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Old 08-19-2014, 01:50 PM   #1
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Can I tow a Sunset Trail SF28BH?

Everyone,

I have been looking at the Sunset Trail SF28BH for a few years now. I think I have settled on this being the fifth wheel I would like to purchase. I only have one question. I have a couple people who are telling me my truck might not be able to handle it.

I have a 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab standard box. It has the 6.0L gas engine, 6 speed transmission, and the 3.73 rear end. Per my research, my truck is rated for a 9,800lb towing capacity because of the gas engine and 3.73 rear end. I have also read that I have a payload capacity of 3,217 lbs.

The specs on the 2015 SF28BH give a dry weight of somewhere around 8,000 lbs. The GVWR is 10,586 lbs. The hitch weight is 1786 lbs.

I am not sure what other information I should be looking at, but what is your opinion on this? Can my truck handle this trailer?

A couple of points to consider.......80% of our camping is done at campgrounds less than 30 minutes from my house. Each year, we take about 3-4 trips to campgrounds an hour away, and then one campground in the UP of Michigan that is about 5 hours from my house. I am not worried about the gas mileage, because I have a work car and my truck is not my daily driver. I only put about 3,500 miles on my truck a year.

Any advise or knowledge you can pass on to me, would be greatly appreciated. If I am missing something, please let me know.

Thanks.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:53 PM   #2
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I tow the sf26rb with my 2003 dodge 2500 5.9 cummins 3.73 rear and it tows fine.
Think you should be able to,,,of course no land speed records will be met but should be fine.
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:32 PM   #3
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If your dry weight is 8,000 pounds - add 500 pounds per person going with you - rule of thumb. Includes, food, clothing, "stuff" etc... So. 2 pers * 500 pounds = 1000 pounds. 8+9 = 9000 pounds. It won't take much to push you over your max. As I said before - it is all about physics - objects in motion want to stay in motion. If you tow on the edge, you are not being a "responsible" driver. Be very careful of salespeople who tell you that your rig is safe - you've done the math - given that you asked the question, I suspect your "spider senses" are tingling - go with your gut feeling, and the math.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:02 PM   #4
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I do have another question. A lot of the specs that I got on my truck were from Cars.com. They have the specs on just about every vehicle, so I just typed in the 2007 Silverado 2500HD, found my LT1 option, and it lists the following:

GVWR - 9200 lbs
Front GAWR - 4500 lbs
Rear GAWR - 6084 lbs
Payload - 3217 lbs
Front Axle Capacity - 4800 lbs
Rear Axle Capacity - 6900 lbs
Towing Capacity - 9800 lbs
GCWR - 16,000 lbs
Fifth Wheel Towing Capacity - 12,300 lbs

So does this meant that if I tow a travel trailer I can tow 9800lbs, but if I pull a 5th wheel, I can pull 12,300 lbs?

I haven't seen these different row ratings like this much, so I thought I would ask on that too. I suppose it really doesn't matter though because I would be exceeding my payload capacity either way. Is that correct?
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:11 PM   #5
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Because of where a 5th wheel is hooked up the towing goes up.

SF28BH GVWR 10586 Typical hitch weight of 20% of GVWR = 2117. That leaves abt 1100 lbs for the hitch, passengers, and whatever else you load in your truck. And that's if the trailer is loaded to the max.

You should be fine with that setup. Well with spec.

That's a lot better than folks pulling one with a 1500
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:49 PM   #6
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you need to know more about your trucks capabilities than just my truck can tow x lbs. (I learned this the hard way). Most TV are limited by their payload. To find out your TVs true towing capacities then you need to go weigh it. Load the tv up with all occupants, pets, and cargo that will be in it when towing plus a full tank of fuel and then go weigh it at a local scale (CAT Scale). Weigh each axle on a separate scale pad so it will give you a breakdown of front and rear axle weights individually and a total weight. Take the total weight and subtract it from your Trucks gvwr to get your available payload. Take the scaled Truck weight and subtract it from your Truck gcwr to get your adjusted towng capacity. Take your Rear axle weight and subtract it from your max RAWR to see how much room you have available on your rear axle. The GVWR, GCWR, and Max RAWR should be available in your owners manual. If you can't get to a scale, you can look at the sticker irnside the drivers door. It should say "occupants and cargo not to exceed x lbs". take the weight and subtract the weight of you, any passengers and pets plus any gear you plan to have in the truck when towing. The number left is a rough estimate of your available payload. You need a loaded tongue weight less than this number.

Now understand you will never tow an unloaded or dry trailer. Those numbers are somewhat irrelevant. You can either add the amount of weight of cargo you will tow to the dry weight (this is heavier than you think as most add 1000-1500 lb of gear) or simply use the 5er gvwr to do your calculations. (for your purposes do all weight calculations using 5er gvwr). Next understand that the 5er loaded pin weight needs to be subtracted from your available payload. The loaded pin weight is typically 20-25% of the loaded 5er weight. Anything placed in the trailer in front of the axles will add to your pin weight. Not knowing how much weight you will add, I usually recommend using 20-25% of the 5er gvwr to give you a little safety cushion.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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A lot of good information here. I guess I get confused when I hear all of these fifth wheels that are 1/2 ton towable. And see them almost every time we are camping. I know my truck can handle the weight much better then a 1/2 ton can, but I have seen a 1/2 ton towing this 28bh trailer at least 3 times. Makes me think my truck shouldn't have a problem with it. But I wanted to find out some details first before I spent any money.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:38 PM   #8
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Most half tons tend to be overloaded with fivers but some do ok... see mark5w for one that is doing ok (he has the eco boost HD with max tow). The weak link on the 3/4 ton tends to be the payload and sometimes the RAWR.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:20 PM   #9
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Your truck is probably ok with this unit...the only thing you need to be cautious of is pulling specs from the internet. There "may" be an 07 CC 2500HD out there with a payload of 3217# but I'm betting it's not yours. The published specs are for a mythical stripper model with bare bones options that no one would buy. Add more options and the payload goes down inversely. Check your door sticker for more accurate ratings.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:06 PM   #10
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The 6.0L gas engine version actually has more payload capacity than the diesel because it has a lower overall weight. That being said. Look on your door sticker for GVWR and then go to the scales with a full tank or fuel and all your passengers and the fifth wheel hitch in the bed. Then subtract your actual vehicle weight from the the GVWR to get your payload capacity. This is the simple way. Your truck will handle the trailer, but won't be any speed demon in the hills or mountains. At least you have the 6-speed tranny. Not a perfect answer but I do believe your truck has capacity for what you want to do with it. Now if you want to take on long distance and mountains you are probably going to need to upsize the tow vehicle. I'd be comfortable with it that you are well within your max specs.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:02 AM   #11
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Great advice thus far and the important ratings are on your door placard...

