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Old 08-20-2017, 03:43 PM   #1
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we are super discouraged. been looking for travel trailer suitable for us and have gotten down to 2 then for good measure, used an on-line weight calculator and at least, according to it, my 2015 Ram 1500 BigHorn 5.7 Hemi, is supposedly under powered if factoring the 20% safety margin. YOu can imagine the letdown when we had to back up and look at smaller units. giving up outdoor kitchens etc. common with the 35 footers, has us all bummed out.
Any words of advice.. If this is accurate what is a comparable substitute? considering the fact we are placing huge priority on spacious living room and no bunks but needing to sleep 6, what are our options?
and how logical does the calculator results seem to be to you?

would greatly appreciate help.
Calculator input attached

// cwr=15950&truck_gcwr_unit=e&truck_gtwr=10210&truck _gtwr_unit=e&truck_tongue=1600&truck_tongue_unit=e &truck_rgawr=3900&truck_rgawr_unit=e&truck_gvw=530 4&truck_gvw_unit=e&truck_rgaw=2198&truck_rgaw_unit =e&trailer_gvw=9800&trailer_gvw_unit=e&trailer_ton gue=897&trailer_tongue_unit=e&margin=20&tongue_per centage=[/IMG]
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Flyguy66 View Post
we are super discouraged. ...

...we are placing huge priority on spacious living room and no bunks but needing to sleep 6, what are our options?
You'll find people who will tell you that you will be "just fine" with that 36' trailer and your half ton truck. On the other hand you'll find people who will tell you that you need a bigger truck.... Who do you believe??? I think you stated a "PART" of your priority in the statement above. The other "PART" of your priority should be a reliable and adequately sized vehicle to safely tow the "spacious living room with space to sleep 6". You also need to consider how to safely seat those 6 for travel INSIDE the tow vehicle.....

If you think about the weight of 6 people in the cab of a half ton truck, you're going to be approaching your max payload before you even hook up that 36 footer.... Six people, even if part of them are toddlers "now" they won't be toddlers in a year or two. Also, consider that their toys will also grow in size and weight as the kids mature, want to bring along friends and their toys as well. Maybe <MAYBE> a couple with no children or with a single child could "squeak by" with a half ton and a 36' trailer, but 6 people in the mix ??? You're much better off from a safety vantage to be looking at bigger trucks or smaller trailers.

As for the 20% safety margin, some say you need it, some say you don't. Most will agree that those who "think" they'll be underweight and "guess" at their rig's weight usually underestimate by 15 or 20% once they've been trailering for a couple of trips. So, it's not really a "safety factor" as much as it is a "cushion against novice guessing"..... However, to each his own.....

2015 F250 6.7l 4x4
2014 Cougar X Lite 27RKS
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:27 PM   #3
the sodfather
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Just kidding. There are options, your just going to have to make sacrifices somewhere. I'm sure if you give some more detailed specs of your truck and what your wanting in a TT, you'll get more suggestions and info than you can stand.
2016 Silverado 2500HD
2015 Bullet 272BHS
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:10 AM   #4
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So I just did this. I tried towing a 328RL with a ram 1500 5.7. I had plenty of power to pull it but with almost 1000#s of tongue weight I just did not feel safe. the steering seemed unresponsive and I did not have any room for passengers or extras. After pulling the TT twice, i decided to get a F250. all good now.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:12 PM   #5
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under tow truck

It could be worse you could have a tundra!!!!
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:04 PM   #6
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I thought my 1\2_ton F 150 was fine for towing until I educated myself with the advise of my fellow forum members who shared their expert knowledge. There is no comparison when towing with a 3/4 ton F 250 Super Duty. I have not regretted the extra expense one bit when I upgraded. In fact, I can't wait to hook up next week. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:45 PM   #7
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Look into the Ultra Lite models. My Bullet 287 is 5500lbs dry with a 1500lb payload so the trailer is at 7k loaded. I have an F250, but I would think my trailer would be ok behind most modern half tons.
2018 GMC Sierra CCSB 1500 6.2L
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:51 PM   #8
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IMO a 20% factor of safety isn't needed with RVs. Rest assured the engineers already have plenty of safety baked into the cake. That being said, you're going to be hard pressed to find a loaded up ready to camp 35' TT that can be pulled by a 1/2 ton truck full of people and gear that is within the ratings.

Payload is the biggest challenge. This is mostly limited by what is in the truck BEFORE hooking up the TT. People, firewood, coolers, etc. Only 10-12% of the weight that is put into the TT goes against truck payload while 100% of what goes in the truck is payload.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:08 AM   #9
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I have been a member of the "Downshift club" in the past. Now note that each combo was within weight limits of tow vehicle.
Started with a Chevy S-10 and small popup. Worked well, the purchased a 21' Hybrid Keystone Cabana so that didn't work well as it would downshift in a slight headwind going DOWNHILL! Moved on to a Dodge Durango R/T. Of course, you guessed it, bought a larger trailer, a 29' Surveyor Ultralite. Worked O.K. but downshifted constantly on any incline. In 2009 found a great deal on a Ford F150 King Ranch. Pulled the old camper fine so of course we bought the 36' Laredo 303TG. More down shifting and white knuckles during crosswinds. I guess some of us are slow learners.Found a great deal on the F250 diesel and couldn't be happier W'ell be hanging on to this one for a while unless the lottery smiles upon me.
And there endeth the lesson. It's not just the weight of the unit that should enter the equation. The taller and longer the box behind the TV the more air resistance, both straight ahead and laterally during cross winds and disturbances from passing trucks/busses. So many factors enter into the differences between a 1/2 ton truck such as P rated tires, ride engineered suspension, frame flex, etc. and a 3/4 ton + trucks that are built to haul weight and tow. You will find adamant arguments from booth sides of this issue and I am just offering my opinion based upon my personal experience.
Let the arguments commence!
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2010 F250 LT Super Cab, long bed, 4X4, 6.4 Turbo Diesel
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:25 AM   #10
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Having gone the route of buying a trailer that I really wanted, too big for a 1/2 ton but "almost" fitting the numbers (but slightly over), I can tell you that you don't want a 35'+ trailer behind a 1/2 ton; new shocks, LT tires, air bags etc. or not. I had 2 1/2 tons, 5.7L Big Horn 3.55, and 5.7L Lone Star 3.92; both pulled "OK", and in fact I said "just fine" in a post on this forum years ago.

