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What tow vehicle do I need?

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  • What tow vehicle do I need?

    We are upgrading truck and trailer from a 2-horse bumper pull (hauled by an SUV), to a 4 horse gooseneck, head-to-head with dressing room.

    The trailer I want is aluminum, 30ft length, 7ft wide and 7'6" tall. It has a side ramp and rear ramp. I have tried getting the weight on it but cant find anything online, through the dealer, or elsewhere that gives me any idea how heavy the trailer is (loaded or unloaded).

    What specific vehicle do I need? We would like a diesel (no Fords due to known engine troubles on the diesels. Money is an issue, so can't go new. Affordable is key, but I want to make sure I am not underpowered or pushing the vehicle limits, especially with horses in tow. I will also be hauling mostly local, not always fully loaded.

    We came across a 2500 Chevy Duramax, 2001 that already has the gooseneck hookup. The vehicle is in great shape and runs perfect, but it seems small (6 ft. bed, extended cab). The price is certainly attractive. Will this do the trick or do I need to keep looking?

  • #2
    The first thing you need to know is the empty weight of the trailer. Is this a dealer sale? Put a deposit down and have them weigh it for you. If it's not see if the private seller will do it if you pay.

    Then, when you know what you're dealing with you can make an intelligent decision.

    You are, by the way, doing it right by first picking a trailer and then something to pull it. You are far more likely to buy what you need, vice over or under buying.

    Good luck with your project!

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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    • #3
      Yes, you must *know* the weight of your trailer. It will be printed on the metal "id tag" that also has the trailer's VIN.

      I think you want a 1-ton. That truck will differ from a 3/4 ton in the stiffer suspension that you'll want for this trailer. I'm not sure you need a dually, and I'd try not to own one if I didn't have to. A bigger butt to bump on things and more tires make it a PITA to drive around. A dually will add stability to your load.

      The short-bed might create a problem for the gooseneck bumping into the back window. There are some work-arounds, depending on your trailer. Otherwise, the wheelbase of the extended cab (4 doors, right?) and short bed will be the same. You want the long wheel base of a full sized truck.

      If agree with your choices-- used, diesel and unless you can find a 7.3, no Fords. My next choice would be a Chevy/GMC.

      Happy truck hunting!
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

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      • #4
        You also need to know what terrain & potential weather you're going to face. I discovered that routinely pulling up the mountains of Colorado is a lot different than hauling in the middle of winter in MN! I needed a much larger engine for the former, and 4 wheel drive for the latter when choosing my hauling vehicle.

        Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
        You are, by the way, doing it right by first picking a trailer and then something to pull it. You are far more likely to buy what you need, vice over or under buying.

        Comment


        • #5
          That is 30' on the floor, so 38' overall. Dually at a minimum. Our large, all aluminum, 2+1 is pushing 12K with just two horses in it. That trailer could easily be 16K or more loaded up, not to mention it is almost 40' long. Unless it is the smallest head to head ever, or has no tack room, no way I would pull that with anything less than 6 wheels. Probably would be worth looking at F450/550 while you are shopping. No way shape or form would a 250/2500 be safe to pull that. I bet that trailer will have 3,500 pounds or more on the pin when loaded.

          Short bed, no way.

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          • #6
            ^^^

            I'll bet the long 2+1 weighs more than 3,500#. Also FWIW, I have a 2H BP DR that weighs 3,500# empty and I haul it fine with a 7.3 diesel F-350. Using that thing as a very heavy moving van still doesn't push the 1-ton around too much.
            The armchair saddler
            Politically Pro-Cat

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            • #7
              The empty weight of a trailer can only be determined by a scale. The placards list maximum weights allowed. You've got to know both empty weight and max. gross weight. Once you know both you can determine what you can carry and what you can't.

              Chances are that something of this size and weight are going to challenge a 3/4 ton truck. Maybe not, but maybe so.

              Once you know the weights you can look up the GCVWR of the truck. GCVWR is the maximum combined weight of truck and trailer. Note that you'll have to get the truck weighed, too, to be completely accurate. It costs $25 at our local CAT scale at the nearest truck stop to get a load weighed.

