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Old 05-03-2016, 07:17 AM   #1
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Cougar 1/2 ton towables

Hello from the East Coast,

I need help from those on the west coast as the Cougar 1/2 ton towables are not available east of the Mississippi River. I will have to either make a trip west to look at one or order it blind from a Keystone dealer here in the east. Not too many photos available on Keystone web-site so I need opinions from owners to start. I am interested in the 2016 model 24SAWE but will appreciate comments as to quality, etc. on other models. I will be towing with properly equipped Ford F-150 or Chev. 1500.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Bill
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:01 AM   #2
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Trailers labeled half ton seem to be a marketing gimick. We were looking at a cougar model, I don't recall which, but the weight, loaded with gear, would have maxed out the tongue and payload on most half tons.
If you're in the market for a truck specifically for towing, and it sounds like you are, just get a 3/4 ton and make your life easier.
Keystones seem to be the mcdonalds of the trailer world. Mass produced. We owned their entry level keystone hideout and sold it after a year. It had a number of issues and it towed like crap. Even upgraded the shackels and it didn't help. The way they weld their A frame underneath the main frame made for low ground clearance on the hitch and we scraped a few times.
Towed it with my half ton, sold the truck and bought a new 3/4 ton and it still towed like crap. Sold the trailer and went with outdoorsRV and it's a night and day difference. Even hitches up so much easier.
The cougars certainly look nice and it did have our favorite floor plan but we just wanted something with a better reputation of quality.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BBQ Judge View Post
Hello from the East Coast,

I need help from those on the west coast as the Cougar 1/2 ton towables are not available east of the Mississippi River. I will have to either make a trip west to look at one or order it blind from a Keystone dealer here in the east. Not too many photos available on Keystone web-site so I need opinions from owners to start. I am interested in the 2016 model 24SAWE but will appreciate comments as to quality, etc. on other models. I will be towing with properly equipped Ford F-150 or Chev. 1500.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Bill
I towed a Keystone Springdale 307FK with my 2009 Ram 1500 with 5.7, 3.90 gears, air bags etc and it did fine. I did not have 8 ply tires which worried me. The trailer weighed about 8500 heading down the road. I traded the 1500 for a 2500 Mega Cab with the 6.4 Hemi and the difference in the towing experience is night and day. Incredibly more stability and peace of mind. My neighbor has a similar sized trailer as mine he tows with a 2015 Ford 150 and he has a lot of nervous moments.
With air bags, E rated tires, proper gearing and good sway and WDH a 1/2 ton can tow. But the 3/4 ton can do it better.

What is the weight of the trailer?
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:02 PM   #4
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Bob1340, brochure says 5910 lbs. empty wt., 7800 lbs. gross wt.
With our travel load, I estimate 7000 lbs. going down the road.

Archer75, I will take a close look at the Keystones available here in the east for quality.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quality is hard to tell just by looking at it. Ours looked great. Too bad you can't test tow them to see how they handle. After 6 trips in the first year it became clear this wasn't a trailer that was going to last us long. The cougars are a step up from the hideouts though.

7000lbs. is going to be about 700lbs - 1050lbs tongue weight depending on how you load. That plus the passengers and gear in the truck would have to be deducted from the payload of the truck.
The dry weight of the trailer does not include the batteries, WD hitch or full propane tanks which must also be accounted for.
We never planned on dry camping when we got ours and then went twice in the first year. So that was an additional 500lbs of water in the tank.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:11 PM   #6
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archer75,

Thanks, the weight I figured included LP, water, residual in holding tanks, hitch gear but it appears I do need to do some rethinking relative an F-250 or 2500.

Bill
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Old 05-04-2016, 03:33 AM   #7
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I would agree that towing that weight with a 1/2 ton should be thought
out some more, from my experience.


If you using the trailer marketing of a 1/2 ton tow-able it should go
with big warnings. As these weights will simply not count for people,
water, gas, LP, fido, etc, etc. So your 7000# (very conservative weight)
will quickly be pushing the truck ability.

We upgraded in 2014 and made our towing experience much more easy
and safe.
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:48 PM   #8
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Re: Cougar Half Ton Towables

BBQJudge,
The end of last season my wife and I purchased a 2016 Keystone Cougar 32FBS with a dry weight of 7000 Lbs. By the time we added all the different weights I fugred we were closed to 9000 lbs. We had/have (my wife drives it now until we trade it in) a 2009 Nissan Titan with the towing package. The weight was within the towing range rated for the truck, albeit at the high end. So we towed it a couple of times with the truck. We did not feel comfortable with towing the weight so after some good advice from the people on this website we upgraded in Nov 2015 to a Chevy 2500HD with the towing package. \\We definitely feel better about doing so.

Long story short I would recommend moving to a 3/4 ton to make yourself feel better about towing.

Tim
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Old 05-05-2016, 03:46 PM   #9
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BBQJudge,
The end of last season my wife and I purchased a 2016 Keystone Cougar 32FBS with a dry weight of 7000 Lbs. By the time we added all the different weights I fugred we were closed to 9000 lbs. We had/have (my wife drives it now until we trade it in) a 2009 Nissan Titan with the towing package. The weight was within the towing range rated for the truck, albeit at the high end. So we towed it a couple of times with the truck. We did not feel comfortable with towing the weight so after some good advice from the people on this website we upgraded in Nov 2015 to a Chevy 2500HD with the towing package. \\We definitely feel better about doing so.

Long story short I would recommend moving to a 3/4 ton to make yourself feel better about towing.

Tim
I had a Nissan Titan and can tell you if it's a crew cab that you were grossly overloaded. Tongue weight rating was only 920lbs. You want 10-15% tongue weight putting you anywhere from 900 - 1350lbs on the tongue. And they don't have a high payload rating. Throw in passengers and gear and payload is beyond max. At 6700lbs that truck got scary to tow with in the mountains and less than ideal roads.
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:02 PM   #10
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Re: Cougar 1/2 Ton towables

Archer,
I agree which is why we stepped up to the Chevy 2500. We only towed it local and it seemed OK but we were just not comfortable with the experience. We are in the break in stage with the truck, meaning we are not supposed to travel over 50 mph for the first 500 miles. A little tough to do at times....lol.....But so far the truck has handled well.

Tim
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Old 05-05-2016, 04:16 PM   #11
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I know there are a lot of naysayers out here in RV Land that are pretty much anti-1/2 ton truck.
I had a 2013 F-150 EcoBoost that did just fine towing my "1/2 ton towable" fifth wheel. Dry weight of 7200 loaded just under 9.
Do your homework, know how the rated, know that he specs of the trailer and you'll do just fine.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:53 PM   #12
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I know there are a lot of naysayers out here in RV Land that are pretty much anti-1/2 ton truck.
I had a 2013 F-150 EcoBoost that did just fine towing my "1/2 ton towable" fifth wheel. Dry weight of 7200 loaded just under 9.
Do your homework, know how the rated, know that he specs of the trailer and you'll do just fine.
1800 lb hitch weight is probably what you got. That would easily max out a Ram 2500 diesel truck. Those in a 4 door 4X4 model only have about 2k cargo capacity.
What's your door sticker say?
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Old 05-06-2016, 03:10 PM   #13
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Mine is 2228lbs
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