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Hi all so for the last year I have been debating the idea of getting a TT and spending more family time vacations and long weekends camping now that the kids are a little older (6.5, 5 and 2.5)

I've made up my mind on the exact TT I would get. Grand designs imagine 2800bh


It has a dry weight of roughly 6300lbs. My truck is a 2018 4x4 crew cab 6.4 bed with 3.55 gears. I have a are z series cap so that adds some weight and reduces my payload. Truck has airlift 1000 bags and newer cooper at3 4s tires. I'm GDE tuned and I would most likely upgrade to add the engine braking to the tune to help with the towing. As well as the obvious WDH. And upgrading to a good tire for the TT.

We would probably only every travel max 8-10 hrs away from home. Maybe the odd 1600km trip to Nova Scotia..

I would like the opinions of some experienced ED owners who have a similar size and weight TT. In my research I'm getting a lot of mixed reviews of whether the truck can handle this size and weight of trailer.

This would be my first trailer and I dont have a lot of driving experience towing. But my family's safety is my main concern not speed and time... that being said I have common sense when it comes to driving habits
 

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Your truck will haul it and stop it.
I'd strongly suggest you do a half dozen or so shorter trips on secondary roads to get used to your rig and the set up.
Hopefully, you can master the whole thing but you need to get a professional to help you set up the WDH properly OR you can learn to do it yourself.
Here is my TT which weighs in at 7,800 dry. I pull it with ease - even up a 10% grade. We putt along at 90 to 100kms all around southern Ontario up to Owen Sound, Sudbury etc.

IMG_20160812_135641.jpg
 

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my family's safety is my main concern not speed and time... that being said I have common sense when it comes to driving habits
^^^ this by far is the most important thing when towing.
Attention to details on how you load the trailer and setting up the WDH will go a long way to making towing the trailer a pleasurable experience instead of a white knuckle ride.
I tow a 28' that's about 8K loaded, I have a Leer topper and TLC axle to frame airbags. Tows the trailer just fine.
 

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We have the little brother to the 2800BH - the 2400. Comes in at about 6700 pounds when loaded for a camping trip, which includes just a little fresh water in the tank for lunch breaks, bathroom breaks, etc. when traveling.

I've debated on whether I'd move up to the 2800BH with my truck - it's certainly capable of moving it and probably stopping it - the challenge with this particular model is the way in which it's balanced. If you look on the factory specs for the trailer you'll see the tongue weight is just under 10% and on my smaller unit it is balanced the same way. The key is to front load the trailer and avoid throwing stuff on or under the bunks in the back.

That said, our 2400 tows great! Very little "truck suck" when a semi passes us and it's never made me feel uncomfortable at all. Our rig gets the best fuel mileage at either 60mph or 68 - at 60 the engine is right around 2000 RPM and at 68 the trans upshifts to 7th gear (in Tow/Haul mode) until we get to an uphill climb. Our WDH is a Husky Centerline that took a little bit of effort to get dialed in but it does a very good job of moving weight to the front axle and back to the trailer. We took a trip to Northern Michigan from our home in NE Ohio recently - about 900 miles round trip - and averaged 12.6 mpg's hand calculated. Pretty good for hauling a nearly 7000 pound parachute at highway speeds.

The 2800 is a very nice, open floorplan and the trailers themselves are very well built with nice amenities. We love our Grand Design!


Bob
 

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I have a 29' 7800 lb tt. Truck will pull it fine as long as your not in a hurry. 50 mph up a long grade is about max. Usually around 60 - 65 on the flats at highway speeds. Set up is important as others have said.
Being new to towing your starting out with a pretty big load. Setting up your trailer brakes is VERY important. In my opinion the RAM OEM trailer brake is the best out there.

Remember to never go down a grade any faster then you go up, controlling your speed going downhill is CRITICAL.

Dieseldoya's advice is important too. Do some short trips first to get the setup fine tuned. Don't go out for a 5 hour drive and find out that the setup is off after the first hour and have to suffer thru the next 4 hours of towing an unruly trailer.

