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TXiceman

First RVs

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Many of us started camping in tents and moved up to luxury in a pop up.  Next we really stepped up and got a real hard sided travel trailer....oh, what luxury.

Travel trailer are from the small basic to the larger and more luxurious models.  Of course bigger trailers mean bigger trucks.

But the newbie does not understand tow ratings and often is sucked in by the dealer telling them that your "truck can pull that with no problem. "  They soon become disenchanted about long trips due to poor tow vehicle performance and handling.  Some think it is a step up to go to a motorhome.

I look forward to helping answer questions about travel trailers and 5th wheel trailers, weights, hitches and suspension.

Ken

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On ‎12‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 9:53 PM, TXiceman said:

But the newbie does not understand tow ratings and often is sucked in by the dealer telling them that your "truck can pull that with no problem. "  They soon become disenchanted about long trips due to poor tow vehicle performance and handling.

Ken, sad but so true. We have friends that have a TT, they too bought the truck, then trailer, upgraded truck to V10 SUV, then down sized to a Tundra because the Toyota dealer told them it was OK and when you read what it can pull on the surface looks close but OK. Then you factor tongue weight, loaded trailer and people to the truck weights they are 400 over on tongue and combination 1500 over:(. The ditched the big SUV due to fuel economy as it was a daily driver. I just hope they don't become a statistic with that much over loaded.

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Seen to many TT, truck combos that look as if they will break in half going very slow down the Freeway, a danger to all. 

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15 minutes ago, manholt said:

Seen to many TT, truck combos that look as if they will break in half going very slow down the Freeway, a danger to all. 

Yea, I'm afraid my friends combination is a bit unsafe, he won't listen to me plus what's he to do beyond crank the weight distribution hitch down and tighten the anti sway bar? The dealers on both ends sell you what you want and have little to NO clue about towing and towing safety, as we all have seen over they years on here with anything once there is ink on the papers they forget who you are.

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16 minutes ago, manholt said:

Seen to many TT, truck combos that look as if they will break in half going very slow down the Freeway, a danger to all. 

I get away from them when on the road, I can usually spot the overloaded combination and stay clear.

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There's also the older WB & Fleetwood gassers, towing 24'+ Stacker Trailers!  I always wonder, "What are smoking"? :ph34r:

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And a lot of them don't realize that the braking power of the 1/2 and even 3/4 ton is not really enough to safely stop 14,000 pounds pushing them. 

Some of the newer toy-haulers go over 14,000 pounds. Couple that with a 12,001 pound truck and a higher license is required in Texas. Some of the toy-haulers can weigh over 16K.

 

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Wayne, I have more experience with electric trailer brakes than that care to remember, stopping it is another mess. When your controller is an expensive on/off switch with a gain and voltage adjustment and you go into a panic stop, controller is set to slight tug guess who's not stopping. Yea..yea some controllers have a pendulum, haven't seen one yet that actually works as advertised. Everyone I ever tested the truck was in an ABS event for 30+ feet before the trailer even began to pull, and no more than it was set to. The only effective stop I ever saw was the driver reaching down and squeezing the panic button, while trying to maintain control.

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Wayne, our 40' 5th wheel is 19,300 lb loaded and we are within 500# of hitting the max limits on our truck.  Some of the 44' DRV 5ers have a GVWR of 24,000 lb.  A few well equipped 1 ton duallies are rated for this much trailer, otherwise you need to step up to a medium duty truck (MDT).  Some go to a class 7 or class 8 tractor....and haul a Smart Car behind the cab.

The newer trucks use a integrated brake controller that is proportional and based off of hydraulic pressure in the brake system.  

Before I'd go to a huge tractor and hauler, Id go back to a class A pusher and a tow car.

Ken 

Edited by TXiceman

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Joe, very familiar with having to squeeze he "paddle" to stop more quickly with a trailer and even then it was a toss up.  Never hit anything, but the pucker factor was there.

Ken, I know they get heavy. A trailer weighing 24000 pounds means the truck can only weigh 2000 pounds and if 1 pound GVWR is more than 2000 pounds a Class A license is required - in Texas.  I have seen some 5'ers towed with MDT's and even bigger rigs. I have camped next to ones with the smart car on the back of the tractor. Lot of truck there.

It doesn't matter what a truck is equipped with it is based on the sticker GVWR for both.  Hey, I'm just one for following the rules to the best of my abilities but others do what they want to do and I can only hope and pray that they will not affect me on the road.

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9 hours ago, TXiceman said:

a integrated brake controller that is proportional and based off of hydraulic pressure in the brake system.

NICE!!

Do you have a link to that unit?

 

7 hours ago, wayne77590 said:

I'm just one for following the rules to the best of my abilities but others do what they want to do and I can only hope and pray that they will not affect me on the road.

AMEN.

