Originally Posted by pgarza0910
The suburban says it's rated to tow 8100 lbs. what would be the max dry weight and length of a camper I should go for. I'm assuming no more that 6000lbs dry weight. Is this correct? Would it be able to tow a 32-33 ft camper? I plan on getting Wd and away control along with a brake controller.
Don't look at dry weight. That's a nearly fictitious number. Look at the GVWR. The GVWR is the maximum weight the trailer may be if fully loaded (maximum, as in the most the manufacturer can allow).
Imagine you buy a trailer with a dry weight of 6000 pounds. Add two Group 27 batteries (125 pounds total), fill your dual propane tanks (40 pounds), add bedding, cookware, dishes, a television... and any other equipment that wasn't on the trailer the day it rolled off the factory line. Also fill your water tanks, and partially fill your gray water and black water tanks. Now weigh it again. Remember that a 40 gallon water tank is 328 pounds when it's full.
I won't speculate what it might weigh when all the options, doo-dads, and conveniences of home are added. But one thing you can take to the bank; the prudent owner will not allow that weight to exceed what the manufacturer allows. So the GVWR is your upper limit, and a more reasonable number to use when sizing a trailer to a tow vehicle.
Still, the 8500 pounds capacity of the Suburban is no slouch. But you also have to remember that the capacity of 8500 pounds assumes an empty suburban, with a 150 pound driver and no passengers. From the 8500 pounds you must subtract the weight of all passengers, the weight that the driver is in excess of 150 pounds, and the weight of any in-vehicle cargo.
So the trailer that was 6000 pounds in the factory could have an actual "loaded up and ready to go" weight of 7500 or 8000 pounds. Your suburban's towing capacity of 8500 pounds could be reduced by 600 pounds worth of passengers, and 200 pounds of gear, bringing it down to 7700 pounds remaining capacity for the trailer. If that trailer is loaded up to 8000 pounds, and the suburban is loaded such that it has 7700 pounds remaining tow capacity, you're 300 pounds overloaded!
You also have to look at maximum tongue weight, and at the weight the rear axle is allowed to bear. A WDH will help here by shifting weight to all axles, but it's still a number that has to be considered.
If the GVWR is 7500 pounds, then I would think you're probably safe. I bet that most people wouldn't be loading their suburban with more than 1000 pounds of people and gear, so a 7500 pound (loaded) trailer should still be within the vehicle's tow capacity.