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Author Topic: Towing Capacity Recommendations  (Read 3914 times)


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Towing Capacity Recommendations
« on: June 20, 2010, 04:24:00 PM »
Hello All,

I have looked around the site and have found several posts regarding tow weights and calculating, I am second guessing mine.  According to my factory hitch, it is a V-5 Talon and the numbers read:  Weight Carrying - 5,000lbs, Weight Distributing - 12,000lbs, Max Tounge Weight - 600lbs. 
According to the GMC website, my 2006 Sierra (4.8L motor) has a max towing capacity of 4,000lbs; however the owner's manual states the 4800 V8 (Auto) max trailer weight should not exceed 5900-6900lbs and the GCWR is 11,000-12,000lbs.

Now the RV I had was an '06 Coachman Captiva 265EX and according to it specs the Base weight is 4,494lbs, Carrying Capacity is 1,659lbs and the hitch weight is 580lbs. (I'm not sure what the "carrying capacity" really means)

With that said, I want to see if I am grasping what everyone is trying to explain.  My truck has a curb weight of 4,751lbs, the base weight of the trailer is 4,494lbs which brings me to 9,245lbs.  I should first subtract my curb weight from the GCWR:  12,000-4,751=7,249lbs.  I would presume that with the trailer (4,494lbs), 2 adults, and 2 kids, gas, bikes, grill and other accessories would be close to 5,094.bs.  If I understand this correctly, my max is the 5,094lbs that I can tow.  It actually seems as if this might be too close to the tolerances, since one site stated they would only tow 75% of the max.  How did I do?  I just don't want to damage my truck of get in an accident.  THanks.

Lou Schneider

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Re: Towing Capacity Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2010, 05:56:43 PM »
Well, the good news is you have a hitch that is large enough to handle your trailer.  But I'm not at all sure about the rest of your truck.

GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating - the total weight of the truck and trailer combination) is controlled by several factors, including engine power and drivetrain durability.   There's quite a discrepancy between what the website says and the information in the owners manual.   You need to find the true GCWR and towing capacity for your particular truck.   It will vary according to exactly how your truck is equipped.   Your dealer should be able to find this information based on your truck's VIN number.

If your truck is indeed limited to a maximum 4000 lbs trailer weight and the empty truck weighs 4751 lbs, that means the GCWR for your particular truck, as equipped, is somewhere around 9000 lbs., not the 11,000-12,000 quoted in the manual.

In any case, the Tow Rating assumes you have an empty truck, carrying only a tank of gas and 154 lb. driver.   Everything else you put in the truck (the weight of your passengers and cargo) subtracts pound for pound from the maximum trailer weight - otherwise you'll exceed the GCWR.

Net Carrying Capacity (NCC) is the difference between the trailer's Base Weight (the empty unit) and it's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating - the most it can weigh fully loaded).   In other words, how much stuff you can put into it without overloading it.

If your truck has a 4000 lb tow limit, and your trailer's Base Weight (it's empty weight) is 4,494 lbs, you're well over your truck's capacity before you start adding any passengers or cargo.   Bikes and grill are a good start, but don't forget about the stuff you'll carry in the trailer - bedding, clothes, food, water, etc.  It all adds up.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 06:17:44 PM by Lou Schneider »


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Re: Towing Capacity Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 06:17:50 PM »
Hey Lou,  Thanks for the info.  These numbers came from the owner's manual and trailer hitch and my truck is an automatic, (with Tow/Haul button on shifter) not manual transmission.  Does this make a big difference.


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