Towing a longer trailer?

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CakeHenn

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I currently have a 27'TT....I'm comfortable towing it. We just put in an order for a 35' TT! I'm a bit nervous about towing something that long. Of course I was nervous about how I'd do with the first one and I've been able to handle it just fine.

Is it that much more challenging to tow a longer trailer? Is it noticeably more difficult to back them in spots?
 

Lou Schneider

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The first question is how much does the new trailer weigh, how much will it weigh after you load all of your gear in it,and how much weight will the truck carry with your gear and passengers on board?  How do these numbers compare to the tow and weight ratings of your Tundra?

A longer trailer just means you have to allow more room for off-tracking when turning corners and expect to be pushed around more by sidewinds due to the larger sail area behind you.  The additional weight, and the impact it will have on your truck is the critical factor.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Longer will take some getting used to, but isn't really any more difficult.  The longer trailer will have a greater distance between the hitching point and the trailer axles, which means a great lag in turns (the off-tracking that Lou mentioned). An increase in 8 ft of length may well mean 8 more feet of trailer wheel base, so that's a lot of lag in turns.

It's also going to be a LOT heavier, so make sure your truck can handle the extra load, both overall weight and increased tongue or pin weight. And remember it is going to take longer to stop it too, even though the trailer has brakes of its own.

Is it a travel trailer or a 5W?
 

CakeHenn

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I estimate the new trailer around 8500 loaded.  I'm going to see how my Tundra does with it.  I know it will pull it but may end up getting new tires and air bags.  Otherwise I'll look for a used diesel F250. 
 

Carl L

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CakeHenn said:
I estimate the new trailer around 8500 loaded.  I'm going to see how my Tundra does with it.  I know it will pull it but may end up getting new tires and air bags.  Otherwise I'll look for a used diesel F250. 

That Tundra with its 10,300/10,500-lb tow rating should be able to handle that trailer just fine at that weight.  Do weigh the trailer when loaded for the road as you definitely do not want its weight to creep over 8500 lbs. -- especially if you tow in the West.
 

Lou Schneider

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The longer trailer will likely have a longer overhang from the trailer wheels to it's rear bumper, which means the rear end will move back and forth more when you back into a campsite.

If you try to get in by watching the back of the trailer you'll drive yourself crazy.  Pick the path you want the trailer wheels to take to get to their final resting spot and guide the wheels along that path when you back in.  Ignore what the rear end of the trailer is doing other than making sure it's not going to hit anything.
 

CakeHenn

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Thanks for the replys.  I live in Texas and don't plan on being able to make any trips outside the state for a long time so mostly flat land or small hills towing.  I think the Tundra will do ok...if I need air bags to keep it level I'll get them.  Hopefully the WDH will be enough.  I'll need to get new tires sooner or later anyway so when I do I'll get higher rated for towing tires.

My overall biggest concerns at this point was the actual driving around with the longer trailer and the extra technical driving skill challenges that my bring.  I think just like with the other trailer it will take a couple trips to get comfortable with.  I always get good practice backing my trailer because the site I store it at home (back yard with double fence gates) is probably the toughest place I ever have to back my trailer.
 

Carl L

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The WD hitch works by restoring the unladen attitude of the truck thru distributing part of the hitch weight from the rear to the front truck axle.  If it does  not to that, it needs adjustment.  When you get the unit installed, get the dealer to show you how it is adjusted.  Watch him do it if you can.  In any event, do get the manufacturer installation instructions and keep them.

The main problem of Western towing is altitude and its effect on normally aspirated gasoline engine.  They loose 3% of rated HP per 1000 feet of altitude operated at.  The Flagstaff AZ for one example is around 7000 feet in altitude.  That is  loss of 21% of truck HP.  We recommend docking tow ratings of unblown gas engined trucks operated in the West by 20% to allow for this.
 

Derby6

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Carl L said:
That Tundra with its 10,300/10,500-lb tow rating should be able to handle that trailer just fine at that weight.  Do weigh the trailer when loaded for the road as you definitely do not want its weight to creep over 8500 lbs. -- especially if you tow in the West.
I somewhat disagree-see below.

