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Old 08-12-2018, 07:52 PM   #1
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What size travel trailer for GMC 1500

I'm wanting to purchase a truck and trailer. I'm wanting to get either a gmc 1500 crew cab with 5.3 or a ford f150 crew cab with 3.5 EcoBoost. I'm also am looking at a travel trailer that's almost 30 foot long, including tongue. The trailer has a unloaded weight of 5500 lbs and around 7500 lbs loaded. I will probably not have over 1000 lbs of personal stuff in the trailer. Will the 1/2 ton truck do ok pulling this without too much sway or should I have a 3/4 ton. I want a 1/2 ton for the ride and fuel economy when I'm not towing. Thanks for your help.

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Old 08-12-2018, 09:59 PM   #2
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For a 7500 lb TT you would have to choose the right F150 or 1500 GM.

Your gonna' need a truck with around 2000 lb of usable payload in the bed (over the rear axle).
Fords has several GVWR and RAWR packages for the F150.
F150HDPP at 7850 gvwr and 4800 rawr good for around 2300-2400 lbs in the bed
or a F150 7550 gvwr and 4550 rawr good for maybe 2000-2300 lbs in the bed..
And of course the 3.5EB engine should get some great mpgs when not towing.

GM 1500 with the NHT tow package comes with a 6.2 420hp/460 torque 8 speed 3.73 gears 7600 gvwr and a 4300 rawr. Most come with a 2000-2200 lb payload sticker.

And of course Ford and GM market lessor 1/2 ton trucks ie. 6800-7000 lb gvwr and tiny 3800/3900 rawr...and even smaller.

Gotta' have the right package for a 7500 lb trailer.

I doubt the 5.3 or 6.2 will get the mpgs the 3.5EB Ford gets.

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Old 08-12-2018, 11:16 PM   #3
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Of the two trucks the F-150 3.5 Eco-Boost will be more powerful and probably a better tow vehicle. Chevy will have a redesigned 1500 in a few months with a longer wheelbase and will be bigger which is good but will have basically the same engines.

Now, you should not discount the Ram. It was redesigned in 2019 and is a very nice truck. The 5.7 hemi is a powerful engine. The truck, as an option can come with air suspension and Ram Box. Both very nice features.

One truck that you should consider to tow a trailer with a GVWR 7,500lbs is the Nissan Titan XD. The Titan XD is a nitch truck that is between 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton.

Watching YouTube Fast Lane Truck tests they said the Titan XD controlled the trailer better than the 1/2 ton trucks.

Oh, the 3/4 ton trucks are also nice. The F-250 or Chevy/Ram 2500 and would handle that trailer easy and would allow the next bigger trailer. But the fuel economy of these trucks is not good.

Good luck, trying to pick a truck is not easy.
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:45 PM   #4
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You're asking for problems getting into that size. Not only have you got to get that load moving but you have to control it and stop it once you do. And a 150/1500 is going to be hard pressed. There are folks who are gonna say the 3.5 EB tows their 40', 10K lb TT like a dream, but that motor is still in a 1/2 ton pickup. You'll also run out of payload capacity on the TV quick. And don't use the "I'll pack light" plan, eventually every nook and cranny will have stuff in it. Plan on towing with the TT at max weight. If you get to the point where you are having to decide on if you can carry the camp chair or the umbrella but not both, you shorted yourself on the TV. I'm not an advocate of pulling a pop-up with a duelly, just don't cut it that close just to have a comfortable "daily driver".
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:49 PM   #5
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If you are talking about buying a new truck FTL just posted to YouTube a mini test of the 2019 1500 Silverado. I am thinking that new redesigned truck would tow better than the 2018 truck. The new truck is 300 lbs lighter with a stiffer high strength steel frame. It has best in class bed capcity. With the 2019 having a longer wheelbase it will control the trailer better.

But the headlights are ones that you do not like...buy I kinda like them ok.
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:30 PM   #6
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Hello Gbing, If its 5,500 dry it will most commonly be 6,500 camp ready. That is comfortably in modern 1/2 platform capability. You are not asking for any problems in only towing that weight or even 7k. Use a WDH with a one time set up by scale results it will handle that TT with stability and stop safely per manufacturer. Also again using WDH it should not exceed any weight limits. Though nice you should't need any non standard axle or payload capacity special order truck. The Ford with 3.5 EB will power that up any grade comfortably. The GM 5.3 you would want the 3.73 axle or better the 6.2 when towing mountain grades.

