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Old 09-18-2016, 08:49 AM   #1
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Help with towing capacity?

I have a 2wd Avalanche, GVWR-6800
Rear Gross Axle 4000
Payload - 1399
Max trailer weight - 8200
GCWr- 13,000 I believe
The TT I am looking at is an Apex Ultra-lite
UVW-4770
Hitch-480
GVRW-7000
I'm not sure I have all the info I need to figure if I can tow this. I am a complete newbie. What do you think? It will just be 2 people on short trips
Thank for any advice. The Hitch on my truck says I can pll 1200 tongue weight and 12,000lbs with a weight distribution hitch, which I don't want to go that high for sure. Also would it be overkill to get a Hensley Propride WDH with this? I am nervous about towing, have towed boats etc but this is my first TT.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:46 AM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2.

Your ; " What can I tow " is perhaps the most asked question here in the forums .
So far the numbers given look acceptable , but , you don't have all the info you need .
JMHO: You need to take your vehicle to the scales; loaded for travel ; and get your , axle weights , to know how much weight you can add to the vehicle ( rear axle in particular ) without overloading .
The TT's hitch weight , 480 lbs, would be , unloaded ; so with your gear on board that could easily go up to 750>800 lbs plus the weight of the receiver,
You'll need at least 1,000 lbs payload available on the rear axle to be within the rear axle weight rating.
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
JMHO: You need to take your vehicle to the scales; loaded for travel ; and get your , axle weights , to know how much weight you can add to the vehicle ( rear axle in particular ) without overloading .
I agree. Many folks that are brand new to this don't know that your cargo capacity includes you, your family, the dog, and the cooler of sodas in the back seat, and all of that fishing gear, and the BBQ and propane bottle, ad nauseum.

And don't believe the sales people or the marketing materials. The true weights and capacities of the trailer you buy will be on a sticker on the trailer when you actually can put your hands on it. Isn't that nice?
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Old 09-18-2016, 12:26 PM   #4
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HI, kayaker1, and

Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker1 View Post
I have a 2wd Avalanche,
GVWR-6800
Payload - 1399
The GVWR of the tow vehicle is your limiter as to how much weight you can tow without being overloaded. Payload is GVWR minus the weight of the truck, so it can vary a lot.

Quote:
Max trailer weight - 8200
GCWr- 13,000 I believe
The tow rating of 8,200 = GCWR minus the weight of the truck. But it's a useless stat because you will exceed the GVWR of the truck long before you reach the tow rating or GCWR.

Quote:
The TT I am looking at is an Apex Ultra-lite
UVW-4770
Hitch-480
GVRW-7000
The UVW is almost useless, because nobody tows a dry trailer. And that hitch weight is based on the UVW of the trailer so it's almost useless too.

GVWR is useful info. That's the most the trailer should weigh when wet and loaded for the road. You may not load the trailer all the way to the GVWR, but you should use the GVWR of the trailer when matching trailer to tow vehicle.

Tongue weight averages about 13% of the weight of the wet and loaded trailer. So for that 7,000-pound trailer, assume tongue weight of 13% of 7,000 pounds, or 910 pounds. Plus add another 113 pounds for the weight of your weight-distributing (WD) hitch. A good WD hitch is the Reese Strait-Line Trunnion bar hitch, which has a shipping weight of 113 pounds. 910 tongue weight plus another 113 pounds for the weight of the WD hitch = 1,023 pounds total hitch weight.

So with your max hitch weight of 1,023 and your payload capacity of 1399, that leaves only 376 pounds of unused payload capacity available for driver, passenger(s) and anything else that will be in the Avalanche when towing. IOW, you're going to be overloaded unless you do some drastic weight management.

Quote:
The Hitch on my truck says I can pll 1200 tongue weight and 12,000lbs with a weight distribution hitch, which I don't want to go that high for sure.
That's just the specs for the hitch, and has nothing to do with the max trailer weight you can tow without being overloaded. As mentioned earlier, your limiter is the GVWR of your Avalanche, not the higher weight limits of GCWR or hitch weight capacity.

