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Old 03-28-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
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Newbie here

OK, got the 5er, 2011 Coachmen Chaparral Lite 270 RKS, got the truck, 2005 GMC diesel short bed, need the hitch.

I've marked the bed where the pin will go (4" in front of the axle according to my local hitch shop) and put the truck directly under it at all kinds of angles to simulate a hook up and it looks like, with the deep scalloped design of the front cap on the coach, I don't need a slider to clear the cab but I'm not sure I trust my experiment !. Is there anyone out there with the same combination withe direct experience who can help ?????
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:45 AM   #2
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I pulled a 22' Thor Tahoe 5th wheel with a 1999 F150 shortbed (6.5') with no problems....but, apples to oranges I suppose. The Tahoe didn't have the new shaved corners on the cap either.

Gman
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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ive looked at the front of the new Chaparral models. im betting your "experiment" is correct and you will be fine without a slider-hitch. the front corners are gone on those things!! very nice 5er too by the way.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input, I guess I'll just have to bite ther bullet and see !
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by roadstertr6 View Post
OK, got the 5er, 2011 Coachmen Chaparral Lite 270 RKS, got the truck, 2005 GMC diesel short bed, need the hitch.

I've marked the bed where the pin will go (4" in front of the axle according to my local hitch shop) and put the truck directly under it at all kinds of angles to simulate a hook up and it looks like, with the deep scalloped design of the front cap on the coach, I don't need a slider to clear the cab but I'm not sure I trust my experiment !. Is there anyone out there with the same combination withe direct experience who can help ?????
Hi roadstertr6! How did your experiment work? I am thinking of getting a similar trailer, 2011 Chaparral 268RLE and have a similar truck, 2008 Chevy 2500HD with the short bed. Have you weighed it yet and is the pin and axle weights close to the brochure ones? Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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Will you take advice from someone who has dented the cab and broke the rear window. I had a 2001, 2500HD Chevy extended cab short bed truck.
I picked the trailer up from the storage lot and brought it home. Had to go to the bathroom and so I left the truck in the street with the trailer. Came back outside to put the trailer in the driveway and to un-hook an prep for vacation in two days. As I was backing up and making the turn my DW yells out to stop, as I stop the window pops and the cab is dented. I forgot to put the slide in the maneuver position.
I have since upgraded to a Dodge Mega Cab and a new 2010 318SAB Cougar with the max turn corners. The slide is still extended every time I back into the driveway. It is better to be safe then sorry. The slider is cheap insurance over broken windows and dented cabs. Just some advice for someone who knows.
Jim W.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:33 AM   #7
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Will you take advice from someone who has dented the cab and broke the rear window. I had a 2001, 2500HD Chevy extended cab short bed truck.
I picked the trailer up from the storage lot and brought it home. Had to go to the bathroom and so I left the truck in the street with the trailer. Came back outside to put the trailer in the driveway and to un-hook an prep for vacation in two days. As I was backing up and making the turn my DW yells out to stop, as I stop the window pops and the cab is dented. I forgot to put the slide in the maneuver position.
I have since upgraded to a Dodge Mega Cab and a new 2010 318SAB Cougar with the max turn corners. The slide is still extended every time I back into the driveway. It is better to be safe then sorry. The slider is cheap insurance over broken windows and dented cabs. Just some advice for someone who knows.
Jim W.

Sounds like great advice Jim! I couldn't tell, did you get the automatic sliding hitch? If so, which one? Does it require frequent maintenance/lubrication for the sliding mechanism? Do you have to be careful maneuvering around the hitch when you in the bed getting things to prevent getting grease on you from the sliding mechanism? Is it easy to remove - no rails left, just pulling pins, and comes apart easily in pieces so you don't have to lift the whole thing out in one piece? It's funny, but the 318SAB is the other trailer we are looking at! Any problems with it? Have you had a chance to weigh it to see what the axle and pin weights are? Thanks so much for all the help Jim!

Scott O.
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Old 05-14-2011, 05:38 PM   #8
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Scott,
I have the Reese 15K Pro manual slider hitch with the square tubes. The slider is sprayed with a dry lubricant, so it will not attract dirt. The jaws are greased with a high pressure type lubricant such as wheel bearing grease. The top of the hitch and the bottom of the pin box have a Teflon plate to aid in lubrication. Very little grease is exposed and the hitch can be removed, by the removal of 4 pins. My hitch is in and out of the truck several times during the camping season.
I have two rails that stay in the bed, if you require a flat floor then cut some 3/4' plywood to make a flat floor. The rails do not cause me any issues with loading and unloading the truck. In fact they help, I can bungee cord things too them to keep them from sliding around in the truck bed.
We love our 318SAB and have had no major issues with this camper. I believe you need to do a detailed PDI and have everything repaired or fix to your satisfaction before buying. This is the key to having a great experience with your camper.
Yes, I did weight the camper and truck together. My weights are: Steering axle 4940 LBS, Drive Axle 5160 LBS, Trailer axles (both) 8140 LBS and GCVW 18,240 LBS. The truck has two people and a full load of diesel fuel, 34 gallons. We do not carry any water in any of the holding tanks in the camper. Will fill up at camp ground if required to do so. The camper is fully equipped for a week of camping with all of the rest of our camping gear such as outside chairs and grill.
Jim W.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:33 PM   #9
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Got the slider - 270 RKS

OK, I didn't trust my measurements so I got the slider and installed it. Picked up the trailer yesterday and I guess I should have trusted my measuring !!!!

