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Old 05-28-2019, 11:32 AM   #1
Ricendice
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Anyone using the silverado 4.3L?

I have a 2015 silverado half ton with the ecotech 4.3L V6 with a towing capacity of 7100#. I think I've done the math correctly but wanted to check in. We are shopping for a trailer.
Our front runner that fit within the specs is the Bullet 243 BHS with a dry weight of 4950# and GVWR of 6500#.

95% of its life will be sitting on the same patch of earth at our boat camp ground. However, we would like to take a weekend excursion or two.

I've tried narrowing down the size to less than 5k but maximizing space. Am I over shooting with the 243? Is anyone pulling with a 4.3L?
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:16 PM   #2
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There is a LOT more to towing than just trailer weight. Frontal surface area (wind resistance), sidewall surface area (sway inducement) and length of the "lever" from the rear axle of the tow vehicle to the hitch ball and from the hitch ball to the trailer axles will all make a significant difference in what you can comfortably tow, safely tow, mechanically tow (yes those three are not the same either).

What you're asking is if you can tow a "large front surface area" RV with the same horsepower/torque that is needed to tow a small flatbed trailer that both weigh the same "5000 pounds"... The answer is, "No you can't tow the same "weight" trailer regardless of "size/style"......
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:53 PM   #3
Eastham
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Get the numbers off the truck
Gvw
Max tow rating
Combined wt ratings
Pay load number
Without them its difficult to give a correct answer.then someone will come along and help out .
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:53 PM   #4
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First order of business is to check the driver's door pillar for the "Tire and Loading Information" sticker (yellow, white and red). This will have a section that reads: The Combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed xxx kg or x,xxx lbs. This will tell you the maximum weight of all the people, pets, stuff in the bed of the truck, weight of the weight distribution hitch, and tongue weight of the trailer (don't go by published tongue weight from the factory, since it doesn't include batteries, full propane tanks, and any trailer cargo in front of the trailer axles). Add all those up, add another 15-20% of the total to allow for leeway and if that number is above the maximum cargo capacity on the door pillar sticker, it's a no-go situation.

Here is a quick example: Two adults and two kids, plus miscellaneous passenger cabin items 550 lbs. Bikes, firewood, camp chairs, small generator, miscellaneous bed cargo 250 lbs. Weight distribution hitch 100 lbs. Dry tongue weight of camper 580 lbs. One 27 series battery 50 lbs. Two 20 lb propane tanks full 76 lbs. Fresh water tank 1/4 full 90 lbs. Miscellaneous camper cargo forward of the trailer axles 250 lbs. That gives you a realistic cargo weight of 1,946 lbs. Then add 15% as a safety factor 292 lbs and your truck cargo capacity will need to be at least 2,238 lbs. (I am guessing that sticker will say somewhere around 1,800 lbs.)

If that isn't enough to deter you, we would then have to talk to you about truck axle ratios, and manufacturer towing guides which will take into consideration the engine, transmission, axle ratio, and cargo capacity of the truck, plus give you additional information on frontal area resistance, etc.


Just as a note to consider; I have a 2015 F150 with a 3.5L Ecoboost (twin turbo), and a towing capacity of nearly 12,000 lbs. I am towing a trailer of similar size and weight as the one you are considering. For my situation, it is a perfect balance of truck vs. trailer, but I wouldn't feel comfortable or safe with any less of a truck or any more of a trailer.
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:39 PM   #5
Ricendice
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15 Silverado 3.42 axle 4.3L
Cargo cap 1790#
Tow cap 7100#
GVWR 7100#
Max tongue with WD 1200#
(Per manual 1500 series TWR is calculated assuming driver front seat passenger and required this equipment is present)

Bullet 243BHS
dry weight 4950#
Hitch weight 580#

Any other numbers?
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:55 PM   #6
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Ok, so a couple of things and sorry but I donít think you will like the news.

Whenever you are figuring weights you should use the loaded weights not the empty or dry weights.

The max tow number they give you is a marketing ploy. In reality you take your trucks GVWR and subtract that from the gross combined weight rating GCWR.

