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#76871 - 12/15/03 08:48 AM Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton?
MotoVated758 Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 243
Loc: Pflugerville, TX
I have a Dodge 1/2 ton with the 5.9L, heavy duty towing package...etc, etc. It's tow rating is 7150 lbs. max. The trailer I'm thinking about getting has a GVWR of 7000 lbs. and a dry weight of 5250 lbs. Of course I will be getting a weight distribution hitch, and probably anti-sway, but I was wondering if anybody has much experience pulling close to max load with a 1/2 ton. I won't be able to go to a 3/4 or 1 ton so that's not an option. What's your experience?


#76872 - 12/15/03 10:55 AM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: MotoVated758]
Tornados Offline
Hall of Fame

Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 950
Loc: Round rock,Texas
You can do it if you change tranny fluid more often! Load distribution bars do alot for ya.
Weight adds up quick,,,,,water , gear, food ,,,BEER.
Might want to think about load range "E" tires . They'll give a better feel in steering.
I'm doing it just fine with a heavy 1/2 Chevy 5.7 liter.
Also make sure you set the trailer brakes correctly. read manual on fine tuning.
You'll do just fine... but don't expect a rocketship out of the hole.
Brad Pro"KX450f #92
Wes "A" YZ250 #90
Tim 05 yz250 #587
Karen Mary Kay consultant
Sponsors TEAM SCREAM of Round Rock


#76873 - 12/15/03 11:08 AM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: MotoVated758]
Dave Offline
AMSA Gang Boss

Registered: 02/13/01
Posts: 2349
Loc: Spicewood
It should not be a problem as long as you are very aware of how much you add to the weight of the rig, i.e. water, gear, bikes, etc. Also, make sure you have an electric trailer brake controller installed and read the directions on how to set the controller for your truck and trailer when loaded. Practice in a big open parking lot or safe area that will allow you to start and stop with the different adjustable settings of the controller. Another thing that is easy to forget about is the weather...always check the weather and especially the wind speed because you can get blown all over the place when towing your rig in gusty winds. My personal cut off (for when NOT to tow) is anything above 20 - 25 mpg in wind speed. Head winds and tail winds are not nearly as "exciting" as a side wind gust...it can get scary quickly when you are doing 70 on a big open highway when towing a travel trailer in high winds.
And the number one thing to remember is give yourself PLENTY of time/space to slow down. It's amazing how many idiots will cut right in front of you and slam on the brakes.
Towing with a 1/2 ton is the easy part...stopping is trick. Check your brakes on the truck if you have lots of miles on them.

Austin MotoSports Association


#76874 - 12/15/03 12:58 PM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: Dave]
naga418 Offline
Veteran Lunatic

Registered: 04/16/01
Posts: 2679
Loc: Houston TX
I am with Dave on this one. Pulling is easy, stopping is the trick. You have to prepare for the "PANIC" stop. If you can panic stop with the load you will be just fine. Find a nice open area and give it a try and know the limits of your total rig loaded for bear. I had a couple "interesting" situations pulling with a 1/2 ton and can tell you it is hard to fine a place to clean out your shorts in the middle of nowhere.

First thing I noticed about my new 3/4 ton Chevy was the breaking power.

Good luck



#76875 - 12/15/03 01:46 PM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: Dave]
jimeckroat Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 12/27/01
Posts: 73
Loc: McAllen, Texas
You did not say what gears you have but the 3:73's are a real help.
The wind is the real problem, if I followed Dave's wind guidelines I would be stuck at home most of the year.
What ever you do make sure that you have brakes on all of the trailer wheels and that the ALL work properly.
For the record the 5.7 or 5.3 Chevy with the 3.42 gears will struggle with a head wind pulling a 5th wheel or any trailer with a closed front.
I can pull 2 Jeeps (11,000# +-) easier into a wind than my 8x20 cycle trailer (6,000#'s?)
The 3:73's do help with the wind but limit the top speed a little. ( I know, but I always have a long way to go)



#76876 - 12/15/03 02:18 PM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: MotoVated758]
MotoVated758 Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 243
Loc: Pflugerville, TX
Hey, thanks for all the good information folks. I do have an electric brake controller in the Dodge, and I believe the gears are 3.73. I bought the Dodge used and no info came with the controller, but I found the adjustment knob and will dial it in eventually. The trailering part isn't new to me, hell I was pulling a 38 ft. horse trailer with living quarters from Dallas to Boiser City many weekends at age 16. That was a 1 ton pickup (dually) and it lugged around pretty much. I currently have a 1000 lb Wells Cargo 6x10 that I haul around with now, and I might put a 1K lb load in it. I know how that feels and the gas mileage I get with that. I am hoping that pulling the max rating of the 1/2 ton won't be too bad as far as getting to highway speeds eventually. I know the gas mileage will suk, but that kind of goes with the territory.


#76877 - 12/18/03 05:51 AM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: MotoVated758]
Fender_Bender Offline
Veteran Lunatic

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 4472
Loc: Hamilton, Tx
I've overloaded 1/2 ton trucks all my life. Good brakes like very one said and don't try to push it too fast.
Thay'll do much more then what the book saids.



#76878 - 01/07/04 10:36 PM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: Fender_Bender]
mowman Offline
Gang Member

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 152
Just don't plan on getting in a hurry and it will work fine.I would buy a 1 ton for your next truck they ride good now.


#76879 - 01/08/04 09:31 AM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: mowman]
MotoVated758 Offline
Gang Boss

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 243
Loc: Pflugerville, TX
Well...I'm in the process of getting a 21' Wanderer Wagon from a business buddy of mine. I pulled it behind the ole 1/2 ton Dodge to a couple of races now. It pulls great with the weight distribution hitch and anti-sway. I get about 8 miles to the gallon though, and averaged 6.6 when we caught Sunday's cold front coming back to Austin from Seguin. Have the brake controller set up pretty good. You can hardly tell the trailer is back there, even when braking fairly hard. Haven't had to panic stop yet, and hope not to. The trailer weighs 5300 dry, and when loaded with water and bikes (and everything else) I'm probably getting close to the 7150 lb towing capacity of the Dodge. Wish I could get a 3/4 ton, but if I did that, I couldn't afford the trailer. Thanks for all the input.


#76880 - 01/09/04 02:12 PM Re: Anybody Pull a Max Load with a 1/2 Ton? [Re: MotoVated758]
Gang Boss

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 307
Loc: Austin, TX

I'm not sure on this, but I think any accident you get in is considered you fault (wheather it is or not) if you are over your vehicle's GVWR. This means if some jerk cuts in front of you and slams on the brakes causing you to hit him it's still considered you fault. You might want to look into this if you think you're that close to your max. Just looking out for ya!
Aaron Bludworth


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