Will a half-ton pickup cut it? Or tow it?

first_img RELATED TAGSSafety and MaintenanceMaintenanceNew Vehicles Not that long ago if you wanted to get into the fifth wheel/gooseneck travel-trailer game, the price of admission was a three-quarter ton truck at a minimum. And depending on your taste for not roughing it in the woods, you might have had to step up to a full one-ton unit with dual rear wheels; a real ouch on the wallet. Now with lightning speed advancements in both truck and trailer technology, it’s possible to have a castle on wheels capable of being towed by a half-ton truck with plenty of weight to spare. But that’s not always the case. So if you plunk your deposit down at a trailer retailer without checking the right specs and ratings, you can make a very expensive error.Truck companies are pushing their half-tons’ towing capacities past 10,000 lbs thanks to lighter-weight build materials and improvements in engine, transmission, suspension, and axle designs. Trailer builders are doing the same, in reverse, by shedding weight and increasing the use of pop-out rooms. But fifth-wheel trailers are not like other designs when it comes to tongue or pin weight (the amount of force the trailer’s hitch point places down on the tow vehicle’s hook-up). For non-fifth wheel units, the rule of thumb is 10 per cent of a properly loaded trailer’s weight will be the downforce on the hitch (200 lbs tongue weight on a 2,000 lb trailer, for example). Some fifth-wheel trailers will put more than 20 per cent of their total weight down on the hitch point.Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Factory-installed fifth-wheel/gooseneck trailer tow prep package and fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitch kits are available on the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty. advertisement Trending in Canada PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 2019 Ram 1500 Limited See More Videos COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Dealership service departments often get the call when a trailer owner has purchased a unit that’s too heavy for the towing truck with the question, ‘what do I have to do to increase the towing and/or cargo capacity of my truck?’ According to the automakers, there’s absolutely nothing that can be done. The truck’s rating is set at the factory gate and nothing a dealership or suspension specialist can do (no matter how much money someone wants to spend) can change that. Besides, upgrading the suspension will do nothing to increase the ability of the truck’s axle to support a load; that’s where the rubber (or trailer load) hits the road. center_img For half-ton trucks with 10,000 lb towing capacity, they often have less than 1,500 lb cargo rating, which means you can’t have a trailer putting more than that weight on the hitch point. When you consider that cargo ratings include all the gear you might load in the bed as well as passengers riding in the cab, you need to calculate some reserve when selecting a trailer. The same goes for total towing capacity. An 8,000 lb trailer, for example, can easily weigh much more when gear, luggage, supplies, liquids, and any fuel are added. So what could happen? For a few short trips between the home base and a lakeside lot, probably not much. But take your overweight trailer on a longer or hillier haul and you can run into trouble. Most modern automatic transmissions now have monitoring systems that will shut the gearbox down to second gear when their internal temps rise due to towing too heavy a load. Take your ride into your dealership with this problem and a fifth-wheel hitch in the bed and you might find your factory warranty won’t provide any coverage. Or you can easily burn out the rear axle bearings (where all the cargo weight is applied) leading to repair bills that can run into the thousands. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Trending Videos Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” ‹ Previous Next ›last_img

Posts Tagged with… , , , , , , , , , , ,

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *