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Old 04-08-2012, 09:53 AM   #11
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And make sure you empty or bladder before you travel.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:07 AM   #12
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"water weighs 8 lbs per gallon"
===================
The OP is from Canada.
Canadian water weighs 10 lbs per gallon.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocus View Post
"water weighs 8 lbs per gallon"
===================
The OP is from Canada.
Canadian water weighs 10 lbs per gallon.
10 lbs at 62 f

and thanks I learned something new today .
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:14 AM   #14
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Well, turbo, if you want to get picky, a US gallon of water sure doesn't weigh 8 lbs.
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:18 AM   #15
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OK, here is the raw data (with source links) and you can draw your own conclusions:

Truck Specs: 2007 GMC/Chevy 1500 STD Bed Ext Cab w/ 5.3 engine and 3.73 gears Factory Tow Package:
2007 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Ext Cab 143.5" SLE2 Specifications-Vehix

Max Combined weight - 12,000
Max gross weight - 6,800
CURB weight Front Axle - 2,824
CURB weight Rear Axle - 1,965
Total Curb Weight with SLE2 package - 4,789
MAX axle weight rating Front Axle - 3,600
MAX axle weight rating Rear Axle - 3,750
Max Tow Rating - 7,700
Maximum payload - 2011 (GVWR minus Curb weight)

The Camper's Specs are:
Flagstaff 2009 8524RLS

Length - 26 feet
DRY wt - 5,823
Dry Axle wt - 4767
Dry Hitch wt - 1056
Dry axle to hitch ratio - 18%
Maximum Payload DRY - 1,900
Maximum Camper Gross weight - 7,773

Optimized Pin Weight Load at Max gross weight
15% MINIMUM for safe handling - 1,166
18% DRY Ratio at max gross wt - 1,400
20% Optimum Pin Weight - 1,555
25% MAXIMUM SAFE pin wt - 1,943

Now to go any further we need the Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) off your yellow sticker on the side of your camper (or inside one of the cabinets) But for now, we will just use the DRY weight AS IF it was the actual UVW. The UVW could actually be several hundred pounds more than the listed DRY weight due to factory installed options; like air conditioning, Ladder, spare tire and holder, batteries, propane tanks and full propane, etc)

So, To find out what is left over for pin weight you must weigh the truck unhitched as you would travel for camping. All the family with the dog; a full tank of gas and the hitch installed. Any junk you normally carry in the bed should also be aboard.

Subtract that actual weight from 6800 pounds to find out how much your pin can weigh; then load accordingly.

You must also take care that your combined weight does not exceed the MCWR of your truck.

For example, if you max out the truck at 6800 pounds; the camper can't weigh more than 5200 pounds (12,000 - 6800) oops

If you max out the camper your truck can't weigh more than 4,227 (12,000 - 7773) also oops

Using the DRY weight (must use UVW here when you get it); say you only use about 1000 pounds of your stuff in the camper. Food, DVDs, cool mods, and water for flushing. That will make the camper weigh 6,823 pounds (say).

At the optimum balanced load for safe handling (20% pin weight) you will carry 1365 pounds of your camper's weight in the bed of the truck.

12,000 - 6823 = 5,177 pounds left for the truck to weigh.
That means your wife; dog; kids; spare gas can; and hitch can't weigh more than 388 pounds combined. Since a 5th wheel hitch can weight between 75 and 200 pounds, things get interesting very quickly.

I hope this helped with your question and gave you some tools to play with the numbers. To answer your question: Can a "half ton" tow a "half ton towable camper" the answer is "absolutely." You might just have to have the family follow you in the car, though.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #16
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Dont know where i got this but was once told that combine weight was 13000 lbs??? Forgot to mention that my truck is 2007 new model. Oops like you say that might where i went wrong in my calculation...
Dont think its a good idea to have my wife follow me in a car. She will be the only other passenger with me. Heres what are my number
Truck weight as per reg. paper 4987 lbs
wife and i 300 lbs
gas approx 180 lbs
fifht wheel hitch approx 100 lbs
total 580 lbs
payload 1618 lbs.-580 =1038 lbs for trailer pin
total weight 5567 lbs

