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Old 04-25-2011, 04:20 AM   #1
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How much weight can we pull safely?

Hi Everyone,
This is my first post here. I have a 2009 Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3, 6 speed automatic with trailing package, 373 gears, short bed, crew cab. We are looking for a travel trailer that we can pull in steep terrain in the mountains that will handle well without putting too much strain on the truck. Usually it will be just my husband and I. Once in a while we may take a couple extra people with us.

The axle ratio for our truck is 3.24, maximum trailer weight is 9500 pounds and the GCWR is 15000 pounds. Can any one tell us what would be the heaviest trailer weight we would want to go with for pulling in the mountains. The trailer will also be used for long distances as well. Thank you for all of your help I greatly appreciate it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbruner7 View Post
We are looking for a travel trailer that we can pull in steep terrain in the mountains that will handle well without putting too much strain on the truck.
With a truck of that size and the geography you describe, you'll need to stay very small. Have you considered a Casita?
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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Re-How much weight can we pull safely?

Quote:
With a truck of that size and the geography you describe, you'll need to stay very small. Have you considered a Casita?
The Casita only goes to 17 feet. That is way too small. I would like something along the lines of 25 to 29 feet but stay around 4000 to 5000 pounds. I did not know if that would be too heavy or not though?
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #4
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While the trucks size is OK for the trailer length you indicated, you do not have enough motor to pull one that size. Think a trailer under 6000 GVWR and no more than about 25 feet long.
Your post is really confusing. First you say 373 gears then you contradict yourself by saying ours has 3.42. Which is it??
With a crew cab 1/2 ton pickup you are when loaded ready to camp with family, gas and everything on board you are likely very near the trucks GVWR. So what your truck can actually pull comfortably is way less than you might think.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
With a crew cab 1/2 ton pickup you are when loaded ready to camp with family, gas and everything on board you are likely very near the trucks GVWR. So what your truck can actually pull comfortably is way less than you might think.
+1

Here is an excellent resource to learn what your truck can comfortably and safely tow: Tow Vehicle Sizing

You need to err on the side of caution on trailer size since you plan to pull that trailer in steep terrain. Stay small...
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #6
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I would not go over a 21' trailer with that truck and the terrain you are describing. If you want a 25' plus trialer, you need to mover up to a 3/4 ton truck with a larger engine and a 4.10 axle ratio.

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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You may want to look at "Everlite" by "Evergreen". It is composite built, thus lighter. There may be other brands. They claim they can build their trailers around 30% lighter than others.

From what I have been reading composites may be the wave of the future do to the necessity of making trailers lighter. V8s are disappearing.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:46 PM   #8
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Don''t worry. Your 1500 chevy and pull a 5th wheel trailer bigger than a Casita.
The only problem is the small rear axle/tire capacity for how much pin weight the trucks axles/tires can safely carry.
I notice that GM gives the '09 1500 crew cab chevy 5.3 six speed tranny a 3.42 gear only if you have the cc10543 configuration. GMs weight configurator shows a 1500-1700 lb payload range for a heavy optioned LTZ package. Payload depends on wheel tire package.

What your going to run into is most 9500 lb 5th wheel trailers could have 1800-2000 lbs of pin weight. Simply to much pin weight for your truck.

I would look at 5th wheel trailers under approx 800-1000 lb max dry pin weight. By the time you load the trailer that dry pin weight may grow another 200-400 lbs depending on how much stuff you put over the trucks rear axle and in the front of the trailer.

Thats why a truck owner should know his trucks front and rear axle actual scaled weights. That eliminates much of the guessing.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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Have you look at the Slingshots by Crossroads? I don't know much about them, but they might be one to consider. Link is below.

Slingshot by CrossRoads RV, Ultra Lite RV, Ultra Light RV,Ultra Lite Travel Trailer, Ultra Light Travel Trailer
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:10 AM   #10
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I hate to burst your bubble but according to the 2009 build specs your truck will have a 3.42 rear gear set and the 5.3L with 6spd has a tow rating of 6100 LBS, a CGWR of 11,500 LBS and a Payload of 1573 LBS - the approx curb wt is 5200 lbs. BTW there was no 3.73 gear set offered with the 6 spd tranny. now for some reason if you add the HD cooling package (included with the Z82HD Trailering package the numbers go way up to 9500 lbs towing and 14000 lbs GCWR so I guess if you add an engine oil cooler you can tow 3000 more lbs of TT. GO FIGURE. If you noticed the only thing that did not change was the PAYLOAD - this will end up being you limiting factor Simply add the total wt of your family and any gear you want to haul - wood, bikes, coolers etc. and subtract this from the 1573 lbs and what is leftover is the hitch wt of your TT - if you are lucky you might have between 900 and 1000 lbs for the hitch wt. Now when looking at that TT don't forget that the hitch wt does not include batteries, LPG, and any items stored forward of the axles. This can easily add over 100 lbs to the published hitch wt.

I know that those big light TTs are very tempting, but if you are smart you will stick to something no longer than 25' and under 6000 lbs total wt.

I tow my 5700 lb (scaled wt loaded for camping - no water) AF 22H with a 2500HD - I started out with a 99 Tahoe with a 5.7L engine - that unit was way underpowered for the towing I do - that is why I went with the 2500HD and 4.10 axle - I can tow on the flat in 5th or 6th and shift into 4th and let er rev to 3000 and scoot up the hills at 55-60 MPH.
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