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Old 12-05-2009, 03:14 PM   #1
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New Truck, now need an RV?

Good Day!
I just bought a new Chevy Pickup and would like to ask about an appropriate TT or 5th Wheel for it. I've read some of the posts on this, but would like to get some freindly suggestions on what this would safely haul.
The pickup is a '09 Silverado, 4.8 V-8, 4X4, regular cab, standard box, 3.42 axle ratio with a trailer package. The book says the maximum trailer weight is 6,000lb and a GCWR of 11,000lbs.
This is our first experience trying to match a pickup with an RV.We are looking at used trailers. Given the pickups specifications, what kind of a RV should I be looking at to safely tow with this vehicle?
Specifically, what length, actual trailer wt., or are there some particular brands that fit this type of pickup spec's? Just looking for ideas
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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WOW!
I really hate to tell you this, but you have a passenger car with a bed in the back.
First problem is that you have a 1/2 ton, next is the 4/8L V8. It is strictly in the line up for the fuel economy rating. It barely has enough power to get your Chevy loaded with passengers down the road. Next problem is that 3.42 rear end. Basically it is for fuel economy. Have I got you totally disappointed yet? I just wish you had come here before spending your hard earned dollars on a truck that will not do the job. Now, what can you tow? Think tent trailers. And then think the smaller ones, not those fully equipped big box ones as they will probably exceed your tow ratings.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:26 PM   #3
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Mark, first of all, congrates on the new truck. Some fulltimmers may rag on you for the 1/2 ton chevy but I think that you weren't planning on hauling a huge trailer when you made the purchase. I pulled a light 30 foot with a half ton suburban with the right hitch, anti-sway bar, 1200 lb distribution bars and it was the best setup I'd owned. (Light being 4600 lbs empty).
What you need to consider is the wheelbase of your truck for the length of your trailer. then consider the weight of your truck with fuel, passengers and equipment. Then consider the trailers weight plus fuel, battery, food, water if needed, ext. Those will increase weight more than most would believe. I did alittle checking and for many of your answers you may want to check this site out. David's RV Tips
Very informative and endorses IRV2. Good luck, hope this helps, Glen
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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Yup, pretty depressing review of my new chevy pickup, considering I've used my old '94, V-6, 4X4 to haul machinery and livestock around this state for the past 12 years. But realizing my limits has kept me outa trouble, probably.
I'd have thought that extra 100hp of the V-8 would have equated to more than a "passenger car with a bed on the back." Must be these folks advertizing their RV's as being able to be towed with any 1/2 ton pickup are stretching the truth a bit.
Thanks
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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It's sad that people try to bust your bubble before they know more about your bubble. You should be able to find a very nice trailer that your Truck will tow. As the previous poster said, just look for the weight and length you can tow loaded and start looking at various models on the Internet and at Dealerships to see what level of quality, floor plan and price works for you.

The auto industry and the RV Manufacturers know that many if not most people that buy RVs also use their tow vehicle as a Daily Commuter. Not many people want to drive a Truck that rides and handles like a "Truck" as a Daily Commuter. The RV industry has responded with many lighter and full featured trailers.

Again, sorry that people only share their opinions and not support your efforts and desires. Good luck in your adventures, you will find something you like!
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:49 PM   #6
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Here is a link to a Forest River Brochure for their Surveyor Line, they make lighter weight, higher quality Travel Trailers and 5th Wheel Trailers with 7 or 8 Floorplans that would be towable by your 1/2 Ton Truck. Start the Journey! This is just one of many.

http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/ult...orbrochure.pdf
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:12 PM   #7
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No matter what kind of trailer you buy be sure to completely check it out. I just got done working on my sons WEEKEND WARRIOR and discovered why they are out of business. None of the suspension parts had ever been greased although they have grease fittings. This is the way it came from the factory and also had recently been serviced at a dealership. Gas lines rubbing on the frame and water tank cracked because it was mounted incorrectly. You can never be to careful. If you do your homework you will have a great experience.
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
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You could look at some of the small light weight fiberglass trailers such as Casita and Scamp. There ARE some light weight trailers out there suitable for towing by 1/2-ton pickups.

