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Can I exceed max tow if trailer has brakes?

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by guido666, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    I've heard that the reason for max tow ratings is the ratings of the brakes on the tow vehicle. If I use a trailer with brakes on both axles can I exceed the tow rig's max tow capacity?

    My (potential) tow rig is 4295 curb weight, 5570 GVWR. Tow capacity of 5000. I obviously want to tow my K5 (+ trailer), probably 7000. With 245 HP / 280 ft/lb I would think that physically it should be able to pull it.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. lamberthkp

    lamberthkp SITFU Premium Member

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    yes, you can go past it if your trailer has breaks.
     
  3. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Sweet.

    So, in people's opinion, is the situation I described reasonable, or is that cutting it close or exceeding it too much? I heard another rule, that the tow rig should be 80% or more of the weight of the towed weight. Is that true?
     
  4. lamberthkp

    lamberthkp SITFU Premium Member

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    id say thats pushing it , but i myself would do it just dont be to crazy and keep it slow and dont drive to close to people and how far you going just down the road would be ok , but that alot of weight. i pulled a 44ft trailer with my 1/2 ton (blazer) wich was almost triple my weight but would not advise. myself i would do it but thats just me
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2006
  5. joez

    joez 1/2 ton status

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    Not safe. Going a little over is one thing, going 2000-2500 pounds over(gotta count yourself, fuel, gear, etc. too) is generally NOT a good idea. And, if you read the owners manual, brakes are generally recomended for anything over 3500 pounds, and that is taken into consideration when determining the GCWR.

    GCWR's take into account alot more than just the braking system. They also are based on things like the axles, trans, suspension, wheelbase, tire ratings, you get the idea. Just going off the ratings, i assume you are looking at a midsize truck with a V-6 for a tow rig?
     
  6. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I'm trying to find something that will do double duty. Get ok gas mileage (15MPG maybe, now I get 4MPG on Premium) and can tow my K5. I hate pickups though (I almost NEVER need that type of cargo configuration) and it seems all the big SUVs have gone too luxury for me (even early 90's Tahoes are YUPPY inside, what ever happened to a good old utility truck like a K5). And luxury = $$$, so I don't want to pay big bucks for bling I don't even want.
     
  7. lamberthkp

    lamberthkp SITFU Premium Member

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    what size trailer and what all are you planning on towing down the road ?
     
  8. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Just want to tow my K5. And probably I'd use a 7000 lb. trailer.
     
  9. lamberthkp

    lamberthkp SITFU Premium Member

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    i still think you would be fine little tricky but fine. when my tranny broke, i pulled my blazer on a 16ft trailer with a 1984 2.8 4spd S-10 but only drove about an hour to the house, now that was a funny thing to see :haha: i know i sould'nt have pulled it with that but it got the job done, and i had no brakes on the trailer , as long as you got a fullsize to tow with i see no problem , but i am just an ole redneck from TN so i get away with crap like that:D
     
  10. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Regardless of tow ratings and stuff, i doubt its a good idea to have your tow rig be lighter/smaller than what is on your trailer......
     
  11. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    There has to be some amount of allowable size difference. I would be hard-pressed to find something as heavy as my rig, probably only a dually would do.
     
  12. lamberthkp

    lamberthkp SITFU Premium Member

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    well maybe you will find something with decent price to tow with, to get your blazer from place to place.GOOD LUCK with it.
     
  13. afroman006

    afroman006 1/2 ton status

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    Dont do it. That load will be very hard on the truck and though you can probably do it without any problems, I wouldnt advise it. If you want something you can tow with a 1/2 ton, get a jeep. Otherwise you gotta pay to play.
     
  14. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    1. The max gross combined weight rating for a truck is with a properly set up trailer, meaning one with adequite brakes.

    2. The towrig does NOT need to be heavier than what is being towed. A new Dodge Cummins can pull nearly twice it's weight, and still be legal under factory GCWR.
     
  15. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Ok, maybe thats not exactly what i meant. When it comes to smaller tow rigs though, i think this is a good rule of thumb. Want to tow a crew cab with a blazer? probably not a good idea. Want to tow a blazer with a compact truck? probably not a good idea. Etc. Yes, most of these can be done.....but how safe and reliable they are is debateable.

    Thats all i meant......

    When we start talking about 1 ton trucks......they can tow just about anything we want when it comes to 4x4 trucks!
     
  16. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    I respect the input that it is unsafe. But I ask, how is it unsafe? Braking? Jack-knifing? Wobble? I'm not clear on exactly how it becomes a problem, mostly because of my unfamiliarity with towing in general.
     
  17. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I do not believe the tow rating of vehicle is directly related to whether the trailer has brakes or not.......I would think that the max tow rating for any vehicle would be based on the asumption that the trailer has brakes. As mentioned there are lot's of other factors used when determining the towing capacity. In any case, I personally would think a person were stupid for pulling a trailer more than maybe 20% of the max towing rating without brakes, little-lone anywhere close to the max towing capacity. The law in Ohio states that any trailer over 2,000 lbs. is required to have brakes.

    I pull 8,500 lbs. (1-ton K5 with a properly set up 18' trailer) with my crewcab fullsize pickup that is factory rated to tow around 10,000 lbs. After playing with the setup at low speeds I can tell you that putting the brake pedal to the floor at 20 mph with the trailer brakes turned off feels about the same as if somebody removed the front brake pads from the truck.......quite scary. Oh, and my towrig gets 15-16 mpg when driving to work every day.

    But enough babbling.....I would not consider buying a vehicle with a factory rating of 5,000 lbs. to pull a K5 around as it would be way under rated for what you needed.
     
  18. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    "But I ask, how is it unsafe? Braking? Jack-knifing? Wobble? I'm not clear on exactly how it becomes a problem, mostly because of my unfamiliarity with towing in general."


    Lots of thing go into tow ratings as stated. Everything from frame stregnth, axle stregnth, wheel/tire ratings, tranny/motor limits, vehicle weight, steering systems, braking systems, etc.


    If a key component such as the frame/axle/wheels/tires/brakes break/etc., your screwed. Your imagination of what will happen is a good approximation. THe other limiting factor is motor/tranny....and if one of those blows, hopefully it will be uneventful, but if your going up a hill....or down a hill....your brakes etc will then be overloaded.
     
  19. ZZ4x4

    ZZ4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I think all of the above. I've towed different sized loads with different sized vehicles. In general the tow ratings told me how pleasurable the drive would be with a certain load:wink1: . As examples, when I towed 9K with my Duramax dually it was easy as pie. No wobbling, quick braking, a smooth ride, and enough power to keep up with traffic. When I towed 9K with a 1/2 ton suburban with 5.3L, it was an awful 1000mile trip. The load pulled me around the highway, it was truly scary to go over 50 mph, the engine was screaming to go up even small inclines and my brakes were smoking at every off ramp. Nothing is scarier than coming off an offramp towards traffic and having your brakes overheat and lose friction. You will not be happy trying to over-tow, and I think very dangerous. Not worth the mileage penalty if you crash:crazy: Just my experience.
     
  20. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I second this! Don't risk it. I certaintly wouldn't want to be any where near you with this type of setup.
     

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