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Tow Vehicle Question - Please


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I've got a 26' Mallard travel trailer, fully loaded is 6400# with Equalizer weight distribution hitch .

Question: Does the forum feel a 1500 RAM 5.7L, 8 speed auto, 3.93 rear end as good tow vehicle?

 (it's GCWR is about 16000# with a "Max Trailer Weight" of 10480# on it's spec sheet. but I'm skeptical...)

 

Thanks,

George D

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George,

I towed a 21' Bigfoot trailer at a little over 5,000 lbs. with a 1/2 ton and Equalizer hitch.  It did okay, too soft for my liking, especially when meeting large trucks or in windy conditions.  When I replaced the truck, I went with a 2500 and it was like night and day in stability.

Just my experience.  I would opt for the 2500 if I was buying a new truck.

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Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!

The last pieces of information that you need are the cargo carrying capacity of the truck, its rear axle ratings, and the weight of all the cargo that the truck will carry. The cargo weight will include all passengers (except the driver), fuel in addition to whatever amount is included in the curb weight (often less than a full tank), and everything else you will carry in the truck plus the tongue weight of the trailer. The recommended tongue weight (10-15%) for a 6400# trailer would be 640-960#. This calculator  may help.

You can also read about the relationship between tow vehicle wheelbase and trailer length here.

Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

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It’s probably OK though I agree with the post above - I would be looking very closely at the payload for that particular truck.  I once looked at a fully loaded 1500 Ram Laramie with only 1068 lb payload, and the small travel trailer I was towing had a tongue weight of 750 lbs.  That’s not enough payload since I was planning on adding a generator, a propane tank and some other heavy items.

Remember that the more options you add to a truck, the less payload you will have.  Moonroofs are heavy as are Diesel engines and 4WD.  

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We have a Open Range Light 27' TT and when we bought it we had a RAM 1500 (gas).  It was great until we hit the mountains.  Not the mountains in the Ozarks but the Rocky Mountains.  After a couple of years avoiding that area we traded for a RAM 2500 Turbo Diesel.  Now I have to check to make sure the TT is still behind me.

If you already have the 1500 then be careful of weight and transmission overload if you hit mountainous terrain.

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11 hours ago, Mr. Camper said:

We have a Open Range Light 27' TT and when we bought it we had a RAM 1500 (gas).  It was great until we hit the mountains.  Not the mountains in the Ozarks but the Rocky Mountains.  After a couple of years avoiding that area we traded for a RAM 2500 Turbo Diesel.  Now I have to check to make sure the TT is still behind me.

If you already have the 1500 then be careful of weight and transmission overload if you hit mountainous terrain.

👍 Having almost enough truck is work for the driver, having more than enough is quite relaxing when driving. Been there done that.

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11 hours ago, sandsys said:

As always, stopping is as important as pulling.

Linda

I always love this comment.  The truck is not designed to stop the towed trailer load.  The trailer has brakes and they have to stop the trailer.

Ken

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1 hour ago, Pat & Pete said:

Seems to me that stopping is much MORE important ...

Yes, it is important to stop the WHOLE rig.  But someone always come up with "Can the truck stop the trailer?".  Yes it can and should, with a proper trailer brake system and brake controller, but the truck alone cannot be expected to stop the trailer. 

The big question is the truck big enough to comfortably control the trailer.  I see too many with not enough truck and fighting to keep the truck pointed the right way.

Ken

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I’ve had an electric trailer brake outage while towing a max for the won ton truck rating trailer in mountains. 
 

We made it to level ground down there. 
 

I’ve still never scared myself driving a truck up a grade.

 Not so for the gravity assisted direction.
 

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Not sure of your setup, but try to divide the problem between the Dash (or underdash) electric brake controller and the electric brakes themselves. Obviously, the electric brake rear bumper plug is in. Do the trailer brake lights come on at brake pedal depression? I'm assuming the electric brakes you have are individual solenoids placed inside each brake drum/shoe assembly. If they are, you can have someone operate the brake controller manually. Walking around each wheel, you should hear a "buzz" as the 12 vdc energizes each solenoid. It's not that uncommon for the solenoid wires to actually rub (and chaffe) on any brake component (especially the drums). If so the controller should report an "O.C" type of code upon actuation, the of course you lose braking. If you're still having problems, mention the type of system you have, I could always attach a "typical" schematic.

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