Also you will have to practice backing it up into campsites. If you can't back it up you shouldn't tow it. Some people think that they can just get pull thru sites BUT, sooner or later you will have no choice and HAVE to back it up. Gas stations, parking lots, side streets ect. eventually you will be a situation where you will HAVE to back it up. Look on You tube for vids on backing up trailers.

Just FYI, you mentioned only towing 8 -10 hours. Towing an 8000, trailer for 8 -10 hours is a Looong day towing. Towing a rig with a total length of over 50' and 8' wide can be stressful and wear you down behind the wheel. ESPECIALLY if your not used to towing. For me personally a 6 hour towing day is enough, 8 hours is a stretch, 10 hours...No way, not unless I really have to for some reason.
Remember to leave LOTS of extra time also, your average speed towing is going to be much slower than your used to, Mine is usually around 35 - 40 mph on a days trip. Camping is supposed to be fun, don't make it a burden to get there and back.

Enjoy your new trailer and keep us posted! :)
 

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Great trailer choice. We had an Imagine 2600RB (sold to go back to boating). Loved the trailer and Grand Design's customer service, very comfortable towing. We were a hair over 7,000 lbs loaded and ran with Blue Ox Sway Pro WDH. We have the Longhorn with air suspension so the hitch setup is a little different to get the perfect setting. Very little effect from semis passing, we were very conservative speed-wise when towing, 60-65 was the max with perfect driving conditions. We managed to average 14-15 mpg towing and could easily maintain 55 mph up mountain passes.

Our trailer was pre-wired for the Furrion back-up camera, we trimmed that out. Great for backing up, but just as good for lane changes as you can see when you're well clear of the vehicle you just passed. Get the 'Observation' version, not the 'Backup' version. Enjoy the adventures!
 

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I have a little heavier Toy Hauler, and the same truck platform as you. The Anderson WDH works very well for me, and would highly recommend the GDE trans tune.
 

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i have 2400BH with same set up truck, just a short bed version. Been pooling it at least 5k mi last year and learned few things about it. I changed the tire to LT and put easy breathing grill up front. Anderson WDH is what you need. It is very easy to use and it only weighs 50 lbs. As far as weight limit, you will be over your payload. That factory tongue weight.. add another 200-250 to it with fully loaded trailer. With family and camping gear for 1 week, it adds up. Truck handles it well though. After few trips to weight scale and WDH adjustment, tuck and trailer sits well, actually good enough for me not to use airbags. Towing at 60 mph is no problem at all. Sway is mostly controlled well. It does catch you attention once awhile. GDE engine break controls the trailer well. On the hills, just be patient and slow down. I have done few hills her on west coast, and the truck does have some reserve left going up. Watch your temp though. I know oil cooler might me safer bet, but i learned if i slow down, the temp is not a problem. (learned the hard way, by getting a crack in degas bottle while climbing up to 7000 elevation doing 50 mph) I have to say this little 3.0 engine is pretty impressive (knock on the wood it does not spin a bearing on me)
 

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I towed a 35' avenger DBS last year up into the adirondacks, new england isn't Colorado but it's not flat by any means and the route up into the adirondacks is tough pulling. I have the weight slips in another topic bu my axles were pretty close on weight.

That's about the same as what you're dealing with here. Just take it to the scales and get yourself weighed with everything loaded and take your time figuring out where to put all your stuff. once you figure that out to get a balanced load on the truck trailer/fore aft it's pretty benign from there on out, the trailer gain control in these trucks is superior to the old 90's stuff we used to run and makes it a lot more re-assuring, almost too much.

WDH, obviously.
 

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Just FYI, you mentioned only towing 8 -10 hours. Towing an 8000, trailer for 8 -10 hours is a Looong day towing. Towing a rig with a total length of over 50' and 8' wide can be stressful and wear you down behind the wheel. ESPECIALLY if your not used to towing. For me personally a 6 hour towing day is enough, 8 hours is a stretch, 10 hours...No way, not unless I really have to for some reason.
Remember to leave LOTS of extra time also, your average speed towing is going to be much slower than your used to, Mine is usually around 35 - 40 mph on a days trip. Camping is supposed to be fun, don't make it a burden to get there and back.

