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Old 08-10-2017, 08:33 PM   #1
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Cool What does towing capacity really mean?

I'll start by saying we're newbies. Just took our Jay Feather 22FQSW out for it's maiden voyage....40 miles away! Heading out on a 300 mile trip next week over two mountain passes. So what does towing capacity really mean? Trailer is 4205 dry, probably closer to 4800 with a bit of water, upgraded mattress, food, supplies and paddle boards. Vehicle is 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 standard box with 5.3 liter engine and 3.42 axle ratio. Tow capacity listed at 9600 lbs. I'm assuming this is more than adequate, but have been reading a bunch of confusing reports on "real" tow capacity online. Anyone out there able to help me feel comfortable with my combination? Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:44 PM   #2
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Looking at the specs for your truck you have plenty of tow capacity which in simple terms is what the truck will safely pull without destroying itself. What most run over on is payload, yours is 2000 lbs, this is everything that you put in the truck, tongue weight of the trailer, people, dogs, luggage, etc, etc.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:53 PM   #3
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Towing capacity (however the manufacturers calculate it) it is a number. Another number that doesn't get mentioned by sales folks is PAYLOAD. Payload is everything in the vehicle and on the vehicle plus, for travel trailers, the trailer tongue weight.

In reality, it is the payload figure folks towing a trailer reach first. So, IMO, towing capacity number doesn't really matter. Would it be harsh if I said, IMO, towing capacity was simply a marketing number and had no real value in the RV realm?
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:04 AM   #4
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Oldman makes some important points. The only time towing capacity can be truly applied is when towing a boat or utility trailer that's more balanced and less tongue weight. As he said, towing capacity has little meaning when applied to a travel trailer. However I suspect that your truck has plenty of payload for what you are doing. Check the yellow sticker in the door jamb of the driver door. It will list the payload. Mine is 1605#.

You have more than enough margin for that trailer. Your truck is similar to mine except mine only has the old 4 speed and 3:73 gears. My trailer has a GVWR of 4950#, yours has a GVWR of 5500#. So a very similar setup. Ours tows our trailer beautifully. We took it to Tennessee a few years ago and it had no trouble towing through the mountains there. Being that you have a 6 speed transmission and your 5.3 has more HP and torque than mine I'm sure you have a very pleasant towing experience.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:46 AM   #5
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I so enjoy reading about folks who buy a reasonable sized trailer for the TV that they have. We could use more of them.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jopopsy View Post
I so enjoy reading about folks who buy a reasonable sized trailer for the TV that they have. We could use more of them.
X2. Probably one of the best statements I've read on this forum.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:25 AM   #7
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Then I'll give you another one. 2014 F150 4x4, Max Tow & HDPP. Payload is 2286#. I have a new 2017 Jayco 23RB. 6500# GVWR. I'm within all my parameters. It tows very nicely.

Quote:
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I so enjoy reading about folks who buy a reasonable sized trailer for the TV that they have. We could use more of them.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:49 AM   #8
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Good on you !!! One thing I lamented about my Class 'C' was I was RIGHT at the limits of the rig. I take great comfort in having extra capacity / capability. I feel it makes for a more enjoyable experience and it doesn't beat the heck out of my equipment.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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As already stated, you are in good shape and those two mountain passes, either east of west of you will not be a problem.

Our White Hawk has a GVWR of 5950. The F150 sails over most of those passes at the speed limit. Like others have stated here, it is nice to see others who haven't bought more trailer than their tow vehicle can gow safely.

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Old 08-11-2017, 09:48 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone!

Appreciate the feedback! We learned early that if they could sell you a trailer, the salesmen at the dealership would tell you your Honda Accord would tow it just fine!
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