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Old 04-15-2015, 09:42 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by chucknbob View Post
Thanks for the info everyone. I've moved up from a pop up so most of this is new to me. Im sure I'll have more questions after my trip this weekend.

I'm pulling with a Ram 1500 diesel. Tongue weight, payload, etc isn't really an issue for me.
Your right about your truck, but like tugboat95 said, keep a close eye on your cargo capacity.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:46 AM   #12
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Is the campground full hookup? If so u don't need to fill your tanks. I've never put water in my fresh tank. We only stay at full hookup campgrounds. I also have no need for water in our camper on the road....
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:16 PM   #13
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"I'm pulling with a Ram 1500 diesel. Tongue weight, payload, etc isn't really an issue for me."

Without know the actual specs of your truck (or trailer) ....
Having a diesel indicates you've probably got the ummph to drag it down the highway, but the 1500 part of the name indicates to me that you need to be concerned with the payload. Diesels are heavy and do penalize payload.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:06 PM   #14
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Wrascal is absolutely correct! Payload and tongue weight is your limiting factor. You have all the pulling power you need, but look at the payload numbers for your truck. Typically, a 1500 pickup has about 1500# payload capacity. That is the amount of weight your TV can safely carry and handle, beyond the weight of the TV itself. Payload includes people, gear, firewood, hitch, topper (if you have one), and tongue weight. Tongue weight is usually about 13% of the trailer's weight - including all the "stuff" you load in it. (It can be anywhere from 12% - 15%, or more, if you fill water tanks that are ahead of the axles.) You would be surprised at how much your "stuff" weighs when you load your TT - food, water (8.2#/gal), clothes, pots/pans/kitchen gear, etc.

Many folks guess. I like to know for sure - for the sake of my loved ones and others on the road. Ask yourself if you feel good about being able to keep both truck and TT under control if an emergency situation arises at highway speeds - an idiot driver, crosswind bursts, tire blowout. Ultimately, only you know in your own mind. I did it for the first season with a 1/2-ton Suburban and a 6000# TT, but bought my 3/4-ton HD pickup before the next season. The difference was like night and day - and I was quite relieved, knowing my truck was built to handle the load. The tail no longer wagged the dog!
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:03 PM   #15
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I have to add I'm currently towing with a suburban. And I'm familiar with the 1500 ram. You would have no problem towing the 165 with every tank full. But with gear you'd have to watch that axle capacity of 3500 total. I think the TT weighs 2700 to 2800 empty. Normal load with a full tank of water you'll be alright. My weights in the earlier post are correct as I went to a CAT scale. You have room, just don't take everything in the house.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:07 PM   #16
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1. Let me start off by saying that I work in the auto industry as an instructor. My career is to teach others about vehicles. I am very familiar with towing capacities, payload, etc. When I say "I'm pulling with a Ram 1500 diesel. Tongue weight, payload, etc isn't really an issue for me" I mean it.

2. Thank you to everyone that answered my question regarding the filling of the tanks, and thank you for reminding me that it will add towards my total weight (although now I seem to be being blasted for towing for some reason).

3. Please don't just start tossing out advice that I didn't ask for. Especially when, if you had read the previous posts, you would know I don't need!!!!!

It really upsets me when I see people start throwing out "advice" when they don't have the facts they need to give said advice. To the people who are trying to help me despite (by their own admission) "Without know the actual specs of your truck (or trailer)" please don't do this. If you would take the time to read I have already stated what type of camper I have and my TV. A simple 30 second google search would tell you that my trailer weighs 2690 lbs dry and has a max gvw of 3500 lbs and tongue weight is 410. In that same 30 seconds you could also find that my truck has 1441 lbs of payload and a 9,000 tow rating. Yes I am confident to say that I am perfectly capable of pulling, controlling, and stopping my small camper with this truck. (It also has a trailer brake kit, sway control, and load leveling air suspension).

