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Old 05-25-2016, 02:05 PM   #15
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If you're going full time and not worried about the money, why not a 3/4 or 1 ton? I got the Silverado 3500hd, 1 ton single rear wheel. Diesel with Allison transmission and exhaust brake. It's not only easier to tow with a big diesel but the extra brakes you get make going downhill a breeze. Just tap the brakes and your speed will be maintained. Plus if you end up with a bigger trailer you don't have to upgrade trucks.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:10 PM   #16
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My 1500 Avalanche has an 8000# towing capacity with a 600# dead weight hitch rating. With a WD hitch, it has an 1100# tongue weight rating. I towed my 26' enclosed trailer three miles yesterday in some 20+ mph cross wind. It weighs 6600#'s empty. Even though I was within all the accepted parameters, I will never do it again. It's not a problem with my 3/4 ton crew cab short box duramax, but was scary in the Avalanche. That was only three miles. Can't imagine what a trip in the mountains would be like.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
For full time, you might want a 3/4 ton diesel. Towing 7000 lbs with a 1/2 ton on occasion is fine, but there will be times you wished you had more truck, like in the mountains or dealing with a headwind at higher elevations.

I tow a 5000 lb trailer with a Silverado 1500. Suspension-wise I'm fine, but there have been more than a few occasions having a diesel would be nice. For the price of a new 1/2 ton, a used diesel can be found.

As for tongue weight, the rating on the hitch without a WD is 5000 lbs with a 500 lb tongue weight, so 7000 lbs its too heavy without WD. I could tow my 5000 lb trailer without WD, but I use it anyway. Tightening it up has a definite effect on reducing the pogoing from a wavy road.
This is a difficult question about tongue weight to pin down. You don't get a straight answer. What I'm seeing is that mfg give a % of the trailer weight.

Here is an example for the RAM 1500 - 5.7L 3.92 rear Quad Cab
Max Trailer 10,360lbs - then they say in the notes use 10% for tongue weight - so 1036 lbs for tongue

https://www.ramtrucks.com/assets/tow...ing_charts.pdf

The Sierra/Silverado with 5.3L and 3.73 rear, Quad Cab has a 11,000 towing capacity. 10% would be 1,100 for tongue.

https://www.chevrolet.com/content/da...ring-Guide.pdf

http://webcontent.goodsam.com/traile...wGuide2016.pdf

I'm OK with going slower if I need to. Going from east to west in the plain states I was flooring it and only going 45mph due to the head winds. I've done the Rockies and had could only do 30mph.

I've looked at the http://outdoorsrvmfg.com/creek-side/creek-side-21rbs/
It has the dry tongue weight at 540LBS. 11%
11% of 7,000 would be 770 lbs
Do you think that is accurate?
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:25 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
My 1500 Avalanche has an 8000# towing capacity with a 600# dead weight hitch rating. With a WD hitch, it has an 1100# tongue weight rating. I towed my 26' enclosed trailer three miles yesterday in some 20+ mph cross wind. It weighs 6600#'s empty. Even though I was within all the accepted parameters, I will never do it again. It's not a problem with my 3/4 ton crew cab short box duramax, but was scary in the Avalanche. That was only three miles. Can't imagine what a trip in the mountains would be like.
That does give pause for thought.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:35 PM   #19
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This is a difficult question about tongue weight to pin down. You don't get a straight answer.
Because it's easier to sell to more folks if they aren't given the full facts. In 1500 pickups, it can be more difficult to find all of the info. It's easier with the medium duty, or as the marketing fluff goes the "Heavy Duty" trucks, but sometimes it's still hard to find.

The basic rule of thumb with tongue weights is that 10-15% of the trailer weight will be tongue weight. If you want to see what you might really be up against in the real world, take the GVWR of the trailer you are interested in, and multiply by .15. That is more than likely the max tongue weight you'll get.

