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Old 07-27-2020, 10:29 AM   #43
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That is a weight distributing hitch
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:33 AM   #44
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Whew, so that's one less thing to buy. Maybe that's why I felt like it was handling OK the first drive?

I'm also starting to ask around about tires. I'm in WI, so I need good winter handling for the grocery getting.

Also figured I'd post the trailer sticker to see if that elicits any more advice. And I'll be taking it for a spin tonight to a CAT scale and will report back.

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Old 07-27-2020, 10:43 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by wandering1 View Post
So why dont you get the tow specs from the dealer and read them? Dont rely on the tow expert wannabes.
Because the dealer will lie to them. The specs might as well be written in a foreign language. The trailer specs try to make them seem light as possible and the truck specs try to make you think you can tow the world. Until someone understands what the specs mean, how they apply to the vehicle and how they are derived, the specs are about useless. The sales people don't know enough better, and if they do, their not going to say anything negative that might jeopradize a probable sale. The salesmen don't care about you or your families safety, they care about making that next commission.

Every one of these questions that begin with dry weights and towing capacity quotes, you know they're already in trouble. They continually come back to my rule number one... If you have to ask if you can tow it you probably can't and already know it. You're just looking for the answer you want to hear.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:09 AM   #46
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That device is a weight distribution hitch. I don't recognize that particular one and the bars are not shown. The bars are sized to match the tongue load.

Many WDH's have built in sway control. Some have an adjustable sway control device added on. If I could see the bars hooked up, I could make a better guess.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:38 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by epeddy1 View Post
Newbie here- first post!

I bought a 2020 Ford Ranger a couple months ago. Has the tow package, 7500# max towing. While we talked about campers before, we never really got serious about it. But having a new truck and frequent tent camping during pandemic really amped up my wife's shopping, and now suddenly we own a 2021 Keystone Bullet 243BHS. Dry wt 5100#, 29ft.

We talked to some RV friends/coworkers, and of course the dreaded dealers, and everyone seems to think we'll be OK, no hesitations. We got sway bars, electronic braking, and will generally be doing long weekends so light packing. We have a good amount of buffer below the 7500# capacity, and will be careful with wt while packing (cant imagine we'd ever go above 6000# loaded). No plans for off grid camping at the moment. The drive home from the dealer seemed OK. Even managed to back into the driveway without any rookie horror stories. But haven't had our first camp trip yet.

But of course after getting everything purchased, one self proclaimed tow expert family member started making me nervous. He says he pulls a 4000# boat trailer with a 07 Tundra, about same tow capacity as my Ranger, and he said my truck will struggle with my camper and he'd personally never drive my setup. Never really made it clear to me what exact struggles I might experience.

I'm not sure if he's comparing apples/oranges with boat vs camper trailer. He doesn't have e brakes and sway. Or if the tech in a 2020 is apple to oranges compared to his 07. He doesn't have the haul mode tech, sway control (if those are worth anything?).

Will I be OK? Is there anything I should be careful with? No long trips, limitations, recommended aftermarket upgrades (air susp, tranny cooler?) What should I expect to experience if my rig isn't up to par? Are we talking wild/bumpy rides, low gas mileage, engine/tranny wear, sluggish acceleration? Sliding into the ditch in a blaze of glory? Not really wanting to trade up my brand new truck at the moment, and my wife definitely doesn't want to give up her dream camper.

Thanks in advance!
Eric
Misery loves company. I have a brand new Tacoma 4x4. Put many thousands into it. Then covid, then the wife and I aren't cruisers anymore. We bought a 5th wheel yesterday with nothing to tow it. My taco has 3400 miles.
You need another truck, like me. I got quoted 2.99 percent 60 months or 3.49 72 months and needs to be less than 7 years and 100k miles. Slim pickens at 2 lots today. I'm on truck trader tonight. Anybody know other good places to look for a truck.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:41 PM   #48
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what brand, size, any other particulars.
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Old 07-27-2020, 09:02 PM   #49
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So I loaded up for this weekends camp trip, all my people, and got weighed. Looks like my tongue wt is 640. Trailer weight comes in at 5,560. I'm wondering if I need air suspension - with 240lbs more on the drive axle? Is that enough of a difference to cause problems? Anything else stand out?Click image for larger version

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Old 07-27-2020, 09:12 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by epeddy1 View Post
Newbie here- first post!

I bought a 2020 Ford Ranger a couple months ago. Has the tow package, 7500# max towing. While we talked about campers before, we never really got serious about it. But having a new truck and frequent tent camping during pandemic really amped up my wife's shopping, and now suddenly we own a 2021 Keystone Bullet 243BHS. Dry wt 5100#, 29ft.

We talked to some RV friends/coworkers, and of course the dreaded dealers, and everyone seems to think we'll be OK, no hesitations. We got sway bars, electronic braking, and will generally be doing long weekends so light packing. We have a good amount of buffer below the 7500# capacity, and will be careful with wt while packing (cant imagine we'd ever go above 6000# loaded). No plans for off grid camping at the moment. The drive home from the dealer seemed OK. Even managed to back into the driveway without any rookie horror stories. But haven't had our first camp trip yet.

But of course after getting everything purchased, one self proclaimed tow expert family member started making me nervous. He says he pulls a 4000# boat trailer with a 07 Tundra, about same tow capacity as my Ranger, and he said my truck will struggle with my camper and he'd personally never drive my setup. Never really made it clear to me what exact struggles I might experience.

I'm not sure if he's comparing apples/oranges with boat vs camper trailer. He doesn't have e brakes and sway. Or if the tech in a 2020 is apple to oranges compared to his 07. He doesn't have the haul mode tech, sway control (if those are worth anything?).

Will I be OK? Is there anything I should be careful with? No long trips, limitations, recommended aftermarket upgrades (air susp, tranny cooler?) What should I expect to experience if my rig isn't up to par? Are we talking wild/bumpy rides, low gas mileage, engine/tranny wear, sluggish acceleration? Sliding into the ditch in a blaze of glory? Not really wanting to trade up my brand new truck at the moment, and my wife definitely doesn't want to give up her dream camper.

Thanks in advance!
Eric
Have your wife buy a bigger truck.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:18 AM   #51
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what brand, size, any other particulars.
Are you asking about the TV or TT? Both are described in the OP.
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Old 07-28-2020, 12:26 AM   #52
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theplumber said he was truck shopping, but the lots where heís at didnít have much of any thing.

I know a couple of dealers that have a few, but didnít know what he wanted.
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:28 AM   #53
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Many years ago we had a 1976 Ford E150 full sized van and fell into a deal to buy an old 1960s 20' Holiday travel trailer. Fortunately it came with a weight distributing hitch and friction type sway bar. Once I got the hang of applying the right tension on the spring bars (by the way I think your dealer said "sway bars" when he meant "spring bars) and how much pressure was needed on the sway bar, the whole rig traveled very well.

Early on when starting out on an Indiana to South Florida trip I hitched up and thought I had set the spring bars correctly. We soon ran into rain showers - nothing heavy, just enough to make the road wet. A traffic light on the highway turned quicker than I had anticipated and I had to brake moderately to try to stop.

Thus started my lesson in weight transfer: I hadn't set the spring bars tight enough and the trailer pushed the hitch down slightly which in turn raised the front end of the van slightly - enough that the front brakes locked up and we slide gracefully through the wet intersection. Thankfully there were no cops the area and no one jack-rabbited when they got their green light.

Upon immediately pulling over to check things out I discovered my error in the spring bar tension and readjusted to what I thought might be too tight. Turned out that was perfect and we never had a repeat of that situation.

This is my typically long-winded way of suggesting that towing that trailer with your new Ranger may be possible, but is it wise? You would always be towing at the far end of it's capability, with very little room for error or a quick maneuver. Constantly operating at the "edge of the envelope" will take a toll on you and soon you'll end up hating the rig.

Add me to the list of those who suggest upgrading to and F250, or maybe even an F350 if your budget will allow. That will give you plenty of capability in all respects.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:20 AM   #54
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Here's the WDH that I have. Will this work ok?

I think I've settled myself on the fact the Ranger is not the long term plan. It really just comes down to my budget and how soon I'll be able to trade up, and how to make the Ranger work during the meantime.

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Old 07-28-2020, 08:55 AM   #55
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Did you notice on your weights that you have removed 120 pounds from the front axle and added 760 pounds to the rear axle? Your hitch is not set up properly. You need to remove more weight from the rear and add weight to the front. That's done by putting more torque on the bars. Do a search for WDH set up procedures. Perhaps your hitch has the instructions. The hitch says it has built in sway control via friction. I don't know if that is adjustable or not.

Years ago, I bought a pull behind camper and the dealer installed the hitch for me. I wasn't happy with the ride home and checked the manufacturer's installation instructions. Not only was it not adjusted right, it wasn't installed right! I had to drill new holes in my trailer to install it correctly. NEVER trust the dealer!
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Old 07-28-2020, 09:04 AM   #56
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Did you notice on your weights that you have removed 120 pounds from the front axle and added 760 pounds to the rear axle? Your hitch is not set up properly. You need to remove more weight from the rear and add weight to the front. That's done by putting more torque on the bars. Do a search for WDH set up procedures. Perhaps your hitch has the instructions. The hitch says it has built in sway control via friction. I don't know if that is adjustable or not.

Years ago, I bought a pull behind camper and the dealer installed the hitch for me. I wasn't happy with the ride home and checked the manufacturer's installation instructions. Not only was it not adjusted right, it wasn't installed right! I had to drill new holes in my trailer to install it correctly. NEVER trust the dealer!
I did notice that. My first thought was that I could maybe use an air suspension. The tow expert family member brought up the air suspension at the beginning predicting that I'd need that. I don't think the WDH has anything that is adjustable. It's supposed to be automatic. Given I already have the WDH, would it make more sense to spend the money on bags?
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