Many of you don't know, but we bought a new travel trailer this past spring. My kids had outgrown the bunks in our old trailer, and we camp every chance we get in the summer, so I was hearing a lot of complaining. We bought a bunk house model which is longer and heavier than our old trailer. I towed it without incident all summer long. I am now seeking some advice.
My current truck is a lease and the lease is coming due in the next 6 months. I love this 2016 Silverado Double Cab 1500, 5.3L with 3.42 rear and integrated trailer brake controller. Our initial thought was to go to a 3/4 ton, because we "should". However, neither my wife or I, really want a 3/4 ton as a daily driver primarily due to gas mileage, size, and ride comfort. My truck sees no more than 10,000 miles per year. This past camping season, I towed our trailer no more than 1,700 miles.
My thought is to buy a Silverado 1500 Max Tow or GMC Sierra 1500 Max Tow. I would be looking for a crew cab, and the longer (6.5') bed to increase wheelbase as much as possible. The max tow package gives you:
- Increased towing and GCWR
- Automatic Locking Rear Diff
- Handling/Trailering Suspension Package
- Enhanced Cooling Radiator
- Revised Shock Tuning
- Heavier Duty Rear Springs and Increased RGAWR
- 9.76" Rear Axle
- Integrated Trailer Brake Controller
- Trailering Mirrors
- 3.73 Rear (with 5.3 V8) or 3.42 Rear (with 6.2 V8)
As our kids get older, I see us still camping a lot, but closer to home, so I would be towing even less miles. We may throw in a longer trip each summer. But right now, our trips are within a 3 hour radius from home. My experience this summer was that this trailer tows better than our old one. We had a lot of tugging with that one. This one tows great down the road. Of course my biggest issues are wind and big trucks on the interstate. I never had any white knuckle moments this summer, just times where I could tell the trailer was back there, more than other times. I usually adjusted my speed as needed. A couple times on the interstate, I slowed to 55mph from my normal 62mph towing speed (my trailer tires are rated for 75pmh BTW) because that was what felt comfortable. Mrs. CP and I said if we felt too uncomfortable, we would exit the interstate and take a two lane state road, but we never had to.
I tow with an Equalizer 4-Way Sway Control WDH. It is dialed in good and I have very little to no sway. I keep a close eye on tire pressure and run with the trailer tires inflated to near max. I'm seeking advice on what I could do to make my trailer and a 1500 Max Tow, tow the best possible. I am wondering just how much is changing the tires out on the truck to E load LT tires going to change my towing experience? If I added air bags or a helper spring (although the max tow already has an extra leaf spring), will that change my towing experience? If I change out the tires on my trailer to something better than the stock Castle Rocks, how much will that change my towing experience? Safety is my utmost concern, not just for my family, but all the other motorists we encounter. I know my numbers and have researched, and researched some more. Perhaps in the end, I will find that I simply need more truck "mass", and a 3/4 ton will sit in my garage, but for now, I don't want to leave any rock unturned.
I am mainly looking for responses to my above questions. I know towing is a touchy subject, and I'm not looking to go "there". I have been to the scales and as I sit with my current truck and trailer, I am right at my max. However, I felt some real world experience from some folks I trust, would be the most beneficial. As always, thanks!