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Author Topic: Yet another tow vehicle decision  (Read 3970 times)

rvannie23

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Yet another tow vehicle decision
« on: January 25, 2017, 11:19:32 AM »
Okay guys here is the deal. I have a 2014 Keystone Laredo 274rb TT. Love it. I don't travel often and mostly for work so the three times I have moved it I had it towed by a friend and then another time towed by a company. It wasn't too expensive and it saved me a headache.

But, the time has come to put my big girl pants on and do it myself especially since I plan to move around more next year. I can't be dependent on others forever. I have seen women driving big rigs in camps before with no issue. My mom used to drive our 25 foot class C when I was a kid and although she refused to ever back it up, we got places just fine without having to. Aside from the initial fear of being able to do it, I think like anything the more you do it the better you get and the more routine it is until it doesn't phase you.

Now on to the truck. I have done a TON of research, looked at specs and weights, and asked guys at work who have been towing campers and all sorts of things since before I was born. This is what I've got.

At 7800 combined shipping and carrying capacity (rated) I can easily tow with a 1/2 ton, even with a full crew cab and 4 wheel drive. The Toyota Tundra was my choice...it's nice looking, good features, reasonable pricing, and when I drove it it handled much better than the 1500 Silverado. I know the gas mileage isn't great but I'll handle it.

Ideally though I'd like a diesel because they're just more efficient. Yes the cost is higher but they're also stronger and I feel like I would feel better with the truck having more power than I needed. I've driven the f250 quite a bit and it's bulky but it's nice. I currently have a Ford Edge now so if I can stay in the family that would be great. A lightly used one is in my price range.

NOW THE QUESTION: ford is putting out a diesel option for the new f150 late this year. It will increase towing capacity a smidge (though no numbers yet) and it will still be an overall smaller vehicle than an f250 or similar.

So do I wait till the end of the year and (possibly) have to pay to have the camper moved one more time before I get my truck, or do I go with the monsterous f250 now, which is possibly going to be cheaper used than a brand new f150 later in the year.

Suggestions? Is more capacity really better/safer? Any other insight? Are you a woman who tows alone? Guys: does your wife help with the driving?

Thanks!

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2015 Duramax
FL - MS - TX

RVRAC

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 11:40:08 AM »
First, I am not a women, but can tell you the more truck you have the better.  I used to tow a 6,600 TT with a 1500 HD Silverado that was supposed to pull 10K without a problem.  That was as much as I would pull with a 1/2 ton.  At 7800, you will be better with a F250, it should not cost a lot more than the new F150 diesel as brand new models are usually more expensive the first couple years.  If in the future you travel through hills and mountains, you will be more comfortable. MHO.
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rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 12:04:07 PM »
First, I am not a women, but can tell you the more truck you have the better.  I used to tow a 6,600 TT with a 1500 HD Silverado that was supposed to pull 10K without a problem.  That was as much as I would pull with a 1/2 ton.  At 7800, you will be better with a F250, it should not cost a lot more than the new F150 diesel as brand new models are usually more expensive the first couple years.  If in the future you travel through hills and mountains, you will be more comfortable. MHO.

That's exactly what I was thinking. it's possible Utah will be in my plans for august of this year, and I don't want to have any issues going up hills or more specifically going down them. The model tundra I want is rated at like 9100 I think. So that sounds like it wouldn't be a great match.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 12:11:25 PM »
I pulled my current trailer with a 2013 Ram Quad cab with a 5.7 hemi. I loaded light to stay at or below 8200# to keep it right at the weight specs. I had no problems pulling at all. I had been passed (both ways) by semi's, driven in 25-30 mph crosswinds, had do do an emergency brake and maneuver when a car did a right hand turn in front of me on the highway at 55 mph, and the truck handled it nicely. I don't know what the specs on a Tundra are, but I'm sure they're close to the Ram. I do agree with RVRAC on the more truck you have, the better, but a carefully chosen Tundra should do you well. Your tongue weight could be as high as 1170# if the trailer is loaded to the max and you put a full 15% tongue weight on the truck. When shopping, pay particular attention to the payload listed on the yellow sticker when you open the driver's door. Make sure there's enough available payload to carry the trailer's tongue weight, weight of the hitch, and everything else you will be putting in the truck. I posted my opinion about diesels in another thread you started.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,102070.0.html

