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View Full Version : Can I tow a North Trail 31QBS? 28BHS?



dbwell00
11-02-2008, 12:40 PM
First post here (sorry it got long). This seems to be a very nice forum and the best place to post my question... I've read the 31qbs towing thread and that's great and reassuring information but would like to see if anyone would like to comment on my specific setup.

Tow vehicle specs: 2003 Chevrolet Silverado Half Ton, Ext. Cab, 2WD, SWB. Pretty respectably set up for a half ton. 5.3L engine, 3.73 gears, factory HD trailering equipment, 144" WB. Information on door: GVWR 6200, FAWR 3600, RAWR 3686. Info from manual: GCWR 13000, 8100 lb max trailer wt.

My current TT is a 2000 Trail Lite, 25ft, 4900 GVWR. I tow with an EAZ-lift WD hitch and single Husky friction sway control, and Prodigy brake controller. This combo doesn't even come close to taxing the truck--pulls it like there's nothing there. I'm in mid-Michigan and we pull mostly 50 mile trips to the state parks or membership campground on flat land... but we wouldn't rule out longer trips once in a while if we get a trailer we are motivated to spend more time in :)

I want to take the next step and get a trailer with a front queen and bunks as we've made an addition to the family this fall. I had pretty much made the decision on the 28BHS (6900 GVW), pretty sure that I could tow the 28BHS pretty comfortably (~5000 lb UVW). Everything is in line weight wise; there is that wheelbase to length guideline that is marginal but seemingly very conservative too.

Local dealer has a couple of 31BHS available but no 28BHS. We went to look at the 31 and it's VERY nice; I was very impressed with the full bunkhouse and more privacy-oriented layout.

Now I want to know if I will be able to tow this trailer. It has the same GWVR as the 28, and both combos are right at the GCWR (6200+6900=13100). But the 31 is 500 lb more unloaded (which I'm not super worried about) and over 2' longer (which I sort of do worry about).

I believe many are towing both these trailers with half tons and full size SUV's. The salesperson will tell you anything (I also have a V8 Explorer which I drove to the lot and she says I can tow it with that; I disagree). But there are others who will tell you that 3/4 ton is the price of admission to the campground (but there are probably more overloaded 3/4's at the CG than overloaded 1/2's).

Seems to me that weights are in line; if it's sufficient I don't want to buy/maintain more truck than I need to do what I want. I know that the wide trax, aero improvements, low profile, etc. in the North Trail will help to make this rig more user friendly. Am I in the right frame of mind here? I do not intend to buy a 3/4 ton truck; my objective is to approach the practical and safe limits of a well-equipped half ton.

What about my hitching equipment? Round bar WDH, Friction Sway Ctrl, Prodigy? The EAZ lift has a platform that would let me put two friction sway ctrls on there.

Thanks for your time!
--Brooks

Ray LeTourneau
11-02-2008, 01:36 PM
Brooks, you can probably get by with the 31QBS but you might be more comfortable with the 28BHS. There is almost a 250# difference in tongue weights. Less carrying capacity in the 31 and the 28 has a more comfortable bath room space wise. These are just my observations after comparing them side by side. The round bar hitch worked well for me when we towed a TT. The most important thing, of course, is correct set up. Good luck with your decision and welcome to the forum.

leftyf
11-02-2008, 04:23 PM
Brooks, you can probably get by with the 31QBS but you might be more comfortable with the 28BHS. There is almost a 250# difference in tongue weights. Less carrying capacity in the 31 and the 28 has a more comfortable bath room space wise. These are just my observations after comparing them side by side. The round bar hitch worked well for me when we towed a TT. The most important thing, of course, is correct set up. Good luck with your decision and welcome to the forum.

I towed my 31' airstream all over heck and creation with a 1/2 ton pickup. Never had a bit of problem...tho, I do have to admit to running out of brakes when the trailer-brakes quit running.

irvin56
11-02-2008, 06:18 PM
I run mine on the scales Loaded for camping without any water and I was at 12,600 # I am maxed out with my hookup
Can see in my signature what I have.
4.8/3.73 gears

I'm okay where I tow but I will definattly upgrade to a 3/4 ton to pull into mountains This is a few years away.

both tt are heavy but you are okay for your cgvwr. All depends on what you pack and where you go

cdbMidland
11-02-2008, 11:16 PM
Brooks, I see you are also from Midland. Who is the local dealer that you have been dealing with?

techman
11-02-2008, 11:24 PM
I have made a few trips with our new 28BHS and I do OK with my Silverado which is like yours but 4WD. I would like to have more truck but it is probably more peace-of-mind than a necessity. I am sure that the more I tow with it the more comfortable I will feel. I have a single friction sway control and I have no problems with sway. You may want to check this here for more information: http://www.northtrailtalk.com/showthread.php?t=621

Mike

dbwell00
11-03-2008, 12:59 PM
Hi Chuck--nice to hear from you. We are looking at International RV in Saginaw (or is it Bay City)... Off Exit 160 there on Delta Rd. Evidently they are a pretty new dealer for North Trail. We are also looking at some other dealers/discounters... National RV Direct in Milan and Lakeshore in Muskegon, which are both about 2 hrs away. For info we're also looking at Jayco's from Hamilton's; they seem to be a real fine dealer.

ckc1685
11-03-2008, 01:26 PM
I have a 28BHS that I pull with a 2002 Silverado Z71 4x4 (5.3L, 3.73). I'm ok towing with this setup with an Equal-i-zer hitch and Prodigy brake controller but I wouldn't feel comfortable towing cross country or in mountains. I live in east central Iowa which is, suprisingly for most folks, pretty hilly in areas; the setup I have is adequate but certainly not stellar.

