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Author Topic: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...  (Read 619 times)

centralmepistol

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Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« on: April 07, 2017, 08:30:38 AM »
Newer user to this forum, though I have been on others in the past...
 
I am getting different opinions from different family and friends- many seem to contradict each other. So I thought I would ask this community for thoughts.
 
The wife and I have recently purchased, used from friends, a new camper. The camper is a 30 foot Coachman Catalina (1997). The book weight of this trailer says 5,100lbs and includes trailer brakes.
 
I am planning to haul with my 2012 GMC Sierra 1500. Specs on the truck include; 4x4, crew cab, max trailer package (5.3 KDL HD Cooling Package, trailer brake harness, 3.42 ratio). I have installed the Tekonsha P3 brake controller and am planning to use a weight distributing hitch with sway control. I am currently leaning toward the Camco Recurve R6 hitch to meet both these needs (receiver hitch is rated to 1,100lbs with WD hitch). The truck manual max trailer weight states 9,500lbs with a GCWR of 15,000lbs (truck GVWR 7,000lbs). I do understand the balancing required between truck and trailer for GCWR; if truck fully loaded is 5,500lbs and tongue weight is 1,000 pounds the max trailer becomes 8,500 pounds not the book stated 9,500.
 
So, with this info I have some friends stating that this will fall well within the limits of the truck. And others stating that I need at minimum a 3/4 ton truck to haul this camper. Based on the info I have been able to collect I feel like I should be just fine with this trailer and truck combination... Yes it will be heavy, but not reaching the max weights- or even coming close (I am estimating 7,000lbs trailer fully loaded). And with trailer brakes and a quality proportional brake control I feel confident in stopping power.
 
*I guess my analogy/thought is this; if I am mowing a 1/4 acre lawn, sure a riding mower would be great, but a push mower will get the job done just fine and without any difficulty.
Am I right in thinking that while a 3/4 ton truck would be easier, my 1/2 ton will get the job done just fine?

Gods Country

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 09:34:13 AM »
Personally I feel a 30' is 3/4 ton territory or better, regardless of the numbers.  Second I find it very hard to believe that a loaded 30' TT from the 90's weighs 5,100 pounds.  Be sure you are looking at the max trailer weight, because the odds are you will be close if not over that weight. 7-8k sounds a safer bet to me.  I have a roughly 5k loaded trailer that is 23' bumber to ball and is aluminum studded/framed. The body of the camper itself is about 19'
so its a smallish trailer.

Based on your numbers the max trailer of 8,500 sounds right.  That assumes your trailer isn't far heavier.  If the trailer full loaded stays under 7000, I think you be be OK.  I would confirm that trailer weight however. 
IMO you want to stay with 75% (80 max) of the GCVW.

You still have to concern yourself with how much control a light truck will have with a 30' trailer.

White knuckle driving is no fun.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 09:38:23 AM by Gods Country »

centralmepistol

  • Posts: 4
Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 09:52:14 AM »
Sorry about the confusion on the trailer weight... The book weight I stated is dry weight (5,000lbs). So I am anticipating a wet weight of 7,000lbs.

75% of my GCVW is 11,250lbs...
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 09:54:24 AM by centralmepistol »

donn

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 10:07:42 AM »
Will it towmit?  Yes on level ground, maybe on smaller hills, with difficulty in mountains.  That old of a trailer is likely going to weigh ready to go at or over your trucks tow ratings.

Gods Country

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 10:09:19 AM »
Well that puts you a bit over 80%.

Also based on your numbers you have 1500 pounds of payload left over on a fully loaded truck minus tongue weight...correct?  That's seems OK, but you are getting close all around IMO.  I'm not too thrilled with the rear end ratio with that kind of weight to truck percentage.

Apparently you have the truck and trailer.  I would load and hitch her up and take a good all inclusive test drive.
Be sure you get on an interstate and see how it handles with semi's passing.  If your intention is to not travel far you may be OK.

Personally I like more truck.  It's a tool and you need the right tool for a pleasurable towing experience.  The 1500 may serve you well depending on the overall intended use.

centralmepistol

  • Posts: 4
Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 10:58:53 AM »
Thanks for your input G.C.

It sounds like I really need to get the truck and trailer on a scale to figure out where I stand. All of the weight estimates I am getting would stretch the abilities of the truck. If, and thats an IF, the trailer weighs in at or near what the book states for a dry weight (5,100lbs) I think I will be ok once loaded.
But, if it comes in higher I will have to go to plan B*;
*We got a great deal on the trailer, sell it for a bit more than paid and purchase a different one.

Gods Country

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2017, 11:15:17 AM »
Thanks for your input G.C.

It sounds like I really need to get the truck and trailer on a scale to figure out where I stand. All of the weight estimates I am getting would stretch the abilities of the truck. If, and thats an IF, the trailer weighs in at or near what the book states for a dry weight (5,100lbs) I think I will be ok once loaded.
But, if it comes in higher I will have to go to plan B*;
*We got a great deal on the trailer, sell it for a bit more than paid and purchase a different one.

That sounds like the best plan.  The real numbers will help you make an appropriate decision.

