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 > First time tower - multiple questions

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PAThwacker

East Stroudsburg, PA

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Posted: 07/29/20 04:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Raife wrote:

Those are excellent points...I have mostly been working numbers on weights to ensure I don't over burden the vehicle (i.e. my published tow watch weight is 7,200lbs but I calculated out that 6,000 was the limit given TV GVW, passengers, and tongue weight).

I also believe the 29' is tongue to tail and the "sail" portion is 26' (could be wrong). Not this makes a huge difference...

Most trailers I see with bunk options (I have 3 kids) are in solidly in the mid to high 20's on total length and mid 20's on "sail" length.
. That published vs actual tow rating is standard on 1/2 ton and lesser vehicles


2007 Jayco Select 12HW.
Lowe Bass Catcher Pro Mod-V Welded 50hp Mercury
Bell Chestnut Prospector 16ft Royalex
Tow vehicle: 2003 GMC K1500 ext lb


lane hog

Tucson, AZ & NW Chicago Burbs, IL

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Posted: 07/30/20 03:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Raife wrote:


I also believe the 29' is tongue to tail and the "sail" portion is 26' (could be wrong). Not this makes a huge difference...


My "29 foot" trailer is actually 36' long ball to bumper. The sail isn't the problem as much as where the trailer axles are in relation to the ball...

Depending on who manufactures the frame, you can add 4-6' to the model name of most trailers to get a more accurate length. My Lippert frame is easily 5' from the ball to the box.



  • 2019 Grand Design 29TBS (had a Winnebago and 3x Jayco owner)
  • 2016 F-150 3.5L MaxTow (had Ram 2500 CTD, Dodge Durango)
  • 130W solar and 2005 Honda EU2000i twins that just won't quit



rbpru

North Central Indiana

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Posted: 07/30/20 07:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your set up sounds similar to mine. I have a Blue Ox WD hitch which includes the anti-sway in the design.

We have towed over 40,000 miles in the last 5 years all over the country with very few towing issues.

I do believe that heavy towing at or near the max truck limits does take a toll on tires, shocks, suspension and brakes; as does heavy farm or construction use.

Doing the number ahead of time is smart idea.


Twenty six foot 2010 Dutchmen Lite pulled with a 2011 EcoBoost F-150 4x4.

Just right for Grandpa, Grandma and the dog.


falconbrother

North Carolina

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Posted: 07/30/20 07:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What I would do (what I did). I'm towing with a Chevrolet Suburban. I bought it with a travel trailer in mind. Then, I purchased my WD hitch. Lastly we went to the dealership and picked out a trailer that was well under the weight rating. Our limit is 7200. The dry weight of the trailer is 5800. Once we bought it the dealership set up the hitch for free (yea, right).

Lessons: Let a pro set up your hitch for you. I bought the anti sway but, in 4 years of regular towing haven't had any issues that required it. Years ago, before the motorhome, we towed and did have occasional sway issues. Now, none.. Getting the hitch right will solve a lot of problems. Also, I added SumoSupersprings to the burb so it rides flat. I see people towing with their noses pointing up. Boost up that rear suspension. The Sumos are a cheap and easy fix.

When you load up the trailer effort to even out the weight distribution but, really avoid going too heavy on the backside of the trailer. Having a trailer loaded heavy on the back end can really give you some sway grief.

Get use to doing walk arounds. Better safe than sorry. Even if you think you know that you got it all right, walk around before you drive, every time. Here's a biggie.. If you're in the process of hooking up the trailer and you get sidetracked for any reason, mentally start the process over when you get back to it so you don't miss a step. I learned this from pulling a toad behind a motorhome. Big things can go real bad. Double checking as a habit is quick, cheap and easy. I had a buddy whose son hooked his toad up to the motorhome and off he went. When he got to his destination the toad was gone, MIA. He had no idea where he lost it. It was later found by the sheriff down in some woods off of the interstate. Lots of issues there but, the lesson is never trust anyone. Verify for yourself.

