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Old 09-26-2021, 04:38 PM   #21
kowbra
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Originally Posted by Delaine and Lindy View Post
Never said it was a bad thing, just showing there is capacity difference.

Agree the larger the Truck more stopping power. My Freightliner sports chassis, had more stopping ability that the GM 4500hd, 3500hd and 2500hd.

Be happy, enjoy life!

Happy trails.
Oh I know that, that's why the smiley face

But again considering the post was not about capacity, I felt it needed to be clarified.

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Old 09-29-2021, 01:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by DutchmenSport View Post
Invariably, there is someone who makes a post on this, and other RV related forums, asking the question, "Can my truck tow (this) or (that)?"

And what follows is a discussion that often leaves the original poster frustrated because he is not accepting the answers to justify his under-par vehicle for the trailer in question.

And all too often, such bull-headedness results in a post 3 months later stating, "I just purchased a heftier tow vehicle." Often times, these posts are made by folks wanting a "daily driver" more than a tow vehicle.

I have repeatedly made this statement:

ďYou really need to think in terms of what is the ultimate extreme usage you'll be experiencing with your tow vehicle, not what is the lightest usage and hope it's OK when the extreme happens."

Well, the extreme happened to me last week, and these words kept echoing through my mind which made me glad, and thankful, I bit the bullet on the cost of a dually, the cost of diligent upkeep, and the cost of simple operation.

We left Central Indiana, Friday Sept 17 for a KOA South of Chicago where we spent the first night of our current journey. The second night (Saturday night) we stayed at another KOA in Wisconsin. By now we were over 400 miles from home.

When we pulled out Sunday morning, we hadn't traveled more than 3 miles when I realized there were no trailer brakes. Of course my wife and I had a very diligent and serious discussion about how to handle the problem. I decided to keep driving the additional 250 (plus) miles to make it to Baraga State Park in Michigan .... without trailer brakes.

This was Sunday and we had a week long reservation for this State Park. Rather than going to another campground for an indefinite length of time to get the truck repairs was, well, ... simply not an option.

Three things were now in our favor.... first ... I know my trailer. Second I know my truck. Third, I know my driving skills.

Yes, the front tires of the truck skidded a couple times when I attempted to stop too hard and too fast. Under normal conditions with trailer brakes, a second incident would have not been an incident at all, but a stop light turned red faster than expected causing another squeel from the tires. But all was well.

I must attribute the successful arrival at Baraga, Michigan on my truck. A smaller, lighter, 4 wheeled vehicle could have never extremely challeng to brake for truck and 14,000 pound trailer in tow. Careful driving, slowing down far, far ahead of turns, stops, and exchanges paid off, making the actual "braking" a very short distance. I know drivers behind me were probably annoyed. But one thing I noticed about Michigan .... folks here are really nice! No one honked at me, gave me the middle finger, cut me off in a rage, or yelled obscenities at me when they passed. .... Dang, I wish people in Indiana were this nice.

So, we got the trailer parked at the State Park and Monday morning we found a GM dealership that could service the truck. The appointment was Thursday at 8:00 am and we had to get out of bed at 5:00 am to make the drive. All worked out well.

It turned out to be the trailer brake relay that's located near the rear axle. I'm glad it wasn't the integrated brake controller, or something worse. $280 and 1 and 1/2 hours after we arrived, we were on our way back to Baraga.

We leave Baraga on Sunday for Wilderness State Park in Michigan on Sunday for our second week.

So, in this case .... bigger is better. Bigger paid off. Bigger got the job done. Bigger proved to the right choice in 2014 when we purchased the truck!

