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Old 08-02-2016, 06:07 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Question

I am planning to become a solo RVer in the near future. I don't yet have my rig or tow vehicle although I think I have found the trailer model suitable for me. It would be 34' in length. The weight is rated at about 7000 lbs. I am also going to purchase a new truck for towing. I was thinking about a Chevy Silverado 1500 with hitch, electrical, and tow packages. The model I have been researching is rated to pull about 9500. I am looking for any recommendations or advice. Wondering if I should spend the extra and get a 2500 or something else entirely. I currently own a 1500 as a second vehicle. I have had it for 22 years and it has been very reliable. Used it to pull a 26' sailboat with no special packages and no problems.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:23 PM   #2
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Good luck with your purchases and adventures! You mentioned the new rig will be 7,000lbs. Is that the GVWR (aka maximum) or the empty weight? If 7k is the max, a Chevy rated for 9500 will tie it just fine. If that is the minimum you might be at your limits. Either way, if you don't have the truck yet and plan to do a lot of towing/traveling, the 2500 will make a much better towing experience. Everyone here will advise getting the bigger truck. My next truck will be a 2500 or F250, even though my F150 is rated for and able to tow my 8,300lb Jayco. It works, but I know it's there. I've towed it from Ohio to New York and down to Gatlinburg, TN and the truck worked fine. Best of luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:30 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for your advice! The 7000 is the empty weight. The GVWR on the specs I'm looking at just says "to be determined". I'm sure I can find something more precise but I'm leaning toward digging a little deeper into the reserves or saving a little longer and going for the 2500.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:36 PM   #4
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Thanks so much for your advice! The 7000 is the empty weight. The GVWR on the specs I'm looking at just says "to be determined". I'm sure I can find something more precise but I'm leaning toward digging a little deeper into the reserves or saving a little longer and going for the 2500.

Empty weight is one of the biggest kiss I the RV industry.

7k empty will be 8k by the time it gets to the dealer, and over 9k wet. Get the bigger truck.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:10 AM   #5
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Empty weight is one of the biggest kiss I the RV industry.

7k empty will be 8k by the time it gets to the dealer, and over 9k wet. Get the bigger truck.
I agree! Have fun!
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:26 AM   #6
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The model I have been researching is rated to pull about 9500. ...

The 7000 is the empty weight. The GVWR on the specs I'm looking at just says "to be determined". I'm sure I can find something more precise but I'm leaning toward digging a little deeper into the reserves or saving a little longer and going for the 2500.
The GVWR of the trailer will be the empty weight plus the cargo carrying capacity (CCC or CC) in the specs. The wet and loaded hitch weight will be about 13% of the GVWR of the trailer.

The 9,500 tow rating of the pickup is wildly overstated. It assumes no options on the truck and nothing in the truck but a skinny driver. So subtract about 1,000 pounds from the tow rating to get the real world maximum trailer weight you can PULL without overheating anything in the drivetrain and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on hills and mountain passes.

But half-ton pickups can PULL a lot heavier trailer than they can HAUL the hitch weight of that trailer without exceeding the payload capacity of the truck. Payload capacity, not tow rating, is your limiter.

Payload capacity available for hitch weight is the GVWR of the truck minus the wet and loaded weight of the pickup ready to hook up and go, including driver, passengers, pets, tools, jack(s), options such as tonneau cover and bed rug, campfire wood, the weight-distributing hitch required for any trailer that grosses more than about 4,000 pounds, and whatever else you might haul in the truck when towing.

For example, my half ton pickup has tow rating of 8,000 pounds, but I'm overloaded over the payload capacity of my truck with my TT that weighs less than 5,000 pounds when wet and loaded on the road. Just me and Darling Wife, a 40-pound Border Collie and a 9-pound Chihuahua.

