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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be in the market for a new camper and was wondering what size, weight, type, etc. you guys are towing. I have a 02 Quad cab with 4.7 and 3.55's. Now I have a 21 foot Palomino and would like to get something in the 23' to 25' range. Thanx guys!
 

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Well Tony, it looks like you posted this back in Feb, but to answer your question, I tow a 2,000 lb pop up with ease. Hardly know its back there. I too have the 3.55 rear, and would much rather have a 3.92 or 4.10 (anyone selling, or have info??). Initially I would turn off the OD, and that works fine at highway, but you'll find that overall you'll be happier leaving the OD on, since the electronic Auto finds the right gear pretty well. I found when you turn off the OD, the tranny seems to linger in that hi gear, and doesn't want to downshift.

At any rate, if you have the Class IV hitch, you can take on 5,000 lbs just fine (based on what your trucks manual says). In NYS trailer brakes are required over 2,000lbs, and I recommend them, since our Dakota's do not have 4wheel disc, and in my opinion, are the weakest link.

I just took the family camping in the Adirondack park this weekend. No sweat climbing the mountain hills, and I found when you are comming out of the mountains, downshift down the hills and push the OD off button. The engine acts like a Jake Brake (or Bridle Brake) of a tractor trailer. You can really feel the drag, like the fuel pump was shut down. I've read that our tranny has 2 second gears, one for accel, and one for decel. Might just as well use it!!
 
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I tow a small camper

Here's my Camper. MY Dak tows it great, I was out towing this weekend and ran with the big rigs. I ran about 65-70 and the flats and 55-60 on the hills.
The ride was great.

My old Explorer would not even do 65 and 35-40 in the hills.
 
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I don't see why you can't pull an 18 - 20 foot fifth wheel for that matter. Our trucks are basically just a smaller 1/2 ton. we have the same rear end, tranny's, motors and the payloads and pulling capacity's are within 100 pounds of each other. I pulled my old 18.5 ft 5th wheel with a 1/2 ton SWB F150 with the small v-8 just fine. The only drawback I can possibly see is that our trucks are lower.
 

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I've just done a ton of research on this since I just upgraded from my Jayco pop-up to a travel trailer. I have a Durango with the 4.7 so the towing capacity for the Dakota should be at least what I can pull if not more. We wound up buying a Terry Dakota (ironic, no?) Ultra-Lite. We don't pick it up until next week so I'll let you know how it tows. Here's what I found for trailers in this range:

Trail-Lite by Rvision www.rvision.com ($17k-$25k)
Terry/Prowler/Wilderness (Ultra-Lites) www.fleetwoodrv.com ($15k-$22k)
Cherokee by Forest River www.forestriverinc.com ($12k-$18k)
LT Series/Captiva by Coachman www.coachmanrv.com

These are the ones I looked at and the prices that I found for new units. The models are going to vary by what region of the country you're in. I'm in CT so you might see some differences.

One thing you want to watch is the weight of the camper. Don't necessarily go by the GVWR on the side of the camper. I found out that this rating essentially tells you what the axles of the camper are capable of carrying, not the actual weight of the unit. Each manufacturer is differnt and you should see a sticker on the inside (usually one of the cabinet doors) that lists the actual weight of the unit. To get an accurate figure you want to take the dry weight of the unit and add between 800-1200 lbs for gear. That's going to give you a realistic towing weight. For example, I looked at a 26' unit by Sportsman and it was rated to carry 2880lbs! The GVWR was listed at 6900lbs, but the weight of the camper was just over 4000lbs. I've found that these number vary wildly so just keep an eye on it when you're looking.

Sorry for writing a book, but this is my take on what I just went through. Hopefully it'll save you some time.
 

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No problem. We're geting the 829S. We wanted something with a separate bed for us and bunks for when kiddie gets older. The dry weight on it is 4500lbs and I believe the Durango is rated for around 5800lbs. We'll be close on the weight, but where we camp around here there aren't too many hills and we can just watch what we pack. I figure worst case scenario maybe I can talk the wifey into letting me get an '04 Hemi....or this could happen ---> :nono:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rick,

It looks like we may be going to go with the Palomino T26BHSL. We will be trading in our Palomino S-21SL at the same dealer we bought it from so they are giving us a good deal. Any way, if you look it up the floor plan is very similar to what you are getting. Post with some updates later if you get a chance.

Thanx, Tony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rick,

It has a dry weight of 4209# and a GVWR of 5788#. You can check it out here - http://www.palominorv.com/thoroughbred-t-26bhsl.html. Check in after you get yours and let me know how things are going with your camper. We won't be able to take delivery on ours until AUGUST!!! It's a good thing we have our other one to hold us over til then!

Talk to ya later, Tony
 

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Wow, August?!?!!??! That's gotta kill you to wait that long. We are picking ours up this Satuday. We were pretty fortunate to find one that we liked on the lot.

You should be fine with 4200lbs. This is the perfect example of what I was talking about in my original post. The dry weight on my camper is 4505, but the GVWR is 6900lbs. What are you going to pack for 2400 lbs? More specifically, what do you NEED to pack that's 2400lbs? A yard of top soil?

I'll post some picks once I pick it up. Still a little nervous about towing that length. I'm sure I'll get over it in a hurry.
 

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Sorry I haven't posted back, been busy with work which I'm sure everyone knows how that is. We actually had it out for the maiden voyage this weekend and what a difference from the pop-up! I was surprised how well it towed, I was a little concerned with the length, but the sway bar kept it steady, even with trucks passing the other direction. It was all back road towing 40-50 mph, but pretty hilly. It seemed to pull fine, no overheating, slipping, or anything like that. Overall I was pretty happy with how it pulled and had an excellent time with the new toy. Good luck with yours! You'll have to post when you get it. Here's a pic from the night I got it, I'll have to post one with the Durango hooked up.
 

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Hey guys I'm pulling my Coleman Sun Valley pop up with my Dakota...I've got a 4.7L V8 with an Airaid and a Flowmaster 40 series...before my lift and 33's, it towed great with the stock tire(29") and 3.55's..With the 33's and 3.55's it was pretty lame..it was always trying to get into OD, then downshifting at the slightest incline..so I remedied that with a swap to 4.10's with an LSD unit..I haven't towed yet with the combo but I will be this weekend end..so far the truck is holding the gear on the hills around my house where it used to shift up and down like crazy before...I'm sure it will be fine...trailer dry is about 2000 lbs or so..and the Dak handles it very well...this is a pic from our trip last week to CT..this week, we'll be heading to PA for an overnighter, then on to Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Woodridge NY..
 

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Well they were 245/70/16..what's that work out too..about a 29 or 30 inch tire..pretty lame..but with the stock rear..it towed very well...I wanted the bigger tire for looks..which got kinda expensive..bigger tires are more money, body lift to fit them, more money, now gears to get my power back..more money...so there are some days that I think that I could've saved all my money and gotten the Harley I wanted...yeah like my wife would've let that happen...lol
 

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sjfonline said:
I guess I don't want any bigger tires then what i have on my Dak.
There 31X10.5X15 LT yours came with 29's
I have 31X10.5X15s and that as large as I could go with out more mods as list by Conman.

I'm hoping to get a camper next year!
 
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