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Old 07-21-2005, 04:46 AM   #1
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Hello,

I am new to the TT world and want to make sure we are not getting in over our heads....

I have a 2005 GMC 1500 Crew Cab Z71 TV. We are looking at the Forest River Surveyor SV-291 (GVW 5747) and SV-261T (GVW 5173). I'm a little concerned that the length of the SV-291 is more than my truck can handle. The weights for both are well under my tow limits (7100 lbs).

The wheelbase of the TV is 136". I remember seeing a "rule of thumb" about wheelbase vs. trailer length long ago, but can't seem to locate it again.

Opinions?

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2005, 04:46 AM   #2
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Hello,

I am new to the TT world and want to make sure we are not getting in over our heads....

I have a 2005 GMC 1500 Crew Cab Z71 TV. We are looking at the Forest River Surveyor SV-291 (GVW 5747) and SV-261T (GVW 5173). I'm a little concerned that the length of the SV-291 is more than my truck can handle. The weights for both are well under my tow limits (7100 lbs).

The wheelbase of the TV is 136". I remember seeing a "rule of thumb" about wheelbase vs. trailer length long ago, but can't seem to locate it again.

Opinions?

Thanks!
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:07 AM   #3
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Good that you are loking into the weight/length issue before you take the plunge. The 7100# tow rating is based on a base model, 2-wheel drive truck, no options, no hitch, no cargo and only a 150# driver. So for every pound you increase the weight over the base weight, you reduced the towing capacity by the same amount. It is also based on a vehhicle with the proper tow package.

As a rule-of-thumb, use a max of 80% of the tow rating for a loaded trailer weight that you can pull. With a 1/2 ton truck, you will probably max out with a 25 or 26' trailer.

Look for a post by Ken Lenger and he has some good towing info in the links in his signature.

Have fun,

Ken
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:16 AM   #4
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I agree with what Ken said. In my real world experience, IMHO that to be real comfortable & safe I would stay under about 20' with a 1/2T TV (with LT tires)maybe with the exception of some ultralites. I have towed with a car, 1/2T, 3/4T, and now a 1T dually towing from 13' to 28' TTs. When I got a 3/4T for the 17', boy what an improvement. Then I towed a 23' (5600 GVWR) W/3/4T. I would NOT want to tow it with a 1/2T. When we got our present TT we had a 3/4T Dodge CTD. It towed & handled well. After getting 1T I could see where I had some close calls )stopping, corners etc.) Semis would push it around some so was always watching for that. Now I don't have that problem. My advice is if you want a big TT get a big TV. It will pay in the end in many ways. I know there are people that will dispute what I think and that is alright but that is my experience and I will stand by it.
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:40 AM   #5
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CD,

I'm leaning more towards the 261 which is 27' closed. It is within about 80% of the TV vehicle's trailering rating.

Is your concern more from the weight of the TT pushing the truck or something else?

Thanks
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:09 AM   #6
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I don't want to rain on your parade if what you want to do will work for you but if you get into a situation that you can't control it will be too late. If you haven't looked at it yet scroll down this group of posts and look at "5th Wheel Involved in Fatal Crash on I5" then follow the links to see the pictures. I can't say that this was an overload situation or not but towing a big 3 axle 5th. with a F250 seems a bit much to me. (I read the F250 on the truck on a news clip) I think what may have happened was he locked up the brakes, the 5th. turned the PU crossways and it was all over. A witness said on TV that the PU was going backwards as it crossed the median. Back to you, IMHO there is too much chance for the tail waging the dog with a 1/2T. If you have any way to do it try towing something the size & weight(loaded) you are looking at with your TV then borrow a friends 3/4T. & tow with that. (on the highway at highway speeds and make some hard stops.) Good Luck
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:01 PM   #7
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CD,

Thanks for the input. Though I am still a young 30 years old, I have learned that experience is much better than book knowledge. Your honest opinion is appreciated.

Here is the setup I was contemplating:

2005 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab Z71 w/ HD tow package
2005 SV-261T (w/brakes obviously)
Prodigy Brake Controller
Equalizer system

Unfortunately I just recently purchased the 1500 because we were not looking at new trailers. I don't think I could get into a 3/4 ton right now.

BTW, I had read the post about the accident involving the 5th wheel. I too agree that it seemed too much for the vehicle.

Later
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:10 PM   #8
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Looks like you are on the right track with the hitch etc. My understanding is the Hensley Arrow hitch (and another one which I can't remember the name) will really stabilize your setup but is rather spendy. Since I was talking more in general and not about your specific rigs I will step back and let someone else address what you are looking at. When I was about your age I was towing a 15' TT W/large Ford car (large by todays standard). I thought everything was great but a 300 mile day would flat wear me out. I later realised I had to drive it every sec.
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:35 PM   #9
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My experiance with towing a TT with 1/2 ton truck. A few years ago I towed a 29' Sunline TT, somewhere in the low 5K pond weight range, don't recall exactly, with a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab long bed 2wd. I had the reese dual cam weight distributing hitch/sway control. I never experianced any "white knuckle" driving, much less any sway. I had no problems stopping. I towed this trailer for about a year. I then upgraded to a Rockwood ultra lite 5th wheel, and honestly can say I didn't notice much difference in the handling. I think there are a lot of capable 1/2 ton trucks out there as lng as you stay within their abilities. With a trailer within the weight ratings of the truck, and a proper hitch setup, a 29' trailer can be handled safely by a 1/2 ton truck.
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Old 08-11-2005, 03:14 PM   #10
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I pull a 26'9 TT that weighs about 5100 max wet, the way I load it. I pull it with a loaded Tahoe LT with Autoride System (book says it will pull 7700 hahaha). I have an Equalizer and I switched out the tires on the Tahoe. The Tahoe has been upgraded with a Chip, Gibson Exhaust,and K&N Cool Air Intake. I have never had any problems whatsoever with this rig.Been in high winds, steep hills and rain. I own two F350's, two 3/4 Chevs, a 3/4 ton GMC, and a 3500 in my company. I have been pulling Trailers (goosenecks, heavy constuction etc) most of my life for something or another. You can pull a TT with a half ton. Just keep the weight at 80% posted and you will be fine. Good Luck that 1/2 ton is fine, just watch your tow ratings.
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