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Old 07-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #1
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Hello all,
My husband and I just purchased a 2015 Sunset Trail Reserve ST28BH and are planning to tow with our current truck, a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500, with factory install tow package and the new Andersen Hitch. We were assured that our truck would tow this TT with no problems. It would be nice to hear this from someone who actually tows a TT of this size and weight with a 1/2 ton truck. This is all new to us.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:18 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome. Congrats on the new sunset trail. Tell us a little more about your truck. What engine, what cab, 4wd or 2wd, what size bed, what rear end, what does the tire loading sticker inside the door say for cargo/occupant weight capacity (this is your real payload capacity less weight of occupants, pets and gear). These are what really determine if you are ok.
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:55 PM   #3
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Not sure I can answer all of your questions, it is a crew cab and the info we have is that the max load is at 7750. It is a short wheel base, auto trans with the tow mode feature. The husband is at work now, so we can play later and he has all the answers I don't. I'll find out from him the other stuff and post.

Thanks
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Old 07-06-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
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Anaro, the truck is a 2wd, v8 390 horsepower
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mr. T and Ms. B View Post
Not sure I can answer all of your questions, it is a crew cab and the info we have is that the max load is at 7750. It is a short wheel base, auto trans with the tow mode feature. The husband is at work now, so we can play later and he has all the answers I don't. I'll find out from him the other stuff and post.

Thanks
According to the spec sheet you might be taxing that Dodge a little.

Specifications

Dry Weight: 6609 GVWR: 9592 Carrying Capacity: 2983 Hitch Weight: 792 Axle Weight: 5817 Exterior Length: 32’ 3” Exterior Height (with A/C): 11’ 2” Fresh Water: 40 Black Water: 40 Gray / Galley Water: 80 Tire Size: 225/75R15D
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
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Ok, let's look at what we know. The trailer you bought has a dry weight of 6609 lbs (this does not include dealer options, battery, or propane) and a gvwr of 9592 lbs. Let's throw out the gvwr as you are not likely to load 2900 lbs into your trailer. On average people tend to load 1000-1500 lbs into their trailer, some more, some less. To give you an idea, I had a very similar trailer and my family of 3 added close to 1400 lbs to ours (per cat scales). Dishes, pots, pans, toiletries, clothes, chairs, wood, tools, etc add up really quickly. So now you are looking at a loaded weight of 7600-8100 lbs with this trailer. Dry tongue weight is a useless number. Ideal tongue weight is 13-15% of the loaded trailer weight. Based upon the above estimated weights of 7600-8100 lbs, you are looking at a potential tongue weight of 988-1215 lbs.

Now let's look at your truck. This is what I found for a 2009 ram 1500 crew cab V8. I guessed ST level. 2009 Ram 1500 specs.

According to that, max tow for the 3.55 rear is 7750 lbs. That lists a max payload of 1709 lbs. And a gcwr of 13000 lbs. These numbers are before options, passengers pets, and anything else you might add to your truck. It does typically allow for one 150 lbs driver and a full tank of fuel. You have a bunk model so I'm assuming you have kids. You will very likely be over both tow capacity and payload with this trailer.

The only way to know for sure is to go to the scales and weigh your setup. Make 3 passes, first pass is just truck, no trailer. Second pass is truck plus trailer no wdh. 3rd pass is truck, trAiler and wdh. On each pass you should have the truck with a full tank of fuel and all passengers, pets and gear you intend to have in it when towing. The front axle of the truck will be on scale pad #1, the rear axle on scale pad #2, and the trAiler on scale pad #3.

Take your scaled truck weight and subtract it from the gcwr (13000 lbs) to get your adjusted towing capacity. Take the scaled truck weight and subtract it from your gvwr (6800 lbs) to get your available payload. Take your rear axle weight and subtract it from gross RAWR (3900 lbs) to get the available room there.

The change in truck weight without wdh will tell you your actual tongue weight. This number needs to be within your available payload and RAWR. Your overall trailer weight needs to be less than your adjysted towing capacity as well. Towing outside these limits can be dangerous. Also, if you get into an accident and your insurance company figures out you were over limits, they could deny your coverage.

