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Old 03-31-2021, 04:00 PM   #1
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Can I tow it?

Hello,

I have a 2009 Tahoe with the HD towing package and I am rated at 8200lbs. I am going to look at a 2017 Dutchmen Aspen Trail 2890bhs that comes with a WD/Sway hitch. The Dry weight is 6500 lbs, would I be biting off more than I can chew?
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Old 03-31-2021, 04:12 PM   #2
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Towing with Chev Tahoe

We towed a 27 foot Duchmen TT with a similarly equipped 2007 Tahoe, I think it was a "Catalina" or something like that. Anyway, the Tahoe pulled it just fine except on steep grades, had to shift to 2nd gear and flat on the floor to maintain 45 mph. Gas mileage was terrible, 8-9 mpg. We upgraded to a Ford F-150 with the ecoboost V6 Twin Turbo, max tow package, etc which is lightyears better. Now average 11-13 mpg and 6th gear uphill doing 65 mph. You might consider something like the F-150 for you heavy trailer.
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Old 03-31-2021, 04:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jb1978 View Post
Hello,

I have a 2009 Tahoe with the HD towing package and I am rated at 8200lbs. I am going to look at a 2017 Dutchmen Aspen Trail 2890bhs that comes with a WD/Sway hitch. The Dry weight is 6500 lbs, would I be biting off more than I can chew?
You're definitely going to be pushing it. That "dry weight" figure is a factory figure for a completely bare bones, stock unit. If any of the option packages have been added, that adds more weight. Most rigs have a sticker somewhere near the door that's SUPPOSED to show the actual weight of the unit as it rolled off of the production floor... but sometimes even those aren't accurate. Best way to really get your weight is to take it to a scale to see for yourself.

Why is that important? Well, let's say your rig really does only weigh 6500 lbs when empty. That's only leaving you 1,700 lbs for all of the stuff you're going to pack into it: clothes, cookware, food, bedding, camp chairs, toys (if you have kids), etc, etc. You'd be surprised at how fast it all adds up. And if you plan to 'dry camp', don't forget the weight of fresh water & and waste-tank liquids until you find a dump station.

Bottom line... although it appears your new rig can easily handle the load (GVWR: 9680 lbs)... you're probably going to really be taxing your truck's drivetrain, especially if/when trying to climb steep grades.
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Old 03-31-2021, 05:32 PM   #4
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Thank you for the replies. I live in Michigan which is pretty flat so it sounds like I will be ok locally. I have thought about just renting a pickup or borrow my brothers pickup if we head to the Smokies.
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:25 PM   #5
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Pulling is less a consideration than stopping the thing.
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:25 PM   #6
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Yes probably. Do the math.

The best plan is to look in two places for specifications.

First look at the two weight specification stickers in the tow vehicle door frame. One sticker is for tires and the other for the vehicle. Use the capacities listed there. Published capacities are highly unreliable because individual vehicles of the same model vary too much. Even owner’s manuals are often wrong or contain different specifications in different parts of the manual.

Second look at the "Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight” (MGVW) on the weight specification sticker on the left front side of the travel trailer. Ignore the Dry Weight or Unloaded Weight. You will never tow at that weight. Most TT’s on the road today are near the MGVW. So use it for planning.

Actual weights are what matter. Get your whole rig and each axle weight at a CAT scale for $15 after everything is loaded for travel.

Do not exceed any of the maximums specified on the sticker. In addition to “Maximum Towing Capacity” you need to calculate cargo weight and not exceed Maximum Cargo Weight.

Everything added to the vehicle since it left the factory counts as cargo weight and “maximum gross vehicle weight”. Driver’s weight of 150# is allowed. Anything in excess of 150# adds to cargo weight. Weight of hitches add by dealer are cargo weight as well. Absolutely anything added. Passengers and luggage also count. Bed liners count. Undercoat counts. Everything.

The closer you get to the maximum limits, the slower you must drive. I have set a maximum speed for myself at 60 mph because my rig is close to maximum.

You can tow the rig you asked about at 55 mph. 60 may work. 80 mph is too fast. It is all guess work. If you rear end a car the suddenly entered your lane, you were going too fast.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:11 AM   #7
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Persistent said it very well. He is very thorough and probably “persistent” too .

