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Old 01-17-2021, 05:36 AM   #1
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Max Trailer length?

I have a 2021 suburban which has a max tongue/trailer weight of 810/8100 lbs and a payload of 1605 lbs.

From the reading I have done, I should be staying 10-15% below these weights. Looking at the specs on a new trailers, I believe I should be able to comfortable pull a 23' without issues. I noticed the 27' FB comes in at 791 lbs which is technically under my max tongue weight. I know this is unloaded and weights are near my vehicle max weight limits, but it got me thinking:

For my vehicle, what should be the max length I should consider if the trailer stays within the 10-15% rule? I know older trailers are lighter and adding a WD hitch typically adds capability. I'm still trying to find the weight specs if WD hitch is used.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:13 AM   #2
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I'm towing a 2018 Flying Cloud 30RB with a listed tongue weight of 899 lbs. My actual tongue weight is Ī1,200 lbs. Listed factory tongue weight includes empty LPG tanks. You need to add the weight of the LPG, 4.2 lb/gallon. Estimate all of the other items you'll load into the trailer and the factory tongue weight will go up two to three hundred lbs. I don't see any way to keep a 27 footer below 800 lb tongue weight. A weight distributing hitch will transfer some of the hitch weight to the front axle of the Suburban - so it could work. The caveat is that a heavier tongue weight lowers what can actually be carried in the vehicle itself. Remember that the max payload of the vehicle includes the weight of the passengers - not just other items loaded into it.
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Old 01-17-2021, 07:41 AM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your questions, that gross payload figure includes the trailer tongue weight and everything loaded into the vehicle including passenger, fuel and all gear. An 800# tongue weight will only leave you 800# for everything else, which isn't that much when you think about it.

The 23FB has a fairly light tongue weight and would be a good match for the Suburban. When you get to the 25's, the realistic tongue weights approach 1,000#. This would leave the rest of your approved payload at 2 adult passengers, a medium size dog, an ice chest, and a full tank of gas.

We used to pull Lucy with 3/4 ton Suburbans (no longer available to the public) and did OK for many miles. We were always loaded down as our trips were two to three months long. Our 25FB weighs about 7,400# ready to camp with a 900+# tongue weight.

Brian
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAL80 View Post
I have a 2021 suburban which has a max tongue/trailer weight of 810/8100 lbs and a payload of 1605 lbs.

From the reading I have done, I should be staying 10-15% below these weights. Looking at the specs on a new trailers, I believe I should be able to comfortable pull a 23' without issues. I noticed the 27' FB comes in at 791 lbs which is technically under my max tongue weight. I know this is unloaded and weights are near my vehicle max weight limits, but it got me thinking:

For my vehicle, what should be the max length I should consider if the trailer stays within the 10-15% rule? I know older trailers are lighter and adding a WD hitch typically adds capability. I'm still trying to find the weight specs if WD hitch is used.
From the other couple posts I read, stay in 23 foot or smaller range.Dont let your trailer drive a underpowered tow vehicle.Thats where the carnage starts.
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:16 AM   #5
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Welcome Aboard👍

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAL80 View Post
I have a 2021 suburban which has a max tongue/trailer weight of 810/8100 lbs and a payload of 1605 lbs.

From the reading I have done, I should be staying 10-15% below these weights. Looking at the specs on a new trailers, I believe I should be able to comfortable pull a 23' without issues. I noticed the 27' FB comes in at 791 lbs which is technically under my max tongue weight. I know this is unloaded and weights are near my vehicle max weight limits, but it got me thinking:

For my vehicle, what should be the max length I should consider if the trailer stays within the 10-15% rule? I know older trailers are lighter and adding a WD hitch typically adds capability. I'm still trying to find the weight specs if WD hitch is used.
I checked the new 'Burbs recently, the engine is very capable, the axle ratings,(I believe the RAWR for the independent axle is a 4200lb), passenger car tires and 'payload' not so much. There is no 2500 option these days.


Pay very close attention to all the actual AS and Suburban loaded numbers.

Our factory TW is 860, actual 1200lb.

POI....The tow rating you referenced,(810/8100), IS for a WD hitch.

Bob
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Old 01-17-2021, 09:30 AM   #6
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Yet another vote for a K2500 Suburban. Other thing I noticed is that even the 1/2 ton Silverados (2019+) have much more capable brakes. Be interesting to see if you could upgrade to the bigger rotors and 4 piston calipers as used on the newer Silverados even if you tow within the limitations of the Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:14 AM   #7
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My 27FB loaded for camping has a measured (Sherline scale) tongue weight of 950 lbs. It was 900 lbs, but I replaced the two group 24 interstate batteries in the battery box with a pair of much heavier Trojan T-105's.