Enjoy your new trailer and keep us posted! :)

Ram1, I couldn't agree more. When we first got a TT I figured I'm a tough guy and can drive the same number of hours I did when driving an empty truck or car - NOT!! There's a lot more to deal with towing a travel trailer and I've learned that 6 hours is comfortable and enables me to enjoy the camping when we get there instead of crashing on the hammock. We did a trip to Northern Michigan a couple of weeks ago and the trip was 7 hours there and back - that just reinforced the need to limit the driving day.

Your advice is fantastic - thanks for posting!


Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We have the little brother to the 2800BH - the 2400. Comes in at about 6700 pounds when loaded for a camping trip, which includes just a little fresh water in the tank for lunch breaks, bathroom breaks, etc. when traveling.

I've debated on whether I'd move up to the 2800BH with my truck - it's certainly capable of moving it and probably stopping it - the challenge with this particular model is the way in which it's balanced. If you look on the factory specs for the trailer you'll see the tongue weight is just under 10% and on my smaller unit it is balanced the same way. The key is to front load the trailer and avoid throwing stuff on or under the bunks in the back.

That said, our 2400 tows great! Very little "truck suck" when a semi passes us and it's never made me feel uncomfortable at all. Our rig gets the best fuel mileage at either 60mph or 68 - at 60 the engine is right around 2000 RPM and at 68 the trans upshifts to 7th gear (in Tow/Haul mode) until we get to an uphill climb. Our WDH is a Husky Centerline that took a little bit of effort to get dialed in but it does a very good job of moving weight to the front axle and back to the trailer. We took a trip to Northern Michigan from our home in NE Ohio recently - about 900 miles round trip - and averaged 12.6 mpg's hand calculated. Pretty good for hauling a nearly 7000 pound parachute at highway speeds.

The 2800 is a very nice, open floorplan and the trailers themselves are very well built with nice amenities. We love our Grand Design!


Bob
Thanks for the input! Yes I looked at the 2400bh but settled on wanting the 2800 cause we would get good use out of having the recliners and or pull out sofa section and I like having the seating all on one side and the kitchen layed out on the other
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info and advice this far everyone. I would take some shorter trips first to get used to it and get it dialed in right. I'm not worried about having to back it up. Practice will make perfect. And the weight and driving doesnt bother me much I sometimes drive a roll top DZ truck for work and am used to driving with a GVW of 50,000+ lbs
 

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Thanks for the info and advice this far everyone. I would take some shorter trips first to get used to it and get it dialed in right. I'm not worried about having to back it up. Practice will make perfect. And the weight and driving doesnt bother me much I sometimes drive a roll top DZ truck for work and am used to driving with a GVW of 50,000+ lbs
Sounds like your off to a good start. You already have experience with heavy loads on hills and stopping distances and driving a large vehicle. Towing a trailer won't be a problem for you. Fun times ahead!

A good set of towing mirrors will be good investment also. DON"T get the stick on type. Get the type that slide over the truck mirrors and clamp on, they're more stable. I keep my truck mirrors adjusted low to see the trailer tires when turning, and the tow mirrors higher to see the trailer.
 

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Hi all so for the last year I have been debating the idea of getting a TT and spending more family time vacations and long weekends camping now that the kids are a little older (6.5, 5 and 2.5)

I've made up my mind on the exact TT I would get. Grand designs imagine 2800bh


It has a dry weight of roughly 6300lbs. My truck is a 2018 4x4 crew cab 6.4 bed with 3.55 gears. I have a are z series cap so that adds some weight and reduces my payload. Truck has airlift 1000 bags and newer cooper at3 4s tires. I'm GDE tuned and I would most likely upgrade to add the engine braking to the tune to help with the towing. As well as the obvious WDH. And upgrading to a good tire for the TT.

We would probably only every travel max 8-10 hrs away from home. Maybe the odd 1600km trip to Nova Scotia..