I looked up the GCWR for your truck, it is 12,800 lbs. Your GVWR is 7100 lbs.

https://www.chevrolet.com/content/da...ring-guide.pdf

12800-7100= 5700lbs. This is the most you can expect to tow.

The trailer you are looking at is 6500 lbs, it is too heavy for your truck.

You also cannot exceed your payload rating. The hitch weight is included in the payload. You need to use the loaded trailer number to find the actual hitch weight.

6500 lbs trailer when loaded x .12= 780lbs. (12% of the loaded trailer weight)

The hitch weight plus all of the occupants and cargo canít exceed the payload capacity which is found on a sticker inside the drivers door. Make sure to use the number on the sticker for your truck not a generic number from a website.

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear but I think you need a smaller trailer or a bigger truck.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:02 PM   #7
Ricendice
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Thank you, I appreciate your research and answering my questions. Fortunately, I've yet to buy the trailer.
Now - im back to - how big of a trailer can I safely pull?
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:09 PM   #8
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When looking for a trailer, make sure you are not exceeding the GCWR or the payload capacity and you should be good on the weight numbers.

GCWR-GVWR = real max tow number.

Also take into account what JRJTH, John, posted about having a large box profile trailer behind a relatively small light truck. Just because the numbers technically work doesnít mean itís a good idea. You want to avoid the ďtail wagging the dog.Ē So, usually you donít want to be maxed out on your numbers but leave a safety cushion.

Thanks for being open to feedback and good luck!
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:21 PM   #9
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Ricendice - you have been given good advice. Another thing to consider is just the engine itself and what you are going to ask it to do. It is a 4.3L six cylinder that you propose to put a 6500lb. trailer behind. To me that's a no go. 285hp is used up just trying to propel a 1/2 ton truck decently much less strapping a 6500lb. trailer behind it. Combine that with a 3.42 axle, marginal with a larger V8, and you're really stuck with a "light weight" 1/2 ton truck not meant for towing anything of much size. What size should you look for with that truck? Off the top of my head maybe 4500lb. gvw. Not what you want to hear but it's the same story everyone hears once they buy a light weight "truck" (thinking it's a "truck") and then want to buy a larger trailer to match their "max tow" capacity.
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Old 05-29-2019, 02:40 AM   #10
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This video is very good at helping match a trailer and a truck safely. The advice you've received so far is spot on.

https://rvsafety.com/rv-education/ma...ks-to-trailers
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricendice View Post
Thank you, I appreciate your research and answering my questions. Fortunately, I've yet to buy the trailer.
Now - im back to - how big of a trailer can I safely pull?
I am not sure if it is an option for you, but have you looked at hybrids? (trailers not trucks). I used to have a Jayco 23b and it was a great size for our family, tons of room, lots of features and can be towed by your current vehicle. Keystone offers a few hybrid models worth looking at, and some are dealer stock only so if you can find one you like, you can probably score a good deal on it.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:17 AM   #12
Jbrobson1958
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4.3 is a good motor and 285 HP is about twice what V8s put out in the 80s. We towed our Passport 199ML out to South Dakota and it had plenty of power. My problem was the truck wasn't properly setup for towing. It didn't have a transmission cooler. I saw trans temps in the 235 range once we got to western SD. Great truck in the flatlands of Illinois. I upgrader to the 5.3 with the tow package shortly after that trip
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:33 AM   #13
depush
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Here's a link to a weight calculator that I saw here on site and might be helpful.

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml
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Old 06-10-2019, 04:13 AM   #14
edd210
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Silverado

I know you have your answer, but had to get my 2 cents in. I owned a 2014 Siverado 1500 work truck 4.3 V6 with tow package. In 2017 bought a Coleman 192RD 5654 gvw. I thought the truck would pull it okay. It did pretty good in flat terrains but when we hit North FL it was struggling up the hills, I could reach speeds up to about 50 mph uphill. We planned to go to the mountains and decided the truck would never handle it. I now have a 2017 Ford F250. A word of advice, no matter what truck you have, when going up steep grades keep the rpms low.
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