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Old 06-17-2014, 06:51 AM   #1
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Can I buy this ?? Flagstaff 831FLSS

Ok I know I am asking a question that has probably been asked before, but I am totally confused; We have been going back and forth on 2 different trailers to purchase a 83FLSS and a 27RLWS, our goal is to spend 4 months a year in Florida at one RV park. I have a 2013 GMC Sierra 5.3 L extended cab 2 wheel drive p/u with the heavy duty trailering package. The trailer towing guide says I can pull up to 9700 pounds. The trailer we want has a dry weight of 6985 lbs. I know there is some formula to figure all this out, but I get even more confused with that. The trailer dealer says I will have no problem ( they want to sell a trailer) What in real world of pulling is the answer? We have another 24 hours left on our deposit to make this final decision? We will only pull this trailer twice a year from Michigan to Florida and back. Buying a new truck is not an option at this point in our retirement right now. If I cannot pull this we could save a about 800 pounds by moving to the smaller 27RLWS which has a awesome floor plan but is a bit smaller for 4 month extended camping. What a dilemma I am not sleeping trying to figure this out. Also the dealer did recommend that I get the equalizer 4 point hitch.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:15 AM   #2
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What is the GVWR of the 83FLSS?

Multiply that times 0.125 and that is the tongue weight you should target as worst case on the truck.

Make sure with the family and gear you plan to carry in the bed of the truck (spare gas, bikes, leveling wood, etc) and with a full tank of gas weigh the truck alone at the local CAT scale.

Add that weight, plus 75 pounds for the WD hitch and the number you got from the worst case above.

Subtract from the GVWR of the truck (found on the door pillar) and if the result is positive, you should be fine. Negative, you need to put the truck on a diet.

Also make sure the truck's frame hitch (and the WD hitch you select) is rated for the number you got for the camper's tongue weight above and GVWR as well.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:18 AM   #3
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In most cases, it comes down to payload. Look at your door sticker on your truck for the available payload. (It might say something like "total weight of passengers and cargo not to exceed"). From that, subtract the weight of the passengers (I.e. You, wife, pets, etc...). Whatever you have left is what you can handle for tongue weight.

For tongue weight, take a look at the dry tongue weight of the camper first and see if you're already over. If not, then yes, you can tow it. The amount you have left will dictate how much gear you can bring.

Note that the weight of the equalizer, propane and batteries will be the first the chew through that so if possible, see if the dealer can weigh the tongue with those on to give a better number than just the dry.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:20 AM   #4
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OK, I found (calculated) the GVWR of your camper:

The GVWR is 8550 pounds.

The tongue weight you need to worry about is 1070 pounds.

Can your truck's receiver hitch handle a tongue weight of 1100 pounds?

Can your truck carry your family, truck gear, hitch, and an 1100 pound tongue weight?

If the answer to both is yes and the tow rating on YOUR truck is correct for your engine/rear end ratio/equipment (9700) you should be fine.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:29 AM   #5
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If these are the correct 2:
Flagstaff Classic Super Lite Travel Trailer by Forest River
&
Flagstaff Super Lite Travel Trailer by Forest River

does this match your truck:
  • Engine: Vortec 5.3L V8
  • Transmission: MYC
  • Axle Ratio: 3.42
  • Max Trailer Weight kg (lb)
  • Ball Hitch: 4400 (9700) (required equipment: K5L)
  • Fifth Wheel: 4264 (9400) (required equipment: K5L)
  • GCWR Kg (lb): 7258 (15000)


As no GVW is provided for the trailer on the website I would get them from the Yellow sticker on the trailers in question - note the unloaded weight + cargo capacity may give you the same number unless line changes were made that alter the web numbers vs. the production line numbers.

Use the steps provided by Herk for your heaviest scenario

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Old 06-17-2014, 07:29 AM   #6
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Smkunder, there are 2 ways to look at this..... by the numbers and by the seat of your pants.

If you want to know by the numbers you can be objective. I would focus on the payload numbers since that is always the weakest point for towing with a half ton.

I agree with Herk. Take the GVWR of the trailer and assume 12-13% for the tongue weight. Do not use brochure dry weights.

If you want to go with what "feels" OK, then we can't really offer anything more than an opinion as what feels OK to you is subjective and depends on your experience towing a 30'+ trailer.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:39 AM   #7
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Ok I verified that the hitch can pull 1100 pounds tongue with weight dist. hitch My truck says it has a GCWR of 15000 pounds. So using the formula worst case scenario would put me over by about 70 pounds if I did the math right. Also is it safe to assume that to get that trailer to the max weight would take about 1585 pounds fully loaded. I think I would be hard pressed to add that much weight as I will not be traveling with water on board just our clothes dishes etc. Am I just wishing here or is this something that can be done safely twice a year.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itat View Post
Smkunder, there are 2 ways to look at this..... by the numbers and by the seat of your pants.

If you want to know by the numbers you can be objective. I would focus on the payload numbers since that is always the weakest point for towing with a half ton.

I agree with Herk. Take the GVWR of the trailer and assume 12-13% for the tongue weight. Do not use brochure dry weights.

If you want to go with what "feels" OK, then we can't really offer anything more than an opinion as what feels OK to you is subjective and depends on your experience towing a 30'+ trailer.
I guess a opinion would be greatly appreciated at this point as I got the dealer to give a day or too to give me my deposit back if it would not work.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:49 AM   #9
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other than suggesting a few (dozen) local camping trips before your long haul to get use to the trailer and towing etc. I am guessing both trailers will be within safe specs if you keep an eye on the weight when packing
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Schultz View Post
Inote the unloaded weight + cargo capacity may give you the same number unless line changes were made that alter the web numbers vs. the production line numbers.

Use the steps provided by Herk for your heaviest scenario

That was how I "calculated" the GVWR.
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