Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Yet another what can I tow question
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 > Yet another what can I tow question

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Lwiddis

Mojave, Kern County, California

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Posted: 01/04/20 03:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“I doubt we'll travel much further than 4 hours away from our home location which is Columbia,..”

Nothing bad will happen within 4 hours of home no matter how overloaded you are. And nothing heats up that close to home either...tires, hubs, brakes, engines, transmissions etc. You are good at any weight!


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GrandpaKip

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Posted: 01/05/20 10:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigcolasc wrote:

This will be my first TT and I just don't want to have white knuckle rides. I'll have the whole family loaded in the truck and I just want to be safe. I doubt we'll travel much further than 4 hours away from our home location which is Columbia, South Carolina (smack dab in the middle of the state). We'll probably hit the mountains of NC or the beaches of SC mostly.

Looking at a few campers with a UVW of 5,500.

You really need to look at the Gross Weight Rating, not the unloaded. Lots of us here have found out that figure has no basis in reality.
For example, our trailer’s brochure weight was around 3500#, the sticker from the factory was 3820#, and 4150# when I ran it over the CAT scales on the way home. The Gross Weight Rating is 6000# and always will be.


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bigcolasc

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Posted: 01/05/20 05:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

But isn't GWR subjective based on how much a person loads down the trailer?

Doesn't it represent the maximum the trailer can be loaded down to?

GrandpaKip

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Posted: 01/06/20 08:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigcolasc wrote:

But isn't GWR subjective based on how much a person loads down the trailer?
Not really. It’s the max the trailer should weigh and not weigh more.

Doesn't it represent the maximum the trailer can be loaded down to?

Yes.
Worst case scenario: You load the trailer to its max, then take 13% of that for an optimal tongue weight. Theoretically, that will be the highest tongue weight you will have, though you can go to 15%.
That tongue weight figure will come off your payload.
Say you are looking at a camper that maxes out at 7000#.
13% of 7000 is 910.
That would be the max optimal tongue weight.
Say your truck has a payload of 1800#.
1800 - 910= 890
That leaves you with 890 for passengers, their stuff, whatever else is in the bed, and the weight of the weight distribution hitch (most figure about 100#).
Using the GWR gives you a max figure for your truck’s payload. To me, this is the easiest method to get an idea of what campers you can pull safely with your truck.

Grit dog

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Posted: 01/06/20 09:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bigcolasc wrote:

This will be my first TT and I just don't want to have white knuckle rides. I'll have the whole family loaded in the truck and I just want to be safe. I doubt we'll travel much further than 4 hours away from our home location which is Columbia, South Carolina (smack dab in the middle of the state). We'll probably hit the mountains of NC or the beaches of SC mostly.

Looking at a few campers with a UVW of 5,500.


How much other towing experience do you have?
I've had a white knuckle ride towing an air compressor or gen-set behind a 3/4 ton at a very small percentage of the trucks rated capacity and had smooth rides towing well over the capacity of many trucks.
You can make a 14klb trailer comfortable behind a 1/2 ton if loaded right and set up right (not that I'm recommending towing that much, but I may have done it once...or 20 times, lol).

More to your question, pretty much any trailer you're looking at with a 5-6klb uvw will be handled well by your truck, if set up properly.
You can obsess over every pot, pan and case of juice boxes loaded up for the trip and make multiple trips to scales and produce spreadsheets and calculate, to the pound, your loads vs your rated capacities, but in the end, that truck will pull a med size TT quite well.

What cannot be accounted for is the driver's ability and experience, which is not insurmountable. Take it slow at first, minimize distractions, practice some before loading up the family for summer vacation and it'll be easy going.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

drsteve

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The short answer is that for the average half ton truck with the factory trailer towing package, and most towing situations, keeping the trailer under 8K ready to roll is a good idea.


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Posted: 01/07/20 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Stick with a travel trailer around 25 ft, especially in the west with its high elevations.

hondapro

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Posted: 01/11/20 05:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

bigcolasc wrote:

This will be my first TT and I just don't want to have white knuckle rides. I'll have the whole family loaded in the truck and I just want to be safe. I doubt we'll travel much further than 4 hours away from our home location which is Columbia, South Carolina (smack dab in the middle of the state). We'll probably hit the mountains of NC or the beaches of SC mostly.

Looking at a few campers with a UVW of 5,500.


How much other towing experience do you have?
I've had a white knuckle ride towing an air compressor or gen-set behind a 3/4 ton at a very small percentage of the trucks rated capacity and had smooth rides towing well over the capacity of many trucks.
You can make a 14klb trailer comfortable behind a 1/2 ton if loaded right and set up right (not that I'm recommending towing that much, but I may have done it once...or 20 times, lol).

More to your question, pretty much any trailer you're looking at with a 5-6klb uvw will be handled well by your truck, if set up properly.
You can obsess over every pot, pan and case of juice boxes loaded up for the trip and make multiple trips to scales and produce spreadsheets and calculate, to the pound, your loads vs your rated capacities, but in the end, that truck will pull a med size TT quite well.

What cannot be accounted for is the driver's ability and experience, which is not insurmountable. Take it slow at first, minimize distractions, practice some before loading up the family for summer vacation and it'll be easy going.




In my opinion Grit is 100% correct.


Steve
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Posted: 01/11/20 11:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're going to hear varying degrees of good advice on RV forums and A LOT of solid recommendations based on years of experience. After considering any or everything read here, please please go out to one of the reputable sites like Shereline and run all the TV and TT specs. Find a worksheet that uses all the specs all the way down to the wheelbase, do not use a simple "pulling capacity" worksheet produced by TV manufacturers. "Can" you haul something that big behind a 1500 (any make)? Sure. Will it be unsafe or kill the truck? Possibly. Run the numbers, even those wheelbase specs are important. Let the science behind towing be your first guide. Then decide on a TT within those parameters. Lastly, please know dry weight & tongue weight issued by TT mfgrs can be a little optimistic on the low side. We used a tongue scale to find out our hitch weight is about 100lbs more than advertised.

Just a few tow capacity Links. Google, be our friend. http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml https://www.huskytow.com/towing-calculator/ https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwiSiKGvqrXgAhUO24MKHYk-A70QFjAAegQIChAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.popthetop.com%2Ffiles%2FTowingCapacityWorksheet.xls&usg=AOvVaw2fZsU5Xv3ayY7Zcblc9aui

And pulled from the site we’re on:

You also need to consider what length is safe to haul. Have seen this formula for length, pretty sure there's some science behind it but wasn't quoted: "Rule of thumb (20’ for 110” wheelbase + 1’ for each additional 4” of wheelbase)" That was adopted (plagiarized) from a veteran RVer on this forum. With this formula, my previous GMC 1500 was right at the safe limit of (27.9' calculated) and my RV is 28' hitch to bumper. For what it's worth.


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hsq91

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Posted: 01/15/20 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You mentioned you'll be carrying your whole family. Assuming a family of 4 average sized people, you're looking at approximately 700 lbs for just passengers. With a loaded trailer at 7000 lbs, which is fairly conservative for a family, and a theoretical max tongue weight at 15% (1050 lbs), you're about at payload capacity.

In my research, a lot of these 1/2 tons are pushing the payload limit when you consider carrying a family and towing an appropriately sized trailer for a family.

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