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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, to all out there... I am a fairly new Titan owner (about 6 weeks ago now -- bought new with 12 miles on it). This is my first towing-capable truck and it looks like I will have to tow my family's rather large and old TT for Memorial Day (the old-man's F250 died -- I chuckled, but that is another story). I have been reading different things on here to see what can help me, and have found a lot of great info... but I have a few questions for clarification (again, since I am new).


The setup:
Truck - 09 Titan KC w/BT & Prodigy brake controller already installed

Hitch - WD hitch and all appropriate accessories

Trailer - Not sure exact size, but must be every bit of 7000lbs when loaded (we have been doing this trip for years and know how to appropriately load trailer for tongue-weight)

Driver - my dad -- 30+ years as a long-haul HAZMAT rig tanker driver, not that he can't make a mistake, but the man can handle his ***t on the road... I would drive it, but need WAY more practice towing than what I have time for between now and then


Questions:
1.) A bit confused on Anti-Sway Bars vs. Bags for rear... what is exact purpose of each? I think the bars help to evenly distribute the weight and the bags help to level the body-sag because of load in the rear... is that correct?

2.) Which (bar or bags) woud help me to tow the above application with more control/stability? There will be a few small (light) items in bed of truck also (maybe 200 lbs) and just dad and I (total about 400 lbs) in the cab.

3.) This truck is RARELY used for off-road and when it is, it is not for rock-crawling or anything serious like that... nor used for extremely heavy bed-loads (maybe a small ATV at max)... so with that in mind, now what is answer for #2?


I really appreciate any help any of you "Titan Towing Vets" can give me! I have wanted a Titan since 04 (college = no money as many of you know) and finally got it... I love it so far and want this to be the "badass truck" on the block. This site is a great help and has awesome ideas (so far this site has led me to the Prodigy, an Amsoil EA air filter, HID-kit, Extang Tri-fecta cover, and more...) so I turn to you again for suggestions.

Thanks,
S
 

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First off, congrats on your purchase and welcome to the forum.

I tow a travel trailer with my 04 and it weighs close to 6500 loaded down. I'll try to answer your questions:

1) You mentioned sway bars and air bags...sway bars are different from weight distribution bars. Proper adjustment of the WD hitch/bars is critical for set-up. Ideally, your truck and trailer should be nearly level once hitched. My Titan sits slightly down (1/2"-3/4") in the rear, but I've found this to be the "sweet spot" for overall handling and control. To learn more, pull up weight distribution information on the Reese website. I know nothing about airbags so I cannot comment on those.

2) The weight distribution hitch/bars should be rated for your load. If your trailer is rated at 7000# then look for something close to, but above that range. I currently have a 10000# rated hitch, but I purchased with the intent to closely match the truck's capacity. As a very general rule of thumb, a Travel Trailer's tounge weight is roughly 10% of the actual weight of the rig. This will put you in the 7-800# range on the hitch. Based on what you described, you should be fine as long as the hitch is properly adjusted. Another trick that adds to stability is to max out the cold air pressure on the tires. When towing, I run 44# on the rear tires.

If you are going to be towing for any distance, don't forget sway control. I have two friction sway control devices that really helps stabilize the trailer on the highway. You'll be surprised at the effect of passing semi's/crosswinds on your rig.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
White Lightning,

Thanks for the info. Yes the WD hitch and trailer have friction-bars and is rated to 10,000#. So that should cover me.

---

If anyone else has any opinions on the truck-side anti-sway bars (I know Helwig -- spelling? -- makes some) or bags (Firestone Ride-Rite) for my needs please let me know. Also, have seen a lot of info about Roadmaster Active Suspension kits... would those be of help?

Suspension is obviously NOT my thing. Thanks again to everyone for your time and information.
 

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Probably the most important thing after you've got your WD and hitch the way you want it, is to adjust your
brake control so that you stop comfortably. The other thing is to tow in 4th gear and don't be afraid to manually shift to third rather than putting strain on the engine and transmission. When going up hills I regularly run my RPM's up to 4 grand and more to keep the tranny cool and keep my momentum. Have fun and let the old man drive some if he wants to. I guarantee he has some valuable tips.
 

