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Old 09-27-2007, 08:09 AM   #1
MacDR50
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TV Guide

I am a new 2008 3485SA owner and am reviewing just what truck I am going to need. I think I have read every post and this seems to be a popular, if somewhat controversial, topic. In my search for information I hit on this site which at least gave me some insights into how to choose a vehicle and the manufacturer's tow ratings back a number of years. http://www.trailerlife.com/tech.cfm

To make sense of all the information I am toying with the idea of putting all in a spreadsheet including rear axle weight ratings which I am currently researching. I am only looking at vehicles that have a tow rating of 12,000 lbs or greater, a Gross Combined Weight Rating of at least 20,000 lbs and a rear axle weight rating sufficient to handle a hitch weight of at least 1,700 lbs. I will probably include 2004-2007 trucks. If I get up enough steam to actually complete the spreadsheet I'll share it here.

Great forums and I hope to visit often.

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Old 09-28-2007, 09:35 AM   #2
Eagle Man
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IMHO, I would suggest you also add the cargo capacity of the truck to your data. That is the key to the difference between 3/4 tons/one ton srw trucks and duallys. A diesel of any size can tow any Montana, the problem with the 3/4 ton/one ton srw is the ability to handle all the weight in the truck.

On edit, if you are looking at a newer truck (04/05 on) the cargo capacity can be found on the Tire and Loading Sticker. The sticker is on the left rear door post.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:49 AM   #3
MacDR50
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Yes I have researched the difference between 3/4 and 1 ton, DRW versus SRW and gas versus diesel. I am at that stage of trying to put it all together. Both Ford and Dodge have all the information I need on their sites for current vehicles. GM is proving to be a bit more of a challenge but I am getting there. On the way I am learning a lot of factors which I hadn't even thought about such as the ride characteristics of various combinations and the key part rear axle ratios play with respect to torque and efficiency. I even read an interesting discussion on the relative environmental impacts of diesels versus gas engines.

My choice, in the end, will obviously be some sort of compromise but it will be a safe one. The 3585SA has a GVWR of 15,000+ lbs according to the specs on the Keystone site. I never expect to carry 4000 lbs of cargo but I live in a hilly province where the highways are predominately two lane including large sections of the Trans Canada Highway. If you add the GVWR of the trailer to that of many of the possible pick-ups you may exceed the GCWR specified by the manufacturer. The question then becomes do you go with maximums or do you realistically estimate your truck and trailer cargo loads and use that as your critical number.

BTW I asked three dealers to give me their recommendations. The answers ranged from a Chev 2500HD 6.6 TD with a 3.73/1 axle ratio to an overkill Ford F450 with the 6.8 V10. The Dodge guy wanted to sell me a Ram 3500 with the 6.7 TD. He seemed genuinely interested and used the Dodge site to choose the truck.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:43 AM   #4
Countryfolks
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Sounds like all you need is the final part of your research, touchy, feely.

Skip
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Old 09-29-2007, 12:29 PM   #5
MacDR50
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Hey Skip that 3500 RL is about the same GVWR as the 3585SA. You ever actually weight it loaded? The problem I am running into is Gross Combined Weight Rating. For example your GCWR for the Dodge is 23000. If you were to simply add the GVWR of your truck (Approx. 10000) and the GVWR of the trailer (approx. 15000) you would say you were overweight. I bet you have no problems towing or stopping your rig. I am betting that, in most cases, people are not maxing out on either payload in the truck or trailer. Any thoughts? As a newbie to all this I could use a bit of advice.
P.S. Believe me I have never been accused of being touchy, feely LOL.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MacDR50

Hey Skip that 3500 RL is about the same GVWR as the 3585SA. You ever actually weight it loaded? The problem I am running into is Gross Combined Weight Rating. For example your GCWR for the Dodge is 23000. If you were to simply add the GVWR of your truck (Approx. 10000) and the GVWR of the trailer (approx. 15000) you would say you were overweight. I bet you have no problems towing or stopping your rig. I am betting that, in most cases, people are not maxing out on either payload in the truck or trailer. Any thoughts? As a newbie to all this I could use a bit of advice.
P.S. Believe me I have never been accused of being touchy, feely LOL.
Don't believe any dealer, most know much less than your average RVer.

