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Old 08-02-2020, 04:15 PM   #71
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Too much trailer for a mid-size. Seen overturned trailers where tow vehicle was too small.
Good luck.
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:20 PM   #72
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I would never tow a 29ft trailer with a Ranger. Wind will blow you all around and the stopping power and weight of the truck says no for me. Buy a truck not a toy to tow your trailer..
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:37 PM   #73
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Reread #9. Most of the new trucks are tall. Measure the overhang on your new trailer with it sitting level. Then measure the bed height on the new truck you are looking at. You want a lot of clearance, don't ask how I know (read as big dent in truck bed).
I wanted to replace my Chevrolet 2005 2500HD 4WD with a like 2020 unit, would not work. Trailer overhang and bed height were about the same dimension. I am thinking the only answer is to convert a new unit by going with a flatbed. Good luck
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:50 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cumminsfan View Post
There's two factors involved in towing. Tow rating and the tow vehicles payload.
Whats the door sticker say you have for payload?
Also your Ranger has a max receiver rating of 750 lbs.
Dry (Useless) brochure tongue weight is 580. Now add 45 lbs for a battery, 40 lbs for propane, 100 lbs for the WDH and you're at 765 lbs.
What are you putting in the front storage compartments, under the bed and elsewhere in front of the trailers axles?
Even a modest 100 lbs of stuff would put the TW at 865 lbs.
Now add up what you put in the truck like passengers, bikes, firewood, BBQ, etc.
My guess is you're over the trucks payload capacity and well over the trucks receiver rating.
Time to look at an F150.
This!!

Look in the drivers door jamb for the yellow sticker that will give the payload capacity of your truck. Then go to towingplanner.com to learn how to get your actual tongue weight by weighing on a CAT scale. This should be done with wife, kids, dogs food, full tank of fuel, water,, if you are going to take it, etc...

Tongue weight - payload is what you can load in the truck. I am guessing your truck is going to have about 1200 lbs payload. 13% tongue weight at 6000 lbs is 780 lbs. You are going to be cutting it close, if my assumptions are close to correct. Do the math and make your decision. I wish you the best of luck with your new rig!! Get out there and enjoy!!!!!
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:06 PM   #75
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Been following along and you have received some great advice. As for numbers, you have been doing the right thing by collecting all the data you can. Seems you are not far off from whats OK. If you still think you would want a new truck, I would just go to a 3/4 ton truck. You might want to get a larger or heavier trailer later and then you are in the same boat you are in now. You might also want a 5th wheel as well.

I started 30 years ago with a few truck campers and the skipped the bumper pull and went right to 5th wheel. 27ft, 29, and finally a 32'. I struggled with low engine power with the 3 or so trucks I towed with back then, even the 1990 454 gasser. My friend was a diesel fan and constantly told me to buy diesel if I was towing. Once I followed this advise in 2001, I never looked back at gas. My current is a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Megacab with the diesel. ( only 70k miles) No more white knuckles for low power and overheating once I went to Diesel. Granted the gas engines of today are pretty powerful so diesel might not be as attractive as it was back then.

I am now back to a truck camper as we went from using the trailer 10 times a year for about 9 years to once a year the past 3 years and storage was costing too much. The camper fits on my property, I leave it on the truck and we can take it to soccer tournaments for my daughters team.. much easier than a 32ft trailer. It was a huge adjustment from 32' to a small truck camper. I tell them all they just need to be outside, the reason for camping anyway.

Bunks were mentioned so I assume you have kids and as they get older your camping style will change. We had a good run at 12 years with our 32' 5th wheel and bunks but we simply were not using it because all 3 kids activities changed or increased and that decreased our camping outings. Just more things to think about. If you suffer from 2 foot-itis like most, you will want a larger RV as the years go by and a bigger truck might be needed.. then at least a 3/4 ton.

Also, the RV market is HUGE! now with Coivid. Would you take a lesser hit by trading back the trailer than the truck? More data points to research.

I have installed that Equalizer hitch on my sister in laws trailer. It was on a 2009 Nissan Titan and 2009 Forest River Roo (19ft hard side with front and rear tent pop-outs and wall slide). That hitch is a great unit because its weight distributing and sway control all in one unit. There are washers to adjust at the hitch that you mentioned but the brackets on the trailer that are also adjustable to increase the force down on the front of the truck. I watched a few videos then and simply followed the installation directions for the sway bar unit. A lot of measuring involved. Once it is set up correctly, you can lift the truck and trailer up with the trailer jack to make it easier to install and uninstall the spring bars.

I am currently using the chain type weight distribution system with the side sway bar on my son's highschool Robotics team trailer and I find your system a little easier to use.