Just read your reply to RVRAC where you stated "Utah". That changes things a bit. I've never towed out West, so were I you, I would listen to the advice given by those who have. East side if the Mississippi, I probably wouldn't balk at towing with a correctly spec'ed Tundra.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 12:14:40 PM by kdbgoat »
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SeilerBird

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 12:29:46 PM »
I agree, the mountains in Utah dictate a really powerful truck. Also if you get a bigger truck than you really need you will be able to upgrade your trailer in the future without upgrading the truck.
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rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 12:31:28 PM »
Kdb:  going out west does change it. That's where my big concern is. I definitely see the downside of the deisel price/upkeep wise. But, as an investment, I think long term when properly maintained they last quite a bit longer than a gas engine. My camper is generally not filled to the brim with items, I've purged most of my stuff since I've been full timing. In fact my pass through storage is mostly empty minus some tools and lube spray for my jacks and stuff. I am interested in taking it to a weigh station though to get a firm weight on it though. Just for my own knowledge.

Utah isn't for sure, but I would like to head west eventually, and of course don't want to up and buy a new truck when I decide to go.

I have never heard of the exhaust temp being an issue, but I guess it makes sense since the front of the camper is so close to the exhaust? Have you ever had/heard of a serious problem with that?
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rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2017, 12:33:42 PM »
I agree, the mountains in Utah dictate a really powerful truck. Also if you get a bigger truck than you really need you will be able to upgrade your trailer in the future without upgrading the truck.

Agree! I love my TT but to be honest if I got something more long term job wise, I would want to upgrade to a fifth wheel. It would be nice to only incur the expense of a new camper and not a matching tow vehicle.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2017, 12:36:53 PM »
I really don't think you would mind having more truck than you need. It is a lot better than not having enough truck. In my ten years of hanging around this forum I have never heard anyone complain about having too big of a truck.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 02:04:34 PM »
Exhaust gas temp is an issue close to the engine, not the tailpipe. When a diesel is working really hard, the exhaust gas temp rises and could get too hot, causing severe problems with the engine and turbo. With stock engines, that's probably not something to worry about, but when modified, it can be an issue.
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rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 02:20:39 PM »
Exhaust gas temp is an issue close to the engine, not the tailpipe. When a diesel is working really hard, the exhaust gas temp rises and could get too hot, causing severe problems with the engine and turbo. With stock engines, that's probably not something to worry about, but when modified, it can be an issue.

Oh haha good to know. Yeah I hadn't come across that in anything I've looked for. I'd say anytime you modify anything from the stock set up you might be in dangerous territory anyway.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 02:45:51 PM »
Just putting these up here to show a 6.2 gasser can't handle mountains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upXsZIoR2VU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeSFP7gyjnk

If those guys had learned to use the "manual" feature of the transmission, they probably could have gone up another gear so they wouldn't be pulling that high of rpms. Yep, them gassers are gutless in mountains.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 02:53:54 PM »
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rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 03:39:18 PM »
 So seems like it's plausible with a gas engine. Yes, it's powerful and can work, but you're going to be pushing it pretty hard. I'd feel bad about doing that to a truck I just spent a ton of money on.  Diesel it is I believe  ;D
I'm also partial to the f250 bc I do a lot of driving in my edge, like 42,000 miles just this year, all done by me, and the car is so comfortable. And if having more truck is indeed better, f250 diesel seems like the way to go.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 03:48:09 PM »
So seems like it's plausible with a gas engine. Yes, it's powerful and can work, but you're going to be pushing it pretty hard. I'd feel bad about doing that to a truck I just spent a ton of money on.  Diesel it is I believe  ;D
I'm also partial to the f250 bc I do a lot of driving in my edge, like 42,000 miles just this year, all done by me, and the car is so comfortable. And if having more truck is indeed better, f250 diesel seems like the way to go.
For me the gas vs diesel argument is a matter of the right tool for the right job. If you are towing a car and going up and down mountains then the diesel is the right tool, otherwise a gasser is more appropriate.
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jackiemac

