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Old 08-26-2016, 09:12 AM   #15
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Every person is different. I think payload and towing capacity are simple enough concepts to understand, and staying within those is easy enough. It's when you start hearing that you need to be 20% under (or any other arbitrary number) that I start to cringe.

I think I'll stick to the manufacturers published specs and aim to stay at or slightly under. YMMV.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
I would have to disagree with that statement. I know several pipeline contractors who have jumped back into big gas engines due to the duty cycle of the vehicle they use. Many do a lot of short distances, lots of idling, workers who beat the snot out of the vehicle and they were bitten by the expensive diesel emissions bug. Modern diesels don't perform well under this duty cycle without expensive maintenance to the emission systems.

I believe the original poster stated that he was trying to compare specs on gas engine vehicles.
What I meant is with the extra weight of the diesel and heavier three quarter to truck you might be as well off to get a properly equipped half ton in most instances rather than a gas three quarter ton. So getting a gas three quarter ton which is heavier might be not as good as a half ton properly equipped. Note properly equipped to the owners needs. Same gas engine in a half ton is hauling less weight than the same engine in the tree quarter ton. Hence, counterproductive in most cases unless the two trucks weigh the same.
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Old 08-26-2016, 09:30 AM   #17
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Doug -- you provide a great example of people finding the setup that works according to their standards.

To relate it to my point about the industry "standard", you are towing about 3,000 pounds less than the truck is rated for by the manufacturer -- you are satisfied, and I probably would be, too. My point is the following question: would you still be satisfied if your trailer weighed 3,000 pounds (50%) more?
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Old 08-26-2016, 10:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
Doug -- you provide a great example of people finding the setup that works according to their standards.

To relate it to my point about the industry "standard", you are towing about 3,000 pounds less than the truck is rated for by the manufacturer -- you are satisfied, and I probably would be, too. My point is the following question: would you still be satisfied if your trailer weighed 3,000 pounds (50%) more?
That's a "loaded" question.

We are very happy with our FC 25, great size for travel and campsite comfort, we have looked at a new Classic which would add about 1,500 lbs total towing weight as we would load it, and a little less hitch weight.

They both cut the same size hole in the air going down the road, it's the hills and long downhill grades that would concern me. We use a Hensley/ProPride hitch design so stability is no issue. I would add disc brakes to the Classic as insurance on the downhills and I think we would do well.

We like Airstream, there is no present model that would add 3,000 lbs as we travel but I think 1,500 lbs is quite reasonable.

There are no doubt mountain grades where we would struggle, there always is. There are icy mountain passes where engine and/or exhaust braking cannot be used safely. We do not base our truck/trailer selection on a fraction of a percent of our usage, we just take another route. If we unwittingly get caught in a bad situation, we slow down.

We just don't want 2000 lbs more truck and the issues that come with it to carry a little more gear around the country. I am fine with those who do.
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Old 08-26-2016, 11:06 AM   #19
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Doug -- I was concerned that I might not have made my point well -- I totally respect your experience-based decision of what works fine for you. I know that I am on the higher-performance end of the preference scale, but I think it would probably work OK for me too.

My point is that the manufacturers say that a 3,000 pound heavier trailer is within their standards to pull with your truck. There is no way that would pass my standards, and kind of doubted that you would be OK with that setup.

My perhaps biased opinion is that the truck towing standards still overstate what can be towed with reasonable performance.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:34 PM   #20
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I don't know why you say we are rated to tow 3,000 lbs more trailer. Our truck and trailer ready for travel right now weighs about 13,000 lbs and the GCWR is just under 14,000 lbs.

Like I said I wouldn't mind fudging a few hundred pounds with some trailer brake upgrades and selected routes and driving, but the 3,000 lbs extra trailer weight you suggest are way over the GCWR of our truck.

I am very comfortable towing near the limits of our truck tow rating, based on experience.
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:17 PM   #21
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Seems to me when you are thinking about which truck to buy to pull a trailer, towing capacity should be foremost. Not payload capacity. With that said, most full-sized trucks will do fine with a 30 footer. The diesel engines may cut payload but they increase towing capacity considerably. Basically, the op was consider the wrong data, from a secondary source. But even bad info sometimes helps. Many other ? Come into play. Towing how often, where, etc.
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:23 PM   #22
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OP, not sure where you want to go with this, especially in this forum where it is like debating about religion. The subject is to subjective to narrow down to anything that can be agreed on.

My personal favorite that I can not wrap my head is the towing of a three axel AS with a Chrysler 300. Unless heavy mods to the vehicle itself, I can not see how a stock C300 could ever pull a three axel AS up a hill. Then again, I will get ridiculed by others because of my lack of understanding, which I have already confessed to.

Others here are stuck on their mind set, they are bond to specs and numbers.

Others are field tested, battle proven setups and swears by this manufacture/model/setup that it works.

