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Old 10-03-2007, 11:36 AM   #1
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1/2 Ton Silverado enough?

Hello,

I have been doing some reading on tow vehicles here it the forums, but i would like to double check my figuring.

I have a 2007 Chevy Silverado 1/2 Ton New Body Style (GMT-900), extended cab standard box (143.5" wheel base), 2WD with the 5.3L Engine. It also is equipped with the heavy duty tow package (NOT the max package) and is Z71 so it has upgraded "towing" suspension and a trans cooler.

Specifications: Silverado: Trucks: Chevrolet

Im looking at purchasing a 1979 Argosy 26'. I dont actually know the specific weight of the unit im looking at, but a 74' 26' that i was looking at previously weighed 3980 with a 320lb tongue weight

My GCVWR is 13,000 Lbs, so i figure my TV curbweight, 5100 Lbs + say another 5000 for the trailer should put me at 10,100 + another 400Lbs in truck = 10500/13000 = 80.7%

Now i prolly went a little high on the numbers there but i would rather factor in say a worse case scenario.

Now with say an Equalizer WD Hitch or a Reese Dual Cam sway control and a prodigy brake controller with all 4 wheels braking on the trailer would i be in the range of "comfortable towing"?

Now i jsut realized something when typing this, i thought i remembered my truck weighing less then 5000Lbs, and it does, those specs are for 2008 model, mine has the same towing cap of 7700 Lbs, but in the 08 models they put a heavier duty trans in the truck (SOB! i would have liked that ) So that upped the weight by almost 200Lbs, my truck weighs around 4800 Lbs.
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceCactus
Hello,


Now with say an Equalizer WD Hitch or a Reese Dual Cam sway control and a prodigy brake controller with all 4 wheels braking on the trailer would i be in the range of "comfortable towing"?

.
Looks you are "comfortably" in the ball park.

You might want to find the UBW (dry empty weight) of the Argosy and then double check your numbers. I've found that using the the trailer's UBW makes for easier calculations than trying to use the GVWR.

Looking at the Chevy specs, if needed, you could changes to 4:10 gears and upgrade the tranny cooler if you wanted a bigger towing margin. That won't change your cargo capacity but would allow you to pull more trailer weight.

The Reese Dual Cam WD and sway bar setup will give you a very controlled stable rig for a reasonable price
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Old 10-03-2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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Hello IceCactus -- Welcome to the Forums! I've got a '74 24' Argosy -- those numbers sound pretty close. I believe you would have a rather higher tongue weight when you're ready to camp. Look in the manual for how to weigh tongue weight with a bathroom scale (or else here).

You are looking at the numbers properly. You will be happiest, safest and have fewer wear issues if you can keep a tow and your truck payload no higher than 80-85% of the maximums. Payload is the easier number to exceed and your link says your truck's payload is 1895#. Don't haul bricks in the box and I think you'll be just fine. The tranny cooler and other tow features are important to have. The 5.3L won't roar up the mountains but you'll find it adequate, especially on the more gradual grades of the interstates. Take it easy like the rest of us (well, there are a few...) and your Argosy will outlast yet another tow vehicle!
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:45 PM   #4
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Ice' -- Do you know your rear end ratio? At least 3.73, right?
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:13 PM   #5
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Depends

We have a '03 Sierra 4x4 extended cab with 4.8l, 4 speed auto and 3.73 rear gears.
Works great around here for us.
If I were going to the Rockies with the wife, 3 kids and their stuff I might think a little bigger or go lighter on the stuff.
We get better mileage than with the old '97 Yukon and the 5.7l.
Are you a heavy hauler?
Scales tell no lies.
I like 80% of gross capacity for comfort and safety.

R
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input so far guys

Yes, it does have the 3.73 gears, you get that automatically with the z71, i should have specified that

I also made a mistake, the rated tongue weight of that 74' that i was looking at was 380 not 320.

As for me being a heavy hauler, Well to be honest im not sure. I havent actually bought a trailer yet. I bought the truck a lil while back intending on really only towing a boat eventually. I saw this argosy and really liked it. i have never towed ANYTHING before.

I estimated the trailer weight to be 1000lbs more then the UBW weight of it just to be safe. and im still 80% of the GCVWR.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceCactus
I estimated the trailer weight to be 1000lbs more then the UBW weight of it just to be safe. and im still 80% of the GCVWR.
That's good figurin'. I'll hunt down my manual...
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:02 PM   #8
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Man, im getting all confused, hehe, looking at to many trailers. The tongue weight is 520 Lbs, not 380
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:23 PM   #9
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No

Get a 3/4 ton...minimum.
Its not the engine or gears, those are available to pull anything.
Its the brakes...and suspension that really makes the differance.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klattu
Get a 3/4 ton...minimum.
Its not the engine or gears, those are available to pull anything.
Its the brakes...and suspension that really makes the differance.
Well yes, they make a difference for cargo hauling but only in extreme load situations and not so much for conventional towing. Just look at the specs.

