New to this and my 1st Question

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by agility girl, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. agility girl

    agility girl New Member

    Hi, I am looking for a TT for just doing weekends with my dog to do our agility events. I want a 18 foot trailer, but DH says I have to have something longer than the truck towing it, because it is easier handing. Is this true? I have never towed anything before and I am extremly nervous about it. Should I get the 18 or the longer 24?
     
  2. JamieB

    JamieB New Member

    RE: New to this and my 1st Question

    It does affect the handling some, but mostly when backing the trailer. With a trailer that is shorter than the vehicle towing it, it is very easy to overcorrect as you are backing the trailer. Maybe you have seen someone in a truck backing a jet ski trailer down a ramp. Unless they are very good, they usually have to pull up and reposition the trailer multiple times before they get it right. The bigger the disparity between the vehicle and the trailer, the more difficult it gets. For example, a 20 ft. truck and a 10 ft. trailer would be quite difficult. A 20 ft. truck and a 18 ft. trailer is not terribly bad. A 20 ft. truck and a 30 ft. trailer, perfect.

    I am not sure what typ of vehicle you have, but even if you have a crew cab, long bed, an 18 ft. trailer shouldn't be too big a deal after a little practice.

    Jamie Billingsley
     
  3. crazydiamond449

    crazydiamond449 New Member

    Re: New to this and my 1st Question

    I found it to be true, the longer the trailer, the easier to pull. We started with a pup up camper...it was very difficult to back. We have Jet skis and they are very hard to back into the ramps. We now have a 23 ft travel trailer and it is much easier to back. My parents have a 35 ft Fifth wheel and it is a breeze to back into a camp site. However, if you have another person helping you to guide your trailer into position you shouldn't have any problems. (Two sets of eyes are always better than one). :)
     
  4. agility girl

    agility girl New Member

    RE: New to this and my 1st Question

    Thank-you very much for the replys, it makes me feel alot better. I have a F-150 crew cab, and the trailer I want is Ameri-lite by Gulf Stream 21 feet. Today I am going to go practice with a flat-bed trailer that is only 12 feet long. I am so new at this stuff, it is like I am learning how to drive all over again.
     
  5. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: New to this and my 1st Question

    Hey agility girl, welcome to the forum. We started with a 13' TT many years ago and other than backing it up, we couldn't even tell it was back there. It was a single axle TT and towed great. The 21' should be lighter and easier and more AGILE for your Ford 150 to tow up hill and dale.
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: New to this and my 1st Question

    Keep in mind that (except for the very recent models), the practical tow weight maximum for a 1/2 ton pickup tends to be around 5000 pounds. 21 feet ought to be ok, but make sure you verify the GVWR of that particular trailer, and the advertised towing capacity of your truck.

    Next, compute your 'true towing weight', which would be subtracting any accessories, cargo or passengers in the truck, plus any amount the driver weighs over 150 pounds. Then take about 80% of that for safety and because the tow rating is for a flat bed trailer with 'no' wind resistance.
     
  7. agility girl

    agility girl New Member

    RE: New to this and my 1st Question

    I think I have the weight stuff ok, The dry weight of the trailer says 3215. The f-150 can pull up to 6500. Its just me and my dog and maybe some food. I think after everything is filled up and packed, we should be ok. I hope.
     
  8. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: New to this and my 1st Question

    Sounds like you will be ok. Of course, after you are all loaded ready to travel, visit the scales and you can find out for sure...
     
  9. bdchief

    bdchief New Member

    Re: New to this and my 1st Question

    All this is very confusing, I am looking at a1999 27' fifth wheel and I am wondering if my half ton Chevy 4 x 4, that I have added a transmission cooler to and I have just installed the same 350 engine that is installed in 3/4 and 1 ton, I am also going to install shift kit. What would be the maxium weight I should tow and will it handle a fifth wheel O.K. ?
    Thank to all who helps with my questions.
    bdchief :)
     
  10. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: New to this and my 1st Question

    There will be an advertised towing weight for your truck. Being a 1/2 ton, it will probably be about 7000 pounds, but you need to check to be sure. Adding the transmission cooler may up it a little, and if the engine is bigger than the original engine, that may up it a little too. Since it did not have the transmission cooler, it probably is not set up for towing and will have low gears in the rear end which are poor at towing. So your advertised weight might be only 6000 pounds.

    However, this is with absolutely nothing in the truck (no cargo, no accessories, no passengers, no animals) except a 150 pound driver and a bit of gas. So you need to subtract the weight of anything additional in the truck. If you don't have an idea what this is, then 1000 pounds is usually a safe guess.

    Also, the towing weight is for a flat bed trailer with 'no' wind resistance. Take about 80% of the (towing weight minus the truck load) to get your 'true' towing weight. For most 1/2 tons, this is about 5000 pounds.

    27' fifth wheel will probably be more than your truck can handle. I had a 25' ultralight, and its GVWR was about 7200 pounds. Loaded, it was about 6000 pounds, which was more than my 1/2 ton could handle, salesman's promise to the contrary. Using dry weight when matching a truck and trailer is risky, as the dry weight does not include any changes make after it left the factory (dealer or previous owner), and towing an empty trailer is of limited value. GVWR is the safest, or 'loaded weight' if you know what you will always be carrying.

    With a 1/2 ton vehicle, you not only have to worry how much you can tow, but how much the trailer puts on the rear axel. A fifth wheel usually has 10 to 20% of its weight as 'pin weight', which goes directly over the rear axel of the truck. Say you have a 6000 pound trailer; that means that you are putting perhaps 1000 pounds over the rear axel, which often will exceed the rear axel maximum weight. For a 1/2 ton, a travel trailer, with its lighter pin weight, may be a better choice.
     
  11. Poppa

    Poppa Member

    Re: New to this and my 1st Question

    Don't forget the factory tow weights don't count hill country.
     

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