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Old 08-06-2020, 10:00 AM   #1
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2018 v6 1500 silverado towing, 23mk or 23dbh possible?

Hi all -
I just started getting into RVing, and we LOVE it. We've camped at least every other weekend since march.

We bought a Jayco SLX 154bh that is super tiny, realized we hate not having a constant dinette and it's super cramped with dogs. We are looking at upgrading to a 2021 Forest River Wolf Pup Black Label 18TOBL for $17k, but then started looking at bigger campers. Specifically the 2021 Grey Wolf 23DBH ($19k) and recently saw the 2021 Grey Wolf 23MK ($18k).

I actually made a list below... of the truck weight limits and the trailers I'm looking at:

Max tow rating for our truck: 7100 minus 200 for kids and dogs = 6900
Max payload capacity: 1770 - 540 (kids and dogs) - 100 (weight distribution hitch) - 945 tongue weight (.15 * 6300, meaning we have 1k of cargo loaded) = 185 left


Trailer weigths:
23bdh' - 621 hitch / 5380 unloaded / 7621 full capacity
18tobl - 437 hitch / 3797 unloaded / 4998 full capacity
23mk - 608 hitch / 5083 unloaded / 7628 full capacity

Here's the unloaded weights and gvwr of each trailer:

Trailer weigths:
23bdh' - 621 hitch / 5380 unloaded / 7621 full capacity
18tobl - 437 hitch / 3797 unloaded / 4998 full capacity
23mk - 608 hitch / 5083 unloaded / 7628 full capacity

Am I understanding the numbers correctly? It seems just okay, but on the edge, as it is, but still doable.

I thought I should go with the 18tobl due to the weight, but then again, if you look at it like this - the cargo capacity on the 18to is only another 1k or so pounds. If i only add 1k in cargo to the 23mk, I'm only at 6200 lb. I know that's still high on the ratio versus my max tow rating, but payload seems fine, right? We live near Kansas City, we do like to go to Colorado a couple times a year. Anyone have experience with this setup? Will I be killing my truck? Will the Rocky Mountain hills be nerve-wrecking? We could always stick to closer campspots if we get the 23mk, then upgrade our tow truck in a few years.

Much appreciated
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:50 AM   #2
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My 2016 Silverado with the 5.3L had a tough enough time pulling my 19 foot trailer. It struggled going up mountain passes. Not to mention, I was over my payload capacity when fully loaded. And I had the optional 3.42 rear axle. I can't even imagine trying to pull it with a V6. My solution was to get a Silverado with the 6.2L engine and the max trailering package. Now I can pull those mountain passes with ease.
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Old 08-06-2020, 12:00 PM   #3
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I appreciate the reply, but how much did your 19' weigh? I'm also curious if my numbers I posted are off, whether they're too close to the maxes or not, am I doing the calculations right?
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:17 PM   #4
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zimmer, where did you get the 1770lbs payload capacity number? From your door sticker or a brochure/website?
And you have to subtract the weights of EVERYONE in the Truck, not just kids and dogs.
And you won't have any other cargo in the Truck, just driver, kids, dogs and WDH?
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:29 PM   #5
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The 1770 is from the sticker in the door. I list -200 from tow rating since the owner's manual says it includes a driver and passenger.

I actually subtracted 540 on the payload and not just 200. 540 includes the weight of my wife, myself, my 2 kids, and my 2 dogs. Since the camper so much larger than what we currently have, I figure we can load anything inside it rather than inside the truck, hence no more added to payload.
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:56 PM   #6
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The place to start on the trailers is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This is the maximum weight of the trailer recommended by the manufacturer when it is loaded with everything your trailer can safely carry. This includes water, food, clothing, battery(ies), full LP tank(s), chairs, etc.

The hitch and unloaded weights you give for all 3 trailers mean absolutely nothing, they are just a marketing ploy as those weights will never match any of the 3 trailers when you take delivery.

If the GVWR for the 18tobl is 4998#, your hitch weight at 13% will be 649.7#. - You will be good on this TT.


On the next two your over before you get started if you load them to the GVWR.

If the GVWR for the 23bdh is 7621#, your hitch weight at 13% will be 990.7#.
If the GVWR for the 23mk is 7628#, your hitch weight at 13% will be 991.6#.
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:56 PM   #7
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It looks like you have 1100lbs of payload left after your WDH and living beings. Assuming 12% of the trailer GVW you are within the numbers on all of the trailers. It's close, but you are within. No on is saying you have to use all of the trailer payload either.

You may be in the far right lane going up mountains, but at first glance it looks like you can do it. Build a spreadsheet for yourself to play around with different scenarios like the kids hitting growth spurts, you wanting to put something in the truck bed, or a guys weekend where the passengers are heavier.

Don't forget, your rear axle GWR. You can be good on payload but over on RAGWR.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmer04 View Post
The 1770 is from the sticker in the door. I list -200 from tow rating since the owner's manual says it includes a driver and passenger.

