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Old 04-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
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Bad idea?

Need your opinion. I am looking at buying a new Chevy 1/2 ton pickup with a heavy duty suspension. It has the 5.3L gas engine. When I go to the trailering section of the chevy websight, it says that this setup is good to tow a 9700# fifth wheel. I imagine that the 9700# rating is max loaded weight. Am I expecting to much from this truck and I am going to be disappointed with towing a 30 foot fifth wheel long distances. My total loaded fifth wheel weight would probably be around 9500# I was considering this setup because of the reasonable price tag of the 1/2 ton truck and the fuel cost savings. It was rated at 21mpg with this engine with a 4x4.Thanks for your help.

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Old 04-24-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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No. I would not do it.

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Old 04-24-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
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You also won't get 21mpg
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:51 PM   #4
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Buying a truck

You need to buy 3/4 ton pickup truck. It should have the tow package.
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:27 PM   #5
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I do not think that truck will pull what those numbers sudgest. GM ratings on the gas drive trains are not realistic. I was not able to pull a 10K TT with a 6.0L Yukon XL with 4.10 gears. I recommend a diesel of your choice for long range towing!
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:33 PM   #6
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way too much 5er for a 1/2 ton truck. The Chevy ad writers need to get a job at Disney, writing fiction.

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Old 04-24-2012, 10:05 PM   #7
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It's not just GM, it's all the manufacturers. My neighbor tows a 36' airstream with a freaking Tundra.

They say it CAN pull xx,xxx lbs. They don't say how long it will pull that kind of weight!

My 8.1L 4.10 K2500HD could drag my 8000lb 25' tag toyhauler at 85mph all day long if you could deal with the gas. I'd think the 6.0 with pulling gears in a 3/4T chassis would do just fine with the trailer you are describing as long as you don't intend to pull long grades in the mountain West.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kunysz513 View Post
You also won't get 21mpg
Sure you can....

Just find a mine shaft deep enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:46 PM   #9
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Had a 99 GMC with the 5.3 1/2 ton and pulled a 22' Nash trailer just fine.

Then I bought a 28' Thor trailer. Had to go buy a 3/4 ton GMC with the 8.1 engine.

Do not buy a half ton for that size trailer.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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Thanks guys for all the info. I am going to hold off on the 1/2 ton pickup idea. I believe your experience tells me that it is a bad idea. I ran a ad in the irv2 wanted classified for a pickup/fifthwheel combination. I will give that some time. I thought if I could find a used pickup/fifth wheel combo, I might get a better deal.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #11
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Yep, you'd be overloaded with any half-ton pickup. A typical 30-foot 5er is the Keystone Cooper Canyon Sprinter model 300KBS. It will gross over 11,000 pounds when wet and loaded on the road, and hitch weight will be 1,900 to 2,000 pounds.

The hitch weight is probably what will get you first. Load all your people and gear and tools and the 5er hitch in the truck, go to a truck stop with a CAT scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded truck. Subtract that weight from the GVWR of the truck, and you probably won't have anywhere near enough unused payload capacity to haul 2,000 pounds hitch weight.

Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GCWR of the truck and you'll probably not have 2,000 pounds of towing capacity left.

Use the GVWR of the trailer when estimating trailer weight. Ignore the dry weight and the hitch weight in the trailer specs. For a 30-foot 5er, estimate 18 percent of the GVWR of the trailer as the hitch weight, and you'll be close to real life.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:09 PM   #12
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I havea 2011 silverado with the 5.3 and I can get 20 on the hwy with no extra passengers or anything in truck bed, realistic gas mileage on
These trucks would be around 15-17 on hwy and I tow a 22 foot trailer and get 10
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:42 PM   #13
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The new '12 chevy 5.3 extended cab long bed may well pull a 9700 lb trailer but as was suggested the 1/2 ton truck is limited to approx 1200-1400 lbs of payload according to GMs weight calculator.

A 9700 lb 5er may have 1800-2000 lbs of pin weight. My 5er weighs 10200 lbs (depending on how much we load) and has a 2200 lb pin weight which is well within a 3/4 ton truck weight carrying capacity.

I would look at 5er's with approx 800-1000 lb dry pin weight.
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Old 04-26-2012, 04:06 PM   #14
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The subject is correct...Bad Idea.

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