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Old 03-12-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
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Towing length question. HELP!!!

I'm a newbie to the world of travel trailers, but have researched the tow capabilities of my truck, an 03 GMC Z-71 V8 5.3L 3.43 ratio with tow package. Tow capacity is 7800lbs; the trailer I am looking at is 6900lb dry weight and 34'-8" long!!! That is my BIG question..... Will this be hard to tow??? I have had people say OMG it's so long, it's too much for the truck....experienced answer would be appreciated b
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:37 AM   #2
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too much trailer!!
that trailer will weigh 7300-7400lbs. before you add propane, water and cargo. "dry" weight is a fictional number.
it doesn't include the weight of things such as: spare tire, microwave, awning, battery, oven, and so on.
my 23' HTT was 400lbs. more than its "dry" weight, as it was delivered from the factory.
you'll be over the truck's maximum quite easily.

any trailer that long/heavy, needs a 3/4 ton truck minimum.

what's the GCWR of your truck? and i don't think GMC/Chevy had a 3.43 rear end. either 3.42 or 3.73 is the norm.
my friend has a '05 Silverado and it's a 3.42.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:38 AM   #3
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I had a 2005 1500 5.3L with 3.43. I towed a 30 TT with it that was dry around 5700 lbs. I never did full weight, but it was difficult to tow. I could tow it but again let me say it was difficult to tow. The Z71 suspension may help with sway, because I had a lot with my truck and it wasn't Z71. I think you are getting too much trailer (because of weight) for the truck. Definitely consider a different tow vehicle if you must buy this trailer.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan
too much trailer!!
that trailer will weigh 7300-7400lbs. before you add propane, water and cargo. "dry" weight is a fictional number.
it doesn't include the weight of things such as: spare tire, microwave, awning, battery, oven, and so on.
my 23' HTT was 400lbs. more than its "dry" weight, as it was delivered from the factory.
you'll be over the truck's maximum quite easily.

any trailer that long/heavy, needs a 3/4 ton truck minimum.

what's the GCWR of your truck? and i don't think GMC/Chevy had a 3.43 rear end. either 3.42 or 3.73 is the norm.
my friend has a '05 Silverado and it's a 3.42.
It is 3.73 typo, sorry my bad. The weight is 6900, that's after all accessories and I am going to a full hook up place for a long while so there will not be fluids on board except the propane tanks. All food etc will be loaded after I'm there. So cargo wise it's just clothes, towels, kitchen ware etc. GCWR is 13000lbs.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by snjparham
I had a 2005 1500 5.3L with 3.43. I towed a 30 TT with it that was dry around 5700 lbs. I never did full weight, but it was difficult to tow. I could tow it but again let me say it was difficult to tow. The Z71 suspension may help with sway, because I had a lot with my truck and it wasn't Z71. I think you are getting too much trailer (because of weight) for the truck. Definitely consider a different tow vehicle if you must buy this trailer.
And too of course, I will have the sway bars and stabilizer hitch.
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:10 AM   #6
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The one thing I haven't seen discussed yet is the wheel-base to trailer length issue. Your wheel-base is either 119 or 133 inches. So the general consensus is:

For the first 110" of wheelbase, this allows you 20' of trailer.
For each additional 4" of wheelbase, this gets you 1' more of trailer."

So, for 35' of trailer, you need a 170" wheel base, which is more like a stretch limo pickup.

Ok, this rule is based on accident statistics WITHOUT considering WD/sway control hitches, but it means that we ALL are putting considerable trust in these devices.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:33 AM   #7
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Welcome Soonrbrn!

I would agree this is going to be one long and heavy trailer. At first glance, I don't think anyone would enjoy towing this and it is probably not safe to do so.

However, you mentioned that you are going to park this trailer. How far away would that be and what roads (freeway, Cty road, city streets) are you planning on driving to get there?

I wouldn't worry too much if its moving 15 miles on roads at 35 mph.

I would worry more if its moving 150 miles on the freeway. Actually, I would worry much more in this case if I were you. I'd probably borrow someone's long-base 3/4 ton to move it once.

But if you want to do the math, we have the following info and need some more to calculate if this trailer and vehicle are even close to being an acceptable match according to weight limits.

TV GCWR = 13,000
TV GVWR = ? (7,800 (est))
TV weight = ?
TV Cargo cap = ?
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soonrbrn View Post
I'm a newbie to the world of travel trailers, but have researched the tow capabilities of my truck, an 03 GMC Z-71 V8 5.3L 3.43 ratio with tow package. Tow capacity is 7800lbs; the trailer I am looking at is 6900lb dry weight and 34'-8" long!!! That is my BIG question..... Will this be hard to tow??? I have had people say OMG it's so long, it's too much for the truck....experienced answer would be appreciated b
First, lets separate length from weight, as they are different things. From a length perspective you are fine, longer is actually easier, the further the trailer wheels are from the TV the easier it is to maneuver.

Weight is an other matter, TV's are built to handle a defined amount and I'd suggest you say within it or very close depending on the type of towing you are doing, Highway vs country rd.

with that said, I have towed a similar TT with a 1/2ton Z71 and it worked out fine, but there was a lot push on the TV that you could feel. One time tow thats not to far and you should be ok, option two ask a friend or someone from here that lives close may help, I would if you were in ohio.
good luck with the move take it slow if you do it.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by camper_Lucy View Post
From a length perspective you are fine, longer is actually easier, the further the trailer wheels are from the TV the easier it is to maneuver.


Please check out the numerous threads on wheelbase vs. total trailer length !!!!

And my 20' Trailmanor was much better to maneuver around town and in campgrounds than my 28.5' Surveyor.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borwick View Post
The one thing I haven't seen discussed yet is the wheel-base to trailer length issue. Your wheel-base is either 119 or 133 inches. So the general consensus is:

For the first 110" of wheelbase, this allows you 20' of trailer.
For each additional 4" of wheelbase, this gets you 1' more of trailer."

So, for 35' of trailer, you need a 170" wheel base, which is more like a stretch limo pickup.

Ok, this rule is based on accident statistics WITHOUT considering WD/sway control hitches, but it means that we ALL are putting considerable trust in these devices.


The angle of the dangle is directly proportional to the fall of the ball. This is a critical statistic when hooking up a trailer and having to jump over the hitch to hook the safety chains. The point I'm making is no matter what you have, there will be a naysayer throughing another stat that will say you can't pull diddly. I just get a kick at all the banter around towing capacities. Keep it up. It is educational.
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