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Old 07-15-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
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Hi there,
I was hoping someone could help me figure out what my truck can handle. I bought based on looks and a camper I ended up not getting. Now I'm finding lots of campers but thinking they are way out of weight range.
I have a 2005 dodge 1500 SLT Daytona series. I'm hearing now that that handles less then a normal 1500, anyone know if there is any truth to this ?
Although I think I want a tow behind I want to leave my options open for a fifth wheel but I have no idea how to check payload, tonge weight etc. All the salesmen seem far more interested in a quick sale then a happy customer and I have heard different things from each place I have been to. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated !

Heidi
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:39 PM   #2
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Hi there,
I was hoping someone could help me figure out what my truck can handle. I bought based on looks and a camper I ended up not getting. Now I'm finding lots of campers but thinking they are way out of weight range.
I have a 2005 dodge 1500 SLT Daytona series. I'm hearing now that that handles less then a normal 1500, anyone know if there is any truth to this ?
Although I think I want a tow behind I want to leave my options open for a fifth wheel but I have no idea how to check payload, tonge weight etc. All the salesmen seem far more interested in a quick sale then a happy customer and I have heard different things from each place I have been to. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated !

Heidi
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:25 PM   #3
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Best for you to look at the travel trailers (TT) or the hybrid travel trailers (HTT). You need to determine which engine you have and which axle ratio you have. You may have to go to the dealer with the serial or VIN to get this info unless it is listed on your window sticker.

Next, you will have a weight sticker on the drivers door jamb which list the trucks GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) and front and rear axle GAWR (gross axle weight rating). It should be somewhere in your owners manual, the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) for your specific cab, engine and axle combination.

next you need to make a trip to the local weight scales to get the weight of the truck with you , full fuel and normal cargo and passengers for travel. Add about 150# for the hitch. This is your laden vehicle weight (LVW).

GCWR - LVW = max loaded trailer weight (not dry weight).

GVWR - LVW = max loaded trailer hitch weight.

If the truck has the 20" wheels, they reduce the tow rating.

If you want to go by the truck manufacturers tow capacity, this is a maximum and based on an empty truck except for a 150# driver. Every pound you ad over this base vehicle reduces the towing capacity by the same amount. So use at a maximum, 80% of the manufacturers tow rating for a loaded trailer weight.

Trailer dry weights are just that, dry, no water, no propane, no batteries, no options like A/C, awning or microwave. A trailer can easily weigh 500 to 1000# more than the dry weight and you have to add your supplies, food and clothes.

Number one thing is never believe the sales man...his job is to sell you the largest trailer he can get you in. Do your homework ahead of time.

HERE is a good site to help with the weight info.

Oh and big howdy to iRV2....

Good luck, Ken
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:00 PM   #4
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LOL, Howdy to you too Ken !
I do have all that information, I just don't know what to do with it- I am so frustrated.
The Dodge website is not letting me choose my specific truck/year. The generic number they have is 8500 #'s. Searching other sites I am seeing 9100#'s ( definitely preferable so I can get a nicer camper, but most important is keeping my family safe )
I do have the 20" wheels is there a way to find out how much that changes things ? And can I downsize, or does it go by what the truck is made to take since those are standard on my truck?

Your dry weight comment is interesting too, as all the dealerships told me to go by that then add on what I put in for cargo. Of course they also told me NOT to include "in the cab weight/passengers, etc. ". I should know never to trust a salesmen.

Sorry my posts are so long.
Thanks again for all your help !

Heidi
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:40 PM   #5
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Heidi, most people I have talked to about factory list dry weights are all off. I would ask about getting the unit weight with all the option on it.

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Old 07-15-2007, 07:42 PM   #6
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I have not tried to run the Dodge site for truck selection for some time and not as familiar with them as Fords.

You are right about not believing the sales person. It is amazing that most of them have never pulled an RV except for a trip across town to the local RV show. The trailer dry weight is a fictitious number as is the maximum towing capacity of a truck. When I have a sales person start the incorrect weight business on me, I don't have a problem calling him on the issue and telling him that he is wrong.

Which engine and axle did you get in your truck. I will try to help you along. Most of the moderators are at the National Rally in Branson right now.

Looking at the 2007 models:

SLT, 5.7L, 3.73 axle, 7800# towing capacity
SLT, 4.7L, 3.92 axle, 6200# towing capacity.

Somewhere on the net, there should be info on the 2005 trucks.

In any case, based on the 2007, I'd not over 7800# * 0.80 = 6240# for a loaded trailer on the 5.7L.

And 6200# * 0.80 = 4960# on the 4.7L if it has the 3.92 axle.

I had a 2006, 4.7L with the 3.55 axle and it was a gutless wonder when loaded and loved to suck on the gas tank.

Look for a sticker in the cabinets which should have the weight as the trailer left the factory and the cargo capacity. Add propane at 6.0 # per gallon, water at 8.33 #/gallon plus your supplies and clothes....say another 500# (or more).

We always travel with about 1/4 tank of fresh water for washing hands and flushing. The black tank starts with about 2 gallons to mix the chemicals. If you are headed to a place that you need your own water supply, wait until almost there to fill the fresh water tank to save on the weight.

Here is the LINK to the 2005 towing info on Dodge vehicles.

Ken
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:18 AM   #7
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I think I am looking to hard and not seeing the obvious ! This is the first time I have seen that link you gave me. Still a bit confused though.
based on that it looks like I fit in one of the bottom two on the list 8600lbs or 8550lbs, really not going to fret over such a minimum difference. However if you don't mind I am curious how to figure payload, curb weight ( I have front/rear but there is an option for just plain curb weight that I don't understand )as well as tongue weight.

