Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Moon Lake Refuge

Towing Capacity question

12 posts in this topic

Hey all,

I bought a camper last fall and was curious about towing it.  I brought it up to the cabin where it will sit most of its life so straining my truck isnt a huge concern but I find myself wondering how often I could/should tow with it.  I have a 2014 Ram 1500 showing a towing capacity of 8000 lbs and a 34 foot travel trailer with a dry weight of 6500 lbs.  With the sway bar it tracks great behind the truck even though its a bit of a pig on the gas peddle.  When towing it will likely never have full tanks as we would usually be staying at campgrounds with utilities.  Assuming I put bring 500-1000 lbs of gear with  that puts me 500-1000lbs below my total capacity.  Is that enough within my capacity to safely pull it 1-2 trips a year ranging from a couple hundred to 1000 miles?  I'm really withing I opted for the heavier gears on my truck now for the extra 2k in towing capacity.  200 bucks up front sure beats the 2-4k to put them in now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you mean by "heavier gears?" I take it you're implying changing your axle ratio, right?  Ie; going from a 3:55 to a 3:92....Do you have the Hemi?

Edited by RebelSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah I have the hemi with 3.22 gears.  Wishing I would've done the 3.92's.  I may be looking into some 4.10's for a future b-day gift to myself.  Thought about trading the truck out but as it would be my 3rd new vehicle that didn't last more than 1-2 years I think my wife may do away with me in my sleep if I bring that up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only time you want 4:10's is if you're headed to the racetrack.....4:10's/4:13's are nice race gears. :lol: Just kidding. I think the 3:92 would easily be plenty with that trailer. But, figure in your hitch weight, is it a crew cab, trailer weight disbursement, air shocks, etc.  Remember, that taller gearing will also give you some really lousy mileage, too. Maybe checking this chart can give you some ideas. It is too bad you didn't opt for the 3:55 gears. I went with those in mine for all around "drivability". Satisfied with what I pull so far. Good luck..let us know what you decide.

http://www.rambodybuilder.com/2014/docs/ram/rammlup1500.pdf

Edited by RebelSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, RebelSS said:

The only time you want 4:10's is if you're headed to the racetrack.....4:10's/4:13's are nice race gears. :lol:  Remember, that taller gearing will give you some really lousy mileage, too. Maybe checking this chart can give you some ideas. It is too bad you didn't opt for the 3:55 gears. I went with those in mine for all around "drivability". Satisfied with what I pull so far. Good luck..let us know what you decide.

http://www.rambodybuilder.com/2014/docs/ram/rammlup1500.pdf

Yeah I looked at that one already and a fully loaded trailer with 3k lbs of cargo and just me in the truck puts me over weight by about 400lbs but I will never be anywhere near fully loaded.  I talked to a guy with 4:10's and he said he lost a mile and a half on his average.  Turning 30 next week so if I can ever justify the gift could be now! :eek:  I'm just hesitant.  I usually like to do my own work and ive been through a whole engine swap with my dad before but I heard gears can be tricky to get them shimmed out right.  And if I'm bringing it in to be done it wont be anytime soon as labor is pricey on a 4x4...  May just wait it out and keep this as a 'Cabin only' camper for awhile just to be on the safe side.

RebelSS likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Moon Lake Refuge said:

Yeah I looked at that one already and a fully loaded trailer with 3k lbs of cargo and just me in the truck puts me over weight by about 400lbs but I will never be anywhere near fully loaded.  I talked to a guy with 4:10's and he said he lost a mile and a half on his average.  Turning 30 next week so if I can ever justify the gift could be now! :eek:  I'm just hesitant.  I usually like to do my own work and ive been through a whole engine swap with my dad before but I heard gears can be tricky to get them shimmed out right.  And if I'm bringing it in to be done it wont be anytime soon as labor is pricey on a 4x4...  May just wait it out and keep this as a 'Cabin only' camper for awhile just to be on the safe side.

