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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Small TT's

 > Requirements for towing and setup of a TT 3500lbs or less

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JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 12/16/20 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most RV trailer with a new to them TT/5th wheel trailer only find out what works best if hook the trailer up and make a short weekend trip or just down the road. Then is the time to decide if suspension help or a WD hitch is needed. After staying in a few campgrounds with other trailer owners they get more ideas how to make setting up/tearing down easier for you. This is something we can't tell you as we don't stand in your shoes.


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

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TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 12/16/20 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

....snip..... So have I come to the right conclusions am I missing anything?


We have an OP who can read and did not get drug off into the weeds by those with other agendas. The only thing you are missing is the fun of getting on the road in a safe fun travel trailer. By the way, I get about 13 mpg towing a 3,500 pound travel trailer with a F-150.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 12/16/20 09:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

This has been very informative to me and have formed some conclusions based on your comments. Most people reported that a WDH or anti sway bars are not required for a 3500 lb or less TT. I have no problem backing a 19 ft boat down a ramp so I can't see a 19 ft TT being much harder. As far as ride quality after reading on this forum all the handling issues of the F-53 chassis and these short 24 ft Class C with light front ends a truck and TT combo should ride better. One thing not mentioned a lot on here, is each tire carrying the same load for a good ride. My old P-30 chassis has this and I drive it with one hand like a car even with passing trucks without all the suspension addons people buy to fix the ride. My only concern was the added tongue weight from the TT causing the front end to be lighter. Only one person said a special HD package was needed most said any 1/2 ton truck would be fine. My right arm is still good so I can crank the tongue jack on my boat now, not sure how much different the TT would make. As far as leveling it would appear easier than a small C because you only need blocks for one tire vs 3 for a C(one for front tire 2 in rear for dual wheels). I fully realize setup was going to be more difficult than my Class A with auto levelers and in over the last 15 years and 100k miles I can only remember a few times setting up in the rain, because when it was raining it was much easier and safer just to pull into a WM for the night than to pull into an unfamiliar CG in the dark. So have I come to the right conclusions am I missing anything?


Boat trailer and TRAVEL TRAILER are two completely different beasts when it comes to towing and handling.

Boat trailer are intentionally built with the wheels much farther back than a travel trailer. Has to do with how the weight of a boat is distributed. Boats have considerably more weight on the back where the motor is and they are wider in the back so to get proper handling the axles must be further back. Boats are also much more "aerodynamic" and have less wind drag..

Boats you can easily tow without WD and not affect the vehicle handling or front end feeling.

Travel trailers are more balanced with wheels much more forward than a boat trailer. If you are planning to forgo the WD, then what you will notice is the front end "porpoising" up and down, may feel a bit like the front is floating some. This feeling may or may not be acceptable to you.. The same feeling happens when you have a big heavy TC in the back of a pickup truck..

This is also one of the reasons why getting max tow/max payload option even with a proposed 3500 lb trailer, this option upgrades the springs to a firmer higher rate which will definitely help control the porpoising feeling.

For leveling side to side, yes, just need to place blocking under the trailer wheel(s) on the low side. I have dual axle so I carry one 2x10 that is long enough to fit both tires on it. Tapering the ends with a 45 degree angle helps ease the tires on and off, a lesser angle works even better but that requires the board to be longer yet.. Works very well. One 2x10 typically gets me level enough in most parking lots and even campgrounds if I am choosy where I park.

Once you have the side to side leveled out, then you can use the tongue jack from front to back.. For overnighting you might not be able to get front to back leveled out easily since you would most likely would not unhitch. Sometimes just moving the vehicle around the lot you can find spots that will work out fine without much front to back leveling.

TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 12/16/20 03:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To the OP: Don't let the fear folks work on you. Backing a TRAVEL TRAILER is exactly like backing a boat trailer. There will be a slight change in the steering response but right is still left and left is still right. Nothing that can't be mastered in an hour at the high school parking lot.

