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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > New member looking for 1st TT!

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JND and a dog

South Carolina

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Joined: 05/22/2022

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Posted: 05/23/22 07:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello campers! Total newbie here, headed out to what looks like a good place to purchase our first TT on Friday. Truck we'll be using is husbands 2014 Dodge Ram 5.7 Hemi. 2 WD 8 speed. Any general recommendations on brands, sizes? We know ( ok, he knows ) a bit about tow weight etc. Most trips will be him, myself and our dog. Would like ability to take 2 adults along occasionally, also one grandchild. We want at least one slide out and def a dedicated bed, not the table or bunk for us. Husband takes very good care of our vehicles, his biggest concern is transmission and not wearing it out, at least not real fast!
We do plan to be traveling mountain areas sometimes.

Not sure if a signature is added but in case it's not, I'm Dianne, husband is JD.

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 05/23/22 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

welcome to the forum where you will get all types of recommendations for brands and especially sizes (length and weight).
Of course TT size depends on your Ram truck configuration.
Is it a 1500 or 2500 truck ???


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

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

MarkTwain

Northern, Ca. , USA

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Posted: 05/23/22 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JND and a dog wrote:

Hello campers! Total newbie here, headed out to what looks like a good place to purchase our first TT on Friday. Truck we'll be using is husbands 2014 Dodge Ram 5.7 Hemi. 2 WD 8 speed. Any general recommendations on brands, sizes? We know ( ok, he knows ) a bit about tow weight etc. Most trips will be him, myself and our dog. Would like ability to take 2 adults along occasionally, also one grandchild. We want at least one slide out and def a dedicated bed, not the table or bunk for us. Husband takes very good care of our vehicles, his biggest concern is transmission and not wearing it out, at least not real fast!
We do plan to be traveling mountain areas sometimes.

Not sure if a signature is added but in case it's not, I'm Dianne, husband is JD.


IMHO, I would recommend you look at the Lance trailers. I would suggest the 24' or 30' trailer. depending on the length of time you normally are out for an RV trip. If longer than 2 weeks I would choose a 30' TT. Trailers can get pretty claustrophobic. In addition the larger the trailer the larger the black and grey tank capacity. Under 30 gal. tanks fill up pretty quick, especially with 3 adults and grandkid which means more frequent dumping unless you have a sewer connection at your site. Recommend a Reese Dual Cam hitch for trailer for stability (wind from 18 wheelers) and ease of hooking/unhooking. You also want 2 propane tanks. New trailers tend to come with low quality tires. Personally I threw away the original tires and bought good tires. Get the biggest tire that will fit your trailer, i.e. E or G rated tires. I would not tow with C or D rated tires. Next buy a good Emergency Road Side Service policy i.e. Good Sam, but there are others. Buy 30 to 50 amp adapters and 50 to 30. Buy a good surge protector for the trailer electrical system, don't buy a cheap one. Buy a 15' and 10' sewer hoses. a stack of 2' levelers and a good sam block ramp to raise a flat tire or just call good sam to change the tire.

JND and a dog

South Carolina

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Posted: 05/24/22 03:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JIMNLIN Sorry, total girl here. Thought I'd said, 1500. Also, our trips will mostly be long weekends. Occasional week I suppose. Sadly we have a while to go before retirement, by then I suspect we'll be looking at larger vehicle and tt. ??

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 05/24/22 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You gonna' have to choose a TT by its weight that fits in your 2014 1500 Rams specs.
Much depends on the trucks rear axle ratio. Most 3.21 gears are in the 7000-8000 lb range. The 3.92 gears gets 9000-10450 lbs gross weight.

Your Rams weak point is its small 3900 rawr that limits payloads to around 1400-1500 lbs on the rear axle.
Rear axle will carry all the hitch weight and other stuff in the bed and part of the cabs weight.
You have the truck so drop by a set of CAT scales and get separate front and rear axle weights numbers.
Axle loads plus measuring points can help in setting up your WD hitch.

The 1500 Ram doesn't have enough rear axle capacity (3900 rawr) to carry a much over a 6k-7k gross weight TT.

Those higher 9k-10k lb tow ratings are made for non RV trailers like my 10k flatbed car hauler that I can load the deck to any hitch weight needed.

theoldwizard1

SE MI

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Posted: 05/24/22 07:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JND and a dog wrote:

Hello campers! Total newbie here, headed out to what looks like a good place to purchase our first TT on Friday.

Do NOT buy new ! By a TT that is less than 5 years old. Start small, maybe a pop up or a hybrid. Don't invite others until you are comfortable with setup and take down (the most stressful time).

If you enjoy the experience after a year or two, then buy new !

valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 05/24/22 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JND and a dog wrote:

JIMNLIN Sorry, total girl here. Thought I'd said, 1500. Also, our trips will mostly be long weekends. Occasional week I suppose. Sadly we have a while to go before retirement, by then I suspect we'll be looking at larger vehicle and tt. ??


Problem with 1/2 ton trucks is they vary wildly in capability. I've seen payloads as little as 950lb and upwards of 2500lb in 1/2 ton trucks.

Go look on the driver side door.

There will be a couple stickers with a bunch of numbers.

Key ones to find:
- GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, This is the maximum weight of the truck fully loaded. That weight includes the weight on the hitch which should be on the order of 12-15% of the trailer weight (the trailer also has a GVWR and is a good starting assumption for the ready to travel weight)
- The yellow sticker will have the payload. Again, the hitch weight counts against payload. A 7000lb trailer may have a hitch weight of 1000lb. Add in the 3 of you plus firewood and some other stuff in the truck bed, you may exceed the payload.
- RAWR: Rear Axle Weight Rating, similar to the GVWR but specific to the rear axle. It's possible to be within GVWR and Payload but still be over the RAWR. Hitch weight mostly goes onto the rear axle.
- Tow rating: Mostly this is built around the power to pull and brakes to stop...more often than not, you run out of one of the first three before you hit the tow rating.


Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV


MarkTwain

Northern, Ca. , USA

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Posted: 05/24/22 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JND and a dog wrote:

JIMNLIN Sorry, total girl here. Thought I'd said, 1500. Also, our trips will mostly be long weekends. Occasional week I suppose. Sadly we have a while to go before retirement, by then I suspect we'll be looking at larger vehicle and tt. ??


With a 1500 truck, I would look at the smaller Lance trailers for weight.

JND and a dog

South Carolina

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Posted: 05/24/22 09:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks!! Great info so far, much appreciated and I'll share with hubs. He has a couple of trailers ( different sizes) and is a numbers kinda guy. Never towed any camper other than years ago he had one that attached to the bed of an old Toyota diesel truck. This will all be helpful! We're pretty committed on diving in on a tt but don't mind if we need to start small. Biggest issue for us is nor to damage trucks Trans.

nickthehunter

Southgate, MI

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Posted: 05/24/22 10:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nothing wrong with starting with a TT. Most people buy a popup or hybrid then sell if after a few years to get something bigger; and take a huge loss in the process. Nothing wrong with buying your second trailer first as long as you don't go overboard. You can start educating yourselves by learning about weights, etc. here: Clicky

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