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~2300 miles across 7 states - observations

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~2300 miles across 7 states - observations

Old 07-26-2020, 06:50 AM
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Default ~2300 miles across 7 states - observations

I am just returning from a wonderful 2300 mile trip out to middle America and back over 48 hours. On my trip I came across a lot of pickup trucks towing campers, pontoons, utility trailers, car haulers, motorcycle trailers and more. I noticed a number of things....

1 people towing serious loads across middle towed with Ram's and Ford. Ram seemed to out number ford 2:1 but nothing scientific. I saw 1 chevy hd towing a large 5th wheel and I am not exaggerating when I say the truck was not enough (ram and ford would have had the same issue, needed a dually)

2 There are a lot of newer ram trucks on the road. We did count trucks for a few hours and then stopped as the project served its purpose (kept us awake). Numbers Chevy 8% of trucks ford 36.2%, Ram 55.8%. We counted just about 300 trucks across Pennsylvania, Ohio and into Indiana. admittedly we missed a number of trucks I am sure.

3 F150's suck at towing anything larger than a small boat. every f150 i saw with a camper had its ass dragging and the trailer tongue was pointing down. Alternative thought, guys who own f150's don't know how to setup their trailer to distribute weight properly. Also it wasn't just f150's, some wonderfully considerate driver in a chevy 1500 (new model) blinded me with his lights pointing at my mirrors friday night because they had too much trailer for their truck. Yesterday was saw the end result of an f150 accident. Not sure of the root cause but the truck had part of a camper attached to the hitch. both the truck and the camper were in a ditch, camper flipped sideways.

4 People who drive long haul truck roots, truckers, are some kind of courageous. I am not trying to compare them to soldiers or first responders. This country would cease to work without the job they do. Guys towing singles, doubles, and triples all hours of the night while the rest of us are at home sleeping.

5 Chicago is a shit hole. the mayor of that city really should welcome any help people are willing to give. We had a small problem on 90 just outside of Chicago Saturday morning early. The roads are crap and the bouncing put too much pressure on the hitch pin resulting in the hitch pin snapping and sent my trailer bouncing at 70 miles per hour. I had to leave the trailer on the side of road while I found a store to get tools and equipment to make the fix Saw a man getting chased down east 84th street at 6:45 AM by 2 other men waiving guns. I wondered why no one, no exaggeration, stopped at a red light or stop sign, I guess i figured out why and utilized a california stop approach. My mini observations:

a. Thank god i was driving a hd truck as it absorbed the impact and allowed me to control the slowdown and stop
b. Never travel with a trailer again without tools and backup gear
c. Make sure to have over rated equipment, if the equipment is rated to just handle the load, go bigger
d. Chicago is a crap hole - I can't hit this point enough, roads suck, bridges falling apart, buildings that were not in downtown are a disgrace

6 Ram 2500 CTD towing ~3000k lb trailer, with another 600 lbs of gear in the truck, AC running the entire trip. ~2300 miles and we are averaging just over 19 miles to the gallon and 72mph. We are about 100 miles from home now, I will update the post with fuel pump stats, miles, and hand calculated MPG. I know this is no where near capacity on the truck, but that is the load i had to move so I can only report real world hand calc'd numbers on this load.

7. People in middle America are so laid back and nice.

OK going back to driving. Forgive spelling and grammar, it's late / early and i am a bit tired. I will fix later.

Last edited by ck_moniz; 07-26-2020 at 06:56 AM.
Old 07-26-2020, 06:58 AM
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When I drove around the entire country for work, I used to sit back and count trucks like you did. I noticed the same thing you did. 2010-2015 it was mostly ford, most of the guys hauling campers for a living were all fords.

I love seeing the 1500 series trucks pointing their lights at the sky. Its so unsafe, but its okay it has really good torque down low and pulls like a diesel.

Chicago is a dump, my boss turned down any and all jobs in or around Chicago.

Old 07-26-2020, 04:30 PM
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Chicago at least has some nice parts. Baltimore is worse because literally 95% of the city is a slum.

Old 07-27-2020, 11:46 AM
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Interesting perspective and observations. Maybe I'll try the counting cars technique next time I'm getting tired while driving.

My observation: People who drive with Dualies or large trucks tend to tow smaller trailers or wave runners, those of us with 1500 trucks tend to tow too big of trailers. My partner and I joke about it regularly as it's beyond funny in our area.
Old 07-27-2020, 12:35 PM
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ok the numbers are in on the real world hand calculated MPG towing with a CTD, (again light load) - 2259.1 miles avg speed was just about 71 MPH, MPG was 18.137117. It would have been a little better but Chicago screwed me both ways. Heading north we had the trailer issue. I was heavy on the throttle as I was getting to home depot and back to the trailer. Then on way south we sat in crawling traffic, took over an hour to roll through the city that took us minutes just hours before. There was 1 regen at least that I noticed a considerable decrease in MPG. The computer said we were averaging 19.6 MPG.

I can tell you that the CTD is a pretty efficient engine.

GTO - yes it was an interesting way to pass time and keep awake. There were very few big trucks pulling little loads, they all had very large campers on the back. The 1500 crowd made me really nervous. The speeds on the road were 70 plus and these guys were towing a large camper. On more than one occasion the tail was wagging the dog.

Platon - Chicago should be used as a case study. The north has some of the nicest neighborhoods in America. The south looks like a war zone (no exaggeration). How there can be so much wealth and such poverty so close to each other is a sad example of what America has become.

Old 07-27-2020, 05:44 PM
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Just did 800 thru the mountains with the TT.