Sway is first controlled by setting up your WDH / TV & TT to a proper tongue weight percentage. You need between 10 & 15% tongue weight ideally around 12.5%. This is of the camp ready TT weight. When using a WDH (Mfg recommended over 5k) tongue weight is no longer static weight but rather becomes dynamic weight IE spread between the steer, drive, and TT axles. Its calculated by subtracting your unloaded truck weight from the combined axle weight of your loaded truck as seen on a CAT scale. Divide that number into the gross trailer weight for the tongue weight percentage. Secondarily sway is controlled by a WDH with built in sway control. Further most if not all of the manufacturers now have sway control built into their trucks brake systems but this is an after the fact damage control type thing.

fwiw for after you have acquired both truck & trailer CAT has a free app for your phone that has a locator addresses and GPS directions. They now cover the map. Cost is normally $12 & $2 per additional weigh. So for under $20 you can set your rig up to tow your family with stability & safety and legally with a slip to prove it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:03 PM   #7
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I have a '14 silverado with the 5.3 and 3.42 gears while my dad has a '14 f150 with ecoboost and 3.73 gears. Unloaded daily driving the chevy rides nicer and gets better fuel mileage. The f150 will leave the chevy behind everytime loaded or not but will not pass a gas station towing. I have used both to tow a 31' trailer. The f150 was forced into the next lane over by the trailer while the chevy experienced pretty bad sway. Both trucks pulled the 7500lb weight just fine but when the long length started to swing i wanted a 3/4ton.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:14 PM   #8
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When looking at trucks look at the drivers side door sticker. Pick the truck with the higher cargo capacity.

I was very surprised when I was looking. Two trucks that look the same to the naked eye, one had 1,500 lbs. cargo capacity and one had 1,800 lbs cargo capacity. You can not see the axle ratio.

Again if buying a brand new truck they will all be very nice and drive like a big luxury car. Fast Lane Truck (FTL) said how quiet the Chevy 1500 5.3 was.

If you have a nose bleed budget I read the 2019 Ford F-150 Limited truck will have the souped up 3.5 eco-boost from the 2018 Ford Raptor. I just checked. It will have 450HP and 510 ft lbs. torque. More torque is great when towing.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:47 AM   #9
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Cheeto2 good first post. The 3.5TT does seem to drink hard pulling. Most people don't like the 5.3 3.42 pulling 7,500 up any grade or into any wind. 30' floorplan is kind of a more sketchy length for a halfer especially when put with some weight. But with especially proper steer & tongue weight and a WDH with built in sway control should not be anything that sways or gets pushed by semi. Well pushed as a unit is one thing pushed into a wiggle is another. If you didn't set these numbers that was where the issue lied. Certainly the heavier stiffer HD is less sensitive and better suited at this length as a dedicated tower.

tuffer2 Set to 12.5% a 6,500 pound trailer puts 812 pounds of tongue weight on his truck. Shouldn't smash it to the ground. But lets play devils advocate. Say the trailer ended up being 7,000 and he set it up tongue heavy to 15% thats 1,050 which would still leave him below GVWR. Just wouldn't leave him legal room for a golf cart in the bed.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:02 AM   #10
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7500 is well within limits of the right late model half ton trucks but 30 is starting to get a bit long for my tastes. Just make sure all the weights check out (but you knew that, right?)

Most days it will probably be fine. Realize, however, that there will be days where you'll just have to park it and wait out the wind. There will be days like that with any RV but fewer as your rig gets better matched.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by gbing View Post
...The trailer has a unloaded weight of 5500 lbs and around 7500 lbs loaded. I will probably not have over 1000 lbs of personal stuff in the trailer.
Does your 1000lbs of personal stuff include the water, propane and batteries? Personally, 2 30lb propane tanks + 66gal fresh water + 2 6V batteries gives us at least 80lbs propane and tanks, ~550lbs wanter + ~120lbs battery means we've already added 750lbs to the dry weight before we add so much as a plastic fork...
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Old 08-17-2018, 10:21 AM   #12
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Anyone see a 2019 Chevy 1500 in person yet? I have not.

I am reading they are sprinkling onto dealer lots now and are 450lbs lighter than the 2018.

With a stronger frame I am thinking the GVWR and Occupant / cargo capacity should, in theory increase by 450 lbs. If that is the case the occupant / cargo capacity should be between 1,800 and 2,100 lbs.

That should provide plenty of capacity to tow your 7,000lb trailer.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:38 PM   #13
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My 1500 pulls 5500# loaded. It is all I would care to tow. I believe you would be better serve with a 2500, diesel if possible. That will certainly be my next truck.
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:25 AM   #14
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I towed my 5,500lb trailer with a F-150. I thought that was a nice combo and the F-150 could have towed more. This was a 2011, since then 2015 was a slightly bigger truck so maybe 6,500 could be towed comfortably.

Comfortably means the truck can control the trailer. The longer wheelbase helps. The truck will know it is towing. MPG will drop from 19 to 9.5 mpg. You will feel the truck suspension being taxed. Towing is not driving solo. I started with boats so I knew kinda what to expect except for the sway and WD hitch set-up. Boats do not need WD or sway control.

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