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Old 10-12-2018, 02:30 AM   #1
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Towing trailer to the mountains for skiing

Hi,

I bought a 2019 shockwave 24rqmx. It's a dual axle toy hauler that weighs 7,000lb dry and has a max carrying capacity of about 2,500lbs. My tow vehicle is a 4x4 2019 ram 1500 with a towing capacity rated at 11,840 and trailer brakes.

I am going to be using it for bringing motorcycles to the track and camping. But my girlfriend really wants to take it to go skiing. I haven't seen many posts about towing a trailer up to a mountain to go skiing. So, I have some questions:

1. Has anyone towed their trailer to the mountains for skiing?
2. Besides carrying cables for the TV and one axle of the TT, what other towing concerns are there?
3. I have driven in the snow quite a bit, but never pulling a trailer. I would plan on going slowly and leaving a lot of space in front of me for stopping. Any other suggestions when going up/ down the mountain through snow?
4. The TT has an arctic climate package with full insulation under and I would not be hooking up to water supply or waste, just filling the fresh water supply before I go. Concerns about things freezing for a 3 day trip where temperatures are in the 20s?

Thank you for any suggestions, advice, etc. I definitely don't want to get myself stuck in a bad situation where the trailer is sliding around and I can't control it. Theoretically, it seems like we should be able to take the trailer up the mountain for skiing if we prepare properly. But I want to learn from your experiences since this is the first TT that I have owned.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:11 AM   #2
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It may depend on what "mountain" you're going to. I used to tow a cargo trailer all over Park City, UT. It was loaded with my tools and very heavy. I never used chains on the truck or trailer, but they do a great job clearing the roads in Utah.
Just drive sensibly. That's my experience.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:27 AM   #3
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In my opinion, it sounds like a recipe for disaster.....but I'm sure some others will come along and offer their experiences and opinions. Good luck if you decide to do it.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:09 AM   #4
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I think you are a little high on your estimate of the truck's towing capabilities. You may want to run the VIN to make sure. And remember, it may be rated to get X-amount of weight moving, but you don't want to be that close pulling what amounts to a barn door down the road. Generally, it's a good idea to stay about 20% below your max towing capacity. Which, if you are correct on the weights, brings you down to around 9440. Your RV dry is at 7K lbs + a 2500lb cargo capacity takes you to 9500lbs. Just my opinion, but you may have overdid it on the RV purchase. At that weight you are getting into 2500 territory.



https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-guide.html
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:17 AM   #5
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I researched quite thoroughly before making both purchases. 3 to 4 months for each. I did also actually put in the VIN the to verify and at the dealership they ran it as well. And when I was researching, then shopping for a truck, I read pretty methodical about the requirements for towing.

So, I'm quite confident in the towing rating of 11,840. Move has the 3.92 rear gear ratio, trailer brakes, the 5.7L, it's a crew cab 4x4. I think that is all that is relevant for the towing capacity of the truck.

Was there a specific reason you think the 2019 ram 1500 can't be rated that high?

Btw, I have an equalizer anti sway weight distributing hitch. And i don't plan on going anywhere near the max gvw of the trailer. The max I would load it is to 8,500 pounds, which should leave me more like 30% extra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropthejacks View Post
I think you are a little high on your estimate of the truck's towing capabilities. You may want to run the VIN to make sure. And remember, it may be rated to get X-amount of weight moving, but you don't want to be that close pulling what amounts to a barn door down the road. Generally, it's a good idea to stay about 20% below your max towing capacity. Which brings you down to around 9440. Your RV dry is at 7K lbs + a 2500lb cargo capacity takes you to 9500lbs. Just my opinion, but you may have overdid it on the RV purchase. At that weight you are getting into 2500 territory.



https://www.ramtrucks.com/towing-guide.html
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:44 AM   #6
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Iíve towed a number of trailers through snowy mountain passes over the years, from box trailers loaded with snowmobiles to my camping trailers running south for a few days to camp. For the most part I try to avoid the snow if possible. Stopping, especially when going downhill can get somewhat exciting, especially when the trailer weighs more than the truck. Itís somewhat of a new skill to learn in regards to when to use the gas to get out of trouble, and how to keep the trailer where it needs to be when braking.

