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Old 06-07-2015, 12:03 PM   #1
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Length to weight

Looking for some information and opinions. My neighbor recently lost his 2012 Ford F150 and his 32ft Coachman TT to a nasty accident. No one was hurt and both rigs were insured well and he is getting them replaced
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The issue that happened was a combination of a perfect storm, but nevertheless, should be a consideration. His TT weighed in around the 7500 pound mark with a tongue weight around 800lbs (give or take 3 pounds). Which should have been no problem for his F150. They were traveling with minimal gear because they were heading to a full hook up campsite. However, what happened was this. He was traveling about 60MPH on a very slight down grade with a moderate cross wind, when he encountered a nasty frost heave in the highway which caused both the TV and TT to bottom out. At virtually the same instant, a semi with trailer passed, going the opposite direction. The resulting draft wind from the semi along with the bottom out bounce of his TT resulted in his trailer going into a serious sway/whipping. The whip has bad enough that he was not able to maintain control and ended up running off the road. The result was both TV and TT were totaled.

Meanwhile, his friend who witnessed this happening in front of him was driving a Dodge 3500 towing a 30 foot outback. The resulting passing of the semi and hitting the frost heave caused his TT to bottom out (not his TV) but sway and whip were virtually non existent. He was able to maintain control to come to a stop and provide assistance. The semi driver, having seen glimpses of the accident in his mirrors stopped also. His comment on the accident report he filled out for the State Troopers; "That trailer was to long for such a lightweight TV."

Again, a perfect storm of accidents but these are the factors of the accident. While the TT was within the weight limits (all tanks, water, grey and black were empty) of the TV and speed was not a factor, length and weight distribution bars and sway bar set up were. He went with the minimum WDH bars and sway bar needed according to published data on the TT. A secondary determination of trailer length to truck wheel base and weight were also determined to be a factor according to insurance.

While I have never owned a 1/2 ton truck, my thoughts are to accept what has been said as factors to the accident. My question here is:

What is the opinion here regarding length of TT to weight ratio for TV and TT? Has anyone heard of anything similar?

I have seen many occasions of people driving smaller SUV's towing trailers which I considered to big. Then again, in all my years of towing, I have been and am the type to go the extra mile and make sure I have everything necessary and then some.

Please understand, I do not wish to cause a debate or hurt the feelings of 1/2 ton owners. Yet, I have always held to the train of thought, "Just because you (or your TV) are capable of doing a thing (towing a TT based on weight and specs), doesn't mean you should do the thing.

My neighbor decided to upgrade his new truck and is currently looking at a Chevy or GMC 2500 and looking at a new Jayco TT by the way.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:19 PM   #2
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We have a Ford F-150 super crew with towing package and I shied away from one that long. Of course my payload was probably much less than his because of passenger weight and truck topper weight. So much seems to depend on payload and hitch( or so it seems)
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:37 PM   #3
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I am following because I am a 1/2 ton owner. You didn't mention what his payload was. It just sounds bigger and heavier than I would ever want to do in our Expedition. I have not heard of length of trailer mattering and there is nothing mentioned in the Ford towing guide about it although I have heard of people on forum talking about wheelbase.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:45 PM   #4
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I am not sure if I can but I will see if I can get a picture or more. One weight distribution bar is bent about 45 degrees and a chain link snapped. His hitch receiver on the truck broke on the drivers side. The rear axle on the TT was ripped from the mounts and thrust up through the rear of the TT. The truck ended up on its side. State Troopers figured out speed at impact was 53MPH.
His was a four door cab. I am not sure if it was a super crew. He did have the tow package. I will give those Ford F-150s when it comes to fuel economy. He used to smoke my dodge when it came to gas mileage, but when we used to go cutting fire wood, I definitely had a clear advantage getting into the rough stuff with my solid front axle over his independent and with pay load when we were fully loaded with wood. Cab top high all the way back to the tail gate. He would be bottomed out on the springs, while I was just about mid sag and riding smooth.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:55 PM   #5
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I am following because I am a 1/2 ton owner. You didn't mention what his payload was. It just sounds bigger and heavier than I would ever want to do in our Expedition. I have not heard of length of trailer mattering and there is nothing mentioned in the Ford towing guide about it although I have heard of people on forum talking about wheelbase.
According to specs his truck should be able to handle around the 9,300 or 9,400 pound loaded trailer weight. All he had in the bed of the truck was a couple bundles of firewood and a 50qt cooler, and some fishing gear. Occupants were himself, his wife and two 14 year old (twins) kids.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:50 PM   #6
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The South will Rise Again before the limits of the F150 are agreed upon.
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:28 PM   #7
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Seems to me, he was at the precipice of a safe towing weight and a little heavy weight. JM2C
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:30 PM   #8
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The South will Rise Again before the limits of the F150 are agreed upon.
Charlie Daniels agrees
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:34 PM   #9
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The South will Rise Again before the limits of the F150 are agreed upon.
That and convince Tundra owners they don't have a 3/4 ton....
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:39 PM   #10
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Let's not let this turn into a truck war please. Thank you.
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