Tow Vehicle / 5er weight - Would like to verify my thoughts

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elm_tx

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May 19, 2006
Posts
106
Location
Houston, Tx
Hey Y'all

I've read lots of posts/responses here regarding if a vehicle can tow a 5er/TT. I know now is the wrong time to check the numbers, but I'd rather be safe then sorry going down the rode. Since I've lowered the hitch in the truck bed, we have done one weekend trip and will be going out again in a couple of weeks. The truck seems to be slow getting going and I can certainly feel the weight in the gas peddle. But otherwise I don't feel unstable or out of control going down the road at speeds between 50 & 60mph. We left and returned with all 3 tanks empty (and I anticpate the tanks will be empty on all trips to and from destinations) and it's only the DW and I (combined wt approx 320lbs.), not a whole lot of clothing or 'stuff'.

The 5er is rated at 11,320lbs. empty, loaded can be a max 13,880lbs. It's a 36' triple slide.
Pin weight empty is 1,920lbs.

Truck is an '06 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax  Diesel/Allison Trans.  6.6ltr V8 Diesel, Crew Cab Short Bed 4x4, 3.73 Rear Gear Ratio, 16k Reece sliding hitch. It's numbers are :

GVWR 9,200lbs.
GAWR Front 4,670lbs.
GAWR Rear 6,048lbs.
GCWR 22,000lbs.
Max Trailer Wt 12,000lbs.

I think I'm close to the edge, but not over it. Please give me your feedback as far as weights and compatibility between the Chevy and that sized 5er. If I'm really over the edge, we'll sell the 5er and get something smaller. I don't want to, but I also need to make sure we are safe.
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Trailer Life's tables give your truck a 14,200 lb 5th wheel tow rating.    For towing in the east, we recommend a 10% safety factor which would give you a maximum trailer GVWR of 12,780 lbs..    For towing in the mountain and pacific west we recommend a factor of 20% which would give you a GVWR max of 11,360 lbs.  You say that the trailer has a GVWR of 13,880.

You truck is below par for your trailer.  Remember engine and rear end are not the only factor in tow ratings.  Transmission and brakes are the others.  Brakes are a big worry -- particularly in a diesel without an engine brake.

Consider another truck, especially if you plan to tow in the west.  Get one with a GVWR that matches the foregoing criteria.
 

Tinner

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May 29, 2006
Posts
22
Location
Holland, Texas
emm tex,

Your Duramax/Allison will handle the weight just fine.  The main concern is the breaking but you have the advantage of the Allison which unlike Fords and Dodges have a built-in engine break which down shifts for you.  Be sure to use the "Tow/Haul" button on the end of the shifting lever.  Check your trailer to see if it has breaks on both axles.  If not, that would be a lot cheaper than a new truck and would help you a lot.  Most of all remember that when pulling a load the stopping distance is greater no matter what you're pulling with.  I'm sure there is several CAT scale locaton in and round Houston.  Load up for a normal trip, fill up with fuel and get your actual weight so you will know exactly where you stand.  Then drive friendly and have fun.

Keep Your Powder Dry,
Ronnie
 

2006F350

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Dec 6, 2005
Posts
393
Location
Memphis TN
Elm Tex - The problem with 'getting going' is directly related to the 3.73 gears. You could go to a taller ratio and help that, but it still won't do anything for the GCWR of the truck. My truck has 4.30 gears and I have no trouble at all getting going even though my engine HP and torque are less than the duramax - downside of 4.30 .... at 2000 RPM, I am rolling about 61MPH.

Tinner - Hate to disagree with you on Fords not having an 'engine brake'. The newer ones (I believe '05 and newer) when in tow/haul do down shift. Also, the 6.0L engines do not have a wastegate to dump excess boost, they use the EGR valve to do that, and when they down shift, the keep the egr valve closes so in effect the exhaust now is compressed in the engine, and you have engine brakeing. Worked like a champ for me last month when descending the Cumberland Gap (6%). Kept my foot near the brake, but the engine did all the work in keeping my truck (7600Lbs) and trailer (14,000Lbs) at or below 60MPH. Heck, had to get on it a bit as I got tired of big rigs passing me going down hill, but no matter the speed, the tow/haul kept me where I wanted it without using the brakes.

