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New camper...

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by capvan, May 27, 2010.

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  1. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    We just went from an 18 ft camper to a 26 ft. version. We're picking it up on Saturday. It's a Jayco 26L and I've never towed anything this big. Using a Tundra with an 8 cyl. engine. Any words or advice or encouragement greatly appreciated. It has bunk beds in the back, so I think I will become very popular at my club when we go to shoots.

    Bruce
     
  2. GrubbyJack

    GrubbyJack Member

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    You will love having more space, my first one was a 20ft Trail-lite. Go to the trucker scales on the way home, and see what it weights-in at (both truck & camper) and then after a few trips, fully loaded, weight it again and know what kind of weight you are pulling (check the sticker on the drivers-side or in a cabinet).. Just enjoy it, and remember to swing wide, and remember no DRIVE-THRU's, AND you'll have to park in the south 40 at Wally-World.....Grubby
     
  3. Royce10

    Royce10 TS Member

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    I hope your Tundra has 4-wheel disc brakes, that is a lot of trailer rolling. I was looking at a friends Tundra, 2003 model, it had the smallest rear drum brakes I have ever seen. Maybe they have changed since then.
     
  4. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    No, not large brakes. My Tundra is an 01 with drum brakes in the rear. But I do drive slow :)

    Bruce
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    I had a neighbor that thought his Tundra was big enough to pull a 22' toy hauler. He lost the rig up on the NV/Oregon border. Not enough suspension or brakes to control the load after he got a wheel of the trailer off the pavement temporarily. This guy was a retired NHP officer so he knew how to drive. I would look for a bigger truck if I were you.
     
  6. Bob Schultz

    Bob Schultz Well-Known Member Supporting Vendor

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    capvan,

    The problem with trailer sales people is they always tell you your truck will "pull" the trailer. They seldom tell you if it will do it safely and "STOP" the trailer. I have been an RV'er since 1979 and have dragged or driven just about all classes of rv.

    Toyota Tundra is a great truck, unfortunately it will pull your trailer but it won't stop it safely. I would start looking for a 250 series (3/4 ton) truck at least if you want to be safe.

    I don't mean to frighten you, I have had the misfortune of pulling a trailer with an undersize truck and almost lost the trailer, truck and my best friend. I just got lucky and managed to get the rig stopped.

    Bob Schultz
     
  7. Jason B

    Jason B Member

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    Congrats on the new camper Bruce. We bought a new 32BHDS Jayco G2 last summer and have been very pleased with everything with the trailer.
     
  8. ebsurveyor

    ebsurveyor Member

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    Be sure to add an electric brake controller.
     
  9. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    I sure agree; at minimum a BIG V-8 1/2 ton like the new Ram. Better yet, any 3/4 ton truck with big V-8 or, best yet, diesel.

    I am tired of the "jive" I hear from those who pull whatever: "I hardly can tell it's behind me with my Duracrap, Crummins, Powerjoke or whatever".....B.S., maybe on a flat level road without wind. We use a 27 foot travel trailer (2 feet of which are a storage module) that weighs about 7000 lbs. with gear. ("wet") Sure we have plenty of power and are "safe" with setup improved with Banks "power" controller for towing, exhaust, intake, and turbo brake. But we sure know the trailer is there...Don't kid yourself.

    And 7000 lbs. is way below the rated capacity for towing for our Duramax. In the towing game, perhaps "too much" is "just about enough"...And, kidding aside, I feel that the Duramax and the Ram's (Dodge Cummins) were the best overall packages for towing. The new Ford 6.7 might be great; looks that way on paper, time will tell...

    Be sure to get a good equalizer hitch and make sure the weight is distributed correctly. An electronic brake controller is, of course, implicitly mandatory with any trailer that has brakes.
     
  10. too fast

    too fast TS Member

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    Jack have an 04 Duramax diesel for sale. 4x2 only 37k. Loaded $23,000. Thanks Jim P.M. or 916-599-3314 West Coast time.
     
  11. radeck

    radeck Member

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    I pulled an almost 5,000 lbs 22 footer with first a 6 cyl. Ford Explorer, then a V-8 Chevy Suburban 3/4 ton, and lastly a 6 cyl Dodge Durango. I used that Sub to go from CA to Salt Lake to the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone to Craters of the Moon and back again. 19 nights on the road. Outstanding time. Drove the kids crazy, but saw almost every form of thermal activity that Yellowstone offers. But dad…

    With the Explorer I towed to Death Valley and struggled up the Tehachapi pass. That big Chevy was the best. Got 11 mpg whether I was towing the trailer or not, LOL. Towed across I-80 in NV. I really forgot it was behind me. And Donner summit was a breeze.

    Then along came the Dodge (rising gas prices...) it was OK on flat ground, but I knew first time towing it up into the Sierras for a lakeside vacation that I missed that big V-8. I was now getting 16 mpg in town (better) but only going 35-40 mph up the Sierras. Had to get behind the 18 wheelers and suck fumes for a few miles. Morale - when in comes truck and their engines; when towing - bigger is better.
     
