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Old 04-10-2014, 10:38 AM   #1
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Need help, all thoughts welcomed

Not going full time till next spring, but would still like your thoughts.

Have a Silverado 2003. Will have about 140,000 miles on it by then. Its in good shape, has tow package, 5.3 4x4 z71. Do you think this would pull a 26 to 30ft travel trailer?

Really would like a class C, but dont know if the money will be there by then.

I would like all thoughts on the travel trailer and our TV. We want to do this full time. The paper work says we can pull up to 9500 lbs, so what size TT would we have the best luck with? Thank You
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:45 AM   #2
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Realistically unless you are a hard core minimalist just about anything you can safely pull with your 1500 is going to be so small you will be off the road really quick.
Most full timers tend to load more than necessary into their RV so loading and overloading becomes a real issue that needs to be dealt with often.
Get at a minimum a 2500HD. But first go out shopping and find trailers you can live comfortable in. Then using the trailers GVWR numbers look for a suitable vehicle to handle it. 1 ton SRW would be your best choice, 3/4 ton can do the job if your careful.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:50 AM   #3
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When you are calculating all need to leave yourself room in your gross weight for all the "stuff" you will put in the trailer. I think you can look at a 28-29 footer in the lite weight class. You are looking at about a gross weight of 6600 pounds. That will give you room to explore options...remember you have 5th wheel units too.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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6,600# is a good starting empty weight. You will add enough to quickly reach the 1500 's limit. That is the exact truck I had. My trailer is 27' long but is a toyhauler and I reached 9,400# quickly. I traded to get a 2500 and I would be near the limit for them except I got a diesel which has a higher limit than the gas versions.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:50 AM   #5
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We had a comparable truck and pulled a 25' TT. We wanted to go bigger and thought we could but were nervous. I think (from all my research and experience) anything larger than 26' and of course the weight is the most important will be tough. Maybe do what we did and made do with the 25 foot until we could buy a motorhome.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:49 AM   #6
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Don't ever think of a class C. Use what you have and a decent trailer. Don't go to light a trailer neither.

A good used Diesel 2500 and a 5th wheel might be way ahead of any class C when the time comes.
Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
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Old 05-31-2014, 01:30 AM   #7
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Had a heavy 35' (12,200 loaded) 5er 2003 & Diesel dully 2003 (12,000) and the match was right at the limit. Very very careful for 10 years, always had weight, mountains, road conditions first consideration for destinations.

Went to 2014 MUCH lighter 35' (8,500 loaded) TT & 2500HD 2014 (4.10)(13,000). MUCH less stress towing, go anywhere, GOOD margin of safety. Way simpler to maintain, way simpler to drive, wife can pull the TT which makes it easier on me (was afraid for her to pull the 5er because you had to be on top of your driving every second).

Basically, find the RV, assume MAXIMUM weight, give yourself a margin of safety, find the tow vehicle, AND DO NOT BELIEVE ANY SALESMEN ABOUT WHAT WILL TOW WHAT. The CVGW, Tow package limits, placarded weight restrictions on the truck are THE only thing that will stand up in a court of law.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:42 AM   #8
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I know its not the same, but both my husband and I are truck drivers. We are used to cramped quarters, but not sure on the tow vehicle. We do have a lot of miles on it, but it has been taken care of. Do you think this can be done?
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:08 AM   #9
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The answer is probably but you may not love the combination. OTOH when weather makes the driving hairy you are retired and can park and wait it out. Ditto traffic. When you are looking at trailers pay attention to height. Depending on the model and manufacturer the height goes up a foot in that range. You do not need that foot with that truck.

Be aware that there is a very vociferous group here that does not do minimalist. Pick what floats your boat to live in your style. There are others here like that too. There is a point in that you need enough room to live in a style you find acceptable. They would not be happy in the cabin in the woods that I would find ideal. Think about what you really want when picking your unit. Expect the first one to be a learning experience.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #10
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Caissiel, for a dummy like me, could you explain your comment about the class "C"? I don't know squat about them except I saw a whole bunch of them (mostly rentals) when we went west to Az and Utah this spring.

I have been considering the OP's situation, which is not unique by any means. I have seen in my short time pulling a travel trailer, a lot of the older body style Chevy trucks pulling reasonably sized trailers, and they seem to handle them ok. I originally thought when we started looking at TTs that I could find one to pull behind our beloved '01 Tahoe, but soon found out that 6500 just wouldn't cut it for the size trailer we settled on.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:26 PM   #11
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If you are comfortable with the truck, then fill the gas tank, put the DW and any pets in it and go to your local truck scales and get the weight of the truck. Look on the drivers door or door post for the GVWR and the GAWR front and rear. the GVWR minus the truck weight = the maximum hitch weight that you can have. The GCWR from the owners manual minus the truck weight = the maximum trailer weight.
Once you have these numbers the hitch weight is 12 to 15% of the trailer weight, always use the GVWR of the truck and trailer when figuring weights, unless you are using the actual scale weight. Now you know the maximum GVWR of the trailer you can tow, from here pick a floor plan that the DW likes and you are good to go.
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