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Old 02-15-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
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Not sure our truck is big enough - help!

Hello, we're hoping some of you can advise us. Like a lot of other people, we should have worried about this before we bought our TT, but we didn't. My husband and I just bought our first RV ever - it's a Surveyor Select 305, which according to the website has a dry weight of 7,782 lbs and is 36' long (it's a bunkhouse with an outside kitchen). Our truck is a 2006 gas Chevy Silverado 2500 HD crew cab, short box, 6.0 V8 and everyone told us it could pull just about anything. The truck's towing guide says its max towing capacity is 10,000 lbs, so we thought we were ok, but after plugging in the numbers (or most of them) on the TT towing calculator (I found the link on this forum), it says the trailer's total loaded weight shouldn't exceed 7,000 lbs, so I'm a little concerned. I have the following information about the truck: GVWR=9,200, GCWR=16,000, GAWR=4,670 for front and 6,084 for back, the total curb weight is 5,594 and the max tongue weight (guess that means how much it can handle??) is 1,470. The total weight of the people in the truck would be about 400 pounds. Our hitch is a Reese with a sway bar and stabilizers (if that makes a difference). I would really love to hear anyone's thoughts because I'm really confused. Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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We looked hard at that trailer, ended up with a Coachmen of the same size.

The way I see it, you have two problems. I would lay down money that as delivered that trailer is every bit of 8500 lbs, and you will be over 9K going down the road. Figure 15% tonuge weight just on the 9K (which you WILL go over) is 1350.

so problem 1 - you will be over your payload rating on that truck,
problem 2, I bet you will be over your GCVWR as well.

Not what you wanted to here, trust me I know.

First, you already have the TT so let's find out how bad it is. Get to a CAT scale and get some weights, you need ot find out what your total is, the trailer weight and axle weights.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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I see the truck is gas but what else does it have..? Tranny auto or standard..? Rear end Gears..? Does it have a tow/haul switch..? Any tranny or oil coolers..? 4x4..?

I know what you mean about being told it pull anything, we had a similar issue when looking for our unit.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #4
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Okay keep in mind these are your numbers and to be accurate you will need to weight your vehicle.

GVWR – Curb – hitch – passengers - tongue weight= Reserve
9200 - 5594 - 50 - 400 - 1350 = 1806 Reserve

GCWR – New Curb – Camper Axle Weight = Reserve
16000 - 7394 – 7650 = 956

IMHO you are well within your weights.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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Stop worrying. You will not exceed one rating on the truck. You may get close to the 16K GCWR, as am I with my truck and trailer, but that is exactly what these trucks are designed for: working hard. Your tongue weight will be in the 1100lb range, considering the 863lb dry TW. Let the engine rev up the hills at 4K RPM and it won't break a sweat. You entered something wrong into the calculator.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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I don't see any issue as far as the payload capacity of the truck. Even fully loaded with passengers and gear, the weight should be around 7200 lbs which leaves 2000 lb capacity for the camper's tongue weight.

The issue is the poor max towing limit of 10000 lbs. The 2006 Trailer Life towing guide says 10100 if CC SB 2WD or 9800 if CC SB 4WD...the only axle ratio listed is 4.10. I'd suspect that the low rating is due to the low horsepower/torque (for a 6.0L) rating of 300/360. In 2007 the power numbers were increased.

One possible solution would be to increase the axle ratio to 4.30 or 4.56 which would increase it's towing capability. Though no other ratios for your truck are listed in the guide, this would typically raise the towing limit by 1000 - 2000 lbs. If the truck is 2WD, the gear change isn't too expensive...if it's 4WD the change would be well over $1000, which still may be cheaper than replacing the truck.

