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Old 11-18-2020, 08:14 PM   #41
Yareelohim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
Something they call CYA, safety, protect those that will always break all the rules etc. They give you payload along with all other critical numbers for things that will BREAK when numbers are exceeded. Axles have a max weight rating - they will break; they will separate - something you don't want to be involved in on the road. So....follow the payload and gvwrs and the manufacturer gave you a safety cushion (by following the specified numbers) before you give yourself a "fatal" failure because one disregarded everything else.
Great thank you for that.
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:19 PM   #42
Yareelohim
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Okay guys, I brought my truck and trailer to scales.

I learned two things. The Chevrolet dealer who sold me the truck earlier this year put a different unladen weight on the DMV form and lied about the MAX TRAILERING package. Literally makes me sick to my stomach. I had to run all my RPO codes to find out exactly what I have. Fortunately it is the 6.2L with the 8 speed transmission, but I have the 3.23 rear end and not the 3.42.

So here is what I came up with at the scales with the trailer attached:

Front axle: 3000 lbs
Rear axles: 3560 lbs
Gross: 6560 lbs

Trailer weight: 6640 lbs

Gross weight: 13,200 lbs


I weighed the truck by itself with no trailer and came up with 5740 lbs, so the weight distribution hitch is putting around 820 lbs on to the truck.

My father in-law and I drove the truck and trailer around for about an hour this afternoon in as many situations as I could. Backroads, up steep grades, up LONG steep grades climbing 1000' in elevation, around tight turns, down hill, down steep grades with windy roads and around turns that usually white knuckle me in just my truck. I ended the trip by jumping onto the freeway and driving back home during medium traffic with lots of semi-trucks around. I payed attention on the narrow two lane roads when semis and large 5th wheels passed me in the opposite direction. The wind today was only around 10 mph so I didn't get to experience strong winds.

I set my cruise at 55mph for most of the trip and just let the truck run. It felt really good. There was never a time I felt overpowered or scared. I was especially surprised in the areas I white knuckle it in my truck with no trailer. It was a breeze driving those down hill turns.

The transmission temp stayed around 175 the entire time and the engine temp never budged a hair past 200.

My trailer brakes are set at 7.5 and it feels like normal breaking, can't really tell a trailer is behind me.

The only place I start to feel the trailer is on acceleration from a dead stop and then when I am taking really tight round about turns, but still feel totally in control.

I averaged a total of 12mpg round trip.

Overall I feel extremely confident and comfortable driving the trailer, especially since it was my first time towing something this long and heavy. The only difference from here would be if we add a couple hundred pounds of water in the tanks and a generator if we decide to dry camp. Our furthest trip would probably be 7 hours away and most of our trips will be an 1 - 3 hrs away. We plan to use the trailer as many weekends as possible in the spring to summer and a couple week long trips.

I am not at the max on the truck numbers wise but its getting close to the max. I was amazed at how much the WDH transferred weight between the truck and trailer, amazing.


What do you guys think overall?
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:23 AM   #43
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From your description it sounds like you have it dialed in. Time to hitch up and enjoy!

The only thing I'll point out is the last part about how far away you will normally camp. The truck and trailer doesn't know if your driving around the block or around the country. The only real difference in distance is the fatigue of the driver. I would just say keep an eye on your weights and where you put the extra weight. I don't know how far away your scale is but it's a small cost in $ & time in my opinion to have the peace of mind.
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:58 AM   #44
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Jonathan,
I think you are doing a great job investigating the capabilities of your rig; overall it looks like you are probably ok. There are still some items that you may want to check off your list:
  1. Front Axle Weight Rating = ? [Includes impact of ALL payload applied to front axle. This is important because your WDH actually transfers hitch weight onto both truck axles as well as the trailer axles. The more torque applied to the WDH bars causes the weight applied to the truck to move onto the forward truck axle.]
  2. Rear Axle Weight Rating = ? [Includes impact of ALL payload applied to rear axle.]
  3. Some folks weigh their rig 3 times [the 3rd weight with the trailer connected and the WDH torque bars "loose" in order to measure the impact of the actual weight distribution hitch.]
  4. Tire Capacity vs. axle load - all 4 axles = ? [Tires are rated at listed pressure. If you plan to run them softer for a smoother ride, then the tires must be derated per manufacturer.]
  5. Have you picked up on the need for a TPMS and EMS for your new trailer in your reading on the forum? These are expensive items but both relate directly to safety of your family and will potentially save you thousands of maintenance/repair costs in the future.
  6. Recommend a "Family Meeting" in the trailer prior to your first trip to discuss location of fire extinguishers, first aid kit, emergency exit, and how to use the emergency exit windows.
There may be other things I've forgotten. Once again, my congratulations on wanting to get all of this straight to insure your rig is legally compliant and your family is safe! Blessings to you!
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Old 11-20-2020, 08:35 AM   #45
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Sorry to hear dealer is not "reputable"...

Glad it checks out. 3.23? I didn't know GM had a 3.23, but I haven't looked at 6.2L half tons much, if at all. Mine was a 3.42 5.3L.

