Originally Posted by Jhuff8181
I have a 2005 Chevy Suburban with a towing package.
The problem with the Suburban is you can either haul a load of passengers and gear, or tow a tandem-axle trailer that grosses up to around 6,000 pounds, but not both at the same time without being overloaded.
So your first step is to determine how much unused payload capacity you have available for hitch weight, divide that available hitch weight by 0.15 and the answer is the maximum GVWR of any TT you should consider.
To determine how much unused payload capacity you have available for hitch weight, load the SUV with all the people, pets, tools, spare parts and anything else that will be in the SUV when towing. Drive to a truck stop that has a truck scale or CAT scale and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded SUV, including driver. Add 50 pounds to that weight if you didn't include the weight-distributing hitch head when you weighed the SUV.
Subtract that wet and loaded weight from the GVWR of the Suburban. (The GVWR is on the door sticker, where the tire info is located). The answer is the maximum hitch weight you can have without overloading the Suburban.
Properly loaded and set up TTs will have about 12% to 15% hitch weight. So use 15% to reduce the probability that you'll be overloaded when on the road. And don't play the game of using dry trailer weight or dry hitch weight for any estimates. Use the GVWR of the trailer as the probable weight of the TT, and 15% of the GVWR as the probable wet and loaded hitch weight after you've been on a few camping trips.
How hard is it to refurbish a camper?
The "trailer" part is no harder than refurbishing an old car. The "house" part is no harder than refurbishing a house. But you cannot use Home Depot or Lowe's for replacement parts and appliances. RV stuff is different, so you have to buy almost everything from an RV supply source, such as Camping World or ETrailer.com. Plumbing is plumbing, so if you can fix the plumbing in your house then you can fix it in an RV, but the pipes and connections and fixtures will probably be special RV stuff. Delta faucets from Lowe's will NOT
be a bolt-in replacement for the faucet in your RV. Electrical is electrical, but RVs have only a little 120 volt AC and a lot of 12 volt DC, so you have to be able to handle the 6-volt stuff as well as the 120 volt stuff.
Appliances are usually special RV appliances, so if the AC or water heater or furnace goes out you have to replace it with an RV unit which Home Depot doesn't carry. My house is heated with propane, so I'm familiar with a propane furnace and water heater. But unless you live in the sticks, propane is probably new to you. It's similar to - but not the same as - natural gas. But it's no "harder" to work on or replace than natural gas plumbing and appliances in your home.