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Country Discussion Topics
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Truck size and towing
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Marion Redler    Posted 03-30-2004 at 10:31:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have researched specs, but I would appreciate feedback based on your experience on what size truck I need to buy. My towing needs include a 2-horse trailer (2300 lbs. with our two horses (about 1000 lbs each. That totals about 4300 lbs.) I have used our V6 Ford Explorer but since it has gotten older, the tail seems to be wagging the dog, especially on downhills, even though the trailer has its own brakes. Most trucks I see on the road towing a horse trailer are the 250/2500 size. Will a 150/1500 do the job and will it be stable on the downhill, or do I need to go to the 250/2500? The other towing needs I can see in the future would be a 22-24 foot recreation trailer. I am content to stay at 55mph on the freeway and am more concerned with stability/safety than speed although I would need to tow to our house at 3400 ft. Any feedback would be appreciated.


Michael M    Posted 03-30-2004 at 19:31:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, I have a '98 Chevy 1/2 ton full size and crew cab 4x4 with the towing package, overload springs, high output engine, and transmission cooler, as well as heavy duty brakes. I have pulled a lot more weight than you are talking about, and never had a problem with it. I pull a 26' sawmill with it all of the time, though it is pretty light.
I have used this truck way beyond it's capacities and it has always done just fine. The cake taker was pulling a 26,000 lb. dump truck out of the mud with it. I have pictures to prove it too. Friends joke about my truck, saying I should take videos and make Chevy commercials.
If you are ever going to be off of pavement, I would go with a 4x4. I am sure that a 3/4 or one ton, (250/2500 or 350/3500) would be at least a little better, but you might consider how often you are going to be towing, and weigh any advantages against the additional cost and insurance.


VADAVE    Posted 03-30-2004 at 11:49:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yes a 150/1500 will easily handle a 4500# trailer. Remember no matter what is doing the pulling or what the load is on a bumper pull trailer you want at least 10% of the trailer weight on the ball.
You should not be having problems pulling the trailer with your explorer. If the trailer is pushing the explorer around then something is wrong with the trailer. Yes on a downhill a trailer will push on the vehicle and try to wag BUT with trailer brakes you stop that. Just lightly hand apply the trailer brakes and the trailer will get back in line, you'll be surprised how fast. If you have surge brakes that should happen just by the trailer pushing on the vehicle. If you have electric brakes move the brake control by hand--if nothing happens you have a trailer brake problem. Most likely rusted brake magnets, take the wheels off and lightly sand them or clean the rust off.


Paul    Posted 03-30-2004 at 11:28:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My brother has been pulling a 16' stock trailer behind his 1983 F-150 2WD since it was new. that truck is pushing 150,000 mi. As long as the trailer has the brakes it needs and you keep the truck and trailer in good condition you should have no trouble.


kraigWY    Posted 03-30-2004 at 10:58:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Pulling a trailer is not as near as important as stoping a trailer. Having said that I think I would go to a 3/4 ton for hauling 4500 #s (trailer/horses). Horses don't hold still all the time and I like the heavier suspension for hauling. I also like diesels because of the milage differance.


Ludwig    Posted 03-30-2004 at 10:37:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
A 150/1500 should be able to tow a 4300# trailer pretty safely. Explorers are pretty small and more importantly short. The longer wheelbase of a pickup would probably help.
I towed my 4400#ish Farmall Regular on about a 1500# trailer with my '96 Dodge Dakota. Sure I was way over weight but we took it real slow and it was a one time thing. I never had any scary moments but we left early on a sunday so the traffic was very light. I wouldn't want to navigate through heavy traffic with it.
When I was in highschool my friend's parents pulled a 2 horse trailer loaded with horses and gear with a Dodge 150 2wd pickup and never had any problems. Make sure your brakes and tires are good.


cowlady    Posted 03-30-2004 at 22:11:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
What do I know about trucks? Not much, hee hee.
BUT, I can say we haul a 20' gooseneck aluminum livestock trailer with 2-4 1000# steers, and all the gear (show boxes, fans, blowers, grooming chutes, daughter's 100# suitcases, etc.) with a '97 3/4 ton, 4WD, HD Chevy diesel. It gets good mileage, and doesn't "surge" going up & down hills (Southern Ohio/Kentucky) hills.

Friend has '02 1/2 ton, 4WD Chevy, 16 ft. bumper pull alum. trailer, and seems to have a hard time keeping even with us on the trips we take to the livestock shows. But the folks at those Shell stations just love her!


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