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Old 05-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
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Are we going to die?

Ok so that may be over the top but I really need an answer to settle the issue with my husband. We have a 98 Chevy 1500 350 new transmission with cooler; new tow package and we just bought an 03 Sportsman 26ft weighing 5900. He says its not going to work and he needs to now buy a bigger truck. While I agree that he needs a newer truck, I want to wait a year. Are we going to die towing this thing or will we live another year? Suggestions are highly appreciated!
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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As I see it. As long as you maintain you truck, aka check and change fluids tires, belts, and hoses keeps,temp gauges and such ya should be find. You did not say if it was a 5th wheel or bumper pull. Limit the weight and use over loads equipment extra springs and shocks.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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dang I hate to bust on my fellow man ; but you will not die. Having a new truck would be the bomb though. All you need is proper brakes on the trailer correctly attached to the truck and proper tow setup. Lots of info here so research is your friend. Of course the scardy cats will chime in and say you need to spend a bazillion dollars for all kinds of fancy stuff but you dont.
And thats how the fight started!!! Good luck
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:40 AM   #4
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Yes I forgot to add it is a pull behind; also he added the fancy brakes too. Thanks for your honesty and advice!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:50 AM   #5
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If you have the 3.73 gear ratio in the rear end the towing capacity is 7,700 lbs. The 4.10 gear ration will give you a little more capacity. However if you have the 3.08, 3.28, or 3,42 gear ratio it's going to take a long time to get to highway speeds.

I regularly towed a 6,000 lb trailer behind a Ford with a 3.73 rear end and had no problems.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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We have a 98 Chevy 1500 350 new transmission with cooler; new tow package and we just bought an 03 Sportsman 26ft weighing 5900.
What is the GVWR of your Chevy?

When does the trailer weigh 5,900?

If that 5,900 is the GVWR of the trailer, then you'll probably be overloaded over the GVWR of the Chevy when wet and loaded on a camping trip, but not so much overloaded that a good weight-distributing hitch plus adding air bags in the rear suspension of the Chevy won't make your tow vehicle "safe", assuming a good driver.

But if that's the dry weight of the trailer, then you're going to be severely overloaded when wet and loaded in the middle of a road trip. And yes, severely overloaded can make you dead.

My half-ton pickup with GVWR of 7,100 pounds is overloaded with a TT that grosses 4,870 when wet and loaded in the middle of a road trip. And I'll bet your 15-year old Chevy has less than 7,100 pounds GVWR.

Before you spend any money, load the trailer and truck with everything that will be in it on a camping trip. People, tools, pets, coolers, jacks, food, dishes, pots&pans, water, linens, clothing, etc. Go to a truckstop that has a CAT scale, and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded rig. Add the weights on the front and rear axles of the Chevy. That is your gross vehicle weight (GVW). Compare that GVW to the GVWR of the Chevy and you'll know how much your suspension is overloaded.

The total of the weights on your truck and trailer axles is your gross combined weight (GCW). Compare that to the GCWR of your truck.

If more than a coupla a hundred pounds overloaded over the GVWR of the Chevy, then that's too much. You don't need a "new" truck, but you need a different truck that has more payload capacity. There's nothing you can do to legally increase payload capacity of your pickup. If you're a Chevy fan, then probably a Chevy 2500 pickup would do the trick - even a 15-year-old Chevy 2500.

The GCWR tells you only how much your combined rig can weigh before you have problems of overheating something in the drivetrain and breaking down on the road. And whether you'll be the slowpoke holding up traffic on steep grades or mountain passes. GCWR is a function of engine power and torque , plus "leverage" of the rear axle ratio. Exceeding the GCWR won' kill you if you don't also exceed the GVWR of the tow vehicle. But it's darn frustrating for the driver to put up with "not enough truck" to pull the load.

You can increase the GCWR of some pickups by changing the ring gear and pinion in the differential(s) to "shorter legs", i.e. bigger numeric ratio. If you have 3.55 ratio now and that's not enough tugging power, then changing to 4.10 or 4.30 or 4.56 ratio may be all you need to make the pickup tow that trailer up a mountain pass without overheating something in the drivetrain or being the slowpoke holding up traffic. If your truck is two wheel drive, then that fix will probably cost you around $1,000. If you have a 4x4, then double that estimate.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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As I see it. As long as you maintain you truck, aka check and change fluids tires, belts, and hoses keeps,temp gauges and such ya should be find. You did not say if it was a 5th wheel or bumper pull. Limit the weight and use over loads equipment extra springs and shocks.
Whats a bumper pull? A travel trailer, cargo trailer, equipment hauling trailer or what?
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #8
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Yes I forgot to add it is a pull behind; also he added the fancy brakes too. Thanks for your honesty and advice!!
Whats a pull behind? A travel trailer, cargo trailer, equipment hauling trailer or what?
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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A pull behind, bumper, trailer, etc. is any trailer that is not pulled by a 5th wheel.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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Whats a bumper pull?...Whats a pull behind?
Any trailer that you tow with a receiver hitch instead of a bed-mounted hitch such as a gooseneck or fifth wheel.

I have a travel trailer (TT RV trailer), cargo trailer, and three different utility trailers that are all towed with a receiver hitch, so those are all "bumper-pull" trailers. I towed a fifth wheel RV trailer over 100,000 miles over 10 years, and that was not a bumper pull trailer.

Most trailers can be designed as either bumper pull or gooseneck or fifth wheel. Darling Daughter is looking for a 2-horse trailer with tack room, and she's looking at both gooseneck and bumper pull. As an over-generality, gooseneck is "better" than bumper pull for a livestock trailer, but they cost more and are heavier. So we'll see what she decides on.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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I would say "Sure you can have a new truck.... but I get a 5 carat Genuine diamond gob stopper ring and earrings to match.... or we can wait a year and then get you a decent USED truck that addresses your concerns."

"Diamonds... that'll shut her up.... fer a while. " ~Ron White.
I've also found that threatening the DH with a huge diamond purchase re-sets his priorities.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
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"Diamonds... that'll shut her up.... fer a while. " ~Ron White.
I've also found that threatening the DH with a huge diamond purchase re-sets his priorities.
I like your style....but isn't this a question of "need" rather than a question of "want"....since I'm assuming you'd rather be alive a year from now to enjoy those shiny rocks! Seems to me a seriously overweight vehicle is an important safety issue and worth taking the time to visit the scales to be sure whether a new truck is something you need or just something DH wants?
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:09 PM   #13
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I like your style....but isn't this a question of "need" rather than a question of "want"....since I'm assuming you'd rather be alive a year from now to enjoy those shiny rocks! Seems to me a seriously overweight vehicle is an important safety issue and worth taking the time to visit the scales to be sure whether a new truck is something you need or just something DH wants?
Thanks. And I agree... safety is an issue and she has plenty of good advice from the others regarding GVWR etc. But is she indeed having issues with being overweight or is her husband kibitzing for a new truck?

Or his he doing a "diamond" deal because someone required a larger TT that was evidently more heavy?

It's all a learning experience I'm sure. I know that I would have done more research on towing capacity myself before getting the oldie that I have.....
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:18 PM   #14
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He is the man of the house. Let him have his new truck. Now, fix him a nice dinner.



I drive my wife nuts with my "humor", hope you got a chuckle.
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