Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-25-2012, 11:09 AM   #1
New Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 5
Hi all, we are pretty new to RV'ing and just bought a 2012 Zinger 26bh. The dealer said we could easily tow it with our 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 5.7 hemi 3.55 axle. (I realize they all say that) The dry weight of the TT is 5850lbs. We have a good weight distribution hitch and pulled it 200 miles from the dealer to our house. The only issue seemed to be engine power in a few spots. Never had any sway or anything like that even while being passed by big semi trucks. I think with passengers and gear we might be right around the max tow capacity of our truck (7400 lbs). My question is when I read about people saying it's too dangerous to pull that much with a 1/2 ton, what exactly is the danger? It seemed to pull just fine and never felt it was swaying at all. Am I just being paranoid with everything I'm reading or am I missing something?



toolhed71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
Full Time Camper
 
Stan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oak Harbor, WA
Posts: 1,993
When you are close to the max limit, wear and tear on the drivetrain really comes into play. I towed a 7500lb bumper pull with a 1500 Suburban for several years. Flat roads were fine but hills really took its toll. The engine worked too hard in the mountains and the rear axle went south after 60K miles. Another issue is just plain stopping ability. Stopping that much weight is really hard on the TV brakes so don't tailgate!



__________________
Stan and Terri
Oak Harbor, WA
2008 Chevy 2500HD D/A
2007 Cruiser CF30SK
Glide Ride Pin Box
Reese 16K Slider
Stan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
Family Vacation Member
 
joescuba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: so. ga.
Posts: 137




pulled a 27 ft roadrunner and then a 26 ft laredo with my 2003 dodge qc hemi,i just learned to plan my routes to avoid mountains and big hills.
__________________
Bettie and Mark

2011 cf285rl patriot cruiser

07 dodge cummings
joescuba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
Full Time Camper
 
anaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 2,394






We towed w/ a half ton SUV (armada). Ourarmada probably had a shorter wheel base than your ram. Our TT weighed approx what yours does when weighed empty. It weighs in at 7000 lbs loaded. The armada was rated to tow 9100 lbs but the available payload (before subtracting passengers, cargo, pets etc) was only 800 lbs (did not understand this weight and it's role when I purchased a TT). The loaded tongue weight of my TT is approx 980 lbs (if we don't load tongue heavy, this TT likes to sway). With approx 80% of that 980 lbs (784 lbs) actually on the TV that put us way over once you add in 2 not so light adults, a child and a 70 lb dog. I tell you this to show you how you can be within specs on some numbers but not all and being off on one of those numbers can give you a bad ride. When towing empty home from the dealership, we had no problems. This was on flat land and about 1 1/2 hrs of highway travel. Once loaded the "fun" began. We had majorhandling problemson highways (not so much on back roads). We tried a lot of things to combat this, new E rated tires, hitch adjustments, etc. Never fixed that problem but tried to deal with it. When we towed in the mountains, we found major issues. Going up the 7% grade, the engine struggled, the tranny would get really hot (we had a tranny temp guage) so we would have to downshift to cool the tranny. We were at 20mph by the top of the hill and thanking god we made it there. Going down a 7% grade on the highway, we were able to handle it. Going down a 7% grade on a back road with lots of twists and turns that you had to keep speeds way down, we got pushed despite using lots of tricks to keep it safe. That was very scary getting pushed down a mountain, it was the final straw for us and we upgraded to the TV in our signature.

Things may not go the same way for you. You have your combo now. The only thing you can do is check your weights carefully and load light. I would go weigh your TV loaded and ready to camp. Take this number and subtract it from your TV's GVWR to get your actual available payload. Take the scale number and subtract it from your TV's GCWR to get your adjusted towing capacity (it will probably be lower than you think). Then get a weight on your TT loaded and disconnected from your truck (if on a cat scale, have truck front tires on scale pad 1, truck rear tires on scale pad 2, and TT w/ tongue and disconnected from TVon scale pad 3). Get your print out and look at your weights. Remember that the tongue weight should be somewhere between 13-15% of the loaded TT's weight. About 80% of that tongue weight will actually be on the TV and 20% on the TT thanks to the WDH. This will tell you exactly where you stand. Now, you have this TV and this TT, so you could always try it and see how it does or trade it in on something bigger. What is your comfort level when it comes to safety of your family and liabilities if in an accident and found to be overweight is entirely up to you. We lasted 1 season before the upgrade and have not regrettedupgradingat all. The true test will be when I tackle that same scary mountain in October with the new to us diesel. I wish you the best of luck and safe towing.