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2017, 05:41:40 PM »
We tow up hill with our gas hemi.  We get very low mpg whilst doing so and the noise from our engine is hardly noticeable. You need to use the truck gearing appropriately. If very steep we could use 4wd low if necessary.
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grashley

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2017, 05:52:34 PM »
I have many conflicting thoughts in my head right now.

Too much truck (F250) is never a problem.  With just you as a passenger, most half tons should do fine.

A Diesel is certainly more powerful, especially in the mountains.  They get better fuel economy, but fuel is more expensive.  Diesels cost a bit more to maintain.  A good gas motor should do fine in the mountains towing 7800#.  Just do not get in a real big hurry.  Gas motors are a bit more daily driver friendly. Diesels like to run long trips, not grocery store runs.  Diesels cost an extra $8,000 up front.

The published tow ratings are basically advertising rubbish.  They assume base model, VERY lightly optioned, 2 passengers at 150# each, no cargo, nothing else in the truck except a full tank of fuel.  Here is a much better calculation.

A 7800# GVWR TT will have a hitch weight of 800# and 900#.  The WD hitch will weigh about 80#.  Let's round up for safety and assume the TT will place 1000# on the truck.  Now add your weight, any passengers, pets, tools and cargo carried in the truck.  YOUR truck must be able to carry that much weight, hopefully more.

On every vehicle since 2009, there is a yellow label on the driver door B pillar (where the door latches) which states the maximum weight of cargo and passengers shall not exceed  XXXX.  This is the payload for THAT truck as it left the factory.  Make sure any truck you buy has a number that exceeds your needs.  It  should not be hard to find, but there will be trucks that do not meet this basic criteria.

My personal preference is to buy used.  There are lots of 2014 and newer F150, F250 and Tundra on the market that have been well treated with low miles and still under warranty that can save you thousands compared to new.

I hope there is at least one bit of wisdom from my rambling that helps.  Remember, it is YOUR choice, not ours!

Enjoy the search!
Preacher Gordon
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glen54737

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2017, 05:50:27 AM »
The F-150 Diesel won't be out until late in 2018 model year.
I would go with a used F250 diesel too, I have towed fairly large trailers with a F150 and it works pretty hard.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2017, 06:08:33 AM »
My point is that someone stating "you have to have a diesel" as a statement of fact, when it isn't a fact. How many Class A gassers run those same mountains pulling a more weight than a pickup and trailer. The way one drives is akin to dirt biking-If you have a two stoke, run it at high revs to stay in the powerband, if four stroke, go a gear up and keeps the revs lower in it's powerband. Two stroke compared to a gasser and four stroke compared to a diesel. One must also realize there are folks out there that will have others so worried about weight and power that they start thinking they need a 1 ton diesel dually just to go to the store for 20# bag of dog food.
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Dreamsend

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2017, 07:00:38 AM »
It seems to me that gas vs. diesel is way to simplified to be meaningful.  The important information lies in the horsepower, torque, rpms, transmission, and the gear ratio that impacts these.  It also seems that many of the remarks being made about gas engines are nearly 10 years out of date as at least one manufacturer now uses new engine technology, that along with gearing in tow/haul mode, is very suited to towing in the mountains - up and down. Need I mention the truck I'm talking about?  And the people making the definitive statements have never driven/towed with newer gas engines/transmission, so their experience is only relevant for older technologies. Diesels are more expensive up front (on a new vehicle, about $7000.00), more expensive to maintain, and fuel is more expensive.  They reportedly don't get better gas mileage than some newer gasoline engine tech per actual users.  Read the posts about mountain towing by actual users of eco-boost F150s which overwhelming state they are happy and note that it is a beast of an engine.  I'm not saying ALL gasoline engines being offered will compare favorably with diesel, but at least one does, and it should figure into any statements being made nowdays.

