Towing my 32' travel trailer

Laz

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@Laz My TT is 31' and 7200 dry. What do you put in it that gets it up to 10,000 lbs loaded? That's an additional 2,700 lbs of stuff! Seems like a lot? No?
I've got a lot of miscellaneous equipment that my family and I use to have a good time while camping but I dont fill it with that much weight ever, the sticker states 10k loaded and that's including the 3 tanks and gear. I dont come near that as I tow with empty tanks and probably about 500lbs of gear. Not to mention the big screen TVs and better mattresses and kitchen ware and things like that that always stay in rv.
 

Cmerkert

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I've got a lot of miscellaneous equipment that my family and I use to have a good time while camping but I dont fill it with that much weight ever, the sticker states 10k loaded and that's including the 3 tanks and gear. I dont come near that as I tow with empty tanks and probably about 500lbs of gear. Not to mention the big screen TVs and better mattresses and kitchen ware and things like that that always stay in rv.
I'm the same way. Probably another 500 to 700 lb and tanks are always empty. Don't forget the blow up screen and projector for movie nights! Safe travels my friend.
 
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Laz

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I'm the same way. Probably another 500 to 700 lb and tanks are always empty. Don't forget the blow up screen and projector for movie nights! Safe travels my friend.
Likewise bud
 

ShaunHicks

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It's actually pretty easy to drive a travel trailer. ... Provided your vehicle is rated totow your trailer, you will not find it hard to go up hills, brake, or do most of the other things you would normally do while driving. That said, it isn't without any special challenges or dangers
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Willwork4truck

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I want to thank everybody for the civility shown on this forum especially concerning this thread. If the OP posted on one of the various travel trailer/rv forums I have been on, he likely would have been flamed out of existence. Their typical “weight police” response is that this is only for three-quarter or 1 ton diesels due to: safety on the road, you’re endangering everyone, youll blow up your truck etc. all those types of comments. Well it’s true he’s at the very edge of the 1500s capabilities but it can handle it with a sane operator (speeds).

Biggest concern I have is after the proper WDH and sway controls are done is setting up the brakes for the weight. Once he is good with that its just take it easy.

While Ive never been a fan of “tail wagging the dog” rigs, at least he has tried to think this through. So many others don't.

Guess I’ll put the popcorn away, no fireworks here...
 

go-ram

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Interesting thread. I transport TTs for the Mfgs with a 8 speed 3.92 14 1500 Ram ED. In fact the old girl just turned 500,000 miles. When you are towing a larger TT such as Livinfast & Laz are you really need to use a CAT type triple scale to know you are at least close as can be to Mfg spec for both maximum safety/stability and CYA legality.

I'm looking at my scale slip from towing a 33' floorplan 3 slide Forrest River Wildcat Maxx. Factory scale weight paper work that came on this trailer said 9,086 pounds dry. Dry the only weight distribution I had to work with was my WDH. (an Andersen) With the most weight transfer the hitch could give me it brought my tongue weight down to 11.3% or 1,026 pounds according to my scale results and the factory paperwork. It also replaced my steer weight to 3,300. So with these two more critical things being good plus the hitches built in sway feature, air bag suspension support, and load tires the trailer towed well. Tongue weight to factory original class 4 receiver rating for WDH was also in spec. GVW (gross vehicle weight) was high but still under combined axle rating. CVW (combined vehicle weight) was high at 15,800 but still below the 4th gen max of 15,950.

I transported it over 1,000 miles over 6 percent grades on I-5 over north Cal's Mt Shasta and up the grapevine into the LA area. Motor struggled on the climbs pulling down to 52 mph but rolled fine on the flats at 65. Even pulled off an average of almost 14 mpg thanks in part to the tune. The rig did not sway handled turned stopped well. No braking issues controlling downhill speed as the tuned truck has the turbo brake software and factory trailer brake controller so truck brakes always stayed cool and fresh for emergency stops.

Point being if I wasn't able to get this setup accomplished by working with the hitch and scale.. She likely would have been too heavy on the tongue making the truck unstable with higher COG. Light on the steer axle nose up she would be skittish and easy to roll in the event of sway from wind gusts semi truck bow wave or an emergency swerve around to avoid someone if they tried to pull out in front of me. With light steer weight she could take dramatically more distance to stop. The proverbial white knuckle ride. Same truck trailer hitch and weight mind you. Not something you want to do with your family in the truck or to other peoples families on the road.

Fortunately the Maxx had an excellent aero nose cone. With the flat box front high COG such as Livingfast's you will likely need/want 12% tongue weight to keep the trailer from wanting to wonder and cause sway, at least if you want to be able to run up to 65 to stay with right lane Interstate traffic for an out of state trip. Anyway hope this provides a better understanding and that someone benefits from it. Average camp ready weight from batteries propane water & supplies for most people is almost 1,000 pounds. From Livingfasts dry weight of 8,400 to a wet of 9,400 he would want to load it and set the WDH for a tongue weight of 12% or around 1,128 pounds. (scales read in 20lb increments) That leaves him about 400 pounds according to the sticker but go by the scale slip as its the legal and accurate. Exceeding the GVW a little bit isn't a biggie for stability or safety where as exceeding axle ratings can be. Just focus on getting the tongue weight and steer weight right for a safe stable tow setup.
Thanks VernDIesel, great post with tons of truly useful info.