Regarding the numbers above, if you add the GVWRs of both the TV and the RV, you are counting the pin weight twice. In my case, 2500 lbs of trailer is in my truck bed and counted as part of the truck weight.
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Old 09-30-2007, 05:40 AM   #7
BigAl52
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I just bought a 3485sa and pulled it home with a Dodge 2500 SB from Durango, Co to Greeley,Co about 450 miles over the rockies. I had no trouble and I am not going to change a thing as far as a tow vehicle goes. Truck has air bags and a 40 gal tank in the box. I know of one other person in MOC towing the same trailer with a 2500 GMC. Whichever truck you choose I'm sure it will handle it. Al
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:03 AM   #8
richfaa
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The manufacturers specifications for each truck are clearly stated ..remember to factor cargo capacity (that includes pin weight) into the equation..Any diesel or big block gasser will pull any Montana, as some folks like to say, with no problem.The numbers will tell you if you can do that within manufacturers specifications.
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Old 09-30-2007, 08:33 AM   #9
BigAl52
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The 3485sa has a pin weight of 1750 lbs according to the specs on the keystone site and in there brochure. That should be well within the reach on a 3/4 ton pickup. But I'm sure that will not be enough for some. There are tollarances allowed by most manufactures to cover liabilitys. How far you exceed them is yes a risk but you need to decide how far you want to exceed them Al
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by BigAl52

The 3485sa has a pin weight of 1750 lbs according to the specs on the keystone site and in there brochure. That should be well within the reach on a 3/4 ton pickup. But I'm sure that will not be enough for some. There are tollarances allowed by most manufactures to cover liabilitys. How far you exceed them is yes a risk but you need to decide how far you want to exceed them Al
That rig has a GW of 15340, so a minimum recommended PW of 15% would be 2300 and average PW of 20% would be 3070. Either of those weights, with the other things we carry in our trucks, will exceed the GW of 3/4 ton trucks. The purchaser needs to do the numbers and see what he/she can live with, that's why I drive a dually.
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Old 09-30-2007, 02:31 PM   #11
MacDR50
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The problem is the numbers:

GVWR 3585SA 15,325
Pin Weight 1,825 (11% of GVWR or 16% dry weight)
Realistic ??? Pin Weight 3,065 (20% of GVWR)

Ford F250 Crew Cab LWB 6.4 TD 3.73 RAR 4x2 SRW Auto
GVWR 9,900
GCWR 23,500
Max Tow 15,700 (Based upon a load of one 150lb driver)
Max Payload 2,700 (Approx.)

Result = This truck has barely enough tow capacity with one person. The GCWR is exceeded by 1,725. Even using the lower Pin load there is only 875 lbs left for people, hitch and cargo. At the more realistic Pin weight this truck is overloaded before the driver gets in.

Now bump this up to a F350 DRW with all specs same and here are the numbers:
GVWR 12,600
GCWR 23,500
Max Tow 15,700
Max Pay Load 5,720 (Approx.)

Result is that the GCWR is now exceeded by 4,425. The tow rating is still just adequate but now the payload can handle people, a realistic Pin weight and still have spare for the hitch and other cargo.

Not to dispair though. The F350 with the 4.30 RAR with the optional Tow Boss package has a GCWR of 26,000 and a Max Tow of 18,200. Ignoring a small drop in payload to about 5,300 we should be good to go, right..........wrong the GCWR is still 2,125 over.

If I want to go by the numbers the smallest Ford that will almost meet my needs is a F450 DRW with the 4.30 RAR. GCWR is 29,000, Max Tow 20,500 and payload is 6,120. However this behemoth weighs in at 14,500 giving a combined weight of 29,825 or still 825 over the max. This for a truck that retails with taxes, base model, for 60k(C)

BTW a 4X4 reduces both payload and tow capacity due to its extra components weights.

I am getting near the end of this voyage of discovery realizing that what I need is some words of wisdom from people with comparable sized rigs. To me, at his point, it all comes down to:

Does your TV pull your rig comfortably up hills and at highway speeds?
Can you stop within a safe distance?
Is your TV level and not being "Steered" by the trailer?







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Old 09-30-2007, 03:19 PM   #12
richfaa
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Hummm. The truck in my signature..from the door sticker GVWR 13K.From the Ford spec' sheet.GCWR 23,500..We are far under that
5th wheel tow rating//15,200K (DRW 4X4)..we are well under that. cargo capacity 4268 (from the door plate)...06 3400GVWR 14K X 20%=2800lbs..pin weight, We know the truck weighs 8710 with full fuel and hitch ..Add two folks and 1 bird @ 300lbs..add assorted camping stuff in bed 150lbs, add pin weight 2800lbs? =11960..make it a even 12K and we are under everything...I think..