Good Luck!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2017, 12:37:18 PM »
Quote
I do understand the balancing required between truck and trailer for GCWR; if truck fully loaded is 5,500lbs and tongue weight is 1,000 pounds the max trailer becomes 8,500 pounds not the book stated 9,500.

Don't double-count the pin weight. If you are including it with the truck weight, then it is NOT counted again as trailer weight.  For GCW, use the actual (or estimated) truck weight without the trailer attached, i.e. no tongue weight. Subtract that from GCWR to determine how much the trailer can weigh at max.   Tongue weight is needed as a separate item only to calculate its effect on truck payload and rear axle loading.

It would be rare indeed if a trailer actually weighed what the brochure or an NADA book says for dry weight. That's for the minimum configuration of that model with no options, no propane and no water anywhere onboard. By the time a new trailer leaves the dealer the first time, it was at least some propane and water in the lines, probably the water heater, and a residual in the fresh and waste tanks. That alone typically adds around 100 lbs. If the trailer has any options (most all of them did back in 1997), that's another add.  You really need a scaled weight.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

RedandSilver

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2017, 12:40:15 PM »
IF, the trailer weighs in at or near what the book states for a dry weight (5,100lbs) I think I will be ok once loaded.

Don't try and weigh the trailer empty.  That is never how it would be used.
Pack it like you were going away in it for a month or two and then get it weighed.

That will be a much closer real case then trying to weigh it empty.


Just in case you didn't know - here's a tip when weighing it.

You can take the truck and trailer to the scales.  Unhook the trailer and just weigh the truck first.
Then go and hook up the trailer and weigh both the truck and the trailer.  It's called a re-weigh and should cost $1 extra.
If you tell (explain) what you want to do to the person inside first, then you might not have to go back inside after weighing the truck.
Instead, after weighing the truck and trailer together then you would go inside and get 2 weigh slips.  Doing it this way you would know how
much tongue weight was put on the truck and weight on the axles too.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

centralmepistol

  • Posts: 4
Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2017, 01:32:52 PM »
Thanks for the comments and tips...
Red just curious how that would give me tongue weight.
Weight of Truck Only.
Combined weight truck and trailer.
Trailer Weight= Combined - Truck Only

How would this give tongue?

RedandSilver

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 01:50:11 PM »
When the trailer is connected it adds weight to the rear (and possibly some to the front) axles.
So the truck only weigh should increase with the trailer attached.
2002 Rexhall Rose Air  Cummins 8.3  350hp

grashley

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2017, 06:00:55 PM »
First, that Max tow assumes the truck is lightly equipped, has max tow package and ONE 150# driver.  NO passengers, NO cargo of any type in the truck.  The weight of all options, passengers and cargo must be subtracted from max tow.  It is much easier to get the rig weighed.

You actually need 3 weights:

For a platform scale:
1. Truck without trailer
2. Truck weight with trailer attached, but trailer NOT on scale
3. Truck and trailer together
2 - 1 = hitch wt
3 - 1 = TT gross wt

For a scale which weighs each axle separately
Truck without trailer
Truck with trailer
By adding only certain axles, you can get all weights.

Check the Library for a good article on getting your rig weighed.

I suspect the numbers will say you are okay, but there is only one way to find out!  Go to the scale.
Just because the engineers say it can be done does not necessarily mean you will enjoy towing it!  That is a big TT behind a medium size truck.  HOWEVER, since you already have the truck, if the numbers say okay, give it a try!  If it pulls well, GREAT!  If not, go to Plan B.
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
Nimrod Series 70 popup (sold)
It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

Derby6

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2017, 06:21:54 PM »
It more than just stopping power.  Its sway from cross winds and passing/being passed by big trucks too.
Undoubtedly you would be better off with a 3/4 ton. 110%.  No question.

Can your truck do it?  Yes probably.
Can your truck do it safely and legally?  It will be close, but weighing and math will figure that out.

Other things that need to be considered:
- How often will you tow and at what distances?  A few small trips; probably good to go.  Several long trips; probably not.
- What terrain will you be towing in?  Hills, winds, mountains, flat prairies or deserts?
- What is your towing experience and comfort level?
2015 Ford Explorer (Wifes Ride)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
13 & 14  144" & 155" SKI DOO

Wireman134

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Re: Towing Help/Opinions Wanted...
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2017, 08:57:07 PM »
2012 Silverado empty and dry, not loaded is 5,500lbs with options. I'd use min of 6,000lbs with out hitch weight. For a passenger and some cargo. Leaves you 1,000lbs for hitch weight right at max for a 7,000lb TT.  3/4 ton  better reserve capacity. Yea, look for the reserve capacity on door sticker. What vehicle can handle after 150lb passengers are all seated
« Last Edit: April 07, 2017, 09:21:01 PM by Wireman134 »
2000 Silverado 1500 EC Z71 5.3L 325 hp DS intune, Airlift, 34" Alu 1.25"radiator, B&M 70266 trans cooler, oil cooler, Vet servo, Mag- Hytec, Pro comp ES9000, SUV brakes
2015 Venture Sonic 220VBH, 300W Solar/350 ahr AGM/1200w inverter, 75W Dual Band Ham base. Camping weight 5,100lbs on dual 2800 axle

 

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