The Durango is a short wheel base. Consider in your long range plan getting something with a longer wheel base. Keep your speed down. I see people blowing me off the road towing travel trailers well over the speed limit. My personal limit is 65. I'll get there, I won't have met any troopers, I won't go over the speed limits of my tires, and my bowels will be normal. Just relax. If you can't relax when RVing then when can you?

Have fun with the process. It's exciting to buy a new RV. Don't over expect, as Andy Griffith would say. These things just are what they are. We love RVing. It's all about the lifestyle, not nearly as much about the hardware. The RV gives us a level of freedom we wouldn't otherwise have. In that respect it's worth every penny.

Raife

Texas

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Posted: 07/30/20 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you everyone. More good insights. If I end up purchasing, I like the idea of getting the WDH (with sway) before the trailer so someone can help me set it up.

Not sure what constitutes a short wheelbase but the Durango is 119.8"

Thank you again.

Grit dog

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Posted: 07/30/20 11:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4 pages ago, you we’re going g to rent one for a bit....
What You purchase and when depends on your budget and gullibility.
If you’re going budget minded then keep your eye out for a suitable wdh and trailer and buy them in whichever order they appear , to get the best deal.
If you are a walk into the RV dealer and leave with everything including a complimentary bag of ice, then it doesn’t matter if you get wdh first.

Ideally, find someone you know who knows how to tow and will help you, as it will steepen the learning curve.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 07/30/20 11:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Raife wrote:



Not sure what constitutes a short wheelbase but the Durango is 119.8"

Thank you again.


A Ford Ranger has a wheelbase of 126.8" if you want a comparison.

teamru

NJ

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Posted: 07/30/20 11:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not apples to apples, but I towed a 23' enclosed cargo trailer a few thousand miles with a recently traded in '17 R/T with factory tow package. The trailer is ~2000lbs empty and I loaded it up with 3000+lbs of stuff many times. These were trips with the wife and 3 kids in the car, all cargo except some essentials in the trailer.

Power wise the Durango will pull a trailer in the 20-25ft range and ~5000ish pound ballpark no problem. Braking was confident with a P3 controller and brakes on both trailer axles. The biggest issue is really the suspension, the rear squats without much tongue weight at all. The load leveling shocks don't seem to do much after a few hundred pounds. I did not run a weight distribution hitch with the cargo trailer and the experience suffered because of it. One is definitely needed to get weight back on the steer axle. As our family grew and we started going up and up in the amount of **** to haul around, I definitely felt I was pushing the limits.

We were also originally planning a similar sized camper purchase, but ended up with a 37' bunkhouse so the Durango is gone and was replaced with a 1 ton truck. Based on my experience I do not agree with the folks on the Durango forums saying a 30'+/6500lbs+ camper is doable. However, if you keep the size of the camper reasonable (which seems you are) and run a properly set WD w/ sway control hitch I think you'll be fine and will have a fun experience with the family. There is a lot of good advice in this thread. Don't expect to be going 65mph+ and max the tire pressure out as others have suggested.

* This post was edited 07/30/20 06:56pm by teamru *

lane hog

Tucson, AZ & NW Chicago Burbs, IL

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Posted: 07/30/20 09:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Raife wrote:

Not sure what constitutes a short wheelbase but the Durango is 119.8"


120" is considered by a lot of us as short for towing. There's a calculation which says 20' is the limit for a 120" wheelbase.

I towed a 26' ball to bumper trailer with a Durango for a while. It worked, but we weren't going any bigger than that without a new truck.

Mickeyfan0805

SE Wisconsin

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Posted: 08/01/20 08:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lane hog wrote:


There's a calculation which says 20' is the limit for a 120" wheelbase.


This is the second thread where this conversation is emerging right now. This formula is cited all the time, but I've never seen any manufacturer of any trailer or vehicle publish any wheelbase ratios.

Wheelbase most certainly makes a difference, but I would not use a random ratio that has become popular on the internet as a basis for my purchasing decisions.

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