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Old 03-18-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
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Tow vehicle (first post by the way)

I own a 2007 GMC Sierra Crew Cab. The truck is the 4.8 Vortec V8. Not the best tow vehicle but I bought this truck new and have kept it like new. It only has 15,000 miles on it. The rated towing capacity is 4600 lbs. i.e. 3.23 gears. I love the truck. Have a local transmission shop that can put a very good transmission oil cooler on the truck.
Stated looking at the Livin Lite 16DB series of trailers. No problem towing these with a dry weight of 2,750 lbs. Saw one only two years old with corrosion everywhere. Crossed them off the list.

Next looked at Flagstaff Microlite 19FD. Ship Weight 2945lbs. GVWR 3,894 lbs.
Hitch weight 394 lbs. My hitch is rated at 600 lbs or a 1000 with a weight distribution hitch. So ok there. Feel I would be ok pulling this rig. Not thrilled about the single axle set-up. What do think on the subject of single vs. tandem axles?

THEN my wife fell in love with a Rockwood Mini-Lite 2109S.
3,624 lbs. Ship weight. Yellow factory sticker on door shows this as about right.

GVWR is 4,769 lbs. I explained we would have to limit our cargo capacity to just under a 1000 pounds but that is still more capacity than the Flagstaff Microlite.

I am getting ready to retire and do not want to finance any vehicles or the trailer for that matter.

Thoughts and suggestions please. Most of the use will be in the Mid-West.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:28 AM   #2
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The first thing you need to do is better understand your trucks capabilities than just my truck can tow x lbs. (I learned this the hard way). Most TV are limited by their payload. To find out your TVs true towing capacities then you need to go weigh it. Load the tv up with all occupants, pets, and cargo that will be in it when towing plus a full tank of fuel and then go weigh it at a local scale (CAT Scale ). Weigh each axle on a separate scale pad so it will give you a breakdown of front and rear axle weights individually and a total weight. Take the total weight and subtract it from your Trucks gvwr to get your available payload. Take the scaled Truck weight and subtract it from your Truck gcwr to get your adjusted towng capacity.

Next understand you will never tow an unloaded or dry trailer. Those numbers are somewhat irrelevant. You can either add the amount of weight of cargo you will tow to the dry weight (this is heavier than you think as most add 1000-2000 lb of gear) or simply use the tt gvwr to do your calculations. Being that this is your first tt, using the tt gvwr is the safer route for you. Next understand that the tt loaded tongue weight needs to be subtracted from your available payload. The loaded tongue weight is typically 13-15% of the loaded tt weight. For your purposes go with 13-15% of the tt gvwr.

Finally does your truck have the factory towing package? If not you will want to get a transmission cooler installed. You will also want a good brake controller. Get one that is a proportional brake controller instead of a time based one. I think you are gonna find that what you can get is going to be very limited and that meeting what DW wants and keeping the same TV may not go hand in hand. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:35 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forums. You'll find a lot of info by searching and asking. It's a ongoing learning experience.

As for your question, I have the 2006 Chevy crew cab with the 4.8 motor. I will be adding the B&M tranny cooler, throttle body spacer by Jet, K&N air filter and a flowmaster muffler. I opted out on rear gears because this my daily driver. My current trailer is a 18BHXL Salem Cruise Lite. I have no issues towing it on mostly flat terrain, but steep grades overheat my tranny and engine. It is what prompted me to do some add ons to engine. This is the cheaper alternative for me versus getting a bigger tow vehicle, I just love the 06 chevy, lots of distinct features. We're just not in a position to buy another truck.

This set up doesn't give us a lot to carry, I'd figure we have less than 1000lbs for carry on and stuff for the trailer. But if you pack smart and plan it well and we really don't need to pack lot things. This trailer really fits our need, enough space inside to move abouts especially when it rains. Just so we don't feel like sardines in a can, there are 4 of us. We love our trailer, there's enough drawers and cabinets for us to use for putting things away.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask or pm me

BTW DW really likes the extra shelfs, she knows a lot about organizing items in such a small space. Us guys just find a empty space and fill it with whatever items
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:46 AM   #4
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Planning to get vehicle weighed

Maximum gross weight of my truck is 6800. I am aware that the hitch(tongue) weight must be subtracted from the useful load of the vehicle. To balance axle loads I have considered a weight distributing hitch.

The transmission cooler is a must have add on.

The Salem trailers I have looked at are a little heavier than the Mini-Lites. The Salems are very nice units.

My other truck was a Silverado with a 350 with the complete factory towing package. Great truck but after 286,000 miles on the engine I sold it.

My Sierra seems to have just as heavy of a frame and brakes as my Silverado did.

Miss that old truck. Best vehicle I have ever owned.

Did the Flowmasters and K&N on my Silverado that I owned. Made it sound cool. Not sure it really produced anymore power.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:02 AM   #5
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I was going to look up your truck in the Trailer Life towing guide to see the effect of gear change on the towing capacity. I'm confused...the guide only shows a 5.3 or 6.0L motor in the '07 Sierra CC 2WD or 4WD. I checked a couple other sources that as said the same thing. ???

