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Don’t forget to consider upgrading brakes.
A commonly overlooked upgrade… I’d suggest looking into a nice tow package upgrade, you won’t be disappointed.
Not really needed but will help fight sway…. Airbags. My brother in law had a F150 with bags and upgraded to a 350… he didn’t like the sway and has since added bags. Now he’s happier than Yogi with a picnic basket.
yup I have bags on the Colorado and they do make a big difference.
 

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Current 2500's are taller than the 'factory 2" lifted' 1500''s
Non lifted 2023 1500's will be 75.5" =/- a few '10ths. (So 6' 4" or less)

I'm not sure about a 2013 2500, but if it just clears a 7 ' (84") opening, it's sounds like its taller than the current 1500's.

2023 2500 crews are between 79" and 80"
And that's part of my issue I really need to be able to put the truck in the garage. Sometimes I won't use my truck for 3 weeks because I have a company ride. Between that company ride and the wifes vehicle the truck would just get beat to hell in the SFL sun not getting used so it needs to fit in the garage.
 

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2013 Sierra SLE CC 2500HD Duramax
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Current 2500's are taller than the 'factory 2" lifted' 1500''s
Non lifted 2023 1500's will be 75.5" =/- a few '10ths. (So 6' 4" or less)

I'm not sure about a 2013 2500, but if it just clears a 7 ' (84") opening, it's sounds like its taller than the current 1500's.

2023 2500 crews are between 79" and 80"
At the back of my cab it’s 77 1/2” from top of roof to the floor. Even though opening is 80”, the door can’t go up more than it does and sits about 2 1/2” lower than opening. That’s too close for comfort.

I had no issue with my 13 Silverado 1500.


2013 Sierra SLE 2500HD CC 4wd Z71 6.6 Duramax
 

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...in the SFL sun not getting used so it needs to fit in the garage.
What part of Florida do you call home? Port Saint Lucie here.
 

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2009 Silverado LT 4WD
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26-30 ft is realistic 5-6k dry weight anything longer/heavier is going past the limitations of a 1/2 ton.. that's if you want to stay legal, happy and not being pushed around by semis blowing by at times. If you pulling on the flats that would be ideal but even the foothills of mountains would be challenging going past those limits, especially weight.. look into a lightweight 30ft if you can find it.
 

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I went through this exact same exercise. 2009 Silverado 1500 5.3, HD towing package (adds trans cooler and gears - 10K towing cap) puling a 30' Keystone 30RIPR (36' hitch to spare) that is 6750 dry. I've never weighed it like some of the guys on here, but the wife takes everything we own, so I am guessing at least 8k loaded. The Silverado will pull it, and it will stop it, but it is NOT a good time driving. The front end floats despite the Blue Ox Sway Pro weight dist hitch. Like all over the place, and hold on when a semi passes you. You are going to get pushed, and then pulled into it. Its a rush the first time that happens. The truck can do it, but it doesnt like it. Its drops 2 gears on any decent hill - I live in SC, and have never pulled it in the mountains, only to the coast. Started pulling it with an F-250 6.7 and never looked back. TOTALLY different experience. Can cruise down the interstate at 70mph and pass semis with one hand on the wheel. I actually forget the thing is back there sometimes. I would get more truck, or get less camper.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Hood

Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Car
 

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I went through this exact same exercise. 2009 Silverado 1500 5.3, HD towing package (adds trans cooler and gears - 10K towing cap) puling a 30' Keystone 30RIPR (36' hitch to spare) that is 6750 dry. I've never weighed it like some of the guys on here, but the wife takes everything we own, so I am guessing at least 8k loaded. The Silverado will pull it, and it will stop it, but it is NOT a good time driving. The front end floats despite the Blue Ox Sway Pro weight dist hitch. Like all over the place, and hold on when a semi passes you. You are going to get pushed, and then pulled into it. Its a rush the first time that happens. The truck can do it, but it doesnt like it. Its drops 2 gears on any decent hill - I live in SC, and have never pulled it in the mountains, only to the coast. Started pulling it with an F-250 6.7 and never looked back. TOTALLY different experience. Can cruise down the interstate at 70mph and pass semis with one hand on the wheel. I actually forget the thing is back there sometimes. I would get more truck, or get less camper.

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Same experience here, me and my friend would swap pulling the TT each trip to the race .. my 1/2 ton and his 3/4 with the TT... Totally different experience with the same trailer and 2 different platform trucks.. like you said pass semi's and forget it's there with the 3/4 ton.
 

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A Hensley Arrow or Pro Pride hitch will greatly reduce or eliminate getting pushed around by semi trucks. Lot less expensive than a new truck.
 

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Hi all.

My wife and I bought a pop up camper during COVID and are looking to upgrade to a travel trailer. I've been trying to stay around 32 feet or less and about 6,000 lbs. I recently bought a '22 Silverado RST crew cab w/ a short bed and a 5.3 v8. Towing capacity is 9,200 lbs.

For the most part we camp state parks within a couple hours of the house but wouldn't mind venturing out a little further. We live in Ohio so no mountains here but if we were to go south through West Virginia or Tennessee we could hit mountains if we went that route.

