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Old 06-24-2010, 04:36 AM   #1
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Hello all, I am new to the RV world but I feel I can learn much about the subject on this forum. I hope some one can be of assistance with my question. I am planning to purchase a 2011 Zinger ZT 27BH. I didn't plan on purchasing a new vehicle to tow the trailer. With that being said, I drive a 2003 Dodge 1500 Quad Cab with a Gross Towing Capacity of 6650 lbs. The truck has a 4.7 V8 gas engine. The Zinger TT has a dry weight of 4479 lbs, carrying capacity of 2969 lbs, and a Gross Vehicle Weight of 7740 lbs. Can I tow this TT with my Dodge truck ? Dealer has told me I can. I have also been told that the Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer (7740 lbs) is not what I'll be towing, rather that is the amount of weight the trailer axles can support. I am somewhat confused and am hoping for some clarification. Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:17 AM   #2
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Dealers tend to always say "you can tow it".

The rated max towing capacity is usually assuming 2 things, so they can claim the highest number. #1 is a 10% tongue weight on your trailer. #2 is that your truck has a driver, a full tank of gas, and is pretty much empty otherwise.

First we take a look at your specs, from this chart:
http://dodgeram.info/2003/load-tow/1500.html

This says you have a 5414 curb weight, and 6650 GVWR.

6650 - 5414 = 1236 pounds left for our Dodge to carry.
1236 - 740 = 496 left. ( we just subracted the Zinger hitch weight )
496 - 100 = 396 (we just subtraced a very conservative number for a battery near your hitch, full propane tanks, and the weight of your weight distrubution hitch itself)

So, you can load a max of about 350 - 400 pounds in your truck, inluding yourself.



The next number to watch out for is GCWR, which is 12,500 if you have 3.92 diff gears.

12500 - 5414 - 4479 = 2607 pounds left. (subtracted dry TT weight and dry Dodge weight)

Dry TT weight does not include battery, propane or hitch. That is an easy 200 pounds for my setup.

2607 - 200 = 2407 left.

Now figure a good 500 pounds for options on your trailer. The dry weight is for a bare bones model, which does NOT include the "Zinger Convenience Package" The awning, AC and other stuff add up fast.

2407 - 500 = 1907 left

Now add up your weight and whatever family you are piling into your quad cab (remember the 350-400 pounds max above). Lets assume the max you are allowed, 400.

1907 - 400 = 1507 left.

So, you have 1507 pounds to spare in your TT, as long as it does not add to your hitch weight. I doubt you would go over 1500 pounds unless you are go hog wild. (like have full water tanks, and carry a heavy generator, and some other heavy stuff)

If you have 3.55 gears, you only have 507 pounds left. If this case be careful how much stuff you pack into your trailer.


So, the conclusion is, you can tow this if you are very careful. Just be aware that you are cutting it close, and can't safely pile 4 adults into your quad cab while towing. If you have 3.55 gears on your truck, then also pack your TT very lightly.

That being said, I myself am cutting it close with my setup, although not quite so close.

Good luck!



Edited by: Pleco
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:40 AM   #3
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my 1999 1500 dodge ram w/5.9 3:55 rearend struggled to pull Zinger up hills so I ended up buying a chevy 2500HD 6.0 w/ 4:10 rearend
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:00 AM   #4
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Can you pull it? Sure! Will you like it and be relaxed while doing so . . . . Not so much!



I usually try to get folks to be at 75-80% of their MAX GVWR. Everything will be much happier and you still have room for adding "stuff" later.



Just my $0.02 worth (and worth everything you paid for it)
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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The 2003 Dodge 1500 came standard with 373 rear gears with 17 inch tires. They have 390's if they have the 20 inch tires

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Old 06-25-2010, 01:20 AM   #6
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Whether you "can" tow it and whether you "should" tow it are two different things. My take is yes, you "can" tow it, but probably shouldn't, ESPECIALLY if you are not an experienced trailer tower driver (new terminology, just made it up myself!).

Towing a trailer is a whole new experience. I've been towing huge horse trailers for the last ten years, and I *still* get anxious at times. When a big rig blows past you, your rig will end up getting sucked toward it, then immediately pushed back the other way. Add in some rain, and you have a not so enjoyable experience.

Camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If getting there makes you anxious because the safety of your family is in question when you're towing with too little truck, the whole point of camping goes out the window.

And never, EVER trust a dealer. They get paid only if you buy what they are selling. You'll never hear a sales guy say "you don't want the more expensive model because your truck can't handle it." He'll always say "oh yeah, my boss tows that trailer with his Civic, you'll have no problem with that rig of yours!"
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:26 AM   #7
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If you stay on the flatlands versus mountains should also play a role in truck selection. Even with my setup the Smokies can be a challenge.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:12 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your replies, you all have been of great help and I have learneda great deal.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:47 PM   #9
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I had a similar situation I have a zt26bh and towed it with a f150 4.6 3.55 gears and sweated bullets every time really concentrating and looking ahead for hills high rpm and low ground speed I didnt like it so a yr ago or so I bought a 09 2500 hd 6.0 with 3.73 gears noe I can enjoy going down the road and sometimes forget i have a trailer behind me. I also get better mileage towing than I did with the 4.6. good luck
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:20 PM   #10
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http://crossroadsrv.com/owners/tips.asp
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