If you can, get some time in on flatter slick surfaces prior to hitting the mountains. Practice with just the momentum of the weight first, then add in the gravity/slope handling issues. If you do have to chain up, keep in mind you wonít really be able to tell what is going on with the trailer and if a chain breaks there you will be unaware youíre beating things up. Finally, Iím not sure where youíre looking to be, but I would expect much colder than the 20ís for nighttime temps at a ski resort during the ski season.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Searching_Ut View Post
Iíve towed a number of trailers through snowy mountain passes over the years, from box trailers loaded with snowmobiles to my camping trailers running south for a few days to camp. For the most part I try to avoid the snow if possible. Stopping, especially when going downhill can get somewhat exciting, especially when the trailer weighs more than the truck. Itís somewhat of a new skill to learn in regards to when to use the gas to get out of trouble, and how to keep the trailer where it needs to be when braking.

If you can, get some time in on flatter slick surfaces prior to hitting the mountains. Practice with just the momentum of the weight first, then add in the gravity/slope handling issues. If you do have to chain up, keep in mind you wonít really be able to tell what is going on with the trailer and if a chain breaks there you will be unaware youíre beating things up. Finally, Iím not sure where youíre looking to be, but I would expect much colder than the 20ís for nighttime temps at a ski resort during the ski season.
Thanks for the advice! I'm hoping to find an RV park at the base or just part way up the mountain. Then doing short day drives up for skiing during the day. But I'm just starting to research what elevation different RV parks are at that are near by ski resorts.

For example, there is an RV park at mt hood RV resort, which is at 1,260ft elevation while the ski area at about 6,000ft.

But I'm not sure about other areas.

Here are the things I'm thinking about:
freezing temperatures,
going up steep inclines,
going down steep declines,
curvy roads
poor road conditions (potholes, etc)
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by avigil View Post
I researched quite thoroughly before making both purchases. 3 to 4 months for each. I did also actually put in the VIN the to verify and at the dealership they ran it as well. And when I was researching, then shopping for a truck, I read pretty methodical about the requirements for towing.

So, I'm quite confident in the towing rating of 11,840. Move has the 3.92 rear gear ratio, trailer brakes, the 5.7L, it's a crew cab 4x4. I think that is all that is relevant for the towing capacity of the truck.

Was there a specific reason you think the 2019 ram 1500 can't be rated that high?

Btw, I have an equalizer anti sway weight distributing hitch. And i don't plan on going anywhere near the max gvw of the trailer. The max I would load it is to 8,500 pounds, which should leave me more like 30% extra.
I've seen no mention of payload capacity of your truck, GCVWR, RAWR, FAWR, tire load capacity rating, etc. There are many factors that come into play when towing safely. Let's look at payload capacity of your truck. Somewhere (normally on the driver side door post) there will be a sticker that tells you the exact payload of the truck.....THAT truck....as it was built and came off the line at the point of assembly/build. That number will reflect the payload and usually that WILL include a full tank of fuel and a 150 lb driver. Anything and everything that goes on the truck or in the truck after it's built, will take away from that payload number on the sticker. So, whatever the payload number is, you are going to automatically deduct anywhere from 1020 lbs - 1105 lbs for tongue weight (based on 12-13% of the loaded weight of the trailer). Now deduct another approx. 100 lb for the weight distribution hitch. Now deduct the weight for a passenger and or passengers, food, clothing, anything and everything that goes in or on the truck. Have you added a toolbox in the bed?...gotta deduct it from the available payload number. How about any type of supplies you are taking along that is in or on the truck?....deduct that also. So the bottom line is this....Know exactly what your payload number is....and deduct everything that you are putting as a load on the truck and see what you end up with. You might be surprised at how low the payload number actually is and how much or little room you've got to play with on payload. As I stated before....I have zero interest in towing anything in the snow, and especially when you are talking mountains, twisty roads, and up and down inclines that will test your rig in dry conditions. I'm guessing that you really have more trailer than you should have for that truck....and I'm not talking down any brand here, I'm talking truck capability.