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Old 02-15-2013, 02:46 PM   #7
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I had this exact same truck in 4x4. Didn't like the way it pulled at all. I had an Outback Loft 27', which had a very high profile and 7500lb loaded, and about a 3 hour trip was all I wanted to pull with it. It struggled to maintain 65mph without dropping 3rd. A lower profile camper might do a better. It had no problems getting up going or with weight. If you look at what an Outback loft is, you'll see what I'm talking about. Most people have never seen one.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kayanyagio View Post
Hello, we're hoping some of you can advise us. Like a lot of other people, we should have worried about this before we bought our TT, but we didn't. My husband and I just bought our first RV ever - it's a Surveyor Select 305, which according to the website has a dry weight of 7,782 lbs and is 36' long (it's a bunkhouse with an outside kitchen). Our truck is a 2006 gas Chevy Silverado 2500 HD crew cab, short box, 6.0 V8 and everyone told us it could pull just about anything. The truck's towing guide says its max towing capacity is 10,000 lbs, so we thought we were ok, but after plugging in the numbers (or most of them) on the TT towing calculator (I found the link on this forum), it says the trailer's total loaded weight shouldn't exceed 7,000 lbs, so I'm a little concerned. I have the following information about the truck: GVWR=9,200, GCWR=16,000, GAWR=4,670 for front and 6,084 for back, the total curb weight is 5,594 and the max tongue weight (guess that means how much it can handle??) is 1,470. The total weight of the people in the truck would be about 400 pounds. Our hitch is a Reese with a sway bar and stabilizers (if that makes a difference). I would really love to hear anyone's thoughts because I'm really confused. Thanks!
Had an 09 2500HD 6.0 2wd crewcab w/3.73's...towing a 32' TT with a dry weight of 8300lbs...I was fine on flats, anything with incline and that truck would gear own in 3rd, horrible gas mileage & didn't like the engine screaming at 4000 rpm to get all your torque out of the 6.0!



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Old 02-15-2013, 05:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
Okay keep in mind these are your numbers and to be accurate you will need to weight your vehicle.

GVWR – Curb – hitch – passengers - tongue weight= Reserve
9200 - 5594 - 50 - 400 - 1350 = 1806 Reserve

GCWR – New Curb – Camper Axle Weight = Reserve
16000 - 7394 – 7650 = 956

IMHO you are well within your weights.

h20ski did some good "guesstimate" calculations there. That particular trailer is going to be pushing the limits on many 3/4 ton trucks.....that is 1 long trailer, but not particularly heavy for that length.......but still.

The GVWR of the Chevy minus the listed curb weight you should have a payload of 3606 lbs. The thing with curb weights is they seldom indicate the true weight of the truck before hooking up for a trip. In the case of my truck, I am about 600 lbs. over the listed curb weight with me in the drivers seat, and a couple of items in the bed, a bed liner, TracRac rails, and some personal gear in the cab.

The 400 lbs. of passengers might be a little low, depending on the kids ages....presumed since you have bunkhouse. With me, the missus and the dog, we are over 400 lbs. with just us, and we are not real heavy people for our heights.

Here are the stats I found on the SV 305: http://www.forestriverinc.com/Travel...VType=trailers

The SV 305 is gonna be over 8000 lbs. coming from the dealer.....not counting loading up the camping gear. On another thread, it was determined that campers typically load up 800 to 1000 lbs. Since that trailer is a bunkhouse, indicating kids, let's say 1000 lbs. with all of their additional gear.

So even using the figures that h2Oski speculated of just 7400 lbs for the truck, subtracting that from the GCWR of 16,000 lbs., you can only pull a 8600 lb. trailer behind your truck.

See how these puppies can be close with a big trailer and a 3/4 ton truck ??