Hoo boy, gear work can be a real blast. I'm also thinking that proper reflashing of your tranny 'puter, etc might be necessary with theses electronic tranny's. ... not sure. I'm the old school race car engine build'em guy, usually had others do my gear work, as I hated it. Don't feel bad; when I ordered my new truck, I had my list made out of the gears and tow pkg, tranny cooler, alternator,  I wanted, etc. Forgot to order the Detroit locker rear axle.  :mad:   DOH!!!!!

Edited by RebelSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, RebelSS said:

Hoo boy, gear work can be a real blast. I'm also thing that proper reflashing of your tranny 'puter might be necessary, not sure. I'm the old school race car engine build'em guy, usually had others do my gear work, as I hated it. Don't feel bad; when I ordered my new truck, I had my list made out of the gears and tow pkg, tranny cooler, alternator,  I wanted, etc. Forgot to order the Detroit locker real axle.  :mad:   DOH!!!!!

Bummer... Yeah I had never planned on the TT.  We have 3-4 trailers and at most its an alum with a couple harleys in it that any 1/2 ton can town now a days... Throw in a big travel trailer and it puts a wrench in everything.

RebelSS likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, RebelSS said:

Maybe there's a custom K Whopper in yer future. :grin:

 

truck%20pic5.jpg

Does that come with car seats???  I could see it as my daily driver but think I would need something a little beefier for the weekends!

RebelSS likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You also need to pay attention to this.  This is going to include the truck, gas, passengers and anything else you are carrying.

That being said you should be good if you don't load up the trailer too much.  And I would make sure to take the tranny out of OD when towing if you want your tranny to live long

 

Gross Combined Weight Rating

(GCWR)

This is the maximum combined weight of both the towing vehicle (including cargo & passengers) as well as the trailer (including all trailer cargo)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep I take out od when towing it and I looked into my GCWR and it actually gave me a larger margin then my towing capacity.  I think I'll just let er fly.  Should only be out on maybe 1-2 trips a year because its mostly just a second home at the cabin... I've just had the itch to head out to the black hills with it at some point for a little get away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless you've weighed your truck, you have no idea if you've got a greater margin within the GCVWR. The problem is trucks only display "curb weight" which means a truck with gas and a 150 lb driver. Sounds like you plan on taking your family along as well as lots of other stuff for your trip. Your camper is about as heavy as I would comfortably tow. 

I would double check the weight of the truck and camper. Take it to a truck stop or another truck scale and find out what your real life weights are. A dry camper doesn't count batteries, propane, water, waste, food, linens, etc Once you know those weights, you will have all the answers you need. 

I've gone through the same trouble of buying several vehicles and my wife was not happy either, but I settled on a vehicle that can tow what we wanted comfortably and we are happy now, even if we upgrade. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now



  • Posts

    • Great storytelling with pictures on a portion of your life experiences in the  great outdoors.  Thanks for sharing Len.  
    • Len - This was a very nice article.  I enjoyed your writing style.  Take care.
    • I am going to pick up a box to pattern against what I am shooting now. Here is my question. They are available in both 1 3/4 oz. shot and 1 7/8 oz. shot in 12 gauge. In a 3" 12 gauge #5 shot shell, that comes out to a 21 pellet difference. The velocity for 1 3/4 is 1200 fps, for 1 7/8 is 1080. At 20 yards it would make very little difference, but say at 45 yards would you rather have the extra 21 pellets or the added velocity? I suppose the answer is to buy both and pattern them, but I am curious as to the thoughts of the folks on this board. Thanks
    • I was looking to get an otter XT pro cabin this winter, I was wondering of anyone on here has an otter in the pro platform and how they like the extra insulated walls. Does it seem bulky? Too warm on above 0 days? I wouldn't mind just the normal cabin but they only offer it with a bench it seems but having the extra insulation may be nice to have for those cold days here and there. 
    • Thank You for the very interesting and enjoyable morning read
    • we have the 4.6 merc and found it bogged down until we popped new plugs in and it ran like a champ.  This boat sees well over 75-80% of its time trolling, but throttles down when we first go out each time.  Might be a different beast but in most motors hammering down once or twice each time you use it should be enough to keep things clean as long as your running non oxy gas.
    • Ex-Fishing Guide Daze  
      I quit guiding nine years ago. I did it for five years and met quite a few characters and curmudgeons during those guiding dazes.  Come take a journey with me through the years.