I guess I should add that whichever choice, it must be capable of safely and reliably handling the payload and towed weights that are expected.  In some cases, this may necessitate diesel, just like sometimes it necessitates DRW vs. SRW.

To the OP, you will find that looking at truck forums where people post about their actual experience towing in the mountains with late model F150s, F250s (and equivalents, and paying attention to what engine and gear ratio they have) will provide you with some first-hand information that is based on recent technologies vs. outdated ones.   Just use Google search and you'll find lots.

As has been said already, the decision is yours of course, based on your current or planned future needs.  I'm also looking to decide between an F150 eco-boost or a F250 diesel (both suitably equipped for towing), and trying to pin down current vs. future needs, so am not unfamiliar with your conundrum and information about both. 

Linda
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(6.2L V-8, crew cab, 4x4, off-road, 4.3 axle)

rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2017, 08:23:35 AM »
There certainly is tons of info out there spec wise and even more in regards of actual user experiences which I have found helpful. I do agree it's more complicated than diesel vs gas but I think in general, without diving so far into specs that you go crazy, the diesels tend to be on the heavy duty side.

I do drive quite a bit, long distances especially, and so diesel engines do appeal to me. Right now I drive from east MS to San Antonio TX pretty regularly, once or twice every couple months. If my plans for Utah come through id be hauling from San Antonio, set up, and then probably take a couple trips (without the camper) to Tahoe in CA and Oregon. This year alone I put 40,000 miles on my car...so longevity is something I'm interested in. I think diesels provide that. I don't mind the extra expense in caring for an engine that I know will carry me through many years. A lot of people haul with older diesels that they have maintained and have no issues even at 100k+ miles.

Waiting to see what plans get solidified and then I'll have to make a choice. Agreed that used is better. I bought my current car brand new because I was naive and excited to buy my first car without my parents help...and now that that's faded I'm happy to go used. Thanks for everyone's help.

Linda: I will definitely look more intensely at the gas mileage newer engines are putting out. That seems like it could be big factor

Kdb: lmao at your dog food comment. I agree with that! People get really insane about towing specs.
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gwcowgill

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2017, 08:37:47 AM »
EGT (Exhaust gas temps) should not be a problem if you are within the towing capacity of the diesel truck. My old Dodge 5.7L Cummins would never exceed the EGT unless I overloaded the trailer and even then you just reduce throttle and it would stay within specs. The newer diesels have more torque and HP. There is never such a thing as too much truck so go with what you feel comfortable with and fits your pocketbook. Get out and enjoy that RV.

BTW, my old Dodge was chipped so you could easily push the EGT with a Combination on the trailer.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 08:43:59 AM by gwcowgill »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2017, 09:09:57 AM »
I can't argue against "more is better", but at some point "sufficient" is, well, sufficient. And there are reasons for having a less brawny truck too, meaning towing isn't the only consideration.

With a trailer GVWR of 7800, which implies a tongue weight in the 800-950 range, there are half ton models that will have the capacity to handle that well. Get past the generics and look at the individual truck specs for both tow capacity and Payload (Cargo Capacity). If those are sufficient with some margin to spare, you need not worry about having "issues".