I agree that you will add weight very quickly and second the idea to hit a Cat scale and get everything weighed. In my experience I had a Nissan Armada rated to tow about 9k lbs. but my coil springs in the SUV just couldn’t handle the tongue weight and I was probably unsafe as I squatted too much. The trailer was a 7,000 lb bumper tow TH and I was too naive to weigh it all but in hindsight I was probably 1,000 lbs. over when fully loaded with my family of 4 and full fresh water, etc.

Stopping and handling is far more important than getting the load moving IMO. And with my V8 Armada we would get like 5-7 MPG into a head wind. I actually think it would be hard to pour gas out of a can that fast! We used to joke we had to stop at every gas station we passed.

I think you will feel much safer in a truck and as an added bonus it will likely have an integrated brake controller so will likely work better too.

I am sure the trailer salesman will tell you “your SUV will be more than adequate” but I would be suspect. And I push the envelope more than many but still would think hard about your set up.

My two cents.

Good luck.
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Old 04-01-2021, 07:05 AM   #8
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Here's an article on Towing rating https://www.curtmfg.com/towing-capacity
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:49 PM   #9
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Virtually EVERY video I see of a trailer getting away from the driver and tow vehicle has an SUV towing it. It is never pretty and most times I wonder how the passengers didn't die. Can it be done? Certainly. Are there better/safer ways to do it? Absolutely. Good luck and happy camping.
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Old 04-02-2021, 02:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by aguablanco View Post
Virtually EVERY video I see of a trailer getting away from the driver and tow vehicle has an SUV towing it. It is never pretty and most times I wonder how the passengers didn't die. Can it be done? Certainly. Are there better/safer ways to do it? Absolutely. Good luck and happy camping.
RichH

And virtually every trailer I see on the dealers lot has a sign that says “you can tow me with your SUV” too.

I bet many of those wrecks are inexperienced drivers at or near the limit of their tow vehicle’s capacity and probably poorly loaded with way too much tongue weight on some pretty soft suspension.

Obviously, even a very safe and adequate set up can still be in a wreck but you can certainly increase the odds by doing stupid and unsafe things.

I am amazed that any idiot can buy a truck and 15,000 pound fifth wheel with no experience ever towing and hook up and go and be completely legal with 25,000 pounds of combined weight and give or take 60’ of combined length. That is crazy as far as I am concerned.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jb1978 View Post
Thank you for the replies. I live in Michigan which is pretty flat so it sounds like I will be ok locally. I have thought about just renting a pickup or borrow my brothers pickup if we head to the Smokies.

Are you reading the same posts I am on this thread? Every reply stated reservations and/or concerns. Let's see, you have zero experience towing large, tall and heavy loads. You want to start out with an over weight tow vehicle and too large a trailer. And from all the responses you conclude you will be "ok locally." I have a 1/2 ton pickup and I wouldn't tow that trailer with it. My limit is 6000# loaded. I am happy to be living in AZ so we won't be traveling the same roads. Good luck, you'll need it.
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:20 PM   #12
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As long as people gear, fuel, water, propane, food, beer, etc, etcdont exceed a total of 8200. But looks to me you will be overweight.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:02 AM   #13
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Also need to consider the length of the trailer vs. the wheelbase on the tow vehicle. If yours is a standard (short) wheelbase the trailer may be a little long. Sway is common when "the tail wags the dog".
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:23 AM   #14
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Tahoe Towing