I would like the opinions of some experienced ED owners who have a similar size and weight TT. In my research I'm getting a lot of mixed reviews of whether the truck can handle this size and weight of trailer.

This would be my first trailer and I dont have a lot of driving experience towing. But my family's safety is my main concern not speed and time... that being said I have common sense when it comes to driving habits
I towed our Rockwood Mini lite 2306 a few times before my ED engine went south on me. It is quite a bit smaller than the TT that you are looking to get I think dry weight is under 5000 lbs and it pulled it just fine.

Sometimes it's not the case of "will it pull it" it's "is it rated to tow it". One thing you for sure want to check though is the actual tow rating and payload capacity of your particular ED, I was surprised that when I looked up the tow capacity on my 15 ED that it was under 8000 lbs it was a 4x4 6' bed laramie with tow package so I would for sure check your tow capacity, payload and GVRW before you get the new TT. On Rams web site you can put in your vin# and it will give you the tow rating of your particular truck.

When my ED shot the craps at 61k miles I moved to a new 2500 Cumins Diesel rides rougher, doesn't get as good fuel mileage but I am happy with it. Just got home from a 2K mile trip towing the TT with the 2500, plenty of power, plenty of braking, no drama and I wasn't worried the whole time if it was going to grenade on me. Not that It couldn't happen with the Cumins but when you have a vehicle/engine with a catastrophic failure it is hard to trust it afterwards for me at least.

Anyway check your numbers before you buy your TT.
 

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Folks, I'm not trying to hijack the thread but have a related question. The wife and I are looking at the purchase of a Grand Design 2500RL very soon but before taking the leap we decided to rent a TT and give that a try to; one see how well the truck can pull and two to see how well we do with the whole TT camping scene (we are new to that aspect). The rental we are getting is just the same as the OP described. A Grand Design 2800BH. The truck is a 2017 Ecodiesel with a 3:55 rear end and GDE tune with the braking option. I had the OEM trailer brake installed and will be installing the Air Lifter 5000 air bags this weekend and we will take the TT out first weekend in Oct. Towing only 1 1/2 hour before getting to the campground. We will be using a WDH to balance everything out. TT will be lightly loaded (since it's only for a 3 day stay) and only the wife and I will be traveling so the load in the truck will be fairly light.

My question is at what "gain" do you set the OEM trailer brake at? Currently, after having the dealer "activate" it, they left the gain set to 6. I'm looking for recommendations/advice at what best to set it to for our "test trip".
 

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Gain varies greatly from trailer to trailer. I like to set it to where I can feel it operating the trailer brake manually, but without locking up the tires. If you have a gravel drive to test it, it's okay for them to lock up on gravel when operated manually.
 

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Folks, I'm not trying to hijack the thread but have a related question. The wife and I are looking at the purchase of a Grand Design 2500RL very soon but before taking the leap we decided to rent a TT and give that a try to; one see how well the truck can pull and two to see how well we do with the whole TT camping scene (we are new to that aspect). The rental we are getting is just the same as the OP described. A Grand Design 2800BH. The truck is a 2017 Ecodiesel with a 3:55 rear end and GDE tune with the braking option. I had the OEM trailer brake installed and will be installing the Air Lifter 5000 air bags this weekend and we will take the TT out first weekend in Oct. Towing only 1 1/2 hour before getting to the campground. We will be using a WDH to balance everything out. TT will be lightly loaded (since it's only for a 3 day stay) and only the wife and I will be traveling so the load in the truck will be fairly light.