Unless you get a very special GM 1500 pickup with GVWR around 8,000 pounds, you're probably going to be overloaded with any trailer that weighs 7,000 pounds dry. The trailer will probably weigh over 8,000 pounds wet and loaded for the road, and the tongue weight (TW) will be about 1,040 pounds. That 1,040 pounds of tongue weight will eat up a big chunk of the available payload capacity of the truck.

I'd say forgetabout a half-ton pickup for that trailer. Go for the 2500 or F-250, and even then pay attention to weight limits. The CAT scale is your friend. Use it and don't tow with an overloaded tow vehicle.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:18 PM   #7
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We have a Chevy 1500 Z71 and pull a 272 Vibe that is 6500 lbs and 34 ft bumper to hitch. We pull on flat ground in Louisiana and has plenty of power. Had to get an e2 hitch to keep the wind from pushing the trailer around in strong winds or passing semis. We pull it at 65 mph on interstate 10 to Texas and does fine but you know it's there.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:29 AM   #8
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We have a Chevy 1500 Z71 and pull a 272 Vibe that is 6500 lbs and 34 ft bumper to hitch. .... We pull it at 65 mph on interstate 10 to Texas and does fine but you know it's there.
But how much overloaded are you over the payload capacity of the wet and loaded truck when on the road. Guessing, or looking at the rig, won't answer the question. You have to weigh the rig on a CAT scale and subtract the weight on the front and rear axles of the truck from the GVWR of the truck.

My F-150 would also pull that trailer just fine, but it would be overloaded by several hundred pounds over the GVWR of the half-ton pickup.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:35 AM   #9
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printed spec's on trailer are Sales numbers.. NOT Real weight..


both of my trailer tags say 7,500 pounds.. but my trailer Empty is 8,300..


Scaled at 2 different Cat Scale stations. good thing I have an F 250 6.2L Gas.
so last Winter trip.. truck/trailer/motorcycle/stuff was 17,000 pounds. scaled.
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:38 AM   #10
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OP, you said maybe saving a little bit longer for the 2500 pickup as opposed to the 1500. Honesty if buying new there's not much difference depending on options. If you go gas in the 2500 then you maybe pay about $800 more according to GM when comparing a short bed 4x4 sierra package. In the life of a loan that's hardly anything per month. If buying used, I don't think there's really much difference other than the 2500 maybe being a little more "used" because it probably was. A yow vehicle rather than a grocery getter. Down here in Texas you can get the 2500 dirt cheap but most likely it'll be white and from the oil field
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:04 PM   #11
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No one ever complained about having to much truck!

If 7K is the empty weight, you really should be looking at the 3/4 ton trucks.
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:07 AM   #12
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Another vote for the bigger truck. (2500) You won't regret it.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #13
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You need to go ahead and step up to a 3/4 ton truck. The 1500 or 1/2 ton truck will not make for a pleasant towing experience.

pay attention to Smokey.

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Old 08-15-2016, 08:53 PM   #14
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Thanks so much for your advice! The 7000 is the empty weight. The GVWR on the specs I'm looking at just says "to be determined". I'm sure I can find something more precise but I'm leaning toward digging a little deeper into the reserves or saving a little longer and going for the 2500.
LOL...looks like the weight police are at it again.
As far as the 1500 GM truck it all depends on which options the 1500 truck has.
GMs NHT package is a 7600 GVWR with 4400 RAWR.....high country.....4wd ....crew cab....8 speed.....2267 lb payload.....11900 lb tow.....6.2 gas 420hp/460 torque.
There is no 1000 lbs deductions for options as one poster like to throw around. The 11900 tow rating is with all the options for the high country package.

We know the trailers dry weight but the CCC is missing. However a 7k dry trailer may weigh in the 8k-8.5k range after loading and may have a GVWR up to 10k
. You need to contract the trailer maker for actual numbers especially with a 1500 GM truck.

Your looking at a trailer close to the 9k-10k gvwr numbers. GMs 2500..... 6.0 engine .....3.73 or 4.10 gears..... is also a good choice.
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