If you go with a 5th wheel,
your tow vehicles GCWR and rear GAWR will 'probably' be your primary limiting factors (if everything else is stock including your tires) GCWR will be a secondary concern...

And these numbers along with your registration is what most states 'authorities' will look at to see if you are within specs...

so take $10 and go to a cat scale with your truck loaded as if you were going camping,
this will give you your REAL tow vehicle weights
and, from there, you can calculate the 'leeway' you have between real weights and what you can add as far as 5th wheel pin weight and hitch...

good luck and come back with those weights to let us know...
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:54 AM   #12
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To add to johnboytoo's comments,

You will probably be shocked by how much "stuff" weighs when you pack. Plus passengers weight adds up fast (insert mother-in-law joke here).

We bought a tongue scale and my jaw dropped when I weight the tongue before a trip.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:49 PM   #13
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These threads amuse me at times. No offense towards the original poster. I think you will be fine. For the general information for you and the others that are real worried about the numbers on the door stickers. Can you take a picture of both of your door stickers and of the rated tire load ( on the tires sidewall by the dot number).

Now I will show you mine. That almost sound wrong but bear with me.



My door sticker 6084 lbs.

My original spare tire.



You notice if I double it, I have two rear tires, 3042+3042=6084. Now you see how Chevy came up with the gross weight rating of the rear axle.

My truck now has some BFG tires. Actually slightly larger. 265/75R16 instead of 245/75R16's.



3415+3415=6830 lbs. I would not be concerned to have some extra weight in the back of my truck right now. 6830-6082=748 lbs. As far as I'm concerned I just raised my GAWR RR 750 lbs and GVWR 1500 lbs. Now the next thing that I would be worried about is what type of rear axle do you have? Let's face it if you say a GM 14 bolt you are almost right. But GM axles are built by American Axle Manufacturer (AAM for short). The early 2000 model trucks had a 10.50 axle that was rated at 8600 lbs without a full floating axle. So the axle shaft actually had to support the weight of the truck. They also had a 11.50 axle that was used on the one ton trucks, which is rated at 10000lbs. This axle has full floating axles so the axle shaft just has torsional loads and the weight is held by the bearing and hub assembly. Take a look at your truck axle. Does it have a hub and 8 bolts holding the axle to it?

If you have the full floating axle I would add some air bags and make sure your tires are rated for the load. If you do this you are adding some safety into the numbers. Since you are not a business or corporation I think you will be safe from a DOT weight inspection. There are very few differences from your truck and the one ton, other then the lack of tires.
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:59 PM   #14
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Your other door sticker should look like this.

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Old 08-23-2014, 10:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyN View Post
I have a 2007 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crew Cab standard box. It has the 6.0L gas engine, 6 speed transmission, and the 3.73 rear end. Per my research, my truck is rated for a 9,800lb towing capacity because of the gas engine and 3.73 rear end. I have also read that I have a payload capacity of 3,217 lbs.
.

Thanks.
Did you compare what is on the tire to the stickers on the door? How about looking at what axle you had? GM has been using the full floating axle in just about all of the 2500HD trucks. In the late 90's most had the semi-floater (8600 lb axle). There down fall is weak leaf springs for softer ride. Which is why I said add air bags. On paper you will be close but it is easy to add some safety margin for real world use. I assume stardard bed to you is 8'. If so you got the length on your side. Long trailer and short wheel base is bad.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:38 PM   #16
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Jake,

I did look at my stickers and tires. The door sticker is just like yours. Says 6084 lbs. I also put on 265/75R16's when I got my truck, so my tires also show just like yours. I didn't have time to look at the rear end, but when I bought my truck, they told me that it had a full floating rear axle. I would have to double check that for sure I guess.

And another thing to clear up, after GM introduce the short bed in the crew cab 1/2 ton trucks, they called the 6.5 ft bed the standard bed. That is what I have on mine. Not the 8ft long box.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:09 PM   #17
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I would think the increase in tire rating adds some safety. If I was going to tow thru the mountains I know I would love to have the diesel, but I could not afford it when I bought mine. One thing about a lot of the gm vehicles the rear springs are a little weak. They choose the soft ride over better handling of weight. Air bags could help with the payload I have on other vehicles (like my hummer) had an extra leaf added under the main leaf to increase weight capabilites. It was only about $250 here at a spring shop and worth every bit on that one. That was the installed price, cheaper then air bags and did not make it a tank either. It did add a little lift but the rear was sagging some from stock measurements.

I just would not feel the need to run out and get the 3500. You should have the same rear axle. The biggest difference is heavier and more springs in the back.
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