Wind isn't horrible - you'll know it, but with WD hitch dialed in and sway control, you'll manage just fine. I towed our TT once with my 2500 just on the ball to go home, and I did NOT enjoy the experience. Even with an HD pickup, the WD/Sway makes all the difference.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:12 PM   #46
Threebratsmom
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Smile Congrats

We have the same one. We bought ours in June and have already enjoyed 4 fun trips so far. We use my truck Silverado 1500 and my husbands Chevy 2500 diesel. No problems towing with either but much easier with the diesel truck. Enjoy making great memories.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:52 PM   #47
Yareelohim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisB View Post
Jonathan,
I think you are doing a great job investigating the capabilities of your rig; overall it looks like you are probably ok. There are still some items that you may want to check off your list:
  1. Front Axle Weight Rating = ? [Includes impact of ALL payload applied to front axle. This is important because your WDH actually transfers hitch weight onto both truck axles as well as the trailer axles. The more torque applied to the WDH bars causes the weight applied to the truck to move onto the forward truck axle.]
  2. Rear Axle Weight Rating = ? [Includes impact of ALL payload applied to rear axle.]
  3. Some folks weigh their rig 3 times [the 3rd weight with the trailer connected and the WDH torque bars "loose" in order to measure the impact of the actual weight distribution hitch.]
  4. Tire Capacity vs. axle load - all 4 axles = ? [Tires are rated at listed pressure. If you plan to run them softer for a smoother ride, then the tires must be derated per manufacturer.]
  5. Have you picked up on the need for a TPMS and EMS for your new trailer in your reading on the forum? These are expensive items but both relate directly to safety of your family and will potentially save you thousands of maintenance/repair costs in the future.
  6. Recommend a "Family Meeting" in the trailer prior to your first trip to discuss location of fire extinguishers, first aid kit, emergency exit, and how to use the emergency exit windows.
There may be other things I've forgotten. Once again, my congratulations on wanting to get all of this straight to insure your rig is legally compliant and your family is safe! Blessings to you!
I forgot to reply to this. Also, I know what TPMS is but what is EMS?

FGAWR: 3950
RGAWR: 3950
Tires: 2833
Rear axle = 9.75" axle rated at 14,000 lbs by manufacturer but 3950 according to my truck sticker.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:54 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Yareelohim View Post
I forgot to reply to this. Also, I know what TPMS is but what is EMS?

FGAWR: 3950
RGAWR: 3950
Tires: 2833
Rear axle = 9.75" axle rated at 14,000 lbs by manufacturer but 3950 according to my truck sticker.

EMS is "electrical management system". It is an electrical monitor either plugged into the power pedestal or wired into the trailer that monitors many/most aspects of the incoming electrical service to prevent things like low voltage, over voltage, loss of grd. etc. to cause catastrophic damage to your trailer. Do not confuse with a "surge protector" which does little to nothing for you in the real world. Surge Guard by Southwire and the Progressive units seem to be the most popular. I always say "don't leave home without it".
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Old 11-27-2020, 05:02 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yareelohim View Post
I forgot to reply to this. Also, I know what TPMS is but what is EMS?

FGAWR: 3950
RGAWR: 3950
Tires: 2833
Rear axle = 9.75" axle rated at 14,000 lbs by manufacturer but 3950 according to my truck sticker.
I doubt that the rear axle of your truck is rated at 14k lbs, the manufacturer possibly gave it a 14k tow rating which in the rv towing real world means absolutely nothing. You will most likely exceed the posted payload &/or axle weights of YOUR truck before carrying that max tow weight.
There's a couple stickers on the drivers door post that will have ALL the pertinent numbers for YOUR truck that are needed to match to a suitable rv. As I said the tow weight means nothing along with any numbers printed in any brochures or other publications & for sure nothing any salesperson may have bragged about.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:30 PM   #50
Yareelohim
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Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
I doubt that the rear axle of your truck is rated at 14k lbs, the manufacturer possibly gave it a 14k tow rating which in the rv towing real world means absolutely nothing. You will most likely exceed the posted payload &/or axle weights of YOUR truck before carrying that max tow weight.
There's a couple stickers on the drivers door post that will have ALL the pertinent numbers for YOUR truck that are needed to match to a suitable rv. As I said the tow weight means nothing along with any numbers printed in any brochures or other publications & for sure nothing any salesperson may have bragged about.
Yeah got that part. Thats why I tried to specify the sticker on my truck door,

"9.75" axle rated at 14,000 lbs by manufacturer but 3950 according to my truck sticker."

So far I am not at the 3950 but I'm close. Interesting though, I have put 400 more pounds in the truck then weighed it and the WDH did great distributing the weight across all the axles, it only added 150 lbs to the rear axle instead of 400 lbs.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:47 PM   #51
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You guys sort of miss the point. Seems an immediate attack on the guy without a simple "congrats - welcome to the forum". No - we start of with "33ft trailer and half-ton?!"

