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Old 04-20-2020, 09:59 PM   #1
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Before I purchase

All,

I've been lurking on sites like this for quite some time. I've done a lot of research on the topic of towing safely as I am in the market for a travel trailer. We have had a pop up for the last ten years, so there hasn't been much concern. Most people that I know pull trailers with their half tons tell me that I'm overthinking this. Most dealers I've asked these questions to are wondering why I am questioning pulling these "ultra lite" trailers. So I would appreciate some feedback here as I've tried to limit my shopping to trailers I feel I could tow.

I have a 2012 f150 Scab with the 5.0 V8. Tow capacity with a WDH is 9,200 lbs.
My payload is 1508 lbs
Gear Ratio 3.73
GVWR: 7350 LB
Front GAWR: 3750 LB
Rear GAWR: 3850 LB

I'm looking at a couple different trailers, one of them being a Dutchmen, Aspen Trail 2340 BHS, which is an overall length of 27.6 ft.
Dry Weight: 5,700 LB
Payload: 1,860 LB
GVWR: 7,560 LB
This trailer has a 52 gallon fresh water tank which I would plan to not fill til I got to my destination if needed.(whenever possible)

The other trailer I'm looking at is similar, it's a Heartland North trail 24BHS. It has an overall length of 27.9 ft.
Dry Weight: 5,610 LB
Payload: 1,258 LB
GVWR: 6,868 LB
The payload on this trailer is less partly because the tanks are only 40 gallons each (I think that's why).

I'm looking for some advise from those who have much more expertise than I do on this topic. There are so many differing opinions and infromation out there that I think I've confused and scared myself to not even getting a travel trailer. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks is advance.
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Old 04-21-2020, 03:51 PM   #2
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Here is my take on some of this, If the trailer totally loaded weight is will within the tow vehicle max weight capacity then you should be ok provided that tongue wight and load in bed does not exceed payload. You will need a good weight distribution hitch for your set up and hopefully the dealer will help you with this.



Regarding fresh water tank we usually travel with about 10 gallons or so of water that way we have water for any lunch stops etc. We also travel with a few gallons in the black and grey tanks along with Happy Camper tank chemical.



We like our 2016 Aspen Trail Trailer, it is pretty much a base model which is fine for us and do not want all the extras. Ours has good storage for all the stuff you take along on the trip.



Finally do a pre delivery inspection of the trailer and make sure everything works and the fit and finish is good. And make sure everything is fixed before sign the last paperwork and take delivery, as it could sit on the lot waiting for service for months.


On our we changed the tires to Goodyear Endurance pretty much right away as most trailer tires are just plain junk. Also you will want to use the fully loaded weight for your tires selection to make sure they will carry the load.
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Our 4th trailer (2016 Aspen Trail 1900RB)
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:37 PM   #3
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Chily3 gives good advice above.

Don't pay any attention to what the salesperson says about tow-ability. You are correct to look elsewhere for that advice. Their motivation is to sell. After the sale, it is all on you.

The 7,000# TT will push your tow vehicle limits. After you subtract tongue weight and WDH weight from your TV (tow vehicle) cargo capacity, there will be little left for passengers and luggage.

Tongue weights should be between 10 and 15% of actual weight. Both of my TT came with tongue weights of 20 to 30%. The dealer would not allow me to get actual tongue weights before the sale. I had to make major loading changes to the TT balance to reduce the tongue weights.

If you are going to push your weight limits, I recommend a tongue weight gauge. Amazon has some for about $130. The gauges are portable and can be easily taken to the dealers lot. My Kodiak Cub tongue weight is now at 10% without water and food. It is at 15% with full tanks and stocked with food.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 04-29-2020, 09:56 PM   #4
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Oklahoma
Tow vehicle

I have a 2017 Dutchman Aspen Trail 2790BHS 32ft. trailer.
Dry Weight 6,497 lbs., Payload Capacity 3,183 lbs., Hitch Weigh t650 lbs.

I pull it with a 2012 Ford f150 SuperCrew Cab with an Echo-boost six cylinder engine which is rated to tow 11,300 lbs. I hardly know the trailer is there. It accelerates and climbs like a dream. I use a Reese Strait-Line® 1,200 lb Trunnion Style Weight Distribution Kit. I traded a round bar torsion hitch with sway control added on both sides for the strait line trunnion system which gives both load leveling and dynamic sway control all in one. It allows for much tighter turns when parking and maneuvering in the campground. No need to remove sway control friction blades. Sway control and load leveling are both accomplished by the trunnion bars. A really innovative system. We have a lot of wind in Oklahoma where we live and this system is a real blessing. I no longer drive with white knuckles.