More concerning is if the hitch can handle that weight. Many times a manufacturer will put a hitch on the truck that is rated for a tongue weight that is 10% of the total listed towing weight. In this case, you might have a hitch that is rated for 1000 lbs. (weight distributing capacity), when the actual tongue weight might be in the neighborhood of 1200 lbs. or more. There should be a sticker on the hitch stating the maximum towing weights.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dave_Monica View Post

The issue is the poor max towing limit of 10000 lbs. The 2006 Trailer Life towing guide says 10100 if CC SB 2WD or 9800 if CC SB 4WD...the only axle ratio listed is 4.10. I'd suspect that the low rating is due to the low horsepower/torque (for a 6.0L) rating of 300/360. In 2007 the power numbers were increased.

One possible solution would be to increase the axle ratio to 4.30 or 4.56 which would increase it's towing capability. Though no other ratios for your truck are listed in the guide, this would typically raise the towing limit by 1000 - 2000 lbs. If the truck is 2WD, the gear change isn't too expensive...if it's 4WD the change would be well over $1000, which still may be cheaper than replacing the truck.

Dave
My Ram 4x4 quadcab 3/4 ton Hemi with a 3.73 gear is rated to tow a mere 8,800lbs the jump to a 4.10 bumps that figure up to 10,800lbs. I skipped right over the 4.10 and went to a 4.56 when I did my gear swap about 2 months ago. It cost me 2K for parts and labor and that was cheaper than the other shop quoted me (2,800).
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:01 PM   #11
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Mtnguy, his 7400 number was INCLUDING the tongue weight, which I estimate at 1100lbs. I still say no worries. If a 3/4 ton GM truck can not pull a 9K trailer I would be shocked.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by puff View Post
I see the truck is gas but what else does it have..? Tranny auto or standard..? Rear end Gears..? Does it have a tow/haul switch..? Any tranny or oil coolers..? 4x4..?

I know what you mean about being told it pull anything, we had a similar issue when looking for our unit.
It has automatic trans, a tow/haul switch, it's 4x4, it's a 4.1 gear ratio, and it does have the transmission temp gauge. Not sure what "rear end gears" means. When we were going up some small hills (Florida hills), it would definitely make more noise and was working a lot harder, but my husband said the 2 temp gauges never moved. Next time he knows to use the tow/haul switch. Thanks
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:49 AM   #13
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Thank you - I hope you're right.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by h20ski View Post
Okay keep in mind these are your numbers and to be accurate you will need to weight your vehicle.

GVWR – Curb – hitch – passengers - tongue weight= Reserve
9200 - 5594 - 50 - 400 - 1350 = 1806 Reserve

GCWR – New Curb – Camper Axle Weight = Reserve
16000 - 7394 – 7650 = 956

IMHO you are well within your weights.
Thanks, your formula seems pretty straight forward. We'll get weighed soon, but is it best to weigh the truck and TT unloaded (without gear, water, etc)?
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:58 AM   #15
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Mtnguy, his 7400 number was INCLUDING the tongue weight, which I estimate at 1100lbs. I still say no worries. If a 3/4 ton GM truck can not pull a 9K trailer I would be shocked.
Thanks so much!
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:04 AM   #16
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Stop worrying. You will not exceed one rating on the truck. You may get close to the 16K GCWR, as am I with my truck and trailer, but that is exactly what these trucks are designed for: working hard. Your tongue weight will be in the 1100lb range, considering the 863lb dry TW. Let the engine rev up the hills at 4K RPM and it won't break a sweat. You entered something wrong into the calculator.
Thanks so much! It made a lot more noise going up some small Florida hills. I wonder what will happen if we go up a real mountain (as in North Carolina).
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:19 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dave_Monica View Post
I don't see any issue as far as the payload capacity of the truck. Even fully loaded with passengers and gear, the weight should be around 7200 lbs which leaves 2000 lb capacity for the camper's tongue weight.

The issue is the poor max towing limit of 10000 lbs. The 2006 Trailer Life towing guide says 10100 if CC SB 2WD or 9800 if CC SB 4WD...the only axle ratio listed is 4.10. I'd suspect that the low rating is due to the low horsepower/torque (for a 6.0L) rating of 300/360. In 2007 the power numbers were increased.