OP - the sticker wiredgeorge posted a photo of should be on drivers door jamb - that value is what you want to look at for truck payload. Basically you, family, gear in truck, and hitch weight need to be less than this. Weight-wise, I'd bet a dollar your fine. You just may not like the posh bouncy ride your 1500 has when towing - it's why I went 2500 when I had a TT.

As far as "buddy's truck" comment - I bet his payload on a 6.2L LTZ and the payload on a 6.2L Denali are very close.
You know, I'm fairly new to this game and was educated on this forum as well, having purchased a 33', 9500 lb GVWR trailer for my 1/2 ton F150. Look at my initial posts from several months ago.

I'm not sure the characterization of an 'immediate attack' by the 'weight police' is accurate or fair. I find nothing wrong with asking these type of questions when a poster with a 1500 states they just bought a 9000 lb 30+ foot trailer. It beats the hell out of the obligatory "Welcome from Tennessee, have fun!!!!'

A quick look at the stats on this trailer and truck immediately begs this type of questioning. There is so much misinformation and salesman exaggeration out there that many people feel that truck towing capacity is the be all/end all with regard to towing....I know I did. In my almost daily view of posts on this and other forums over the last year, or so, most of these 'cases' end up in a truck with a 1600 lb payload and a trailer with a tongue weight of 1300 lbs. This may not be the case here, but what's the harm in asking?

Sorry to rant, but I thank the so called 'weight police' for providing me with a towing education and for continuing to help others, that may or may not know the ins and outs of towing safely. We are all responsible for having an understanding of our specific tow limits. This not only helps to ensure our safety, but for others on the road as well.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:53 PM   #52
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I agree Markcee...I wouldn’t have investigated further which made me realize I was sold the wrong truck (I didn’t know any better at the time). Now I know.

After weighing everything according to the advice here and towing my trailer, I feel comfortable though the numbers are getting close to max specs. Towing wise this truck and trailer seem to handle amazingly well so far.

Had I know better before I would have gone with a 2500 or lighter trailer though.
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Old 11-28-2020, 02:21 PM   #53
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Okay I think I have it all figure out now.

The “Max Tow Package” on the 6.2L Sierras allow for 11,800 lbs towing and 2,040 lbs payload capacity.

Included in the max tow package is:

“The available Max Trailering Package includes a
1) 9.76-inch rear axle,
2) heavy-duty rear springs,
3) revised shock tuning for increased control,
4) enhanced cooling,
5) integrated trailer brake controller.
6) G80 locking rear differential, a trailer hitch, and bumper-mounted four- and seven-pin connectors

My Denali includes all of this except for the heavy duty rear springs. I’m going to talk to the dealer about converting to the HD rear springs. According to GM that would increase my GVWR from 7200 to 7900, increase my payload from 1400 to 2,040 (roughly), and rated tow capacity from 9,200 to 11,800.

I will have a much better peace of mind with this. I already have the HD transmission, HD external trany cooler, External engine oil cooler, HD rear end, HD brakes, and integrated anti trailer sway.

I’m guessing the “magneride” suspension on the Denali is the reason they didn’t put the HD rear springs but included everything else. May have to change out the suspension to include the HD springs but man that puts me WAY under my towing and payload specs
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Old 11-28-2020, 04:07 PM   #54
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Welcome to the Keystone family. Happy camping!
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:00 PM   #55
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First trip out. The truck and trailer performed amazing.

I chose a spot 45 min away from home but required lots of tight turns and 6% grades up and down hill. If I kept cruise control on at 55-60 mph, the Truck never when over 2500 RPMs and mostly cruised between 1500-2000 rpms. Never once felt a sway and never felt like I was being pushed. The external transmission cooler kept the trany temp between 175-195, mostly 175. With cruise control above 65 mph my rpms jumped to 3500 real fast, I think I found a power band around 55 mph uphill, felt great.

Of course I was really cautious and slightly on edge since we were fully loaded with the entire family but it was honestly a dream ride. Average mpg uphill the entire way was 8.5 mpg. I estimate we will be around 12 mpg round trip once we get home tomorrow. I'll stop by the scales on the way home and weigh everything.

Thanks again for all the help and advice. I'll post pictures later.
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:08 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yareelohim View Post
First trip out. The truck and trailer performed amazing.

I chose a spot 45 min away from home but required lots of tight turns and 6% grades up and down hill. If I kept cruise control on at 55-60 mph, the Truck never when over 2500 RPMs and mostly cruised between 1500-2000 rpms. Never once felt a sway and never felt like I was being pushed. The external transmission cooler kept the trany temp between 175-195, mostly 175. With cruise control above 65 mph my rpms jumped to 3500 real fast, I think I found a power band around 55 mph uphill, felt great.

Of course I was really cautious and slightly on edge since we were fully loaded with the entire family but it was honestly a dream ride. Average mpg uphill the entire way was 8.5 mpg. I estimate we will be around 12 mpg round trip once we get home tomorrow. I'll stop by the scales on the way home and weigh everything.

Thanks again for all the help and advice. I'll post pictures later.
I love the window views....great layout!
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:50 PM   #57
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Thanks! We really like the layout. We purposely bought this so my parents could join us and still have room. I didn't realize how great the windows are until this morning.
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