Edited by: anaro
__________________

2014 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW Duramax
2011 Zinger ZT26BL-sold
2014 Sabre 34REQS

***Member of the Mason-Dixon Group***
anaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
New Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 5
Ok, thanks for all the info. We will mostly be pulling within 2-3 hours from home and mostly pretty flat territory. Definitely won't be going through any mountains. If anyone pulls this TT with a 1/2 ton, I would like to hear your feedback. We will be taking it out next week for it's first trip and will see how it goes. Thanks.



toolhed71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
Family Vacation Member
 
Captain Mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 135
I would thing going to a 4.10 ratio would make a big difference for you. If you find the need for more power.
Captain Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 02:53 PM   #7
Full Time Camper
 
anaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 2,394


5 miles or 500 miles, the distance doesn't really matter as you are taking the same risk either way but the terrain does matter. Staying on the flat will put you in better position than in hills/mountains but as stated above, it will be up to you and what you are comfortable doing. Best of luck next week, enjoy your trip!
__________________

2014 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW Duramax
2011 Zinger ZT26BL-sold
2014 Sabre 34REQS

***Member of the Mason-Dixon Group***
anaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2012, 04:29 PM   #8
Family Vacation Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Mike
I would thing going to a 4.10 ratio would make a big difference for you. If you find the need for more power.












Axle ratio is only part of the issue. The wheels, springs, brakes, even the frame are different depending on the design of the truck. (1/2 v 3/4)

The price to change over to 4.10 or whatever (especially if it's a 4X4), would be better spent on upgrading to a 3/4 ton. Whether you go diesel or not, the truck would be designed for the extra weight.

You would be happier and safer in the long run.



BTW: You were right about one thing. Most salesmen will tell you what you want to hear.

Tow a 35' fifth wheel with a 4 cylinder Toyota? Sure no problem. Edited by: rv-rick
__________________
2010 Zinger ZT19RD

2000 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 4X4
rv-rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2012, 05:32 PM   #9
New Camper
 
twodabs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ridgecrest, Ca.
Posts: 9
I have a sunset trail reserve 25rb with a dry weight of 5900 lb. pulling with a 2003 ford f-150 5.4. We live in southern california which is full of mountains. No problems except pulling up steep grades, but bypassing overdrive I am still able to pull at 55 mph. I plan on keeping my truck for another few years, but my next one will definitely be a 3/4 ton.

__________________
Terry and Carlyn

Ridgecrest, Ca

2012 ST25RB

2003 Ford F150
twodabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2012, 11:27 PM   #10
Weekend Camper
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Buskirk NY
Posts: 58
I have a 08 26bh and towed 1 season with f150 then upgraded to a 2500 hd with 6.0 much better and safer 1/2 ton will do it but I didnt enjoy it.
Greg Morin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 01:09 PM   #11
New Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 5
Well we just finished our first trip. We got there, but I did not enjoy the ride. We packed pretty light and I still felt I was way overworking that truck. I really want to get into a 3/4 ton but trucks seem to be through the roof right now cost wise. I am going to have to limp through the rest of this season and hope prices come down in the spring. I wish there was a better option with my 1/2 ton. I think we bought too much camper.



toolhed71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #12
Full Time Camper
 
anaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 2,394




Double check your WDH and sway control are adjusted correctly before giving up. Otherwise, you can join a club that many of us belong to. When we decided the Armada was not enough TV for our current TT, we started shopping (it helped ease the pain that the armada was over 7 yrs old and in need of some major repairs). We originally planned on getting a mid-level 3/4 ton gasser. After shopping around, we found that the new prices were more than we wanted to get into so we looked used. When looking used, we found that a diesel with low mileage had potential to last us longer than a gasser (diesels tend to live to be 300-500K miles if cared for). We got lucky and found an 09 really low mileage diesel in the lariat package for less than we would have bought a new gasser for. You just have to keep your eye out for the right truck and be willing to pass on the ones that aren't quite right. One other thing, pay attention to the payload sticker on the 3/4 tons because apparently not all have the HD package and so can have a small payload. Go ahead, ask me how I know. My 3/4 ton diesel only has an 1800 lb payload. Plenty for this TT but not enough for a bigger TT. That might be why it was more affordable. Oh well, we don't plan to trade either for a really long time. Happy hunting.
__________________

2014 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW Duramax
2011 Zinger ZT26BL-sold
2014 Sabre 34REQS

***Member of the Mason-Dixon Group***
anaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #13
Family Vacation Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: VA
Posts: 144






1800 lb payload is what the truck will carry; not what it will tow.

Our 2000 Ram diesel has a payload rating similar to yours. Also the 3.54 gears, and 4X4.

We didn't plan on carrying a slide-in camper or hauling a large 5th wheel with the associated pin weight, so that wasn't an issue.

Our tow rating is 10K with a hitch rating of 1K. This is plenty for anything we would ever want to tow.

