"The problem is this. One dealer said we could pull a trailer 7,000 pounds, another said the max for us to pull was 6,000, and our brother-in-law (avid camper with a trailer) says to stay under 5,000."
Get a new brother-in-law or have him come up with the cash to pay for a TV he finds acceptable. Either way at the end he'll be quiet and your TV will do the job, well.
We are hoping to buy our first travel trailer. We recently purchased a 2008 Dodge Ram Laramie, 5.7 Liter Hemi, 4X4 quad cab. We added the towing package, Gross Trailer Weight Hitch is 5,000 lb. max, 500 pound max tongue load. GVWR inside the driver door is 06700. The truck dealership told us the maxium towing weight is 8600. The online statistics said the same thing.
The problem is this. One dealer said we could pull a trailer 7,000 pounds, another said the max for us to pull was 6,000, and our brother-in-law (avid camper with a trailer) says to stay under 5,000.
We are so very confused. We do want to pull the camper in the North Ga mountains for sure. We like the Forest River Sport Surveryor 293 that has a Dry Weight of 4, 546 lb. and a GVWR of 7, 505 lb. 32 ft 5 in.
Can we comfortably and safely pull this trailer with our vehicle?
The max tow rating from Dodge of 8600# for your truck is what it is.
The various opinions you received about maxing out at 5000#, 6000#, or 7000# represents just that, opinions about how much you can comfortably tow. The Hemi is a great large block V8 engine, but it is still a V8 gasoline engine.
The Forest River Surveyor Sport 293 has a base weight of 4587#; mandatory "Interior Luxury Package" = 90#; mandatory "Exterior Luxury Package" = 264#; allow another 100# for propane and tanks and battery. There is a long list of other options that can be added that would further add to the weight. Therefore, your are looking at a weight of 5041# before any additional add-ons, gear, or fresh water. You would then realistically be looking at about 6000# loaded and ready-to-camp.
Your hitch rating of 5000/500 is without a weight distribution hitch. The answer to your question is then with a WDH, yes you can safely pull this trailer of 6000#. The answer to whether you can comfortably tow it is subjective, and only you can answer that.
My own personal and humble opinion is in alignment with your BIL. A trailer over 5000# to me just does not feel right when towing with a 1/2 ton truck with a V8 gas engine. Over 5000# is 3/4 ton diesel or V10 gas territory for me. I am not a member of the weight police, and I know many people are perfectly comfortable with it. It just feels like too much weight to me.
I got talked into a Flagstaff 8528RESS Fifth wheel to be pulled by my then 2004 F150 truck with same setup as my 2010 truck in my signature. Dealer said no problem towing it with the F150. So I got fitted with a fifth wheel hitch, electric brakes, clamp on big mirrors, and left the dealership with a big smile on my face (In a rain storm no less). The truck didnt even hardly squat down at all with the trailler sitting on it.
The 8528RESS Fifth Wheel is listed with a dry weight of 6332lbs, hitch weight of 1020 lbs, gross weight of 8020lbs. the 2004 F150 truck specs said I should be able to tow 8800 lbs with the 5.4 gas engine and 3:37 gears.
Did just fine going home and then around a few local flat land road trips. Was getting real use to pulling it and then we decided on our first long trip to the Gatlinburg TN area. I made it up the first long grade hill on I81 at Roanoke VA just fine - pulled into the truck lane and was keeping up with traffic just fine. The coming down on the other side was a white knuckle "katie-bar-the-door" for the next ten miles or so. I had no backing down power and had to start using truck/trailer brakes real quick to make it feel safe to me. The trailer was pushing me down the hill pretty good. I got to the bottom of the hill and finally got turned around and headed back home doing the hill again. Parked it at home and here it sits for the paste three years. I have pulled it to a couple times to local sites but you sure aint gonna catch me in it doing any of the "small" mtns runs in VA.
I got me the OFF ROAD POPUP shown in my signature which weighs in at 4200lbs and the F150 truck doesnt know its there. I get 18-21MPG whether I am pulling it or not. (No wind drag)
With my 2010 F150 5.4 Gas engine and 3:73 gears, 4X4, Supercab with 143" WB , anti-sway, Ford specs says I can tow 9100lbs. I am also looking for a hard walled trailer now with dry weight around 5000lbs, hitch weight less than 1000lbs, loaded trailer weight around 6000lbs like the JAYCO Brands X26P, X213, 28R, 28U, 242 and when all is said and done I will probably end up with a small 23K, or a 24T. Maybe Im just too chicken to tow trailers???
