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Old 09-25-2016, 11:04 AM   #1
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Red face 30' Classic towing

Is anyone out there towing a new 10,000 GVWR 30' Classic with a 1500 (or F-150) type 1/2 ton, 4WD, Crew Cab, gasoline engine pickup (+GOOD sway bar / weight distribution hitch) ? If so, how does it handle & brake. It would be slightly over truck rating if fully loaded but wondered if it might be manageable without moving up to a 2500 series truck
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:15 AM   #2
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I do have a Classic and did tow with a F150. The power was there but at times I felt a little pushed around. Also the payload was pretty skinny. I attended the International rally last year and could not find anyone towing a 27+ footer with anything less then a F250.

I bought a F250 diesel and have never looked back. Plenty of power with lots of payload and seldom get pushed around by wind or passing big rigs.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:44 AM   #3
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Kneecie I think you have answered your own question. "Might be Manageable" until you have an emergency situation... What's that old marketing saying. Better safe than sorry?
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:25 PM   #4
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I do this frequently but with some caveats. My 1500 is a diesel with a tune so I have the benefit of a turbo brake. Combined with the factory trailer brake controller I can easily control speed coming down a grade without even using my truck brakes. Also all the AS I deliver are dry. Heaviest I've seen is 7998. Wet & another 2,000 pounds would be entirely different.

Handling ride sway control etc is excellent. The truck is comfortable and confident because of good weight distribution & suspension control. I weigh axles and use both a no sway WDH and axle to frame air bags to transfer weight back to the steers & trailer. Once you have it set you won't have to come back to the scales unless something changes dramatically. The hitch also eliminates sway while the bags control and dampen the suspension. A side benefit being that the air bags remove shock and harmonics for both you and your truck as well as for the AS.

This is still true with a 3/4 ton or larger truck it is just masked by the weight of the truck and stiffness of the suspension. Certainly if you are starting from scratch a 3/4 ton would be a better tool for the job at least for a 10,000 TT. But the process and the point are the same a well distributed load & suspension control is more important than just using a bigger truck.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:35 PM   #5
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I have a '97 classic that grosses at 8300#. I have towed it with a 1500 Chevrolet crew cab with 4wd and 5.3 liter engine and 3.43 gears.

It was NOT the most comfortable experience and mine was 1500# less than yours.
Scale weight was actually 7600#.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:39 PM   #6
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There's several folks in this forum that tow a 30' Classic with a 1/2 ton pickup and have no issues. I would imagine they tire of facing the "sky is falling" crowd.

The fact is that it can be sone, safely. However, it is possible for you to overload your truck and exceed its payload rating IF you load everything you can into the Classic. The maximum weight of the Classic is 10,000 pounds. That's the maximum it should weigh. If your Classic weighs 10,000, chances are you may be exceeding your payload, since about 15% of that would be weighing in on the tongue.

When I looked at the 30' Classic, it's extra weight dissuaded me from considering it further because I have a SUV with a 1600 lb payload. I did not feel comfortable. The 30' Flying Cloud, on the other hand, weighs less. I've weighed my loaded trailer several times, and I've never exceeded my max ratings. I've towed a couple of times now, and it is SAFE and COMFORTABLE, despite the Internet wisdom to the contrary.

Can you tow a 30' Classic with a 1/2 ton pickup? Yes you can. BUT you will need to do some aggressive weight management. A 3/4 ton pickup will give you more room to carry stuff. It all depends how you like to roll.

