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Old 12-16-2005, 11:12 AM   #1
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1983 31' Excella
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Ignorance is bliss, until..........

I belong to several email lists. One of them is RVK9 on yahoo groups.... this is a list for dog show people that have RV's or TT's.
Last night I followed a thread that almost made me crazy..... message # 12424 begins.... New with plans to purchase
Hello, I just completed paperwork for financing (and am approved for the loan) ... (beginning of thread is here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RVK9/message/12424 )
I have got to tell ya, I knew a lot of people buying RV's or TT's were not quite up to the mark but this one.......!!!!!
If you guys have to join this list to read this thread, it might be worth it if you want to sit around and shake your head in wonder!
The gal has a Dodge Ram 3500 and not a clue as to its towing capability! She selected a 99 Wanderer, 37 feet with one slide out! She has been given very little good advice, some bad advice, and some downright dangerous advice! Such as the person who stated the tow rating by the manufacturer was a 'suggested' rating and not to worry as long as you don't exceed it by more than 10%!!!
The previous owner of her TV trashed the rear end by 'towing too big a trailer' but it was rebuilt and now she has no worries!
Makes one wonder how some oplaces can take such gross advantage of people and still live with themselves.
Oh man am i ever grateful for this forum, andits ongoing discussions on all facets of travel trailers in general, and AS in particular, including the tow capacity, dry weight, wet weight, all that technical stuff!
Oh man! I cannot imagine making that kind of investment and not knowing any more than this gal!
Can you just imagine what her insurance company, not to say the law, would have to say if, while towing and exceeding that GVW, an accidnet occurred? I don't even want to GO there!

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:18 AM   #2
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I think that's one reason why it's good we have such an outspoken group. Bad information is unlikely to be passed along without someone else getting in there and offering another point of view.

I'll admit, it was very difficult to figure out towing capacities, weights, and hitch setup without the info on this forum. I would not want to be on my own trying to decode the little bit of info you can get from the dealers (RV or TV). And if you're buying vintage, you're really on your own!
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:43 AM   #3
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Just as a note, there's very few RVs out there that a RAM 3500 cannot tow. The truck sounds to me like a logical choice for that trailer. I just went to Dodge.com and tried their "build-a-truck." For a duallie 3500 with the Cummins engine and 4.11 rear end/automatic, the tow rating is 16,150 lbs.

Lamar
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:59 AM   #4
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Lamar,
My F350 dually PSD is rated to tow up to 18,000# fifth wheels, and 15,000# conventional trailers There are quite a few of the highend 5'vers that will exceed that capacity. I looked at a gorgeous London Aire 40' by Newmar...it had a dry weight of around 17.5k# with a GVW of 20k+ The problem I see is the closer you get to max capacity the faster things are going to wear out and the more problems you are likely to encounter. From what I gather from Cedars posting was that the truck had been abused by overweight towing before, and was headed that way again. My personal rule of thumb is to take the 75-80% of the maximum listed towing capacity, and not exceed it with the GVW of the trailer. In my case that would mean a maximum GVW of a 5'ver of 14,400# and a conventional trailer of 12,000#. I just use that as a quick reference and starting point. In reality you really need to check the individual axle ratings and trailer ratings (CCC, Dry Weights, etc) and spend time at the CAT scales to dial in your numbers. But many people don't know to do that or trust a salesman to make their decisions for them... IMHO not a good idea.

Aaron
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Old 12-18-2005, 01:21 PM   #5
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1983 31' Excella
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She now says:
I have a Dodge Ram 350 15 passenger/extended van that is my tow vehicle and will transport the dogs in there
also: 1999 37ft wilderness travel trailer
and: Yes, it is 37 ft and it is huge. The seller said most don't pull a TT that long because they usually go to a 5th wheel
followed by: Yes, one large slide off the living room/dinette area....

This just sounds like an immensely heavy trailer! I mean, AS are supposed to be considered lightweight, and a 34 of the same year weighs... well, a 43 Limited with slide out has a gvwr of 10,500, and dry weight of 9,800. I wonder what her Wilderness weighs? i would guesstimate 30 to 40% more!

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 12-18-2005, 02:17 PM   #6
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Holy cow, that's a big trailer! I really had no idea the big trailers and fivers could weigh that much! I'm pulling about 40% of the capacity of my tow vehicle, and sometimes it feels heavy going up steep hills. What happens if you take a borderline tow vehicle and have to pull 20k pounds up a mountain?
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Holy cow, that's a big trailer! ........ What happens if you take a borderline tow vehicle and have to pull 20k pounds up a mountain?

Just think of the fun your going to have when you make it to the top and get started rolling down the other side. Sounds like a "White Knuckle" situation to me!
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:31 PM   #8
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That sounds worse than the orginal situation...those extended vans are not the best for towing...especially a trailer that size.

Aaron
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