Ford and GM have both drastically revised their "Requirement" for WD hitches in the 21st Century. Owner's manuals are available online and I challenge anyone to quote the requirement for a WD hitch on any late model half ton pickup towing a 3,500 pound travel trailer. One thing that is necessary is to verify the weights with a trip to the scales. ON ANY TRAILER.

Money may not be a question but I prefer to have a $20k travel trailer sitting for weeks at a time instead of a $100k rv.

BurbMan

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Posted: 12/16/20 07:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I often wonder if all of us on this thread were sitting around a campfire with our favorite beverage if this discussion would still follow this path....fun to talk but seems we take a stroll through the weeds on these threads....


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/16/20 08:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BurbMan wrote:

I often wonder if all of us on this thread were sitting around a campfire with our favorite beverage if this discussion would still follow this path....fun to talk but seems we take a stroll through the weeds on these threads....


The "circle of life" on this forum..

Oh the "what if's", "should I", "would I", "can I" questions of life..

Some questions just can't be answered by others and one must make their own choices and live with those choices..

NamMedevac 70

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Posted: 12/18/20 03:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From my own experience with electric trailer tongue jacks make sure you have the manual crank handle in easy to remember location or at least the proper size socket wrench tool to operate the jack.

On both my 1500 and 2500 Dodge rams I used Goodyear LT Truck tires with snow emblem and ran 80 PSI on at least rear tires when towing the trailer most of time.

Sometimes ran only 65 PSI but I could tell difference in stability of the combo. 65 was okay but 80 was better (solid as a rock).

Gjac

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Posted: 12/22/20 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TomG2 wrote:

To the OP: Don't let the fear folks work on you. Backing a TRAVEL TRAILER is exactly like backing a boat trailer. There will be a slight change in the steering response but right is still left and left is still right. Nothing that can't be mastered in an hour at the high school parking lot.

Ford and GM have both drastically revised their "Requirement" for WD hitches in the 21st Century. Owner's manuals are available online and I challenge anyone to quote the requirement for a WD hitch on any late model half ton pickup towing a 3,500 pound travel trailer. One thing that is necessary is to verify the weights with a trip to the scales. ON ANY TRAILER.

Money may not be a question but I prefer to have a $20k travel trailer sitting for weeks at a time instead of a $100k rv.
You mentioned weighing the trailer. Someone else mentioned that also, I am assuming by verifying weights you are referring to getting the tongue weight right(which affects sway) is that correct? How important is side to side weight? With a single axle is it fairly easy to redistribute the weight? I know on a MH if the front carries 50% of the rear you get your best ride. Less than that which a lot of MH's are the ride can be a little squirrely and suspension add ons are required.

Sjm9911

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Posted: 12/22/20 09:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For leveling , you can use the wedge like anderson levelers or get a ball leveler if its single axel. And at 3500 lbs it should be a single axel. Single axels are a bit harder to back up because the respond quicker. But you got that. The bal leveler can be raised with a electric drill or by hand. I use the curved leverlers you drive onto now because i have a tandom axel trailor. Wdh , not needed. I would get a small sway control, cheap insurance. People say well my new TV has sway controll, yes it will. But thats for controlling after it starts swaying. A mounted one stops it before it happens. For the weight of your TT the add on friction arm one should do and its cheap. Have fun!


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TomG2

Central Illinois

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Posted: 12/23/20 06:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

TomG2 wrote:

One thing that is necessary is to verify the weights with a trip to the scales. ON ANY TRAILER.
You mentioned weighing the trailer. Someone else mentioned that also, I am assuming by verifying weights you are referring to getting the tongue weight right(which affects sway) is that correct? ....snip....


Correct. Also, be aware of the effect of holding tank weight. 400 pounds of fresh and waste water in front of or behind the axle will really affect the balance.

Don't forget to have them include an electric tongue jack in the deal. It can add years to your travel enjoyment.

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