I actually subtracted 540 on the payload and not just 200. 540 includes the weight of my wife, myself, my 2 kids, and my 2 dogs. Since the camper so much larger than what we currently have, I figure we can load anything inside it rather than inside the truck, hence no more added to payload.
Unless GM does something different than everybody else, all Occupants(including driver)weights go against payload capacity. The only thing not counted is a full fuel tank weight.
TOWING capacity usually includes a 150lbs driver and full fuel tank.
But 1770lbs is a good number for a 1/2 ton.
Use 12-13% of the trailer's GVWR for a ballpark loaded tongue weight.
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:36 PM   #9
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I think a V6 Silverado will do it but you wont have much reserve while getting 8mpg at a constant 4000rpm. Passing wont happen and be sure to look for turnouts when climbing mountains.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobienick View Post
It looks like you have 1100lbs of payload left after your WDH and living beings..
Are you saying payload is reduced after adding a WDH?
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:13 PM   #11
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Are you saying payload is reduced after adding a WDH?
O, I guess you mean the initial payload number minus wdh weight of 100 minus preople. Got it.
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Old 08-06-2020, 04:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by zimmer04 View Post
O, I guess you mean the initial payload number minus wdh weight of 100 minus preople. Got it.
yep. I assume 100lbs for WDH.
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Old 08-06-2020, 05:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by upflying View Post
I think a V6 Silverado will do it but you wont have much reserve while getting 8mpg at a constant 4000rpm. Passing wont happen and be sure to look for turnouts when climbing mountains.
Has anyone actually done it though? I tried gogleing, but it is hard to find posts where the engine is the 4.3L and not the higher end v8s. I guess in the end you are right though, and match along with my suspicions. I expect it to be very close and hard on hills, so if I do do it, I should limit Colorado/longer trips until I can get a better tow vehicle.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmer04 View Post
Has anyone actually done it though? I tried gogleing, but it is hard to find posts where the engine is the 4.3L and not the higher end v8s. I guess in the end you are right though, and match along with my suspicions. I expect it to be very close and hard on hills, so if I do do it, I should limit Colorado/longer trips until I can get a better tow vehicle.
You're not finding much information about towing with the 4.3l because most would always choose a v-8 for towing, over a naturally aspirated v-6. Especially since dealers stock vastly more v-8 1/2 ton trucks, than v-6 1/2 ton trucks, except for the Ford Ecoboost.
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Old 08-06-2020, 11:27 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by zimmer04 View Post
I appreciate the reply, but how much did your 19' weigh? I'm also curious if my numbers I posted are off, whether they're too close to the maxes or not, am I doing the calculations right?
It probably weighed 5000 lbs or less when I towed it from Arizona to Alaska.
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Old 08-07-2020, 06:08 AM   #16
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I am on record several times stating that if your truck passed the tow standards then your truck can do it. So now that you know your truck can do it you have to ask if you are willing.

You have to understand that you will have power issues, it will take longer to get up to speed, you will rev higher. You wonít be the first up an incline, mpg will be down. This is true of the majority of the tow vehicles. You might experience more being a V-6 and low rearend. It was mentioned in a earlier post that most buy v-8 if towing and v-6 for having a fuel efficient truck. I didnít say a v-6 isnít a capable truck. Towing just isnít itís strongest point.

Again even though I pulled heavier trailer with a 1/2 ton they both had more hp/ tq ( eco boost & 5.7) more importantly I had 3:55 or 4:30 gearing.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:27 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone. Looks like I will go with the 18to. Maybe when one of our vehicles needs replaced, we can with a bigger tow vehicle and upgrade the camper if need be. We do still love the 18to layout anyways though.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmer04 View Post
Hi all -
I just started getting into RVing, and we LOVE it. We've camped at least every other weekend since march.

We bought a Jayco SLX 154bh that is super tiny, realized we hate not having a constant dinette and it's super cramped with dogs. We are looking at upgrading to a 2021 Forest River Wolf Pup Black Label 18TOBL for $17k, but then started looking at bigger campers. Specifically the 2021 Grey Wolf 23DBH ($19k) and recently saw the 2021 Grey Wolf 23MK ($18k).

I actually made a list below... of the truck weight limits and the trailers I'm looking at:

Max tow rating for our truck: 7100 minus 200 for kids and dogs = 6900
Max payload capacity: 1770 - 540 (kids and dogs) - 100 (weight distribution hitch) - 945 tongue weight (.15 * 6300, meaning we have 1k of cargo loaded) = 185 left


Trailer weigths:
23bdh' - 621 hitch / 5380 unloaded / 7621 full capacity
18tobl - 437 hitch / 3797 unloaded / 4998 full capacity
23mk - 608 hitch / 5083 unloaded / 7628 full capacity

Here's the unloaded weights and gvwr of each trailer:

Trailer weigths:
23bdh' - 621 hitch / 5380 unloaded / 7621 full capacity
18tobl - 437 hitch / 3797 unloaded / 4998 full capacity
23mk - 608 hitch / 5083 unloaded / 7628 full capacity

Am I understanding the numbers correctly? It seems just okay, but on the edge, as it is, but still doable.

I thought I should go with the 18tobl due to the weight, but then again, if you look at it like this - the cargo capacity on the 18to is only another 1k or so pounds. If i only add 1k in cargo to the 23mk, I'm only at 6200 lb. I know that's still high on the ratio versus my max tow rating, but payload seems fine, right? We live near Kansas City, we do like to go to Colorado a couple times a year. Anyone have experience with this setup? Will I be killing my truck? Will the Rocky Mountain hills be nerve-wrecking? We could always stick to closer campspots if we get the 23mk, then upgrade our tow truck in a few years.

Much appreciated
Sorry for error. See next post.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
My 2016 Silverado with the 5.3L had a tough enough time pulling my 19 foot trailer. It struggled going up mountain passes. Not to mention, I was over my payload capacity when fully loaded. And I had the optional 3.42 rear axle. I can't even imagine trying to pull it with a V6. My solution was to get a Silverado with the 6.2L engine and the max trailering package. Now I can pull those mountain passes with ease.
X2. You're going to have to keep that V6 wound-up to pull the hills with that 18tobl. You're not going to like the drive. As Scrapper stated, the other two are beyond your TV's capacity.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:09 PM   #20
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This little guy is a V6. Chevy Colorado.

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