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Old 08-28-2005, 05:03 PM   #1
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Hi, new member checking in, the wife and I are new to RVing and are shopping around for our first trailer and we have some questions. I own a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 5.9L V8. The owners manual for the truck states that I can tow a trailer up to 7700lbs. I am looking at a trail-lite 30 footer that has a dry weight of 5300lbs. First,is this too much trailer, too little truck? Also I understand that altitude is also a factor to consider,(Colorado Springs). I keep gettting different stories from different salesman. Any advice?
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:03 PM   #2
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Hi, new member checking in, the wife and I are new to RVing and are shopping around for our first trailer and we have some questions. I own a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 5.9L V8. The owners manual for the truck states that I can tow a trailer up to 7700lbs. I am looking at a trail-lite 30 footer that has a dry weight of 5300lbs. First,is this too much trailer, too little truck? Also I understand that altitude is also a factor to consider,(Colorado Springs). I keep gettting different stories from different salesman. Any advice?
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Old 08-28-2005, 07:39 PM   #3
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Welcome to IRV2. You will be glad you joined as you are now getting advice from those of us who have been there and done that - not salespeople who will tell you anything to make the sale. As for your combination, I would try to find the Combination Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for your truck. This is the maximium weight the drivetrain can handle and includes the truck and trailer. Adjust that down by about 10% for altitude (maybe more). Then take the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for the truck and subtract it from the de-rated CGVWR this result is the GVWR for your travel trailer. I know that this will result in a number less than the 7700 lbs Dodge is saying. Dodge is also rating things at sea level and with nothing in the truck. You will also find that trailer mfgs will show a figure that is usually lighter than the actual unit. The lightweights tend to be worse at lowballing than others. By using the GVRWs which represent the maximiums allowable you should find a combination that will be safe when towing. Good Luck
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Old 08-28-2005, 07:42 PM   #4
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Welcome, ramaniac, to irv2.com. You'll find lots of good info here to help you with your RVing needs and questions. We hope you'll contribute your viewpoint, also, as you gain the experience.

Check out my specs below. Our Tahoe Wide-Lite has a 'dry-weight' of 4500#, but we travel at about 6,000. Our truck engine is a little smaller than yours, but because we have a HD F150, the suspension is probably a little higher that yours. Our 4x4 is rated to tow 8300. We have extended family in Castle Rock; we've toured the Canadian Rockies, and crossed the US Rockies about 4 times with our rig. It worked fine, and still does at all altitudes.

As long as you keep your overall "loaded" or "wet weight" at 10%-15% below the rating of your truck and GVWR, you should be very happy with the results.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:09 AM   #5
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Ramaniac, welcome to iRV2. We are glad to have you join us here and look forward to helping where we can and reading of your fun times. You have already been given some good info and I amsure there will be more to come. Can you give us the gear ratio of the rear end? Is the truck already set up with a towing package? How much weight do you think you may add to the truck itself, ie. people, gear, etc? Glad to see you doing your homework and not taking the word of a sales person on this towing issue.
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:05 AM   #6
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I had a similar setup with my first travel trailer. I had a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500, 5.9 automatic. I was towing a 29' sunline similar in weight to what you are looking at. It did a fine job. As long as you stay under the weight ratings and have a good weight dstributing hitch with sway control you should be fine. I used the reese dual cam hitch setup with mine, and it worked great. I found on steep grades, I would have liked a little more power, but it did okay. Good luck in your search, you have definately come to the right place to get the facts first.
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:15 PM   #7
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Folks,
Thanks for all the good feedback and inputs, that really helps clear the murky waters I was looking through when shopping for a trailer. I know I will continue to enjoy the information and discussion that I am finding here. Again thanks so much for the good information. Off again this weekend to do more shopping!
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