Someone mentioned Forest River...you might also look at their R-Pod.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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Welcome to iRV2. First thing you need to do is to go to THIS site and work through it. At the bottom of the page is a spread sheet that will help you calculate some weights.

As noted, the 4.8L and 3.42 axle are not going to give a lot of towing capacity, but if you watch the trailer weights and how you load the truck, you can pull a smaller trailer.

The tow rating listed for you truck is a maximum and based on the base model truck, no options, no hitch, no cargo and only a 150# driver. For every pound you add to the base weight, you will reduce your towing capacity by the same amount.

You will probably max out your truck with a loaded trailer of about 4800#. Do not pay much attention to the dry weights and certainly do not believe a single word that the RV or truck tells you on what you can tow.

Have fun shopping.

Ken
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:17 AM   #10
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Mark, Hopefully we have raised your spirits about your new purchase. Being from Michigan, there are allot of deals out there. Take your Time, find the right one for your needs. Please let us know how your search goes. There's world lot of knowledge on this forum that will answer any questions you might have. Good Luck, Glen
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:50 PM   #11
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One thing one should consider. Trailer brakes can fail. If your tow vehicle can't stop your trailer without brakes, you shouldn't pull it. Lots of people think just because the truck will pull the trailer you should. It never fails when I pull my rv someone will pull out in front of me and stop. JFYI
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:07 PM   #12
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First thing you need to do if you want to fifth wheel rv is get rid of that truck you just bought and find the trailer you want first. After you find the fifth wheel you want and know what the specs are for the trailer then look for a truck (at least 3/4 ton) that will safely handle the fifth wheel trailer. That soft auto suspension you have on that truck wont handle much trailer. Never start with the truck first if you want to safely RV.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:19 PM   #13
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Ok Mark,

I bought my 1st 5ver in the summer of 99. It was a 1975 Wilderness 20 ft. It weighed 4500 LBS fully loaded. It took me 6 months to find the truck I wanted to tow it with. I bought a 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 with 5.9 L engine. When I bought this rig it was for me and my 5 yr old son to camp in. 18 Months after I bought it I excepted a job 200 miles away. I lived in the rig during the week. Needless to say the walls closed in on me. After a yr living in it I bought a 25 ft Komfort that GVWR at 7800 lbs. My truck was rated at 8000 lbs tow rating. Normally towed trailer faily light. Did add 3/4 ton helper springs to eliminate the squat. And towed the current rig at 10000 lbs across country with the 97 truck. Convinced the wife at the time I need more truck for new 5ver. You just need to investigate what you can handle. Don't let the nay sayers discourage you.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:59 PM   #14
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OK, I have been slammed by more than one person because of my comments to the OP about not having enough truck. So let me clarify things a bit more.
The OP bought himself a 1/2 ton 4X4 regular cab with a 4.8L gas motor and a 3.42 rear end ratio. He states his GCWR is 11,000 pounds. So assuming he loads his truck with a few personal items and it is not a strippo truck it will probably run across the scales with him/wife/girl friend at right around 5-5500 pounds. So if you subtract 5500 from 11000 you get a grand total of 5500 pounds. So I will be really generous and say he will have 6000 pounds left over. Which is exactly what he said up front. OK now lets suppose he can find himself a regular style trailer with the frontal area of a brick. Which is common to trailers. He goes out and loads it up to go camping and low and behold he heads into a 40 MPH head wind while going to his camp site. What will his max speed be with that 250 HP motor and economny gearing? Maybe 45 MPH? All the while he will be getting maybe 6 MPG. Think he will be happy with that sort of situation? I certainly would not. It is not rocket science. He needs to rethink what he wants to tow and how happy he might be getting 6MPG at a maximum speed of 45 MPH while towing. Now, if he was towing a small to medium sized tent trailer he could reasonably expect to travel at the posted speeds and achieve fair to good fuel economy. Now, if he had bought the same truck equipped with the 5.3L V8 and a 3.73 rear end, that would have been a totally different story. He didn't so I stand by my comments. The truck is not properly equipped or suited for towing a regular trailer like he was asking about!
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