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Old 02-25-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
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2010 v-lite 30wrlts purchase/towing

hi to all. i'm new to the forum. we have been camping for about 4 years now and want to upgrade our current travel trailer to a flagstaff v-lite 30wrlts. i got to tell you it was love! v-lites are clean and very well designed. my concearn is i have a 2005 chevy 1/2 ton rated at 7400 lbs towing and the trailer dry is 7188 lbs plus 400 lbs gear for about 7600 lbs. i would be over my gcwr by about 750 lbs. truck and trailer would be about 13750 lbs and the manual says 13000 lbs gcwr. i have the crew cab with the 3.42 axel - anybody tow with this set up? the dealer is giving me a real good price on the trailer. thanks for any info you may have.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:17 PM   #2
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Well you didn't give us all the numbers, tongue weight, truck weight loaded, before the trailer is hooked up, trailer loaded weight, (actual not published.) Now, how close are you on what you are towing now? Sorry I just get tired of looking up specs on a trailer I don't want. How much of an increase is the new trailer? While you're going over spec, don't let a lawyer find out if you have an accident, regardless of who is at fault. When the transmission falls out, don't badmouth Chevrolet. When the rear tires on the truck blow out, or the front tires on the trailer, don't blame the tire company. When you can't stop it, don't blame the brake controller. When it sways, don't blame the sway control, need I go on? Also when in your in second gear towing 25 mph up hill on the interstate, then blame your wife for not letting you get a new truck. You also didn't tell us where you live or where you plan to tow, flat or hilly. While it can be done, and is done, I would never do it, except maybe to a seasonal sight and back. I'm sure of this, if you are in an accident with me, and I know you're over the factory GCVWR, then it can made to prove it is your fault.

Forgot to say WELCOME, and I hope you find all the info you need here. One last thing, the book may say it can tow xxxx pounds, but that is usually the tow vehicle and a driver. A more realistic number is the GCVWR minus the loaded weight of the tow vehicle. Loaded weight being wife, kids, food, the dog, etc. Hope this helps and not offends.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:41 PM   #3
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Welcome rav1964!

From the limited info that you gave I would say that is too much tt for your tv. You need to find a lighter tt or if you are set on that one, get a new tv.

I read once where a guy said he uses the 80% rule. The LOADED weight of the tt needs to be 80% of the tv's towing capacity. I have found that if you follow that rule USUALLY the rest of the numbers (gcvwr, hitch weight, wheelbase, etc...) will fall in place. Do not take that as written in stone, always check.

In my set up I actually have more tv than I need, but I would rather error on the side of safety. My tv has a towing capacity of 9700 lbs. 80% of that would be 7760. My tt is a little less than that loaded. I use an Equal-I-zer hitch and have an in dash brake contoller. I can actually relax a little when towing.

Good luck in finding what you need and again, welcome to the forum.
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:49 AM   #4
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I have a 2005 4x4 Z71 Chevy ton, 5.3 v8 and 3.42 axel and it’s rated for a 7400# trailer and 13000# gcwr. Right now I tow 11500# gcwr. I looked at a new Forest River V-Lite the other day. I saw in my owner’s manual that the same truck with the 4.10 axel will tow 8400# and 14000# gcwr. Here’s the breakdown on weights for future trailer
Truck with occupants 6000
Stuff in bed 150 (added 75 lbs misc.)
New trailer 7188 (actual weight- not the 6642 in brochure) hitch is 760 (564 in brochure)
Gear and food 400 (added 60 lbs misc)
Total 13738
I rounded up all the weights, and yes I did weigh all the stuff, it’s in bins in the basement so it was easy to do. Also took the truck to the scale full of gas with hitch and sway bars in bed.
Do you think this would work if the cost to change the truck over to 4.10 is feasible? Also how would this affect my truck?
V-Lite http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/def...4&series=Vlite
Thanks
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Old 02-26-2010, 01:13 AM   #5
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That tt is pretty long, 34'1", and you didn't mention your wheelbase. Below is a chart to go by.

