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Old 08-18-2020, 09:15 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle Capabilities

As recent new owner of our 27ft Globetrotter we are confronted with making the choice of a complimentary tow vehicle. At the top of my list is the Sierra 1500 Duramax (3.0L Diesel). However on the Trailering Sticker inside the door it explicitly states "Vehicle and Trailer must not exceed any of these values"
GVWR=7200 lbs..
According to Airstream the GVWR for the Globetrotter is 7600 lbs. The sticker also quotes a Tow weight of 9000 lbs and a GCWR of 15000 lbs.
my question to the forum: even although the vehicle could tow the trailer will I have a safety issue if the GVWR exceeds the stated limits. Any help would be appreciated in the interpretation of these specifications. I would prefer not to get into the HD class of vehicle. Thanks
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PappaRosie;
my question to the forum: even although the vehicle could tow the trailer will I have a safety issue if the GVWR exceeds the stated limits.
First, GVWR on your door sticker is the maximum weight of the truck itself, fully loaded with trailer attached, driver, passengers, fuel, cargo, etc..you need to roll over a CAT scale to see where your truck lands when fully loaded with trailer attached. If too heavy, get stuff out of the truck and into the trailer (aside from people and fuel) .

9,000 lb towing capacity aside (which is a silly almost nonsensical number), the key values you need to stay within are:

> the truck GVWR (7,200 lbs)
> the trailer GVWR (7,600 lbs)
> the truck FAWR (max front axle weights with max specified tire pressure) (check yellow door sticker)
> the truck RAWR (max rear axle load.....) (check yellow door sticker)
> the truck Maximum Hitch Weight for the receiver (check sticker on receiver)
> the GCRW (weight of fully loaded truck+ trailer combined) (15,000lbs)

GCWR should not exceed Truck GVWR + Trailer GVWR = 7,200 + 7,600 = 14,800. So in theory you are ok there if you do not overload either vehicle. This needs to be verified on a CAT scale.

Check the max tongue weight on your receiver. It's likely 900lbs. You are probably ok there with the 27' globetrotter, however it does have a heavy tongue.....

FAWR/RAWR - As for axle weights (front and rear, and on the trailer itself actually) - ensure you have a good weight distribution hitch, it's setup correctly, and get onto the CAT scales to ensure your individual axles are within limits and you have the correct tire pressures set. The sum of the front axle weight + rear axle weight of the truck must not exceed 7,200 lbs (GVWR) in your case.

-----
A side note about exceeding rated TV limits.......

In reality people do it all the time (exceed the rating of their vehicles).

You may get away with it for eternity without issue.... or you may regret it on your first cross country trip when you find yourself being pushed down an 8% grade with a 16,000 lb train at 70mph+ for 10+ miles in the rockies (or sierras) and you overheat / fade out your brakes and are forced to hit a truck run-away ramp.

All that theory aside, the bigger issue is a legal one, and your personal liability if you get into an accident with a trailer that is outside of what the vehicle is legally rated for.
-----

Be safe out there. Love that Globetrotter...
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Old 08-18-2020, 09:42 PM   #3
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Sounds like your tow vehicle GVW can not exceed 7200 lbs. So donít load it over that. I would pay more attention to axle weight ratings.

Your trailer weight can not exceed 9000 lbs. Your trailer shouldnít be loaded over 7600 lbs. by its GVWR.

What is the issue?
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Old 08-18-2020, 10:00 PM   #4
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The GVWR listed on the door sticker of the truck is for the truck. This would be truck front axle weight plus truck rear axle weight.That appears to be a maximum of 7200 lbs.

The GVWR on the Airstream is for the trailer. Maximum of 7600 lbs.

GCWR is the limit for both the truck and trailer combined. 15,000 > 7,200+7,600

At a glance, the numbers provided seem to be a good match. You may want to check more about payload capacity for the truck. Individual axle ratings should also be considered, but you should be able to balance the load with a good weight distribution hitch provided the tongue weight and other truck payload doesn't exceed the maximum rating.
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Old 08-19-2020, 06:34 AM   #5
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Good advice from the others. As explained, you will be close to the capability limits of this vehicle. In addition to staying below the 15,000 combined weight etc. you will want a decent amount of sway control support if you stick with this combination. So choose a WD hitch that is strong on sway damping. Hensley and Propride are best, Reese Straightline and Equalizer or similar designs are excellent but a tad noisy. There are other good choices also.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:25 AM   #6
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from Wulfraat
:All that theory aside, the bigger issue is a legal one, and your personal liability if you get into an accident with a trailer that is outside of what the vehicle is legally rated for.

