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Turning With A Long Bumper Pull Trailer

DallasSteve
Nomad
Nomad
I have a 38 foot bumper pull trailer and I will be pulling out of my summer park in 2 days. I hope some of the experienced pros here can give me some guidance. I've taken 3 short trips in the new truck (F-250 long bed, full cab, a long truck) and trailer, but it's been 6 months now and that's all the experience I had. When I came into this park I had a left turn off a divided road so that was pretty easy. This time I need to take a right turn onto the same divided road. It's only 1 lane each side with a center lane for turning. I've got a little cheat room on the right side of the exit from the park, but only about 2 or 3 feet. If I took a left turn I'd have to go 10 or 20 minutes out of my way, plus it's a tighter road going left. Can you guide me on how far out into the street I have to get before I start turning the wheel of the truck? I can't go to a parking lot to practice so I have to give this my best shot. I suppose if I have other right turns the same will apply, but I'm trying to avoid them except out in the country when I get to the next park.
2022 JAYCO JAY FLIGHT SLX 8 324BDS
2022 FORD F-250 XL CREW CAB 4X4
All my exes live in Texas, that's why I live in an RV
35 REPLIES 35

gottashiner
Explorer
Explorer

I pull a 40+ horse trailer with living quarters & I take up the whole road when making a tight right turn, even if I have to wait for vehicles to get out of the way.  One time I didn’t have enough room to turn & had to have help (6 guys & equipment). Always take more road than you think you need!

nickthehunter
Nomad II
Nomad II
blt2ski wrote:
nickthehunter wrote:
Just to point out one thing, tow ratings on any truck tested to SAEJ2807 standard (which is pretty much all trucks) are not based upon towing a flatbed trailer. The max trailer weight rating of vehicles is partly determined by testing towing trailers with Frontal areas that are a minimum of 40 sft for 5000 lbs trailers up to 75 sft for very large triaxle trailers. You don’t meet the standard for pulling a 5000 lbs trailer with 40 sft frontal area, you don’t get to rate your truck for that max trailer tow weight rating.
Clicky
Ford tells you what the max frontal area limitations for their vehicles are See pg 17


Back in 92, I saw a poster in an RV dealership. It had max tow ratings for Ford.
F250/350 rigs had a max of 10K lbs at the time, same with GM/Dodge. That assumed you had no more than 80sqft of frontal area. 80.1-100 was lowered to 7500, 100.1-120 was lowered yet again to 5000, over 120 was not recommended to be towed by an F series truck.

The Ranger/Aerostar was maxed at 6000 iirc to 60sqft, lowered to 4500 from 60-70, lowered again to 3000 from 70-80, A trailer over 80 sq ft was not recommended being towed by Ford.

ALL the manufactures should be showing the effects, lowering of ratings etc if you go over the base weights, frontal area drag components etc. MANY of US are in actuality, over the ratings!

Marty
I agree, that would be useful information to know.

blt2ski
Moderator
Moderator
nickthehunter wrote:
Just to point out one thing, tow ratings on any truck tested to SAEJ2807 standard (which is pretty much all trucks) are not based upon towing a flatbed trailer. The max trailer weight rating of vehicles is partly determined by testing towing trailers with Frontal areas that are a minimum of 40 sft for 5000 lbs trailers up to 75 sft for very large triaxle trailers. You don’t meet the standard for pulling a 5000 lbs trailer with 40 sft frontal area, you don’t get to rate your truck for that max trailer tow weight rating.
Clicky
Ford tells you what the max frontal area limitations for their vehicles are See pg 17


Back in 92, I saw a poster in an RV dealership. It had max tow ratings for Ford.
F250/350 rigs had a max of 10K lbs at the time, same with GM/Dodge. That assumed you had no more than 80sqft of frontal area. 80.1-100 was lowered to 7500, 100.1-120 was lowered yet again to 5000, over 120 was not recommended to be towed by an F series truck.

