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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 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 ton truck typically has larger brakes than the ton model.
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by switz View Post
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 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 ton truck typically has larger brakes than the ton model.
Even if I subtract the 380 lbs for my wife, myself, and my dog. That is still within the 15%. I doubt I would ever load the AS to full 10,000 lbs. Oh, crud I have to take into account dog food, a couple of hundred pounds for Fido the Pit Bull/Catahoula Hound eating machine.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:37 PM   #16
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Titan XD is a big diesel truck. It should do the 34' with ease let alone a 30'11" Classic.

Swiss you think manufacturers suggested maximum payload is a critical number. I think its a dis service. If we all used axle ratings and CVWR you have people weighing their load and distributing weight making for a safer tow. They would also see if when & how much a WDH would benefit them. When I go thru DOT state scales & Port of entrees they weigh the truck & trailer and are concerned with axle weights for safety well and their fees. Today truck stop CAT scales are all over as are grain scales, scrapyard scales landfill scales etc all for a couple bucks. As are state scales & Port of entrees that can normally be accessed for free when they are not open which is generally more often then they are open.

I am just sharing a different perspective. Just saying if small vehicles did like big trucks and went by axle ratings & CVWR when they load up we would have safer highways. Not saying everyone should have to go thru a scale house like big trucks when traveling but that you should weight your axles and this will make people aware of their weight distribution and they will see when they need to re distribute weight as well as benefit from a WDH or air bags. It just so much more concrete and rational than saying I'm allowed 1,450 pounds on my tongue or payload. Headlights in the air dangerous as fok but the manual says Ima legal.

If you have a really old truck with four wheel drum brakes and an equally old AS and neither have been updated well then brakes are an issue. But modern half tons and or most TVs not so much plus todays TTs come with better brakes. Instead of saying buy a bigger truck for bigger brakes say make sure you have a trailer brake controller. And if you have a diesel TV take advantage of a turbo brake. If your diesel TV doesn't have one consider a software upgrade that incorporates one.

Proper prep is safety, short cutting it by using a bigger truck is not.

Anyway cannon fodder for discussion or food for thought
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:37 PM   #17
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When we bought our 30 footer, I owned a half ton 4x4 that we had used to pull a previous 27 foot extra light (non AS) trailer for which it seemed very well matched.

We had previously towed the 27 footer with a Safari mini van and I always felt we were on the verge of getting into handling difficulties with it. It was much more relaxing when we moved up to the half ton.

Well, we towed the 30 ft Airstream home from Ohio to Ontario without incident , but I was back into that same nervousness that things just felt a little marginal - and I didn't like that!

So I moved up to a 3/4 ton as well as a Hensley hitch - and the towing experience is now perfect for me - very enjoyable and i would do exactly the same again.

Perhaps the Hensley alone would have done the trick, I'll never know, but I decided that since this would likely be our last RV I might as well treat myself and set it up the best way I knew how.

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Old 09-30-2016, 03:06 PM   #18
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Some of us are forgetting that max tow weight is different than truck payload is different than max trailer weight.
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:10 PM   #19
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"Payload" is marketing. An intern running a spreadsheet.

Axle and tire rating are what matter.

Taking the time to set the hitch correctly (and possible modifications) is what works. A bigger TV is not an answer if safety is what matters. It's only purpose is to carry still more junk.

A 10k GVWR trailer may not weigh any where near that. Put it on a scale. And TW is from 10-15% for best performance.

Real numbers are what matter. Guesstimates are meaningless.
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:49 PM   #20
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I appreciate you input. I am looking at a 30' AS and I am truly concerned if my Nissan Titan XD will pull it. The numbers look good to me. With a a towing capacity of 11,900, I personally think it would be fine. Yes I know there is a vehicular weight and towing capacity issue. As I have said my wife, my dog and myself maybe 380 lbs, dog food 100 lbs a generator 125 lbs, added crud 250 maybe a total of 850 lbs. I think the Nissan is more than adequate. I'd hate to buy the trailer to find I'm off but I personally don't think I'd carry 1300 lbs in the trailer.

FYI I'm planning on towing it from Dallas to Anchorage so the is definitely some steep grade in the mix. I plan on adding a tuner to the truck prior to departure. However, I'm guessing brakes are the bigger issue.

Paul Zmann

Quote:
Originally Posted by VernDiesel View Post
Titan XD is a big diesel truck. It should do the 34' with ease let alone a 30'11" Classic.

Swiss you think manufacturers suggested maximum payload is a critical number. I think its a dis service. If we all used axle ratings and CVWR you have people weighing their load and distributing weight making for a safer tow. They would also see if when & how much a WDH would benefit them. When I go thru DOT state scales & Port of entrees they weigh the truck & trailer and are concerned with axle weights for safety well and their fees. Today truck stop CAT scales are all over as are grain scales, scrapyard scales landfill scales etc all for a couple bucks. As are state scales & Port of entrees that can normally be accessed for free when they are not open which is generally more often then they are open.

I am just sharing a different perspective. Just saying if small vehicles did like big trucks and went by axle ratings & CVWR when they load up we would have safer highways. Not saying everyone should have to go thru a scale house like big trucks when traveling but that you should weight your axles and this will make people aware of their weight distribution and they will see when they need to re distribute weight as well as benefit from a WDH or air bags. It just so much more concrete and rational than saying I'm allowed 1,450 pounds on my tongue or payload. Headlights in the air dangerous as fok but the manual says Ima legal.

If you have a really old truck with four wheel drum brakes and an equally old AS and neither have been updated well then brakes are an issue. But modern half tons and or most TVs not so much plus todays TTs come with better brakes. Instead of saying buy a bigger truck for bigger brakes say make sure you have a trailer brake controller. And if you have a diesel TV take advantage of a turbo brake. If your diesel TV doesn't have one consider a software upgrade that incorporates one.

Proper prep is safety, short cutting it by using a bigger truck is not.

Anyway cannon fodder for discussion or food for thought
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