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I just bought a kz connect with a dry weight of 6040 lbs, gross 7300, I have a 2018 Chevy silverado 1500 High country 6.2L 4x4. A guy at the dealer said I can tow 9,400lb. Am I in a safe tow range?

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Accidently deleted my reply.  Very experienced members will soon answer your question.  Happy camping to you.

Retired Acct & SEC CFP.  Former legislative aide and pilot to two Texas Governors with 4 Honorable Discharges from the Army, Guard and Reserves.

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Edited by NamMedevac 70
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How much payload does your Silverado have?  Look at the sticker on the driver’s door and see what it says - often half ton trucks are more limited by their payload capacity than their towing capacity.  It’s important to see what your particular truck’s sticker says because options and extras add weight (sunroofs especially, but upgraded tires, etc. also can have an effect).  I’ve seen half ton trucks with payload capacity as low as 1,000 lbs and as high as over 2,000, depending on trim levels and options.

The manufacturer’s published dry weight is pretty worthless in the real world - it doesn’t include any options, batteries, etc.  Is the 6040 lbs what the sticker says is the weight for your trailer as it came out of the factory?  I suspect that your trailer might weigh more if that’s the manufacturer’s published dry weight.

In my own personal experience, my trailer has always been pretty close to GVWR when loaded for a trip (I tend to take longer trips).  So for figuring purposes, I assume my trailer is at GVWR.  From everything I’ve read, your trailer’s tongue weight should be between 10-15% of the loaded weight of the trailer.  So in your case, the tongue weight would be somewhere around 875-900 lbs.  Less than 10% and you are much more likely to have sway.

The tongue weight is carried by the pickup truck.  So it is part of the payload for the truck.  If your particular truck has a payload of 1600 lbs, then you would have 1600-900 = 700 lbs left over for all passengers and cargo.  Do you have a tonneau cover or a shell on the bed?  That can add a lot of weight.  How many people will be in the car?  Dogs?  Bikes? Are you going to carry a cooler, firewood, BBQ/grill, extra propane tank for the grill, portable solar panel, generator, toys for kids, books and maps, case of water, tool box, etc.?

There are people who would have no trouble towing a trailer that size with a Silverado, especially couples that are doing weekend/week long trips.  Months long trips might be an issue, depending on the person packs.  Full-time?  Probably not.  I ran out of payload with a half ton truck with over 1700 lbs. of cargo and a trailer that weighed 5,500 lbs., and I’m single.  But I have a lot of stuff.

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I found the KZ Connect specs for 2021 but they don't any of them match what you listed so I suppose yours must be 2020 or earlier? If yours are similar to those listed on my link, then you have no reason to be concerned about the proper amount of weight on your hitch as all of them listed are well above the 10% limit, but you do still need to keep proper balance in mind when loading it and be careful not to overload it. It is always a good practice to weigh the entire rig once it is loaded for travel.

On your truck, I was able to find what seems to be accurate specs for it on this link. As suggested, you do need to check the door of your truck to know what yours is since the truck configuration can make a very large difference. It would seem that your truck is sufficient for the trailer weight that you are wanting to tow as your stated trailer GVWR is under the 80% of max rule of thumb that most of us find sound. There are other factors involved in a good experience towing such as comparing the wheelbase of your truck to the length of the travel trailer as that too has a significant impact on handling. I am sure that others will chime it who have more experience towing various trailers than I do, as most of my RV experience in recent years has been with motorhomes, but I do currently tow a travel trailer, so do have some experience. I can tell you from that experience that if you tow with the minimum tow vehicle for the trailer that you have, it can be done but is not a pleasant, relaxing experience. 

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Thank You both! my sticker in the truck says 1397 lbs max payload. The window sticker says it has a GVW rating of 7,200lbs.  Its a high country so its loaded except i don't have the tonneu cover on, Its also a 5'8" bed double cab so a shorter wheel base. The kz connect is a 2021 C261RB GVWR is 7,345. it says the dry hitch weight is 720 lbs.  We are not planning on traveling far in it, probably no further than 100 miles but totally new to towing a trailer.  I know i'm pushing it with a 30 foot trailer. Just wondering if I should back out now and look for a bit smaller trailer? The rv dealers are so not helpful, I think they will tell you whatever you want to hear. 

