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Old 02-03-2011, 08:06 PM   #1
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Expert Advice Required

My wife and I are thinking of buying a bumper pull for all the obvious reasons. Likely to use it mostly within a 3 hour drive, but would like to venture on longer trips occassionally. I currently own a Ford Expedition with a Class III tow package and a Dodge 1500 PU with a tow package, but I have no idea how much of a trailer either will haul.

To make things more frustrating, I cannot find any useful information regarding the individual vehicles' tow packages. All the information on the internet, in the owners manual, and on the window stickers conflict or don't match up so I cannot tell exactly what my vehicles can handle.

I pulled a 30' 1985 Airstream about 150 miles with my Dodge PU, but it was a chore. Don't know if it was because I an inexperienced with a trailer or if the rig was too heavy. Probably a little of both.

My questions are: What can I pull with these "1/2 ton" vehicles? Should I just go ahead and get an F-250 or Dodge/Chevy 2500 to be safe?

Help!
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTHOtu95 View Post
My questions are: What can I pull with these "1/2 ton" vehicles? Should I just go ahead and get an F-250 or Dodge/Chevy 2500 to be safe?

Help!
As a minimum.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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Either vehicle is a satisfactory tow vehicle IF you stay within their established towing limits. This towing calculator Tow Vehicle/Trailer Calculations Demonstrator will be quite useful properly and safely matching these vehicles to a trailer.
Camping Life Magazine should be close on mfgrs. tow ratings for your vehicles. Keep in mind anything you put in a vehicle reduces the tow ratings by the same weight amount. This is where the towing calculator is useful.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:43 AM   #5
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Keep your trailer search to under 25 feet and you should be OK and within any limits. Anything over that and you would be better off with a 3/4 ton series truck for your towing choirs.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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Don has it ok, anything over 25 ft and the tail will wag your dog all over the road.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:11 AM   #7
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Here is a Dodge site that I use all the time. This is the Dodge Body Builder's. com Web site. Here is the link: http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/year.pdf

You did not mention what year of truck, so you will need to do the following. To find the information that you are looking for.
Click MY, then the Ram icon, you will then select the cab style, you will find on the RH side the required link such as Base Weights /GCW/Payload. Click this and then the 1500 model. This will provide towing and the GAWR of the truck along with other information you may require.
Hope this helps, with the Dodge?

BTW, depending on the model year of the truck. You can pull any where from 8,300 LBS to 9,900 LBS. Depending on axle ratio and tire size a long with style of the truck.
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Old 02-04-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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To see what all is on your two vehicles, you can take the VIN to a dealer and they can run the number and tell you what all was on the vehicle from the factory. They can tell you what axle it has and if it has a "towing package".

Even with a towing package, I'd recommend a measure trailer of 26' maximum from ball to rear bumper and still watch your GVWR and GCWR.

The 30' Air Stream was too much for a 1/2 ton truck in my opinion, all though you will see some folks out there claiming they do OK.

Some of the newer 1/2 ton trucks are claiming MAXIMUM tow ratings or close to 11,000# (when properly equipped). I do not feel that the ratings are very truthful and For that much weight, I'd go with a properly equipped 3/4 ton.

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Old 02-04-2011, 12:40 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. I think I'll keep my 1/2 tons and buy a smaller trailer. Save money both ways!!!
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:21 PM   #10
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Couple More Questions

On the Dodge Bodybuilder site that I was referred to, it shows a Max. Trailer weight of 7650 lbs., but the Camping Life and Trailer Life guidelines show 8700lbs. 1000 lbs seems like a pretty big difference. Is there a logical explanation for that?

Where can I get GCWR and Base Weght numbers for other vehicles?

Should I get a WDH and/or sway control? How much does that cost?

Sorry for all the questions, but you guys have been the best resource I've found so far. It pays to be good!
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:23 PM   #11
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The ratings will depend on the specific model truck and what packages it has installed. Your axle ration, engine size, cab (std, or crew) all change the rating. The best thing to do is look on the door jamb (drivers door) and get the GVWR and GAWR. Next look at the owners manual for your truck as equipped, find the GCWR. Weigh the truck with full passenger load and cargo load. Add to the weight a hitch.

GVWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer tongue or pin weight.

GCWR - loaded truck = Max loaded trailer weight.

Stay within these guidelines and you will be fine.

Yes, with a bumper pull travel trailers, you definitely need a weight distribution and weight control system. About the best WD and sway system for the money is the Reese Dual Cam Straitline system. A lot of RV dealers do not like it, because it is a bit more trouble to install and set up. They have to actually read the instructions. Once installed and set up, it works great.

You will also need a good brake controller. I prefer the hydraulic sensing unit like Max Brake. The Prodigy P3 is cheaper and easier to install, but does not work as well as a Max Brake.

Have fun shopping.

Ken
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