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Discussion Starter #1
I read RMAX's inquiry with great interest and all the replies.


Here is my scenario, bought '03 D/A reg cab LB 4x4 truck to specifically use for trailering. The reason I purchased this combo of truck was for ease of parking, manuverability for my wife to use when not hooked up to trailer. The truck scales at 6,220 lbs, with full tank of fuel, and B & W turnover hitch setup.


The trailer is a Featherlite gooseneck 34 ft (overall length is 42ft) that I use to haul a car. Weight of trailer with car inside is 14,140 lbs. This includes about 8 gals of gas in generator tank (holds 18 gal) and is not including 30 gal fresh water or 35 gal gray or black water tanks , or any other cargo.


Featherlite says to use 20% for pin weight, at current weight that is 2828 lbs. With wife and I in truck, weight is 6,630 lbs. With a 9,200 lbs GVW limit, that leaves 2,830 lbs for pin. Makes it extremely close. Also GCWR would be 20,770 lbs, leaving me about 1,230 lbs for cargo in trailer. This is a tandem axle trailer, with 7000 lbs axles and load E range tires.


I am close on EVERYTHING, and this truck is totally stock, would prefer to leave it this way if possible. What suggestions or opinions do you have for me. Is this a dangerous setup to take across the states, or should I not be too concerned with this setup.Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks, Warren
 

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Warren,

The best answer is to upsize your ride or downsize your load. You haven't added in the weight of the water your trailer carries nor mentioned where the tanks are (front or rear)nor have you added all the other gear. My setup has about 500lbs of it.

That said, the big issue is to not overload the rear axle and the tires. Load the truck with your trailer, fill the tanks put in all your gear and your sweetie and take it to a scale and weigh the rear axle. I upgraded to a 3500 recently after a 5th wheel pull last year to the Rockies (from San Antonio) with a like load and a 2500. I had airbags, 4" exhaust, guages and a juice that was set to level 2. The truck did fine and never felt out of control (including one very serious panic stop on the freeway in the rain - semi dodged in front of me when traffic caused him some serious problems). A good brake controller, properly setup is vital. None the less I wanted extra room on the weight issue not "on the line" limits. I always add more stuff on a trip and it adds up.

I was also concerned about what someone might say if I caused an accident and anyone weighed the rig and trailer. Would my insurance pay or would I? Where would negligence come to play? Many here and on TDP say not to worry about this. I've never had an accident but it only takes once.

Good luck,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bob:


Good advice, thank you. I had a Tecumseh Prodigy brake controller installed in truck, do you have any suggestion, as to a starting point. It has regular, boost 1 & boost 2, and what numerical setting to try as a starting point?


Downsizing the trailer would be a bit tough. I was able to acquire a factory demo trailer loaded to the gills in options. Original price was $82,790.00, was able to acquire with approximately 2000 miles on it for roughly half. Do you recommend air bags or will the rear leaf springs be adequate.
 

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Warren,

Prodigy is what I use, just be sure you test it to know that it is properly set up before you NEED IT to work.

I would definetly use airbags. (I used Air Lifts). I used an aux. airpump, frame mounted, with a guage in the cab so I could adjust on the fly as the road circumstances required.

Sounds like you got a great deal on the trailer. Like I said weigh everything to be sure you aren't over the axle and tire load ratings. If you are you've got to shed weight or upgrade the truck to a 3500 -- or you put yourself and your family at risk. (I know that going to another high priced truck is tough because I just did it after adding lots of upgrades to my 2500). Now I doing the same things to my new ride. BUT I feel better being under rather than close to over. (My GVW was close to 10,000 but I was about 300 lbs. under the rear alxe and tire capacities.)

Remember too that you have a lot of weight pushing on single rear wheel setup. The truck isn't really much different but the springs and extra rear wheels really do add a lot of stability when things get sticky imop.

Good luck,
Bob
 

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I definately recomend the air bags. My truck would occasionally bottom out on some of our beautiful California freeway/bridge expansion joints. I installed the heavy duty rear air bags from air lift and Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks. Made the thing ride like a Cadillac with 50-60 PSI in the bags and the shocks on 8 or 9. It really rides much better than stock and is extremely stable. My trailer only runs about 9000lbs. You need to check your actual pin weight if you can. You can also move some of the cargo in the trailer a bit more toward the rear to lighten the pin weight a bit.
 

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I am also in a delema about pulling my new trailer(40ft. triple axle toy hauler--12.5k empty) with the stock tires, I have looked into the Rickson 19.5 wheel & load range f-g tires, and the dually conversion kits. Any suggestions?


I am going to buy a new 2004 d(lly)/a soon, but I hate the crew cab single rear wheel & dually long beds 1 tons.


I 've always been a short bed kinda guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BIGDADDY: I found at Les Schwab tire stores, a Korean tire that is 14 ply and a 3400 lb load rating that you can swap the stock tires for and this will fit the optional aluminum wheels just fine. Our stock tires are 10 ply and 3042 lb rated.
 

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Thanks, I checked it out and the only size is a 235x85x16, a little too tall for me.


I would prefer a tire size closer to stock.


They did say that they have 19.5x7 polished aluminum chev. 8 bolt wheels(vision 81)for $243, $100 cheaper than the rickson's.
 

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Go to a 16 x 8 rim (3400lb rated) and put E rated 265's on them. That will get you up into the 3400lb range for the tires. Add air bags. 19.5" rims look stupid IMO on a 3/4T truck. I pull a 16,500lb fifth wheel with the above set-up no problem. Take a close look at the 3500, you don't gain much except two more tires to change in the rear and the inconvience of extended fender flares (no drive-thrus/garage/curbs watch out). The tow rating for a fifth wheel/goosekneck on the 1 ton is lower than the 3/4T due to the added weight of the extra wheels. If you pull a heavy tag along style trailer the dually is the only way to go, fifth wheels/gooseknecks don't care how many tires are in the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, everyone for the advice.


I removed 2 crew bunks in my toy hauler and lightened the load by 210 lbs. This puts my Featherlite trailer at 13,920 lbs with the Corvette in it. Down from 14,140 lbs.


I will look into aor bags, as my leaf springs are flat out straight when hooked up, don't know that this is bad or anything, just thought they should still have some curvature to them.


Warren
 
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