Saw a ton of stupid stuff on the road...

Small SUVs pulling 26’ trailers...

97 degrees...

People were pulling 36’ TTs at 75-80 MPH.

Saw a bunch of popped tires in the campground.

Just because you have 800#s of torque doesn’t mean you need to use it.

Old 07-27-2020, 06:45 PM
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Up and down 95 here in Florida....surprised at the speed some peeps are towing large boats, campers, utility trailers....generally 75-85 mph....I don't care what your set up is...that's unsafe for a ton of reasons....
Old 07-27-2020, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by slickster View Post
Up and down 95 here in Florida....surprised at the speed some peeps are towing large boats, campers, utility trailers....generally 75-85 mph....I don't care what your set up is...that's unsafe for a ton of reasons....
probably a correlation to how crappy we say the trailer tires are...
Old 07-27-2020, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed View Post
Just because you have 800#s of torque doesnt mean you need to use it.
I have 950 and I use it all.
Old 07-27-2020, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ck_moniz View Post
ok the numbers are in on the real world hand calculated MPG towing with a CTD, (again light load) - 2259.1 miles avg speed was just about 71 MPH, MPG was 18.137117. It would have been a little better but Chicago screwed me both ways. Heading north we had the trailer issue. I was heavy on the throttle as I was getting to home depot and back to the trailer. Then on way south we sat in crawling traffic, took over an hour to roll through the city that took us minutes just hours before. There was 1 regen at least that I noticed a considerable decrease in MPG. The computer said we were averaging 19.6 MPG.

I can tell you that the CTD is a pretty efficient engine.

GTO - yes it was an interesting way to pass time and keep awake. There were very few big trucks pulling little loads, they all had very large campers on the back. The 1500 crowd made me really nervous. The speeds on the road were 70 plus and these guys were towing a large camper. On more than one occasion the tail was wagging the dog.

Platon - Chicago should be used as a case study. The north has some of the nicest neighborhoods in America. The south looks like a war zone (no exaggeration). How there can be so much wealth and such poverty so close to each other is a sad example of what America has become.

In my Ram Dually, I average around 7.5 mpg.
Old 07-27-2020, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post
In my Ram Dually, I average around 7.5 mpg.
My guess is you are towing a bit more weight than i towed
Old 07-27-2020, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ck_moniz View Post
My guess is you are towing a bit more weight than i towed
Or you're a better driver.
Old 07-28-2020, 01:32 PM
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Interesting, I tend to look around at who is towing what when Im driving as well. One thing Ill disagree with is F150 suck at towing anything but small boats, unless you mean small as under 26-28. I tow my 25 Cabin Cruiser (7500-8000 lbs) and the truck does not squat at all, and tows straight and true. Got 11.3 mpg on the way out to our last weekend trip (100 miles or so) and 10.3 on the whole round trip (200 miles plus at least 1-1.5 hours of idle time), which I was happy with. Obviously its no HD truck, but Im happy towing this size boat with it.
Old 07-28-2020, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by IMPLiberty View Post
Interesting, I tend to look around at who is towing what when Im driving as well. One thing Ill disagree with is F150 suck at towing anything but small boats, unless you mean small as under 26-28. I tow my 25 Cabin Cruiser (7500-8000 lbs) and the truck does not squat at all, and tows straight and true. Got 11.3 mpg on the way out to our last weekend trip (100 miles or so) and 10.3 on the whole round trip (200 miles plus at least 1-1.5 hours of idle time), which I was happy with. Obviously its no HD truck, but Im happy towing this size boat with it.
the only f150's i observed towing straight had a WD hitch. The others that I recall seeing all had serious squat. But it may be a result of my alternative thought... the drivers / operators don't know how to setup their trailer to distribute the load. As an example, 1 truck was towing a 20+ foot pontoon boat with an f150. the chains were dragging on the ground. there was a serious sag in the ass end, and the tail was wagging the dog as the driver was cruising at 75mph. if I wasn't driving I would have taken pictures, it was that bad.
Old 07-28-2020, 03:04 PM
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I agree the suspension is softer for the ride verse the load. Mine drops a hair with the boat attached, not much though. Ive had 3500 lbs in the bed before... that brought it down!!

Old 07-29-2020, 02:00 PM
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Default RAM 2500 trip review

I just finished my second trip of the summer with the boat, bringing the total trailered mileage to right about 2600. I'm towing about 12K lbs (9.5K boat+ 2.5K tandem axle trailer) with a 2019 RAM 2500 CTD. The first trip was from Cleveland, OH to Topsail, NC and the second trip was from Cleveland to Lake George, NY.

The truck did a fantastic job for both trips. It was no problem to pull through mountains of WV or pass a slow vehicle when necessary. As long as the road was smooth I almost forgot it was back there a couple times... I averaged 9.9 mpg on the NC trip and 10.3 mpg on the NY trip, driving about 70 mph. The truck was full of gear and people as well.



Old 07-29-2020, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by IMPLiberty View Post
I agree the suspension is softer for the ride verse the load. Mine drops a hair with the boat attached, not much though. Ive had 3500 lbs in the bed before... that brought it down!!
To my eye you have the boat balanced on the trailer so the load is properly on the tandem axles. most all that I saw was not setup like this.
Old 07-29-2020, 05:23 PM
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Default I can finally post this, thanks CK


Old 07-29-2020, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ar15bang View Post
Of course the guy doing it has THAT kind of boat. Typical.
Old 07-29-2020, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kernmw10 View Post
Of course the guy doing it has THAT kind of boat. Typical.
In some parts of the country the saying goes... "You just can't fix stupid"...

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