I have the
-5.7L V8
-3.92 AXLE
-curb,front/rear - 3900/3900

Is the GCWR just as it sounds, camper weight + truck weight ?

I don't get this note on their website
"The recommended tongue weight is between 10 & 15% of the trailer weight. However, the maximum tongue weight on Class III (The bumper ball) is limited to 500 lbs, and Class IV (The receiver hitch) to 1200 lbs.This requirement overrides any recommended GTW rating, between 10% and 15% of gross trailer weight (GTW). "
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:36 AM   #8
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With the 20" wheels, you are probably limited to a max of 7800#, again this is a basically dry truck and no cargo or passengers. Use 80% as a maximum loaded trailer weight or 6240#. This pretty much leads me to looking at dry weight trailers of 5200# max.

Again, the only way to know for sure is to weigh the truck as it would be loaded fro travel and add 150# for the hitch and calculate the real maximum weights.

GVWR is the maximum weight you can have as a total on the two axles and you are not to exceed either GAWR. The GAWR typically add up to more than the GVWR since you can load one end heavier than the other and still be under the GVWR.

GCWR is the total weight of the truck with all people, and the trailer with all cargo.

Forget about brochure curb weights and such. Again, these are bogus numbers based on a base model truck.

The published payload capacity is the difference between the GVWR and the bogus curb weight.

You can calculate the actual payload capacity once you ahve the weight as GVWR - LVW which is the same as the hitch weight.

For a bumper pull trailer, the weight on the hitch typically is between 10 and 15% of the trailers total loaded weight. If you are lighter on the hitch, the trailer will be prone to swaying and not handle very well. You can control this to some degree by where you add the cargo in the trailer and any water you carry. Some have the fresh water tank forward of the axles and can greatly effect the hitch weight. Our TT has the fresh water tank pretty much centered over the axles.

A hitch will have tow weight ratings....non-weight distributing and weight distributing. Without weight distribution, you are usually limited to a 500# maximum on the hitch. A class IV hitch will typically have a max hitch weight of 1200# and a max tow rating of 12000#. This is not the tow rating of the truck, just the max the hitch can be used for on what ever truck it is mounted on.

I know you will see people towing larger on a 1/2 ton truck, but towing is not just a lots of horsepower to pull the load, but you need enough truck to control the trailer. My recommendation for your 1/2 ton truck is not to exceed 25' in actual trailer length. You do not have enough truck to properly control the larger trailers. My personal feeling is the 26' to about a a32' trailer should be pulled by a properly equipped 3/4 ton truck. Over 32', you need to start looking at a 1 ton truck and probably a diesel.

It will pull them, but longer trips will be really uncomfortable an tiring.

Something to remember is that you never hear about anyone having too much truck, but you do hear about not having enough truck.

Ford used to have a god Towing Guide that pretty well explained everything, if you read all of the foot notes.

Since you appear to want to pull as large as you can with the truck, you need to get your truck weighed and calculate the real numbers. Also, nothing less than a Reese Dual Cam HP hitch and a good brake controller. I prefer the Jordan 2020 (being redesigned and a new model is coming out), but the Prodigy seems to work for a lot of folks.

Ken
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Old 07-17-2007, 12:30 PM   #9
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Thanks a million Ken !
The camper I am now looking at is still 600 lbs GRVW ) over where I am figuring my truck rates.. deciding if it is worth it to chance it ... *sigh* teach me to want a pretty truck :P
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:25 PM   #10
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They also make big pretty trucks...I like my F350 Crew Cab Dually with step bars and alloy wheels. Gets a lot of looks from truck admirers. My wife thinks it is funny when she drives it and all of the guys are drooling all over the truck.

ken
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Old 07-17-2007, 02:20 PM   #11
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Well yeah, I know.
The thing is though, is first of all I have a thing for orange, and for sports cars. The sport car is out of the question since this is my mom-mobile. So I have the daytona series in go-mango I couldn't justify buying a truck JUST for the camper and I don't think I would be comfortable in something with a stiffer suspension just running around on a daily basis.
I don't have a pic that I can post right now, but here is one just like it. Isn't it pretty
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:18 PM   #12
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Nice looking, but I like my truck to have "Hips"....

Ken
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Old 07-17-2007, 04:46 PM   #13
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Very good looking truck,but like Ken I too like hips on my truck. I really did not notice too much of a difference in the ride going from the Dodge 1500 to the Ford F350. I did add Bilstein shocks to help with the ride some, and the fact that it is 2X4 helps. I use my truck everyday and have no complaints. I leave the complaining to the people I park next too when those hips get in their way
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:17 PM   #14
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Heidi, I like the looks of your ride. If you are looking at a slide-in camper the CGWR is of no use to you as your limit is the GVWR. Half ton trucks usually do not make good camper toters except for the most basic campers. They make better tow vehicles for towing smaller lightweight trailers- say around 4-5000lbs or less. Your large wheels reduce the amount of torque you can get to the ground- however your 3.92 rear axle will offset that a bit- I bet your final drive is equal to a std truck with 3.5 to 3.7. So when your are looking at tow ratings on other Dodges you can compare.

If you can find the CGWR for your rig you can quickly figure out how much TT you can pull by subtracting the GVWR of the truck from the CGWR and find a trailer with a GWVR of that amount or less. For example you have a 12,000 lb CGWR and an 8000 GVWR so you should look for a trailer with a 4000 lb GVWR.
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