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What is your setups for towing a travel trailer?

Discussion in 'GM 6.5 Diesel Engines' started by Pillow, May 9, 2008.

  1. Pillow

    Pillow Recruit

    500
    1
    May 6, 2008
    Warrenton, VA
    All of it please. :)

    The family is seriously thinking about buying a travel trailer for weekend getaways. We are looking at 30'ish Airstreams, Avion, and Spartan trailers, so just regular ball hook-ups with electric brakes.

    1. What brake controlers are you all using?

    2. DO you all run load levelers like Equal-I-Zer hitches? Probably not, but I have to ask.

    3. How is the wind drag on the engine? After all you are towing a box.

    Usually dry we are talking 6000lbs, figure a few more hundred lbs in personal stuffs. So the weight should not be an issue I hope.

    Any insights are appreciated!
     
  2. DMitch

    DMitch Recruit

    48
    0
    May 7, 2008
    Vermont
    Don't even think of pulling a tag along of that lenght without a good wieght dist. hitch with good sway control. You will really regret it and it isn't safe.

    I use a prodigy brake control.

    Wind drag is always a factor when your basically towing a heavy box. The stronger the wind the bigger the factor.

    Many will tell you 6,000lbs isn't much wieght. It is when your pulling it in the form of a travel trailer. Sway can be a serious problem.

    Be safe and happy camping
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2008
  3. pgguru

    pgguru Recruit

    I have towed an older Airstream for a friend of a friend and it was a nice pull. Just on my Ball with Prodigy Controller. It towed nice (500KM) I can see were Sway control makes for a safe tow but I had no problem and I was running bone Stock.
     
  4. Acesneights1

    Acesneights1 New Member

    10,018
    10
    May 5, 2008
    Northeast CT
    I have the Tekonsha.6.5s don't tow like DMaxs. Remember when all is said an done it's still a 6.5 and you have to drive it smartly. Don't push it, don't overheat it. Make sure your Radiator is clean clean clean. Not sure which rig in your sig your planning to tow with but saw cooling upgrades on the 96. Might want to think about the 130 GPH Humvee waterpump. Not sure which vendors if any we can recommend here but let's just say you already bought stuff from him. Water pump upgrade is a must for towing.
     
  5. VWhauler

    VWhauler Recruit

    12
    0
    May 6, 2008
    Irmo, SC
    Since you are considering an Airstream take a look at airforums.com. Tons of good info there and good people. Take the ravings about the $3,500 Hensley Arrow hitch (Commonly abbreviated as "haha" on that site) with a grain of salt. It's a great hitch, but not really necessary with a heavy diesel truck. The Suburban would actually be an ideal tow vehicle for what you are looking at and most Airstreamers swear by them.
     
  6. Pillow

    Pillow Recruit

    500
    1
    May 6, 2008
    Warrenton, VA
    Thanks for the input guys!

    Let me do some more research on the trailer and come back with more pointed Q's.

    Right now the TV will be the K3500, granted I would like to set the Burb up for towing as well as it is an excellent family hauler... When not filled to the gills with Slumber Parties gear! (www.slumberpartiesbyheather.com in case you all were wondering WTF)

    On the Air Forums some claim that the 3500 would beat the hell out of a light old Tin Can trailer..? That is why I was trying to keep away from the load leveler. BUT if I could find something with just sway control that might be the way to go. The K3500 is just going to laugh at anything under 800lbs for a tonque weight :) ... And still beat it to pieces on bumps even with only single rear wheels set on 60PSI.

    Thanks and more to come.
     
  7. Acesneights1

    Acesneights1 New Member

    10,018
    10
    May 5, 2008
    Northeast CT
    I just put my camper on ebay. Diesel prices just too high. Won't be doin much traveling for a awhile.
     
  8. VWhauler

    VWhauler Recruit

    12
    0
    May 6, 2008
    Irmo, SC

    That's why it's the perfect time to be buying one. Market is flooded with them right now and the values are dropping like a rock.
     
  9. jmiller

    jmiller Recruit

    853
    3
    May 6, 2008
    Lake Villa, CRIL
    Some day I need to get mine set back up. Might need to borrow the ol man's trailer he just bought, some day.

