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How big is too big?

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Reg. May 2017
Posted 2017-05-14 6:08 PM (#169886)
Subject: How big is too big?

New User

Posts: 1

In over 9 months of evaluating LQ trailers, I have sought the opinions of many. As I close in on buying my first LQ trailer, a Platinum with 17' SW (box 39'), I wanted to see if anyone has a strong opinion on when is big, to big? I am pulling with a 3500 Ram DW with air bags. I have pulled many trailers in my life, yet not anything this large. It's a triple axle with air, so it will pull very well. I would appreciate any opinions from those who have been there and done it. Regards.
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Reg. Oct 2011
Posted 2017-05-14 7:34 PM (#169887 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?

Elite Veteran

Posts: 604
Location: Rayne, LA
?In my opinon pulling is the small part of the battle, stopping it is the largest and hardest part. Also compare the GVWR of the truck versus the measured weight of the loaded trailer and if it isOK I am sure you will enjoy the room
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Reg. Jan 2017
Posted 2017-05-14 8:09 PM (#169888 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?


Posts: 67
Location: Waaaaay back Slaughter Hollow
Honestly, it is an individual thing and depends on what your needs are. I currently have a 13' LQ and want to go smaller. I don't use this bigger trailer enough to justify the size, so I am looking to go smaller. If I had kids or more people than just my husband traveling with me, I might need to go bigger.

And you cannot go wrong with a Platinum! Getting ready to order one myself!

It truly is based on individual need and what you can pull safely and comfortably!

Edited by Cutter1999 2017-05-14 8:10 PM
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Reg. Jun 2011
Posted 2017-05-14 8:26 PM (#169889 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 350
Location: Penrose, Colorado
one thing you really need to look at in a trailer that big is how much weight is on the ball . My trailer is about the same size but only has 2 axels and the pin weight is close to 6000 pounds loaded and that is to much for a one ton . so I usaully use my 5500 for anything but a short trip. weigh your truck and trailer and then calculate how much other stuff you carry and you will be amazed how fast it all adds up.
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Reg. Apr 2014
Posted 2017-05-14 8:35 PM (#169890 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?


Posts: 86
Location: Calgary, Canada

Here is a portion of an earlier post of mine which may help to answer if your 3500 Ram Dually is capable of pulling a 17 ft, triple axle LQ trailer. You will have to check your actual numbers but my "educated guess" (without knowing your the actually numbers) is that any 1 ton dually is UNLIKELY to be big enough for the trailer you refer to due the GVWR limitation of the truck. The following may help to explain why:

"We pull a 3H x 8 ft wide x 13 ft LQ trailer that weighs 11,750 lbs empty and 16,700 lbs with two horses, tack, panels, water, firewood, hay and everything else we take horse camping. The GVWR of the trailer is 18,500 lbs, but this is a rating only … you need to take your loaded truck and trailer over a scale to determine the actual weight of all truck and trailer axles and then do a load calculation to determine if your truck and trailer are adequately rated for your loads.

The pin weight of our loaded trailer is 4400 lbs, this works out to be 26% of the trailer weight. As you may know, the pin weight (gooseneck hitch weight) gets transferred to your tow vehicle and the truck GVWR often becomes the limiting factor when towing a LQ horse trailer.

Given the ratings shown below, we are at our GVWR load capacity limit with this truck / trailer combination.

When choosing a tow vehicle, you need to look at all the limiting factors (not just the towing capacity). With our 16,700 lb trailer, our load ratings are as follows (based on actual scaled weights and our truck / trailer / tire ratings):
1) Truck GVWR – 100%
2) Truck Front Axle Capacity – 85%
3) Truck Front Tire Capacity – 82% at 80 psi inflation pressure
4) Truck Rear Axle Capacity – 91%
5) Truck Rear Tire Capacity – 72% at 80 psi inflation pressure
6) Truck GCVW – 85%
7) Truck Trailer Towing Rating – 78%
8) Trailer GVWR – 90%
9) Trailer Axle Capacity – 88% (assumes equal axle loading)
10) Trailer Tire Rating – 82% at 110 psi inflation pressure (assumes equal tire loading)

As you can see from the above, although we are only at 78% of our Truck Trailer Towing Rating, we are at 100% of our Truck GVWR. The Truck Trailer Towing Rating can be a very misleading number when towing a LQ horse trailer due to the heavy pin weight. In this case, Truck GVWR often becomes your limiting factor.

Whatever truck you choose, you should ensure that for safety (and legal reasons), that you are within ALL of the capacity ratings (not just the Trailer Towing Rating). Just like a chain, a truck is only as strong as it’s weakest link! "

Here are some links to a few previous discussions that may help you to size a truck for your trailer:

Regards, 3CW
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Spin Doctor
Reg. Nov 2008
Posted 2017-05-15 8:33 AM (#169891 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?

Extreme Veteran

Posts: 396
Location: Valentine, NE
Where and how will you use it? One that large, I would hate to take it anywhere but paved roads/parking lots. Ours is 30'6" floor and we have issues getting around even on paved areas. If you are living in it mostly in one spot, might be ok. But to put 20k miles a year on it, I would hate it.

When I pulled a triple axle trailer, we seemed to have more tire/rim/bearing problems due to turning causing tremendous side wall stress. The front tire will drag sideways into the turn, and the back tire will drag sideways out of the turn. They must be ran absolutely level and never turned very sharp. Not to mention you have more flat tires. Usually tire #3 were prone to be flat.

Agree with others, too much trailer for the 3500. Our's fully loaded is right at 19k. Pulling with an F450 and it is maxed out on capacities.  

Edited by Spin Doctor 2017-05-15 8:35 AM
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Reg. Jan 2007
Posted 2017-05-15 1:52 PM (#169895 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?


Posts: 3838
Location: Vermont
When your trailer is so long that it will get stuck like this bus when going over a sharp rise... 
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Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2017-05-15 5:20 PM (#169898 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?


Posts: 127
Location: riverside ca
That is a big trailer to pull with a 1 ton truck, my wagon trailer is 1 foot shorter and lighter because i dont have any water tanks, and it is not built to haul horses.  you would have to be crazy to pull it with a pickup, even with air brakes, exhaust brake, and the trailer brakes functioning properly it is no fun to drive in the mountains with my class 7 truck.  my truck is set up a bit odd but i am 2 feet over legal for CA, never had a problem but it like driving a boat. 

here is a picture of my wagon truck and trailer.... you will be pretty close to that long.  

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Reg. Oct 2003
Posted 2017-06-05 9:07 AM (#169995 - in reply to #169886)
Subject: RE: How big is too big?


Posts: 1989
Location: South Central OK
Too much trailer for that truck.  Triple axle trailers turn like dead weight and are a magnet for law enforcement to pull out the scales.
If you need a trailer that big then upgrade to a baby semi type towing rig or you'll be sorry you didn't. 
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