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Old 02-28-2011, 06:05 PM   post #1 of 34
hairyapple
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Default I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

My pick up is a low mileage 2003 Silverado, 2 wheel drive, tow package and 353 gas engine. My trailer is a double axel, 18' landscape type. I want to be able to tow a Cub Cadet EX300 tractor with FEL and hoe plus some other equipment. This was already done successfully by the dealer who towed the whole package to Ct from Tenn, about a 1000 miles one way, so I know the trailer is capable but they used a 3/4 ton Dodge with a Cummins diesel for the haul.
Will my Chevy have what I need to pull this load an equal distance in hilly country? Backroads and highway?
I'd like to add somethings to the trailer and pu for better traction etc. These include an anti sway/weight distribution hitch for the trailer and something like the "Roadmaster" active suspension system for the rear leaf springs on the pu. Any thoughts or alternative ideas or better choices?
My 2" ball hitch says "max trailer weight 5,000lbs Max tongue wt 600lbs"
then "weight distributing 12,000lbs max tongue wt 1,500" Does that mean with the weight distributing/antp sway hitch I can use the higher weights? Somewhere else it says (may be in the owner's manual) max trailer weight 8300 lbs gcwr 13,000 lbs. The truck weighs in at about 5,060 lbs. Loaded my trailer plus all the stuff I'd like to carry would be about another 7,000 pounds. This is all very confusing any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:43 PM   post #2 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

ok the gcwr is the total of the truck loaded and the trailer loaded

max trailer weight is the trailer and all

a weight disb hitch helps with how well the truck rides and everything but does not increse the gcwr of the truck

the trailer should be about 2000 by itself, then add the load to it should still be under that 8300 number so if the weight carrying of the hitch itself can handle that then your ok, but if its what you said for the 2" ball then you need a weight disb hitch for it

you will also need a brake controler in the truck to activate the trailers eletric brakes, that will also take care of the lighting issue to with the 6 or 7 way plug

does this help any
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:46 PM   post #3 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

http://www.new-cars.com/2003/chevrol...ado-specs.html
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:45 PM   post #4 of 34
Alan Lloys
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

There are really 3 things at play here that determines the maximum you can tow with this setup. In such cases it is the lowest of any of the values that counts. Kind of the weakest link of a chain.

In your case your vehicle is good for a maximum of 8,300 lbs trailer or 13,000 combined weight. Note this if you are having additional cargo in the truck, the tow rating decreases. For instance the typical listed curb weight is the weight of the truck with all fluids and a 150 lbs driver. If you had other cargo in it or passengers you have to add that to the curb weight. So if your truck with cargo weighs 6,000 lbs you can maximum tow 13,000-6,000 = 7,000 lbs

Your weight distributing hitch is good for a maximum of 12,000 lbs which means that this is not the weakest link as it is lower than what the truck can tow.

The weakest link however is the 2" ball. Yours is only rated for 5,000 lbs. I see many landscape trailers with 7,000 lbs rating having 2" couplers which typically will limit them to 5,000 lbs. There are some 2" balls available that are good for 6,000 lbs or more, but they are rare. Usually you have to go up to the larger 2 5/16" ball size that are typically good for 10,000 lbs.

So in your setup you are limited to 5.000 lbs unless you get a new 2" ball or change both ball and hitch to the 2 5/16" size.

That all being said the engineering used for the tow rating has a large safety margin, but I do not recommend exceeding the listed rating due to safety concerns. If you will be towing this on a regular basis I would recommend to update the hitch and the ball to the larger size and install a brake controller for the electric brakes. This is a must have and the law in many states with such a heavy trailer.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:58 AM   post #5 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

A few others

Start with the tag on the trailer> GVW less weight is capacity
What does the Tractor weigh with all implements
You want to look at the tag on the trailer hitch on the vehicle [not the ball mount]

WD hitches real benifit is if you have too much tongue weight for trailer or truck
Reciever hitches are rated for "up to" 10% of rated capacity... meaning if your hitch is 5000lbs then you can have up to 500lbs tng weight
When you go over that value is where the benifit from a WD hitch comes in
If your load is not over, and balanced properly, then you may not need

Being in CT you will need working brakes on both axles and controller as stated above

