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How much can I tow ?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 77crewcab, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 77 crewcab C20 w/ 454/400 2wd SRW on the sticker on the drivers door it list GVWR 8400 I am trying to determine how much I can actually tow. does it make a difference that this truck origionally had a 350 not the 454?
     
  2. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    subtract the weight of the truck from the GVRW and that is how much you can tow with it original /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  3. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    OK how do I find the weight of the truck the sticker on the door is not complete part has been torn off. An d since it now has the 454 do I need the weight of one with a 454 origionally?
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    subtract the weight of the truck from the GVRW and that is how much you can tow with it original

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Uhhh...not! The gross vehicle weight rating is the max for the vehicle itself plus the remainder in cargo. You'll prolly find that once you ascertain the vehicle weight they're recomending anywhere from 1500-2000 lbs you can carry

    Towing is a whole nother 'rating'

    GCVW (Gross combined vehicle weight)

    Anyways, long wheelbase, big block, 3/4 ton braking system, automatic...I'd say you could tow 7000 lbs or more safely (properly loaded trailer, working trailer brakes, weight distributing hitch etc etc)

    Rene
     
  5. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    So it should be able to handle a 5000lb camper trailer just fine? Would I need to get a hitch receiver (if so what class) or just my bumper. What is a weight distributing hitch? Could you post a pic or link to one? Sorry for all the questions, I'm new to this truck and towing.
     
  6. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    Yeah, Rene's right about the towing otherwise you'd only be able to tow about 2k lbs... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
    Anyway, a class 3 hitch should be sufficent(BTW what do you plan on towing?) and here are some pics of weight distributing hitches...
     
  7. clarkjw24

    clarkjw24 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Dude I won't tow my son's little red wagon off of my bumper. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif Get atleast a class 3 reese hitch and if your pulling a camper you may need a stabalizer-sway hitch set up. Also don't forget to hook your saftey chains and stay under 95mph! /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  8. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    oops i got those confused /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
     
  9. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Also don't forget to hook your saftey chains

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hook and cross the safety chains. I see so many people towing without the safety chains crossed and that is a nono. Should the trailer come unhooked the crossed chains create a cradle for the tongue to sit in otherwise it would drag on the road and become even more difficult to control.

    As for how much you CAN tow...you can tow a lot more than 7k...Should you tow more than 7k? Not especially unless you use a 5th wheel hitch. With out F250 with a stock 351 I tow our cart and backhoe which combine for 7,200lbs. I shouldn't tow it with that truck but I travel under 5 miles with it so I don't worry.

    Main things that help towing are longer wheelbase )stability), 1 ton axles (better brakes), engine (more torque the better), transmission..I prefer a manual for towing but an auto will do with proper cooling.

    Just say no to towing with your bumper.
     
  10. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    A 454 powered C20 can tow a hell of a lot more than 7,000. My C30 is rated for 9,000 when the actual weight of the truck full of fuel is subtracted from the GCWR. I'd say that a 454 truck has to be able to pull at least 10,000 lbs, of course depending on the gear ratio.

    I have had no issues with even the biggest of trailers with my C30 except the lack of power because mine has a 350. It will pull damn near anything safely with D rated tires, a good brake controller, a class 4 reciever hitch, and 15k lb. Reese 5th wheel hitch, and huge brakes. The only thing I've got to be careful of is to not overload the rear axle or the single tires on the back. Not having a dually is about that truck's only weak link.
     
  11. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    I think I already said but am towing a small (5000lb) camper. So I need at least a class III hitch, Reese was mentioned, any other brands recomended or are they the best? Thanks for the pics of the hitches. just to verify, they are a special ball mount with arms extending to the trailer frame, and they even the weight between the trailer and rear truck tires correct? I am already looking into airbags both front and rear to help with towing incase I decide to get use a heavier trailer. On the brakes my understanding from reading this board is that the only difference between the 3/4 and 1 ton axles are brakes and perch/shock mounts. So which would be better upgrade to 1 ton drums or aftermarket disc brakes? Any other suggestions on things I would need? Thanks!
     
  12. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I have a Valley class IV hitch on mine for regular trailers and a 15k Reese for 5th wheels. Any heavy duty trailer hitch is fine. Valley, Draw Tite, Reese...all the same.

    The Reese Titan class V is a great hitch but very expensive and I am not sure if they make it for our trucks.

    JC Whitney has a 15,000 lb one for our trucks.

    My Valley hitch is rated for 10,000 lbs. weight distributing and 7,500 weight carrying I do believe.
     
  13. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    The weight distributing hitch transfers some of the tongue weight forward. Think of the truck as a wheelbarrow, and the bars of the weight distributing hitch as the arms on the wheel barrow. The more pre-load on the bars, the more of the tongue weight is put farther forward on the truck.

    Without the bars my Jimmy used to sag about 2.5" or more with our trailer on the ball. With the bars pre-loaded the back of the truck sits level. The difference on the road is night and day. 10 times more stable with the weight distributing bars...

    FWIW I've towed our 5400 lb travel trailer with my 81 Jimmy all up and down the West Coast. It was 3/4 ton at the time, 350, SM 465, and less than ideal 3.73's. Even with much less wheelbase we had no trouble, in fact it was quite stable.

    rene
     
  14. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the help guys, looks like i have some shopping to do now.
     
  15. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    If you're looking for a brake control, there is only one BTW.

    "Tekonsha Prodigy"

    [​IMG]
     

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