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Old 04-06-2010, 03:59 PM   #1
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Should I add anything to my truck for towing my trailer?

I have a 2003 Z71 with a 5.3L vortec engine. It is rated to pull 12000 lbs with a weight distributing hitch.

My travel trailer (bumper pull) weighs 7100 lbs empty.

Do I need to add anything after market such as a transmission fan or anything like that?

Also, where is the best place to order air bag kits from? If anyone has suggestions I would very much appreciate it.

thank you
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:02 PM   #2
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You should be OK with the equipment GM put on the truck to attain that tow rating unless you plan on exceeding it. Keep in mind the 12,000 pounds may presume an empty regular cab base model truck with only a 150# driver. Anything above that is subtracted from the 12,000#.
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:46 PM   #3
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12000# sounds awfully high for a 5.3L engine. You may need to be sure that that number is for your specific truck. Also a trailer will typically weight 1000# or more over the dry weight when loaded for use. I don't put much faith in dry weight numbers....these are base model trailers and anything that is listed as an option is not in the dry weight...things like the A/C, microwave, batteries, awning, TV, and them propane, your camping supplies some water and your clothes and food.

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Old 04-06-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
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My trailer says that the 7100 lbs is with everything that was installed at the factory as well as filled propane tanks.

I was just kind of worried about pulling through hill countries and such for my truck having problems.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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What is you TT's GVWR? Most people's real weight is closer to that than the dry weight. Our TT was listed as 6300 dry weight but has a GVWR of 10400. Our real weight is about 9K.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:45 PM   #6
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I used to pull with a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 4X4. It's a great unit, but I'd say at 7,100# you're bumping up against the limit. 12k sounds really high.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:39 PM   #7
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First, have you towed it and are you having any problems? I agree that you are putting a strain on your on your truck. Be sure your truck tires are aired to max pressure/load rating when towing--that should help in stability. You should probably get your rig weighed and see what the combined weight is--then weigh the truck separately. Is the 12K the tow rating? Then adding the truck weight of around 65-7000 and you are at 18-19000k going down the road--might be hard to stop in an emergency.

Somehow, having a 12000 lb tow rating on a 1/2 ton truck seems a little high. Or is it a 3/4 ton?
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:09 AM   #8
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Is the 12000 the GCWR? That makes a BIG difference.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:35 PM   #9
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Here are the 2003 tow ratings


http://www.trailerlife.com/output.cfm?id=42175
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:53 PM   #10
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You gave a hint when you asked about air bags. Any vehicle will tow satisfactorily IF you stay within the mfgrs. tow ratings. Only use the trailer GVW when properly and safely matching a tow vehicle to a trailer. I suspect the trailer is too large/heavy for that pickup.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:06 PM   #11
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Looking at the tow ratings that Lewisclan linked--the 12K is probably the GCWR, if so, the 7000lb trailer is gonna stress the 1/2 ton somewhat.
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Old 04-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #12
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If you look on the Trailer Life towing chart I really don't see any 5.3 engines going over the mid 8500lb range with a reg cab, less for larger cabs. You may have seen a tow rating for a Z71 with a diesel engine which range from 12k upward..... So unless you are traveling very light, your pushing the limit.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:22 AM   #13
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I suggest you check the glove box and the door jamb to find out what you truck can tow safely. I realize that Ford and a few other companies have given alot of people a false reality by saying their 1/2 ton can tow 10k or more. In reality you would need a 3/4 ton or larger to safely and properly to 5th wheel or tt of that size. You will also find out that alot of 3/4 tons are limited to about 12k
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