And one other thing I think worth mentioning here. Even though Dodge, Ford, Chevy, GMC and probably the rest of them state that their truck can pull, in your case, 11,840 lbs....There is a HUGE difference in towing that amount of weight using a flatbed trailer Vs. towing that same weight in a camping type trailer. Flat bed loads usually have very little frontal area to deal with, whereas camping/travel trailer will have a LOT of front area for the truck to overcome as far as wind resistance. Then you have the "issue" of the length of the trailer....approx. 30' long. That equates to a huge sail being pulled behind you....which is normally not an issue with the right truck. I'm not saying that your truck will not do what you are wanting to do with it, but I will assure you that it is Not even close to being an optimal situation...and that is considering when the conditions are DRY. Put the snow and ice, mountains, twisty roads along with that, and I wouldn't even seriously consider doing it. YMMV of course but that is my opinion based on the facts of the numbers at hand.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:45 AM   #9
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I have gone over several mountain passes here in Colorado towing a travel trailer. Sometimes I was chained(not cables) on all 4 wheels and chained on the trailer. Scared the life out of me and stopped doing that years passed. I would never try to take a tt on a skiing trip- you would never know when your going to get home.One trip over Monarch pass (the last trip) took over 4 hours to go 8 miles!! Never going to do that again ever!!
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:48 AM   #10
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Rent a cabin or get a room in the lodge. Not worth the hassle to take the trailer in snowy conditions.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:21 PM   #11
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Get rid of the cables and get a set of chains. After you get the chains take a few hrs and do a practice run on installing them. You dont want your first time to be on the side of the road in the slush and snow. Chains help tremendously.

This nonsense of a 20% safety margin on towing is just that, nonsense. If its got 11280 on the door or whatever thats what its rated to pull and stop but you do have to take gvwr into consideration with your tongue weight.

I dont particularly like towing in foul weather but i wont hesitate to do it. The trailer can push you and compromise your traction. Its a whole different animal than driving in the snow without a trailer.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:34 PM   #12
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Get rid of the cables and get a set of chains. After you get the chains take a few hrs and do a practice run on installing them. You dont want your first time to be on the side of the road in the slush and snow. Chains help tremendously.

This nonsense of a 20% safety margin on towing is just that, nonsense. If its got 11280 on the door or whatever thats what its rated to pull and stop but you do have to take gvwr into consideration with your tongue weight.

I dont particularly like towing in foul weather but i wont hesitate to do it. The trailer can push you and compromise your traction. Its a whole different animal than driving in the snow without a trailer.
Really, try pulling a flatbed with xxxx lbs of weight on it, then take the same amount of weight that is a camping type trailer and let me know how that works for you. And I'm talking about weights that are approaching the max rating for the truck, not some rinky-dink trailers/weight. Even the truck manufacturers talk about towing with frontage area limitations and sizes in square feet of frontal.
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:45 PM   #13
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Rent a cabin or get a room in the lodge. Not worth the hassle to take the trailer in snowy conditions.
great idea Ö plus Ö what are you going to do with motorcycles on a ski slope?
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by avigil View Post
I researched quite thoroughly before making both purchases. 3 to 4 months for each. I did also actually put in the VIN the to verify and at the dealership they ran it as well. And when I was researching, then shopping for a truck, I read pretty methodical about the requirements for towing.

So, I'm quite confident in the towing rating of 11,840. Move has the 3.92 rear gear ratio, trailer brakes, the 5.7L, it's a crew cab 4x4. I think that is all that is relevant for the towing capacity of the truck.

Was there a specific reason you think the 2019 ram 1500 can't be rated that high?

Btw, I have an equalizer anti sway weight distributing hitch. And i don't plan on going anywhere near the max gvw of the trailer. The max I would load it is to 8,500 pounds, which should leave me more like 30% extra.
Towing capacity is about as believable as MSRP when you dig into how it is calculated. Not a good number to use IMO.

GCWR is a better number to work with. The rear axle capacity is generally met before the GCWR.
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