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Old 02-17-2015, 07:56 PM   #1
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Towing vehicle

I am looking to buy a new towing vehicle. Looking to get a Chevy suburban 1500 with a factory tow package since I have a family. Also looking into buying a new camper. I'm still learning all the towing capacity lingo and have a few questions. 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. Any answers would be much appreciated!
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:01 PM   #2
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You opened the can again...... Get ready to hear the thunder

If you have towed before bigger is fine if not don't go bigger then you need to.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
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I have a 26ft surveyor right now it's an ultra lite though
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:06 PM   #4
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I'm just looking to find answers about the max dry weight I should look at with a Chevy suburban 1500. Just want to make sure before I start looking at campers. I want to know my limits.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:08 PM   #5
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There will be lots of opinions and numbers.

My experiance towing with a 1500 truck, based on my travel and driving abilities. 5500pds dry and no more then 30ft bumper to hitch. I have towed 6000 and 6500 pd campers dry, better part of 8000pds loaded and those over the 30ft mark always left me uncomfortable based on the feel.

Take it for what it is, only my experiance and not telling you what you can do or compfort level will handle. Be mindful of your payload rating, it is the number that often falls short on half ton based vehicals. There are some out there though that would give a 3/4 ton a run in the payload department. Each vehical even of the same type can carry a different number based on options on the rig itself.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:11 PM   #6
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Best answer I can give is weigh or over estimate how much cargo and kid you will be hauling and leave yourself 500lbs to fudge don't forget the stuff that will be residing in your truck full time.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:12 PM   #7
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Just try to get the dealer to replace the P tires with at least LR D, preferably LR E.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgarza0910 View Post
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.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:44 AM   #9
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I'd be looking at something in the 6000-6500 GVWR for a TT for the Suburban and I'd definitely be watching your payload ratings.

My setup in my signature puts me within 50-100lbs. of my payload rating so it's easy to overlook as most people are fixated on the tow rating instead.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:52 AM   #10
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The other aspect of this is the max payload (as outlined above) of the suburban. You often run out of payload first, remember to factor tongue weight into payload as well. So if the payload is 1900 lbs and you have a tongue weight of 800 lbs this means you only have 1100 lbs left for cargo, bodies and such. This was for illustrative purposes, I dont know the actaul numbers on the suburban. If you load it smart (the TT and TV) couple it with a WD hitch and sway control (due to length) it seems doable.
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