This is the issue that all forget or ignore. A catastrophic wreck with another vehicle will leave you liable for whatever the courts decide. Oftentimes many $ above your ins policy limits which forward over to you personally.
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Old 08-19-2020, 07:52 AM   #7
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I don’t see acquiring just enough TV to marginally do the job.

I think the better option is to have more TV than is needed for the times it may be coming in handy.
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:08 AM   #8
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While I, too prefer to err on the side of caution (and tow with a Ram 3500) itís funny there arenít more crashes involving RVís. I doubt I went to a dozen crashes involving RVís in my 28 years of SP service.

A lot of people think you should have to have an RV endorsement on your DL but the data just isnít there to show the need for it.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:01 AM   #9
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Insurance and Federal Highway statistics indicate on average RV's experience 1/3rd the fatality rates of all vehicles on US highways so RVers are, in general, very safe as a group. Within the RV statistics, driver skills, speed and wind (read this as sway stability), and excessive weight (read this as cornering stability) are by far the leading cause of RV involved accidents particularly those involving serious injury, death and large damage experience.
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Old 08-23-2020, 06:17 AM   #10
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Tow vehicle Capabilities

During my career, the vast majority of calls-for-service for RVís involved some sort of mechanical breakdown. Being an RVer myself I was able to sympathize with them and help them as much as I could. (IMHO, if you havenít had a breakdown you will, sooner or later. Iíve certainly had my share.) As a result, Iíve gotten pretty fanatical about maintenance on my truck and trailer (and I carry my Dewalt power tools when RVing).
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibson3798 View Post
I donít see acquiring just enough TV to marginally do the job.

I think the better option is to have more TV than is needed for the times it may be coming in handy.
Exactly.....
ďIts better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you donít.Ē or ďyou may think you donít need it, but when you do need itÖ.You will have it.Ē
RLC

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Old 08-23-2020, 08:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Exactly.....

ďIts better to have what you don't need when you need it, than not to have it when you donít.Ē or ďyou may think you donít need it, but when you do need itÖ.You will have it.Ē

RLC



Bob



I agree.

In some cases;

1) The least said the better
2) Sometimes less is more

⭐️ IMO. In this case More is Better. Always better safe than sorry.

Just my opinion
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Old 08-23-2020, 09:19 AM   #13
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Typically the tongue weight is rated at 10% of your max tow capacity. I just ordered a 2020 F150 that I specifically ordered to have a max tongue weight of 1250lbs. My max towing is 12,500lbs. Your biggest issue will be payload. So you will most likely have to pack some of your things in the trailer. But if you are a short stent type person you really don’t need to take much. The things that add weight are generators, carrying a tank of water, bikes (especially e-bikes), and of course passengers (which you can’t put in the trailer). Learn to buy things that are light and take only what is necessary. The

Also if you have a front bedroom that is where you can have a problem with tongue weight. Typically that is where much of the storage space is. I recommend getting a tongue weight scale and pack and see what happens. For example if you pack a lot of groceries, bottled water, etc under your bed that is going to be problematic. You might need to shift it around a bit. I have a front kitchen on mine and frankly my tongue weight decreases as I pack since I tend to put stuff in the rear.

Another way to reduce tongue weight is by getting rid of those 30lb LP tanks or only keeping one filled. You seldom need two tanks for summer camping. Get a monitor on the tank to check it’s level and then take the empty tank to fill it and just switch tanks over.

Finally if you are looking at a tow vehicle I would highly recommend the Ram 3.0L diesel. It has a higher towing capacity. And frankly the F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost can’t be beat as far as horsepower and torque. You can easily get an F150 with 1800lbs of payload with a towing capacity of well over 11,000lbs.
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Old 08-23-2020, 10:10 AM   #14
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Really consider a 3/4 ton vs. payload anxiety

PapaRosie, congratulations on your new GT and welcome to the Airstream Community & Forums!