    The brake controller was removed, any sugestions for a good one for a replacement??
    Have the factory reise hitch and a goose neck installed.
    It had a fifth wheel at one time, hole in the bed.
     
  10. jmiller

    jmiller Recruit

    853
    3
    May 6, 2008
    Lake Villa, CRIL

    That's cool, its all bowtie :cheers2:
     
  11. jmiller

    jmiller Recruit

    853
    3
    May 6, 2008
    Lake Villa, CRIL
    My bad, dyslexia strikes again.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  12. Pillow

    Pillow Recruit

    500
    1
    May 6, 2008
    Warrenton, VA
    >That's why it's the perfect time to be buying one. Market is flooded with them right now and the values are dropping like a rock.<

    I agree. Especially the BIG trailers. For some reason the small trailers are still priced high, I guess because "normal" cars/SUVs can tow them.

    ... 30'+ is okay by me :)
     
  13. Pillow

    Pillow Recruit

    500
    1
    May 6, 2008
    Warrenton, VA
    As for the controller a buddy who tows heavy and the trailer shop guys all claim that the Primus is better for mixed use than the Prodigy. Same manufacturer different model.

    Apparently the Prodigy is slow to engage the brakes. Also difficult to tune between different trailers and weights... Basically setup.

    The Primus catches earlier and can be adjusted easily between different load weights.

    FWIW the guy I trust uses the Primus and tows heavy equipment tractors with his trucks.

    Just what I heard from good sources. Please feel free to dispute :)
     
  14. Dave12

    Dave12 New Member

    52
    0
    May 14, 2008
    London, Ontario Canada
    I considered selling my 5th wheel but I doubt it will sell unless I give it away, which I don't want to do. We certainly won't be making as many trips this year as we did last. I think we did 3-4 trips last year, so far only one planned this year and that's in August. Diesel prices will likely be about $2.00 per litre by then!:yikes:

    Dave
     
  15. Turbine Doc

    Turbine Doc Just Another Diesel Guy

    check out www.activesuspension.com towing my Bronco II used to give me fits in the wind prior to installing it, I used the Prodogy brake control as well, works well on my g/n when I move the backhoe
     
  16. pgguru

    pgguru Recruit

    Turbine Doc What was the Active Suspension worth?
    Thanks
     
  17. DuneMe

    DuneMe Republican

    39
    0
    May 11, 2008
    Elk Grove, CA
    Pretty much what you see in the sig.

    2005 Duramax towing a 5er Toy Hauler
    The Air Bags
    45-gallon Transfer Flow Fuel Tank
    Edge with Attitude / Air Filter and 4" Exhaust

    Fuel tank was an awesome mod.

    I have a small lift so, pretty much needed the air-bags.

    Power from the Edge (and gauges) are awesome.

    Very happy with my set-up.
     
  18. SIR VEYOR

    SIR VEYOR Lurker & Sponge

    39
    0
    May 6, 2008
    Only The Shadow Knows
    a 28' toy hauler here

    I'm using a prodigy tekanosha? brake controller and a Reese equalizer hitch with sway bars.

    DO NOT get the "friction" sway control! It only reacts after the trailer starts to move, and the sway bars fight to keep the trailer from moving out of line. A much better approach. The only downside is that you'll have to disconnect the sway bars for tight turns into campground lots and such.

    If you have any questions about how to tow your trailer, call the manufacturer. I did and got some very different info on a setup that the dealer was selling me. Needless to say, the salesman who wrote "W/D hitch" and such on my sales contract wasn't too happy when he realized that it meant he wasn't just throwing in the "friction" sway bar. It's got a higher price tag, but well worth it. My 28', badly loaded, still hauls better with that setup than most smaller trailers (camping, dump, landscaping, tractor haulers, etc.) I've had.

    Check out RV.NET for more info on this too. Great site, search a lot, it's absolutely massive!

    Sir Veyor
     
  19. docdray

    docdray Oompa Loompa

    349
    3
    May 30, 2008
    Cleburne, Texas
    I'll second that the prodigy is slow to engage, not bad w/ 7k lb 5vr, but not fun w/ 16k lb tractor. It does well on progressive breaking, and decent adjustment for breaking level
     
  20. Turbine Doc

    Turbine Doc Just Another Diesel Guy

    IIRC I paid about $250 for it in 03, also I think JC Whitney carries them now
     

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