My question is at what "gain" do you set the OEM trailer brake at? Currently, after having the dealer "activate" it, they left the gain set to 6. I'm looking for recommendations/advice at what best to set it to for our "test trip".
Typically you set the gain by rolling the truck & trailer at 20 mph or less, just coasting. Then manually apply the brakes with the lever on the dash and increase the gain until the trailer tires just start to skid on dry pavement. Often you'll find that the gain from this test is a little too high and the trailer brakes will grab fairly violently. Lower the gain a little at a time until the brake application on the trailer is noticeable, but not severe.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Folks, I'm not trying to hijack the thread but have a related question. The wife and I are looking at the purchase of a Grand Design 2500RL very soon but before taking the leap we decided to rent a TT and give that a try to; one see how well the truck can pull and two to see how well we do with the whole TT camping scene (we are new to that aspect). The rental we are getting is just the same as the OP described. A Grand Design 2800BH. The truck is a 2017 Ecodiesel with a 3:55 rear end and GDE tune with the braking option. I had the OEM trailer brake installed and will be installing the Air Lifter 5000 air bags this weekend and we will take the TT out first weekend in Oct. Towing only 1 1/2 hour before getting to the campground. We will be using a WDH to balance everything out. TT will be lightly loaded (since it's only for a 3 day stay) and only the wife and I will be traveling so the load in the truck will be fairly light.

My question is at what "gain" do you set the OEM trailer brake at? Currently, after having the dealer "activate" it, they left the gain set to 6. I'm looking for recommendations/advice at what best to set it to for our "test trip".
Let me know how your truck did with the 2800bh please
 

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Let me know how your truck did with the 2800bh please
Despite my concerns of possible under power and possible trailer sway, the truck pulled and performed perfectly. Our trip out was in Friday noon rush hour complicated by a broken down semi in the middle lane of the Atlanta bypass freeway. So got stuck in some stop/go for a while. Outside temps were in the mid to upper 90’s. Engine temp never rose above 222 with oil temp about the same. Similar with the trans temp, not that much above it’s normal when not hauling. Roads were mild with only a few hills. Trailer was heavier than expected as the “owner” who we rented from had the front storage area packed (grills, hoses, chairs, etc). I know we were at or slight above tow limits but you really couldn’t tell based on the truck performance. The engine does rev higher when starting from a stop at a light or when ascending a hill probably due to the “tow/haul” mode switched on. Mileage averaged about 15mpg or so. (My normal w/o a load is about 26mpg). We were using a Husky Center line weight distribution hitch which I’m sure helped eliminate almost all possible trailer sway. I did hit a CAT scale once hooked up and I was slight over max on drive axle but under on the steer. If the hitch had been mine I would have made adjustments to balance it better but I didn’t want to change the “owners” set up and I was only towing a short distance. When we eventually purchase our TT I will balance out everything correctly. Hope that helps!


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My question is at what "gain" do you set the OEM trailer brake at? Currently, after having the dealer "activate" it, they left the gain set to 6. I'm looking for recommendations/advice at what best to set it to for our "test trip".
I find the gain changes depending on a bunch of variables including personal preferences for minutia. The baseline for me is to test it at 20-30mph and test them again at 50mph. then when i'm "in town" i'll use gain setting a and then when i'm "cruising" i'll use gain setting b. I like the trailer to tug just a bit but hardly noticeable, try to get the entire thing to work as a consist. some people like more tug on the trailer, some like less but too much or too little is a safety issue. locked up trailer tires are useless after all and locked up truck tires are as well.

if you don't load it the same weight every time, it's probably different on a per weight/speed basis.

we rent a trailer as well, the rental place likes to set it and forget it. I took the setup directly to the scales down the road after hooking up and moved most of the weight out of my truck bed slightly behind the rear axle of the trailer. as you can imagine, when renting a trailer everything has to go into the truck until you get the trailer then you unload into the trailer. well, even after I moved most of the stuff out of the bed, clearly the hitch wasn't putting enough forward weight on the truck. Next time, the rental place agreed to add another washer in the head. the factory air suspension leveled it out but you could tell it was off a bit porpoising on the bumps, as the tongue weight would cause an ever so slight compression on the springs and the air suspension, which is idiotically slow, would rebound it up. had the hitch been setup specifically for us, the tongue weight would've effected the whole truck and not a rear axle focused impact. the factory air suspension is actually pretty amazing but you really have get the balance right on the truck/weight or else some oddities happen.

at least you didn't have to go far with it nose heavy.
 
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