Good luck with whatever you decide
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:13 PM   #76
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Everyone is telling you the truth except the two salesmen that sold the rig. A 29 Ď trailer will probably measure 34í overall hitch to bumper, 29í of body that is 10í tall is a lot of square feet of sail for cross winds, semi-trucks, buses, a class A diesel pushers driving 75-80 mph passing you or meeting you on a 2 lane road. Your truck only weighs a little over 4000 lbs, your trailer out weighs your truck by a ton (donít think you wonít be close to gross or over within a year). Back to the wind issue, as a large vehicle starts to pass you the wave of air they are pushing to the side hits the rear of that giant sail pushing it away from it which cause the hitch to sway to the left causing the rear of your truck to want to go with the hitch causing the front of your truck to feel like you are headed for the ditch, now you suddenly steer to the left to keep it straight. By this time the passing vehicle is at the front of the trailer and now everything reverses and suddenly youíre steering to the right to stay in your lane and not into the lane the truck is in. I did this routine 42 yrs ago and I was pulling a 24í travel trailer with a 1976 Chevy long bed 1/2T that weighed 5400 lbs, you learn to watch your mirrors for approaching trucks and get a good grip on the steering wheel. Speaking of mirrors get a pair of mirrors you can actually see down the side of your trailer clearly, they will be your greatest tool when towing. A mirror that vibrates in the wind and blurs the image donít do a bit of good, if you canít tell whatís beside you thatís a recipe for an accident. Always make sure you trailer is level or a little nose down when you hitch up, one that is nose high will always sway, if it starts to sway use the trailer brakes not your truck brakes, stepping on the brake pedal will make sway worse. Good luck and happy camping, just take it slow and easy, the first time you think youíve got this mastered youíll screw up big time. I drove semis for several years and every day I learned something new, donít let your over confidence get you in trouble.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:40 PM   #77
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Well I will be in the minority here but I've been towing for 35+ years. Take this for what it is worth. I don't think you have a serious problem - any truck will be a little "uncomfortable" at it's max towing capacity, which you will be close to as others have pointed out already. I don't think it is "unsafe" but you will need to consider adjusting how you operate the combined vehicle. I would not plan to drive on interstate highways at the maximum posted speed limit, or take corners at the maximum speed limit for the road you are on. Just use your head and drive conservatively and I think you will be ok. If you are the guy that needs to go as fast as possible on Friday after work to get to the campground, then you might feel as if the truck is not up to the job. But if you operate with reasonable limitations then I think you can do this safely and prudently. Give yourself plenty of following distance to the people in front of you - braking is often the limitation that gets people in trouble.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:25 PM   #78
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When you take the trailer to the CAT scales at the truck stop and weigh it empty, donít be surprised when it weighs considerably more than the stated 5100 lbs. Factory empty weight does not include options, propane tanks, and probably not the a/c on the roof. In a few cases it doesnít even include ovens and refers! Think caution when new at towing, balance of trailer weight (10% to 15%) tongue weight and sway control, sway control, sway control. Hopefully you have a hitch system with built in sway control then add an after market sway bar just to the extra protection. Those are usually only about $50. Cheap security at a low cost. The Ranger might be a bit light but use common sense and enjoy.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:30 PM   #79
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Quote:
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
Hi and Welcome to the Forum! I"m a newbie too...sometimes some of these old timers can be intimidating! Don't let that deter you...they all mean well and have your safety in mind. We, too, bought a long trailer...and the specs all checked out with our F-150. We were within all the limits. But running the rig down the road was a bit of a different story. We felt safety was compromised, in spite of being 'within limits' so we just traded up to an F-250. The F-150 V-8 had lots of power to pull, but there just isn't enough heft to the truck (or brakes) to be a safe option in our mountains- even with the Equalizer hitch - and we are never without wind; so we bit the bullet and made the upgrade to TV and feel much better now. It's a whole different ride now. PS...all the best to you in your travels!!
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:34 PM   #80
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[QUOTE=tuffr2;5365945]You should expect about the same towing as you got from the dealer. What was your top speed? That was key for me towing with a Honda Ridgeline. I could tow real nice and easy to about 55mph. But faster than that caused sway. Semi's would push my rig to the right then pull me to the left as they passed. I could not keep up with the right lane traffic that was going from 65mph to 72mph. So you might experience some of that.

I used the Ridgeline for 3 years as I was just towing local on back roads. Again it towed good on the back roads. When I started towing on the highway at the posted speed limit was when I had
trouble and got a bigger truck.

I looked at your trailer on a YouTube video. Very nice trailer btw. I like the modern molded one pierce counter tops. Two big bunks in the corner. It is a big jump up from tent camping. Oh, a travel trailer is 1,000 times better than a tent. In a rain storm everything stays dry.

You friend with the 2007 Toyota Tundra. Boats are easier to tow than campers. The boat is typically shaped better while the travel trailer is shaped like a box and is more difficult to tow.

So my guess is your truck will have a problem controlling the trailer at highway speeds...but hopefully not.[/QUOTE
About being blown around meeting semi's.



