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Old 07-02-2015, 08:58 PM   #127
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Now you're talkin'!!

Originally Posted by Silverflames View Post
After reading through these debates I have realized a couple things that will help me.

1. I have to lean over to reach my p3 brake controller, its to low and needs to be moved up.

2. I have to stop overloading my f150, I'm sure I'm past my GVW after loading fire wood, bikes, and other gear.

3. When I replace my f150 I'll need to go with f250 for the GVW and I like trucks. (I have a small farm).

Thank you all!

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Old 07-02-2015, 09:58 PM   #128
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These rollovers are not about 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton trucks. But they do seem to be about people not paying enough attention to cargo capacity, perhaps not paying enough attention to driving/towing safely, not monitoring speed well enough, and especially, towing with vehicles that are very marginal in terms of cargo capacity. Especially true with the Explorer, but even the Tahoe has a very limited cargo capacity when you add in the tongue weight of a TT and then proceed to pack the TV with people and a lot of stuff.

That is where the discussion of 3/4 ton (and perhaps 1 ton) trucks comes into play. These vehicles have considerably more cargo capacity to be able to safely handle adding a bunch of stuff and people into the TV, in addition to the tongue weight of the TT. They also have more braking capacity, heavier-duty tires, and in the case of the diesels, powerful engine braking.

Certainly if the 1/2 ton truck driver is very conscientious about keeping weights comfortably below maximums and attends to packing cargo safely, etc. the 1/2 ton truck can be plenty capable of towing an Airstream safely. And the 1/2 ton truck owner need not be defensive about what 3/4 ton trucks offer, that 1/2 ton trucks do not, if their needs are comfortably and safely met and they are happy.

The benefit of the 3/4 ton truck is that one isn't nearly as limited in terms of cargo capacity, and for many that is an important factor. These trucks are also considerably heavier, which can be a better match weight wise, when the trailer wants to push the tow vehicle around.

Those who pull the larger Airstreams (like the 27', 28', and 30' models) will be especially interested in this extra capability. Other factors common to 3/4 ton trucks, which bring significant benefits, are diesel engines with their engine braking and pulling abilities, more powerful brakes, heavier-built tires, rear view mirrors designed for towing, etc. Many people who tow, particularly the longer trailers, appreciate these additional benefits which typically are not offered on 1/2 ton trucks.

When it comes to choosing a 1/2 ton vs a 3/4 ton truck for towing, get very well educated on towing capacities and ratings, know your particular needs very well, and then buy whichever truck works well for you. No one can prescribe for anyone else what their needs may be. Drive what you wish to and don't be defensive about your choice.

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Old 07-02-2015, 10:48 PM   #129
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Thanks for posting this. I know that pass well, having grown up in Bozeman, and it can certainly be a test of one's skills.

I recently found myself in a Dr. Doolittle Push-me Pull-you situation heading down I-70 in Colorado, specifically near Frisco...the situation there is that the highway is rutted from the heavy trucks, and I found myself fighting since if TV was in the ruts then the trailer wasn't, and vice versa. Plus, for me, it is extra nerve racking due to the amount of traffic, much of it moving much faster than I.

Is my TV set-up perfect? Certainly not...a 2010 Sequoia 5.7l with an Equal-i-zer pulling a 25' FB. But, it is the best compromise I can think of with a wife, 3 kids and a dog all with a desire to go out to the middle of nowhere! I just do my best to take it slow.

Thanks for the safety reminder. We say at my work that we need everyone to go home safely at the end of the day. That certainly also applies when your "home" is attached to your car!
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:49 PM   #130
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Too bad my phone was broken for this post.

I will have to admit to only reading a few posts, but it is no doubt that these accidents were caused by inadequate tow vehicles because they just had to be.

It only makes sense.
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 07-02-2015, 11:00 PM   #131
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someone said

" I saw a Ford 250 in the body shop due to a camper rollover. So much for the 2500 is safer than the 1500."

I don't agree with this rational. Just because a ten pound bag breaks. it doesn't mean that it can't hold more the a five pound bag
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:10 PM   #132
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Two Airstream rollovers in a month

And likewise to the assertion that runs the other way.

"John got sick after eating tomatoes, therefore tomatoes are poisonous."

Kinda like;

"Neither of those accidents would have happened if the tow vehicles were F-350s."
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 07-02-2015, 11:16 PM   #133
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a few people said

" I never had a problem "

I know a guy drinks a lot and drives home. He never gets pulled over. He smokes a lot. He never got cancer. Never had a problem

If you take 1000 people partaking in the same behavior, some folks will end up in courts, hospitals, jails, or morgues.

Never having a problem can mean you're doing the right thing, or it can mean you are lucky

It's funny how falling, feels like flying…………….for a little while.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:21 PM   #134
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We bought our Ram 1500 because it has plenty of power for anywhere we want to go, all the load capacity we need for 6-7 months travel, has less of it's own weight and less of our cargo weight to stop when we need to, better handling when we need it (the Airstream follows without resistance), is inexpensive to buy and maintain, a great daily driver, maneuvers better to avoid a collision, less likely to roll over or injure us or others when we can't. The quality of ride is pleasant for us and our Airstream.

