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Old 08-13-2017, 12:48 PM   #1
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Towing confusion

I have a 2014 Z71 Silverado v6 crew cab 5 1/2 bed 3.42 rear end with tow package. Owners manual shows I can tow 6900. Looked at a camper weighing 5200 lbs. Dealer said I can't pull it, people who have pulled campers for years say I can. I am confused! Any thoughts. Currently have a forest river 191rb, would like something a little bit bigger.
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Old 08-13-2017, 01:27 PM   #2
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The truck will most likely be fine as far as being able to handle the weight in regards to stability and braking (provided you get a controller) but acceleration is going to suck. My v8 5.3 isn't the best by any means but a 373 rear end change helped but still not amazing by any means
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:26 PM   #3
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That 6900lbs is calculated with the base model of your truck with no options, a full tank of gas and 150lb driver. Every additional passenger, and option adds to the actual weight of your truck and subtracts from that 6900lb towing capacity. Also, is that 5200lb weight for the trailer, the dry weight, or the Gross vehicle weight(GVW)? If it's the dry weight, then every can of soup and pair of jeans, not to mention filling the fresh water tank adds to that 5200lb number. So more than likely, your dealer is right, your truck cannot safely and legally tow that trailer.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:46 PM   #4
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The weight of the trailer is probably the dry weight and the actual GVW of the trailer with max load is probably 7500 lbs. If that is the case the dealer is right, your truck won't safely pull it.
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Old 08-13-2017, 07:57 PM   #5
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you also have to take into account PAYLOAD weight when towing a trailer... not just towing maximum weight

consider your 5200# dry weight trailer might weigh 6200# when you have it packed for travel, (battery, propane tanks, spare tire, food, water, whatever)... you need about 12%-15% (744# or more) on the rear of your truck as tongue weight to keep the trailer stable, plus add the weight of a weight distribution hitch WDH (75#), then add a couple of passengers (300#) their cargo, firewood, etc... (300#) = 1,419# which is probably either close to or just over the PAYLOAD limit posted on a sticker on your Silverado drivers door sill.

Does your truck have a tow package that includes integrated trailer brake controller and aux transmission cooler? Those will need to be added if you don't have those already.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mj0528 View Post
The truck will most likely be fine as far as being able to handle the weight in regards to stability and braking (provided you get a controller) but acceleration is going to suck. My v8 5.3 isn't the best by any means but a 373 rear end change helped but still not amazing by any means


Yea, I didn't take into consideration that they were prolly talking about dry weight so loaded up with propane, battery and even bare essentials will take you to the 6k mark pretty easily. I stay light as we typically only camp over a long weekend not too far from home
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:12 AM   #7
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I'm still having a hard time getting over the dealer saying he couldn't tow it. That's rare.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:17 AM   #8
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I'm still having a hard time getting over the dealer saying he couldn't tow it. That's rare.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:26 AM   #9
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I have a 2014 Z71 5.3 long bed (6'8") my TT weighs in at between 4300-4800 depending how long we are going to be out. It tows fine can run 70 to 75 if needed MPG sucks at that speed so i try to keep it in the 65mph range. Having said that i would not want to tow a TT as close to the max weight your OP quotes, I had a 2016 Colorado v6 had 305 hp, a little more than your truck and had a max tow of 7,000lb, and it pulled my TT. but it wasn't a pleasant tow.

by the way check out a Flagstaff 21FBRS,
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rp53 View Post
I have a 2014 Z71 5.3 long bed (6'8") my TT weighs in at between 4300-4800 depending how long we are going to be out. It tows fine can run 70 to 75 if needed MPG sucks at that speed so i try to keep it in the 65mph range. Having said that i would not want to tow a TT as close to the max weight your OP quotes, I had a 2016 Colorado v6 had 305 hp, a little more than your truck and had a max tow of 7,000lb, and it pulled my TT. but it wasn't a pleasant tow.

by the way check out a Flagstaff 21FBRS,
The 5.3 has a higher towing capacity than the V6 by 3000 lbs or more depending on the configuration of the TV.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jtolbert View Post
I have a 2014 Z71 Silverado v6 crew cab 5 1/2 bed 3.42 rear end with tow package. Owners manual shows I can tow 6900. Looked at a camper weighing 5200 lbs. Dealer said I can't pull it, people who have pulled campers for years say I can. I am confused! Any thoughts. Currently have a forest river 191rb, would like something a little bit bigger.
I actually say YES to a dealer that is trying to help you, But from what you have said, ask them WHY you can't tow it.
It sounds like you can.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by russhd1997 View Post
The 5.3 has a higher towing capacity than the V6 by 3000 lbs or more depending on the configuration of the TV.
i understand that but i had a Colorado that has more towing capacity than his TV and needed more for my 4500lb TT
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:51 AM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for your input on my question. I have only been able to check this trailer out on a Saturday, when the dealer has been extremely busy. He hears V6 and automatically says I can't pull it. I am going to go and talk to him on a weekday and have him talk me through this. I'm also going to use some of the charts that have been posted in this forum for determining how much I can tow. Hope it works out, but still not so sure. Certainly don't won't to be overloaded! The trailer we have been looking at is the Freedom Express 231RBDS with sofa. The Freedom Express works for me as I am 6'6", and there is lots of head room. Classic "bought the truck" before we discovered camping story.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:41 PM   #14
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Thought I would chime in here with my experience, as I have a VERY similar truck to yours. Mine is a 2016 Silverado double cab 4x4 4.3 V6 with the 3.42 rear end. I'm rated to tow 7200 pounds, according to my manual. It's a basic work truck package, with ~1800 pounds of payload, according to my door sticker.

I have a Rockwood Mini Lite 2306 that I pull with it, which weighs around 4100 pounds dry, so I assume every bit of 5000 lbs loaded. I have only towed this trailer twice, since I just bought it last month, but the trip home from the dealer with it was almost 200 miles. On the trip home from the dealer, I had about 50 lbs of tools in the bed, and one passenger. The 37 gallon water tank and 6 gallon water heater were filled to capacity, but there was no gear in the trailer.

Overall, I had zero complaints with my towing performance. I did lock out sixth gear, and placed the truck in tow/haul mode. My highway speeds were between 60-65MPH, and I was very comfortable at those speeds. On flat ground and small hills, I was running in fifth gear at 2000-2200 RPM. Bigger hills I would be in fourth gear at 2600RPM, and once I was all the way down in 3rd gear at 4000RPM, but this was driving through the Ozarks in Missouri. It was 106 degrees for the high that day (A record!) but my transmission temperature never exceeded 210 degrees.

I think a trailer that weighed 1000 pounds more would be doable, but definitely towards the limit of what the truck is capable of pulling well. It all depends on what your expectations are. If you want to fly up every hill at 70MPH on cruise control, it's time for a new truck, or stay with the smaller trailer. If you're OK with doing 60-65, and slowing down on big hills a little bit, I THINK you might be OK, based on my experience with a trailer that weighs ~1000lbs less dry. Plan on the trailer weighing 6200-6300 pounds fully loaded, with a tongue weight somewhere in the 750-800 pound range.

Bottom line is, you're going to be very close on numbers, but I think it could work. I'm very happy with my truck, which is nearly identical to yours, towing a trailer that weighs 1000 pounds less. Obviously make sure you have a good brake controller and good WDH. Other than that, I don't think this combination will necessarily be unsafe, just very close on the numbers. If you decide to buy the trailer, take it by a scale empty, and see where your actual weights are, so that you know how much to load, and where to load it. Last of all, HAVE FUN!
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