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My son-in-law had a Toyota Tundra with the tow package that was rated to tow a 10,500 lb. load.  He bought a 30 foot Winnebago tow trailer (about 8500# loaded) and made one trip.  He decided that was more than he cared to tow with his 1/2 ton truck and bought a 3/4 ton truck and is much happier that the tail is not wagging he dog.  He said he had plenty of power but, he felt the trailer was in control.

If you decide to go with your current truck, go no more that 75% of the trucks capacity, add an auxiliary transmission cooler, heavy duty shocks and load range E LT series tires on the truck.

Ken

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RV salesmen often have no clue and will tell you whatever it takes to make a sale.

I found your trailer on KZ’s website - nice floor plan.

Your truck’s payload is probably the biggest concern I would have for that trailer.  1400 lbs goes very quickly.  The trailer has a similar cargo capacity to my little trailer (like your truck, the manufacturer’s cargo capacity is based on a base trailer without batteries, etc. and your trailer is unlikely to have that much) and I’ve been close to its GVWR since my second trip.  

So I think that using the trailer’s GVWR as a loaded trailer weight for planning purposes is legit.  So that means that you should have a tongue weight of between 730 and 1095.  I would aim for between 850-900 tongue weight for safe towing (12-13%).

1397-875=522 available payload after hitching up the trailer

That’s the figure you’ll have for a tonneau cover, you, any other passengers (a spouse?), pets and anything else that you might put in the truck.  That’s not a lot of weight - maybe 350 lbs for 2 passengers, add a tonneau cover of 100-200 lbs, more if you get a shell, and you are at the truck’s payload capacity before you add a cooler or anything else to the truck.

Your truck is going to be overweight.

Then there’s the issue of such a big sail (30’ of trailer) behind you.  It’s a huge consideration also, especially if you tow around New Mexico (or Arizona in the spring) where it’s often windy.

Can it be done?  Yes, I know people who tow big trailers with marginal TVs a hundred miles to their favorite lake campground for the weekend and don’t have a problem except for extra wear and tear on their TV.

However, I towed with a marginal TV for 2 years and had one memorable trip from Tucumcari to Albuquerque in strong cross-winds - it was white knuckle time and scary.  I bought a bigger TV before my next big trip.

If you decide to buy such a big trailer, get a good WDH and set it up correctly.  That will help but you’ll still get blown around in the wind.  If you aren’t willing to compromise on the trailer, then be prepared to buy a bigger truck sooner than later.  If you are willing to compromise, buy a smaller trailer.

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 Thanks so much both of you. I LOVE this truck and didn't want to buy bigger. 2 adults and 2 dogs, One is a 100 lb shepherd, I think I go with a smaller trailer. Im in Nebraska btw so the weather can change on a dime. ;)My husband is really hoping that I can move the trailer around where we are going by myself, and he can then join us, and while Ive driven bigger SUV vehicles I have never towed anything more than a jet ski that he hooked up for me. I'm an independent gal who wants to be sure I know how all this works and that I do it right. I made the mistake of buying a truck first just to pull a trailer, should have done it the other way around, Right?  If I end up loving it, I can get a bigger truck and trailer. Ken- I love that you have a standard schnauzer! fabulous dogs!          Joy

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Towing a trailer is a skill that can be learned.  All you have to do is go into it with the attitude that you CAN do it.  I bought my travel trailer having only towed horse trailers 30 years before.  I’m a widow and solo, and I learned how to do it - you can too.  I eventually found myself loving my travel trailer and the RV lifestyle so much that I sold the house and now I’m full-time in that same trailer I bought over 5 years ago.  And as my needs changed over the years, so did my TV.  I got tired of always working to make a marginal TV work and upgraded after the Tucumcari to Albuquerque trip.  Then I sold the house and found myself with a TV that was otherwise well suited for my trailer being overweight, so I upgraded to a big truck, with the idea that one of these days I might get a bigger trailer and I was tired of chasing payload.

I would definitely start off with a smaller trailer, something along the lines of the KZ Connect SE C191MBSE or the Lance Campers trailer model 1995.  I don’t know anything about the KZ trailers as I’ve never looked at one but I thought the floor plan of the C191MBSE interesting.  Or if you don’t want a slide then perhaps a Lance 2075 might be a nice choice. It’s short on storage space, but if you are doing weekend or week-long trips, it can work well.  All of these trailers have GVWR of between 6,000-6500 lbs, are less than 25’ overall and would probably work better with your truck.

Edited by fpmtngal
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I would love a lance trailer but no one in my area carries them, It seems that you need to handle any warranty type stuff with the dealer you bought your rv from? Is that the case? That keeps me from going out of my area to buy one.