One possible solution would be to increase the axle ratio to 4.30 or 4.56 which would increase it's towing capability. Though no other ratios for your truck are listed in the guide, this would typically raise the towing limit by 1000 - 2000 lbs. If the truck is 2WD, the gear change isn't too expensive...if it's 4WD the change would be well over $1000, which still may be cheaper than replacing the truck.

Dave
We do have a 4WD, so increasing the axle ratio would be expensive, but cheaper than trading in truck for a diesel. It's just that increasing the axle ratio would make the mpg even worse than it is - right? It took 1/4 tank of gas to go get the TT and a half tank to return with it - that was sobering!
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:24 AM   #18
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I had this exact same truck in 4x4. Didn't like the way it pulled at all. I had an Outback Loft 27', which had a very high profile and 7500lb loaded, and about a 3 hour trip was all I wanted to pull with it. It struggled to maintain 65mph without dropping 3rd. A lower profile camper might do a better. It had no problems getting up going or with weight. If you look at what an Outback loft is, you'll see what I'm talking about. Most people have never seen one.
I had wanted to consider one of the lite TT's, but my husband had no interest in those as he thinks they're not made as well. It seems that a lot of people have them. If we still keep getting 7 mpg, maybe he'll reconsider in the future.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ragin Cajun View Post
Had an 09 2500HD 6.0 2wd crewcab w/3.73's...towing a 32' TT with a dry weight of 8300lbs...I was fine on flats, anything with incline and that truck would gear own in 3rd, horrible gas mileage & didn't like the engine screaming at 4000 rpm to get all your torque out of the 6.0!
Yes, I assumed we'd get at least 10 mpg, but it looks more like 7. I was mentally planning our trips from Florida to Canada and California, but now I'm thinking we'll stay closer to home.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
h20ski did some good "guesstimate" calculations there. That particular trailer is going to be pushing the limits on many 3/4 ton trucks.....that is 1 long trailer, but not particularly heavy for that length.......but still.

The GVWR of the Chevy minus the listed curb weight you should have a payload of 3606 lbs. The thing with curb weights is they seldom indicate the true weight of the truck before hooking up for a trip. In the case of my truck, I am about 600 lbs. over the listed curb weight with me in the drivers seat, and a couple of items in the bed, a bed liner, TracRac rails, and some personal gear in the cab.

The 400 lbs. of passengers might be a little low, depending on the kids ages....presumed since you have bunkhouse. With me, the missus and the dog, we are over 400 lbs. with just us, and we are not real heavy people for our heights.

Here are the stats I found on the SV 305: Surveyor Travel Trailer by Forest River

The SV 305 is gonna be over 8000 lbs. coming from the dealer.....not counting loading up the camping gear. On another thread, it was determined that campers typically load up 800 to 1000 lbs. Since that trailer is a bunkhouse, indicating kids, let's say 1000 lbs. with all of their additional gear.

So even using the figures that h2Oski speculated of just 7400 lbs for the truck, subtracting that from the GCWR of 16,000 lbs., you can only pull a 8600 lb. trailer behind your truck.

See how these puppies can be close with a big trailer and a 3/4 ton truck ??

More concerning is if the hitch can handle that weight. Many times a manufacturer will put a hitch on the truck that is rated for a tongue weight that is 10% of the total listed towing weight. In this case, you might have a hitch that is rated for 1000 lbs. (weight distributing capacity), when the actual tongue weight might be in the neighborhood of 1200 lbs. or more. There should be a sticker on the hitch stating the maximum towing weights.
You're right, the payload is 3,606 (according to towing guide). My husband and I will mostly be traveling by ourselves (400 pounds total) because our grown kids and grandkids will join us in camps in their own cars. We got bunkhouse for them, but we won't be pulling their gear in our TT, so that's good. Question about carrying stuff - Does it help the weight problem if you carry stuff in the truck bed versus the TT?
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