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Use the Tow Mode button and you'll want to keep the gear shift in 4th to keep your trans temp down. I don't see why you'd need helper springs, that's what the WD Hitch is for.
 

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Well, you got really good replies for sure!
Let your Dad know that running 3500-3700 rpm won't be an issue when climbing grades/hills...
 
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Sounds lke your all ready set up pretty good. Use the same hitch set up your dad has been useing and you should be fine. of course you will need to adjust the pull bar (hitch head insert) and load leveling bar (weight distribution bars) to your truck.

As stated make you get your brake controler set up properly with the trailer.

And yes don't be scared to let it rev. Seeing 4k rpms is normal when climbing hills. What I do is maintane the same 60-65mph pedal in 4th gear and when it time to climb I just drop down to 3rd without giving it anymore pedal, she will just keep on chugging. At first you will be like WTF my engines gonna blow but your nowhere near damageing anything. After a few of those you grow to like the growl and look forawrd to the next hill.

Don't be surprised when your Dad gets the holy sh$t look on his face when he see's how well your Titan pulls.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Man you have all been so supportive and helpful... thank you so much. Dad has been in the Titan already but hasn't driven it yet. I am just going to smile and nod the whole-way. He loves the truck so far also, but if it pulls well (which I agree it will) he will probably jump-ship on Ford forever for Nissan.

Thanks so much to everyone, you all have been VERY helpful and this site is GREAT!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For those of you that may be interested, I did purchase a Roadmaster Active Suspension kit (the Heavy Duty one) off of a local guy who bought the incorrect one. Got it for under $100 so couldn't pass it up. Still in the box... will be installing before the camping trip.

I will let you all know how it goes and hopefully get some pics to post in the "What do you tow" thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I installed the Roadmaster Active Suspension today. It took about 3 hours, mostly because I was by myself and had tools strung all over the place before I started.

The towing begins next weekend. I will let you know how it goes.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Update: after the trip.

Well, you guys were right. Total loaded our family's trailer weighed-in at 7200 lbs and 29 feet in length. I went up a few hours early and hooked it up, dad was very skeptical at first and still wanted to bring the Ford F250 as a "back-up vehicle" just in-case. After seeing the way that the Titan handled the load (sitting still) we talked him out of it.

The next day we started down the road with dad driving (30-years of towing experience in rigs and various camping configurations)... within 2 miles he was smiling and doing 55mph... "Now THIS is a truck. Boy you did your homework on this one. I could never go like this in the Ford with this trailer."

After about a half-hour of driving we pulled off at a local truck stop to get on the scales (dad was curious also)... Trailer weight was about 7k, total combined was about 14k. With the Roadmaster Active Suspension, and WD hitch properly setup we had ZERO sway, and the tranny-temp barely moved.

Dad played-around a bit with Towing Mode on/off and other functions, he was having so much fun actually that the car following us with my wife and his girlfriend in it couldn't keep-up. He was running 65-70 at times and had ZERO issues with sway or bounce. Granted it was a nice-day with no wind but lots of traffic.

He let me drive about 3/4 of the total trip saying "this is a good-one to learn in, handles the trailer like it isn't there. Just always be aware that it IS there."

When we got to the campsite my Uncle was already there (professional truck-driver as well with about 30 years of over-the-road hauling experience). He has a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Magnum and tows a pop-up camper (we discovered last year that he can't tow the big camper). Well, he took the Titan out for a ride and was equally impressed. He couldn't believe ANY 1/2 ton truck could drag that trailer like that. "Damn nice truck" was all he would say, but he said it over and over again. I just smiled.

On the way home my old-man said to me, "the Ford is done, call your dealership and have them find me one like this. I'm ready for a real truck."

Two skeptics converted and one happy-owner... all in one weekend.

Oh, and the actual camping trip was fun also.

-S
 

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That's awesome!!!