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3 hours ago, mojo said:

The window sticker says it has a GVW rating of 7,200lbs.

That is the most that your truck can safely weigh when fully loaded including the weight added to the trailer hitch. There should also be a GCW or gross combined weight, which means the most that your truck and trailer in combination can safely weigh. 

48 minutes ago, mojo said:

That keeps me from going out of my area to buy one.

Since you have a KZ dealer, take a look at the Connect SE, C211MKSE. It has a GVWR of 6500# and a length of 25' so would be much less challenge to tow with your present truck. We downsized from our fulltime motorhome after returning to part-time and now travel with a KZ Sportsman 8 years ago and have been mostly happy with it. 

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1 hour ago, mojo said:

I would love a lance trailer but no one in my area carries them, It seems that you need to handle any warranty type stuff with the dealer you bought your rv from? Is that the case? That keeps me from going out of my area to buy one.

There are dealers that will work on trailers they didn’t sell, but for the most part, you are correct - if you didn’t buy from them, they won’t work on it, especially for warranty work.  That’s pretty much any trailer, not Lance specific.

If your issue is with one of the appliances, like a Dometic stove, you can get warranty work done through Dometic and go to an authorized Dometic repair person.  If it is something specific to the trailer, like a cracked skylight, then you would need to get a warranty repair done at your Lance dealer (or another Lance dealer that’s willing to work on yours) or Lance Service in California.

Any RV will have ongoing maintenance required.  It helps to be handy (I’m not but I get by).

I took a look at the trailer Kirk referenced, the C211MKSE.  That has a really nice floor plan, it might be a better fit for me personally than the 191MBSE I referenced - longer though.  I like the fact it has a dinette along with the theater seating rather than theater seating alone.  Definitely worth a look.

The big thing is to make sure the seats are comfortable, that you can fit in the shower and bathroom, there’s room for your laptop or whatever electronic devices you might use (a space for a laptop is must-have on my list) and enough storage space for all that you need.

I went RV shopping with some friends who were looking at TCs.  I looked at a Host Cascade - an awesome camper and a great floor plan.  Both the theater and the dinette seats were very uncomfortable to me - no way would I buy one (plus I don’t have enough truck).  So you can’t buy an RV based on just floor plans and photos, you have to actually get in the model you are curious about.

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In all my travels across the western USA from Texas to west coast over several years I have not needed any dealer work done on my TT thankfully.  Many if not most RVers travel great distances for extended periods of time from their selling dealer home location so this puts them in nearly impossible situation for warranty work on their unit I would think. 

I was able to do my own small repairs and avoid expensive dealer non warranty work.  In visiting the several RV dealers for spare parts including big and small mom and pop dealers I have found them to all be smart alecks and rude and is reason I am Amazon Prime customer and I tell them this as I leave their store.  I don't miss them at all.

One useful RV dealer in Reno did pay me a very good price for my used TT only because of Burning Man festival in the BR.  Did I say I love AP!!!!!   Cheers to many and jeers to a few as I was born lucky.

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6 hours ago, fpmtngal said:

There are dealers that will work on trailers they didn’t sell, but for the most part, you are correct - if you didn’t buy from them, they won’t work on it, especially for warranty work.

I have only run into that problem with warranty work as they are happy to accept your money. In many cases, warranty work is not paid by the manufacturer at as high a rates as the general public pays and that is one reason for this. Most dealers will do warranty work for you if you are a long distance from your home local, or at least used to. It has been quite a few years since I last had any need of warranty service when traveling. I definitely agree with the comments about appliance work. And most mobile techs are certified for warranty work on the majority of RV appliances. 

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8 hours ago, NamMedevac 70 said:

In all my travels across the western USA from Texas to west coast over several years I have not needed any dealer work done on my TT thankfully.  Many if not most RVers travel great distances for extended periods of time from their selling dealer home location so this puts them in nearly impossible situation for warranty work on their unit I would think. 

I was able to do my own small repairs and avoid expensive dealer non warranty work.  In visiting the several RV dealers for spare parts including big and small mom and pop dealers I have found them to all be smart alecks and rude and is reason I am Amazon Prime customer and I tell them this as I leave their store.  I don't miss them at all.

One useful RV dealer in Reno did pay me a very good price for my used TT only because of Burning Man festival in the BR.  Did I say I love AP!!!!!   Cheers to many and jeers to a few as I was born lucky.

