Originally Posted by jjdauzat
My employer is allowing me to us my work truck to pull a camper(I don't have a personal truck), the problem is it is a 2015 Chevy 1/2ton 5.3L with 3.08 gears.
There are two important weight ratings for your truck to determine the max weight of any trailer you can tow without being overloaded.
GCWR is the gross combined weight rating, which is the max combined weight of truck and trailer. Subtract the weight of the truck and the answer is the "tow rating", or the max trailer weight you can tow without overheating anything in the drivetrain, and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on grades such as hills and mountain passes.
GVWR is the gross vehicle weight rating, which is the max weight you can have on the axles of the truck without overloading the components of the truck, such as suspension, tires, wheels and brakes. GVWR minus the weight of the wet and loaded truck is the max payload capacity available for hitch weight.
GM (and Ram and Ford) says you should never exceed either the GCWR or the GVWR of the tow vehicle.
Almost always, the tow vehicle can PULL
more trailer than it can carry
the hitch weight of that trailer. So GVWR and not GCWR is almost always the limiter as to how heavy a trailer you can tow without being overloaded.
Specs for a 2014 1500 regular cab 4x2 with 5.3 engine, 3.08 axle, 8' bed
Max tow rating 6,500 pounds
GVWR 6,800 pounds
Here are the specs for a 2014, which didn't change for 2015:
2014 Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Specifications
The tow rating is max, and assumes a pickup with absolutely no options or weight in the pickup. For the actual tow rating for your wet and loaded pickup you must weigh the wet and loaded pickup with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing, including the weight-distributing hitch and a full tank of gas. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded pickup from the GCWR of that pickup and the answer is the max gross trailer weight you can tow without exceeding the GCWR.
But GCWR is probably not your limiter. GVWR is probably the limiter, so hitch weight and weight in the pickup are the controllable variables to not exceed the GVWR. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR and the answer is the max payload capacity available for hitch weight. Divide that max payload capacity available for hitch weight by 0.13 (13%) and the answer is the max GVWR of any TT you want to tow with that pickup.
So #6500 is max with wife and 2 young kids I was looking at something like a Grey wolf 26bh (~#4600 dry).
No. 6,500 is the max trailer weight with absolutely nothing in the pickuo except a full tank of gas and a skinny driver. No wife and kids or anything else. No tools or campfire wood. No options on the truck, such as a bed rug or tonneau cover or camper shell.
And ignore the so-called dry weight of the trailer. You won't be towing a dry trailer. If you don't want to be overloaded when all loaded up and ready to go camping, then use the GVWR of the trailer as the probable weight of the wet and loaded trailer. If the specs don't include GVWR of the trailer, then add the CCC (cargo carrying capacity) of the trailer to the dry weight to get GVWR.
The Grey Wolf 26BH has GVWR of 7595. You can expect to load it up to around 7,000 pounds for a camping trip. With 13% tongue weight, that's 910 pounds tongue weight. Add at least 90 pounds for a good WD hitch and your total hitch weight is 1,000 pounds or more. Does your wet and loaded pickup have 1,000 pounds of payload capacity available for hitch weight? I doubt it.
Myg wife likes having a dinette and a couch, so 26ft(29 overall) is about as small as I can go.
Any TT with a 26' box is going to overload your tow vehicle.
My half-ton pickup has GVWR of 7,100, and I'm barely overloaded with my 19' box TT that grosses only 4,870 pounds with 650 pounds tongue weight when wet and loaded on the road. That's loaded with wife, two dogs, toolbox, bed rug and camper shell, with running boards, tailgate step and bed steps.
If you must buy a used camper trailer, then I suspect you'll be very lucky to find a normal TT with 24' or 26' box that will meet your wants without overloading your pickup. My Nomad 19.5S is perfect for two old folks and two dogs, but it doesn't have a couch. DW insisted on a walk-around bed, large closet, and bathtub/shower that didn't require her to sit on the pottie to take a shower. It has "everything" including dinette, microwave, hot water and AC, but no slide and not much room to rattle around inside the camper. Two small kids could sleep on the dinette, but that's a hassle.
So I suspect (assuming you don't want to be overloaded with your precious family with you) you'll be limited to a nice pop-up trailer. Forest River (the same folks that make the Grey Wolf) have nice roomy pop-ups with GVWR less than 4,000 pounds with everything you need for comfortable camping, including hot-water shower and AC. For example at this link, the UVC+CCC is 3,263 pounds, so tongue weight would be only 425 pounds. Surely you can limit the weight in the truck so you would have 425 pounds of payload capacity available for tongue weight.
Flagstaff Tent Folding Camping Trailers by Forest River RV
All the years my kids were growing up, we had a Wheel Camper pop-up camping trailer. We went everywhere from Maine to California and Seattle to Key West with that camper. Fond memories. But when I retired and the kids were gone, I graduated to a small 5er towed with an F-250 diesel. Then 10 years later we decided we didn't need that much camper, so we bought the Nomad 196.5S and my current tow vehicle.