I love my truck and my camper in equal measures - it will be difficult trading the truck away in a couple of years but that is the plan. I'll probably go with a 3/4T Duramax/Allison that is good for anywhere we want to go in the U.S. In the meantime, my setup works well for fairly flat, less than a few hundred mile trips. Can I push the truck harder? Yep and I'm sure it would do ok. Am I going to push it much harder? Probably not.

-Chris

happy_camper_nj
11-04-2008, 05:42 PM
I'm towing the 31QBS with an '05 Suburban 1500 2WD, very similar specs to your Silverado. No problems at all towing this rig, although with the whole family in the truck and packed to go we're close to the max CWR. With the Pro Series hitch the whole rig feels like a solid unit when towing, even with strong cross winds at highway speeds. Don't expect more than 9 mpg though. Handling is good, clearance is good, power is adequate, and temperatures stay well within limits.

JER-1
11-05-2008, 08:41 PM
First post here (sorry it got long). This seems to be a very nice forum and the best place to post my question... I've read the 31qbs towing thread and that's great and reassuring information but would like to see if anyone would like to comment on my specific setup.

Tow vehicle specs: 2003 Chevrolet Silverado Half Ton, Ext. Cab, 2WD, SWB. Pretty respectably set up for a half ton. 5.3L engine, 3.73 gears, factory HD trailering equipment, 144" WB. Information on door: GVWR 6200, FAWR 3600, RAWR 3686. Info from manual: GCWR 13000, 8100 lb max trailer wt.

My current TT is a 2000 Trail Lite, 25ft, 4900 GVWR. I tow with an EAZ-lift WD hitch and single Husky friction sway control, and Prodigy brake controller. This combo doesn't even come close to taxing the truck--pulls it like there's nothing there. I'm in mid-Michigan and we pull mostly 50 mile trips to the state parks or membership campground on flat land... but we wouldn't rule out longer trips once in a while if we get a trailer we are motivated to spend more time in :)

I want to take the next step and get a trailer with a front queen and bunks as we've made an addition to the family this fall. I had pretty much made the decision on the 28BHS (6900 GVW), pretty sure that I could tow the 28BHS pretty comfortably (~5000 lb UVW). Everything is in line weight wise; there is that wheelbase to length guideline that is marginal but seemingly very conservative too.

Local dealer has a couple of 31BHS available but no 28BHS. We went to look at the 31 and it's VERY nice; I was very impressed with the full bunkhouse and more privacy-oriented layout.

Now I want to know if I will be able to tow this trailer. It has the same GWVR as the 28, and both combos are right at the GCWR (6200+6900=13100). But the 31 is 500 lb more unloaded (which I'm not super worried about) and over 2' longer (which I sort of do worry about).

I believe many are towing both these trailers with half tons and full size SUV's. The salesperson will tell you anything (I also have a V8 Explorer which I drove to the lot and she says I can tow it with that; I disagree). But there are others who will tell you that 3/4 ton is the price of admission to the campground (but there are probably more overloaded 3/4's at the CG than overloaded 1/2's).

Seems to me that weights are in line; if it's sufficient I don't want to buy/maintain more truck than I need to do what I want. I know that the wide trax, aero improvements, low profile, etc. in the North Trail will help to make this rig more user friendly. Am I in the right frame of mind here? I do not intend to buy a 3/4 ton truck; my objective is to approach the practical and safe limits of a well-equipped half ton.

What about my hitching equipment? Round bar WDH, Friction Sway Ctrl, Prodigy? The EAZ lift has a platform that would let me put two friction sway ctrls on there.

Thanks for your time!
--Brooks

Towed my 280bh with FORD Explorer V8 used E Z 4 POINT SWAY CONTROL great setup it did all right but I went ahead and bought a F250 desiel turbo powerstroke 7.3 older 94 truck but I drive so much more relaxed now it's just not back there, I put air shocks on the explorer ran about 120 psi in them when I towed.
I would look into a rear lift kit for towing for your truck you could probably beef up the rear suspension for under 500 bucks and get the E Z SWAY 4 POINT SWAY CONTROL you won't regret it.
I even towed a 32RED empty off the dealer lot with the explorer just to see how it would handle it did all right 65 70 on the highway bought bought the smaller one, wish I had bought the 32 red now though. I'll sell you my 2009 28bh and I'll buy a biger one LOL
ASK YOUR dealer to hook you up to it and take off down the road see how your truck handles it most will let you try towing a few different modles.
pm me if you wanna buy mine
Good luck
JER-1

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