We have a 27’ Globetrotter and started with a 1/2 ton truck. After a trip to the CAT scales we found it was within 100 lbs. of being over the rear axle’s max. of 4100 lbs. Plus, we were over the payload limit from the start (our GT’s tongue weight is 1100 lbs). We did make a trip with the trailer and while the truck had plenty of power, at times it felt like the trailer pushed the truck.

We ultimately decided the anxiety was taking away from our travel experience and traded up to a 3/4 ton with 2940 lbs. payload. The difference was noticeable immediately; no more getting pushed around in highway traffic and we’re getting the same or better gas mileage.

By the way, we went with a V8 gas engine and get 11-12 MPG, not far off from a diesel without the extra $10K expense and a 800-900 payload penalty.

You’ll find most people who started with a 1/2 ton and moved up to a 3/4 ton wish they did it sooner.

Good luck with your decision!
Jeff
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Old 08-23-2020, 10:20 AM   #15
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Advising or seeming to advise 10% as a target tongue weight to shoot for seems unwise. Trailer towing is most stable at 15% tongue and is the ideal and should be the desired target. As a comparison, fifth wheel and goosenecks will run 20-30%. 10% is the minimum recommended to maintain some small degree of sway stability but at speeds below those of common highway. Lower than 15% tongue should be seen as a carefully considered trade off to address unavoidable axle weight limits.
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Old 08-24-2020, 08:07 PM   #16
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Thanks for taking the time to provide all of the sage advice.

Thanks to all who responded and provided constructive and usable feedback. So the new 2020 Duramax 6 cylinder is off the shopping list as its specifications, do not not account for my wifes penchant to fill in all the nooks and crannies she can find to stash stuff. Now it is between a 6.2 L GAS OR HD Diesel.





Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmc306 View Post
PapaRosie, congratulations on your new GT and welcome to the Airstream Community & Forums!

We have a 27í Globetrotter and started with a 1/2 ton truck. After a trip to the CAT scales we found it was within 100 lbs. of being over the rear axleís max. of 4100 lbs. Plus, we were over the payload limit from the start (our GTís tongue weight is 1100 lbs). We did make a trip with the trailer and while the truck had plenty of power, at times it felt like the trailer pushed the truck.

We ultimately decided the anxiety was taking away from our travel experience and traded up to a 3/4 ton with 2940 lbs. payload. The difference was noticeable immediately; no more getting pushed around in highway traffic and weíre getting the same or better gas mileage.

By the way, we went with a V8 gas engine and get 11-12 MPG, not far off from a diesel without the extra $10K expense and a 800-900 payload penalty.

Youíll find most people who started with a 1/2 ton and moved up to a 3/4 ton wish they did it sooner.

Good luck with your decision!
Jeff
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PappaRosie View Post
Thanks to all who responded and provided constructive and usable feedback. So the new 2020 Duramax 6 cylinder is off the shopping list as its specifications, do not not account for my wifes penchant to fill in all the nooks and crannies she can find to stash stuff. Now it is between a 6.2 L GAS OR HD Diesel.
One thing to consider is that the Diesel engine adds a lot of weight and reduced payload by somewhere around 900 lb. Iíve seen diesel F250ís with a payload sticker around 2400 lbs.... not much more than an F150 with max tow package.

For that reason when we decided to go diesel, we went with an F350 (1 ton). Not that much difference in price (F350 vs F250) but provides 3400 lb payload with the Diesel engine.

In my mind our choice was F250 gas or F350 Diesel because we were primarily interested in increased payload (we like to pack lots of stuff, too). Either will do the job, but the diesel is amazing. Let us know how things work out.

Jim
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:19 PM   #18
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PappaRosie- The Diesel HD is awesome. I towed with an F150 platinum Max tow for a year and then went to an HD. The whole experience was heightened. If I got a chance to pick my TV the same time you are now an HD is a no-brainer. I donít even mind the parking lots, grocery store, etc as the cameras are very helpful. Have fun in your GT. We love ours.

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