I have been reading posts on this (and a few other sites) for a few years now. But I am just as confused today as I was on day one. Here is my direct example of my confusion:
I have a 1997 Chevy Tahoe
, 4 dr, 4 wheel drive, 5.7l (350 cid) engine, 4L60E tranny, and 3.73 gears. It also came with the factory tow package. My owner's manual tells me I can pull a trailer up to 6500 lbs. (I live in a VERY mountainous area, so I will have to tow up and down mountains)
I am looking at 1987 29' Sovereign
. According to http://www.airstream.com/airstream/p.../weights-1.pdf
, this trailer has a dry weight of 5300 lbs. And a GVW of 6800lbs.
I have seen many suggestions that you should not pull a trailer that weighs more than 80% of your maximum tow rate (that would be about 5200 lbs for my truck, very close to the dry weight of the Airstream). NOW
, is this magical 80% number actually 80% of the 'dry weight' or of the 'actual' real-life weight? If it refers to the actual real-life weight, how can you ever determine if you vehicle can tow a trailer??????? Different options mean different weights. No seller that I have ever talked to has taken their trailer over a commercial scale, and so they have no idea of how much their trailer actually weighs. All I ever get is, "The dry weight is..."
and, "The GVW is ..."
, I assume the actual weight of the trailer is somewhere in the middle, but isn't the GVW the total weight the vehicle can handle loaded? What number can I use to determine if I can actually
pull the trailer?
Now I do want an Airstream that is big enough for my family but when I go out looking and I think I've found a great one, my wife asks the same question, "Can our truck pull it?" I can't give her a direct answer because I can't take the trailer and weigh it. Therefore, my wife won't let me buy the trailer for fear it will kill our truck.
With all the differening ideas I have heard about what I can and cannot pull, it makes me think there is some 'black magic' about this whole concept, and nothing is really set in stone.
Please, please help to enlighten me. Just what weight range can I actually tow with my truck? How can I ever find the actual weight of a trailer if I can't take it to the weight scales? I don't want to buy something I can't tow. But I don't want to pass up something I can tow.
Thanks for your input!!!