CakeHenn said:
I estimate the new trailer around 8500 loaded.  I'm going to see how my Tundra does with it.  I know it will pull it but may end up getting new tires and air bags.  Otherwise I'll look for a used diesel F250.

See below link where your EXACT scenario was discussed.  May want to save your money and forgo the new tires and airbags and just put that $$$ towards a new rig.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=55302.0

 

Carl L

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Derby6 said:
I somewhat disagree-see below.

See below link where your EXACT scenario was discussed.  May want to save your money and forgo the new tires and airbags and just put that $$$ towards a new rig.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=55302.0

Eliminating the Dodge/GM/Ford theological discussion, the whole thing revolves about the effect of bus and semi shockwave buffeting and cross winds.  The best solution offered was simply SLOW DOWN!    A trailer operated at high speed is going be affected by a bit of lift from its own speed.  [Remember the ground effect spoilers used on CanAm race cars?]  That effectively lightens the trailer and makes it easier to be pushed sideways by a lateral force like a cross wind or a big rig shock wave.

Sure, look for a bigger diesel, but until then, take your foot out of the throttle and get to your destination maybe 10-20 minutes later, but with your nerves in one piece.  55 saves gas too -- big time with an RV. 

A good WD hitch system with integrated sway control will help to and can be moved to a new truck later on.
 

Mopar1973Man

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I would rather opt for too much tow vehicle than not enough. Because no matter how you look at everything takes a toll. Engine, transmission, driveline, etc. So even though your current one is still with rating it going to be working really hard to pull that amount of weight. Like myself I've got a 31' Jayco with a GVWR of 8,500#. I've got a Dodge 2500 (diesel) but the engine and transmission are modified for this purpose.
 

Derby6

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Carl L said:
  The best solution offered was simply SLOW DOWN! 

In my Opinion the best advice was a larger tow vehicle.  OP even said that solved his problem. I'm not trying to argue and say slowing down was not good solid advice, but IMHO for this scenario (1/2 ton truck with an 8K 35' trailer) bigger truck is and was the best advice. ;)
 

glockholiday

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That 8500# estimate seems light.

I have a 35' (32' box) toyhauler and I know they can be different than travel trailers when it comes to weight but mine empty is 8000#'s, loaded full of water and toys is 12,000#'s.
 

CakeHenn

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From a cost perspective there is no reason to upgrade to a bigger truck if the one you have will do the job and do it safely.  Any way you slice it my truck has at least 10% to 20% more capacity than I'm going to use.  It can handle the job and it will be safe.  I won't be going over any mountain ranges and will only really be in Texas.  The longest trips I'll take will most likely be less than 400 miles...and anything that long would be very rare.

If you want to buy a huge truck and have extra power then that's great but don't assume everyone else has those same needs.  I love camping and taking my TT places but I'd say for every mile I tow there are probably 5 to 10 I don't tow.  If I can get decent fuel economy (for a truck) and pay gas prices vs diesel and not have all the extra maintenance costs associated with a diesel I'd be foolish spend the extra money.  Plus no matter what I get I'd bet money it won't be as reliable as my Tundra.

Another factor is that my Tundra fits perfectly in my garage...another 2 inches and I would have to park in the drive way.

So with this in mind when I do get the new TT I'll use my Tundra and see how she does.  If I'm unhappy then I will sell her for a diesel but to do it now would be to put the cart before the horse.

I kind of get the feeling some like to justify all the money they spent on their beasts of trucks saying to themselves that you "need" this to tow that...when in many cases it's just not true.  Need has nothing to do with many buying decisions people make.
 

Derby6

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You asked if it would be more challenging.  Yes is the answer with your truck/trailer combo, thus advice/opinions were given.  If you don't want advice/opinions, then don't ask.....lol
 

CakeHenn

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The question originally I asked actually had nothing to do with the trailer/TV set up.  The direction of the thread went that way and that's fine.
 

CakeHenn

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By the way I don't have problems with opinions and never said I did....I was just making some observations mostly based on your posts.  I hope you don't have a problem with mine. 
 
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