Check out this stress test of the Echboost engine on youtube.

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Old 04-29-2020, 10:03 PM   #5
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I have a 2017 Dutchman Aspen Trail 2790BHS 32ft. trailer.
Dry Weight 6,497 lbs., Payload Capacity 3,183 lbs., Hitch Weigh t650 lbs.

I pull it with a 2012 Ford f150 SuperCrew Cab with an Echo-boost six cylinder engine which is rated to tow 11,300 lbs. I hardly know the trailer is there. It accelerates and climbs like a dream. I use a Reese Strait-Line® 1,200 lb Trunnion Style Weight Distribution Kit. I traded a round bar torsion hitch with sway control added on both sides for the strait line trunnion system which gives both load leveling and dynamic sway control all in one. It allows for much tighter turns when parking and maneuvering in the campground. No need to remove sway control friction blades. Sway control and load leveling are both accomplished by the trunnion bars. A really innovative system. We have a lot of wind in Oklahoma where we live and this system is a real blessing. I no longer drive with white knuckles.

Check out this stress test of the Echboost engine on youtube.

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Old 04-29-2020, 11:58 PM   #6
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The real answer you want involves math and a trip to the CAT scales. First thing you need to know is how much does the truck weigh. Fill the tank, estimate what you will have in the cab and bed when towing, that includes people, tools etc. and get a base weight. Make sure you actually HAVE what you will be taking in the truck!

From the GVWR on the door tag subtract the scale weight. Now multiply your free payload by .13(13%). The result is the maximum travel trailer weight your truck can tow and stay within the ratings. I can guarantee you it is NO where near 9200 pounds! You will be lucky if it comes out to 7000 pounds.

Now that you have the GTW you can shop for a travel trailer within that GVWR. The reason I use 13% is because it is right in the middle of recommend tongue weight for any vehicle, 10-15%. It is also a percentage I have found to handle the best at the lightest TW. Anything below 13% gave me issues regardless of how good the hitch is. My first tow home with my Coleman was scary and put me in that WTH did I do moment, it was at 11% TW and trucks moved me all over the road as they went by. Once I loaded the trailer and got it up to a little over 13% it towed great.
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Old 04-30-2020, 01:24 PM   #7
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Tail Wagging The Dog...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenk2fish View Post
All,

I've been lurking on sites like this for quite some time. I've done a lot of research on the topic of towing safely as I am in the market for a travel trailer. We have had a pop up for the last ten years, so there hasn't been much concern. Most people that I know pull trailers with their half tons tell me that I'm overthinking this. Most dealers I've asked these questions to are wondering why I am questioning pulling these "ultra lite" trailers. So I would appreciate some feedback here as I've tried to limit my shopping to trailers I feel I could tow.

I have a 2012 f150 Scab with the 5.0 V8. Tow capacity with a WDH is 9,200 lbs.
My payload is 1508 lbs
Gear Ratio 3.73
GVWR: 7350 LB
Front GAWR: 3750 LB
Rear GAWR: 3850 LB

I'm looking at a couple different trailers, one of them being a Dutchmen, Aspen Trail 2340 BHS, which is an overall length of 27.6 ft.
Dry Weight: 5,700 LB
Payload: 1,860 LB
GVWR: 7,560 LB
This trailer has a 52 gallon fresh water tank which I would plan to not fill til I got to my destination if needed.(whenever possible)

The other trailer I'm looking at is similar, it's a Heartland North trail 24BHS. It has an overall length of 27.9 ft.
Dry Weight: 5,610 LB
Payload: 1,258 LB
GVWR: 6,868 LB
The payload on this trailer is less partly because the tanks are only 40 gallons each (I think that's why).

I'm looking for some advise from those who have much more expertise than I do on this topic. There are so many differing opinions and infromation out there that I think I've confused and scared myself to not even getting a travel trailer. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks is advance.
Firstly, what are you using it for? Short weekend and occasional same coast vacations? If so all the above responses are great.
Remember your gross vehicle weight and the size (Height) & weight of the travel trailer. That travel trailer is a huge sail going down the highway and you need (MUST) a weight distribution/Sway Control system absolutely.
I chose to err a little more on the safety side with a truck as close to the gross vehicle weight of my trailer as possible so in an emergency situation that “Tail” of a trailer does not control me any more that I can help it.
On the make of the RV personally I wish I would have gone back to a Heartland product. I owned two “Northtrail” travel trailers and the build quality was excellent. Dutchman kinda sucks big time in that department.
STAY AWAY FROM CAMPING WORLD RV CENTERS TO PURCHASE ANY RV!
I have been an RV’er for 25 years and I am still learning.
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