Most 1/2 T Gm trucks can handle 500-800lbs tng weight effortlessly, so if your under that, then you may not need booster suspension on the truck [although there is the added benifit for truck sway and brake crush]
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:31 PM   post #6 of 34
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Thanks for the feed back. I already have the electric coupler on the truck needed to actuate the brakes on the trailer, as the truck came stock with the tow package. The trailer is new and came equipped with brakes, but only on one axel, I believe. So it sounds like the wd hitch is sort of mandatory and the truck suspension helper wouldn't hurt to have. The suspension helper I've seen (http://www.activesuspension.com/) looks pretty good and is easy to install so that's what I'll probably use, unless there's a better choice.
The issue of the 2" ball vs. the 2 5/16" ball though I could use a little more input on. Slow learner. What Alan Lloys is suggesting is that I remove the current hitch and replace it completley with a new one capable of carrying the weight a 2 5/16" hitch can handle. Is that correct? Not just replacing the ball and the ball mount that goes into the 2 inch reciever. If an entirely new hitch is required will the reciever still be a 2 inch square or will this increase to a larger size as well? Also, obviously this means I need to replace the coupler as well? That question is retoricle. My splitter has a 2" ball, I never understood how this trailer would be okay on the same. I prefer overkill anyway.

Last edited by hairyapple; 03-01-2011 at 03:32 PM. Reason: add&subtract
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:48 PM   post #7 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

There will be a data sticker on the driver door frame of your pickup giving the various weight ratings allowed for it. Use these numbers, not the ones on the hitch for what you are legally allowed to haul with your pickup.

The maximum weights listed, as has been stated, include everything. Passengers, fuel, toothpicks and all.

What the whole thing weighs when put on a scale with everyone, thing in it.

If that is a bumper hitch you are looking at you will need to convert to a frame mount to get the weight distribution hitch but I suspect you know that.

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Old 03-01-2011, 03:53 PM   post #8 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

Right, The existing hitch is frame mounted but may not, it seems, be heavy enough.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:35 PM   post #9 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

You need to look at the tag on the trailer and on your reciever hitch and tell us what the say
If your describing your trailer correctly, it would 'most likely' have the 2 5/16 ball

Not too impressed by susp product you posted
you would probably be better off with a Timbren type bolt on
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:46 PM   post #10 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

IDK but this you tube may help you learn alot about trailering

http://www.youtube.com/user/etrailertv

i been doin it so much i tend to forget the simple stuff when helping someone out

oh BTW i like and prefer ride-rite by firestone or air lift

http://www.airliftcompany.com/index.php
http://www.fsip.com/riderite/

you can use them w/o an onboard compressor too if you chose, you can use your home/gas station air compressor with a air chuck
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:32 AM   post #11 of 34
Larry from MT
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

Just to add to what you already been told here: I've got a 17' double axle "car hauler" trailer similiar to yours. Mine came with a 2" ball hitch (as do the others I've seen). At a trailer speciality store, I found a 7000 lb rated "stinger" (the part that goes into your frame mounted hitch) and a 7000 lb rated 2" ball. These stingers ARE built more heavily than the regular 5000 lb stingers.

I don't know what a 353 gas engine is ---- do you mean a 5.3 liter V8? (which is about 325 ci)

You don't say if your Chev is a 1/2 or 3/4 ton.

TractorData doesn't list a EX300 Cub Cadet so I don't know what your Cub weighs.

Anyway, I EASILY towed my Case tractor with FEL (about 4,300 lbs) and the trailer (maybe 1500 lbs - I'm guessing) with my 2002 Chev 5.3 liter, 4 wheel drive, 1/2 ton pickup with factory tow package, on an 800 mile trip over 3 major mountain passes. No problem.

When you say "tow package" I'm assuming you mean a FACTORY GM FRAME-MOUNTED HITCH. If you're not sure about this have the hitch inspected. If it's an after-market item look for a sticker or a stamping on it that shows capacity Look for rust!