Quote:
Also would it be overkill to get a Hensley Propride WDH with this?
It is never overkill to have the best WD hitch available. I tow my itty bitty TT that has GVWR of 5,600 pounds with a ProPride hitch. If you have ever had uncontrollable sway, then you'll pay a lot to be sure it never happens again.

However, there are a few WD hitches that list for around $1000 and sell for $500 to $600 (one-fourth the cost of a ProPride) that are good enough for 99% of towing conditions. I tow my cargo trailer with a Reese Strait-Line Trunnion bar hitch. Other good WD hitches include the Equal-I-Zer and the BlueOx SwayPro. Stay away from cheap hitches that are available for less than $400 from on-line sources. If the hitch has friction-based sway bars, you know it's a cheap hitch.
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Old 09-18-2016, 03:35 PM   #5
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Thanks!!! I'm going to the scales on Tuesday and get the rest of the info I need, we travel pretty light so I am hoping it might work out. Love the 2 entrances on the Apex 249rbs because it keeps our cats from running out the door when we go in and out. Really appreciate the explanation.
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:37 PM   #6
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Well, I weighed the truck full and came in at 6360 lbs. and the rear axle was was 3180 lbs. which when I plug in to the calculator that the moderator gave us, I can't pull it.
I guess you are correct. Too bad, good thing I didn't spend a lot of money before I checked it out! (If I'm doing the calculator correctly!) Thanks
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Old 09-19-2016, 03:45 PM   #7
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At least you got the right info and found out before you got to experience being a seller on the used trailer market. Good luck finding the right combination for you and your rig.
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Old 09-20-2016, 05:04 PM   #8
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The owner manuals I've looked at usually state tow and payload capacity ratings as being recommended.

The criterias are usually based on in part - the steering, handling, braking, ride height and ride. Meaning going over their rating will effect steering, braking, handling and ride. Other criterias may include the engine and transmission (drivetrain) amount of weight than can be handled, wear and tear of a vehicle over an averaged life span, etc.

I'm not familiar with the Avalanche and it's steering, suspension, and braking system.

It may be possible to increase a manufactures towing and payload capacity ratings through mods and add-on to it's steering, suspension and possibly tires.

A common upgrade for the steering is to upgrade or add a steering stabilizer(s).

There isn't really any method to upgrade a stock braking system without at least upgrading the calipers and/or drum brakes and linings. Also your pretty much stuck with a particular engine and transmission. (there are transmission and transfer case upgrades for some vehicles, related to towing) More modern auto-mobiles it often becomes more difficult to upgrade as there's more precision involve in manufacturing. Parts and systems designed with more precision become more difficult to upgrade to a heavy duty version, to increase it's overall strength, reliability, etc.

Before giving up I would first look into any available towing option upgrades for the Avalanche such as for the suspension and steering.

Vehicles I've upgraded for towing involved an upgraded suspension such as e.g. heavy duty shocks, springs, steering stabilizer and possibly air bags. These towing related upgrades have their own ratings and limitations.

Some vehicles the manufacture includes a tow package option, which usually involves heavy duty springs, possibly hd shocks, heavy duty radiator and a transmission cooler.

If you don't have a transmission cooler and tow a trailer, I would probably install one. The number one reason for transmission failure are op temperatures above a transmission operating temperature range. Which normally occurs while towing.

I have a SUV that I tow with once in a while and spent money to upgrade the radiator to a heavy duty version and install a transmission cooler. The suspension had already been upgraded to a heavy duty version. For the steering I installed a heavy duty steering stabilizer.
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Old 09-20-2016, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user293 View Post
The owner manuals I've looked at usually state tow and payload capacity ratings as being recommended.

To the OP, excuse me for going off topic.
JMHO: Your doing the right thing by looking into different vehicles; tow and or trailer; to do your towing safely.