110" 20' ******* 150" 30'
114" 21' ******* 154" 31'
118" 22' ******* 158" 32'
122" 23' ******* 162" 33'
126" 24' ******* 166" 34'
130" 25' ******* 170" 35'
134" 26' ******* 174" 36'
138" 27' ******* 178" 37'
142" 28' ******* 182" 38'
146" 29' ******* 186" 39'

I was within all the numbers (close but not over) with my F-150 except the wheelbase ratio, 126" wheelbase and 34'11" tt. In high winds, rain and semi's passing I experienced some white knuckle driving.
I remember once driving in high winds and rain. I slowed down to 45 mph and still felt like I was driving on ice. It wasn't fun at all.
My F-250 is a CC long bed, 172" wheelbase and I have no problems at all now. Something to seriously consider.

If your set on this tt with your tv no one can talk you out of it. The decision is yours. Make the one you can live with.

Just thought I would add, yes you can tow that tt. But can you tow it safely?

One more thing about the experience that I mentioned above. I was at a campground less than 15 miles from home. I knew I was on the edge with my towing capabilities, but I justified my set-up since I did most of my camping so close to home. In that short drive I was convinced that it didn't matter if I towed 20 miles or 200 miles, I had to do it safely.

My SIL found my F-250 on autotrader.com. It was 194 miles from where I live. I made a great deal on the truck and it would have been well worth driving the distance to get it. Fortunately, they met me halfway with the truck. I checked it out and made the deal.
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:19 PM   #6
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Hello rav1964, and Welcome to the forum. There are several of us on here that have that same V-lite 30 WRLS, and these campers were designed to be pulled by 1/2 ton trucks. NOW, that said, the truck also should be properly equipped for this. I have an 06 Ram 1500 Hemi, 380 HP. now, and I've added Hellwig helper springs, and Dual exhaust for power, and LT rated tires are an absolute must have for stable towing. I have the Overdrive automatic, towing package, oversized radiator, trans. cooler, power st. cooler, but a 3:54 rear diff- not good for pulling this kind of weight. 7 to 8 highway mpg at 60/65 at best. I have LT 265 70 17 Michelins- MUCH better than the P 265 70 17 Good year wranglers. This was the most noticable improvement I've done. Your Chevy being a 4x4 shoula already have stiffer springs, which is good, but the 5.3 could be a bit small-ish for your needs. I live in Florida, and we only go around 200 miles from home camping, so I feel safe with my current setup. Sure, in a perfect world, I'd love a Diesel Dually 3500, but it's not in the budget here! Realistically, I would not attempt to pull this setup to the Smoky Mountains, but on reasonably flat terrain, it works for me. You will need a good weight distribution hitch, as well as trailer brakes, and the dealer can install this on your truck. If you have oversized tires, as many 4x4 owners do, you may want to go back closer to stock, to gain pulling power. Good Luck, Randy
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #7
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08flagvlite- saw some of your posts and was hoping you would reply. the chevy has 300 hp / 335 torque and the truck is a stock Z71 w/ tow package. i will get the gear ratio changed to 4.10 even if i dont get this trailer, it will help with my current set up. my nieghbor and his group of buddies are all gm certified mechs so i will be getting with them this weekend for more mods that i can do. if the mods get way too much $ then an upgraded tv will be in the future but not this year. the furthest we have gone from the house is 300 miles, this year we are going to see family in little rock (her side lol!) no matter what i tow down there i will only do 250-300 miles per day and even less on the way back to enjoy the trip home. however even if its a few miles from home i want to be safe and stay under my numbers, which with the gear change i will be under the 14000 gcvr by 500 pounds, thats what i am now and the truck handles the 95 trailer just fine, it has about 750 pounds of hitchweight now because of the front slide. i have a weight distrubution and sway controll along with the trailer brake control. how is the v nose for towing, does it help with drag. we just got back from the dealer and are about 1000.00 apart right now with my trade, they are very very nice trailers! being up in northern indiana we found out how great the heater worked!
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:36 PM   #8
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rav1964,

I agree with 08flagvlite. I wasn't meaning to push 3/4 tons over 1/2 tons. I was looking at your tv as you described it. While changing the gears to 4:10 will help I don't think that alone would be enough. I don't know the costs of the mods so I'm not sure if they're worth doing.