You will be approaching your max weight, but you should be OK as long as you don't try to be a race car driver on he freeways. Like some one else said your mileage will be about 9 mpg, but it will be that no mater what you pull with. F150 Ecoboost is a very good tow vehicle, but it won't get 13 mpg pulling a travel trailer, I know from experience. I had a 2011 F150 Ecoboost, Super Cab, 8 foot box with Max payload and Max Tow. Best I ever got in mileages empty was 21 and towing was 11 mpg towing a 24 foot Aerolight 5th Wheel that weighed 3500 lbs. With my 32 foot Dutchmen TT I got 9 - 10 MPG. Stopping is not an issue, you have electric brakes on the trailer, and if your controller is adjusted right you will stop quicker with the trailer than without. Make absolutly sure you have a good WDH with sway control as a part of the hitch and not the friction bar. You are right, in Michigan you wont have any problem with hills, and in the Smokies just be easy on the gas pedal and learn how to use the shifter on the transmission, most uf the newer ones have a manual shift mode. Again, don't expect much in the mileage dept, right now I'm towing a 19 foot Bayliner boat behind a 2016 Ram 2500 with a 6.9 Cumins and I'm getting 15.5 MPG coming from Florida back to Michigan, that's about a 2500 lb load. Keep it under 65MPH and don't push, you'l bee fine, it's called use common sense. By the way, unlike some on here that give all this advice, I've been hauling TT since 1968, everything froma 16 foot to 35 foot and 5th wheels from 24 Foot to 32 foot, one accident and that was on black ice.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:41 AM   #15
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I towed my first TT with a dry weight of 4,500 lbs. literally all over the country with a half ton Suburban. The Suburban had over 150k miles on it with the original drivetrain. No issues, but when our fuel pump failed near Gettysburg PA, they flat towed the Suburban to the shop and I rode with the tow company owner as he pulled our trailer to an adjacent parking lot with an F-350 diesel. I was amazed. He did not use the WD hitch, just dropped it onto a ball and you wouldn't know it was there. Now I tow a TT with empty weight of 5,500 lbs. and 1,300 lbs. of cargo weight allowable. I am towing with an Escalade with the 6.2 liter 403 HP motor. It pulls great, but even though my tow rating is 8,100 lbs., I am not sure I would want to tow an appreciably heavier trailer without upgrading to a 3/4 ton pickup. My ongoing rule of thumb, after 26 years of towing camping trailers, is leave a lot of margin between your trailer weight and the tow rating on your TV. The result will be a lot less stress, more safety margin, and maybe even better fuel mileage. If you try to pull the BH with your Tahoe, be sure your hitch and brake controller are set up correctly. Also, I found that towing with the half ton Suburban, and later a half ton Silverado, both with the 5.3 liter motor, that it just didn't have enough when the hills steepened and the wind blew. The 6.2 took care of that issue. Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:48 AM   #16
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...By the way, unlike some on here that give all this advice, I've been hauling TT since 1968, everything froma 16 foot to 35 foot and 5th wheels from 24 Foot to 32 foot, one accident and that was on black ice.
Not that I don't agree you, but just curious why you assume many of us don't have the same and/or similar experience?

In my case, I began driving at 9... yes NINE... (not legally mind you, but that didn't stop my dad from putting me behind the wheel)... towed my first trailer when I was 12... hauled carpet between Georgia & Virginia in a 26' International truck at 15... pulled my first RV at 17... drove my dad's tanker-semi down the interstate at 22, and that was over 30 year ago.

So I guess what I'm saying is... let's not assume you've got the monopoly on towing experience around here. There are lots of others on here who... although they may be new to RVs, have been towing a long, long time.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:52 AM   #17
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I agree 100% with your last paragraph, dsol. Scary! Maybe I was lucky, or maybe by starting with a folding trailer behind an Astro Van was a good training program. I could roll out at 62 MPH in third gear. More and the temp needle would start to move up. Later I found the radiator was partially blocked with leaves and Cottonwood seeds. Who knew? Still held it to 62 MPH and all was good. After I replaced the Astro with a Suburban I could run 70 - 75 comfortably with replacement Goodyear tires on the pop up. There is something to be said about starting smaller and moving up in size as your needs and abilities grow.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:39 PM   #18
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I would get a 2500 series truck
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:13 AM   #19
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I am amazed that any idiot can buy a truck and 15,000 pound fifth wheel with no experience ever towing and hook up and go and be completely legal with 25,000 pounds of combined weight and give or take 60’ of combined length. That is crazy as far as I am concerned.
Before the CDL program some states allowed you to drive anything you wanted with a regular driver's license on Interstates with nothing more than a medical card. I'd rather drive a tractor trailer between loading docks than in some of these campgrounds with children, wet grass, mud, gravel roads, dead ends, trees, washouts, narrow roads hairpin turns and drainage ditches.
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