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Old 06-29-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
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Towed Overweight, but not anymore!

Well guys and gals, I finally upgraded! Tradaed in is the 2004 GMC Sierra Z71 extended cab w/ GCWR of only 7800 and was towing a Salem toyhauler that scaled out at 9200 W/ the 1200 lb golf cart. Bike is only 800lbs, so trailer W/ bike would have been 8800lbs. Poor truck, she did a GREAT job pulling my trailer here in the FLAT lands of Florida, but mileage was only 8 MPG at 63-64. 7 MPG at 70. Wind from passing big trucks and other RVs caused a slight drift towards them. I DO NOT reccommend doing what I did, but I have 30 years towing experience and I took precautions of learning to completely dial in my WDH and brake controller. ALWAYS watched my distance following and adjusted when needed, and towed SLOW. I had towed it home from SW Florida doing 70-74 mph, but it was completely empty and was under the MAX GVWR of the GMC then (6500+/- dry weight), ONLY rear axle gross was exceeded, because I had a topper on my GMC that trip. Topper came off that week after purchasing TT. NEVER left the flat state of Florida, but now I can!

Yea, weight Police, I was overloaded, but when you find a 5 year old toyhauler in perfect condition, for only $4,000, that was stored inside for the better part of those 5 years (old room-mates father - NOT a dealer), you tow it carefully and slowly with what you have - till you can afford a BIGGER tow vehicle.

New TV is - a 2006 Dodge 2500 Quad cab 4x4 Cummins powered, w/ AT with only 72,500 miles. PLENTY of room to load the toyhauler up to its MAX GVWR of 11,800lbs! Not that I plan on loading it up, but now I can tow it with SOME water in the fresh water tank, and GAS in the fuel station on board! As for mileage towing, I have had it only 1 full day and only towed a 8x12 motorcycle trailer about 50 or so miles. 16.4 per on board computer display - NO hand calculated MPGs yet. Running solo, I had the on board computer up to 26.1 average trip MPG! Even if it is generous by 4 or so MPGs I'm doing alot better than the GMC gasser. Best I got with the GMC was 16.8 MPG doing 55 MPH and UNDER, on the overseas highway last weekend, with the motorcycle loaded in the bed. 14.8 MPG running 72-75 MPH there and back on the turnpike and I 95 - HAND CALCULATED. Not bad for 172,500 miles on her. Wish I could have kept her in the family somehow, as she still ran perfectly!

Got to install my brake controller from the GMC into the new-to-me Dodge. It has never towed heavy! No goose neck, No 5ver hitch, no brake controller ever mounted! Get that controller installed, I may tow the TT/Toyhauler next weekend to see just how much I upgraded.
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Bob and sometimes - Nina - a Staffordshire Terrier/a SPOILED pit and her kitty Spaz
2006 Dodge SLT 2500 4x4 Cummins Quad Cab w/AT and 3.73
2007 Salem Sport LE 26FBSRV (TH) w/ my Victory Motorcycle in it or a EZ GO Shuttle cart.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #2
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Good for you for getting legal.

But don't get carried away with loading up the trailer until after you weigh the wet and loaded rig on a CAT scale. Compare the weight on the two pickup axles to the GVWR of the pickup. A 2500 SuperCab diesel can easily be overloaded with your trailer, so know where you stand.

Your automatic tranny is a weak spot on your "new" pickup. I would install a tranny temp gauge with a sender that gives sump temp, then never exceed 225 tranny temp. If you see over 210 more often than once every blue moon, then change the ATF to full synthetic.
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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 06-30-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
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Dodge transmissions use at+4 fluid and that is full synthetic fluid from factory. Unless someone changed it to something other it is synthetic. Keep the fluid changed in the tranny and it will easily last 150-200,000 miles before rebuild. Assuming the engine is stock and not power boosted.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Good for you for getting legal.

But don't get carried away with loading up the trailer until after you weigh the wet and loaded rig on a CAT scale. Compare the weight on the two pickup axles to the GVWR of the pickup. A 2500 SuperCab diesel can easily be overloaded with your trailer, so know where you stand.

Your automatic tranny is a weak spot on your "new" pickup. I would install a tranny temp gauge with a sender that gives sump temp, then never exceed 225 tranny temp. If you see over 210 more often than once every blue moon, then change the ATF to full synthetic.
Thanks SmokeyWren, I like being legal, towing overloaded had me worried about the transmission failing on my GMC, getting blown off the road, or sucked into the side of a passing vehicle. Dodge 2500 numbers will keep me leagal - I've looked at the axle ratings and capacities. I'm good with the QUADcab - I didn't get the MEGAcab, thier numbers are lower as it weighs more than a QUAD.

Tranny temp gauge is on the list.

Hope you don't mind that I pass up on spending money at the CAT scales, I work at a PORT facility that has certified truck scales that I can use for FREE before or after working hours, and I can use them for an hour during lunch. Doesn't have the 3 seperate scales, but I can get axle weights by stopping with just the front axle on the scale, pull up and get a truck weight with/without WDH hooked up, pull rig on scale and get total weight, and pull truck axles off get trailer weights w/ wo/WDH and drop weight just the trailer. Having use of them got me to be able to dial in the WDH for the GMC 1500 I had to use till I could find the right ($) 2500/3500 to pull with. This is the ONLY reason I was able to tow overweight somewhat safely. I don't encourage anyone to try towing heavy, but I took more precautions than most others will - Towed slow, not in heavy traffic, not in peak times, stopped when traffic got heavy to let it thin out, stopped and tightened WDH if it didn't feel right - I adjusted 1 time without scales for my cart instead of motorcycle - 400 lb difference! WHEW! Had to readjust in a rest area! Getting passed by a tractor trailer and the WDH not being right on was a bit nerve racking! I adjusted a link tighter and stayed away from trucks till I got home to adjust on the scales. Getting quicker at adjusting head angle and links on bars now!

As you have pointed out to so many people - each trip they make in a camper, MORE STUFF gets added to the camper, and they do NOT realize how it adds up so quickly. Being able to take mine to work on back roads at under 45 MPH to properly adjust the WDH kept mine from fishtailing at highway speeds. I was able to see the differences each time, and after 6 trips, I had added 1,000 lbs. Chairs, tables, grill, spices, staple foods left in canets, alcohol, pots, pans, cleaning supplies, decorations for the Dear GF, ect., ect. all added up quickly! And YES, I will be carrying the new truck and trailer to work to adjust it!

Keep Policeing here, your advice is absorbed by some of us, and may save someones life - if it already hasn't! I am noticeing so many other RVers out on the highways that are more overloaded than I was. I know they can't be taking the precautions I have been. I have seen 5 or more FLIPPED on the side of the interstates here in Florida in just the last 3 years. I knew it was time to upgrade, just $hopping for the 1 I could afford. Missed 2 SWEETER deals because I didn't jump faster.

THANKS AGAIN!
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Bob and sometimes - Nina - a Staffordshire Terrier/a SPOILED pit and her kitty Spaz
2006 Dodge SLT 2500 4x4 Cummins Quad Cab w/AT and 3.73
2007 Salem Sport LE 26FBSRV (TH) w/ my Victory Motorcycle in it or a EZ GO Shuttle cart.
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