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Old 02-05-2016, 03:38 PM   #1
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Need Hitch Recommendation for 28BHBE

Hi all, we are hoping to purchase a new travel trailer in the near future and just wanted to get some advice concerning the tow-ability of our proposed rig and a hitch recommendation.

First the details, our tow vehicle is a 2013 Chevy Express 3500 with the standard wheelbase of 135", it has the 6.0L combined with the 6 speed transmission and the 3.42 rear end. Curb weight is 6087#'s with a GVWR of 9600. Payload is 3513 according to our VIN. Tow rating is 9700 with a GCWR of 16000. Our van has a Curt V5 receiver and is wired with a Prodigy P3 brake controller.

We are looking at a Jayco 28BHBE that has a dry weight (per yellow sticker) of between 6600-7200# depending on how it is optioned out. Camper GVWR is 9250, but I consider that to be mostly irrelevant as there's no way that we will add 2000-2500#'s of gear. I'm thinking that loaded the camper weight is going to be in the 7600-8700 range depending on how it is equipped/loaded, etc. If so, I should fall within my weight ratings by my calculations (including about 625#'s passenger weight).

I've towed my father's TT (Jayco 26BH) with little difficulty using a WD/dual friction bar setup. However, it is several feet shorter and at least a 2000#'s lighter.

My greatest concern is trailer length in relation to tow vehicle wheelbase. The 28BHBE is 33.5' long and my wheelbase, as mentioned, is only 135".

So, I'm wondering:

1) Do my weight calculations look good?

2) How will the 6.0L handle the extra weight?

3) Given the length/wheelbase combo should I step up to a premium hitch (Hensley, etc.) or would something like a Reese Dual cam be sufficient? Please note that I'm not trying to start a debate on the merits of one hitch versus the other, but am looking for advice given my unique situation. Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2016, 03:52 PM   #2
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I can't speak to the wheelbase issue.

My 28 BHBE lightly loaded is 7,700 with full propane. No fresh water or food.

Tongue weight loaded this way is 1,000 - 1,200 lbs.

I doubt you will have any pulling power issues with that motor.

I'm not sure how the WDH will help the 30+' camper -v- short wheel base. If it were me and the Hensley was in my budget, I would get it. Period. But for the sake of being frugal, I probably would try to borrow pop's WDH first just to see what happens. You may find that is sufficient.
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:01 PM   #3
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I had the 287 BHBE with the Equalizer 10k. Initially I towed with my wife's SUV (basically a 1500 equivalent). I was within the limits, but on the maximum side. I towed from TX to FL the 1st time and after that I sold my Mustang and purchased a 2500 truck with a diesel. My wife's SUV towed fine, but it was not "fun"! Hence the purchase of the new truck. Having said that, the new truck, (which is probably close to being equivalent of your van) pulled like a dream! All I can say, which many others will say, is check your payload, and go to the CAT scales. That way you know for sure, but, IMHO, I think you will be good. Just invest the money in a good WDH! They make a world of difference!
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hboy View Post
I can't speak to the wheelbase issue.

My 28 BHBE lightly loaded is 7,700 with full propane. No fresh water or food.

Tongue weight loaded this way is 1,000 - 1,200 lbs.

I doubt you will have any pulling power issues with that motor.

I'm not sure how the WDH will help the 30+' camper -v- short wheel base. If it were me and the Hensley was in my budget, I would get it. Period. But for the sake of being frugal, I probably would try to borrow pop's WDH first just to see what happens. You may find that is sufficient.
If money were no object I would have the Hensley for sure . Out of curiosity, what does the "yellow sticker" list as the weight of your trailer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookemdanno View Post
I had the 287 BHBE with the Equalizer 10k. Initially I towed with my wife's SUV (basically a 1500 equivalent). I was within the limits, but on the maximum side. I towed from TX to FL the 1st time and after that I sold my Mustang and purchased a 2500 truck with a diesel. My wife's SUV towed fine, but it was not "fun"! Hence the purchase of the new truck. Having said that, the new truck, (which is probably close to being equivalent of your van) pulled like a dream! All I can say, which many others will say, is check your payload, and go to the CAT scales. That way you know for sure, but, IMHO, I think you will be good. Just invest the money in a good WDH! They make a world of difference!
I'm not worried about payload I've got about 1,500#'s to spare . I would be a little more concerned about GCWR though.

About the WDH, that's what I'm trying to determine. Would a hitch like the Equalizer be good enough given my short wheelbase or should I step up to the Hensley/Propride. If money were no object, there wouldn't even be a question. But given the substantial difference in cost I'm considering something less expensive. Just hate to invest $500-600 and then turn around and spend a couple thousand more.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:01 PM   #5
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My story is a lot like Dan's above. Same trailer, and we ended up with very similar trucks. He has since upgraded trailers, I have not.

I also agree that given your numbers on the van, you should be good depending on how much you put in it. Of course, you should take it to the scale to know for sure. No way to REALLY know until you scale it. You fill it up with people/gear (and that's a lot of space to fill!), you run out of payload quick. The 6.0L is a good motor IMO. The gearing is the low point; I'd like a higher number back there. My GMC 1500 (traded it for Ram 2500) had a 3.42.