For the record, the "05 extended cab, short box GMC Sierra does not need the slider when paired with a Chaparral Lite 270 RKS !!!!!!!!!

Getting out of the storage yard was a series of tight turns, no problem, getting it on to my driveway, no problem, lots of clearance.

This is the first time I've pulled anything that large having towed "caravans" in the UK with regular gas engined sedan type cars. The diesel power is amazing !
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:58 AM   #10
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Thanks Jim! Great data. Sounds like you take notes like I do. 30 year engineer and I kind of go overboard with data sometimes. Do you know what the pin weight was in that configuration or the weight of your truck, unhitched?
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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Roadstertr6,

That's good news. Thanks for the reply. Did you happen to get out of the truck and look at how close you were to 90 degrees in those maneuvers? Personally, I think I would be able to visually discern when backing or turning if I was at 90, to know I was at that point and to stop. It's in that gray area between 45 and 90 that I could say "Oh, I need to stop. I think if the combination doesn't allow me 90 with a little to spare, I would personally go with a slider hitch.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:33 AM   #12
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Thanks Jim! Great data. Sounds like you take notes like I do. 30 year engineer and I kind of go overboard with data sometimes. Do you know what the pin weight was in that configuration or the weight of your truck, unhitched?
Sorry, I can only guess at the pin weight of the camper, never weighed the camper separately. A truck was waiting to get on the scale when I did my weighing last time.
My truck weight un-hitch is 7820 LBS approximately, give or take 50 lbs. This is full fuel, what ever gear I carry such as tools, tow strap, oil, filters and tie down straps plus my wife and myself.
BTW I worked at Cat for 40 years, retiring as a project engineer. So this is why I keep numbers.
Jim W.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:32 PM   #13
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Hey Jim!

Good thing you got all the numbers because we can back out an estimate of your pin weight. GCVW 18,240 LBS - Truck GVW 7820 LBS - Trailer Axle Weights 8140 lbs = 2280 LBS pin weight. That assumes the 7820 LBS. is equivalent to what it was when you gathered all the other weights, including hitch, etc. Make sense or am I missing something?

My 2008 Chevy 2500 HD/Duramax/Allison weighs 6740 with full fuel, add my wife, cat, and myself, say 200 LBS for a fifth wheel hitch and I am at 7300 LBS. With a GVWR of 9200, I only have 1900 LBS (legally) for a pin weight with no margin for anything else in the truck. With the 318SAB I could be a little overweight. Granted the 3500 HD is the same truck as the 2500 except for the rear springs. I could get airbags to handle the extra load but legally I would be overweight. Looking through a typical RV park though and I can estimate that 50% or more of the tow vehicles are over their GVWR.

Being an expert in trucking with your background, what do you think about being slightly over the GVWR, even if it's only 5% or less? I have heard that getting your GVWR officially revised is near impossible.
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #14
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Hey Jim!

Good thing you got all the numbers because we can back out an estimate of your pin weight. GCVW 18,240 LBS - Truck GVW 7820 LBS - Trailer Axle Weights 8140 lbs = 2280 LBS pin weight. That assumes the 7820 LBS. is equivalent to what it was when you gathered all the other weights, including hitch, etc. Make sense or am I missing something?

My 2008 Chevy 2500 HD/Duramax/Allison weighs 6740 with full fuel, add my wife, cat, and myself, say 200 LBS for a fifth wheel hitch and I am at 7300 LBS. With a GVWR of 9200, I only have 1900 LBS (legally) for a pin weight with no margin for anything else in the truck. With the 318SAB I could be a little overweight. Granted the 3500 HD is the same truck as the 2500 except for the rear springs. I could get airbags to handle the extra load but legally I would be overweight. Looking through a typical RV park though and I can estimate that 50% or more of the tow vehicles are over their GVWR.

Being an expert in trucking with your background, what do you think about being slightly over the GVWR, even if it's only 5% or less? I have heard that getting your GVWR officially revised is near impossible.
Sorry for the delay in responding, we are in St Louis MO. camping. We came down to visit the DW uncle and his family.
I think you should be OK as long as you do not exceed the RAGW and tire/rim weights. I would also not exceed the GCVW of the truck. Usually a 3500 SRW truck and a 2500HD truck are within 1000LBS of each others GVW, at least that is the way the Doges are.
Jim W.
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