      Typically I would ask clients prior to taking them out their skill level. Most under reported their casting prowess but quite a few exaggerated. I would also ask them their personal best brook and brown trout. I also got a handle on what their best numbers day was. My goal was to put them on more trout and bigger trout than they had ever caught.


      I would say 70 percent of the time they caught more than had ever caught and 60 percent of the time they would leave with their personal best as far as size.  The best brown trout during the time period was twenty seven inches.  The longest brook trout was sixteen and three quarters.   I am particularly proud of my three tiger trout morning in 2005 on a tiny secluded stream in Crawford County.  


      I have a fond memory of a father son tandem. It was the son's first exposure to trout fishing. It was a golden trip. This new to trout fishing beginner was hooked for life on trout fishing. His dad was as proud as a peacock of his son. He told me that his son was hooked for life and profusely thanked me for the outstanding outing.


      The father and son team are still chasing trout to this day together. They have expanded their horizons and fish in other places. At least once a year I get a post card from some exotic location. Their streams are in Germany and Italy and as far away as New Zealand, The post card has a trout or a stream on the front. The only thing on the message part of the post card each time was two words. Thank you


      I one time had a guy catch his personal best brook and brown but he told me at the end of the outing that he was disappointed and was not tipping me and would give me a bad review if I didn't give him another FREE outing because He had not caught a giant. He told me my page was false advertising because he had not caught a 23 inch plus brown. A long story short...I never took him again and no tip.


      I had a well known angler once refuse to ride in my vehicle because I had the wrong presidential candidate bumper sticker.  My vehicles through those years had many muddy boots and wet waders in them.      I ran into a couple on vacation once that had matching Wisconsin Badger sweatshirts on.  We talked because of our Wisconsin roots.  Come to find I had given a presentation at their son’s school and he now wanted to be a fishing guide as a profession when he grew up.  The odds of running into this couple in Florida were astronomical.  


      Once I had a guy contact me. He told me he had a disabled son and he wanted some easy places to take him. Me being gullible I gave him a couple good places. I later found out this guy was a guide and he lied to me and was looking for easy places to take clients. I once donated a trip to a VFW for an injured Gulf War veteran.  I ended up taking that vet and his father fishing.  The son was severely handicapped and took many accommodations to make it back out on the water.  The smile on his face when he caught a decent trout will forever be etched in my memory.     I presented at a couple nursing homes also.  The audience was much smaller typically but very rewarding.  Many of the residents were died in the wool outdoors people and had not been able to be “out there” for decades and the photos and my tales took them back to their younger years.


      I sat in on a couple auctions of trips I donated to cancer research and other charities.  I even presented to one of these charities to get the bidding started.  It gave me a great feeling of self satisfaction to see my guided trip bring $8,000 dollars for cancer research.  Other donations had totaled $5,000 dollars at other events prior.  Anglers have huge hearts and it was quite obvious at these events and it made me feel very proud to be a part of making money to fight cancer.     I believed in showing clients a good time. I was new to guiding and really humped to turn clients on to good fish and numbers. My success made the long time established guides in the area look lazy and inept. I had 2 of them say I was padding my numbers and lengths of trout.
      One time a client liked the stretch so well that we fished he went back the next day and tried to buy the land from the owner. I knew the owner well and he was thinking about selling but the guy wanted to post the land and especially not let me back on there. The land owner declined to sell.

      Once a fly shop owner told me I was going to do a FREE presentation at his shop. He didn't ask. He told me I would do it or he was going to spread lies about me and ruin my guide reputation. I didn't do the presentation.

      Karma has a way of repaying back deceitful folks. The shop owner lost his shop shortly thereafter and went to work for a large fishing chain store and later fell off the edge of the trout world. I was befriended by a long time guide from the area when I first started guiding.  We fished a couple of my better areas with the promise from him he would never take clients back to my favorite spots.  Two days later I found him there with three car loads of people.  I rolled up on him just exiting his vehicle.  I asked him what was up?  He explained to me he was keeping his promise.  The four other anglers with him were not clients but “guides” from other states.