As for the Tundra, it has the basic capability to handle that trailer, but you have to watch the specifics of the configuration. By the time you add the nice cab and sundry features, you may find the payload and towing capacity has shrunk substantially. The numbers in the brochures do not apply to any and all Tundras and the range is broad. Some Tundras are as low as 6800 lbs towing.  Max payload is calculated by subtracting the truck curb weight (+ driver weight) from GVWR, so adding a bigger cab or options will increase curb weight while GVWR remains the same.

Modern gas engines are good for 200k or more miles, so I don't think durability vs the small truck diesels need be a major concern for most owners.. The diesels have expensive parts that are likely to need replacement in the first 200k miles as well, so it's not a given that they are more durable. Diesel injectors and fuel pumps typically die long before the engine block needs a rebuild. Alternators, starter motors, radiators and such last about the same regardless of gas vs diesel.
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rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2017, 09:33:24 AM »
So the tundra with the full crew cab, with 4wd, and the platinum edition which has all the creature comforts one could ask for, does have a reduced capacity from the regular cab base model. Of course. But even with the additions it still has the capacity to handle the trailer. Everything I own, which isn't much since I have a sticks and bricks house to keep seasonal clothing and other stuff that just qualifies as storage items, is in the trailer. So I don't expect to fill the bed with tons of items. I have some camping chairs and that's about it. The truck specs assume two 150 pound passengers and a full tank of gas. I'm 130 but let's say 150 since I eat burgers and fries on the road  ;D that still leaves me some wiggle room weight wise. An extra 150 may not be much, but i think it helps off set how the tow ratings are set. I could be wrong, that's just how I see it.

Is hte tundra sufficient? Yes. More than enough truck to haul the camper. And there's lots of user evidence online to support that. People who pull heavier trailers with the tundra and say it handles great. But if I go out west I would be concerned climbing steep grades, and descending, with the tundra.

As was already mentioned, a possible trailer upgrade to a 5th wheel is possible in the next couple years. So it would be nice to have the truck to support it. On the other hand, the tundra is a more affordable vehicle and I could probably swing trading it in a couple years as well. It's a tough call.

I'm searching for some threads that deal with towing out west to see people's opinions.

Can anyone tell me what exactly effects how much sway you get when passed by a semi or a high cross wind? Is it the power of the engine basically propelling the camper and truck in the forward direction or is it the weight of the truck in relation to the trailer or both? Does that make sense?
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BigLarry

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2017, 09:50:09 AM »
I would recommend your decision be made based on how much you'll be towing your trailer.  If less than 25% of the trucks use is towing, you should  strongly consider the 1/2 Ton gas truck.  Many of them are capable and will do the job you need to do.  If you're going to use the truck mostly for towing, the 3/4 Ton would be a solid consideration, especially if you're going to be in the Mountain West much of the time. 

I've towed with both.  The 1/2 Ton gas truck rides better, gets better fuel economy when not towing and is cheaper to buy and maintain.  The Diesel 3/4 Ton is a dream to drive while towing.  Lots of power, much quieter when pulling hills.  It's just a much more enjoyable experience. 

Good Luck
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kdbgoat

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2017, 09:59:56 AM »
Can anyone tell me what exactly effects how much sway you get when passed by a semi or a high cross wind? Is it the power of the engine basically propelling the camper and truck in the forward direction or is it the weight of the truck in relation to the trailer or both? Does that make sense?

The weight of the truck vs trailer is only a small part of it. My opinion- the length and height of the trailer have the most effect. If pulling a trailer full of steel weighing 10k# and travel trailer weighing 10k#, the wind wind from passing semi's and also normal crosswinds will have more effect on the camper than the flat loaded trailer. The "sail effect" is what gets you. If hit by a hard crosswind, the weight difference will then start affecting the ability to handle the sway. The wheelbase and track width of the tow vehicle plays a pretty good part in it too. The longer the wheelbase and wider the track, the more stable it will be. Having the correct tongue weight and a weight distributing hitch that has integral sway control built in also helps control the sway when it happens. The stiffness of the tow vehicle's suspension also has a part in it.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 10:01:35 AM by kdbgoat »
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glen54737

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2017, 10:02:41 AM »

Can anyone tell me what exactly effects how much sway you get when passed by a semi or a high cross wind? Is it the power of the engine basically propelling the camper and truck in the forward direction or is it the weight of the truck in relation to the trailer or both? Does that make sense?
Sway can be caused by a truck passing or high winds. It's easier to see in a boat when you are in a little one and a large boat goes speeding past the wake will affect the boat. The truck that passes you is pushing air which will act on the side of the trailer, which will transfer the force to the truck.