  12. M-16

    M-16 TS Member

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    If you have a good brake controller one that is progressive to how hard your stopping not the ones that use time to judge how hard it is going to brake. Those are dangerous as if you try to stop fast the trailer will not brake hard until the set time, and if you set it up fast it always jerking. Set up right the trailer basically stops it's self. One controller is the prodigy I believe many sell it camping world has it in there catalog. Also a leveling hitch makes it a lot safer.
     
  13. JIM SIMS

    JIM SIMS Member

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    Look up your gross combined weight and rear axle gross weight.The Tundras axle weights are a little lite.I own a Tundra 03 and towed a 22 ft
    5th wheel for 4 years.Yes the rear brakes are in need of improvement,
    but properly maintained will work o.k.
    CHECK YOUR WEIGHTS.
    JIM
     
  14. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    capvan,

    May I suggest that you map out a route that will include some hills and curves along with some stop and go driving to see how everything works prior to a big trip. You've changed trailer size enough to make it a whole new game.

    I would also check your owners manual about using OD when towing a trailer that big.

    Good luck, and I hope your truck does the job.

    ss
     
  15. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Well, thanks for all the advice. Not that it matters, but my "Jap" truck was made in the USA by American workers.

    I'm stuck with the Tundra and will probably be moving to a Tacoma soon. I don't have the resources or the need (aside from the camper) for a big truck. All of our trips are pretty short and the camper will spend most of the time parked at one campsite. We live in Vermont and a trip to Maine will be the longest trip we will take. And that is for one week, once a year. 7 hr. drive to Moose head lake, stay a week, then a 7 hr. drive home.

    thanks again!

    Bruce
     
  16. thunder

    thunder Active Member

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    I have to agree with Bob response. I would look for a 3/4 ton diesel. I would look for a 2003 to 2006 Dodge 2500 with the 5.9 Cummings, the engine is bullet proof and the auto on the 2006 is also very good. The other is the Ford 250 with the 7.3 engine, this diesel engine has been a very good engine, I think 2001 or 2002 was the last year it was made. I owned the 2001 Ford, 2003 Dodge and the 2006 Dodge, the 2001 Ford was good and the 2006 was awesome power.

    It only takes one idiot to pull out in front of you. Better safe than sorry and these trucks can stop you.

    Enjoy your new camper.

    Andy
     
  17. RLC323

    RLC323 Member

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    When properly set up with a good brake controller the trailers brakes should do their own job of stopping the trailer. You do not rely on the trucks brakes as much for stopping both, but more to control the truck/trailer combo.

    I would mostly be worried about the weight, the total loaded weight of your trailer, not what the trailer sticker says. The Tundra will handle 7200 pounds maximum towing weight which is typical for a half-ton truck. You have to find out what YOU have as far as hitch weight, and at each axle, and what total GVWR the Tundra will handle. Consider 80% of your trucks 7200 lb weight rating to be the "safe" zone and anything over that risky. You will need a weight distribution hitch to "leverage" weight from the back to the front axle of the truck. You will have to work to get this set-up right. Check out RVnet above for tons of good set-up advice.

    Sway from passing vehicles and side wind also comes in to play with a 26 foot trailer and a short wheelbase tow vehicle. There are several anti-sway devices that pair up with the weight distributing hitch to minimize the issue of sway. Those clamp-on friction sway bars are not optimal, especially in rain.

    It is possible to safely tow a 26' trailer wth a half-ton truck if you get the weight set up right and use a good sway control system. There also are a lot of people (including salesmen) who will tell you you can pull anything with a half-ton truck, and you may get away with it for years. But accidents are usually the result of several things going wrong in succession. Having enough tow vehicle, properly set up can be the thing that stops the succession of those things going wrong, and save you and your family's lives.
     
  18. philk

    philk Member

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    Throw your hitch in the scrap bin and buy a Pullrite, best money you will ever spend. IMHO
     
  19. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    RLC...I will be getting and Equalizer hitch. It comes equipped with dual anti-sway bars.

    Weights have been checked and it appears the Tundra will comfortably handle it. It is a "lightweight" Jayco camper. The Tacoma will be at it's upper limit for towing, but that is in the future.

    Thanks again, everyone.

    Bruce
    KB1IIX@ARRL.net
     
  20. Dahaub

    Dahaub Active Member

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    The guys telling you bigger is better are correct. I have never pulled my camper in mountains or foothills but where I have pulled it the dually with cummings power has done the job. I did go by a heck of an accident once on the interstate where wind picked up a camper and passed the truck with it coming down on it's top when the truck was turned around. Everyone survived but were scared and shaken up. Both vehicles were totaled. Becareful with the half ton pulling that much camper. Go easy in areas were high winds can catch your camper and make sure to have electric trailor brakes set up on your truck. Don't' pull a camper with radial tires with thin sidewalls either. You need truck tires with multi ply sidewalls for stability. Drive your rig easy and get a transmission cooler installed if you don't have one already. A seven hour trip is a long time to pull a camper without a cooler on the trany. Good luck and have a lot of fun with it. Dan
     
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