      I had a client that would only use crawlers and he didn't ever keep any trout but refused to go barbless and to set the hook on the first bite. He typically waited for the second or third nibble. The trout were very hard to get the hook out and I felt bad for them.


      One season I was hired to be a long time retired Green Bay Packer's exclusive guide for the year trout fishing. He matched my year prior's total. He only went out with me 10 times that year. I got to wear his Super Bowl One and Two rings at the same time.  He told the same story almost every time we went out.  It was about the iconic quarterback sneak in the Ice Bowl.  I got the in the huddle story prior to the frigid play that only the center and quarterback knew of the last second. My packer friend introduced me to a legend of the college basketball coaching world.  This man was quite a gentleman and a character.  He will forever be known for his throwing of a chair onto the court during a game.  He told me about his mindset before and after the incident.


      During my 5 years of guiding I donated over 40 guided outings to charity and non-profits. One of my donated guided trips was with a couple school teachers and they were new to trout angling.  They had a wonderful outing.  Trout fishing is a male dominated pursuit but I would put this female principal and science teacher up against any male anglers. I presented at over 50 schools through the years for free.  It was very fulfilling watching the children’s faces.  I mixed in spiders and snapping turtles into my photo show.  Along with the creepy crawlers and snakes I mixed in flowers and breathtaking scenery photos.  My only mission I had at each school presentation was to plant the seed and leave that school knowing I had turned those kids on to the wonders of the outdoors.  I once had a contract from Field and Stream to do a 12 photo layout and feature story for them on a famous angler/hunter I took out regularly. I told the guy a couple weeks prior to our outing and he oked it.


      He showed up on the day of the trip at 10:45am and we fished for an hour and he then went turkey hunting. He didn't like any of the photos and refused to let me use them. The story and photos were to get me a $2,000 pay day and notoriety.  I took the guy for FREE each time to say I guided him and to use photos in articles.  
      I also had him ask me when I was going to pay him for fishing with me. He typically got 80,000 dollars an hour for speaking. The same guy let out seven different swear words in one sentence when I failed to clear his back cast for him and he caught a tree.


      He also had an aversion to losing flies. He would go under water and crawl out in tree limbs to retrieve flies. This angler grew to be too high maintenance for me and I handed him off to a friend to entertain.  
      During the guide daze I learned how secretive trout anglers are. I swear they would give you their first born child before they would give you information on a stream.  A Midwest Flyfishing Magazine article I had written even caused an angler to knock on my front door to talk to me to voice his frustration with me publicizing “his” streams. 


      I had a featured article in American Angler magazine. The editor told me that good articles typically received at least 6-7 angry emails from anglers because of giving too much attention to "their" fishing area. The editor contacted me later and said I got 13 hate emails.


      I once had a client do so well he didn't have enough money with him to tip me adequately and he was a former employee of Gerber Knife company and he gave me eight high end knives he had new in their boxes as a tip.    
      I once had three rich guys fish with me all at once. They were talking about buying a medical supply company. The company was on the market for 750,000 dollars. They split the price in threes. Four years later they fished with me again and bragged they had just sold the company for 23 million.


      The majority of anglers I guided were excellent anglers and stand up good citizens. They were mostly from the Midwest.  A couple came from other places in the states and as far away as Germany and Italy.  The regulations in other countries are baffling I learned from my foreign clients.  No one ever got skunked when they went with me.


      I have had my glasses and cap ripped off by clients numerous times by clients in a hurry. I have been hooked in the hand, arm, ear, face and head. When you guide you must watch and not fish yourself.  It felt like going to a gold mine without a shovel.     In the last four years I have had four knee surgeries and one back fusion.  I still get out on the water as often as my body allows.  It is a chapter of my life I would not have omitted from my journey.  Guiding was fulfilling but it took its toll on my body and my soul.  I love the outdoors and would not have missed a second of wading and talking and learning on the streams of rural Wisconsin.     Len Harris trout fishing guide 2003-2008.
    • 4-stroke or 2-stroke motor?
  • Our Sponsors