View Full Version : Possible buyer

10-27-2013, 11:59 AM
Hello everyone. We are considering buying a bighorn silverado 36 TB. The GVWR is listed as 15000 and dry says 11600. The concern is our TV which is a 2008 chevy duramax 6.6 standard bed 4x4 with crewcab rated at 13600. Is this cutting it to close? Are others this close? Also driving in colorado we will be doing long steep grade passes. Any suggestions. Thanks for your help

10-27-2013, 02:09 PM
Hi Rhgonzo,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum. This is a great place to get your questions answered by friendly people who are willing to share their real life experiences.

You need to consider two types of loads: how much the truck can pull (towing capacity), and also how much vertical load it can carry (payload).

It's generally a good idea to match the towing capacity of the truck to the GVWR. The dry/empty weight spec is more a design number than an actual shipped empty weight. It doesn't include the weight of options, and probably doesn't include the weight of "forced options" that ship with every unit. It's not unusual for a large 5th wheel to come out of the factory weighing 1000 lbs more than the dry/empty spec. It's also pretty easy to add another 1000 lbs or more of your stuff. Add a little water at 8 lbs/gallon. Before you know it you can be bumping into the GVWR.

Same with payload issues. The spec for Pinbox weight is 2215 lbs. But you need to figure that loaded to GVWR, the actual weight will be 18-20% of the total. So You could see an actual load of 3,000 lbs on the rear axle. If your Chevy is a 3500, you may be able to handle that within your payload spec on the truck, which btw has to also include weight of passengers, pets, tools, hitch, bed liner, bed cover, etc. If you have a 2500, you'll be seriously overloaded.

I tow up and down I70 west of Denver a couple of time each year. My 2011 GMC 3500 handles our 16,150 lbs nicely. The engine/transmission/engine brake do most of the work going downhill and I rarely have to use the brakes. I would not want to try this with the truck out of balance from excess payload, or with more trailer weight than the truck is rated to pull. I find going downhill is much more interesting than going uphill.

You can get additional information on safe towing at Fifth Wheel Safe Towing (http://fifthwheelst.com), a website started by another Heartland Owner. He's got lots of info and detail on how to figure this all out in detail.

10-28-2013, 03:12 PM
Thank you for your input. I guess the search continues. Although I wish I could trade for a 1 ton but I guess I made that decision when I bought the 2500. We just never thought we would look at going so heavy, but once you see what's out there, one wants more. Thanks again

10-28-2013, 06:34 PM
Just to let you know you have lots of company. They call it 2 footitis. I started this RVing thing 4 years ago in preparation for a lifestyle change going into retirement. Never towed anything more than a pop-up before. Started with a 1/2T and TT. Everybody said I had lots of truck but I was swaying all over the road. Moved to 3/4T Diesel followed shortly by a Lite 5er. Now looking at bigger 5er but weighed my current setup this summer and was 500# over my GVWR. So now I'm debating about going to 1T or doing the "delete, tuner, airbag" thing and accept the fact that I'm overweight.
The weight rating system for trucks is seriously confusing and based on my experience and what I've read almost all 3/4T pulling 5ers are over at least one of their wts, most likely the payload and GVWR.
good luck.

10-30-2013, 08:14 AM
Hi, You will see a lot of folks doing what you are considering. Pulling a 5th wheel with a truck that is not rated for that weight. If the GVWR of the trailer is 15K figure 20% for pin weight that is 3,000lbs for pin weight. Take your truck to a scale. a truck stop, grain elevator, etc, and weigh the truck, both axles. Now look at the rear axle GVWR and subtract the actual weight. You will NOT have 3K of capacity. The truck is rated at the 13,600 for a reason. Brakes, axles, tires, frame and on and on.

From a guy that has been doing this for a lot of years buy the right truck and do not listen to the RV salesman that Yea that truck is plenty.

10-30-2013, 08:54 AM
We tow with a 2007 Duramax and it is rated at 15,000. Just to give you an idea of how your actual weight may turn out - here's ours: Factory listed weight 10,990 with GVWR of 14,000. Out the door weight 12,100. Weight when loaded (at Goshen Rally) - small amount in fresh water tank: 14,300. Factory pin weight: 1,975 and actual at rally: 2,800.

We were thankful that we had upgraded the axles to 7000 and tires to G's.

We have no problem towing but we are within the range except for the pin weight. We have airbags.

10-30-2013, 10:06 AM
From a guy that has been doing this for a lot of years buy the right truck and do not listen to the RV salesman that Yea that truck is plenty.

+1 on jlb27537 comment! Although over the past 5 years I have had plenty of "think you got a big enough truck" comments from people. I bought my 2008 F450 with the intention of it being my TV for many years and wanted to get a truck that I felt would be good for any size RV I decided to purchase in the future...and so far with 90K miles on it and all but maybe 10K of those towing with it I feel that I made the right purchase for "my" needs.