towing to the extreme??

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gvO

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Nov 6, 2005
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we are  loking at a new lager TT. the only experience i have with towing is towing a 20 footer with with my silverado (way within the trucks tow limits). now we are loking at trailer in the 30-32 range with a GVW close to (if not just past) the limits of our trucks. would we, and our truck, be more happy with something a few thousand pounds lower then the trucks limit, or is weight not that much of an issue as long aw we stay within the trucks limits?
thanks
gary and vikki
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Ideally you want to be 10-15% under the trucks limit. That's not always possible with the largest trailers, but it should be with a 30-32 footer.

What model Silverado do you have? The heavy duty (3500 and 3500) models can handle their "limit" much better than the lighter duty 1500.

And what type of trailer - travel trailer (tagalong) or fifth wheel?  With a fifth wheel the meaningful limit is the truck's GCWR, not the "tow rating"
 

gvO

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Nov 6, 2005
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my rig is a 1500HD wit a tow rating of 7900# the travel trailer we are looking at is the rockwod 8318ss as it sits at the dealership it's got a GVRW at just over 7700# a dry weight of about 5900#. packing light and not carrying any water, i assume we wont get it over 6900# and that would keep us right smack dab in the middle of the  the 10-15% range.
most of our towing will take us through the mountins and the WV turnpike. not that i'm a speed deamond or anything, but  i would at least like to keep up with the speed of traffic. one time we towed our old 20 footer with a s10 blazer loaded, and with 6 (yes 6 grown adults in a 5 seater truck) through the mountains, we were probably way over the truck's GVW rating (and the truck was on it's last leg anyway) but going up the hills the RPMs were maxed and most of the time we were traveling at max 45 MPH. i'm just worried that with the truck's GVW at the max(or 10-15% less) we will run into the same thing.
or is towing towing. recentley i towed an empty 'flat bed' and i felt trailer drag just as i did with the fully loaded 20 foot TT.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You are wise to be concerned about that. Since you usually travel the West VA mountain region, I would say the 15% margin is a must, both for uphill and downhill.  Also, if your truck was not factory equipped with a trailer towing package, be sure to add a transmission oil cooler if it has an automatic transmission.  Heat is the #1 enemy of automatics and mountainous terrain is a worst case scenario.  I also suggest synthetic fluid in the transmission, because it holds up much better when hot.

Remember that everything you put in the truck (including people) subtracts from the max trailer tow capability.

I know what you mean about the old S10 - I pulled a 24 foot fifth wheel with a Sonoma for awhile. Even in flat Florida, that Sonoma often struggled with the load.
 

Carl L

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...would we, and our truck, be more happy with something a few thousand pounds lower then the trucks limit, or is weight not that much of an issue as long aw we stay within the trucks limits?

You and truck would be happier.  Much happier. 

First of all, are you rating against the dry weight of the trailer or the GVWR of the trailer.  GVWR is a more reasonable measure inasmuch as you are probably going to put frippery like water, propane, clothes, bedding, kitchen gear and groceries into the trailer.  Secondly, even then  you need least 10% headroom to allow for hills and your truck getting old.  If you plan to tour the wonders of the Far West, make that headroom something like 20% to allow for schlepping over 7000-8000 foot passes up 10-mile long,  6-8% grades -- even on interstates. 
 

gvO

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well, it sounds like we may need to rethink the rockwood trailer or beef up the rig. when we got the truck earlier this year we were looking at 28 - 30 footers with a single slide and a GVW not more than 6000#. then we saw the rockwood with 2 slides and a GVW still within the truck's tow limits. my wife fell in love with it and it's white cabinets and S/S fictures, and to be quite honest, i love it too, it seams like it's got double the space of the other trailers we were looing at. the truck is set up for towing, with the towing package, trany cooler, power towing mirors and the 4wheel steer to improve the handling when towing. we ordered the truck with the 3.73 rear end because of the improver gas milage, but now i'm thinking that we should have went with the lower 4.10 gear. oh well.
is there any (safe) way to increase the trucks tow rating? if horse power is increased, does the that necessarily raise the tow rating? there are all types of performance parts i cold add to the rig, but would 20 - 50 more HP give me any type of bennifit. i do also plan on adding a heaver spring in the back for drive comfort, i have been told that this would also increase the amount i could tow, but honestly i cant see how. what about decreasing tire and rim size, ineffect giving the rig a lower gear. 
 

Carl L

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is there any (safe) way to increase the trucks tow rating? if horse power is increased, does the that necessarily raise the tow rating?

There are a lot of factors involved in tow ratings:? engine torque, transmission capacity, cooling system efficiency, frame, axle ratings, wheel and tire ratings, et cetera.? ? A truck is a whole system.  You may be able to goose it a bit with aftermarket stuff, but to make a significant change.... ???

I suspect the best answer is jack up the CD deck and run a new truck underneath it.  ;D
 
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