Is this a realistic set up? Am I pushing the limits too far with a 1/2 ton and a trailer of this size or should I be looking at something smaller? The camper we like is pretty much right at 6k.
What size Rear Gear Ratio? I have a 2018 Silverado 1500 4x4 Double Cab 6.5 ' bed. Dealer told me 9200 lbs towing but when the RV Dealer checked I was told I had a 308 rear gear which meant I was limited to 6200 lbs. I bought a very nice and roomy 30 foot that weighs just under 5000 lbs and have had no problems towing it. I have also put a gas powered golf cart (they weigh less than electric) in bed at same time
 

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Rear suspensions on the Silverado 1500 even with a standard tow package is too soft and not suitable even at the recommended weights. The result is a lot of swaying and porpoising while towing despite being well within limits and using a weight distribution hitch. I resolved this issue by beefing up my rear suspension with extra leaves to reduce rear end sag. I have the LM2 Duramax which pulls well - uphill, downhill or level.
 

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Rear suspensions on the Silverado 1500 even with a standard tow package is too soft and not suitable even at the recommended weights. The result is a lot of swaying and porpoising while towing despite being well within limits and using a weight distribution hitch. I resolved this issue by beefing up my rear suspension with extra leaves to reduce rear end sag. I have the LM2 Duramax which pulls well - uphill, downhill or level.
Good point.... I have a buddy who has a 2020 Silverado and he added a leaf to the rear springs. it made a night and day difference towing his travel trailer, and the unloaded ride was only a little stiffer.
 

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2013 Sierra SLE CC 2500HD Duramax
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I added Hellwig 2500 Pro Series helper springs. Made a big difference to handling and also changed to LT rated tires. Just remember that this does not add payload capacity, it just makes the truck handle better.


2013 Sierra SLE 2500HD CC 4wd Z71 6.6 Duramax
 

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I had a 33' 5th wheel that I towed with a 2500 6.6 diesel and I had this 30' Northtrail 25BHPS, 6800 lb. towing with my 1500 3.0 diesel and I like how this rides better and I've driven it in the Columbia River Gorge in high winds. The big diesel definitely pulls up mountains better and I can't compare the 3.0 to the 5.3 but this with engine it pulls this up mountain passes very well. This trailer maxed out the tongue weight of 800 lbs. (dry) and 900 lbs. loaded but with empty water tanks. I traded this trailer for in for a 31' Kodiak 27SBH same dry weight but 580 lb. dry tongue weight. I wasn't able load anything in the front cargo hold or have water in the tank on the Northtrail because of the heavy tongue weight. I like the layout of the Kodiak better and little things like being able to get into the bathroom and bedroom without having to open the slide out. Initial quality if much better too.

With this I was hoping to get better mileage but towing it's the same as the 2500 and 5th wheel, though when not towing mileage is much better and rides better. After 5000 miles towing this I don't feel I need airbags on the truck.
Vehicle Sky Tire Wheel Cloud


2500HD, drove this about 20,000 miles. I had air bags on this truck.
Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Motor vehicle
 

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Hi all.

My wife and I bought a pop up camper during COVID and are looking to upgrade to a travel trailer. I've been trying to stay around 32 feet or less and about 6,000 lbs. I recently bought a '22 Silverado RST crew cab w/ a short bed and a 5.3 v8. Towing capacity is 9,200 lbs.

For the most part we camp state parks within a couple hours of the house but wouldn't mind venturing out a little further. We live in Ohio so no mountains here but if we were to go south through West Virginia or Tennessee we could hit mountains if we went that route.

Is this a realistic set up? Am I pushing the limits too far with a 1/2 ton and a trailer of this size or should I be looking at something smaller? The camper we like is pretty much right at 6k.
I tow a 6600# (actual weight loaded for a 9 week trip on a CAT scale) travel trailer with my GMC Sierra 5.3L 6 speed (6L80) transmission 3.42 axle with the Z82 tow package. I've towed over 60,000 miles with my truck and it does fine on grades up to 7%. I towed that trailer up a 10% grade in the Grand Tetons and that was the only time it felt under powered. It didn't overheat the engine or transmission but had to pull it in low gear, not enough power/torque to pull in 2nd. But these Tennessee hills are no problem and did not have any trouble with the Rockies staying on the Interstates where the grades are usually only 6% - 7%.
 

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Dry weight of the camper is 5869. Hitch weight capacity from Forest River is listed at 650 (I'm assuming this would be the hitch weight with a fully loaded rig. Cargo capacity is 1300 lbs but I can't see ever coming close to that). Max tongue weight on the truck is 920.

Obviously safety is my biggest concern and #2 is overworking the truck. I really didn't want to get an HD truck because it's also my daily driver. Also don't know that it would fit in the garage. It's close with the 1500.
Hitch weight is as it came off the assembly line, no batteries or propane tanks. Your loaded hitch weight will be 11% of the loaded trailer weight (based on the ratio of hitch weight to dry weight which are both measured as it came off the assembly line. And based on my experience having owned three travel trailers your loaded weight will be close to the GVWR of the trailer. My current trailer was just 90# under the GVWR when I weighed it loaded for an extended trip.
 

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I am not an expert on the subject by any stretch. We bought a Mallard M27 in February. At the time I had a 2017 Silverado crew cab Z71 4x4 with the short bed. The Mallard is 30 feet and dry weight is around 5800 lbs. My truck was rated for 9200 lbs towing. It came with an anti sway weight distribution hitch. I did replace the rear shocks on the truck from the Ranchos to a Monroe with the outer springs on it. The truck was stock so it had the rake and when we hooked up the TT to it, it was basically level. I pulled it several times with no issues whatsoever. Even went through Atlanta once. I now have a 2021 Silverado, pretty much the same truck, but it was leveled at the dealership before it was even sold. It sagged the rear end a ridiculous amount. So I installed the Timbrens on it and also replace the Rancho's on the rear with the same Monroe shocks as the other truck. The new truck I think only has an 8200 or 8600 rating, I have to check to be sure but it pulls it just fine as well.
 
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