The third pass was to tell you if your wdh is setup properly and what your numbers look like when hooked up properly. Ideally you want to be as close to unloaded front axle weight as possible without going over.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:00 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. There is only my husband and me, no small kiddies. We are not going off the grid only to campgrounds, so there won't be a need for bikes, toys, not into campfires so no wood. We won't be towing with anything in the holding tanks except the black tank and only then to the dump station. The research I have found says that this unit is 1/2 ton towable so that helped us make up our minds. The salesman, dealership owner and their service tech all said we had plenty of truck to pull no problems. The first thing we did whenever we went onto a lot to shop was tell the salesperson that we were towing with a 1/2 ton and we always took the truck with us so there were no questions. This bit of information from the two of you is upsetting as the dealer we purchased from has the rep of being straightforward, fair and honest but now I am in question of that rep. I talked to my husband last night and he says that if our truck won't pull it then we will just get another truck. He liked that idea.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:58 AM   #8
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T & B, we are towing our 2014 ST28BH with a 2012 Ram 1500 Laramie and it tows beautifully. I'm just adding to the conversation but am NOT trying to get into the technical side of how your 1/2 ton is different than my 1/2 ton...I'm sure it is! We did a LOT of research before we purchased regarding all the numbers - both online and at the Ram dealership. But just wanted to let you know that we haven't experienced any problems whatsoever (I know...doesn't mean there aren't any). We LOVE our camper and feel like it's a good match for our tow vehicle. Good luck with yours and happy camping!!
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:01 AM   #9
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Anaro the info you have for the Ram is correct. Thanks again
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:09 AM   #10
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Thank you for the good news Edge2. My husband is sure that we won't have any trouble. We are picking up the trailer on Wednesday and I can hardly wait. Our son and his family Rv as well andwe are doing this to be with them. The bunks will be for when the grandkids stay over. Thanks again for the encouraging news I think we will love ours too.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:33 AM   #11
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Edge2, do you use any extra supports for the slides? This is all very new to us and any help, suggestions you have on set up, etc. Will be welcomed.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:49 AM   #12
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If you mean supports "under " the slide ---NO
Not recommended.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:49 AM   #13
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No, we do not. I have even heard that putting supports under the slides could void your warranty because if the ground settles a bit after set-up then the supports could damage your slides...though I have no idea if that's true or not! I always get a little anxious when we have company in the camper and we've got 4 people at the dinette and 2 or 3 on the couch...but that's just me being a Nervous Nelly. Never had any problems with the slides at all.

We do use 2 of these stabilizers just to take some of the rock-n-roll our of the camper once we're set up: http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-02010.../dp/B001UGJPXQ Together with the 4 built-in stablilizers, they take out a majority of the movement. We put one under the rear bumper and one just to the right of the stairs (it would be best right under the stairs, but you can't get to the frame there).

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions - happy to help!
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:51 AM   #14
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Ok, thanks, we will nix the slide support idea. The other stabilizers are on the list. I am a nervous Nelly too. We are looking at an adjustable support for use under the bottom stair at the main entrance do you think we need one? I know these questions seem out there but understand my old view on "camping" was a hotel with no room service.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:56 AM   #15
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The problem with the support under the stair is that the bottom step will wind up at varying distances from the ground, depending on what site you're in and how level it is. I think I'd try the stabilizers first, then the step support if needed. We don't have one...but it might work!

You can always feel free to PM me specific questions about our model too.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:22 AM   #16
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Thanks Edge2, I may just take you up on the PM after we actually get the unit and start to use it. I know I will have a million questions and it is nice to know I have someone to ask. I think we'll just look into the stabilizers for now and wait to see how the unit does before we invest money for some unneeded gadget.
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:06 PM   #17
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I tow the same trailer with my Ford f150. I have a 7800lb tow capacity and a 13500 gross combined weight. so our specs are similar. It tows very well, but keep your load light. fully loaded with 1/3 tank of fresh water and some water and chemical in the black tank I am towing 7200lbs with a toung weightof 1000lbs. I weighed everything at the scales and I was just over 13,500lbs combined. you can easily go over on your numbers if you aren't careful.

Good luck and If you have any question PM me
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:49 PM   #18
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Thanks cw3jason, your specs are very much the same as ours so this makes me very very happy. We are only taking short trips so we can keep the loads light. We have already looked and what we will need vs. what we want to take and found we can do without a lot of fluff. We are having the electric brake thingie and the new Andersen wdh installed and we were told this would help with the towing. I tend to panic and sweat over the small stuff but looking at the posts from you and Edge2 I don't thing we are going to have a problem.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:00 PM   #19
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I think you will be fine. Just remember that what you tow you must be able to stop. Drive defensively and take your time. I tow mine with a 1500. Tows fine. I take my time. More truck would be nice but not in the cards right now.

Supports under the slide is not recommended. The Valterra stabilizers I highly recommend. I have two and place one between the steps and first axle then the opposite side with the other. I place them under the frame. They really do make a difference. I also have the adjustable screw type that I put under the stairs. I just use the one and I personally recommend it too.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:49 PM   #20
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Anaro provided an excellent resume on safe towing - good read. Keep your speed and weigh down - you should not have any problems. Approach steep hills with patience going up - and proceed even more slowly going down. Use low gear on the transmission - let the speed demons pass you - they are in a hurry - your not - camping is about relaxation. Don't worry about having all the answers before you leave the driveway. The first few times you go you are going to forget stuff, and you will learn something useful. With each successive trip one list should get smaller - the other will grow!!! Relax and enjoy!!!
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