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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After almost 3 years of ownership and 40k miles I finally towed something with my truck. I've had plenty of stuff in the bed, but never hooked up a trailer until now.

I bought my dad a new garage door, so my father-in-law and I went out to install it.

My father-in-law's trailer is basically is mobile tool shed. I never asked, but given my truck is about 18 feet long, the trailer looks to be about the same I'm going to assume it's a 6x18 trailer. I assume it's a 5000 lbs axle since it's kind of a big trailer with just a single axle. But I don't know much about trailers and towing, so maybe it's just a single 3500 lbs axle.

Regardless, I think the tongue weight was a bit high. I've had about 150 gallons of water in the bed before and it didn't squat as much as with the trailer. Granted the water tank was right over the axle... but still... this had to be 1000 lbs of tongue weight, which is high even for a trailer with a 5000 lbs axle.

Water tank:
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Automotive tire Motor vehicle


We cut up and put the old door in the bed:

Didn't look too bad on the way home:

Got roughly 15 mpg about 10% stop and go city, 40% rural 55mph roads, and 50% highway (70mph).

As you can see the front of the trailer is flat as a pancake... like pulling a brick down the road.

The truck did well, power-wise. I merged onto the highway, the on-ramp was uphill and I was doing 65 before the merge lane ended. The exhaust brake was pretty awesome, too. There's a quarter mile section of road approaching a roundabout... normally taking the unloaded truck, if I take my foot off the accelerator and just coast, I'll go from 45mph to 55mph before I have to step on the brakes hard to slow down for the roundabout. With the truck in tow/haul mode, at 50mph I tapped the brakes once and it downshifted and held 50mph at roughly 2500 RPM. Tapped the brakes again and it downshifted again and RPM increased to 3500 RPM and before I got to the roundabout it slowed the truck from 50 to 20 mph and I just had to get on the brakes very lightly to slow down to about 10 for the roundabout.

I had to brake moderately hard a couple times - short yellows on 55mph rural roads. No shimmy or anything... stopped just fine, trailer didn't push the truck around. Not breaking any speed or acceleration records, the front end felt a tad light, but it felt capable and safe... would have been even better with the proper tongue weight, I think.

Three things I'd change if I were going to tow on a regular basis:
- Tow mirrors (couldn't see behind the trailer probably would have gotten a ticket if I got pulled over)
- Either helper springs or air bags to level the truck. Then again, might be able to do without helper springs with the proper tongue weight.
- A straight drawbar - initially we tried my father-in-law's drawbar with about a 4 inch drop that he uses with his Tahoe and that was way too much drop... so he got this adjustable one out that we ended up using and it was still too much with all the squat... again, probably something solvable with proper tongue weight

Anyway... it was a good experience towing with it for the first time.

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I have yet to tow anything:(
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