It also upsets me when I am accused of "guessing" and putting my loved ones and others on the road at risk. By simply reading you would find these accusations are unfounded. Since I've gotten this camper and began doing research on it, I have been told I can pull it with anything from a midsize sedan to that I shouldn't hook it to anything smaller than a 3/4 ton truck with a load leveling hitch! Even the internet experts can't agree on what I need.


The reason this upsets me is two fold. Being in the auto business, I have seen people who have gotten similar advice. Somebody somewhere scares them and with technical terms and suddenly they think they can't safely pull their 4000 lb camper/boat/etc. with anything smaller than a 1 ton diesel pickup. Now they come in to the dealership and toss $50,000 on a diesel truck they don't need. Within a few months the camper/boat is up for sale because it's not worth dealing with the harsh ride and poor fuel economy of the TV the 320 days a year they're not pulling with it. Yes I've seen this happen more than once.

Worse, on a different forum, I saw a lady that asked about pulling a 2,000 lb dry weight pop up with a Dodge Challenger (which, had she simply read the owners manual, would tell her it is not rated for towing). A couple of posters convinced her she would be fine because the hemi had more than enough power and she could just put air springs on it. One guy even said he had seen similar things done in Europe back in the 60s so it had to be OK. I offered advice by explaining suspension, towing, braking, etc. but it was too late. Three weeks later she posted pictures of her car with the jack-knifed trailer in the ditch.

The moral of that I have seen first hand people who have left this hobby because people who think they are helping but scare them away or (in the case of the Challenger) get people into major trouble. Please take the time to figure out and give an informed opinion. Don't let another camper end up with a for sale sign or end up in the ditch.

In closing, I am sorry if this sounds like a tirade. I truly appreciate the help from others, which is why I joined in the first place. I also do my best to return the favor when I have something useful to add. But a question asked is better served with 2 well formed answers based on facts then 10 answers based on opinion or an unrelated experience. Please don't tell me the towing experience for my 2,600 lb trailer as your 7,400 lb one, and I won't tell you that your big 32' with slide outs will fit into some of the small camping spots I use.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:22 PM   #17
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Chucknbob, just to let you know, I see nothing wrong with anything you said. well put. I thank you.
As a practice, I read all the posts on a particular thread before I respond. Even then, sometimes my fingers move faster than my brain. I can honestly say I have given to much advice or ideas from time to time. Your "tirade" (which I did not take it to be) has given me pause to think.

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Old 04-15-2015, 09:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by tugboat95 View Post
I have to add I'm currently towing with a suburban. And I'm familiar with the 1500 ram. You would have no problem towing the 165 with every tank full. But with gear you'd have to watch that axle capacity of 3500 total. I think the TT weighs 2700 to 2800 empty. Normal load with a full tank of water you'll be alright. My weights in the earlier post are correct as I went to a CAT scale. You have room, just don't take everything in the house.

Thanks. It sounds like you're pretty familiar with my setup. Do you know any other tips/suggestions before I head out? I'll have electric but now water or sewer. I'm only going 20 minutes from my house, it's mostly just an excuse to get it out and learn how all the new features work. (Except the black tank dump, not looking forward to that one)
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:12 PM   #19
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Had you provided ALL the tow vehicle specs AND trailer specs, upfront (without requiring us to research it), the provided responses would likely have been different. Too many folks with a half ton truck (1500s) think its OK to hitch up to anything, because a salesman said it was OK.

Note 2: For what it's worth, I also provided my opinion on filling your tank.

Chill out, no disrespect intended.
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:10 AM   #20
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You will get some advise that you may not have asked for on forums. However, I would not get "upset" over it, simply read past it, and take what you need.
As an automotive instructor, you are obviously educated, and know what are facts, and what are opinions. As an ex-instructor myself (32 years in the telephony business) your last response (#16) may be seen to many here as a bit arrogant; they may turn folks off on forums such as this. I'd suggest toning it down just a wee bit.
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