Yet you look at all the small suv's going down the road pulling the biggest of trailers.... Beats me too...
Im just too chicken to deal with the bigger trailers with my F150 - It doesnt feel that safe with me with my family inside. Maybe 7000lbs is the biggest thing i would even thing about towing with my F150.
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
RETIRED DOAF/DON/DOD/CONTR RADIO TECH (42yrs)
K9PHT (Since 1957) 146.52M
2010 F150, 5.4,3:73 Gears,SCab
2008 Starcraft 14RT EU2000i GEN
2005 Flagstaff 8528RESS
The TV capacity and TT weight aren’t all that reliable But I spend a lot of my towing time climbing, if I towed mostly in the flats the weight would be less of an issue. Your 32’ caught my eye, too. If I were pulling a 32’ rig there are very few non-commercial cg’s I could get into. Perhaps the GA mountains are different?
I've camped in the North Ga. mountains. The National Parks are better suited for smaller campers. I tow a 28' Forrest river with an overall length of 30'. There are lots of sites that aren't long enough to accommodate your trailer and T.V. I found I didn't fit quite a few sites.
I have a 6.4 PSD and towing in the mountains is not a problem. Before I had a smaller 5.3 Chev. gasser. It struggled on long grades.
I think you have enough truck, but may be looking at too much trailer for the mountains. You wouldn't have any problem on the Interstate Highway system, but 2 lane mountain roads are another story.
I think you need to find what you need in a trailer and then figure out if your truck can handle it. You may need a different TV. The only thing I can think of worse than buying a trailer too big for your truck is getting a trailer you are not comfortable in. While towing capacity is listed in numbers everyone can see, your needs are a personal thing that only you can determine.
I suggest that you start looking small and work your way up to what you feel will meet your needs. We found a 25 ft that weighs half of our Expeditions rated towing capacity did it for us.
Also, if you plan on using the NFS CG's, you can check how many of them have spots that will handle a specific size of trailer by going to their web site and searching with the trailer length in the search. you may find that there are lots of spots available for a obscure date but major holidays get reserved 6 months in advance. I know that when the other half was looking after we bought, there were plenty of spots until I added the length and that we wanted electric. All of a sudden what was tons of sites all over Colorado became one park with possible first come, first serve sites.
So long story short, the towing capacity of your TV is only one of the things to consider when buying a TT.
2011 GulfStream Amerilite 25BH
2007/2003 Ford Expedition
Nights camped in 2011 21
Nights camped in 2012 16
WOW fi you weren't confused before you should be by now. I have a 2005 Dodge 1500 5.7 Hemi. The book says 8,600#. I have a 2004 Springdale, 27' GVW @ 7000
I have pulled it thousands of miles, and the only problem I have is keeping my speed down to 60mph. The Hemi is a beast. I have pulled to Las Vegas over the Baker Grade, and kept it at 55mph all the way. Read some of the Dodge Hemi web sites. They will tell you to take it to 4000rpm, and pull away. I often, when on the freeway, will turn off the tow/haul and set the cruise control, pulling at 60mph at 1800rpms (helps the gas mileage a bunch) Have a great time and keep the wheels down
Have same truck as you, Ours has the 20's not sure what wheel /tire you have. I own Keystone Hornet RBS 32', 685 on hitch 6383 dry weight. I figure i'm around 720 on hitch loaded and around 6500 loaded. Pulls nice with WD Bars on 5th link on chain. Have a nice steep mountain 1.5 mile to assend when i leave to go camping Hemi hauls it no problem Stopping is good also with a Prodigy P2! I( test pulled a Keystone VR1 323 FKS, around 872 on the hitch and around 7760, pulled it no problem! But was empty but we would only add around 200lb for gear 15mph head wind and plenty of semis flying by Truck handled it well! Did meet a gentleman wih a 04 Ram same package pulling a Rockwood 34' had 2 slides from Jersey. Spoke with him he said rig did fine. (From Jersey to Gettysburg Pa).
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
Carl and "D"
Handson Harlee, 7mth old Saint Bernard(Service Dog)
In memory of Drago Rotty Service Dog
8600lbs is with WDH. Get the WDH and at around 7000-7500lbs you should be ok.
I have an F250. The hitch on it is a 5000lb hitch. But it's rated up to 12,500lbs with a WDH. My campers dry weight is 7635. GVWR is 11000. I figure that we are probably between are around 9500lbs towing, give or take 500lbs. Haven't been to a scale yet. I should, there is one only about a mile down the road. But we pull fine. Have been in the GA, NC, VA and TN mountains without any issues. The box on it is 31' also.