BTW: We ordered it new just this way. 12 years and 214+K miles and it's good for another 12 years.
__________________
2010 Zinger ZT19RD

2000 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 4X4
rv-rick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #14
New Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 5
I think I need to tighten up my WD hitch when we go out again next week. Last trip my bars were tight but still loose enough to where I could move them fairly easy with my hand. I am really going to crank them down and see if that helps. Everything was great going 30 mph, but on the highway I got a little bouncy back there. I only drive 5 minutes to work and take maybe 4-5 camping trips a year so I really want this to work with the 1/2 ton, but telling the family no bikes, coolers, water, and filling gas tank 1/2 full because I'm concerned about weight is really going to be a buzz kill going forward.



toolhed71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 04:45 PM   #15
Full Time Camper
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bradley, Il
Posts: 1,018




As I recall, the best way to check if the WD bars are set right is to measure the distance to the road from the front and rear wheel wells with the trailer unhooked. Then hook up the trailer and the WD bars and remeasure the distance to the ground. Both front and rear should drop by approx. the same amount. This helps maintain good steering control. If my memory about this is foggy, maybe someone else will chime in and fine tune my thoughts.
__________________
Dale & Carol
Bradley, Il
2007 F-250
2010 CF30SK Patriot
2007 CF30SK
dalemac377 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 04:09 AM   #16
Full Time Camper
 
ewbldavis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Canton, OH
Posts: 937


Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemac377



As I recall, the best way to check if the WD bars are set right is to measure the distance to the road from the front and rear wheel wells with the trailer unhooked. Then hook up the trailer and the WD bars and remeasure the distance to the ground. Both front and rear should drop by approx. the same amount. This helps maintain good steering control. If my memory about this is foggy, maybe someone else will chime in and fine tune my thoughts.

I agree. You can look at truck, too. Our WDH is a roundbar w/ chains and we "upped" it one loop - as you can see our TV sits nicely level and handled much better. We also (very very slightly) tightened sway control.

On a side note - you notice we have a mid-size SUV for our TV. It handles well, but we have dicussed upgrading to a Reese dual cam or similar setup due to trailer length. Not being in a hurry helps, too. We are happy with it, but plan to upgrade in a few years.
__________________
Eddy & Brenda
Canton, OH
2015 Silverado HD 6.0L
2014 Zinger 32QB
ewbldavis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 07:23 AM   #17
Full Time Camper
 
anaro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mebane, NC
Posts: 2,394
Correct, you measure from the center of the wheel wells to the ground on the truck unhitched and then hitched. You want the front as close to original height as possible (usualy within 1/4" or so) without going lower than unhitched weight. The back will still have a little squat but you don't want a lot of squat. THe other trick is to weigh your truck axles individually hooked up and unhooked. You want your front axle as close to original weight without getting heavier. THe rear will get heavier. You also want to make sure your trailer is level or slightly nose down.
__________________

2014 Chevy Silverado 3500 SRW Duramax
2011 Zinger ZT26BL-sold
2014 Sabre 34REQS

***Member of the Mason-Dixon Group***
anaro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2012, 07:24 AM   #18
Full Time Camper
 
tator447's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: WI
Posts: 896
Send a message via MSN to tator447




Toolhed71,
I have a link to the Equal-I-Zer website that has the instruction manual on it. I posted it once before for someone...if you need it let me know and I can do it for you...or just go to there website and it is a PDF and you can find it there. I used it when settiing mine up and their instructions are easy to follow. Your bars should not be lose for sure...I can tell you that.

Jim
__________________

Jim & Linda Tator
Watertown, WI
2013 Crusier CF34SS GMC 3500 8.1L Dually
154 nights in 2013 - 4,370 miles
178 nights in 2014 - 5,082 miles
365 nights in 2015 - 6,040 miles
tator447 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2012, 01:13 PM   #19
Weekend Camper
 
luvtocamp7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Brimfield Ohio
Posts: 18
Toolhed71,

Go and buy the equalizer system, I tow my 31SB Zinger with an F150 with Ecoboost. I was getting major sway until i bought the Equalizer System. My Zinger is 8100 dry and I figure when I go camping I am around 9,000 loaded. I also added air bags to my rear suspension, try and keep the stance of your truck when loaded looking like when you have no load on it. My next truck as well will be a 3/4 or 1 ton. Even though my truck will pull 10,800LBS the weight of the camper wants to push the truck around especially on windy days.






__________________
Stevens Family Brimfield, Ohio

F-150 ECOBOOST 31SB ZINGER

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/...ps08c83b98.jpg

luvtocamp7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #20
New Camper
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 5
We just came home from another trip. I cranked down my bars pretty tight and it helped a ton with the sway and handling. We took the scenic route out there and everything was great at 45-55 mph. I was feeling pretty good about things so we took interstate hwy home and although we live in Minnesota and it's pretty flat, we do have some hills. Trying to climb a grade at 60-70 mph was pretty brutal. I slowed down to about 45 and tranny was screaming as I was yelling to wife "that's it, I'm selling this truck!" I am going to sell my truck this fall, buy a beater car to drive all winter then buy a 3/4 ton in spring. Hoping that now is time to sell a truck and spring should be a good time to buy. That is my reasoning anyway. One question though. Now that I believe my problem is mostly transmission and engine power, if I buy another dodge in a 3/4 ton with the same 5.7 engine, will the transmission gearing make that much of a difference to warrant the truck upgrade? Or should I look at Fords with the v10 or Chevy with the 6.0? Thanks for any help.



toolhed71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Crossroads RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×