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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              • #8
                We scale right at 3,000 pounds on the pin. We also have a 2008 F450 to pull it. OP's trailer is going to be 6 feet longer than ours. They will probably be closer to 4K on the pin all loaded up.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I drive a 7.3L F250 (Ford's last great diesel!) -- knowing my truck and doing some guesswork in my head, I'd want a one ton for four horses in a 30' gooseneck. But the other posters are correct. You NEED to know empty trailer weight, full loaded capacity, and how much weight is in the bed of the truck (this can be a big limiter). I'm not a fan of the shortbeds for horse stuff. My work truck, a Silverado, is a shortbed and is fine for field gear (biology), but no way would it carry everything I put in my longbed on the F250.

                  So you need to weigh the trailer and get the specs (manufacturer doesn't know????) before you can make a hard call.
                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                  We Are Flying Solo

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                  • #10
                    One-ton dually, long bed.
                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

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                    • #11
                      Get the trailer weighed empty if it isn't on the sticker. Then, get the gross vehicle weight rating off the sticker. This will tell you the maximum weight of the trailer plus all contents.

                      If you purchase a truck rated to tow at least the GVWR of the trailer, you will be ok (as recommendation is to never load the trailer to more than 80% of GVWR).

                      As far as actual vehicle choice, just 'a 2500' isn't enough. You need to know wheel base, engine, and rear axle ratio at a minimum to figure out tow capacity. There are good charts accessible online where you find the year, model, and each specific needed and get tow capacity.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post

                        As far as actual vehicle choice, just 'a 2500' isn't enough.
                        No 2500 will be enough...

                        I'd be shocked if that trailer is under 8K empty.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As much as you can afford. I'd want a one ton, and preferably a dually, for a rig that size. I am not among the "I'll never drive a _______" and would comparison shop and choose what suits ME, not what someone else insists is the correct vehicle. I value turning radius, for example, over what kind of interior package is available. Others value different things more highly. Some people have such a family bias that they can never see themselves driving a ____ because their daddy and granddaddy drove a _______. Bah! Pick 2 or 3 that are suitable and test drive them.
                          Click here before you buy.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                            As much as you can afford. I'd want a one ton, and preferably a dually, for a rig that size. I am not among the "I'll never drive a _______" and would comparison shop and choose what suits ME, not what someone else insists is the correct vehicle. I value turning radius, for example, over what kind of interior package is available. Others value different things more highly. Some people have such a family bias that they can never see themselves driving a ____ because their daddy and granddaddy drove a _______. Bah! Pick 2 or 3 that are suitable and test drive them.
                            Dually's have a turning radius? I thought that was called an orbit. ;-)
                            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                              Dually's have a turning radius? I thought that was called an orbit. ;-)
                              Try one with the wide track front end (Ford). Huge difference.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                                Dually's have a turning radius? I thought that was called an orbit. ;-)
                                Now, now, they're not ALL that bad. I did need 3 acres to turn around the old Chevy 454 extended cab dually, but the current truck -'99 F350, regular cab dually- is pretty darn handy.

                                If I were looking for a used truck for a trailer as large as OP's, I'd be looking for an F450 or F550, with a 7.3 of course. They seem to cost less on the lot (sometimes a lot less!) than a 1 ton, probably 'cuz most people don't have a need for a truck that big. Ain't no way I haul that trailer with a 3/4 ton.

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                                • #17
                                  ^^^ My BO has an F550 to pull his 6H (3 abreast) H-to-H and I think that is a very wise move. Although if I understand your OP, it does NOT have LQ, just a dressing room? That will make a substantial weight difference, but multiple ramps add up as well.
                                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                                  We Are Flying Solo

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Do your research on any truck /engine that you are considering buying.
                                    DO NOT BUY A CHEVY DURAMAX DIESEL made in the 2001-2005 years. Too many engine issues. I spent nearly $5000 having an engine rebuilt that had less than 80000 miles on it and learned from research that Chevy knew there were problems but never did a recall.

                                    If you are buying used do significant research ahead of time.

                                    chicamuxen

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