Consider the 2008 specs for the F150 vs F250, both with a 5.4L v8 and 4.10 gears.

Maximum Cargo Capacity
F150: 3080 lbs
F250: 3170 lbs

Maximum towing capacity
F150: 11,000 lbs
F250: 11,100 lbs.

Combined Weight Rating GCWR
F150: 16,400 lbs
F250: 18,000 lbs

Either truck can safely pull pretty much any Airstream and gear.

So for towing and cargo hauling the F150 and F250 are about even. The F250 has a 1600 lb advantge in GCWR - which essentaily means the F250 can carry 1600 more pounds of cargo compared to the F150 when both are pulling near maximum trailer weight - an advantage to 5th wheels and construction hauling but not a very common Airstream occurance.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:28 PM   #11
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Icecactus,

In 1979, the tow vehicle of choice was a large family car or station wagon. I think that your truck will be just fine. I would not hesitate to tow the Argosy behind either my PowerWagon or Lincoln.

Bill
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Get a 3/4 ton...minimum.
Its not the engine or gears, those are available to pull anything.
Its the brakes...and suspension that really makes the differance.
Well i already bought the truck and its a brand new truck so getting rid of it isnt an option. I just wont buy the trailer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
Icecactus,

In 1979, the tow vehicle of choice was a large family car or station wagon. I think that your truck will be just fine. I would not hesitate to tow the Argosy behind either my PowerWagon or Lincoln.

Bill
Thats a very very good point
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:29 AM   #13
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I think that you are within the reasonable comfort zone with the TT/TV comination that you are proposing. Where a 3/4 ton excells is in the brakes department. This advantage does not necessarily reflect in the towing capacity figures. You should have sufficient baking power to stop your rig. That being said, I would highly encourage you to make darn sure that the bake system on the Argosy is up to snuff.

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Old 10-04-2007, 03:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IceCactus
Well i already bought the truck and its a brand new truck so getting rid of it isnt an option. I just wont buy the trailer.
Cactus, I do not see anything wrong with the towing numbers you posted. The numbers appear well within the specs of your truck. As I suggested above just confirm the the UBW (empty weight) you used.

You can find infinite TV opinions on this site. Some people need a belt and suspenders, others just get the right size belt. Just run the numbers as you did.

Focus your analysis on choosing the brake controller and a good WD/sway bar setup.

Decide on buying the trailer on its own merits.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:25 AM   #15
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Thanks guys for the info

I figured my truck should do the job just fine, but it always helps to get other opinions who tow alot I am going to get the prodigy brake controller and the reese dual cam most likely.

I just now need to figure out if im going to buy her or not. Its missing a title
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:08 AM   #16
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I have an '01 Silverado 1/2 ton with the "girlie" 8 cylinder. The only problem I've had so far is being underpowered. Properly hitched, with a decent equalizer, I pulled my 75 Overlander from Texas to Winnipeg with no issues at all... I didn't even know it was there most of the time. I would NOT take my unit through the mountains... I just don't have the oohmph. Hills slowed me to 45 MPH, and the auto shifted down to 2nd gear to keep up.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:57 AM   #17
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03Enduro, what gear ratio are you running in the differential?

............Scott
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:06 AM   #18
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IceCactus,

If it makes you feel any better, I don't think you will have a problem. Just this week I bought a new tow vehicle...a 2007 GMC 1/2 ton Sierra with the 5.3 liter engine, and towing package. The truck replaces an '04 Dodge 1/2 ton with the 4.7 liter engine and no towoing package.

The Dodge had no problems handling the weight, sway, or stopping of my 23' Airstream, it just did not have the umph to pull the trailer to my satisfaction in the mountains.

Although we are planning a big trip next summer, I do not plan a lot of long distance towing, and the vehicle must also be a daily driver with reasonable fuel mileage, reasonable maintanace costs, and reasonable innitial cost. The GMC 1/2 ton does all of this for me. vbmenu_register("postmenu_459547", true);
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:19 AM   #19
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1/2 ton

I tow a 25' 2005 Classic with a Silverado 1/2 ton with the 5.3 liter and the upgrade towing package. Towed it from NH to Florida last March without a problem. Even on hills there is enough power and there is no sway problem.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:09 AM   #20
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You should be fine!
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