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Old 05-14-2022, 10:16 PM   #1
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1/2 Ton with 2513s mini lite?

After researching travel trailers for quite some time, my wife and I have put a down payment on a 2513s. As I have gained more knowledge and ran numbers through tow calculators, it seems that this will be pushing my GMC Sierra 1500 near it's max. I want to be sure we can safely tow the 2513s.

Truck - GVWR 7100, GCWR 15000, Max Payload 1479, Tongue weight 890

2513s - dry weight 5971, hitch weight 660

I have been reassured by various salesmen that I should have no trouble. Again, I just want to be sure that we are able to safely tow the 2513s safely. We have purchased an andersen weight distribution hitch to use as well.

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 05-14-2022, 10:32 PM   #2
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Its possible that all loaded up ready to camp the TT hitch weight will be well north of 900lbs.
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Old 05-15-2022, 05:58 AM   #3
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Thats pushing it . I just traded my 1500 for a 2500 in December and I was at about 5k loaded and 550 on the tongue and with the new used 2500 I never even used my leveling hitch to Florida and back but I never could have done that with the 1500 . The stealers will tell you anything to get you to buy. Your almost 6k unloaded so loaded you will wont have much headroom on the 7100 total . A 2500 gets you 13k bumper and I think 14 with a 5th wheel. Safer id say.

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Old 05-15-2022, 06:09 AM   #4
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I towed a 36’ TT with empty tongue weight of 875. It really dropped my rear a lot. On my 2014 Tundra the spare was barely off the ground ( factory installed under the front hitch). Using my 2014 F 150 I wasn’t able to remove the block from under the front jack as the truck sunk to low. So with the addition of Sumo springs, and obviously weight distribution. I know I was over payload, I was able to start and stop safely. I felt perfectly safe. That said I Would NOT recommend doing it. If you are already worried about if your truck can do it. Your expectations vs reality are already skewed. You will be creating your own white knuckle experience. I was ignorant about payload ( I read the sticker but never gave thought both were within 30 pounds of 1200 payload and me and family added 800 pounds before any trailer, tool or other items were added) Even when I bought a F 350 single wheel drive and a new Wildcat I was over payload. Again able to start and stop safely. Not until I we went to dual wheel drive did I finally have more payload capacity than I had payload. While I think your truck will be up to the job in my opinion you will always be worried about can my truck do it. Creating an unpleasant driving experience.
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Old 05-15-2022, 06:49 AM   #5
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Yeah, basically when I did more research and ran the numbers last night, I just don't see how we wouldn't be over payload. Of course we love the 2513s, but certainly not enough if puts us in danger or isn't practical to even load it for the camp site.
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmoore16 View Post
After researching travel trailers for quite some time, my wife and I have put a down payment on a 2513s. As I have gained more knowledge and ran numbers through tow calculators, it seems that this will be pushing my GMC Sierra 1500 near it's max. I want to be sure we can safely tow the 2513s.

Truck - GVWR 7100, GCWR 15000, Max Payload 1479, Tongue weight 890

2513s - dry weight 5971, hitch weight 660

I have been reassured by various salesmen that I should have no trouble. Again, I just want to be sure that we are able to safely tow the 2513s safely. We have purchased an andersen weight distribution hitch to use as well.

Thanks for the advice!
Have to love those Salesmen, they reassured that your should not have trouble, the word should doesn't give me a feeling of confidence.

My concern with your numbers is the #1479 Max Payload. Is that the true 'as built' payload listed in the driver's door jam sticker? I have a 2019 F150 4x4, 6.5 bed, Supercrew and my Payload is #1810 from the door jam sticker. That's #331 pounds more than your payload. Have you weighed your Truck?
My F150 GVWR is #7050 and it scales (full fuel (36 gal), hitched, loaded to travel, all passengers and stuff in truck bed) #6840, so I'm under my GVWR by #210.