The Ranger/Aerostar was maxed at 6000 iirc to 60sqft, lowered to 4500 from 60-70, lowered again to 3000 from 70-80, A trailer over 80 sq ft was not recommended being towed by Ford.

ALL the manufactures should be showing the effects, lowering of ratings etc if you go over the base weights, frontal area drag components etc. MANY of US are in actuality, over the ratings!

Marty
92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

nickthehunter
Nomad II
Nomad II
Just to point out one thing, tow ratings on any truck tested to SAEJ2807 standard (which is pretty much all trucks) are not based upon towing a flatbed trailer. The max trailer weight rating of vehicles is partly determined by testing towing trailers with Frontal areas that are a minimum of 40 sft for 5000 lbs trailers up to 75 sft for very large triaxle trailers. You don’t meet the standard for pulling a 5000 lbs trailer with 40 sft frontal area, you don’t get to rate your truck for that max trailer tow weight rating.
Clicky
Ford tells you what the max frontal area limitations for their vehicles are See pg 17

wnjj
Explorer II
Explorer II
If you need just a bit more room, when you start to pull out you can even steer left with the truck until the point where you will need to crank it back to the right. This will shift the rear of the truck (and hitch ball) further left and make the trailer track a little closer to where your truck would have in a normal turn. It's not much but you may find yourself needing every bit someday.

This assumes clearance to the left of you as you pull out to not cause tail swing issues.

If you even need to make an even sharper right turn where you aren't pulling into traffic pull to the far side of the road you are entering, even to the point where you cannot complete the turn with the truck. Then back carefully into a more jackknifed position before taking back off again. That is the least inside tracking you can make a trailer do with a right turn.

MFL
Nomad II
Nomad II
OP has a very capable TV, so no issue there.

He just needs to get more towing time, to get more actual experience, gain confidence, and know of things to watch out for (reason for his post). Some helpful tips were given.

Jerry

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
BackOfThePack wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Cummins12V98 wrote:
I think I would more concerned with the length and possible excessive weight for a 250/2500 truck. That's a LOT of tail wagging the Dog!!!


Semi-tractor required?

GVWR is only 9k on the trailer he lists...a 3/4 ton should be fine.



Half ton would be fine for a vacationer versus a full-timer. DD duty is always the priority. Power-to-weight favors 1/2T.

Take both to scale and get true weights (loaded for camping trip with pax aboard)

My combined gross stays between 17-18k, both heavily loaded. Empty, both together were just under 14k.

.


1/2ton would be borderline. I know some claim a 10k tow rating but 1/2 ton is built wildly different from the 3/4-1ton trucks.

Keep in mind the tow ratings are typically based on a flatbed trailer with minimal wind resistance and a 10% hitch weight. A 9k travel trailer is going to have a lot of wind resistance and a hitch weight on the order of 1200-1400lb. Most 1/2ton trucks will be over payload by the time you are ready to roll.

In a pinch to get it 20-30miles home, I would consider it but as a general tow vehicle, that's up into 3/4 ton range.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

BackOfThePack
Explorer
Explorer
valhalla360 wrote:
Cummins12V98 wrote:
I think I would more concerned with the length and possible excessive weight for a 250/2500 truck. That's a LOT of tail wagging the Dog!!!


Semi-tractor required?

GVWR is only 9k on the trailer he lists...a 3/4 ton should be fine.



Half ton would be fine for a vacationer versus a full-timer. DD duty is always the priority. Power-to-weight favors 1/2T.

Take both to scale and get true weights (loaded for camping trip with pax aboard)

My combined gross stays between 17-18k, both heavily loaded. Empty, both together were just under 14k.

.
2004 555 CTD QC LB NV-5600
1990 35’ Silver Streak

BackOfThePack
Explorer
Explorer
TCBear wrote:
If your trailer has a long overhang behind the rear axle, your rear bumper's gonna swing out a bit during a sharp turn, so you may need to allow space for that as well. And you'll definitely need an adult spotter watching all four corners of the rig from the outside.



This is the biggest hazard as to damage.

