more upgrading tires, rims, alignments and leaf springs.

It took us three TT's then we switched back to a motor home. Yes it was a lot more $$$$$ and they too have their problems but at least it is built on a truck frame, it has shocks, and disc brakes front and rear. Our MH chassis GAWR is 7-K front & 12-K rear or 19,000-LBS total. The tires at 85-PSI can carry 23,000-LBS and at 110 can carry 26,700-LBS. That's a built in margin for safety not disaster.

There are a lot of good TT's out there and many use them and have great times camping but always use common sense and keep a close eye on the tires and suspension parts. I highly recommend a TPMS for the tires.


TeJay (Tim) Auto Instructor 35 yrs (4-yrs USAF) Liz: RN/ WBGO 2014 Vista 30T/ F-53/ CHF/5-Star/Koni/Centramatics * Bella- Golden/Cocker mix & Louie-The cat / All Retired
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