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Old 11-01-2011, 10:04 PM   #1
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Newby needs pulling advice

Names boober-Just bought a 93 fleetwood prowler,30' and GVWR is 7400lbs. My question is how much vehicle do I need to tow it with. What size engine do I need but keep my mpg down? any advice out there?

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Old 11-01-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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If you want to "keep my mpg down" just get the biggest engine you can get.

Personally I'd want to keep my mpg UP!! Remember that getting the smallest engine may not be the best way to got good mpg as it'll overwork the small engine.

I haven't had a TT since 1988 so I don't have any advice for you on that part, just too many advances/changes.

2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
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RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:06 PM   #3
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Your towing Vehicle should be rated way over the 7400 GVWR of your trailer. Largest engine available, with a class 3/4 towing bar for the vehicle of your choice. You should also have anti-sway bars on the hitch AND tow with an equalizer hitch. Keep the trailer level while moving on the highway. Sway bars helps when high speed trucks and buses pass to keep the trailer tracking behind you.

Other helpful things, an electric jack for the front jack on the trailer, this will ease your moving the trailer up an down on the hitch ball. Wheel chocks to hold the trailer, a scissor chock is better. Extra leveling blocks for placement under the wheels or leveling jacks. I had a portable electric drill with an adapter to quickly lower and raise the side leveling jacks. There are other ideas an things folks might have to help out. Just keep on asking.

Happy trails.
Steve & Leslie
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Honda 2010 CR-V "Toad"
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:39 PM   #4
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I'll 2nd everything Steved007 said. He took all the words right out of my mouth.

The electric jack and drill with adapter were the 2 best purchases I ever made.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS

Don't know where I'm going, spose I'll get there anyway.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:40 PM   #5
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I totally agree with the above posts, a 3/4 ton with a tow rating above 8000# and at least a 410 axle ratio if gas engine and 373 if a diesel. The diesel will get much better mileage but will be more expensive to buy up front. The nice thing about a TT is you can use a Suburban type vehicle or a van, you don't neseccarily have to have a pickup. Happy trailering.

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Old 11-03-2011, 05:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by boober View Post
Names boober-Just bought a 93 fleetwood prowler,30' and GVWR is 7400lbs. My question is how much vehicle do I need to tow it with.
All the pickups have a GCWR posted in the Owner's Guide. And most have a "tow rating" posted in their trailer towing guide.

Without more info, my answer would be you want as a minimum a 2011 or 2012 Ford F-150 with the EcoBoost (V6 turbocharged) engine and the Max Trailer Tow pkg (includes 3.73 axle ratio and telescoping trailer tow mirrors). That will meet your needs for "enuff truck" to tow a 7,400-pound TT as well as give you excellent mileage (compared to other half-ton pickups) when not towing. GCWR with the Max Trailer Tow pkg is over 16,000 pounds, resulting in a tow rating of 11,000 pounds or more for all cab and trim choices.

Next step up in capability and cost is the Ford F-250 pickup with diesel engine. That's an ideal tow vehicle for that trailer. Almost as good would be the comparable Dodge or Chevy 2500 pickup with diesel engine.

What size engine do I need but keep my mpg down?
For the best MPG, you want the smallest engine that has enough power and torque to tow your rig over the hills and mountain passes. That's the benefit of the EcoBoost engine. 3.5L size, but more torque and tow rating than the 5.0L V8.

Manufacturer's tow ratings are all overstated by a at least few hundred pounds. They assume that the truck has no options and the only payload in the truck is a skinny driver. But nobody travels that way, so I'd reduce the tow rating by at least 1,000 pounds when estimating the true capability of the truck. So for the EcoBoost Ford with Max Trailer Tow pkg, I'd not want to tie onto a trailer with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. Since your trailer will gross 7,500, that gives you a wonderful cushion of fudge factor to be certain you're never overloaded.

For a tiny bit better MPG when not towing (but probably a tiny bit worse MPG when towing) then consider the optional 3.55 axle ratio instead of the 3.73. That means you cannot have the Max Trailer Tow Pkg with the telescoping trailer tow mirrors, and your tow rating falls about 1,500 pounds to around the 9,500 to 9800 ballpark. But that's still plenty of tow rating with a decent fudge factor for your 7,500 pound trailer.

Full disclosure: Right now I have a 2003 F-150 SuperCrew with the 4.6L V8 engine and 6,500 pounds tow rating. It handles my 7,000-pound cargo trailer just fine on the 6% grades on I-10 in far-West Texas crossing the three passes over the Rockies. But I've got the new-truck bug and will probably order a 2012 F-150 SuperCrew EcoBoost soon.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #7
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Keep asking questions in this forum until you get the answers you need. DON'T trust salesmen to help make decisions about towing. KNOW what you want before you start shopping. Your tow vehicle (TV) is probable the most important decision you'll make.

Andy & Carole
2014 Winnebago Itasca Navion iQ 24V
2015 Ford C-Max toad / Blue Ox Alpha / RVi Brake
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