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Old 08-01-2014, 09:10 AM   #1
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Wife scheduled trip to Fort Wilderness

I bought 2009 silverado 4.8v and 3.42 with all towing packages last year for towing a hybrid and upgraded to avenger 26bh not knowing anything about towing. I am now seeing the need for a bigger truck but can't afford it. Just had everything weighed and am 580lb over gcvwr. Axle weights are good (GAWR Frnt=3220 rear 3060, trailer axles 5300lb) with wd hooked up. Truck drives and handles good at 60mph, just not enough power on hills. With all axles added up I am at 11,580 lb and manual says 11000 is max. Truck is 5850lb loaded. Tongue wt is 760lb. I usually tow it three hours (with trailer mode on) to my daughters house in OH and have no problems. Mostly flat roads. Trans temps stay about 175 - 190. Never really worried about it until we booked 2 weeks at Fort wilderness next month. Will avoid mountains and just take it easy. I can probably get rid of about another 150 - 200lbs. I am going to need tires soon and thought about LT or higher load range tires. Any tips or suggestions? Thanks

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Old 08-01-2014, 09:23 AM   #2
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Hmm... Truck was OK on GVWR, but the combined was over, and the front axle weighed more than the rear. I would think in that case, the main worry with the CGVWR would be stopping ability. The truck isn't overloaded by your numbers, nor is the trailer, I assume. Sounds like your setup rides and handles OK.

I would lighten the load as much as you can if there is stuff you don't need for the trip and keep the tanks empty or near empty when on the road. The endless debate is how much safety margin is built in to those ratings - and I suspect the manufacturers will never let that info out. Even if they did, it probably wouldn't kill the debate about exactly how much a certain vehicle can tow/haul.

As for LT tires, I like them much better for towing (and for snow) but they do make for a rougher ride when you aren't towing.


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Old 08-01-2014, 10:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ccpeso View Post
I am going to need tires soon and thought about LT or higher load range tires. Any tips or suggestions? Thanks
If you are talking about tires for your camper. Go with the higher range and not the LTs
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Old 08-01-2014, 11:35 AM   #4
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If he's not over any limits for the truck itself, but is over the GCVWR, he must be over the max tow rating. Don't see that listed in the post. Probably limited to 4500-5000 lbs. I think my sister and BIL have the same Chevy setup. They have a much smaller hybrid and it works great for them.

Probably fell victim to the dealer: "Sure, that truck will tow this just fine!".

That said, if it's been doing OK for you, I would not make a hasty truck purchase, just because you have a pending trip. If you are ready to purchase, fine. Otherwise, lose as much weight as possible, buy all groceries at your destination, and take it easy on the expressway. It's the wind that hurts you when you have less-than-ideal overall gearing. If it's hunting, downshift.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the input. The manual say I can have combined 11,000 max and 5600 for max trailer. The dry wt on the TT is 4848lb with a max of around 2000 for extra stuff. I must have close to 1000lb loaded (which I will cut down on). I will drain hw tank and all holding tanks. Maybe carry 8gal of water for the fresh tank so when we stop for the night (2 nights) we can use the bathroom. I will upgrade tires to higher load rating and prob not LT's as the load on the axles is not that high. I have a 100lb mat in the bed of the trk that I will remove.
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Old 08-01-2014, 01:09 PM   #6
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Well, I can save about 415 lbs by removing the wife, kids and dogs. You always have that option!

Seriously though, your concerns going to be the lack of power on the hills. Both getting up and stopping as your coming down. If you're coming from OH to FL, you've got the mountains in between to deal with. When we looked at the options, I had planned to cut across OH and come down the east side (I-95 I think?) because I've heard the grades aren't as bad that route as they are on I-75.

Unfortunately I can't provide any real world experience since I was thankfully able to convince the DW to just fly, so I won't have to deal with that drive.

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Old 08-03-2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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Do yourself a favor, and add a B&M or a TruCool auxillary transmission cooler.

I've got one to install today.
Drill two 1/4" holes to mount the cooler in front of the radiator.
Route two hoses from the cooler to a rubber hose at the bottom of the radiator. That hose returns fluid to the transmission.
Cut the hose in half and plug the cooler rubber hoses into each end of that hose with barbed fittings--and clamp it.

Easy 1/2 hour job supposedly--that'll probably take me more like 3 hrs.

It's the best $150 insurance you'll ever spend to guard your tranny.

And anyway you go from Ohio to Florida, you're going to either run into Monteagle Mountain in TN or the mountains North of Knoxville. The rest of the southeast to Florida is pretty flat.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:28 PM   #8
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Be careful emptying the HW tank. Be sure its full again before you power your rig back up or you'll burn up your heating elements if it's on.

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