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Old 11-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
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Are these weights pushing it?

I've been an outdoors guy my whole life. Mostly tent camping and backpacking. Now that I have a wife and two little ones, tent camping is not worth it, unless of course I pack up and hit the back country on my own.

I'm looking at a 24' Milan made by Eclipse. As soon as the boat is gone, I'm pulling the trigger on my first TT. My main concern is tow-ability. I know these weight rating are for safety, but I'm wondering how conservative the ratings actually are and whether or not the set up I've listed below is cutting things too close.

Gcwr 13000
Gvwr 6300
TV Curb weight 4450
Max trailer weight 8300
TT dry 6400

I know that truck and trailer leave 2150 lbs of the GCWR for people, gas, water, supplies and anything else we load. I figure 800 lbs for people, fuel, bikes in the truck which leaves 1350 lbs to load the trailer. Since this will be my first TT, I'm not sure how many lbs of supplies and additional items is common.

Is this a simple situation of either get a lighter trailer or get a 3/4 ton TV?

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Old 11-06-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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What tow vehicle?

Don and Lorri
2007 Dodge 3500 dually
Resident Dummy.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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You should be ok. A truck scale after loading will tell more.
Your GCWR is 13000. Subtract the curb weight of the truck at 4450 leaves 8550 which is above the trailer MGWR of 8300. You shouldn't load trailer to max anyway. Don't fill water tanks if staying in a CG, they have water. Boondock after learning how much you can take. You may be safe to fill, but load light till you scale the rig.
GVWR of 6300 subtract curb weight of 4450 leaves 1850 to load in the truck including the weight of the hitch. Add everyone's weight together and subtract that from the 1850. You mentioned 800 lbs but curb weight should have included some fuel. That leaves 1000 for hitch weight. A bumper pull of 8300 max should be under that, but a scale tells all.
Other numbers to watch are axle maximum weights and hitch maximum. A weight distribution hitch helps distribute the hitch weight to both the tow vehicle axles and is necessary with a anti sway either built in or added to it.
Electric trailer brake controller is also needed. I got one for my motorcycle trailer that is actually light enough that I didn't need it. After towing light trailers with it, I recommend them. Towing the camper, it is a must have, not a should or might need thing.
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 11-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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It's an F150.

You're right, I was thinking curb weight was DRY for the truck, turns out it includes a full tank of fuel. Curb weight 4450, plus 4 bodies (500), misc items in pickup (100) = 5050. Leaving plenty of payload (1250) for GVWR.

I guess, my real concern is, is it safe if I'm right at the max of GCWR? A gallon of water is 8.3 lbs. Start adding up all the comforts of home and I'll bet you could fit 1000lbs of junk in that trailer before you realize it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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As long as you install a quality electric brake controller in the truck
and do not exceed speed limits you should be OK.

Only area I wonder about is hills or hilly country. Depending on where you travel will be the test of if your V8 1/2 ton truck can pull
everything up and over hills and then again stop safely.

I know my 1 ton diesel is overkill for my under 8000 lb TT loaded
but I already had it and it's paid for. I keep wondering if I could
down size to a Ford F150 with the dual turbo V6, but we are moving
to Colorado in 2013 and I know I will be climbiing hill, etc.
Phil & Alberta Saran
2015 Thor Hurricane 34E with V10
2011 Dodge Dakota 4x4 towd
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:16 PM   #6
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As stated, pulling is the easy part....

I have 5k miles pulling my rv with the new truck and we had to do a panic stop the other day and found my 6.0 setting on the brake controller did NOT stop us like I thought....

Had done hard stops before and all was well, but never had to stop like that !
Maybe the new trucks ABS fooled the rv's brakes ?!?
not sure, but thank goodness I had left enough room !!!!

I immediately set the gain to 7.5 and found an open road to test it again - MUCH better !!!!
'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk, 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, popups, vans, tents...
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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I'm not going to try work with your numbers but will relate some of my experiences. Years ago we had an F150 HD with LT 6ply tires. We had a 17' TT that towed quite nice after putting bigger tires on the TT so it would handle better. A few years later we got a F250 HD with LT tires. It towed the same TT so much better. I didn't need WD bars or sway bars. About 15 yrs ago we bought our present TT. It is 27' and actual traveling weight is about 9K. We towed it with a 3/4 ton HD PU. It handled OK but when we got the Dually I realized how poor the 3/4T handled it. Big trucks & MHs pushed it around and panic stops could get white knuckle. With the dually, the TT is steady in all conditions. As you get bigger and longer TTs, they become BIG sails so you need a TV with enough weight and rubber on the road to over come what the TT wants to do. Personally I would only use a 1/2T PU to tow a very small TT. If your PU has P rated tires, that is not good as they are just car tires. If you are like most people you will want to increase the size of your TT as you family grows.

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Old 11-07-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate the information.

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