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Old 06-24-2019, 10:43 AM   #1
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Occasionally towing a 29B+ with a properly equipped 1/2 Ton Chevy Z71? Doable?

First of all, I know it isn't ideal. 90% of the time we would be towing with my husband's 3/4 ton, however, our camping trip this next week and the rest of this summer we would need to use my pickup. And I would like to be able to use mine occasionally as needed with it.

I have a 2003 Chevy Avalanche Z71. It is older but has low miles (86k) and is properly serviced and in good condition for it's age. I have a towing package, brake controller, and have a sway bar hitch set up to use.
My max tow capacity is 7900lbs. The empty weight of the trailer is 6900lbs. So loaded with supplies (not water) we're looking at 7300lbs roughly. We never haul with water in the tanks - we just fill up when we get to the camp ground. We would never be going farther than 60ish miles one way. Some hills but nothing crazy.

I realize of course that we would need to take it slow and would likely never get to full speed. I also realize gas mileage will be terrible. We wouldn't take it on the interstates or anything.

Normally we wouldn't have considered a trailer quite this big (35') but we just happened to find one that we really liked at a reasonable price. We would really like to consider it, but I just want to have a camper that I can handle occasionally too if my husband's truck is in the shop or whatnot.

Any thoughts or advice?

Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2019, 01:47 PM   #2
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I own a 2007 Avalanche and I would NEVER tow a trailer that size. Where did you get the 7900lbs towing number?
There's no way a TT with a dry weight of 6900lbs, will only weigh 400lbs more when loaded for camping.
Since that TT is a 2008, the 6900 number doesn't include the weight of the batteries, propane, options, water or cargo.
Even with no water, I find it hard to believe it would only weigh 400lbs more.
And I also betting that the loaded tongue weight will exceed the Avy's max amount.
BUT only you can decide if you feel comfortable towing over specs and with a TT that long.
Personally I wouldn't. I tried towing our new 26' TT that weighs around 6000lbs loaded and I ended up buying a F150 Ecoboost to use instead because I could tell the Avy was struggling. It has a loaded tongue weight of 750lbs and could tell it was too much for the Avy.
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Old 06-24-2019, 02:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
I own a 2007 Avalanche and I would NEVER tow a trailer that size. Where did you get the 7900lbs towing number?
There's no way a TT with a dry weight of 6900lbs, will only weigh 400lbs more when loaded for camping.
Thanks for the thoughts! From what I was told on this model the 6900lbs is not a dry weight but an empty weight including cabinets, plumbing, everything like that. I will definitely double check though on that as I know they usually use dry weights.

Quote:
BUT only you can decide if you feel comfortable towing over specs and with a TT that long.
My pickup definitely has a 7900lb towing rating according to my manual as well as looking it up online. So if what they told me on the weight of the trailer is correct I wouldn't be over my capacity, but I would definitely be right at the top end.


I think I better do some more checking on the true dry weight of this camper though before we decide anything. Like I said, usually my husband would tow it with his 3/4 ton but occasionally I would need to as well.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:00 PM   #4
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Payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload.

Payload.

Welcome to the forum.

Payload.

Guess what rating is the most important in this equation?

You'll be at or very near the 7,900 lb GVWR of that trailer. So, you'll have 950 lbs on your tongue, weight of WDH, all people, all gear, and anything else in or on the truck. You'll need around 1,800 lbs of available payload and I'm prety sure that that Avalanche doesn't have near that figure.

Payload.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67L48 View Post
Payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload, payload.

Payload.

Welcome to the forum.

Payload.

Guess what rating is the most important in this equation?

You'll be at or very near the 7,900 lb GVWR of that trailer. So, you'll have 950 lbs on your tongue, weight of WDH, all people, all gear, and anything else in or on the truck. You'll need around 1,800 lbs of available payload and I'm prety sure that that Avalanche doesn't have near that figure.

Payload.
An Avalanche 2500 might have that much payload but my Avy LS 1500 with factory tow package, only had 1350lbs of payload.
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshinesd32 View Post
Thanks for the thoughts! From what I was told on this model the 6900lbs is not a dry weight but an empty weight including cabinets, plumbing, everything like that. I will definitely double check though on that as I know they usually use dry weights.
Dry weight, empty weight, unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) - they're all the same. Weight of rig with no options, although newer ones will include propane.

From 2017 Flagstaff brochure (other Rockwood brochures use the same definition):
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)* - is the
typical weight of the unit as manufactured at the
factory. It includes all weight at the unit’s axle(s)
and tongue or pin and LP Gas. The UVW does not
include cargo, fresh potable water, additional optional
equipment or dealer installed accessories.

*Estimated average based on standard build
optional equipment.
BTW: If this is your trailer, this site says the dry weight is 6952 lbs.

https://www.campersinn.com/product/u...plus-862232-29

I should also mention that dry weights are marketing ploys for suckers. You should be talking about your actual, weighed-it-myself weight, or if you don't have that, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Anything else is a WAG (wild ***** guess).
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:17 PM   #7
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I think they are saying....donít put your family in that position
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Old 06-24-2019, 07:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
An Avalanche 2500 might have that much payload but my Avy LS 1500 with factory tow package, only had 1350lbs of payload.
I don't believe the 2500 could be had with the 7,900 lb tow rating. So, I used tow rating as a proxy to what the truck was ... and the thread title syas "1/2 ton." I'm forever amazed by how few people who ask "can I tow it?" questions provide any details.

In any case, I would guess that the real world payload of an Avalanche 1500 Z71 to be in the 1,300 lb range. Just a guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwannacamp View Post
I think they are saying....don’t put your family in that position
Actually, I'm saying not to put my family in that position. Driving overloaded isn't good for anybody.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:42 PM   #9
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Doable? How big a gambler are you? I'd never consider trying.
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:09 PM   #10
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The CAT scale would answer the weight issue.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:08 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=Sunshinesd32;2125202]

I think I better do some more checking on the true dry weight of this camper though before we decide anything.



Seems like something that merits serous thought. Without even trying we put 500 lbs of just the kitchen stuff and food for a weekend. Then you MUST have leveling supplies, how about that jack to change a tire, the spare tire itself, sodas for the weekend. Gotta have at least SOME water to flush toilet and for an emergency if you get stranded overnight somewhere.


Get a REALISTIC travel load on and tow it local to a cat scale.


You do not want to be two pounds over legal gross when you wind up in a fatal accident and the lawyers start pointing fingers. But beyond that you said husband normally tows with his 3/4 ton. Have you ever towed this rig yourself. Then imagine stepping down to a flimsy, by comparison, little half ton. Then go try it maybe just around the block first.
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Old 06-26-2019, 05:49 AM   #12
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Why not just swap trucks with your husband for the times he can’t be there to pull it or whatever reason you can’t use the 2500.
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