We bought a Windjammer by Forest River. Cannot believe how there is no sway whatsoever meeting semi's, no buffeting in the wind what so ever. Too bad Windjammers are no longer being built!
It's 28ft and I pull with a half ton.
Pulling with a half ton does take proper truck and trailer loading. Not a lot of room for error but very doable if you use common sense. But above all I have many years 50+ towing with half tons.
Trailers today are lighter and getting longer and still remain within proper weight categories for Truck manufactures specifications which to me seem overinflated ,can be tempting to over load. That is when problems can make towing a nightmare.
Not sure but is a Ford Ranger a 1/2 ton?
I myself would not tow with a Ranger.
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:41 PM   #81
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There is a lot of data to toss through on this thread, but I think you are ok. Just ok.
You are right near the maximum edge of tow capacity with little room for error. Steep hills and cross winds are going to be challenging for you. The new Ford engines are amazingly powerful for displacement, but power is not the only concern. The entire package is going to work very hard to tow. Tranny needs cooling and the engine oil needs cooling. If you're not in the habit already, get in the habit of keeping in the right lane and keeping reasonable speeds. The harder a machine has to work, the more likely it is parts will fail. It's simply a fact of mechanical engineering.
I am a big proponent of using a stronger machine than you need to do the job, as opposed to making your machine work to its maximum capability. That way it doesn't have to work as hard so it will last longer. You will also have extra work capacity when the time comes when you need it.
Case in point, I specifically bought a 2500 HD pickup even though I knew I wanted to buy a small, lightweight trailer. I didn't know whether I might eventually want to upsize the trailer and I wanted extra capacity. I wanted my truck to work less so it would last longer. This is intended to be the last truck I ever buy, but not necessarily the last TT. Towing over mountain passes here in the west is a fairly easy job with my rig. Lots of extra power available when I need it. Not so with my previous rig, a '99 Dakota V8 and a 1500 lb popup trailer. That poor truck worked its heart out for me.

Going downhill is its own issue. You want a strong transmission, a reliable engine and dang good brakes to get downhill safely.

You didn't mention whether you had to deal with big rigs passing you on your way home. Your WD hitch is a good one, and it is going to earn its keep. That's a big sail behind your truck, and you will eventually come to understand just how powerful a force the wind is on your rig. The short wheelbases have already been mentioned several times. When I brought my TT home, I didn't have the WD hitch installed yet. It was like driving a basketball the way it was porpoising. My TT has a short wheelbase and so does my truck. That combination was a nasty wakeup call. WD hitch went on real soon! Porpoising is no longer an issue. Big rigs pass by without any swaying and t's a real comfortable rig to tow. But even so, when I find the crosswinds, I know I have to hold on with both hands and be very careful.

I believe you can run that rig and be ok, with the following caveats; drive carefully and prudently. Watch out for cross winds. Be aware of the potential for early breakdown of hardworking components. Change your motor oil more often than recommended. Keep your brakes, suspension and steering system well maintained. And when you see me driving by with "too much truck for that little trailer", just smile and wave, because you understand why.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:10 PM   #82
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One thing most people overlook with the smaller truck like the Ranger versus say a F-150 or any 1500 series and that is the braking power. Face the fact that most every vehicle can get the trailer moving but will it be stable at higher speeds and will it stop without overheating the brakes. Since you already made the truck purchase I strongly suggest that you look for a trailer that has disc brakes for the added stopping power. Think about the reality that you are trying to stop not only the weight of the truck but also the trailer.
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:36 PM   #83
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I own a 2019 ranger . I have towed a 8000 lb trailer of rock 56 miles. Did not lack power remember engine is 270hp. Ranger is set for towing with sway, brakes and a great transmission. I towed at city speeds and highway with it no problem.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:45 PM   #84
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I didn't bother to read most of the previous replies, so sorry if I go over well traveled ground.
I started with a 1999 1500 suburban as my first tow vehicle. My first TT was a 1977 Mallard 25 foot trailer about 6000 lbs. Suburban should have been about 7500 lbs. had a load leveler hitch with sway brake slide bar. 2nd trip on way back from Florida, I spun the pinion bearing in the rear end, had about a 3 day delay for repairs. After my next long trip to the Tri Cities area of Washington state, the seal on the replacement axle was dripping when I got back.

Bought 2005 Silverado 2500 HD crew cab with the Duramax Allison driveline. Upgraded to 2004 Forest River Grand Surveyor. Did many trips to Washington State and various places for work. That was plenty of truck. No issues except for blowing trailer tires. I attribute that to the fact that the tires were rated for 65 MPH short term and I could go much faster than that. There were some issues with sway even with that light, short trailer and that long chassis 3/4 ton truck.
My points: 1) Anybody that says that 29 feet of trailer is too long is probably right. 2) The wear and tear on the driveline might be an issue, depends on Gross combined weight and how fast you drive in which mountains. 3) make sure you know the speed rating of your tires, blown tires on travel trailers usually do a lot of damage to the trailer.
I still drive the pickup sometimes, but my RV is a 37 foot Diesel pusher that I tow a car behind. Whole different class of driver's license, DOT cert of fitness. Boy is that comfortable.
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