But; user 293 , the GVWR is set by the manufacturer , and only the manufacturer can change that number , any add-ons by the owner don't change the number.
Being over GVWR can get you a fine here in BC and you can bet your bottom dollar , if you have an at fault accident your insurance company will use an overloaded vehicle against you to deny any claims.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GVWR rules for B.C..pdf (190.2 KB, 12 views)
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:07 PM   #10
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I think you could tow that trailer if you were careful about loading. If you load it to the max capacity you will be slightly over some capacities but if you pack a bit lighter and keep tools and firewood in the trailer rather than the bed of the truck you will probably be just under the max.

The crucial point is then the tongue weight percentage,(under 12% starts to become unstable), and weight distribution hitch set up. Get the set up right and it will still tow like a dream, although stopping distance is still longer than normal. If the set up is not right it will be a white knuckle ride.

If you had a 1 ton truck the set up could be off the same amount and chances are that while it would not be pleasant, it would be manageable. Having a safety margin of capacity makes the set up less crucial.

In my opinion set up and extra capacity are both important but if the set up is spot on you COULD push capacity to near 100%.
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
To the OP, excuse me for going off topic.
JMHO: Your doing the right thing by looking into different vehicles; tow and or trailer; to do your towing safely.

But; user 293 , the GVWR is set by the manufacturer , and only the manufacturer can change that number , any add-ons by the owner don't change the number.
Being over GVWR can get you a fine here in BC and you can bet your bottom dollar , if you have an at fault accident your insurance company will use an overloaded vehicle against you to deny any claims.
GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It's a "recommended" rating by the manufacture, based on various types of criterias from each auto-mobile manufacture. One manufacture may use different criterias than another. (Possibly there are DOT towing capacity rules and regulation, that design engineers follow, but I'm not aware of their existence)

There are automotive design guidelines that automobile engineers may follow. In US automotive engineer often adhere to different automotive engineering guidelines, practices and philosophies than e.g. EU engineers.

In the US the only federally mandated laws I'm aware of are for electrical, such as DOT requirements for lighting. Any automobile manufactured in the US the lighting and related electronics and any other DOT stocked equipment must be oked, certified and DOT approved or a vehicle can't be mass produced.

In the US there are DOT standards automobile manufactures follow.

FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/FMVSS/

Though they may exist I'm not aware of any governmental DOT towing capacity mandated rules and regulations that a manufactures automotive engineers must follow. The design engineers recommended ratings may be right on or fairly close for a stock vehicle, but you don't know what criteras there based on to come up with those numbers. I can only assume the criteras are mostly based on braking, handling and safety. Engine size and horse power and transmission capabilities also come into play as an undersized engine won't be able to tow and run as well under higher weights. A weak transmission or one that's designed primarily to carry only a recommended payload, won't be able to shift as well under higher capacities)

I don't agree with you that upgrading a vehicle won't increase those recommended ratings created by each automotive manufacture. I know of many upgraded vehicles, which may have included upgrades for the suspension, braking system, engine, transmission, driveline, larger axles, differentials and tires that significantly changed those recommended numbers provided by an automotive manufacture.

However as I stated modern vehicles designed with more precision, often doesn't leave alot of room to add additional weight above their recommendations as many modern vehicles have a powertrain that's engineered more precisely for a stock vehicle weight and capacities. May also require an engine and transmission, possibly an axle(s) swap, etc.
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Old 09-20-2016, 06:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
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GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Recommendation. It's a recommended rating by the manufacture, based on various types of criterias from each auto-mobile manufacture. One manufacture may use different criterias than another.
Where did you get this info, specifically the part about the "R" standing for "recommendation"?
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:17 AM   #13
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Where did you get this info, specifically the part about the "R" standing for "recommendation"?
That was a typo, which I corrected.

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It's a "recommended" rating by the manufacture,

How a rating is derived I can only guess. Perhaps a combination of scientific method(s) used by automotive engineers and field testing? Stress related data in relation to blueprint designs? etc.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:28 AM   #14
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I would recommend that people not go over their vehicle weight ratings. If the rating is a hard limit, life and safety could be at risk.
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