I tow a very similar speced trailer (2021 Vibe 21BH) as the 2513s.
****************
2021 Vibe Manufacture Specs:
Length: 25’ 7”
UVW: #5245
CCC: #2355
GVWR: #7700
Hitch Weight: #636 (12% of UVW)

2021 Vibe as loaded for Travel as Scaled:
axle(s): #5540
Tongue Weight: #940 (Percentage: 14.5%)
Total Trailer Weight: #6480
Total Cargo I added: #1235 ( #6480 - #5245 [UVW])
*****************
If you add #1200 of cargo in the trailer (#5971 + #1200 = #7171) your Tongue weight may between #860 (12%) to #1004 (14%)

If your #1479 is actual remaining payload, you'd have:

At 12% tounge weight - #619 remaining payload for (all passengers, pets, and other stuff)

At 14% tongue weight - #475 remaining payload for (all passengers, pets, and other stuff)

Depending on what you load in your truck (passengers, pets, stuff) you will be close to your trucks limits, but may work if you load light.

Once you get your Anderson setup and have some towing experience with it, perhaps you can return here and share your experience. I was considering an Anderson but wasn't sure it could transfer (weight distribution) the necessary weight for my hitch weight.

Safe Travels.
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Old 05-15-2022, 08:54 AM   #7
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You have to ignore the “dry weight” number. It’s always unrealistic. Take the GVWR of the Mini Lite and use about 12% to get a conservative estimate of the tongue weight. If I read the specs correctly, the GVWR is in the neighbourhood of 7700# which gives you over 900# on the tongue as HangDriver suggested.

To figure out how much actual payload you have available, fill the gas tank and get your family on board and take the truck to a scale. Subtract the scaled weight from your truck’s GVWR, and then subtract another 100# for the weight distribution hitch, and see if you have enough payload capacity available. This doesn’t account for whatever you put in the bed of the truck for camping. That’ll obviously decrease the available capacity for the trailer tongue weight.

Personally, I can live with being maybe 200# over the GVWR but I wouldn’t be comfortable exceeding that especially on a light duty pickup.
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Old 05-15-2022, 10:24 AM   #8
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The 2513s is certainly 1/2 ton towable. However, as others pointed out, it must be a properly spec’d 1/2ton. Payload is the issue with your 1500 and the 2513s. That’s among the reasons I sold my Sierra. I pack pretty conservatively and our hitch weight is 980#. Full propane tanks, camp gear, tools, etc. add up the weight pretty quick. My particular Ram has sufficient payload, but not a big margin. Truck options are often at a cost to payload. BTW, we love the 2513s.
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Old 05-15-2022, 11:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rvflyer57 View Post
The 2513s is certainly 1/2 ton towable. However, as others pointed out, it must be a properly spec’d 1/2ton. Payload is the issue with your 1500 and the 2513s. That’s among the reasons I sold my Sierra. I pack pretty conservatively and our hitch weight is 980#. Full propane tanks, camp gear, tools, etc. add up the weight pretty quick. My particular Ram has sufficient payload, but not a big margin. Truck options are often at a cost to payload. BTW, we love the 2513s.
That’s very helpful. I’m curious what your loaded total weight is and the percentage for the tongue weight? Rockwood’s web page for that model doesn’t state a GVWR. The 2513S has its kitchen over the axles so it shouldn’t be as heavy on the tongue as a front kitchen floor plan would be.
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Old 05-15-2022, 06:09 PM   #10
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I need to pull my actual weight numbers from the trailer, but as I recall the total weight was about 13,000# with the trailer 7,100# as packed for that trip. The hitch weight came in at 14%. I have rearranged and eliminated some items I was carrying last year, and will be doing new weigh before the next trip.
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Old 05-15-2022, 06:13 PM   #11
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If you cant tow a 6k trailer with the word mini in the title with a 1/2 ton truck you have the wrong 1/2 ton truck. An HD truck when gas is over 4$ a gallon would be a huge waste.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:33 AM   #12
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My buddy had a GMC 1500 and added springs to level it. He was happy until he towed in the mountains in the sumer. His truck overheated, so he turned of the AC and turned on the heater to cool things a bit. His wife wasn't happy. He traded it for a diesel 2300.