Ways to control sway are to have a heavier truck which makes it harder to push around.
Or to make the connection more rigid with anti-sway friction bars.
Or to take the leverage away from the trailer with a special hitch like Hensley Arrow or ProPride or fifth wheel.
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BIG JOE

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2017, 11:37:22 AM »


It's NOT how FAST you can go Down the road, Up the grade, or Down the grade.. It's how WELL your equipment can do it, based on it's Horsepower & Torque, in relation to the GVW of the equipment.

We need to OPERATE the equipment, not just DRIVE it, weather it be a TT, FW or MH. Gas or Diesel.

Horsepower gets you up to Speed. Torque keeps you there. Drivetrain gearing, and it's use by the operator controls that.

It's Safer to have [More Than Adequate] Horsepower, Torque, Suspension and Braking.. for the Payload towed, carried or pushed..

 

Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

rvannie23

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2017, 12:52:54 PM »
Big Joe, can you elaborate a little more on the operation portion? I sort of thought an automaticr did everything for you for the most part (minus of course ya know, steering and such). How much actual operation in an automatic truck would I need to put into it going up and down big hills?  Gear changing or something? Not that it's an issue, but I've never driven a manual transmission...so if there's a little more "work" that has to go into it I'd like to know so I know how many learning curves I'm going to be dealing with at once  ;)

I agree with you on speed. I'm not looking to go very fast and I understand the ramifications of what could happen towing a trailer and doing 70 down the interstate. I10 through LA into TX is full of 1/2 ton trucks hauling 5th wheels and they fly right past me in my regular car doing 75. I'd be lying if I said I don't judge them pretty harshly.

My sentiments are more that I'd rather have more than less, and no harm in doing so. It feels safer to me. And since I'm alone, I tend to go bigger than go smaller and be sorry or miss something.
2014 Laredo 274rb TT
2015 Duramax
FL - MS - TX

BIG JOE

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2017, 02:23:38 PM »
Big Joe, can you elaborate a little more on the operation portion? I sort of thought an automatic did everything for you for the most part (minus of course ya know, steering and such).

** An Auto Trans will do most of the work for you, but if you anticipate load demands... manually up & down shifting will be better/easier on your trucks Engine & Trans. Yul need to get to know your trucks capabilities, and it's needs.. with the trailer in tow.

 How much actual operation in an automatic truck would I need to put into it going up and down big hills?  Gear changing or something?

** The above applies ?

Not that it's an issue, but I've never driven a manual transmission...so if there's a little more "work" that has to go into it I'd like to know so I know how many learning curves I'm going to be dealing with at once  ;)

** There is a bit more "Work" to a manual trans because YOU, not the ECM, will have to up & down shift.. as needed.

I agree with you on speed. I'm not looking to go very fast and I understand the ramifications of what could happen towing a trailer and doing 70 down the interstate. I10 through LA into TX is full of 1/2 ton trucks hauling 5th wheels and they fly right past me in my regular car doing 75. I'd be lying if I said I don't judge them pretty harshly.

** Bottom Line ? TT & FW tires are designed for 65 MPH.. Max

My sentiments are more that I'd rather have more than less, and no harm in doing so. It feels safer to me. And since I'm alone, I tend to go bigger than go smaller and be sorry or miss something.

