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chipc

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When we sold our trailer in the early 90's, I vowed to never tow one again. It was not a pleasant experience, it was white knuckle all the time. Now I see RV's on the interstate driving at 70mph. Have hitches and equipment improved that much or maybe I didn't know what I was doing. We are considering a tt, probably around 30 ft behind a 3/4 ton. I am 66 years old, and I don't want to do the white knuckle thing again. Need some real world experiences from everyone.
 
The people driving 70+ MPH are idiots. An accident waiting to happen IMHO. Most RV tires are rated for 65 MPH. If you have the right set up, you'll have no issues towing comfortably.
 
If you have a 3/4 ton, you might get a 5th wheel.  I hear they tow much nicer than a travel trailer.  I pull a travel trailer, 21', all I can say, 30 foot long, and it's windy outside, I don't care what you drive, you'll be gripping the steering wheel.  But yes, they have improved towing with higher quality weight distribution systems and anti-sway.  Your first set-up may have been a disaster and simply gave you a bad memory (obviously).  Another question is: what are your intentions?  Cross country, weeks / months at a time OR weekend, short and only a few week vacations?
 
Welcome to the RV Forum chipc

I would be willing to bet that things have improve quite a bit with today's trucks as well as the hitch designs. That said I still don't go 70 MPH. The hit on my MPG doesn't make it worth while.

The 250 your driving now will have a sticker on the driver's side door jam that will tell you you cargo capacity limits. This will get you started on how much trailer you can handle. Of course this is just a starting point.
 
The "white knuckles" almost sure were a result of an inadequate towing set-up. Maybe a matter of proper adjustment, or perhaps simply an insufficient tow vehicle.

A 3/4 ton pick-up towing a travel trailer with a proper hitch set-up ought to tow in a very civil manner.  A fifth-wheel trailer is even more well-behaved and highly recommended if towing often or for longer distances. Folks tow 35-40 foot 5W with no worries. Not at 70 mph if they are smart, though.
It's not unusual that the tow set-up as it comes home from the RV dealer is NOT optimal. Sometimes not even acceptable. Even if the dealer does a good job, it all goes out the window as soon as you start loading your gear into the trailer. The hitch needs to be re-adjusted for the loaded trailer before you hit the road.
 
Welcome the Forum!

I had a few white knuckle trips in the 70's, 80's and 90's  My issue was (in spite of being trucks) I did not have an adequate tow vehicle.  In the last 30 years, tow vehicles have vastly improved, including more information on how much you can safely tow.  TT aerodynamics have not changed much.  Hitches, especially WD hitches and sway control have improved immensely.  Trailer brake controllers are much improved.

If you loved camping, but hated the drive, it may be worth another look.  If possible, rent a TT about the size you want for a week, and see how it tows.  Or maybe, get a free "test tow"!
 
If you get a Travel Trailer get a Hensley Arrow or ProPride hitch.  They both totally eliminate sway.  Both were designed by Jim Hensley. They are expensive, but worth every penny!
 
I can't answer your question specifically, but I can tell you that I was not comfortable towing my 34 foot TT. I pulled a pop up for years with no discomfort or hesitation. Then I got the TT and white knuckled. I hated it. I ended up being in a roll over accident with it, going under the posted speed limit, and my 6 kids in the car, and decided not to tempt fate. When I got my current TT, I hired someone else to tow it and have never towed it myself. Then in August I bought my class A and I'm extremely comfortable driving it, even towing a car. It's different than towing a TT and for me personally, way better.
 
If you can, get a 5th wheel. Easier on your back. Putting on and removing the anti sway hitch is hard on your back. They are heavy for a reason. 5th wheels handle better towing. Most 5th wheels are all Electric stabilization jacks. I got tired of cranking the jacks on my TT. I just upgraded to a new 5th wheel. Love it. If you have a fairly new truck, allot have the puck system (holes in bed for drop and lock 5th wheel hitch). My 2017 Ram 2500 has it. Good luck on deciding and let us know what you got.
 
chipc said:
When we sold our trailer in the early 90's, I vowed to never tow one again. It was not a pleasant experience, it was white knuckle all the time. Now I see RV's on the interstate driving at 70mph. Have hitches and equipment improved that much or maybe I didn't know what I was doing. We are considering a tt, probably around 30 ft behind a 3/4 ton. I am 66 years old, and I don't want to do the white knuckle thing again. Need some real world experiences from everyone.

5th wheel trailers are generally more stable to tow, but towing a travel trailer or tow behind can be a good experience if the truck/trailer/ hitch setup is done correctly.  One word of caution though, if your 3/4T truck is a diesel engine (versus a gas engine), you are going to have very limited payload capacity....maybe 2100-2200 lbs.  That is going to limit your choice of fifth wheel trailers to something in 8000 lb GVWR trailer.  Why so small?  Figure on at least 20% of the weight going on the truck as pin weight (1600 lbs).  Add another ~175 lbs for the hitch, then add the weight of EVERYTHING else that goes in/on the truck....cab and bed...passenger(s), toolbox with tools, extra fuel, firewood, grill, etc, etc.  Depending on how much of that "stuff" you want to bring along when you camp, it's pretty easy to see how you can quickly be over the payload capacity of the truck....pretty quickly.  That same truck, with a gas motor will have approx 600 more pounds of available payload

So if you check the payload numbers on the driver side door post, you may find that your payload numbers will help you decide....5ver or TT.
 
Gary RV_Wizard said:
The "white knuckles" almost sure were a result of an inadequate towing set-up. Maybe a matter of proper adjustment, or perhaps simply an insufficient tow vehicle.

Just what I was about to type.

chipc, what vehicle/trailer setup did you have in the early 90's?
 
We had an Chevy Astro (if anyone remembers them), towing a 19ft Shasta.
 
There are many factors at play here
Astro van was a short narrow mini van on a truck chassis even on a good day it handled like a 10 lb bag of potatoes in a 20 lb sack inshort it was horrible

Next most vehicles today have an active handling system with stability controls anti sway anti slip anti auntie

Also most new trucks etc have a tow assist built in feature that if the trailer starts to sway it applys breaking to the opposite wheel to straighten it out

Ford even has a back up asist to help you back up your trailer ( my thoughts are if you cant back up you shouldnt be pulling)

But in short todays vehicles are light years ahead of yesteryear and i cut my teeth pulling trailers at 14 yrs of age pulling a 24 ft scamper behind a ford ltd country squire in 1979 lol
 

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