I carry 50 gallons of extra water when we boondock, and as many as 6 people in the truck, so the extra payload capacity of a 3/4 ton is great. F-150's with the tow package have higher cargo capacity, but almost have to be ordered from the factory to get one.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:51 AM   #13
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While I completely agree with what has been said about weights and capacities I'd like to through in another thought. We had a 2014 Silverado 1500 with the tow package when we bought our Mini Lite 2502KS. We live in Saskatchewan and it's pretty flat here so the 5.3L engine was enough but as soon as we got near a hill like in Montana (not talking about mountains here) I was very uncomfortable seeing my tachometer over 4000 rpm and the transmission shifting constantly. I was not able to maintain safe highway speeds without hearing the engine in the 4500 rpm range and at that we were about 55 mph on a 80 mph highway. We now have a Ram 2500 diesel and all is well again. And NO I don't do 80 but I do like to be able to hold 60 to 65 MPH.

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Old 05-16-2022, 08:30 AM   #14
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Tow weights

For the truck, only two weights are important: (A) Max tow rating from the manual based on engine, trans, and rear end. (B) Cargo weight from the door placard.

From the trailer: (a) Maximum gross weight as listed. (b) tongue weight.

From truck (A) number multiplied by 80%. This is the safe maximum value for trailer weight (a).

From truck cargo weight (B) subtract trailer tongue weight (b). This is what's left for passengers and anything else you put in the truck.

You will likely run out of cargo weight before tow weight rating with a 1/2 ton truck.

You NEVER should believe the "salesman" as he doesn't tow. He sells!

You will never tow an empty trailer. The empty weight is of no value.
Truck cargo weight includes all fluids/gas.

Tongue weight transfers 100% to the tow vehicle. Using a WDH should transfer tongue weight to the 4 wheels equally.

Remember it is what you can safely tow and reliably stop.
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Old 05-16-2022, 10:01 AM   #15
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We pull a 28ft trailer with a 2018 silverado 1500 4x4 crew cab. Trailer published weight is 5980, actual weight is 6900ready to roll. Truck has a 5.3, 6spd trans. Hitch published is 740lbs, actual is 1160lbs. My payload is 2040. Pulling in the mountains on a 6/7 percent grade I can maintain 50-55 mph at 3300 rpm. My truck has 3.73 rear gears, most of the 1500s that I looked at prior to purchasing this one had 3.23 gears. Even with the gears I have I can average 10mpg in the mountains and 13.5 on the flatlands towing
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Old 05-16-2022, 10:21 AM   #16
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I had a similar situation a couple years ago. I was towing a Salem 263bhxl with my half ton Ram that had a payload of 1478 pounds. All our numbers were right on the edge (sometimes slightly over). When I was doing the bulk of my towing on flat ground within 2 hours of home it was OK. When I decided I was going to tow it to Gatlinburg and a couple longer trips, I made the difficult decision to upgrade to a 3/4 ton Ram that had over 3k of payload capacity. I got tired of worrying about who was riding in the truck, how much was in the pass through storage compartment and bed of the truck, etc.

There are tradeoffs. A 3/4 ton truck has a much stiffer suspension and they ride ROUGH. My half ton was loaded with options and my 3/4 ton is a basic work truck. You have to decide what is most important. I have found I don't miss most of the "bling" I had on the half ton. My wife and I decided we wanted to go on longer trips and not have to worry about how much we took with us. Towing with the three quarter ton truck also allowed us to upgrade to an even larger travel trailer which we have now.

So to make a long story short, if you're going with that camper I bet you will eventually trade up to 3/4 anyway unless you're just towing it down the road a few miles to your local RV park.

This is just my experience. Everyone is different.
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Old 05-16-2022, 11:47 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by mnoland30 View Post

I carry 50 gallons of extra water when we boondock, and as many as 6 people in the truck, so the extra payload capacity of a 3/4 ton is great. F-150's with the tow package have higher cargo capacity, but almost have to be ordered from the factory to get one.
To get the higher payload on the F150, requires the Heavy Duty Payload package, not just the Max Tow package.

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Old 05-17-2022, 02:38 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone for the advice. Using GMC's load calculator we should be under weight unless we are significantly loaded down. We have a large amount of camp grounds that are a fairly short drive from home that we plan on frequenting and just an occasional longer trip. I plan to see how the truck sits when hitched then making a decision. Also I will try to update on the Andersen hitch system as well. Thanks again!
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Old 05-17-2022, 11:34 PM   #19
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The 2513S has a GVWR of about 7650# fully loaded. For safe towing, the tongue weight should be about 10%+ of GVWR = 800# in round numbers.