Combined length on my rig is 62’ (RV Max is 65’ in Texas last I checked). 35’ TT & 163” WB pickup.

“Rear swing” gets my attention more than anything else. One swings wide to make a u-turn in a tight area, for instance, there’s a moment the trailer will back itself slightly. That’s one way how things get hit. (U-turns not recommended; a firing offense if on a public road some truck firms).

Backing into a spot is where it’s easy to lose track of one side of the trailer or the other.

Some tow vehicles worse than others for “wheel cut”. (Tighter is better; expressed in degrees). This determines how to set up the backing maneuver.

The rest isn’t bad. Backing or RH turns are usually where problems surface. (Always inspect starboard tires at every stop).

The hoary joke among truck drivers is that anyone can get them down the road. They’re paid to get them backed in.

Doesn’t matter how many attempts necessary to get backed, in a manner of speaking. Some days one is a whiz. Other days, a schmoe.

Your pickup “steers” from the rear axle (circle of the turn). Your trailer just alters that dimension farther rearward. See, “Ackermann Angle” as applied to trailers (Ackermann Steering Geometry).

.
2004 555 CTD QC LB NV-5600
1990 35’ Silver Streak

TCBear
Explorer
Explorer
If your trailer has a long overhang behind the rear axle, your rear bumper's gonna swing out a bit during a sharp turn, so you may need to allow space for that as well. And you'll definitely need an adult spotter watching all four corners of the rig from the outside.

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
Cummins12V98 wrote:
I think I would more concerned with the length and possible excessive weight for a 250/2500 truck. That's a LOT of tail wagging the Dog!!!


It’s a travel trailer….
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

DallasSteve
Nomad
Nomad
valhalla360 wrote:
Pull out as far as you can but with a 38ft trailer, your front wheels will be in the far side ditch before you can start the turn if you wait for the trailer axles to reach the road.

That's for sure.
We made the trip out of the park today and it was not too difficult. I stopped several times to get a look at how much space I had and I always had a lot of clearance. I try to plan my trips from park to park so that I don't have any tight right turns. Some people like to get off the highways, but I would rather stay on the big highways and have easier turns. I pulled into a nice campground, but it was more wooded and my last couple of turns were tight, but I stopped and checked when I needed and it went pretty well.
As for my test of how the trailer tracks the truck, it doesn't track as close as I had hoped. On my right turn test out of my campground space it was probably a couple of feet inside the truck track. I'll just have to stay left and swing out as much as I can when I have a tight turn like when I leave this space in 2 days.
2022 JAYCO JAY FLIGHT SLX 8 324BDS
2022 FORD F-250 XL CREW CAB 4X4
All my exes live in Texas, that's why I live in an RV

Cummins12V98
Explorer III
Explorer III
valhalla360 wrote:
Cummins12V98 wrote:
I think I would more concerned with the length and possible excessive weight for a 250/2500 truck. That's a LOT of tail wagging the Dog!!!


Semi-tractor required?

GVWR is only 9k on the trailer he lists...a 3/4 ton should be fine.


Did not see the weight. I would use weight distributing setup.
2015 RAM LongHorn 3500 Dually CrewCab 4X4 CUMMINS/AISIN RearAir 385HP/865TQ 4:10's
37,800# GCVWR "Towing Beast"

"HeavyWeight" B&W RVK3600

2016 MobileSuites 39TKSB3 highly "Elited" In the stable

2007.5 Mobile Suites 36 SB3 29,000# Combined SOLD

Mike134
Explorer
Explorer
valhalla360 wrote:
Cummins12V98 wrote:
I think I would more concerned with the length and possible excessive weight for a 250/2500 truck. That's a LOT of tail wagging the Dog!!!


Semi-tractor required?

GVWR is only 9k on the trailer he lists...a 3/4 ton should be fine.



Always use a Kenworth semi tractor for anything larger than a red flyer wagon we had as kids. That's an internet rule when discussing towing!!!
2019 F150 4X4 1903 payload
2018 Adventurer 21RBS 7700 GVWR.