Have not pulled any really steep hills yet.
I have no idea what a "safe distance" is with the 3400 anchor behind me. I am told it is 4 times the stopping distance of the truck alone but I have no idea what that is.
We are level..for sure..
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Old 09-30-2007, 03:26 PM   #13
randye
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Mac I have a 3485SA, while I don't know how much cargo weight we have. I pull it with a Dodge 1 ton, with the 6.7 diesel tow haul and exhust brake. I've only pulled it once, from Grants pass oregon to Olympic Wa. about 400 miles I found it to pull and stop fine. We will be leaving here in about a week or so for Coos Bay Oregon, I let you know how it does. Randye
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:16 PM   #14
BigAl52
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I had a 2980 before this 3485 which had more pin weight on the truck than this 3485 does. I have pulled both loaded and there is no way that the 3485 has more pin weight on the truck than the 2980 does as I have seen it for myself. Crunch your numbers and drive your duallys I have pulled both loaded and know what they are like. Al
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MacDR50


Does your TV pull your rig comfortably up hills and at highway speeds?
Can you stop within a safe distance?
Is your TV level and not being "Steered" by the trailer?

1. Any diesel will pull any Montana.
2. The TV will stop the TV and the Montana will stop the Montana, barring an emergency.
3. Being level is irrelevant, other than blinding the oncoming drivers at night.

The key numbers, as noted before, are pin weight and truck cargo capacity. The best place to get the capacity is off the Tire and Loading sticker on the rear door post. IMHO, I would NOT use the internet, a brochure or what a sales person tells you...none are accurate.

On edit, I'd double check that payload of 5720, seems very high.
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:47 PM   #16
Waynem
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In normal driving the following distance for stopping is the 2 second rule. I would double that for pulling any trailer.

2 second rule is: pick an object out and when the vehicle in front of you passes that object, start counting 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004. When you reach 1004, the front of your vehicle should just be even with the object you picked out. Does not matter what speed, the 2(or 4) second rule still applies. This is based on good, dry, road conditions. If the pavement is bad and the road is sandy or wet, back off a lot more.

The above is what I am comfortable with. I don't recommend following close, and in certain conditions your distance in following must increase.

Semper Fi!
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:52 PM   #17
MacDR50
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Thanks all. I should have given my sources. The Ford figures I used are from WWW.Ford.ca. The Dodge figures I have are from WWW-5.Dodge.com. GM specs are a bit confusing on their site so I will go direct to GM for these. I was pretty careful repeating the figures but to err is human.......... The figures given are average for the specifically equipped vehicles and may vary depending on options.

JMHO but low beams that blind other drivers are an indication of a raised front suspension. This, to me, is not a desirable condition. I think we have all experienced how it affects steering. Even if it doesn't, who wants the guy coming toward you on a rainy night to suddenly lose site of the road? Does anyone use overload or helper springs to help level the TV? Do they make the truck ride harsher? I have read that some of you use air bags/ride to deal with rear end sag.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:54 PM   #18
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quote:Originally posted by MacDR50

Thanks all. I should have given my sources. The Ford figures I used are from WWW.Ford.ca. The Dodge figures I have are from WWW-5.Dodge.com. GM specs are a bit confusing on their site so I will go direct to GM for these. I was pretty careful repeating the figures but to err is human.......... The figures given are average for the specifically equipped vehicles and may vary depending on options.
JMHO, but I'd really double check those figures. There are a number of folks on this forum that have paid big bucks for a TV based on the sources mentioned above only to find out they were not correct and the new TV will not do what the new owner bought it to do.
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:27 PM   #19
Glenn and Lorraine
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OK "weight police" here's fact not speculation, I just pulled my 3485SA from central Florida to Branson to Nashville to southeast Penna to northern NY and across the US to northern Calif. Up the Pacific coast to Washington and than east through Idaho, Montana, to South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana and than south to central Florida. During this trip I went over the Appalachians and the Rockies twice. I made many many stops including 2 emergency stops and my 2500HD and Monty responded flawlessly. At NO time was there the least bit of doubt in my mind that the 2500HD GMC/3485SA Monty combination was anything less than 100% safe. The Duramax also performed flawlessly dragging it's load up and over every type mountain grade it approached. Even on the steepest grade the TV never dropped below 50MPH.
The "weight police" can argue this all they want but the "facts" of the matter is in the "facts" of my trip.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:51 PM   #20
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You are missing the point. As stated by many people, many times, pulling is not the issue, any diesel will pull any Montana any place. The fact that you have been xxxxx thousand miles and not had any problems is fine and good, but irrelevant to the discussion. It seems the OP is trying to figure out what vehicle he needs to remain within the manufacturer's limits.
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