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Old 04-26-2009, 02:28 PM   #1
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TV wheelbase to TT length factor

Good day to all the towing experts out there. My family and I have purchased a 2009 Jayco Jayflight 26BH. The overall trailer length is 29ft, and GVWR is 7500lbs. We currently own a Dodge Dakota PU and so,... we plan to soon purchase a new Dodge PU with the necessary specs to safely pull and stop this TV/TT combo. (don't flame me because I like Dodge, Ok ). We will be taking possession of the trailer in early May, and need some help deciding on which size Dodge PU to buy.

My wife says we should go out and get a Quad cab (we have two kids) 1500 V8 short box 4x4, saving as much as possible to use somewhere else... like extras for the trailer. To handle the sway phenomenon, my research says I need a TV with a wheelbase of at least 146 inches (110" to 20' of trailer, then for each additional 4" of TV wheelbase, add a foot of trailer, 29' trailer=146" WB). Based on those calculations, I need a Dodge 2500 Quadcab longbox which comes with a WB of 160". Short boxes are 140".

I tried the search engine but came up empty on the necessary WB querry.

So... my question is: Have I got that right, or am I mis-informed?

Aside from that: the curb weight of a 2009 Quad cab 1500 4x4 is 5312lbs. With the trailer at GVW 7500 and a thin 150 lb driver... (unlike myself at 210), those numbers add up to GCWR of 14412lbs. That puts the combo overweight in a Dodge 1500 by 2012lbs as the max CGVWR is 12,000 lbs for 3.55 rearend, and over by 412lbs, CGVWR @14,000lbs for the 3.92 rearend. A 4.10 diff is not listed for the 2009 Quadcab 4x4.

That leaves me looking at a 3/4 ton longbox quadcab... right? The way I see it, NOW is the perfect time to buy the right vehicle which will be up to the task. My family, and I included just don't have the real-time towing experience that many of you here can share, that will help guide us through this purchase. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:09 AM   #2
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I can't narrow down you WB decision but I sure wouldn't use anything less than a 3/4T. PU. We have a 28' TT. with a 10400 GVW and a real world weight on about 9K. We now have a 1 ton dually which tows so much better than the 3/4T. You need more weight & rubber on the road for that much length. The big trucks & Rvs don't push us around any more.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
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For the size trailer you are considering and the family, I would go with a 3/4 ton truck for the comfort. I know the 1/2 ton trucks are posting some really high tow ratings, but you still need the size, weight and heavier components of the 3/4 ton chassis to better control the trailer. I think you would be a lot happier with a 3/4 ton with a 3.73, 3.92 or a 4.10 axle.

A couple of questions:
How often and how long do you plan to make trips?
Are you towing in the mountains or hills or flat land?

You hear about a lot of folks fussing about not having enough truck, but you seldom if ever hear of some one with too much truck.

Ken
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the recommendations CD and TXiceman

CD, the reference for the WB research was found years ago at RV.org. As I understand it today, you have to purchase their CDs to get that info. Years ago it was free knowledge, shared to all.

The formula:

110" of TV WB can safely tow (sway free) 20' of travel trailer
for each additional 4" of TV WB, add 1' of travel trailer

Using this formula I calculated that to safely (without sway) pull a 29' travel trailer, I should have a minimum WB of 146". This is why I am considering either a 3/4 ton or 1 ton Dodge QuadCab longbox PU, as the WB for all 1/2 tons and shortbox 3/4 & 1 tons are 140".

Ken, the type of terrain we will be travelling through is essentially all of the suggested types you mentioned (mountains, hills and flatlands). We currently live in Alberta which is home to the Rocky Mountains. This July we are moving to another Province on the other side of the continent, and will likely travel through all of the terrain types in your list.

Aside from the cross-Canada trip this summer, most of our trips will be less than 6hrs driving time/day.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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I have seen the formula you talked about and I think your figures are fine. Our 1T Dodge Quadcab is 154". I personally prefer the 410 for towing. We had a 354 (the same yr & model) but it was totaled after 5mos. so got the 410. I didn't like having drive 65+ to keep the RPM high enough or shift everytime I started up hill when towing. The 410 got about 1/2mpg less on the same trip as th 354. At times I get 18 runnug empty and usually 12/13 towing.
If you are buying a new TT, try to get higher load rated tires than standard. Your handling will be much better. It's my pet peeve that the Rv mfgs put on the bare min. for the GVWR of the RVs. No wonder RVers complain about handling.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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Why would anyone flame you for wanting the pickup that seems to have the least amount of problems, the best engine (diesel) and is so much fun to drive? LOL

Don't fool around with this - - buy the 3/4 ton and don't look back. You can almost count on that 29'er ending up a 32'er in a couple years. There are not many fivers that are light enough to be pulled by a 1/2 ton and stay within limits. The quad cab Dodge is quite comfortable and with long bed still keeps the total length quite manageable. We really enjoy ours and typically have another couple with us for several weeks with us on our long trips. She has back problems and never complains about the back seat.

