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Old 09-02-2015, 07:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 60
Towing with 2015 Chevrolet 1500 4x4

Good Morning,

I know I've seen a ton of posts about this, but none that addressed my specific question.

We are a family of 5 (Ages: 14, 10, 10). We are looking at a Surveyor 32BHDS that comes in dry at 6,866 lbs and has a GVWR of 9,534 lbs. The max tow capacity of the truck per the manual is 9,200 lbs. and requires weight-distribution hitch for any weights above 7,500 lbs. The hitch weight of the travel trailer is 734 lbs.

I do not intend to camp anywhere without hookups. Water weighs 8.34 lbs for gallon so that means 717 lbs. of that gross weight will never be realized, leaving my max trailer weight at ~8,800 lbs.

Truck Payload = 1,746 (according to door sticker)
Truck GVWR = 7,200 lbs.
GAWR Front = 3,950 lbs.
GAWR Rear = 3,950 lbs.
Max Hitch = 1,200 lbs with weight distributing hitch

My question is why doesn't any of the analysis that I see done online not reference the impacts the weight distributing hitch will have on payload, hitch weight, or trailer weight? Why doesn't anyone take this into account when evaluating the towing capacity of their vehicle. My owner's manual clearly states that weight distributing hitches are required for anything over 7,500 lbs.

My understanding is that a weight distributing hitch will take 25% off the hitch and put it back on the trailer, take 25% off the hitch and put it on the front axle of the truck, and leave 50% on the hitch directly. With that being said (towing dry), if my hitch weight of the truck is 734 lbs, doesn't that mean that 183.5 lbs will be added onto the weight of the trailer to bring it to 7,049 lbs, another 183.5 lbs will be added to the weight of the truck's front axle, and the remaining 367 lbs will be on the hitch?

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Old 09-02-2015, 08:04 AM   #2
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Try googling: towing basics, relationship between gvwr and weight distributing hitches. There's a lot of information out there. You have a lot of trailer @ 32' and whether you're carrying a full tank of water or not, everything in the trailer from pots,pans, clothes, food to toothbrushes adds to (or detracts) from the towing capacity. Everything in the truck from you and the family to a full tank of gas and a box of firewood works into the equation. It's surprising how much stuff you take with. WDHs take some of the squat out of the TV and shift it to the front wheel of the TV. Does your TT set pretty much level when you're ready to hit the road? The setting on the bars have a distinct and noticeable effect on the steering. When in doubt, you can always go to the scales and see if you're overgrossed

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Old 09-02-2015, 08:46 AM   #3
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I tow a Rockwood 2702 SS (28' box, 5600 lbs) with a 2015 1/2 ton Silverado utilizing an Equalizer WD hitch. If the trailer weighs 6866 lbs you won't be "adding" to that weight using a WD hitch. I believe my Equalizer works by distributing the hitch weight to the front of the tow vehicle and not by shifting any weight to the trailer. As far as a WD hitch adding tow capacity I don't know. You will probably never see towing 8800 lbs trailer weight as that would be adding almost 2000 lbs of stuff in your trailer. (Unless you plan on carrying a couple anvils.) If your truck can tow 9200 lbs I wouldn't worry about it. By the way I highly recommend the Equalizer, I found one for $477.00 including the ball.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:25 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 60
Thanks for the replies.

We do not yet have the travel trailer, but it's a model and floorplan that we really like. We are also looking at a 294QBLE which is a little bit shorter (33' vs 36' 6") and a little bit lighter at 5,564 lbs unloaded. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the outdoor kitchen, 50 Amp service, option to add second A/C unit, or the larger bunkhouse for the kids.

Also, won't be able to upgrade tow vehicle to a 3/4 ton for at least 3 years - it's a lease. So, I'm assuming that as long as i'm towing within limits, it will be covered under warranty.

Towing spec is 9,200 lbs for my configured vehicle. I'm just trying to figure out where they get that number and the only way it makes sense in my mind is that if the weight distribution hitch has an impact. The manual says the Payload is calculated with a full tank of gas and two front seat passengers at 150 lbs.

Before jumping into the purchase, I want to make sure everything checks out for towing it with my vehicle. I understand this is a forum and I will see both ends of the spectrum - from you'll need an F-450 to tow it to I tow it with my 1968 vw bug. I hope to be somewhere in the middle to just above the middle of that spectrum.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:21 AM   #5
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I have a 3008 Windjammer and tow it with a 2011 1500 Silverado 4x4. GVWR on the truck is 7000 and max tow is 9600 pounds. I have a cap over the bed which reduces the payload some. Weighed the truck one day with me, the wife, a full tank of gas and the hitch installed in the receiver. Truck weighed 5950 on the scale. That leaves me with 1050 of payload left from the trailer and anything else in the truck. So I am careful not to put very much in the bed when towing the trailer. For me that is the problem with a 1500 series truck and there are only two of us.

As for the trailer we are well under the 8900 GVWR when we go out. The brochure said 6950 for the trailer but the factory weight was 7350 out the door. Only 8000 of that can be on the trailer axles.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:42 AM   #6
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Location: mcdonald pa
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esloser, I towed a 24fqsl toy hauler that I figured weighed around 8000 fully loaded ( bike etc ) with a 2014 gmc 1500 with the trailer package, and wdh and it did ok on fairly level areas but when we got to mountainous areas the truck really fell short on the power and suspension areas, without a doubt I was really putting a hurting on this truck going up big grades, me personally I would never try to go to the max 9500 pounds that it states, I recently traded it in and got a chevy hd2500 that I plan on taking it out next weekend on its maiden voyage and hope I see a big improvement in towing, my bud has a chevy 2500 with a much heavier trailer and can leave me in the dust on grades l.o.l. not trying to discourge you but just letting you know what my real world experiences were with towing with a very similar setup that your talking about, it towed great on the interstates ( no sway etc ) but really fell short on other areas, whatever you do, good luck and be safe. thanks joe
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:53 AM   #7
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You will run out of payload way before you obtain your published towing limit. You will never be able to safely tow a 9,200 pound travel trailer -- it just can't happen.

What is the GCWR for your truck?

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Old 09-02-2015, 11:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by nomad297 View Post
You will run out of payload way before you obtain your published towing limit. You will never be able to safely tow a 9,200 pound travel trailer -- it just can't happen.

What is the GCWR for your truck?


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Old 09-02-2015, 12:12 PM   #9
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We have a Windjammer 3008. The TV is a 2006 5.3 Silverado 4X4. We don't overload, but do not have any problems towing. The truck has a 10,000 lb tow rating
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:23 PM   #10
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The tongue weight does not change when using a just moves the weight around. In the case of my setup with a ~700 lb. tongue weight, ~180 lbs is moved back to the trailer axles, and ~360 lbs. is moved to the front TV axle.

As Jeff64 indicated, everything that adds weight to the axles of the TV are included in the overall weight of the TV.....including what weight you hang on the hitch. With a family of 5, that could be a substantial amount of weight just in passengers. And you can't go by the payload stats on the door. My stats show almost 2000 lbs. of payload capacity, but with my personal gear, a bed liner, TracRac rails, running boards, small portable tool box in the bed, and me in the driver's seat (about 195 lbs), I only have 1200 lbs left for the missus, dog, some other gear, and the trailer tongue weight.

IMHO, 700 some pounds is entirely too much weight to be added to a hitch of a 1/2 ton pickup without using a WDH. 700 lbs hanging several feet behind the bumper might cause the weight rating of the rear axle to be exceeded, plus it will take off several hundred pounds from the front axle.


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