As 08flagvlite said, if you do decide to upgrade your tv, a 1/2 ton will work if properly equiped. I bought the F-250 because it was a great deal and I knew it would more than handle my tt. I would have bought a 1/2 ton if I could have found a good deal. Problem was, everyone selling a 1/2 ton that would handle the tt were a little too proud of them. I actually paid less for the F-250 than, at least what I could find, a properly equiped 1/2 ton was selling for.
Good luck and I hope things work out for you.
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:19 PM   #9
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i've been looking for a used 3/4 or 1/2 ton hd but they are hard to find. we need the crew cab for the crew (3 dogs for a total of 50 pounds, thats what happens when you are part of a small dog rescue!) i think i've been looking to hard for a truck, time to sit back and see if my friends at the dealership can find me one. i've talked to guys who tow similar to what i'm looking at and length is not a problem with proper weight distrubution set up. they aslo say to stay away from the smokies! thanks for the good info and i ghope to fianlize the deal next week or so. no hurry its cold up here.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:27 PM   #10
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Hello again rav1964. Those 4:10's should put you right there in the ball park. That will help a lot with the strain on the engine. Be sure if you don't have a tranny cooler that you get one- It'll save you from transmission issues down the road. We love our V-lite, the V nose does help cut the wind resistance a little bit, but like I said 7 to 8 mpg at BEST, with my 3:54 gears, and in Overdrive pulling at 65 on flat Florida highway.
I have heard however that these Hemis get a bit thirsty with a load on. Our V is over 2 years old now, and we use it for Civil War reenacting in the winter months here, so we use all the 12 volt systems frequently. My only complaint is the rather small tanks on the V- Fresh and grey holding tanks mainly. Showers X 4 X 2 days= one fast transfer of water from freah to grey- empty to full. Ours has 2 grey tanks, one for the galley sink toward the rear, and one for the shower/bathroom sink in the mid/front area. I would prefer them to be bigger. Other than that- outstanding camper, tons of space, tons of storage areas, as well. I particularly love all the power features- tongue jack, awning, automatic water heater, 12 volt flat panel HDTV, and I use a 18volt cordless drill for the 4 corner jacks- virtually ALL power. The hardest thing is removing the reese dual cam bars/chain locks, and I use the power jacks for that. It pulls well, and I don't know about the 2010's, but the 08's have 14" C rated radial tires- Carlisles, that aren't the greatest. I have one that won't hold air and can't figure out why. Anyway, Good Luck, and your setup should be fine, in my opinion. Randy
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:07 AM   #11
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Might want to check on if you need to update/ change your ECU program to have it work with the gear change. Shift points could be off, as well as speedo.

As far as towing goes I've only towed mine back from up north. IMO the V splits the wind down each side of the trailer, when you pass or are being passed by someone it effects the wind distribution and seems to push you around a bit. Could just be or my truck/trailer combo as prior to this one I've only towed gooseneck style enclosed trailer.

One thing I did do was to tie the galley tank into the output of the grey tank so only have to hook up one hose. Not easy finding the black ABS fittings and piping, but a good RV shop will have what you need if you decide to do. Since it was a long run I installed a flexible coupler. Was afraid it might crack the tank or line going done the road.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:00 PM   #12
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just wanted to do a follow up and thank you all for the info. i decided to get a 3/4 ton pick up. by the time i do all the work to my truck it just made sense to upgrade. thanks again for all the input
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