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Old 01-05-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
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Exclamation Another Towing Question..Need Advice Please

I am looking at upgrading our camper to a 2006 Wildwood LA 312BHBS with a weight of 7,500lbs. I have a 2008 Chevy 1500 Crew Cab LTZ 5.3 V8 with 3.73 gear, 18" tires, max towing package/trailering package... Both the Chevy dealer were i bought the truck a year ago and the rv dealer said no problem with weight dist. and sway controll. I also called our local GM dealer who said i will be fine. All three said the truck is rated for 10,500 lbs towing. The camper is 32 feet and is by far the biggest camper i have ever looked at towing. (A little intimidating as well) I just dont want to make a mistake purchasing this unit

Now my questions. 1. true or false i can tow this camper? 2. What sway/dist hitch is better? 3. Should i or do i need to add helper springs?

I dont technically "need" to upgrade but it sure would be nice! I truly appreciate all you advice!!!!

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Old 01-05-2011, 06:33 PM   #2
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I asked same question on this forum. I'll hopefully sum it up.

As far as asking anyone. You can't.

You have to go to your drivers side door panel and it will give you a this of weights for your truck. For example rear GAWR and front GAWR. These two numbers are what the axles can handle.

The GVWR I find useless.

Owners manual should say the GCWR which is what drive train can handle. Which is total weight of both camper and truck fully loaded.

Then of coarse don't overload your hitch which should say on hitch what it can handle.

Then check the axles on camper to make sure there not loaded.

So to sum it up. I pay attention to max weight towable of everything. Each axle of truck and camper . Also what hitch will tow.

Only owners manual and scales can answer your question.

If laws do not apply and you go over on any of these amounts. I would say you would have no problem towing and probably won't ever have any issues. But you may also be illegal and get a ticket.

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Old 01-05-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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IMO you would be happier and safer with a 3/4 Ton truck, and a bit more engine. The 5.3 Chevy has only 335 pounds at over 4,000 rpm. This is a fact to consider and not an invitation to a "brand war". That being said, other factors are how far you are towing and in what kind of topography? 2 to 3 hours over flat terrain is one thing. 2 days of towing and 1,500+ miles through open plains (wind) and into the mountains is a whole different scenario. So, IMO, you can push your limits a bit more in the former situation but I think you would be very unhappy in the latter situation. Most people don't like to exceed 60 to 70 percent of their maximum towing capacity. So, you are probably on the edge. Also consider your wheebase. For a 32' trailer, convention would dictate a 160" wheelbase. Others will surely chime in with additional information and points of view. Good luck, be safe, and happy camping!
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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Sorry i should have included that information. Most if not all of our towing will be 2-3 hours on fairly level terran.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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I have the exact same truck except it is a K1500 4X4. My owners manual states my Maximum Trailer Weight is 7500 lbs (page 4-60). It lists the C1500 2x2 truck Maximum Trailer Weight as 7600 lbs (page 4-57). It is true the trailer hitch that is part of the trailering package is rated to handle 10500 lbs with a weight distribution hitch. But that is not the rating of the truck. Also the Gross Combined Welght Rating (GCVWR) for that truck is 13,000 lbs. Subtrack the weight of the trailer 7600 lbs from the GCVWR of 13,000 lbs and you have 5400 lbs for the truck, fuel, people and camping gear. My truck weighes 5700 lbs with full fuel and nothing else. Remember the truck dealer wants to sell you the truck and the rv dealer wants to sell you the TT. They don't really care if this it is a safe combination. I was told by a rv dealer that my truck would pull a 8200 lb trailer, not rue. You were right to ask the question on this forum. Just about any question you can ask someone on this forum has "been there done that".
Ask the truck dealer to show you in writing the Maximum Trailer Weight and GCVWR for that truck.
I tow a Rockwood 2604SS loaded for camping it weighs 6100 lbs.
Truck loaded for camping with full tank of gas and me weighs 6200 lbs.
I use a Equalizer 10,000 hitch with 4 Point sway control.
I changed out the factory receiver hitch to a Curt Class V. Does nothing to increase towing capacity, but much more stable.
I am sorry, I didn't mean to go on a rant about dealers and their lies. But I have been in the position of trying to convince myself that my truck would pull more that it can. Thanks to members of this forum I did not make that mistake.
Best of luck and be safe.
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:17 PM   #6
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my dealer told me my '08 Tahoe-5.3, 3.73 would tow my 34'er "no problem". Boy am I glad I didn't listen to him! Traded before the trailer arrived. I was scared to death pulling a trailer that length before I even got it. After the first couple trips....quite relaxed....The Silverado 3/4 ton does an awesome job!
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:50 PM   #7
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Your truck's tow rating is probably more like 7,500 lbs, not 10,500 lbs. Plan accordingly.

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Old 01-05-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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Here's what you do...your going to need a Equalizer Hitch w/1000lbs or 1200lbs. hitch bars. Cost $700-$800. Your dealer wasnt trying to sell you a new yes your probly at your weight limit or close to it. So why would he say no problem. He would have been better to say no it cant ....I have the truck you need on the lot right here,but he didnt so Im more appt to believe him. A Hensley Arrow or ProPride anti sway hitch would be the best, cost is $2300 to $2500 though. Then hook the trailer up and giver her a tow.......Dont be in a race(your pulling 28' behind you) stay the speed limit or a little above. I have a 2010 F-150 3.73 rear end and pull a 2011 Rockwood Windjammer at 34'er) I have the equalizer hitch. Trailer wieght 8750 lbs. Im really pushing it ! I drove from Rochester, NY to Charlotte,NC ( down & back up US-77 Fancy Gap). No white knuckles, I only drove 55 to 62 MPH. Enjoyed the trip, saved on gas (driving slower). Big trucks didnt push me off the road or cause any sway. The only people we saw get in trouble was a Truck pulling a long Camper going about 75-80mph. He trailer was swaying when he went by us...I said to the wife look at that ass&^$& sure enough, guess who was in the ditch 20 miles down the road, Camper and TV destroyed.MR. Speed Demon. So take your time pulling and you'll know after that first trip if your truck needs a little more. I wouldnt spend the money on a TV unless you really need it --- Just my 2-cents Have Fun !!
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:58 AM   #9
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My first trailer weighed approximate 6,000 lbs and I towed it with a 2005 1500 Silverado with same engine and differential you mentioned. I personally felt as though I was under powered to be pulling the trailer. I pulled the camper from FL to OH and then later moved the family from OH to NM. Most of the time it was OK until I entered the western hills and got into higher winds. I spent one full day on the highways driving 50 MPH into head winds winding out second gear. It wasn't pleasant. I am not sure you would be happy towing the weight you have mentioned.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:43 AM   #10
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Times a Gazzillion what Hipshot said.

You will be very unhappy with that combination regardless of what the dealers said. Their knuckles won't be white; yours will.


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