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Old 02-11-2019, 03:15 PM   #1
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Need towing assistance please

Sorry, I’m a first time RVer and we are looking to buy this 2010 Keystone Cougar 26BHS (26ft) and has a GVWR of 7800lb that comes with a weight distribution hitch and sway bar. I want to tow it with my 2012 Silverado Z71 4x4 that has a GVWR of 7,000lb /GCWR of 15,000lb and a 9,600 towing capacity. It looks like I will be at almost max but wanted some opinions?

Thanks Bryan
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:49 PM   #2
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Hi Bryan! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Since I'm not a towables guy I'll let others help with your question! Just noticed that you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:56 PM   #3
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Usually, the limiting factor is the payload capacity of the tow vehicle and not the towing capacity. With a 7800 pound trailer you will likely have 900 or so of tongue weight. That combined with all the junk in the truck bed and all the stuff and people in the cab can't exceed the trucks payload capacity.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:59 PM   #4
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Good Towing advice here: Remco Store : Remco
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:29 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:11 PM   #6
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You will not be happy towing at your GCVWR. You will have about 1000 pounds of tongue weight plus 100 pounds for the hitch itself before you even add passengers or anything else the truck did not come stock with, such as a canopy or running boards. Look on the drivers door sill for the yellow sticker saying how much cargo you can carry. That weight has to be enough to carry the tongue weight and all passengers and gear other than a 150 pound driver. You can pull the weight but likely cannot carry the weight of that trailer.

You could tow a 7800 pound boat since the tongue weight of boat trailers is 7% verses 12% or so for travel trailers. That's why all the truck commercials show them towing a boat or a flatbed trailer full of bricks. Almost no tongue weight with those trailers.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:10 PM   #7
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Roger that, it says I should not exceed 1532lbs (Passengers/Cargo)
Also, I wanted to add we would not be maxing out the trailers GVWR of 7800lb.
We will be A LOT less weight than the max.



So here is where I am at..


The TT weighs 5,900lb
The weight of our gear in trailer does not exceed 500lb's which would be 6,400lb total (Cargo in trailer and weight of trailer).
My 2012 Silverado weighs in at 5,300lb (GVWR is 7,000LB) and my cargo/passenger weight should not exceed 1,532lb's.
The weight of my passengers, myself and the cargo in truck is 600lbs, which puts my trucks weight at 5,900lb's. So, if the tongue/pin weight is 1,000lbs that will put me at the max GVWR for my truck at 6,900lbs, tt weight would be 6,400 lbs so my combined GCVWR is 13,300lbs (15,000 GCVWR). Correct?
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan2101 View Post
Roger that, it says I should not exceed 1532lbs (Passengers/Cargo)
Also, I wanted to add we would not be maxing out the trailers GVWR of 7800lb.
We will be A LOT less weight than the max.



So here is where I am at..


The TT weighs 5,900lb

The weight of our gear in trailer does not exceed 500lb's which would be 6,400lb total (Cargo in trailer and weight of trailer).
My 2012 Silverado weighs in at 5,300lb (GVWR is 7,000LB) and my cargo/passenger weight should not exceed 1,532lb's.
The weight of my passengers, myself and the cargo in truck is 600lbs, which puts my trucks weight at 5,900lb's. So, if the tongue/pin weight is 1,000lbs that will put me at the max GVWR for my truck at 6,900lbs, tt weight would be 6,400 lbs so my combined GCVWR is 13,300lbs (15,000 GCVWR). Correct?
That empty weight doesn't include the batteries and propane in the tanks or any dealer installed items such as slide awnings, vent covers, etc.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:42 AM   #9
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Agree, the dry weight of the trailer does not include propane nor a battery. So add another 200 for that stuff. It also does not include dealer installed items as mentioned.

So the less stuff you can bring on the truck or trailer the better.

One way to save weight is to use paper plates, plastic silverware, and paper of plastic cups. I know 'plastic' is a bad word for the eco people but in this case where the OP needs to pack light it is a viable option.