After experimenting with other hitches, we would not be without a Hensley/ProPride design for its rock-solid stability no matter the truck size.

The Airstream independent suspension, low profile, and low center of gravity is magnificent behind a tow vehicle with similar attributes. It just follows where you steer it. It has a good braking system that can easily be upgraded to discs for less fade resistance, and is to be used when the trailer wants to overtake (push) the truck.

After several coast-to-coast and border-to-border trips in all types of terrain the last four years, quickly changing lanes to avoid hitting another doing the same, braking or dodging deer in the roadway its hard to imagine why we would settle for the lesser attributes of a heavy duty truck.

The point is, we don't all believe heavier is better, as demonstrated by the counterpoints made in this thread and the thousands towing Airstreams successfully for many, many years with lighter, more agile tow vehicles. And the best are properly loaded and hitched combinations.

This thread began as speculation, not investigation, and took on a life of its own as though it was truth.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:05 AM   #135
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Good thread especially as a review of many years towing experiences. Here are a couple of things that have helped us survive.
Have a TV that is more than adequate.
Have grade braking.
Use a DirectLink controller actuated by the truck's OBDII system, i.e., instant brakes.
Use a properly adjusted trapezoid pivoted hitch like Hensley or ProPride.
Remember if you use friction sway control(s) they must be loosened in rain and therefore are ineffective at preventing sway.
Keep tires properly inflated.
Make sure all equipment is road worthy.
Plan ahead for the steepness of the down grades.
If the tail starts to wag the dog feather the TT brakes to bring things back in line. On several occasions I have had to reach across from the passenger seat to help another driver straighten out a rig, but it works.
Happy trailering,
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:19 AM   #136
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This is how I view this and other discussions of this type:

Some people prefer 1/2 ton trucks and others prefer something heavier. If you have what you are comfortable with, don't spend a bunch of time worrying about what others have. There are businesses all over the world proving that a light tow vehicle can tow a heavy trailer, if setup by someone who knows what they are doing. However the trick is that the driver must also know what he is doing. Not surprising is the fact that the driver of a heavy tow vehicle must still know what he is doing.

My suggestions is that we spent less time trying to prove we have the best setup and someone else has an inferior one (which, by the way, most posts here are failing to do anyway) , and use that time to learn how to properly handle what we do have. In other words, the knowledge and skills of the driver trump the weight of his tow vehicle.

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Old 07-03-2015, 12:20 AM   #137
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Timely thread. New here, and don't have a TV yet.

My wife and I are having this very discussion today. Right now, we are leaning towards a 3/4 ton pickup. Very many thanks for the thoughtful comments.
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:25 AM   #138
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I think you'll find that, down the road, you'll never find yourself wondering, "Do I have enough truck for this Airstream and all of this STUFF!?!?!?"

Originally Posted by Llando88 View Post
Timely thread. New here, and don't have a TV yet.

My wife and I are having this very discussion today. Right now, we are leaning towards a 3/4 ton pickup. Very many thanks for the thoughtful comments.
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:37 AM   #139
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I have no dog entered into any of these parlays vis a vis truck size or trailer brake usage, but I've driven many of these roads and would highly suggest that anyone hauling an Rv through the Western States have this guide to plan ahead, especially for down grades:

"Mountain Directory West for Truckers, RV, and Motorhome Drivers. Locations and Descriptions of over 400 Mountain Passes and Steep Grades in Eleven Western States."

Happy travels!

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2014 F-150 3.5L Ecoboost
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Old 07-03-2015, 03:37 AM   #140
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In the case of the rental, inexperience was most likely a contributing factor.
In the case of the Ford Explorer, that vehicle doesn't have as much payload as a half ton truck. Towing with an Explorer is like towing with a Ranger. I've never seen a Ranger towing a camper.
I still don't think either of those rollovers had anything to do with 1/2 ton vs. 3/4 ton.
I still think if you gathered statistics on all camper rollovers there would be just as many 3/4 ton rollovers.
I am personally aware of 3 rollovers with 3/4 ton pickups, 1 rollover with a Suburban, and zero with a 1/2 ton truck.
One of the rollovers was me towing with a 3/4 ton- I-55 North mile marker 153 in Missouri- Weather was a factor. I hydroplaned. I had bad tires. I was traveling too fast for conditions.
I have never had a problem with a 1/2 ton because I get new tires sooner and I don't drive as fast.
Put blame where it goes, not on the fact that these 2 incidents coincidentally involved vehicles rated at 1/2 ton (or less in the case of the Explorer.
No one mentioned speed, brakes, tires, tire pressure, weight distribution, sway control, experience, etc.
Those of us who haven't had a problem have more experience, better driving habits (speed, following distance), good tires, correct tire pressure, properly adjusted/properly functioning trailer brakes/trailer brake controller, properly adjusted weight distributing/sway control hitch, etc.
The accident involving the rental unit might explain why rentals are so expensive.

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