I share this ramble with everyone to seriously consider, how would you handle your trailer if it lost all brakes and you were a few hundred miles from home. Hopefully, your tow vehicle is hefty enough to brake for both truck and trailer, and hopefully your driving skills will proved to be excellent!
I opted for a F450 diesel dually with 4.30 gears (I think that is the only configuration available in Canada in any case) for a similar reason. It actually has less payload than the identical 350 but it has 2" bigger brakes which was my selling point. Yes, I park at the back of the parking lots, I can use the exercise. I live in BC and they love their tiny cars so a few parking lots are a challenge. Very rarely I have had to take up 2 in length or 4 in width plus length in order to run my (hopefully quick) errand. What is really ironic is I am overloaded payload wise (would be ok with a 350DW) at last weighing (wheel by wheel) and almost never use the brakes in the mountains due to the automatic engine brake and cruise control.
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Old 09-29-2021, 02:24 PM   #23
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I got rid of my 2011 3500 Chevy single rear wheel when I had to make a panic stop the truck disabled the trailer brakes in the process. I talked to GM and my dealer and this is the design of the trucks that have Stabilitrak. I said what, how can that be when you need the brakes more in a panic type situation. That's when I went to an oldie which does not have Stabilitrak or a disabling feature
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Old 09-29-2021, 02:32 PM   #24
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I got rid of my 2011 3500 Chevy single rear wheel when I had to make a panic stop the truck disabled the trailer brakes in the process. I talked to GM and my dealer and this is the design of the trucks that have Stabilitrak. I said what, how can that be when you need the brakes more in a panic type situation. That's when I went to an oldie which does not have Stabilitrak or a disabling feature
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Old 09-29-2021, 03:21 PM   #25
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Brakes are a big deal, it was a main reason we went to an HDT for pulling the big toyhaulers.

I think the auto makers should have brake upgrade options on the HD pickups. My wife's new denali has a brembo brake option but I can't get a similar upgrade on an HD pickup which could actually use more braking capability, doesn't make sense.

I did notice that you can now get trailer tire monitor sensors for the GMC HD's for $50 for 4, that's very cool.
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Old 09-29-2021, 04:04 PM   #26
Delaine and Lindy
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My 2022 GMC Denali 3500hd has tire monitors on all 6 tires.

Happy trails.
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Old 09-29-2021, 09:24 PM   #27
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WOW, I canít believe no one mentioned you were lucky you didnít kill your self or someone else. Really, it took you 3 miles to find out you had no trailer brakes, I know within 3 inches if I have trailer brakes. Itís called a tug test, itís the last thing to do as you pull out of your camp site. I realize you had reservations 250 miles away, but donít you think safety is more important than a reservation? Iím sorry, you didnít mention you even stopped to trouble shoot the problem, I hope you did. No bodyís life is worth trying to keep a reservation, or losing a couple nights reservation money. Seems like all the posts talked about DRW/SRW 350/450 which one stops better and tire to road service patch.
Come on fellow RVers SAFETY FIRST!!!
Safe Travels Steve
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Old 09-30-2021, 05:28 AM   #28
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We tow our 12,500 lbs with a 3/4 ton HD. Wouldn't want any less of a truck, but have always felt the truck was very adequate for what I'm towing. That being said, i wouldn't drive any further that a repair shop without brakes. Been towing equipment and material trailers my entire adult life and never tow without brakes. Not safe.
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Old 09-30-2021, 06:57 AM   #29
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I would never drive without trailer brakes. I (towing 5er) made a mistake and forgot to plug in my power cable into the truck. At the first stop I was stunned and knew something serious was wrong. It probably took twice the distance to stop. At the second stop, I pulled off the road.

If anyone thinks a truck safely stops a trailer without brakes, try the mistake I made (on a lonely stretch of road) and see for yourself.
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Old 09-30-2021, 08:45 AM   #30
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I'll add a personal experience. We spent a few days at a CG, everything was fine when we stopped, Time came and we hooked up and left, before we even got to the main road knew something was wrong, like no brakes. Got turned around and back to the CG and called Goodsam Road Service. A pretty Big Wrecker, a ten wheeler showed up. We stayed behind him on the way to Lazy Days 50 miles away. That wrecker blew through a few Red Lights because he couldn't stop our 17K SOB. So extremely glad we didn't try it with our Dually.
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Old 09-30-2021, 09:26 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by kowbra View Post
You say that like it's a bad thing

The reason the 450 has less cargo capacity is that it is in the same class of truck as the 350 dually, with the same maximum GVWR, but the 450 weighs more.
Some of the reasons the 450 weighs more includes having much larger axles and brakes.