Dave

Edit: Here's the link... http://www.trailerlife.com/wp-conten...Guide-2007.pdf
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:30 AM   #6
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I don't know how/where they come up with tow ratings. The newsest one are supposed to be performance based Tow Ratings Finally Pass the Sniff Test - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) - Automobile Magazine

I'd imagine they're based of the weakest component in the whole assembly, whatever that may be. We just got a 2013 silverado with tow package and I"m not sure what the big difference is between it's 9600 and the 'std' truck's 5000 other than trans cooler and gearing. Perhaps gearing is a very big deal?

HP is rarely the limiting factor anymore. The expy was rated at 8900lb and had 250hp new (with 235k miles on it I'm sure its way down from that) and it can accelerate up 8% grades and do 70mph pulling 6000lb of trailer.
Trailers were as big and probably heavier 25 years ago and vehicles put out way less HP and torque and did just fine. So adding a chip/KN/Flowmaster etc is not needed and won't make your truck tow more.

On my expedition the limit was mostly the GCWR - total weight of truck, trailer, cargo, passengers rolling down the road. With the silverado we've upped that 2500lbs or so and now payload in the truck is the first limit we're likely to run into.

Among the things you add weight wise remember that the TT weight (as delivered and dry) don't include the batt and propane, and you've got a hitch/WD gear to add in - 200lbs for all this if not more.

Tow ratings are based on the OPTIMUM truck, 1 person (driver) at 150lb and 1/2 tank of gas. Read your manual to see if anything specific to your truck changes the tow rating. On our expy 4WD and 17" tires each reduced tow rating and GCWR by 500lbs so we lost 1000lbs of 'ability' right off the bat.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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Good Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
I don't know how/where they come up with tow ratings. The newsest one are supposed to be performance based Tow Ratings Finally Pass the Sniff Test - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) - Automobile Magazine

I'd imagine they're based of the weakest component in the whole assembly, whatever that may be. We just got a 2013 silverado with tow package and I"m not sure what the big difference is between it's 9600 and the 'std' truck's 5000 other than trans cooler and gearing. Perhaps gearing is a very big deal?

HP is rarely the limiting factor anymore. The expy was rated at 8900lb and had 250hp new (with 235k miles on it I'm sure its way down from that) and it can accelerate up 8% grades and do 70mph pulling 6000lb of trailer.
Trailers were as big and probably heavier 25 years ago and vehicles put out way less HP and torque and did just fine. So adding a chip/KN/Flowmaster etc is not needed and won't make your truck tow more.

On my expedition the limit was mostly the GCWR - total weight of truck, trailer, cargo, passengers rolling down the road. With the silverado we've upped that 2500lbs or so and now payload in the truck is the first limit we're likely to run into.

Among the things you add weight wise remember that the TT weight (as delivered and dry) don't include the batt and propane, and you've got a hitch/WD gear to add in - 200lbs for all this if not more.

Tow ratings are based on the OPTIMUM truck, 1 person (driver) at 150lb and 1/2 tank of gas. Read your manual to see if anything specific to your truck changes the tow rating. On our expy 4WD and 17" tires each reduced tow rating and GCWR by 500lbs so we lost 1000lbs of 'ability' right off the bat.
I wonder if we really can afford to trailer at all.

This whole idea started with adding air conditioning to our camping.

The other option is to do this and stay in hotels.



Not over spending is important going into retirement.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspireart View Post

I wonder if we really can afford to trailer at all.

This whole idea started with adding air conditioning to our camping.

The other option is to do this and stay in hotels.

Not over spending is important going into retirement.


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Before you resort to truck bed tents...consider an A-Frame...easy to tow (keep your existing truck), creature comforts (AC/heat/frig/potty), great for two people and inexpensive compared to TT's
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspireart View Post
I wonder if we really can afford to trailer at all.

.
if that thought is in your head then you might want find something else, like a ground tent...sorry..., it cost a lot of money to camp, not just the TV, trailer, but everything else..and campgrounds are not cheap, most state parks in my state are 29-40 a night, and private can be up to 60
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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if that thought is in your head then you might want find something else, like a ground tent...sorry..., it cost a lot of money to camp, not just the TV, trailer, but everything else..and campgrounds are not cheap, most state parks in my state are 29-40 a night, and private can be up to 60
The big picture is this... Is that we have been putting a pencil to all of this. Looked at campground fees, fuel, insurance, storage.

Have owned a motorhome before. (An old 26' Explorer complete with a 440 and 5 miles to the gallon.)

We have airline travel privileges and can fly to an area, rent a car and stay in affordable hotels. No detours, no narrow lanes and fewer hassles, but no community of RV'ers. Probably far cheaper BUT these really light traveler trailers like the Vibe caught my eye. We have locations where we could stay for very little money. A friends farm, A shooting range with hook-ups and lots of state campgrounds.
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