When you have a moment, can you elaborate on your 2014 Ecodiesel with 500k miles on it?

What have you had to do to it in total to run it for that many miles? Any major repairs done to it?

As well as you know the Ecodiesel by now, whatever tips/tricks/interesting stories you can share will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!
 

VernDiesel

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EGR coolers eventually leak and at first slowly send coolant out your tailpipes. Thanks EPA. Warranty covers for a while and now 14,15,16s get extended warranty after AEM emissions software update. But after the AEM many trucks are sluggish until up to normal operating temp lose power & mileage and really need a tune to be better than original. Best, permanent, and economical fix after warranty for leaking EGR cooler is delete plates and a $50 update to an aftermarket tune. Both GDE (Green Diesel Engineering) and PPEI offer a proper ECM level tune IE not a piggy back fooler chip or the silly Banks box.

In the mean time just monitor your degas tank (aka overflow tank top front center when you open the hood) If over time & miles your truck develops a slow internal EGR cooler leak you can see it in the level of your degas tank. Just add distilled water and or plus anti-freeze to keep it to the seam until you get the EGR cooler replaced or deleted. Warning the degas tank will only get so low before the coolant level stops dropping in the tank however coolant continues to drop in the system. This is bad because even if your truck is not over heating yet you are getting hot dry spots, steam pressure, and not properly lubricating your water pump. So you are likely to eventually take out your water pump & or radiator and or push a head gasket.

This is what happened to mine I was running lower on coolant than I realized and pushed a head gasket at 371,000 miles while towing a travel trailer. Motor would have lasted longer had I better monitored my coolant level via the degas tank and replaced or deleted the EGR cooler sooner. Today the truck has 579,000 and has held up well. Pics can be seen of it elsewhere on the forum. Original transmission but I changed the fluid after every 100k. I also have a GDE ECM and Trans tune. This has proven to be a good investment. Had to do over I would again spend my money on the tunes for the many substantial benefits. Clean oil, better regen management, no trivial check engine lights, turbo brake, power & mileage bump etc. These make the truck substantially better than stock.

Other normal maintenance per original warranty Rotella T6 full synthetic oil every 10k with 10k rated oil filter. It’s reasonably priced for a full synthetic readily available and an approved oil. I did use the original Pensoil Euro L oil for 170k no issues. Fuel filter every 30k per my original warranty. I now only use the factory Mopar fuel filter/water separator as others are not likely to be supported for warranty should you get a load of dirty or watered diesel that takes out your expensive fuel system. Even beyond our EDs 100k warranty who wants to take any more chance here than they have to. I believe the Mopar filter is the only one with water separator in addition to particle filter. Change or check especially your rear differential fluid every year. It’s quick simple & easy to do and nobody wants to buy a new rear end for their truck.

Aside from investing in a tune to keep your truck out of the shop find a dealership who actually has at least a certified diesel mechanic if not an Ecodiesel schooled tech. That is if & when you need any repairs. FWIW Most city dealerships do not. Many country dealerships that sell a lot of diesel Rams do. Bad techs / service departments have made good money from warranty & consumers alike replacing turbos & injectors only because WiTech listed them as a possible cause to a code. Find a problem solver not a unthinking or unscrupulous parts swapper. Last a cheap simple two button Bosch OBD 1000 scan tool in your glove box can save you a trip, tow, or embarrassing limp home mode and put you in the drivers seat with respects to any minor issues. Oh yeah one more if towing heavy in the heat up a grade limit your sustained rpms to 3k so as not to overtax your cooling system. No serious overheats and clean oil these things can live a really long trouble free life and with 30 mpg Hwy or 23 mpg running locally you will be apt to do just that.
 

go-ram

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Thanks! Great info, and I (and a lot of other folks, I'm sure) really appreaicte your knowledge and you taking the time.
 

VernDiesel

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Willwork4truck

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Thanks VernDIesel, great post with tons of truly useful info.

When you have a moment, can you elaborate on your 2014 Ecodiesel with 500k miles on it?

What have you had to do to it in total to run it for that many miles? Any major repairs done to it?

As well as you know the Ecodiesel by now, whatever tips/tricks/interesting stories you can share will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again!
Especially since FCA had to “redesign” the engine (or re source one). Evidently yours has stood the test of time, even with the h gasket issue.

Im surprised the tranny has held up to that hard duty. I’d have halved the fluid change interval instead of going 100K but yours has made it.
 
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VernDiesel

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VM Motori has done quite an extensive redesign. Hopefully eating bearings and falling on the sword will be a thing of the past for it. With tune my oil stays clean and the regen strategy no longer floods the engine with diesel also mine gets to full operating temps and stays their all day. Plus it normally tows at 2,100 so good oil pressure flow for the bearings. This engine is often referred to as zero or hero. I think a lot based on duty cycle. Well and factory tune / sic gov emissions requirements.
 

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