Using a 1/2 ton PU to pull a 3 horse gooseneck?
First of all, I know that this question has been debated ad nauseum in this forum and many others. I also agree that the bigger the truck the better and that a 3/4 ton truck is far better for towing a 3 horse GN trailer than is any 1/2 ton truck. I get all of that. But here is my situation. I recently purchased a beefed up 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 Big Horn 4 x4. Since I planned to tow a 2 horse bumper pull horse trailer with the truck, I got every tow friendly option available on the Dodge Ram. The truck has a factory rated towing capacity of 10,050 lbs. and a payload capacity of 1,400. About a week ago, a friend of mine offered to sell me his 3 horse Featherlite GN trailer for a ridiculously low amount. He is getting out of the horse business and doesn't really need the money. So, he is willing to give me a super deal. The trailer has a rated weight (empty) of 5,000 lbs. With 3 horses (at 1,000 lbs each) and 1,000 lbs. of equipment, the total weight of 9,000 lbs is still below the rated capacity of my 1/2 ton Dodge Ram. I can afford to purchase the horse trailer, but am not in a financial position to trade my new truck in on a 3/4 ton. I don't haul a lot, but probably 10 to 15 times each year. Most of my hauling is within 60 miles. Once in a while, I may go as far as 200 miles. I live in the midwest, so most of the hauling is on flat ground. So, my question is, should I buy the trailer knowing that I won't be able to upgrade my truck for a few years? If I buy the 3 horse, I will have to sell my 2 horse because I only have space for one trailer. Thoughts?
I know plenty of folks that pull 3 horse goosenecks with 1/2 ton pickups. As long as you're under the towing specs you're fine (and safe).
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Grab the trailer and go enjoy! If you were hauling all over the country every weekend, with a full load every time, I'd say it wouldn't work. But since it's more like a weekend trail ride or occasional show type thing, I'd not worry about it too much. Just be really diligent on the upkeep and oil changes on the truck. Also, hauling that goose neck will be a lot less stress on the truck than hauling a bumper pull, so I think that's a good move too.
It sounds like you have all the towing bells and whistles but the one thing I would NOT do without, if you don't already have it, is the electronic trailer brake. That alone will save a lot of wear and tear.
I hate to be the one to bring up pin weight but 20% of 9000 lbs is 1800 lbs. I have no doubt that you can do it (and i probably would want to try too) but i'm sure you won't be legal. In Ontario if you are found overweight in an accident you are pretty much on the hook in every way.
I'm a no guy when it comes to towing with 1/2 tons. Just don't believe you should tow livestock with 1/2 tons even when below their rated capacity. That said you'll probably get away with it.
my last truck was a f150 speced out like yours, rated at 10,000 lbs. I towed a 3600 lb trailer with one horse usually. Even with 2 horses it seemed ok on flat ground, but your talking 6600 at the most. Not sure id want to do much more.
Maybe ask him to let you tow it..... load up the horses and see what you think. You'll want a good brake controller for sure....
The biggest problem, other than stopping, is the heat that builds up when pulling near, or over rated capacity....fluids help cool the transmission, rear end, etc. You could need brakes more often than normal. You might not want to tow on the hottest day of the year etc. Just use a little common sense and you'll probably be fine.
If you decide to buy it and find yourself towing frequently....increase your maintenance...keep the transmission fluid etc changed on a more frequent interval. Burn the transmission fluid and it's all over but but paying the mechanic.
Here in BC, they do checks and pull you off the road. Last spring there was 3 trucks pulling GN's, all pulled, horses unloaded & tow trucks waiting.
if the motor is large enough and the DOT weight limit is within the legal specs (not manufacture's specs) go for it.
you can always add an extra leaf in the rear for a lot cheaper than buying a newer truck, dodge & chevy seem to have a stiffer suspension from the start than the fords (you lose ride comfort) but a lot of the 1500 motors and 2500 motors are the same just a lighter frame
Thanks for all of the good advice from all posters. Another question, in addition to installing heavier leaf springs on my Dodge 1500 as was suggested by Tim62988, is it possible to install heavier duty brakes? Thanks!
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