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What can I tow?

This is a discussion on What can I tow? within the Horse Trailers forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • How to figure what you can haul with your pickup
  • What pickup can i tow

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    03-27-2012, 08:39 AM
  #11
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin    
First, take a look at the tag in your door. On it you'll find the ratings for your pickup. GVW is how much weight your pickup is rated to haul with no trailer. GCVW is overall weight of pickup and trailer combined that it is rated for. Also should be how much each axle is rated for.

Second, look at your tires and read the sidewall. You'll find your tires weight rating there and what your air pressure should be to achieve that rating. Multiply that figure by 4 to see what your total tire capacity is. If it is less then what your pickup will weigh with trailer attached then you need heavier tires. Run your pickup across a scale to find out how much it weighs normally, that way you'll know how much more weight can be put on it.

Third, find out if you have a transmission cooler (automatic transmission). Without one you can easily fry your transmission while pulling, one can be added if you don't already have it installed. Trust me it will be cheaper than rebuilding your tranny and putting one on at the same time to keep it from happening again. Generallyl they are either in front or behind your pickups radiator, if you know what to look for it will be easy to see if one is there or not.

Did you buy it new? If so and you still have the original paperwork look at what it came equiped with. You are looking for things like transmission cooler, tow package, heavy duty, etc.

You'll want an equalizer hitch (the hitches you see with bars). This will better help distribute your trailers weight on your pickup and make it easier to tow.

Properly equiped you will be able to haul a two horse trailer. If not properly equiped you can end up costing yourself a lot of money on repairs and heart ache.

Can't stress that transmission cooler enough! Without that guy, on a warm summer day pulling a loaded trailer up a hill can overheat a transmission pretty quickly.
Another thing I would recommend is an electric trailer break. They are rather easy to install, and WELL worth the couple of hundered bucks it costs to buy them. I use the Tekonsha Prodagy because it's so easy to use, but there are other brands out there. In a 1/2 ton truck, that brake will make a HUGE difference, and significantly decrease your stop distance during a hard / panic stop
     
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    03-28-2012, 08:06 PM
  #12
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam    
Can't stress that transmission cooler enough! Without that guy, on a warm summer day pulling a loaded trailer up a hill can overheat a transmission pretty quickly.
Another thing I would recommend is an electric trailer break. They are rather easy to install, and WELL worth the couple of hundered bucks it costs to buy them. I use the Tekonsha Prodagy because it's so easy to use, but there are other brands out there. In a 1/2 ton truck, that brake will make a HUGE difference, and significantly decrease your stop distance during a hard / panic stop
I know in Canada, or BC at least, if you're hauling horses & a trailer, electric brakes are required by law, it's not an option. Is this not true in the States as well. Can relying on the vehicle to stop the load behind you be safe?
     
    03-28-2012, 08:50 PM
  #13
Weanling
I think it differs from state to state. In Indiana, if the trailers gross weight is more then 3000lbs, you need trailer brakes, and a breakaway system that automatically activates the trailer brakes if the trailer becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle. Is it safe to run without them? I would have to say definitely not.
     
    03-28-2012, 08:57 PM
  #14
Green Broke
Not sure exactly what the state law says here in Oregon but I have seen horse trailers with surge brakes instead of electrical.
     
    03-28-2012, 09:01 PM
  #15
Trained
I thought surge & electric were the same, sorry. I just should have said brakes. Same in this province Adam, need the break aways and safety chains. The DOT does vehicle checks from time to time, they will make you unload horses & test everything.
     
    03-28-2012, 10:36 PM
  #16
Weanling
I've used surge brakes before, and they work just fine.
     
    03-28-2012, 11:31 PM
  #17
Showing
Even with a tranny cooler, a half ton sucks on the hills with just one horse. Not serious but on a busy single lane highway you won't win any popularity contests.
     
    03-28-2012, 11:39 PM
  #18
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear    
I thought surge & electric were the same, sorry. I just should have said brakes. Same in this province Adam, need the break aways and safety chains. The DOT does vehicle checks from time to time, they will make you unload horses & test everything.
Surge brakes are hydraulic and mounted on the tongue of the trailer so no controller is needed. Mainly trailer rental places around here use them like Uhaul. That's where I see them on horse trailers, ones you can rent. Don't know anyone running surge brakes on horse trailers they own.
     
    03-29-2012, 06:42 AM
  #19
Green Broke
Yeh it is unsafe everywhere and illegal in most places to pull anything over 3k without trailer brakes.
I did alot of towing with a F150 and a 4.2 liter V6. An engine bigger than yours. I was pulling about a 3000 lb bass boat with very little wind drag compared to a horse trailer. That thing had serious issues getting out of it's own way.
Your truck only came with one rear axel,, Your truck can pull a MAX of 3850. And that is the max, I wouldnt expect it to hold up long pulling a loaded horse trailer. It just isnt set up for towing.
     

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