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2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I have only run into that problem with warranty work as they are happy to accept your money. In many cases, warranty work is not paid by the manufacturer at as high a rates as the general public pays and that is one reason for this. Most dealers will do warranty work for you if you are a long distance from your home local, or at least used to. It has been quite a few years since I last had any need of warranty service when traveling. I definitely agree with the comments about appliance work. And most mobile techs are certified for warranty work on the majority of RV appliances. 

I have learned so darn much from you all!

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So, I think we are looking at getting a bigger tv. My husband just doesn't think we are going to be happy with a really small trailer, He wants a king size bed.   Is a 2500 silverado going to do the trick easy enough?  Do I have to worry about the Axle ratio on these trucks? Most of them are 6.6L Turbo diesel and have a 6.6 foot bed but I see different axle ratios.   

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Well axle ratio makes for a huge difference in towing ability especially heavy trailers in steep mountains or on rough 4X4 type off road conditions.  For instance my Dodge Ram 2500 HD V10 truck had the 4.10 axle ratio I towed a 4500 to 5000 lb trailer with ease in the rockies and west coast mountains.  Of course my trailer was not considered heavy or long.

My two rams 1500 had only a 3.55 axle ratio and would tow same trailer in flatlands of Texas only.  Of course the V8 engines were only 5.2 and 5.9 whereas the V10 was 8.0L. 

My V10 also came with the 3500 HD rear axle for the truck camper package.

The 2500 diesel 6.6L is plenty powerful truck for towing many heavy trailers and 5th wheels and a higher axle ratio would also add extra hard grunt work (strength) for towing such as starting your tow from a standing start uphill and in soft terrain.

"Before you leave for the dealership, take a moment to think about how you're going to use the truck. When in doubt, default to a higher numerical axle ratio. While it will lower your fuel economy slightly, it will also mean you will be more comfortable while hauling and towing over long distances."

"If you are constantly towing, the highest axle gear ratio possible is what you're after. The choice of a numerically higher axle ratio will only knock off about 1 mile per gallon from the truck's fuel economy. But since pickup truck fuel efficiency is low to begin with, even a 1 mpg reduction is significant."

You can find axle ratio of your truck on the drivers door post in many trucks and stamped on rear axle ( differential cover) of many trucks.

P.S. I think many HD 2500 and 3500 trucks comes with at least a 3.96 ratio and with diesel power this would be almost perfect but more is always better.

Edited by NamMedevac 70
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8 hours ago, mojo said:

Do I have to worry about the Axle ratio on these trucks? Most of them are 6.6L Turbo diesel and have a 6.6 foot bed but I see different axle ratios.   

I suggest that you start by reading this brief explanation of the issue.

How to Choose the Right Axle Ratio for Your Pickup Truck

The most important part is still the truck's weight and towing weight ratings as the axle ratio is part of what determines those numbers. If you are thinking of some of the longer trailers you should at least consider looking at the fifth wheel models as they have a number of advantages over the typical travel trailer. There are some very experienced folks here who have towed fifth wheels that will be able to help you and who know more than I. There are few, if any who know everything about everything.  ☺️

Edited by Kirk W
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9 hours ago, NamMedevac 70 said:

Well axle ratio makes for a huge difference in towing ability

What he said and Kirk!!!!!!!   When I was a civilian working for the Army we were given and older Dodge 3/4 ton with a 225 slant six. I never checked the axle ratio but it must have been good as the truck would tow around northeast Tx with pretty good loads or trailer towing.  It wasn't very fast and didn't have much above the speed limit but it would tow.  Still wouldn't have wanted it in the mountains.

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Thanks bigjim.  The article confirmed what I said about having higher number axle ratio for towing heavy trailers and my previous comment was based upon reading the comments of RVers who have towed very heavy trailers and 5th wheels with HD pickups. 

"If you are constantly towing, the highest axle gear ratio possible is what you're after. The choice of a numerically higher axle ratio will only knock off about 1 mile per gallon from the truck's fuel economy. But since pickup truck fuel efficiency is low to begin with, even a 1 mpg reduction is significant".  Sounds like they afford the extra gas cost.

"Before you leave for the dealership, take a moment to think about how you're going to use the truck. When in doubt, default to a higher numerical axle ratio. While it will lower your fuel economy slightly, it will also mean you will be more comfortable while hauling and towing over long distances."   They may change their minds and decide on longer trips and/or even larger trailer in future.

 

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