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Old 07-20-2016, 03:50 PM   #1
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2002 Chevy Tahoe LT 4x4 and TT

I've read lots of forums posts so I understand the basics but I want to see if my math is right.

A new TV is not in the cards right now but perhaps in the future so I currently have a 2002 Tahoe LT 4x4. I need to double check but I think I have the 4.10 rear axle so my tow capacity should be 8100#.

After reading many posts I realized I was likely to run out of payload before running out of towing capacity.

Since we're a family of 5 I'm looking at a bunkhouse and unfortunately those don't come light. I'm currently looking at a Mallard M29 which is about 5800# dry 6900# GVW. So far so good.

My Tahoe has a GVWR of 6900, google says my curb weight is 5050# so I should have 1850# of "payload".

I figure 650# for the family, 100# of gear (most stuff will be in the TT), 100# WD hitch, which leaves me approximately 1000# left for tongue weight. I don't think the Mallard will exceed that.

So I figure it should be towable, but pretty much maxed out.

What did I forget?

Thanks,
Richard
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Old 07-20-2016, 03:51 PM   #2
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Mallard M29 specs

Forgot to post this in my first post.

M29
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:46 PM   #3
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Stop assuming. Get everyone on the scale at home and record their honest weight. After that, get the Tahoe down to a scale loaded up for camping with the whole family and weigh it.

There. Now you have the numbers. Now what?

What is left over after subtracting the honest "ready to camp" weight from the Tahoe GVWR is your tongue weight budget. Take the GVWR of the trailer you are interested in and multiply by .13 or 13%. That is your approximate maximum tongue weight for that trailer.

If it's higher than the max tongue weight number for your Tahoe, then keep looking.

Good luck! Having an RV is great fun to get the family out of the house and have an adventure, but these half ton SUVs are very limited in what they can tow within their design limits. But don't despair! You can probably rent an RV that can handle everybody for the one a year big vacation if you can't find one to tow safely now with the limitations you currently have.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:54 PM   #4
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It it at least safe to assume that the dry weight sticker on the TT is correct? Supposedly they weigh them individually since the brochure weight is usually minus options.

I was planning on putting the Tahoe with me and a full tank of gas on the scales at a local Flying J, just need to call and ask what that costs ahead of time.

As long as you don't see any problem with my math, I can change the numbers as I get more accurate ones.

Thanks,
Richard
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:13 AM   #5
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Yes, the dry weight sticker should be correct.

We are here to help. Get the weight at the Flying J and get back to us. We'll make sure you understand what it means so you can get on to the next step.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:49 AM   #6
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Ok, just spent $900 getting the air fixed in the Tahoe so the scales will have to wait until after payday but I have some information.

Per the owner's manual my specs are as follows:

Max trailer weight 7600 lbs (3.73 rear axle ratio), M29 is 6900 - OK
Max tongue weight 1200 lbs, M29 estimate 6900x0.13 = 897 - OK

GVWR 6,900 lbs
GTWR 6,900 lbs
GCW 13,800 lbs
GCWR 13,000 lbs

So POTENTIALLY, if both the Tahoe and TT are at max, then I could be over my GCWR.

What is the probability of that occurring?
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:58 AM   #7
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Travel with empty tanks, and limit the things that family members can take with them. Shop carefully. Canned foods and fresh foods weigh more than dried foods or concentrated mixes. You will likely be able to get water where you are going, so don't take it with you.

The max tongue weight is with the vehicle unloaded and a 150 pound driver. Add in your weight over 150, and the weights of the members of your family, and the things they want to take in the tow vehicle when you travel. Subtract that from the tongue weight figure, and that might be your realistic tongue weight number.
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:22 PM   #8
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Ok, I have a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and I'm finding this confusing

What weight goes into what numbers?

Per my owner's manual:
Code:
Maximum trailer weight is calculated assuming only the
driver is in the tow vehicle and it has all the required
trailering equipment. The weight of additional optional
equipment, passengers and cargo in the tow vehicle
must be subtracted from the maximum trailer weight.
So this is telling me to subtract people and gear from my tow capacity, not tongue weight capacity.

On a side note, I didn't notice your call sign until today. I'm KF5OIM.

Thanks,
Richard
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Old 07-25-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
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Without even knowing my actually vehicle weight I'm starting to get very nervous. Per GM's instructions above assuming quoted curb weight is accurate for now:

7600 Max Trailer weight
-6900 M29 GVW
- 500 Passengers (everyone minus 150 included weight, pretty accurate, everyone rounded up to the nearest 25 lbs)
- 100 Gear/other stuff
=100 remaining capacity...

Interesting comparison: The Keystone Passport is 400 lbs lighter dry sticker weight (and $4000 more) but has a 7200 GVWR.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of confidence with dry weights (maybe just brochure dry weights?) but the carrying capacities between trailers vary quite a bit.

So 400 lbs less would be a very good thing in my situation, but basing the calculations on GVWR it would actually look worse.

Thanks,
Richard
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:31 AM   #10
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There may be a sticker on the drivers door that has more accurate info about your particular vehicle. It should include any factory options that would make the curb weight for your particular vehicle higher or lower.

Dry weights will change based on options of the RV, too. You might not really know until you are standing at the left front corner of the trailer you want to buy and can read the capacities sticker you will find there.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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Well, A/C still isn't fixed, may be leaking in the evaporator which requires the entire dash and steering column gets removed.

Dropping off at the shop to verify, if that's the case I'm thinking seriously about going ahead and changing TV's.

Looking at a 2012 Ram 2500 HEMI which would solve my TV problems...

Thanks,
Richard
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:39 PM   #12
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I think you're doing the math right, so you know you'll be very much maxed out.

Not that I hope you need to buy that Ram 2500, but you will really appreciate it. Go for the Megacab, and the kids will appreciate it too!
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes1069 View Post

So I figure it should be towable, but pretty much maxed out.
I think you are about right. I pulled a similar trailer with a 2001 Tahoe a few times and felt on the edge. F250 diesel now, night and day difference.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:22 AM   #14
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Well it appears the final fix for the air conditioning was $75 so I guess I'm keeping the Tahoe for now. Time to get it on the scales if I can find time this weekend.

I'm not opposed to going diesel but maintenance is a bit more isn't it?

Thanks,
Richard
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