Trailer uvm 6182 lbs
porpane as per label 54 lbs
water half 175 lbs. when travelling
cargo so far 365 lbs
clothes and food i dont think should exceed another 350 lbs although i have no idea. But with the experience in boating with the limited space we had i think should do it.
Total trailer weight: 7126 + tv 5567 = 12693
trailer pin 18%=1282 so over by 244 lbs.
So if your figure is right where overloaded by 700 pounds.
On the other hand if my figure are ok i shoud be under weight by 300 lbs.
And thank you for all your trouble of finding these numbers they are very helpfull. Kind of hard to get all the figures right as when you talk to sales people all they want is to sell you a unit. So these are the figures i had come up with after many inquiries. I knew it would be a close call but if i'm right good for us, but if your right will have to look for another TV.
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Old 04-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #17
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I think the bottom line is that you are right on the edge, probably ok for weekend jaunts, but not ideal for any trip of length, or mountain hauling.
You are short on both power and towing capacity, so just be careful when you are pulling. Safety is everyone's number one priority, or at least it should be!
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:10 PM   #18
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100-200 pounds of clothes and food and such is not going to be a noticeable difference. Everyone seems to forget the idea of wind resistance. There is a lot of surface area on a trailer like that therefore lots of wind resistance.
Will your truck physically pull it? Yes
Will it be a pleasant easy drive when a semi passes you or you have to go up even a small hill? No
Will your truck hold up very long to towing such a load on even a semi regular basis? Probably not
You are probably running at most 8 ply rated tires- no way you should attempt pulling fifth wheel with those- get 10 ply or better rated tires. Do not even attempt to use overdrive on the transmission unless you like throwing $2k at it regularly. The rear axle is not really up to the task of supporting that much weight either.
I know everyone here does the math and gets the weight down to the pound, but it is much better to err on the side of caution and have more truck than you absolutely have to have and not be sweating bullets while towing and always having to worry about somthing leaving you on the side of the road or worse causing an accident. You have to remember, there will be potholes in the road, animals crossing the road, people pulling out in front of you, etc.

Now, if you insist on using it, spend a few $$ up front and give the truck a fighting chance.
Change the gear oil in the rear axle and run synthetic- yes, axle oil does break down, get moisture in it, etc, and needs to be changed.
Add a set of airbags to the rear.
Drop the trans pan and replace the filter and refill with synthetic fluid and do NOT use overdrive except on perfectly flat roads (if it keeps shifting out of OD, leave OD off)- tow haul is not the same thing.
Add a LARGE trans cooler and if yours doesnt have the trans temp gauge factory, add one
Make sure yours truck tires are up to the task

Not trying to bash anyone or anything like that, but remember you will be at the limit of your truck.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:49 PM   #19
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Hey edman
I appreciate your concern and approve of it. We are never to caucious. I know too much truck is not a problem but not enough is. But when i started inquiring about my truck and this fifht wheel the answered i got was always that it was ok. But if i am still questionning this is because i have not yet eleminated every doubt that i had. but now it's getting very clear to me. The problem is getting the right answers for these question as every body as a different approach to the the math and not every body has the total image like all you guys gave me and i appreciate this a lot. I ain't looking for trouble just trying something new and hope to do it the right way and enjoy this new to us life style.
Me and my wife have been boating for a lot of years and never had problems cause we are caucious at what we do. Thanks all for your reply and keep it coming as it is very interesting and could be to some other people also. Thanks again Michel
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Old 04-08-2012, 08:01 PM   #20
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I had a really sweet Xcab z71 with 5.3. I got rid of it because I felt the trailer would be a lot of strain on it. No question it would pull, but how long would it last?
Pulling 8k worth of iron beams on a 16' trailer is greatly different than similar weight in a travel trailer package
I do a lot of towing, not just the travel trailer. FOr example- and I am running a different beast of a truck- I regularly pull my jeep and associated gear (lots of extra weight in parts and supplies) on a 16' trailer. Loaded package outweighs my travel trailer by around 1500+ pounds, yet it is a LOT easier to handle on the road than my travel trailer due to a more compact size and a lot less wind resistance.
I was just trying to show that weight is only part of the equation.
I regularly see 40' high front fifth wheels being towed by half tons. I also understand that the newer trucks are equipped and rated to tow a lot more than the trucks of old, but there is no way you would catch me trying it.
Some new half tons are configured and rated to tow more than my old superduty, but which one will last longer pulling a load regularly? I'll bet on mine. Also, I often describe it as the difference in driving with 2 hands vs 2 fingers on the wheel.
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