Your Call.. But when you've made your choices on the pickup & trailer you end up with .. hook it up, loaded & ready to hit the road. Ask a friend that has some experience with that sort of thing.. and take some Short Day Trips around your local area.. in varied traffic and road conditions.. Get To Know What You Have.. And How It Handles.. And How You NEED To Handle IT.

Learn to operate more on RPM's, rather than MPH.

Even if you've towed things before.. what you have now will be New To You.. Get to know it ?

An empty area of a big Parking Lot is a Good Thing. Set some milk cartons up. Make some turns, do some backing. It's All Good !!

And.....Post up any specifics you might have, on here. We're here to help.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 02:29:02 PM by BIG JOE »
Joe

Tow an 016 29RS "Reflection" 5r w/Trailair pin box...with a 2012 Ford DRW, F-350, 4x4, Loaded de-Blinged Lariat CC, 6.7 Diesel.. Wife & I, Beck & Sheeka the Dogs.. And as of 5-17.. Lizzie, the Kitten in Training.

Dreamsend

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Re: Yet another tow vehicle decision
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2017, 03:46:18 PM »
Changing Gears.  As Joe has said, it's all about keeping your truck/trailer in the power band of the engine depending on speed which is reflected by the rpms.  The lower the gear, (in manual terms, 1st, 2nd, etc. up through overdrive at 5th generally) the higher the rpms.  As you gain speed through the gear range, your rpms go down until you're humming along at highway speeds and low rpms.  The automatic you drive now goes through the same gear shifting, but you may or may not have a tachometer that lets you see your rpms as you accelerate or decelerate through the gear levels.  I think (?) this relationship is impacted by the gear ratios of the truck. 

For going uphill, you need more power so generally one thinks about using a lower gear at higher rpms and thus a lower speed.   For downhill, you got several tons of trailer pushing you and trying to increase your speed beyond safe limits, so to slow down, you also use lower gears, at higher rpms and allow the engine rather than your brakes to do the work.  Easy if you have a manual.  Now today, with automatic transmissions, the trucks I've looked at come with a tow/haul mode selector, which takes the actual manual gearshifting away and does it automatically.  You would use tow/haul mode for both uphill and downhill, cause I've heard that ancient wisdom says you need to go down the hill at the same speed you went the hill.   The tow/haul mode locks out the higher gears so that the truck uses lower gears, at higher rpms, leading to hopefully less speed.  So it is still automatic, you just have to to turn on the tow/haul I think.  One complaint I've heard about mountain towing with automatics is that there are situations where the transmission does a lot of shifting and searching for the "best" gear, which can get annoying, but is not really harming the truck.  And, no cruise control even in the hills I guess.  And I agree, speed up the hill is not a big deal to me, but power is.

Oh yeah, and somewhere in here you have to watch your engine temps because all that work the transmission is doing is heating up the transmission fluid - a lot, especially in hot weather when there isn't much of a thermal gradient compared to ambient air temps.  To help with that, a Max Tow Pkg. (maybe any tow pkg.) should include a transmission fluid cooler, and, if possible, an upgraded engine oil cooler.  No one wants to be that forlorn person parked in the Scenic Pull-out on a mountain grade with steam pouring from the engine.

The whole point to being more in control and selecting gears is to save the brakes on a downhill.  If you have to ride the brakes to control your speed, especially on long descents, they can overheat and fade, which means you loose all stopping ability.  Scary!  It is recommended that if you need to brake, one only does so in short bursts, and as little as possible, and you have to learn to use the trailer brakes as well.  As already stated, the time to know how you are going to get down the hill, i.e. speed, is when you're at the crest of the hill, not half way down the descent.  You want to be at a lower speed and in a higher gear.

I'm just wrapping my head around all this too, so thanks for a chance to explain how I understand at least part of it.

Linda
Linda with kitties Sarah & Samson
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka La Belle Beast;
(6.2L V-8, crew cab, 4x4, off-road, 4.3 axle)

 

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