PS: Check your trailer's lug bolts on a regular basis.
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Last edited by Larry from MT; 03-02-2011 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:19 AM   post #12 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassMeUp View Post
Not too impressed by susp product you posted
you would probably be better off with a Timbren type bolt on
+1 on the Timbrens. I've put them on every truck I've owned in the last 15 years. They work awesome. I'm currently regularly towing a 36' bumper pull RV with a 95 F-350. It rides smooth empty but only sags 1" when hauling the RV.
http://www.timbren.com/

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:33 AM   post #13 of 34
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairyapple View Post
Right, The existing hitch is frame mounted but may not, it seems, be heavy enough.

Some even have a stamp or sticker on them stating load rating.

Call a local dealer to get the rating on that hitch that was installed if you can't find it.

As for power in the hills, just take her easy, nothing takes more time than rushing, and then blowing something up along the way.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:35 PM   post #14 of 34
Alan Lloys
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Default Re: For all respondants

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairyapple View Post
Thanks for the feed back. I already have the electric coupler on the truck needed to actuate the brakes on the trailer, as the truck came stock with the tow package. The trailer is new and came equipped with brakes, but only on one axel, I believe. So it sounds like the wd hitch is sort of mandatory and the truck suspension helper wouldn't hurt to have. The suspension helper I've seen (http://www.activesuspension.com/) looks pretty good and is easy to install so that's what I'll probably use, unless there's a better choice.
The issue of the 2" ball vs. the 2 5/16" ball though I could use a little more input on. Slow learner. What Alan Lloys is suggesting is that I remove the current hitch and replace it completley with a new one capable of carrying the weight a 2 5/16" hitch can handle. Is that correct? Not just replacing the ball and the ball mount that goes into the 2 inch reciever. If an entirely new hitch is required will the reciever still be a 2 inch square or will this increase to a larger size as well? Also, obviously this means I need to replace the coupler as well? That question is retoricle. My splitter has a 2" ball, I never understood how this trailer would be okay on the same. I prefer overkill anyway.

I was actually just refering to replacing the ball and the ball mount as well as the portion that is on the trailer to match the 7,000 lbs. The hitch mount with the 2" reciever on the truck should be OK if the truck came with the tow package.

I have seen several fresh from the factory dual axle trailers rated for 7,000 lbs having a 2" coupler that is only rated for 5,000lbs. Please check yours as it is often stamped right into the coupler. This is something to be aware of.

Larry from MT correctly found that there are special 2" balls that are good for up to 8,000 lbs. But they are rare and difficult to find. And as mentioned often times the trailer coupler is still underrated for the full weight of the trailer.
That is why I suggested upsizing to the larger ball and coupler.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:30 PM   post #15 of 34
hairyapple
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Default Re: I could use some expert opinion on trailering.

I have spent some time organizing all the information required to get me on the right road. There's some info that's not really req'd but I included it anyway. I am also a bit clearer now on what I need to do.
Here's what I have:
2003 C1500 1/2 ton Silverado, 2wd, 5.3 liter V8, 3.73 gears and factory tow package.
GVWR 6,400-Weight of truck w/1 passenger,cap&1/2 tank of gas 5,060 lbs
GCWR 13,000 lbs GAWR frt 3150 lbs RR 3686 lbs
Trailer-Dual axle, rated at 3,500 lbs per axle, brakes on rear axle only
Trailer wt 1,720 empty, Max combined weight of trailer plus load can be
7,000 lbs. Coupler is rated at 8,000 lbs
Combined weight of trailer empty and pick-up as described 6,780 lbs.
leaving 6,220 lbs for extra passenger and cargo if I max it out
Hitch is V-5 Talon, with a 2" reciever. The capacities as shown on the hitches label are as follows:
Hitch Type:Weight carrying 5,000 lbs max trailer weight/600 lbs max tongue weight
Hitch Type: Weight Distributing 12,000 lbs max trailer weight/1,500 lbs max tongue weight
Ball mount and ball I have now has Max trailer 6,000 max tongue 600
This means we agree the ball hitch and ball are too light to handle the 7,000 lb trailer so that needs to be changed and that the hitch, if used with weight distribution, will have more than enough capacity.
The man who built my trailer says he can put together the brake controller with the correct plug in harness for my truck for about $110. This would be a digitally formatted unit that I would just plug into an existing jack under the dash. Does this all sound right?

Last edited by hairyapple; 03-02-2011 at 04:12 PM. Reason: too many words
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