On a different topic, I've never understood why all vehicle manufacturer's rate their tongue weight at exactly 10% of tow capacity. Even though its probably the same hitch hardware, the same vehicle with a different engine combinations will have differing tongue weight limits, calculated to 10% of rated tow capacity.
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:37 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I appreciate knowing some actual weights people have with real use. I didn't realize tongue weight listed was with empty tanks. Also, I should have been more clear in my initial post. I have no intention to pull anything over 23' with my suburban. I know anything larger is over the limits.

Quote:
POI....The tow rating you referenced,(810/8100), IS for a WD hitch.
Good to know, I thought I saw something (maybe when I was looking at trucks) it was listed out separately.

tbrowne - How do you like the layout of the 30RB? That was one of the few layouts were able to see in a 2017 International. It was one of our favorites.
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Old 01-17-2021, 08:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
My 27FB loaded for camping has a measured (Sherline scale) tongue weight of 950 lbs. It was 900 lbs, but I replaced the two group 24 interstate batteries in the battery box with a pair of much heavier Trojan T-105's.

On a different topic, I've never understood why all vehicle manufacturer's rate their tongue weight at exactly 10% of tow capacity. Even though its probably the same hitch hardware, the same vehicle with a different engine combinations will have differing tongue weight limits, calculated to 10% of rated tow capacity.
They use 10% tongue weight because the industry standard guidance in the US for trailers is 10-15% for stability purposes. Using 10% gives them the maximum trailer weight limit before exceeding standards for oversteer and sway, then they build out a trailer that is optimized for 10% tongue weight and use that to perform the tests.

So in the case of the modern Suburbans, one should tread carefully before exceeding the tongue limit when close to the max trailer limit. This means the Suburban can tow a 23' Airstream without exceeding guidance. Towing a 25' Airstream will exceed the tongue guidance but with max weight 10% under, one can meet the spirit of the guidance if tongue weight stays below 880 lb which will be very difficult loaded for camping. My 25' has a tongue weight between 950 and 1100 depending on gear and tank levels.
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Old 01-18-2021, 05:13 AM   #10
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I did see on the hitch itself that its rated for 850/8500 lbs. But I do know that the tag in the door frame are the accurate ratings to go by since it takes into account all the options on a particular vehicle.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAL80 View Post
I did see on the hitch itself that its rated for 850/8500 lbs. But I do know that the tag in the door frame are the accurate ratings to go by since it takes into account all the options on a particular vehicle.
Recommend, weighing the TV loaded for camping/towing.
Knowing the real numbers is always the best solution.
The door jam is a 'best guess' as loading is not permanent.

Bob
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:40 AM   #12
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I tow a 23FB with a GMC 1500 series truck. It has towing capacities similar to the suburban mentioned above. My truck tows the 23 without any issues at all, but I wouldn’t be comfortable towing a larger trailer with it for the reasons mentioned above. My wife and I are relatively light campers, and we get pretty close to the max payload for my truck on an average trip.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:45 AM   #13
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I think maybe the statement above that Airstream's tongue weight does not include propane is wrong, not that it makes much difference. On the brochure for my 2019, it says "Hitch Weight (with LP and Batteries)." Actual loaded tongue weight is what matters, of course. The truck manufacturers always seem to list tongue weight max as being 10% of max towing capability. My hitch has a sticker stating a rating which is above the 10% max. If nothing else, at least that gives an extra margin. I think that matters because the 10% is the limit at towing the max load and we are well below our truck's max towing load.

We also have a SUV and ended up with a FC 25RB. We liked the 25FB, but from searching here, I thought the tongue weight gain would be too much for our truck. The 25RB gains less and I believe is within the limits of our SUV.

While I am comfortable with the tongue weight and the towing experience, the tongue weight does mean we need to be careful about not loading too much in the truck.
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Old 02-14-2021, 08:11 PM   #14
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In my opinion, too much emphasis is being placed on the trailer's laden weight. Its length and where weight is distributed over that is far more important.

As an extreme example I could tow (and did) a 14 ft two tonne trailer behind my only 750 kg (about 1650 lbs) Haflinger - but not a one tonne 18 ft trailer.

Collyn

(This is in Australia - but our gravity is the same as the USA's!)
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