Your truck numbers confuse me:
"Truck - GVWR 7100, GCWR 15000, Max Payload 1479, Tongue weight 890" And you don't mention the year of your GMC. My 2006 RAM 1500 is rated to tow 7700#. A 2022 RAM 1500 will be rated to tow more like 12,000#.

If that 7100 is the GVWR of whatever you can tow, you have a problem. If not, you need the "max-tow" rating to compare to 7650#. I'm guessing your max tow is 7900#. If so, you are within limits.
Tongue weight should be acceptable, because it's within your truck's upper limit.

I believe you'll be close to your limits but just fine, so long as your GMC is newer.

You need a really good WDH and I suggest you add air bags to the rear of your truck to reduce wallow and sag through the whoop-de-doos. The WDH can level your ride, but all that weight plunging up and down needs more control from the air bags. They will transform your handling under load.

You also need to check your tires. They may be fine, but you are likely to load them to the max or nearly so. At minimum, you'll want to increase your tire pressures, especially in the rear, to make it possible for the tires to actually carry their rated load. Max pressure is on the sidewall. On my truck, day-to-day pressures are 35 PSI. Max sidewall pressure is 44 PSI. When towing, I typically increase my rear tire pressure to 40 PSI. Soft tires will flex a lot, and heat up...and tend to blow out. They will also be squirmy and handle poorly. BUT BE PREPARED TO NEED A TIRE UPGRADE if the factory tires aren't quite enough.

To repeat, I think your truck can handle the rig so long as you don't overload the truck (stuff in the bed or 6 passengers for example), you don't overload the camper, and you use good judgement loading the rig...with an eye toward weight and balance.

A truck scale is your friend. You should do a trial load in the rig...full water tank, full fridge and cabinets, and all your toys, clothes, cookware, full propane, and, and, and. Don't forget your generator, fuel can, tools, and so on. Then take it to the scale and measure.

1. Gross Combined Vehicle Weight...truck and trailer all together.
2. Trailer weight...axles and tongue...unhitched from the tow vehicle (TV).
3. Trailer axle weight only.
4. Tongue weight only.
5. TV only.
This will take some time so be kind an go when things are quiet. You don't need to be rushed by a line of semis honking to get you out of the way.

If you can, instinctively, load the rig so that it's under its GVWR (7650#) and the tongue weight is at or under the 860# your TV can handle, and if you don't get silly about loading your TV, you should be fine...but at or near your limits.

Here's the thing. It's not the "go" that matters. Your truck will easily drag one helluva lot more weight. It's the turn and stop that matters...and the small matter of the tail wagging the dog...that terrifying sway that can develop when passing semis and emerging in cross winds as you exit an underpass, etc. An overloaded TV can't keep the rig under control.

There's more to this than just the numbers. It's how you load and how you tend to "accumulate stuff" over the season...adding to that load.

Last point. Running near max means that you need to learn to and practice shifting manually. On long climbs, it helps to select the right gear for the job that keeps your revs up at about 60% to 75% of redline. Far more importantly, you must learn to use your gears for the downhills. You simply cannot drag your brakes all the way down a long hill and expect to have anything left if someone cuts you off. Gear down and let your engine manage downhill speed, and use your brakes occasionally as you enter a turn or in an emergency. I harp on this all the time, but it's life and death in a descent from 12,000 feet...like the one I routinely travel below. Running at or near max weight means you have little margin for error. All that margin is in your truck's transmission. Use it wisely, and you'll never have a white-knuckle descent.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new rig. I will say that you'll be happier with your GMC if you choose a smaller model.
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Old 05-18-2022, 02:23 PM   #20
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If you cant tow a 6k trailer with the word mini in the title with a 1/2 ton truck you have the wrong 1/2 ton truck. An HD truck when gas is over 4$ a gallon would be a huge waste.
Agree.
I pulled a trailer that size with a 2016 GMC 5.3 with absolutely no problems. I did have the proper load equalizing hitch. Many on here think it takes a Kenworth to pull a red wagon.
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