But it can be done, and is done daily SAFELY.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:10 PM   #7
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It "can" be done. The question is, "what margin of safety are you comfortable with?" There are many threads on this exact question, including a very recent one. Speaking as a party of one (whose bias was to buy a 2500 Ram with a Cummins TBD to tow his Classic) -- after adding up the weights and potential restrictions with the 1500, I elected to buy the bigger truck. The extra margin makes filling up the bed with a generator and a bunch of other camping gear that I don't think I'd want to leave home. I also added a 38 gallon diesel tank to the bed of my truck to increase range -- 266 pounds worth. This gives me the flexibility to tow just under 1,000 miles without refueling. (Unless I'm doing mountains!) I got very good advice when I bought my first Airstream back in 2011. "Buy the next larger size than you think you want!" I'd say the same advice applies to the truck. Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:30 PM   #8
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I don't think there is any "margin" of safety. You either exceed the weight ratings (and are therefore unsafe) or you don't. If you don't, you should be "safe". There's a reason these ratings exist. Don't exceed them, and you should be fine.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:46 PM   #9
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In July I towed my new to me 2005 30' Classic with a 2015 Silverado Crew Cab, 4x4 shortbed, 5.3 liter and max tow package from Austin TX home to IN. I'm towing with a Blue Ox Swaypro with 1,000 lb bars (set up by installer, I believe it was set up correct).

Power in mid MO (I44) was adequate, fuel mileage was good at 13.5 MPG. The only true issue I had was when Semi Trucks approached it pushed the back end of the trailer right (front end left) which made the truck push right. Then when the semi was even with me it all sucked back to the left. Not white knuckle but very noticeable.

Three weeks ago I purchased a 2016 GMC Denali HD (2500) in 4x4, Standard Bed, Diesel. This past weekend I towed the trailer about 300 miles round trip and no push pull noted. I think the 2500 is heavier and 10" longer which helped quite a bit. The truck was pricey, but I'm glad I changed.
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Old 09-29-2016, 03:49 PM   #10
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One other thing, breaking was not an issue, my AS has disk breaks and it all stopped well (I didn't have any oh $hit stops) on the long trip.
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneecie View Post
Is anyone out there towing a new 10,000 GVWR 30' Classic with a 1500 (or F-150) type 1/2 ton, 4WD, Crew Cab, gasoline engine pickup (+GOOD sway bar / weight distribution hitch) ? If so, how does it handle & brake. It would be slightly over truck rating if fully loaded but wondered if it might be manageable without moving up to a 2500 series truck
I have a 30' 2016 AS Classic and tow it with a 2015 Ford F150 EcoBoost 3.5L V-6 with a 3.55 rear axel ratio. This particular engine / axle ratio had a maximum towing capacity of 12,000 lbs. I also have the max tow package and a ProPride hitch. So far the AS / truck combo is working well. Good luck. Dennis
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:31 PM   #12
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bwoodtx, You said you had a "NOT the most comfortable experience". I can respect and appreciate an honest answer.

Do you know the axle weights from that trip?

You didn't say, did you use a no sway WDH and or even just air bags to control the suspension and help keep weight on the steers?

Soft passenger rated tires or some level of load rated tires?

Just because you did, doesn't mean you knew what you were doing.

Proper prep is safety. Trying to short cut it by using a bigger truck is not.

On another note. I wish manufacturers would stop using "payload ratings" and just give people the axle ratings (and truck weight) and tell people you are responsible for making sure you are not over axle weight. Put people on the right path for responsible safety in the first place. Big trucks don't have a manufacturers suggestion for maximum payload they go right to axle ratings and combined axle ratings.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:03 PM   #13
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What about a 30' with the Nissan Titan XD? I'm in that quandary. The tow capacity of an XD is 11,900 #. Well within 15% pushing 20%.
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:30 PM   #14
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The towing capacity is a nice to know number, but the tow vehicle payload is the critical number. For your specific truck, that number will be on the drivers door post.

From that number subtract the weight of all potential passengers (remembering that children only get heavier with time) and the excess above 150 pounds for the driver. The remaining capacity has to exceed the actual tongue weight of the trailer plus the cooking grille, chairs, spare propane tank and other camping supplies tossed in the bed of the truck.

Thus the concern that a ½ ton may lack the necessary payload capacity.

Getting going is not as important to as getting stopped, especially if there is a brake failure on the trailer. A ¾ ton truck typically has larger brakes than the ½ ton model.
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