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So I just bought a 2018 Chevy Silverado Double cab 1500 4x4 in February. Now the wife wants to buy a travel trailer... 

Curious, what kinda weight you’d be comfortable with towing. 

B15A8437-871F-4734-B47A-AE6251809807.jpeg

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Sorry. Don’t have any idea on the travel trailer, but what’s your wheel and tire set up? Looks good. 

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Depends on the travel trailer. We have a toyhauler and that’s kind of a different ball game. Lots of tongue weight, it’s wide and tall. It’s like towing a parachute.lol. Had a 2011 with the 5.3 and 3.42’s. It pulled ok, but always shifting in and out of gears. Really seemed like it had to work hard for it. Our trailer is 25ft overall.

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Hello. You should be more specific about the travel trailer size but For reference I pull a 21’ boat and a 20’ pop up trailer with zero issues. I do see a decrease in gas mileage but  don’t feel them behind the truck when towing.  

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TLDR;
You have great truck. Just be mindful that you won't always be towing in perfect conditions and let that guide your decisions.

Long Version:
I have a '15 z71 and a 2600rb with about 7850lbs GVWR, though the last trip it weighed 6280 per the scale ticket. The wife and I just don't pack much I guess. We love the camper, but I wish it was smaller and lighter for the truck's sake. The truck handles it without much drama, but I'd never go bigger in a half-ton.

I have the 1k/10k equalizer and the weight distribution is about perfect. I haven't had any sway, but the trailer can be jittery at times as it's light for it's suspension. We also haven't towed in poor conditions yet. More on that at the end...

I get about 7-9mpg around 60-65.

I felt like the rear springs were a bit weak for the tongue weight, firewood, and bikes (still under the truck's GVWR) and it squatted a bit more than I like. Part of that was the leveling kit I bought before the camper was even a thought. To help, I added a Roadmaster active suspension kit to the truck and now it only squats about 1" when hooked up. I haven't gotten to tow with that installed yet.

My best advice comes in two parts.
1. Keep within the ratings of everything involved.

2. When you think about what you're going to tow, forget the pulling... Any truck can pull it. Ask yourself if you're confident the truck will quickly stop it while keeping it straight, in the rain, at night, going downhill on a less than perfect, unfamiliar road while your whole family is in the truck with you. Maybe I should get that 2020 dually... ;)

Seriously though, this isn't to scare you or put you off. I know it's a bit extreme, but if you take out the falling rain (roads were wet) and the darkness, this exact scenario happened on my first trip.




Hope that helps. RV shopping is fun. You're gonna have a blast!

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

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First look into your axle ratio to determined your towing capacity (trailer weight and GCWR).

 

Unfortunately I have the 5.3 6spd with 3.08 axel so my trailer rating is 6,100 and my GCWR is only 12,000. The 5.3 with 3.42 is 9,100 trailer and 15,000 GCWR.

 

I just towed a 4,900 DRY 25’ trailer with 300 for water and probably another 500-700 of random gear in trailer. My truck is roughly 5,400 plus 200 for random gear.  GCWR became my limiting factor as I was approximately at 11,500 pounds. I was pulling up a very steep grade and it pulled good. I went down to 45 just because I didn’t want to burn up my truck. Trans got up to 210 and engine was slightly to the right of straight up. Not bad at all. Use tow mode and manual mode to limit higher gears.

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TLDR;
You have great truck. Just be mindful that you won't always be towing in perfect conditions and let that guide your decisions.

Long Version:
I have a '15 z71 and a 2600rb with about 7850lbs GVWR, though the last trip it weighed 6280 per the scale ticket. The wife and I just don't pack much I guess. We love the camper, but I wish it was smaller and lighter for the truck's sake. The truck handles it without much drama, but I'd never go bigger in a half-ton.

I have the 1k/10k equalizer and the weight distribution is about perfect. I haven't had any sway, but the trailer can be jittery at times as it's light for it's suspension. We also haven't towed in poor conditions yet. More on that at the end...

I get about 7-9mpg around 60-65.

I felt like the rear springs were a bit weak for the tongue weight, firewood, and bikes (still under the truck's GVWR) and it squatted a bit more than I like. Part of that was the leveling kit I bought before the camper was even a thought. To help, I added a Roadmaster active suspension kit to the truck and now it only squats about 1" when hooked up. I haven't gotten to tow with that installed yet.

My best advice comes in two parts.
1. Keep within the ratings of everything involved.

2. When you think about what you're going to tow, forget the pulling... Any truck can pull it. Ask yourself if you're confident the truck will quickly stop it while keeping it straight, in the rain, at night, going downhill on a less than perfect, unfamiliar road while your whole family is in the truck with you. Maybe I should get that 2020 dually... ;)

Seriously though, this isn't to scare you or put you off. I know it's a bit extreme, but if you take out the falling rain (roads were wet) and the darkness, this exact scenario happened on my first trip.




Hope that helps. RV shopping is fun. You're gonna have a blast!

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk


I'm using Tapatalk and lost track of what forum I was in.. I have a Grand Design Imagine 2600rb.

Sorry about that.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

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Agree with some above that 6K lbs is a good sweet spot. I have the load stabalizers for my leaf springs and it makes a lot of difference. The 5.3 can handle it. Its the Z-71 suspension that needs a spot. If you can keep it level and not below - good barometer.

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I've been researching travel trailers and 1/2 ton towing (through two different trucks) for about a year and a half now.  Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy and start researching too much.....

 

It seems, based on what I'm seeing (and what I plan to do with my travel trailer purchase), the max area where it's comfortable is around 6000-6500lb trailer.  There are obviously variables to this with your setup, gearing, etc.  I also plan to use a weight distribution hitch and LoadLifter airbags to level the truck while towing.

 

Hopefully this helps a little.  I've been stuck in the cycle of over-researching for a while now.  Ha!

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Our trailer has roughly 700lbs tongue weight dry. Def need airbags which I had and weight distribution for a 1500. I would also like to add that having the sway bar is also a must.

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Get a tiny trailer!  I love the freedom of being able to drive / park almost anywhere while en route.  In my area, there is a lot of demand for campsites at our Provincial Parks.  The smaller your trailer, the more site options you have available to you. 

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Thanks guys, I was thinking the same thing 6000lbs-6500lbs. Definitely, getting the weight distribution hitch that has the sway bar included...

just curious if I’ll need airbags also since I have a leveling kit on the truck. 

Ha ha, No NOT going with a Tiny camper. I rather buy a new 2500 truck 

 

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Another factor to consider is where you are going to be towing.

Living in Colorado is a different ball game IMO.

Flat land towing is easier than mountain towing.

My thinking is 5 K pounds is a good weight for me in my area with my truck.

 

:)

 

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Another factor to consider is where you are going to be towing.
Living in Colorado is a different ball game IMO.
Flat land towing is easier than mountain towing.
My thinking is 5 K pounds is a good weight for me in my area with my truck.
 

 
Agreed. I'm in FL so our steepest hills are bridges. I don't think my truck would do well in mountain altitudes.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

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1 hour ago, Snow88 said:

 

Ha ha, No NOT going with a Tiny camper. I rather buy a new 2500 truck 

 

Find an RV dealer that will rent a TT to you for a week or two.  They generally offer up popular floor plans for rentals.  Until you've had some experience don't limit your options.  You may discover that bigger doesn't mean better for your particular purposes.  Some people truly like to travel and others like to drag a second home from point A to B.  You can find an easily towed, smaller comfortable trailer with a  floorplan that meets the needs of your family.  

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