So, what exactly are you looking for? What kind of validation are you looking for?
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:28 PM   #23
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It's not necessarily easier even...
I have a million miles towing with 3/4 ton Chevys under my belt.
I honestly can't tell a nickel's worth of difference except that my 1/2 ton Toyota rides better, has better acceleration and braking, is more responsive, and steers easier with lees bucking and clattering of front end components.
1/2 ton Toyota- better in my opinion and easier- like the trailer isn't even there- have to check rearview to make sure it is still trailing behind ever so politely and mannerly.
The biggest improvement in towing better and easier was switching from a big white box camper to a sleek shiny silver Airstream- so much smoother, less bucking, quieter...
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:34 PM   #24
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I've had four AS's and five TV's. Nothing compares to a 2500 diesel, everything else is a compromise as far as towing is concerned. 4x4 also important unless you never go near soft ground.
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:38 PM   #25
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I wonder how many naysayers have actually even ridden in a Tundra, much less driven one or towed with one.
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:41 PM   #26
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Towing, etc.

Okay, get your razors and sledghammers out, and I'll put my head opn the chopping block.

First, one of the commenters above came really close to real wisdom when he (she? I didn't take note.....) mentioned standards, and that's really key to at least a major part of this whole subject.

Second, I've seen a number of comments in the past on these forums stating something like "Don't overthink this". There's another batcha wisdom there, as well.

Third, there's NOTHING wrong with being educated in a subject at hand; the key is that the conclusions to be reached require (see note 1 above) that there has to be a realization that viewpoints change, and there are for MANY reasons.

All of this is to say that, while I've had a total of four AS TVs (that's four Towed Vehicles of the Airstream type), my viewpoint stems from my first Other Brand trailer, a '77 20' single axle Coachmen, with all the amenities, but just the bare minimum of everything except beds -- it would sleep 8 in a pinch. Not a big load (probably 4500 pounds tops), but it had all the items for adventure for my wife and kids. I towed it with a Reese Dual-Cam hitch arrangement, which was no big deal. But the salient point was the TV.

It was a new '74 Ford Econoline Window Van, with a 260 cc gasoline engine, and a non-rememberable axle ratio, and the same for the horsepower. I had been blessed with a highly capable father who set me up with an additional 35 gallon fuel tank in additional to the 18 gallon Ford tank (53 gallons gave me a nice driving range, especially at 8 mpg in a 10 mph headwind). No tranny cooler, no extra radiator cooler, standard tires, and a basic hydraulic brake controller.

So what?

Well, the first long trip was from Houston to N.E. New Mexico, over Raton Pass, and across southern Colorado to the Four Corners area, via the "southern route" to Mesa Verde, back through Durango, to Silverton, to Ouray, to Montrose, and on to Gunnison, up to Almont, back to Gunnison, and so forth on to South Fork and the SE corner of Colorado, then back to Raton, and back to Houston.

Many of you will be able to name the +/- 10,000 foot passes on that route. That rig over the next two summers made similar circuits that took us over a number of other fairly well known passes, and others that aren't so well known.

In fact, on the second year's trip, I totally lost my trailer brakes, with one major pass, traffic (light) in both directions, no idiot drivers and about 50 miles of up-and-down to go. By carefully watching for curves, and judicious use of the transmission, there wasn't a single moment of uh-oh. Would I do that again? Almost for sure not. Wouldn't have done it then, without the extenuating circumstances (mostly no place to pull over).



Now, the downsides:

1. TOP speed was (on level ground) about 40-55 mph, depending on the wind direction. The setup was within optimum parameters, and the sway control worked well enough that wind eddies on the downside of grain silos in the Texas panhandle weren't any surprise, even in 50 mph crosswinds. The big rigs would come around at 70-75 mph (even though the Texas top speed was 60 in those days), and there was almost no response from the TV or trailer.

2. Going up one side of Raton Pass (the gentler slope of maybe 4%) was even slower, maybe 30 mph, and I didn't desire to even know the engine RPM. Going up the steep side of Raton was done at may 20-25 MPH, in first gear. There were two helpful facts. First, it was at least 4 lane (before the Interstate, even) so other cars had a route past me. Second. the steep side was at least shorter.

3. I had to carry a 5 gallon plastic jerry can of water for the radiator the first two years. No problem with low on gas issues (see above for gas tank size) or oil consumption. I found out before the 3rd year that the viscous coupling on the radiator fan was faulty; a new coupling let me leave the water can at home.

4. As noted above, gas mileage was low. Even at that, some days it averaged about 4 mpg.

Now for the upsides:

Fantastic scenery, some of the finest friendly people on Earth, and the joy of my family as "next year's trip" got closer each Spring.

Things like this are wonderful for making you focus on what's happening, and what the limits are, yours and the equipment.

These are the things you don't get from a book. Instruction manuals give you a look at facets; experience gives you understanding.

And all these things that have been stated can be used when you make your (hopefully) more considered choice on your next rig, or trip, or weekend.

Asking for input is wise, and much/most of what you've been allowed to read is good/excellent. Just remember that story of the farmer, his son, and the donkey, and their trip to town.

And wisdom is cheap, if you don't mind gettin' it second hand.

Happy traveling.....


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Old 08-26-2016, 04:20 PM   #27
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Kent M: >bow< to you
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:34 PM   #28
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So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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