The problem is that with that big of a trailer and a lightweight truck sway/push by passing semis is common, big pushes across the road with high winds is common, downshifting/high revving etc. etc. are all common. Always having to choose what to load and what to leave behind is an every trip occurrence. Watching the weather and worrying about high wind days is an every trip thing. I upgraded to a HD 3/4 ton truck. All of the above is gone. None of it crosses my mind and in fact, I look forward to hooking up and going without a care in the world.

With a 1/2 ton truck the reality is that you are very limited in what to tow both weight and length wise. It is human nature to try to get as big as you can but with 6 people and everything needed a 1/2 ton is going to be a real stretch. Look for something (floorplan) that fits your needs, try to stay at 7500lbs OR LESS GVW and 32-33' long (you still need to watch/check your payload/gvw/gawr). Your enjoyment and safety will be greatly enhanced on your camping trips. There is a comment in another post that says "if you want a Godzilla trailer, you need a Godzilla truck"....that is true.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:25 AM   #11
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Can't thank you enough for your many detailed responses. I like RV Folk
I'm looking at a Rockwood 2906
33ft 11"
7100 lbs
800 lbs hitch weight
Ram truck has rating of 1640lbs payload and weight haul rating of 10,600 lbs
As I understand that, I can only have 800 lbs of people and cargo in the truck.

Regardless, thanks again.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:51 AM   #12
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You need to load up your Ram and go to a scale and weight it loaded. Then subtract that weight from the GVWR of the truck.
JMO but thats still too much TT to tow. You'll be 8,000 lbs plus loaded. @12.5% for TW which is optimum thats 1,000 lbs. Add the WDH (90-100lbs), and now you're at 1100 lbs on the receiver. And you only have 540lbs left for passengers and gear. Just adding two batteries and propane will add 150 lbs to the 800 lb dry tongue weight. Now add some gear under the bed and in the front storage compartment. It all adds up fast.
Those are speculative numbers so thats why you need to weigh your truck loaded as if you were going camping.
Where are you getting the 1640 lb weight number from?
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:44 AM   #13
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I got the payload weight from Dodge for my specific model.
Got tongue weight from trailer manufacturer
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:46 AM   #14
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My RAM 1/2 ton (Hemi) struggled with our Wildwood 28DBUD on hills; it was under 7,000lbs loaded. It would max out RPM's and slow to 50mph on big hills. The truck *could* pull and stop it but moving to a diesel was EYE-OPENING. They are made to tow and the difference is noticeable. If you're towing short distances a couple times a year, it may not be worth it to you to upgrade. We wanted to travel on multi-state adventures and just didn't feel the RAM was adequate (or would last) with that size trailer.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:53 AM   #15
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Thanks for that.
My problem is I get a company truck and 1500 size is the limit unless I want to buy a truck on my dime
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:30 PM   #16
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I had a F150 EcoBoost and loved it. Had a small pop-up and was fine. Of course I bought a 34 foot TT, 6700lbs. The F150 towed well, more than enough power, no real issues with swaying, BUT I broke one rear shock on an extended trip. Replaced the rear shocks for ones built for towing and motored on, albeit very cautiously watching the loads I was carrying. My concern was for long term damage to the rear suspension and drive train. Towing so close to, and most probably over, the trucks capacity left me anxious each trip. I loved that truck, but a new F250 Diesel is now in my drive and I don't miss the F150 a bit. Much better control, very stable, tows that TT easily. I'd listen to the advice you've gotten here and stick with a TT that is within your trucks capacity or get a larger truck. You'll not regret it.
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:41 PM   #17
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I've towed with both the newer Hemi (395hp) and an older 5.9l Cummins (03). Power isn't the issue with the Hemi in a 1/2 ton, it's payload. My Hemi had more reserve power than the Cummins (I can go into more detail). My main concern would be length and weight. I feel comfortable with my current setup, but mine came with a few options that help (longer wheelbase, Air Suspension, upgraded to LT tires). My current trailer is 31' 10" and scales at 5900lbs. I would keep it at or below that on any 1/2 ton.
(SOLD) 2015 Keystone Passport 2810BH
2013 Ram 1500 Hemi 8-speed 3.92 Air Suspension
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:39 PM   #18
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Ok any brand/ model suggestions?
Like to haves: in order of importance
Open floor plan
50 amp
Sleeps 6 non bunk
Outdoor kitchen
Electric jack and stabilizers

Of course we want a good quality trailer.
Much appreciated. Great forum.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Flyguy66 View Post
Ok any brand/ model suggestions?

Much appreciated. Great forum.
Any brand 3/4 ton or one ton should do, whatever floats your boat. A diesel 1 ton would be the optimum choice since your upgrading, you only want to upgrade once...................

Oh you mean travel trailer suggestions good luck.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:54 PM   #20
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Yea, meant trailer��
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tow, towing

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