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Old 01-28-2012, 10:00 AM   #29
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Thanks and some clarifications...

Thanks again everyone. I do hear you all about the brake controller, and let me restate that I do have one already integrated in my truck. IF I do stay with the 29' length, I will probably go with the Coachmen Freedom Express 292BDHS (Base weight 5590 and GVWR of 7600). I will definitely install a quality anti-sway/weight distribution system (something like the Equalizer 4) and optionally install an airlift kit to assist with the back-end load, though that would add to the weight of my vehicle. I won't buy anything without the opportunity to hook up the trailer and go for a lengthy test drive to ensure my TV can handle not just the weight but controlling the length. I realize I won't hit every conceivable situation (hills, passing big-rigs, etc.) but it should give me some idea. Bottom line is I am not going to do anything that would endanger my family, even if it means holding off until we get a bigger TV or downsizing the TT.

My wife and I are really on the same page as far floor plans go, though we may have a slightly different preference for color. I'm being smart and leaving that up to her.

The very frustrating part for me is that your experiences tell me one thing about what I can safely tow, and others opinions -- and even so-called 'objective' trailer reviews indicate I can pull this trailer safely with a 1/2 ton. I'm not foolish enough to believe sales people, and quite frankly tend to doubt much of what they tell me. I do enough research and gain a lot of knowledge about a product beforehand so I can ask intelligent questions and also know if I'm being fed a line 'untruths'.

Thanks again for all of the great feedback!

Ray & Lisa

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Old 01-28-2012, 11:05 AM   #30
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Ray, it sounds like you are looking at a new trailer, and you also say that you are new to the RV world. Might I suggest that you buy a used trailer as your first coach? That new trailer is going to depreciate very quickly, and actually living in an RV will quickly tell you all about the things you missed.

Heartland products are pretty good, and factory support is super. I'd seriously suggest that you check Used RVs, Motorhomes for Sale, and Consigned sales - PPL Motor Homes for some used trailers. They show the floor plan for every coach they have for sale, as well as several good pictures. Even if you don't buy from them, they are a super reference site.

Run the weight numbers for your current truck, and you will quickly find out how much trailer it can safely handle. As others have said, look at the trailer's gross weight, not the dry weight when deciding whether you can tow a particular trailer.

Every trailer should have a sticker on it, either at the door or front left corner, that lists the actual dry weight of that particular trailer. The difference between the dry weight and the gross weight is what you can put in the trailer. Remember that your water is part of what you put in. You don't want to go over the gross weight - ever.

Good luck in your searches.

David, kb0zke
Mercury Mountaineer towing mpg 181(both sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 40'
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:33 PM   #31
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Ray, I wouldn't rush out and buy air bags or an airlift system. The function of the WD hitch is to transfer some of the hitch weight to the front wheels. Thus keeping your TV level.
2011 Chevy Silverado 3500HD LT Ext Cab 4x4 Duramax/Allison, 2016 Redwood 39MB, Disc Brakes, Mor/ryde IS, GY 17.5" H tires, 5.5K Onan, Dual ACs, auto level, auto sat dish, stacked washer/dryer, residential fridge, King sleep number. Michelle & Ann
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:39 AM   #32
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For what it's worth, I am impressed that not only are you seeking advice but you are taking it in and making changes accordingly. I belong to a few boating and RV forums and I can't tell you how many times people will either ask and then not listen, or ask after they have made the purchase and get argumentative as they try to justify their purchase.

Your last post seems to hit all the important points. With a tow capacity of 9600 lbs and a GVWR of 7600 lbs for the TT (assuming the TT is not overloaded) that leaves 2000lbs reserve pulling power for the TV.
With a weight distribution hitch you'll be able to even out the tongue weight and keep the truck level.
Don't overload the TV and IMO I believe your 1/2 ton TV will stop just fine with the TT your currently looking at. Good luck and good job!

Wayne & Karen
TT-2005 Komfort 27TSG
TV-2003 F250 Lariat Crew cab, 6.0L diesel, FX4
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:41 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by FishaPalooza View Post
and I can't tell you how many times people will either ask and then not listen, or ask after they have made the purchase and get argumentative as they try to justify their purchase.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:07 AM   #34
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Air bags are a crutch and do not raise you towing ability.

The trailers you are looking at are too much for your truck and family. The 9500# tow rating is based on an empty truck, no cargo, no passengers, no accessories, no hitch. Manufacturers do this as part of the game to brag who has the biggest truck.

Load up the family, pets, normal travel cargo, full fuel and finind some scales. This is your true curb or laden vehicle weight (LVW).

Look on the sticker on the drivers door jamb and find the GVWR and the rear axle GAWR.

GVWR -LVW = max loaded trailer tongue weight

The owners manual will list a GCWR for your truck, cab style, engine and rear axle ratio.

GCWR - LVW = max loaded trailer weight...(not dry weight.)

One problem is the 3.55 axle ratio. That is not really a good towing axle. I would consider a 4.10 axle if you decide to proceed.

Next issue is the 1/2 ton truck suspension and tires. You will need to have LT series tires, not the P series.

In short, you really need a 3/4 ton truck for the trailers you are considering.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:11 AM   #35
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First of all, welcome to the RV world. Then, next, you are listening to the others experience with using that F150 and a pretty good size TT.

That number you are using for the truck weight is usually the unsprung weight which is not the actual weight of the truck, but the truck dry, less options and, most interesting, any of the suspension as well as the tires. While it may not figure in the towing capacity of the vehicle, it still figures in the weight(inertia) that needs to be started then stopped and, quite frankly, with some brakes that in the best of worlds are not all that great. Then you add in the 3.55 differential ratio. This will be horrible to accelerate away from an uphill facing traffic light. Then there is that trailer - those weights are usually dream land. My long gone Sunline was 5000 pounds according to the sticker - ummmmm - how 'bout 7000# real life with a few gallons of water to flush the toilet enroute, two 30 pound propane tanks, a big battery and living supplies for the two of us. I pulled it for 3-4 years with a 5.4 F150/3.73. It was just OK. I purchased the F350/V10 on our way to the current 34' 5er but pulled the TT several times - o' lordy - better gas mileage, virtually didn't know it was even behind me.

Finish your homework, decide if your current truck is up to the task, then do what needs to be done to get into the RV world. And yes, purchasing used - way better on the wallet as well as to ensure you really like that kind of leisure time life.

Dave W along with my DW, Susan and our poodlepups, Callie & Molly,2011 Ford F250 6.7 CCLB, 5er Hitch Option w/B&W Hitch,,Ride Rite air bags, 2014 Montana High Country 343RL (38')w/disc brakes
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