So... in the context of this thread about stopping power if your trailer brakes fail, the 450 will outperform all other 1 ton pickups.

But, I am also in the camp of seriously questioning the whole notion of traveling 250 miles after knowing the trailer brakes were not working. It seems the justification was something like "I have a dually so I will be fine". That is dangerous thinking! I'm glad things worked out, but it could have ended badly.

To me, the debate between SRW and DRW is often exaggerated by both sides. This post does nothing to help that debate, IMHO.

Brad

Actually, the F450 is a class above the 3/4 and 1-ton vehicles. It is a class 4 compared to class 3. A medium-duty truck as the others are light-duty trucks.
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Old 09-30-2021, 10:17 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Dan50 View Post
Actually, the F450 is a class above the 3/4 and 1-ton vehicles. It is a class 4 compared to class 3. A medium-duty truck as the others are light-duty trucks.
I believe that is true for the F450 cab and chassis models, with GVWRs of ~16k.
But, the pickups are limited to 14k GVWR to keep them in a Class 3 rating.
So, even though the F450 is a much heavier duty truck than the F350, it seems you cannot use that extra capability without exceeding the manufacturers "derated" weight limits.

I assume there must be some extra licensing or registration issues in some areas? I've never had an F450 so maybe I'm missing something also?


Thanks,
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Old 09-30-2021, 02:14 PM   #33
Bill and Lisa
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Back up Brake Controller

I think most items/issues have been covered so I will offer something that may be beneficial in similar situations in the future.

I recently upgraded my TV from a 2001 Chevy 2500HD to the 2020 GMC Denali

Things I have learned from this post:
1. Need to get a better idea of the part that failed on the originators vehicle - I could potentially face a similar issue.
2. need to look into the stabilitrak issue of disabling trailer brakes during an emergency stop - also something I need to be aware of in case I find myself in a similar situation.

Things I can add to the ponder list:
I assumed that loss of trailer brakes would be a trailer or pigtail issue. Given that was not the case, I pondered alternative solutions that might be available to get to a repair facility safely.

Long story short Lisa has been fighting breast cancer (currently clean for 1 1/2 years). She was receiving treatment and care at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America located in Philadelphia (it has since closed). Nice thing was they had electric and water hookups at the rear of the facility for 2 campers. We took the Monty up one time but Philadelphia is and old city and the streets were not made for our setup!

We purchased a "She Shed on wheels" (a 2020 ASCAPE) that we could pull easily behind Lisa's Jeep Compass and she was comfortable driving on her own if I could not make the trip for some routine check ups.

While outfitting the Compass to tow the ASCAPE (was equipped with trailer brakes even though it only weighted 1500#) the dealer installed a Bargman plug but for a brake controller used a CURT Bluetooth brake controller. https://www.curtmfg.com/part/51180 It plugs into the plug on the TV and then the trailer plugs into it and it uses a smart phone APP to control the braking. It works as well as a prodigy I have had before and uses accelerometers in the phone to provide proportional control.

Assuming that the OP's tow vehicle still provided a signal to the plug, having one of these controllers as a backup (~$250 retail) might have been a workaround til the part that failed could be fixed. If the failure of that part completely killed power to the bargman plug it would not help. Did you still have brake lights/turn signals on your trailer during your move to the new campground?

A $250 "spare controller" is an expensive piece of mind part, but in our case, we own one already and just need to throw it in the truck box when we are in the truck and Monty as a backup. The App allows you to save up to 5 different trailer profiles so I could easily shift tow vehicles/trailers with minimal headache after initial settings.

Anyway, I welcome the input from some of the more advanced members out there on whether this work around would work as a temporary solution or if I am missing something in my analysis.

Last comment, I am glad the OP and lovedones made it through this event safe and sound.
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Old 09-30-2021, 03:23 PM   #34
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The F450/550 is still categorized as Light Truck. Medium truck starts at F650.
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