There are handy calculators available on the internet to see how little changes to things here and there can have an effect on towing. My favorite is the RV Tow Check calculator, because it's simple and easy to understand: RV Tow Check | Salesperson Fact Checker
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by FaithBowls View Post
If you're going full time and not worried about the money, why not a 3/4 or 1 ton? I got the Silverado 3500hd, 1 ton single rear wheel. Diesel with Allison transmission and exhaust brake. It's not only easier to tow with a big diesel but the extra brakes you get make going downhill a breeze. Just tap the brakes and your speed will be maintained. Plus if you end up with a bigger trailer you don't have to upgrade trucks.
That makes sense, you are towing a 5th wheel.
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:52 PM   #21
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That makes sense, you are towing a 5th wheel.
Just keep in mind, that because you won't be pulling a fifth wheel doesn't make that not make sense for you, too in some way. Have you ever heard anyone complain because they had too much truck? I haven't. The brakes are usually the same between 2500 and 3500 series trucks, only the axle and suspension carrying capacities are different.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:58 PM   #22
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There are handy calculators available on the internet to see how little changes to things here and there can have an effect on towing. My favorite is the RV Tow Check calculator, because it's simple and easy to understand: RV Tow Check | Salesperson Fact Checker


Is that site for fifth wheels? I put in the following

GCWR 16,200

GVWR 7,200

GVW 5,500

Gear/Cargo & Misc. 500

Driver/Passenger's Weight 300

Max Conventional Towing 6,000LBS
Tongue Weight Percentage Selector 12%

Does that seem correct?

The Silverado 1500 5.3L with max trailer package says 11,100lbs.

Why such a difference.

- See more at: RV Tow Check | Towing Capacity Calculator
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:04 PM   #23
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There is a selection box for fifth wheels under the blue section title "Additional Unscaled Weight". If you won't be towing a fifth wheel, do not check that box.

Scroll down a little further and you'll see the results under the title "Max Conventional Towing".

Yes, it does seem correct, as far as that calculator goes. Keep in mind it does not show you how your axles are loaded, and if you do not put in the actual weight of the wet and loaded for travel tow vehicle, than it is only an estimate, and your actual towing capacity may be even less once you get the tow vehicle and equip it as you like and fill the gas tank.

A little shocking to get a result like that, isn't it. What happened to the max tow numbers the truck manufacturers are trying to feed us? Where did it go? Even at a 10% tongue weight, the towing limit is 9000. That's a whopping ton under the advertisement. Are we being lied to?

Kinda feels that way if they don't tell us how we are supposed to get that 11,000 pound trailer safely behind that truck.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:10 PM   #24
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One alternative to WD hitch you might consider is Firestone or Air Lift Rear Air Helper Springs with on-board compressor, so you can adjust the air springs anywhere without the hassle of using an external air source and hose.

You may want to use a sway control solution as your TT will more than likely be heavier than your tow vehicle.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:12 PM   #25
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Automatic air leveling is very nice, but also has it's own limitations. Make sure you know what those are before you pull that trigger. You are still limited by the axle weight ratings of the truck no matter what your suspension system consists of.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:20 PM   #26
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A little shocking to get a result like that, isn't it. What happened to the max tow numbers the truck manufacturers are trying to feed us? Where did it go? Even at a 10% tongue weight, the towing limit is 9000. That's a whopping ton under the advertisement. Are we being lied to?

Kinda feels that way if they don't tell us how we are supposed to get that 11,000 pound trailer safely behind that truck.
Also the trailer mfg aren't telling the whole truth. The trailer I'm looking at Creekside 21RBS is listed under their 'half ton series' - pull able by half ton truck.

I have some more to chew on.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:31 PM   #27
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The Silverado/Sierra 1500 (at least for 2015) has a 7600 GVWR with the max tow package. That package adds 400lbs to the rear axle and payload ratings.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:40 PM   #28
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I have a little different situation, but I learned quickly what to do. I have a crew cab 3/4 ton 2WD Duramax that we keep in AZ. Also have a 1500 4X4 Avalanche here in WI. I want to eliminate one of them , because each one sits for six months while we are at one place or the other. We like the Avalanche better, so wanted to sell the pickup and just tow the Avalanche back and forth with the motor home. Then use the Avalanche to pull the trailer short distances in AZ as needed. It only took that three mile trip to convince me that I will need a 3/4 ton "4X4" to replace both and still have a truck that can be towed. That's not what I preferred, but is the only safe way to end up with one truck and one less ins policy.

To "dexters", The trailer you are going to buy probably won't be the last. My advise is to stop trying to find a way to justify getting by with a 1/2 ton truck and just get an HD 3/4 ton that will handle this trailer and the next larger one with ease and a good safety margin. After your first trip through the west, you'll be glad you did.
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