A 2012 Chevy is a nice truck, maybe trade it in on a Chevy 2500 or Ford / Ram 3/4 ton truck.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:28 AM   #10
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I had a similar set-up. TT weight of 6350 dry and 8000 capacity towed with a 2018 Z71 1500. NEVER loaded even close to capacity and the truck had almost identical numbers. The rig towed just fine as it was however, I found that on bumpy terrain and sometimes at highway speeds, I felt a "porpoise" effect. Although the numbers are good and the truck WILL tow that much weight, you will find you need to keep the speed down and you may have troubles on steep grades.
Just my humble opinion.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:37 AM   #11
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and to our campfire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan2101 View Post
Sorry, I’m a first time RVer and we are looking to buy this 2010 Keystone Cougar 26BHS (26ft) and has a GVWR of 7800lb that comes with a weight distribution hitch and sway bar. I want to tow it with my 2012 Silverado Z71 4x4 that has a GVWR of 7,000lb /GCWR of 15,000lb and a 9,600 towing capacity. It looks like I will be at almost max but wanted some opinions?
If you load the trailer the way most campers do, and you haul a small family and their stuff in the cab plus tools and toys and camping stuff in the bed, then you'll probably be overloaded over the payload capacity of your Chevy.

I don't know why others continue to dodge the obvious answer to your question. I suppose because it's a lot of trouble to do it right. Which is for you to determine the payload capacity available for hitch weight, then do the math. Like this:

1] Load the truck with the people, tools and other stuff you'll haul in the truck when camping. Don't cheat - put it all in there. Outdoor "patio" carpet, camping furniture, cast iron pot for cooking over a campfire, everything that weighs more than a handlerchef.
2] Drive to a truck stop that has a CAT scale, then fill up with gas and - after little Suzi gets back from the restroom - weigh the wet and loaded truck.
3] Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR of the truck and the answer is payload capacity available for hitch weight
4] Subtract 100 pounds from the payload capacity available for hitch weight and the answer is the payload capacity available for the tongue weight (TW) of a wet and properly-loaded travel trailer (TT) with a good weight-distributing (WD) hitch.
5] Divide the payload capacity available for TW by 13% and the answer is the MAXIMUM GVWR of any TT you want to consider.

Based on my experience, it won't be anywhere close to 7,800 pounds. Probably less than 6,000 pounds. And if the hitch that comes with that trailer has a "sway bar" instead of built-in sway control, then it's not what I consider to be a "good" WD hitch in the high end of the affordable price class, such as an Equal-I-Zer, or Blue Ox SwayPro, or Reese Strait-Line.

In my case with a similar payload capacity in a half-ton pickup, I was overloaded when towing a wet and properly-loaded TT that grossed less than 5,000 pounds with a GVWR of 5,600 pounds. So I traded up to a newer pickup that has more payload capacity.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:00 AM   #12
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2] Drive to a truck stop that has a CAT scale, then fill up with gas and - after little Suzi gets back from the restroom - weigh the wet and loaded truck.

You should probably get it weighed *before* little Suzi gets out and goes to the restroom. You do want to make sure you get the weight of the rig with *everything* in it...
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:44 PM   #13
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Tons of good advice here, and the numbers can begin to feel overwhelming. That said, take note of the two key factors that have been pointed out...

1) Your payload is your limiting factor. The tongue weight of the trailer is likely to be 900-1,000 pounds or so, and the WD hitch itself adds another 75. This is not a question of your combined weight, it is a question of the GVWR of the tow vehicle, which is almost always the limiting factor of 1/2 tons pulling a travel trailer.

2) Do not be seduced by dry weights. In addition to the propane, batteries and other items mentioned about, dry weights include no fluids. Fill up your 40 gallon fresh water tank and you just added another 300 pounds. Add in a couple of full waste tanks and you could be up another 400+. Even packing conservatively you very well may pull out 1,000 pounds or more over the 'dry weight' of the trailer.

How close one can be to the limits is always a personal decision that weighs a number of factors (distances, altitudes, terrain, towing experience, etc...). The limits are a good place to start for knowing how it all stacks up, however, so it is imperative that you use real numbers and not the falsehoods the manufacturers throw out there to make it look like a 38' Fifth Wheel can be towed by a Ford Ranger!
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:23 PM   #14
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Have a similar truck and the response from Dar n Rick is spot on. I've towed a Minnie 26 rear bath, it does it and within specs but it works hard on grades. So for the occasional trip it might work but at some point a bigger truck will be desirable.

Smokey knows his stuff and you would be wise to heed his advice. I'm an experienced truck driver, I load my trailer carefully, I dont put anything in my truck other than people and wife's purse and it better be small. We only camp a few times a year and always at our state parks with hookups so our tanks are always empty. I push the limits but dlnt exceed them, it works for now but when wife retires and we travel more often we'll upgrade to a 3500.
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