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Old 08-17-2014, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default 3.7 towing 26' Travel Trailer experience

So the other I weekend I rented a 26 foot travel trailer and took the wife kids to go camping in Flagstaff. I have a 3.7 Screw and I wasn't sure how it would do and it did much better than I thought it would. The trailer is supposed to weight 4500 empty and the owner of the rental place assured me that the fresh water and dump tanks were empty. Well, turns out he only dumped the black water tank. The fresh water and gray water were both full! I wasn't concerned about the fresh water since I had water/electric at the campsite but I had to go dump the gray water after I got there. My best guess, the trailer weighed 5100-5200 lbs. with all of our stuff loaded. This doesn't include the weight of the passengers in the cab or the propane tanks and battery. So, this moron at the rental place supplied me with a hitch but it wasn't a weight distributing hitch nor did it have any sway controls. He claimed those are a myth and are never needed on any type of trailer no matter how much it weighs. Genius right? So because of this I had to limit my speed to 60mph most of the time because of sway. Any time a semi truck passed me it made for quite a ride. The 3.7 would hold 65-70 on the flats in 5th if it wasn't too windy and nobody was passing me. I was quite impressed, my limiting factor was mostly sway. The 3.7 does pretty good. I did have to pass a slow moving "Wide Load" trailer that was going 9mph up a steep grade, I gave it about 3/4 throttle and it revved to 6500 shifted into 2nd pretty rough and I got it up to 40mph on that grade. The lack of torque is apparent so I won't be passing uphill from 9 mph again. The transmission immediately shot up to 230 degrees when I did that. I averaged 9 mpg on my way up to Flagstaff and about 12 on the way down. All in all it did okay. I kinda wished I had the 5.0 but since I can't own a trailer of my own and I rarely tow anything more than a U-Haul trailer, the 3.7 fits my needs. Here are some pics.


Loading up at the house.


All set up at the campground.




Sitting next to my dads rig. A 1982 Fiberglass Burro trailer that weighs 900 lbs.


At the rest stop on the way back. Yes I did notice that I left the roof vent open.

Last edited by desert_rat; 08-18-2014 at 11:17 PM. Reason: Text Change
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #2
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That is a big TT for not having any WDH and sway control. I am surprised that the rear of the truck is not further down than that.
Glad to hear that you made it there and back OK, but I'll bet that 3.7 was not happy on the hills........
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:00 PM   #3
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That is a big TT for not having any WDH and sway control. I am surprised that the rear of the truck is not further down than that.
Glad to hear that you made it there and back OK, but I'll bet that 3.7 was not happy on the hills........


If you look at the first pic you can see the step up hitch, it sat higher than the bumper. It was balanced okay I guess. It did okay on the hills, it would downshift to 2nd on the steepest grades and hold 50 but I wasn't even close to flooring it either, didn't want to push it. All the other hills it would hold 65 in 4th comfortably but like I said I went 60 most of the time.

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Old 08-17-2014, 09:14 PM   #4
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Did you get into your truck's ant-sway program at all and get the "slow down" dash warning?
Even on my old 5.4 with the "P" rated tires, WDH and sway control, I experienced that warning a couple of times a week towing about 8,800 pounds of TT.
Now, towing about 6,800 with an EB SCAB and "LT" rated tires, I have not seen that warning even once,
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:45 PM   #5
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Did you get into your truck's ant-sway program at all and get the "slow down" dash warning?
Even on my old 5.4 with the "P" rated tires, WDH and sway control, I experienced that warning a couple of times a week towing about 8,800 pounds of TT.
Now, towing about 6,800 with an EB SCAB and "LT" rated tires, I have not seen that warning even once,
Nope, never got a warning and the sway control was turned on. It can only do so much though since it is electronic and not the real thing. I did notice that it swayed a lot less on the way back home since I emptied the tanks and that should have put more weight on the front.
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Old 08-17-2014, 11:01 PM   #6
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Nice to see real life examples of the 3.7 effectively working. Seems like it gets the job done just fine. Surprised at the low mpg though. Thought you'd be in low teens..
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:24 PM   #7
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I'm confused. As a first truck owner, I had assumed the sway control feature was controlled by the truck alone. Meaning, the sway sensor makes the computer apply the truck's brakes automatically to counteract trailer sway.

Why would the trailer need sway control if the truck has its own?
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:01 PM   #8
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I'm confused. As a first truck owner, I had assumed the sway control feature was controlled by the truck alone. Meaning, the sway sensor makes the computer apply the truck's brakes automatically to counteract trailer sway.

Why would the trailer need sway control if the truck has its own?
I think that if you towed regularly and had felt the truck's sway control come on and slam on the brakes, you might not be asking this. When the truck activates the sway control, it is kind of a "I just kept you from crashing" kind of feeling.
Having sway control between the truck and the TT is kind of "the hitch's sway control just kept you from having to counter steer a little bit when that semi passed you."
I would not want to tow without both........
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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You should have ran, not walked, but ran from that place. He basically sent you down the road in a potentially lethal rig. On the other hand, you appear to know what he was telling you was BS and still you rented it, hooked it up, and too your family on a trip is a very dangerous rig. Wow! There are limits to what the wizard electronics can do to keep you safe. Also, towing at 65-70 mph improperly equipped or prepared is less than wise. Did you even have a trailer brake controller?
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kenferg1 View Post
You should have ran, not walked, but ran from that place. He basically sent you down the road in a potentially lethal rig. On the other hand, you appear to know what he was telling you was BS and still you rented it, hooked it up, and too your family on a trip is a very dangerous rig. Wow! There are limits to what the wizard electronics can do to keep you safe. Also, towing at 65-70 mph improperly equipped or prepared is less than wise. Did you even have a trailer brake controller?

Thats why I went 60 most of the time......to keep it safe. It was perfectly fine at 60. Please learn how to read. Yes I had a brake controller, it is required by Arizona state law.
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