I took my TT out for it's first camping trip this weekend too. Mine is 30'-6" that I think is likely still under 7k-lbs. Once I got my WD Hitch readjusted to be a little more aggressive to keep my fenderwells even while under load, it towed so sweet. I used to be a truck driver and it felt like a fair loaded semi and nothing more. As a matter of fact, with the 6" lift, it felt exactly like when I used to drive a 16-bay low-boy route truck before I stepped up into the big rigs. There is quite a bit of downshifting when going up hills that a diesel could reduce on but there's plenty of power and I had no loss of speed unless I wanted to lay off the pedal. Pretty awesome for a 1/2-ton though, I'm impressed. :D
 

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Congratulations on a fun and successful trip with your Titan. These trucks surprise a lot of people with how capable they are. I regularly get amazed looks and wows at the campsites about the 5th wheel I tow and how well it tows. It only gets better from here!!!!
 

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SHoffman thats pretty cool! My Dad did the same thing. I let him use my truck to tow my ATV trailer and 4 ATV's to our hunt club because that last trip he did was with his Ford Exploder and it really had a hard time. The next weekend he bought 2007 Titan 2wd SE with big tow. Since then two others at our hunt club have traded in there trucks for Titans and couldn't be happier.

''Don't be surprised when your Dad gets the holy sh$t look on his face when he see's how well your Titan pulls.''

I was right wasn't I LOL!!!!
 

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That's awesome!!! I took my TT out for it's first camping trip this weekend too. Mine is 30'-6" that I think is likely still under 7k-lbs. Once I got my WD Hitch readjusted to be a little more aggressive to keep my fenderwells even while under load, it towed so sweet. I used to be a truck driver and it felt like a fair loaded semi and nothing more. As a matter of fact, with the 6" lift, it felt exactly like when I used to drive a 16-bay low-boy route truck before I stepped up into the big rigs. There is quite a bit of downshifting when going up hills that a diesel could reduce on but there's plenty of power and I had no loss of speed unless I wanted to lay off the pedal. Pretty awesome for a 1/2-ton though, I'm impressed. :D
Pops that sounds great man!!! My Dad is looking for another TT and he wants about 30ft TT or so since he and my mom will stay in for weeks at a time they want the room. I am OK with a 30ft'r as long as the weight is at the 85% mark and it sounds like you found the right one. Forgive me if it's all ready posted but what make and model is your TT??
 

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Pops that sounds great man!!! My Dad is looking for another TT and he wants about 30ft TT or so since he and my mom will stay in for weeks at a time they want the room. I am OK with a 30ft'r as long as the weight is at the 85% mark and it sounds like you found the right one. Forgive me if it's all ready posted but what make and model is your TT??
This is mine: Jayco 2009

I found it on Craigslist in DFW Texas and bought it for $12.5k. :D


This one looked really nice at the dealership for someone who doesn't travel with kids: http://www.jayco.com/php/products/floorplans.php?id=190&mod_id=944
 

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Thats a nice TT there Pops, you stole that one. Thanks for the info, I sent it over to Dad.

My TT is perfect for kids. It's only 24' with a 6ft slide out out the back. The front has two sets of bunks that even my big a$$ can get comfy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pops,

That is the EXACT TT I am trying to talk my wife into now. You certainly did steal that one for that price!

-S
 

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Thanks guys!!! A local dealer here is selling some 26BH models (Link: Jayco 2009) for $13k brand new, I think it comes out closer to $14k when finalized. I didn't really care for the couch and kitchen layout as much. I figured we're better off with a barely used 2-yr old model that we like the layout of better.

Wifey seems to be really happy with it so far. I've had to do a few minor repairs but nothing major. Parts are cheap from the local dealer and they're pretty easy to work on for the most part. All TT's that I looked at seem to be put together pretty cheaply and the dealers seem to make a killing on Service Repairs so I'm learning to DIY. :D There's alot to learn but it's all been really easy so far as I'm becoming more familiar with it.

A Jay Flight will look really nice behind your Blue Titan, IMO. Red Brawn and Majestic Blue seem to match the trailer's pin striping pretty well.
 

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Nice Pops! Your gonna love that for sure! 8 days camping coming up for me! :thumbsup:
 
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