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jleamont, Ford, Ram and GM have the units integrated with the truck systems.  For any aftermarket unit, you are pretty much stuck with the inertia type brake controllers.  They have evolved from the old pendulum type to an electronic decelerometer.  There was an excellent hydraulic based unit called BrakeSmart or MaxBrake for the aftermarket.  A larger company bought them out and never brought the newer unit to market.  People would rather pay $150 for a inertia based unit that simply plugged in vs a hydraulic based $500 unit that was harder to installed.  The inertia based units sort of work 90% of the time, but the hydraulic based unit worked 100% of the time.

After a trip on wet roads and having to pry the seat covers out of my rear end, I put in the BrakeSmart and no more issues.  You may be able to find some used units on the market.

Wayne, my truck is rated for 30,000 lb GCW and I do have the class A exempt for Texas. My wife has her class A as well.  It is not a hard exam to pass.  The most inconvenient part is scheduling the driving test.  The best place to take the exam is Livingston, TX due to the fact that Escapees is there and they get lots of RVers in getting Texas licenses.  

Very frankly, if you cannot pass the written and driving exam for the class A or class B, you do not have any business driving the rig.  This is not meant to hurt anyone's feeling, just a statement of my opinion.

Ken

 

 

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I just read the Fords system from the factory, still not even in the same ball park as the hydraulic systems. Said another way, if the driver has it set wrong, you get into a panic situation you are not stopping the trailer. One neat part, the faster the vehicles speed the more it applies...again as long as its set properly by the driver. I had a feeling this was the case as I just drove a 2017 F550 last month with a three axle electric brake trailer and I either had too much brake or not enough, as always I panic tested the brakes...just in case, when the trucks ABS engaged I picked up speed, rather quickly and quite scary at that.

Glad you are licensed for that equipment, most are not and have no clue how to operate their trailer brakes, let alone the test the emergency breakaway system on a pretrip.

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Ken,

I had a Class A CDL beginning in about 1986. No longer driving for that company or any commercial company I converted it over to a regular Class A.  For some reason that was after I got a ticket and paid a $164 fine.  No defensive driving and no adjudication if it is a commercial license...just pay the fine.  With the standard Classes of licenses DD and AD are offered. So far I have not had to use those methods since converting.

So you let Susan drive...oh wait, she lets you drive and she monitors from the co-pilot's chair.  I do understand that method of driving.

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20 minutes ago, wayne77590 said:

oh wait, she lets you drive and she monitors from the co-pilot's chair.  I do understand that method of driving.

Same here, DW has the license (Class B CDL and medical card) but has no desire to drive the coach, just tell me what to do from the co-pilot seat :lol:. I still have my Class A CDL and current medical card (card not needed for coach).

Before it gets mentioned....I do a pre-trip inspection on the coach prior to pulling out of the driveway that includes pulling the breakaway on the toad to make certain it stops itself. Nothing bothers me more than someone telling me since RV's are not susceptible to DOT inspections no pretrip is needed :angry:.

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RV's is...Motorhome, pull behind and 5r's or fifth!  So your safe Joe, your with in topic!  Pulling or being pulled, you have got to have the right equipment, License  and a thorough understanding of what you have! :) 

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jleamont, I have the truck brake controller set and never have to touch it.  The trailer has six electric brakes (three axle) and they are 3.25" wide by 12" dia drum brakes.  Plenty of brakes on the rig and no issues.  Electric trailer brakes are very variable from trailer to trailer.  Most of the trailers with drum brakes are shipped with the 2" x 10" dia drum, electric brakes.  

Before we take off for the days travel, the rig gets a safety walk around check, hitch is checked with a test tug before completely raising the front jacks.

A note on first RV's....our first was a Starcraft popup.  It served us well, but we wanted more creature comforts.

Ken

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Yep, looked at the disc brake kits....$6000 to go on my three axle Mor/Ryde IS axles....not in the budget.

Weather does not look to good up your way.  We spent 2 years just north of Toronto and 6 months in York, PA.

Ken

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Ah! First "RV" - term used lightly.  The year was 1974. The RV was a 1972 Chevy Sportvan  Equipped by TRAVCO. Slept 4.  Table let down to make a bed, cross members added above bed for two more...although it was young children and I'm not sure it would hold me now-a-days.   Two burner gas stove. Suburban gas heater that was fantastic. Port-a-potty was a box with a lid on it and a bucket inside.  Take the bucket out and carry it to the restroom to dump - and any restroom would do.  Sink to do dishes and the drain was a hose connection on the outside for the gray water to go onto the ground. Never a problem back in those days. A small 12v refrigerator. Two 12v batteries charged by the alternator with an isolator so the house batteries would not take down the engine battery if it got low.

Engine: 350 Chevy

Picture of Proof (PoP)

 

1972Chevy.jpg

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