As for the 4.10 rear end - - You will not need it for that light of a fiver, but if you ever plan to move to near 12,000 pounds you should think about the lower rear end. I have 4.10 and I get about 20 on the road if I hold it to 65 and 12.7 consistent on long trips pulling a 16,000 pound fiver.
Bob
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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I too recommend going with at least a HD 3/4 ton. Your going to upgrade your RV, you might as well have a truck that will be ready for your next trailer.
Price difference between the 1/2 ton car and a good Tow vehicle is small. Trying to trade in a vehicle in a year or two, tons!!!!
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:19 PM   #8
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1/2 Ton Towable

Hi Guy's:

For what it's worth, I tow a Jayco 27BH with an 05 Avalanche, I have 4:10's 5.3L, a Trans cooler besides the Factory one built into the Rad. In addition I have a Predator program running in it, a K&N filter.

I can tow the trailer not to bad at all. I know it's there, but the small block rev's high, and makes it's pwr at 4-5000 RPM. I won't win any races, but I feel comfortable towing.

The Avalanche sits on a Suburban chassic, so I think the Wheel base is longer than a 1/2 ton.

I have some other mod's Rancho shocks, synthetic oils, and a bigger air intake tube.

So with some money spent on a few mod's it's dooable.

Roentgen
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:27 PM   #9
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I used to think all people posting that you HAVE to get a 3/4 ton were just truck snobs. I towed for several years with a 1/2 ton. I was really close, and quite possibly over weight. It worked for me as I never went on long trips and I live in flat country. But recently I bought a Dodge 2500 Quad Cab short bed with the cummins...it makes a huge difference! Could I still survive with my old 1/2 ton...yes. But it's much more enjoyable to tow with the 3/4 ton!

I currently tow a 31' bumper pull and I experience no sway, even without the friction swaybar. I think tongue weight is more critical than length vs WB. My friend has a trailer with basically the same length, weight, and floor plan as mine. The biggest difference is that his axles are about a foot farther forward than mine are, resulting in a much lower tongue weight and him being plagued with sway...to the point that he had to buy another hitch to eliminate some of it. All the while, I never experienced any sway, even with my 1/2 ton truck!
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:37 PM   #10
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The "wheelbase rule" is a general guideline and not cast in stone. But generally a longer wheel base truck will be a better puller and give a better ride. Another big factor is to keep the distance from the trucks rear axle to the hitch as short as possible. Long overhangs for the rear bumper make for a less stable towing situation.

Ken
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Old 06-01-2009, 02:27 PM   #11
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I experienced the same thing you said when I upgraded from a car to a 1/2T (towing a 15' TT) then from the 1/2T to a 3/4T (towing a 17'TT) and again when I went from the 3/4T to the 1T Dually (towing a 28' TT). I am talking just about handling although each time was an increase in power.
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Old 06-01-2009, 03:05 PM   #12
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Go with the 3/4 ton. I have a 2wd Dakota and had trouble towing a 17' trailer with a normal load.

Mike
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:13 AM   #13
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I have ordered the 3/4 ton dodge diesel in an SLT Full Ram Jam. Comes with leather, power everything, sunroof, and 6 cd stereo. I should have it by the weekend. Thanks to all your help. It made the decision easier, and I believe I am getting the right truck to haul with right from the start.

Truck GVWR= 9000 lbs, (about 7025 lbs on the scales) TT GVWR = 7500 lbs, (4500 lbs on the scales). The truck's GCVWR = 20,000 lbs Combining GVWR(ings) of the truck and TT = 16,500 lbs total.

According to the figures, I should have 3,500 lbs reserve with this setup. Real world experiences may differ somewhat, but I don't expect that i will be disapointed.

Cheers and happy camping.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:51 AM   #14
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That will be a good match, at least until you decide you need a BIGGER trailer. Have fun and enjoy.
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