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Old 05-04-2005, 09:08 AM   #1
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Newbie needs TV and Hitch Advice

I have just purchased a 1985 Sovereign 34. I have a 2003 Ram 1500 with a 5.9 4WD Crew Cab. My initial pulling distance is less than 50 miles. The vehicle has the factory trailer package with trans cooler.

I am thinking I should get the weight distributing hitch with 1000/10,000. The GVW on the trailer tag said 8900. The vehicle towing is 8900 so I am right at capacity.

My thoughts are:

Electric Module for Brakes
Weight Distributing Hitch
Anti-Sway Bar

Should I consider an extra leaf in my springs of the truck
Should I go with after market shocks.

Love this forum and am very excited about becoming an AS owner.

Feel free to email rjmctavish@wideopenwest.com
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:56 AM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
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First, welcome to the forums!

Now, as for your tow vehicle question. You can probably get away with towing the new to you trailer to 40-50 miles without undue problems, but you may want to consider getting a 3/4 ton truck to tow your trailer on a permanent basis. Dodge 1/2 ton trucks of that age for some reason tend to have weak rear axle assemblies, and no amount of springs or shocks is going to make the internal part of the axle any better. Several people I know have burned up rear axles on their Ram 1500's, some not even towing anything!
If you don't want to get rid of your Ram, you can do a couple of things, like making sure you tow in 3rd gear, not overdrive, and make sure your rear axle contains synthetic gear lube.
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Old 05-04-2005, 10:28 AM   #3
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Terry,

Thanks for the feedback. I will change my lube to make sure.
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:35 PM   #4
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1988 25' Excella
Sunnyvale , California
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Right on he edge..

Welcome, and congrats...

You're right on the edge with 1500, and many of regular members here will probably chime in and tell you that you need a bigger truck for that trailer... If I were shopping from scratch for Tow Vehicle, I'd go bigger...

You do need electronic brake controller, weight distributing hitch (Reese seems to be very popular if you aren't in mood to spend $ thousands for Hensley Arrow..) and anti-sway if you don't get integrated anti-sway system.. Problem is that gross weight creeps and at 9,000 # you won't be comfortable at high speeds or going up and down hills...

While engine has lots of power, truck chassis, axles, brakes etc may turn out to be weak links... Suggestions form others who've decided to pull at high end of Tow Vehicle capacity include: always try to tow with fresh, gray and black water tanks empty, minimize perrmanently stored items in trailer (heavy chairs, tables, etc) and resist temptation to make unit into library with books, magazines and other heavy items...

Good luck!

John McG
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