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Old 04-15-2012, 01:37 AM   #1
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I have a 2012 Chevy 1/2 ton. What is the largest 5th wheel I should pull with it? The truck has a 4inch lift on it and a 5.3 motor. Can anyone give me sugestions.
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:33 AM   #2
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The lift will cause you some problems with a 5th wheel, as to the half ton truck there are several lines of 5'ers that they will tow. In the past I've towed up to a 29ft 5th wheel with the half ton but it all depends on the trailers dry weight initially and then on what you put in it.

the 5.3 is good engine for towing with 3.73 gears or 4.11, anything less for gearing and you would have trouble. Even at that in a head wind it will be working however quite frankly the 6.0 litre has little better torque and hp and uses way more gas with littleimprovement in towing abilities.

The one thingtowing with a half ton was consistent forwas replacing brakes at least once a year as they are the weak link when towing. The tranny held up good whenusing a good cooler, the engine worked goodbut the brakes were LTA.
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Good luck, check the websites for weights, you don't want to be much over 8000 gvrw when loaded or you will be frustrated....
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:33 AM   #3
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I agree with Speedster. You need to look at your weight limitations and allow for cargo and people when looking at RV weights. I towed a 30' TT (7500lbs) for a number of years with a 1/2 ton Suburban with 5.7 and 3.73 gears. It towed OK until I got to hills. Brakes weren't too much of a problem but the rear end needed bearings after about 20K of towing.



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Old 04-15-2012, 03:45 AM   #4
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I'm guessing your half ton didn't have disk brakes all the way around it Stan ?

The 2001 GMC Sierra I had ate brakes up, the rotors were crap from GM and I replaced them a couple times then went to aftermarket high end ones which helped but the pads stillneed changing yearly.

I added an extra spring to that truck as well which made it ride great while loaded but a little heavy when not loaded.

I have Firestone air bags on the Dura max and really like them alot, running 12 psi all the time in them with and without the trailer, seems to have cushioned the little bumps andqueted the ride somewhat....
Should have ran those on the half ton I guess.

In any event the 5.3 engine worked better than the previous truck I had with a 5.7 which was a dog when towing and man did it eat fuel. The 5.3 torque range was way better and the hp range worked well. But there is only so much a gasser can do and when I went up to a diesel dura max GMC I went up in trailers shortly there after as the dura max didn't even feel the 29ft 5'er.... it's kind of like ft itis with a boat I"m afraid.........LOL
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:39 AM   #5
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You mentioned the lift will cause me problems! What kind of problems?
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
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As you have lifted the truck 4 inch's you are going to run into issues with the getting the trailer to sit level when hooked up.

Some trailers will facilitate moving the springs from below the axles to on top ofthe axle which will help, then some pin box adjustments and hitch heightadjustment might help as well but really once the truck is lifted it becomes a bit of an issue to get the leveling right which is key to having thetrailer tow properly with the weight distributed correctly.

Best to take the truck with you when lookng andtaking some measurements.


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Old 04-15-2012, 07:56 AM   #7
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:57 AM   #8
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Thank you I appreciate the help.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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You really need to look at your available payload in your truck. That will be your limiting factor. Load your truck as you would for camping and head to a CAT scale and weigh it. Subtract that number from the trucks GVWR and that will give you your trucks available payload. The pin weight of the 5er should be less than your available payload. If you take the number you obtained weighing your vehicle and subtract that from your trucks GCWR that will give you your adjusted available towing capacity. Remember that that 5er or any TT will be like towing a brick wall behind you. You will likely find yourself wanting more truck for a 5er before long. Make sure you get yourself set up with a good proportional brake controller like a prodigy P2 or P3 if your truck doesn't have an integrated brake controller.
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