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Old 07-17-2014, 08:29 AM   #1
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Number and info overload :)

Hoping to get a little help. I am starting to see stars with so much information. I know it should be basic. The math is black and white, but then opinions and suggestions make it all confusing. Do this, don't do that, it should work, no way would I haul that, etc. I loved the article about it being "our" decision and we must determine what we can handle and are willing to handle for our safety and those on the road. With that said, I would love a little help for this wife who is told "we can do this TT if we mind our cargo."

We own a 2012 Silverado: crew cab, short bed, no 4x4, no tow package (4.8 L, V8, 3.23 axle) and no we have no plans to upgrade. We know we can't tow much, so we are looking at a Forest River ultra light with a GVWR of 4718. The truck's GVWR is 4700.

We understand that to make this TT a possibility we will have to play with the weight. We won't haul with tanks full (full water is 350lb), if it's a longer trip where we need extra cargo then we will take our second vehicle to help balance the load, and plain and simply we won't take lots of cargo. I know it adds up quick! We have a pop up now with limited storage, so we know we need to keep this same mind frame for cargo with an ultra and our truck. We have a weigh station near by and plan to have the truck weighed with just our family in it to get a more accurate idea.

So basically what I'm asking help on is whether this is a safe option and maybe a little help with the math? I know it is a personal choice/option and some would rather trade up for a larger TV and have no worries. But... That isn't an option now.

Thank you from an overwhelmed wife ;-)
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:39 AM   #2
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That 3.23 gear is goin to kill ya.
What is the cargo carrying capacity on your tire loading sticker on the door jamb of your truck?
Whats the hitch weight on your trailer?
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:42 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
That 3.23 gear is goin to kill ya.
What is the cargo carrying capacity on your tire loading sticker on the door jamb of your truck?
Whats the hitch weight on your trailer?
3.23 gear is what's in mine and we make it just fine, but I also have the 5.3L which helps.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
3.23 gear is what's in mine and we make it just fine, but I also have the 5.3L which helps.
Yeah he's a couple of cylinders short
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
That 3.23 gear is goin to kill ya.
What is the cargo carrying capacity on your tire loading sticker on the door jamb of your truck?
Whats the hitch weight on your trailer?

Yep, definitely need to look at the cargo capacity (payload). When I load up the whole family, (Wife, 2 kids, 2 child seats, 2 dogs and myself) I'm already using up about 1/2 my payload. It's pretty easy to get over that payload number when you then add the weight of the trailer's hitch.

Not to say that being over means you can't tow. As you've seen only you know what you're comfortable with and we can't know that. We just like to make sure you've examined all the angles and are well informed.





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Old 07-17-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Turbo the tire capacity is 1610 and the hitch weight on the trailer is 430.

Can you explain to me how these all factor in? I am really not understanding what needs to be added in/subtracted. Sorry!! Learning slowly.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:14 AM   #7
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Basically, there's two limiting factors to any towing situation.

1) How much weight can the truck take? (Frame, suspension, tires, etc...)
2) How much weight can the truck pull? (Engine, transmission, etc...)

When determining #1, there's a few ways to look at it, but the easiest is to go weigh the truck:

GVWR-Weight at scale = available weight to add (i.e tongue weight, including weight of the hitch itself.)

If you don't have a weight at scale, then you calculate it by:

Payload (CCC) - Weight of stuff you put in (like people) = available weight to add

For calculating #2, if you've been to a scale:

GCWR - weight at scale = how much you can tow.

Or, if you don't have the weight at scale:

GCWR - GVWR + available weight to add (calculated from #1) = how much you can tow.

That's it in it's basics. There's people who break this down per axle and per tire, but often that's not much of a concern if you're in the range on #1 and #2.

Edit: Almost forgot. There's another factor that needs to be considered. The general recommendation is that the tongue weight be around 12.5% (varies from 10% to 15%) of the trailer's total weight for the safest tow. So this also can limit you. So, the final calculation is:

#1 / 0.125 = how much you can tow according to recommendations.

Compare this to #2 and whichever is less is considered what you can safely tow.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #8
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Terrain is a factor to consider. We just got back from Gettysburg, PA. We went from breezewood to chambersburg on Rt 30..there are some NASTY hills..it was 72F and low humidity and pulling the hills we hit 225F on the temp guage - first time I've seen it climb above 210.
Our TT weighs about 6300 loaded to go and tow rating of this truck is just shy of 10,000. GCWR is 14,500 and we're about 13k, again, lots of margin there.

Could we have towed more? Sure - but it's hard on the TV, hard on teh wife's nerves too.

What if it'd been 92F? What if we'd been behind a coal truck or something and had to grind our way up the hill (and get the truck hotter yet?)
What if we had 80-120k miles on the truck instead of 21k?

Lots of things to consider - if you live in kansas then hills are not a concern..if you live in colorado or PA or NC then they may indeed be a big factor.
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