For me, I have an underrated hitch IMO. It's a 1000/10000 Fastway E2 from Progressive Manufacturing. These are the same folks who make the Equal-i-zer hitches with 4-point sway control. I've been trying to get DW to clear the funds to get one, but haven't been successful yet. I'm probably going to end up with the 1400/14000 model. I tend to put a lot in my front storage, so the extra capacity will be nice I think.

One of the reasons there's so much CCC in the BHBE is the water tanks. 80 gallons of fresh water weighs over 640 lbs. and the tanks are slightly in front of the axles which adds to tongue weight.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glbtrekker View Post
If money were no object I would have the Hensley for sure . Out of curiosity, what does the "yellow sticker" list as the weight of your trailer?
Yellow sticker on camper says 6,763 lbs.
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Old 02-05-2016, 05:11 PM   #7
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I would suggest plugging your numbers in on the Equalizer website to make sure you get the right size and have a better idea of how to distribute the weight properly. Do NOT rely on your dealer to properly size your hitch no matter what they say.

Like others said, you really need to put it on the scales. There are threads with details on how to getr done properly.

Hitch Sizes
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:31 PM   #8
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Welcome and congrats on the potential trailer purchase!!! Hold out for the best deal you can get!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairenatic View Post
I would suggest plugging your numbers in on the Equalizer website to make sure you get the right size and have a better idea of how to distribute the weight properly. Do NOT rely on your dealer to properly size your hitch no matter what they say.

Like others said, you really need to put it on the scales. There are threads with details on how to getr done properly.

Hitch Sizes

And DO NOT rely on the dealer to adjust the wdh for a loaded trailer!!! Once in a while the dealer will get it right (or they get lucky!), but most times setting up the wdh for an empty trailer is off for a loaded trailer.
Here is a link to wdh set up and how a wdh works.

Concerning the tv wb vs tt wb and oal, the tv wb is a little biased toward being on the short side. BUT.... There may be a few members here that can better answer the question. Also check out Rv.Net as there are a couple members (Ron Gratz is one of them) there that will be able to breakdown the whole set up. One measurement you may need is the rear axle to hitch length. If that is shorter than a comparable truck, it may be better than expected! The shorter the rear overhang (ra to hitch), the less the leverage the trailer will have!

As for hitch brand/ model.... Tough call!!! The HA or PP are the premier models at a price. They (at least the HA) are limited to 1400lbs tw, but that should cover the current trailer. May be an issue if you go bigger in the future though. Below those two the Reese Dual Cam, Reese SC, and the Equal-I-Zer 4 way system are held in high regards. The DC is a little more finicky to set up. It also needs to be re-adjusted if your tw changes a fair amount: if fresh water tank(s) are in front of axles, full vs empty. The SC and 4 way models are very similar to each other. The biggest difference is in the hitch head. The Reese hitch head (same for both the DC and SC) allows more fine tuning adjustment for the wd bar angle vs the Equal-I-Zer hitch head. Changing the Equal-I-Zer hitch head 1 washer equals changing the trailer tongue bracket setting one hole (moving bracket up or down= adding 1 washer or removing 1 washer respectively). Reese uses a fine tooth "washer" that allows more fine tuning. Changing the washer 2 teeth= ~1 chain link for the DC. So a one tooth change can split the difference. I am not sure without talking to Reese, but I would guess that (change washer 2 teeth) would be close to changing the trailer tongue brackets one hole.

There is a member here (I think) and over on RV.net that has a van with the 6.0/3.42 combo towing a 32 BHDS. Sounds like he has been pretty happy so far! You should be fine power wise. As mentioned, may be close to the gcvwr.

Good luck!!!
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
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I am around that weight with mine, but fully loaded with only about 10 gallons of freshwater for toilet flushing purposes. I keep my tongue weight much lower though, between 700-800.

I don't have the payload capacity for 15%, so I bought the Blue Ox WDH because it is very easy to setup and adjust. The sway control is not fantastic but this might be due to me configuring it for 10% tongue weight.

Another nice WDH to look at, but was not available in Canada at the time I purchased, is the Reese trunnion bar WDH with sway control. The design is very simple and mechanically seems more robust than the Equalizer. Search for Reese part #66155, note that there is replaceable friction material instead of metal-on-metal like the Equalizer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hboy View Post
I can't speak to the wheelbase issue.

My 28 BHBE lightly loaded is 7,700 with full propane. No fresh water or food.

Tongue weight loaded this way is 1,000 - 1,200 lbs.

I doubt you will have any pulling power issues with that motor.

I'm not sure how the WDH will help the 30+' camper -v- short wheel base. If it were me and the Hensley was in my budget, I would get it. Period. But for the sake of being frugal, I probably would try to borrow pop's WDH first just to see what happens. You may find that is sufficient.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by need-a-vacation View Post
Welcome and congrats on the potential trailer purchase!!! Hold out for the best deal you can get!!!

Good luck!!!
Thanks for the detailed information about the differences between the WDH's, that helps. And I'm working on quotes now :-), one "wholesale" dealer recently quoted me $18,008 for a 2016...didn't think that was too bad.
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