Larry
 

elm_tx

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Joined
May 19, 2006
Posts
106
Location
Houston, Tx
Thanks for the feedback. Obviously we didn't do enough home work before buying. We bought the 5er (a 2002) then bought the truck, thinking a 3/4 ton would work.

I'm finally reading enough to learn what I didn't know at the time.

Buying a bigger truck is not an option, the Chevy is not 2 months old, I'd have to pay to get rid of it. Selling the RV and buying smaller is the next option.

However, with this said, we both work full time and will be doing so for many years to come (unless we hit the lottery, oh wait, gotta buy tickets for that to happen. ;D). The 5er will be towed to campsites withing 2 - 4 Hours of Houston, which means almost no hills, all flat land. It will also go to the race track in Ft Worth 2 to 3 times a year, probably a 5 - 6 hour drive with the RV on the back.

If I keep it, tow it with no water, not a whole lot of extra "stuff" in it, only on the trip to Ft Worth I will have a generator in the back of the Truck (have not bought that yet) but all the rest of the trips we will camp with full hookups, how bad off will I be? I realize I'm pushing the safety envelope by going into the 10%, what am I doing to the truck? Will this be shortening it's life, causing things to wear out much quicker, or because it is a HD 2500 can it hold up to the strain?

Brake wise, I have a Prodigy Techonsha brake controller and the braking of the 5er feels pretty strong.

Thanks again for the input / suggestions.
Eddie
 

Carl L

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Joined
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west Los Angeles
The 5er will be towed to campsites withing 2 - 4 Hours of Houston, which means almost no hills, all flat land. It will also go to the race track in Ft Worth 2 to 3 times a year, probably a 5 - 6 hour drive with the RV on the back.

If I keep it, tow it with no water, not a whole lot of extra "stuff" in it, only on the trip to Ft Worth I will have a generator in the back of the Truck (have not bought that yet) but all the rest of the trips we will camp with full hookups, how bad off will I be?

I gave my numbers.  They came from simple arithmetic.  Their logic has been covered frequently here on the forum.  So what can I say.  Just remember that you have a combination that ranges from marginal unloaded and on the flats to bloody well dangerous in serious mountain country with a load.

If you must use the combination, just remember you are straining transmission and brakes.  Power drain the transmission at least annually -- which is a good idea for any tow vehicle.  Get the brakes checked to establish a baseline and keep checking them as often as possible.  Keep in mind that you have a trailer that would be far happier being pulled by a Volvo or Peterbuilt medium duty truck than any but the heaviest of pickups.

 

joelmyer

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Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,057
Location
Georgia
elm_tx said:
Pin weight empty is 1,920lbs.


GVWR 9,200lbs.
GAWR Front 4,670lbs.
GAWR Rear 6,048lbs.
GCWR 22,000lbs.
Max Trailer Wt 12,000lbs.

Elm,

Well your bubble is already leaking so I don't feel quite so bad about bursting it.

You need the Actual Weight of your Truck with you and everything else in it.  Subtract that from the GVWR of 9200.  Compare that to the pin weight.  You're probably overweight.

Stop the guessing.  Go weight it.  Find a truck stop.  Here's my experience:

http://joelmyers.net/2005/06_Qz/Weighed%20my%20truck%20today.htm

Joel
 

elm_tx

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Joined
May 19, 2006
Posts
106
Location
Houston, Tx
I appreciate the feedback.

Carl, was not trying argue with you or dispute the validity of your numbers. I've only done one 160 mile round trip adventure thus far. I'm sure y'alls knowledge and experience far out strips mine in this area.

Now that I'm starting to see the facts, I'm simply trying to see what my choices are. Approximately $75,000 tied up in this little venture (between tow vehicle, 5er, hitch, brake controller, etc), leaves me wondering where my options are.

1) A new tow vehicle is not one.
2) Sell the 5er and buy smaller, definitely possible.
3) Would it be safe enough to do the short trips once every 4 - 6 weeks as I described earlier.

I think those are my only choices at this point.

I'll be doing one more trip (possibly last w/ this 5er) in about 3 weeks, I will be stopping at some scales on the way to find out final numbers are.
 

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