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Author Topic: what dry weights are you guys towing?  (Read 1182 times)


  • Single Axle Driver
  • *
  • Posts: 22
what dry weights are you guys towing?
« on: May 12, 2017, 09:35:13 PM »
Hello all,

I purchased my first HD a few weeks ago and I am rebuilding / refreshing it for the specific purposes of towing a 5th wheel or tag along camper. - not sure yet which I'm getting.

Looking into the dry weights of campers, I am concerned I bought the right truck. The new diesel Chevy 3500's can tow a building but also cost as much as a building. My thoughts were to buy the HD truck, rebuild it and get poor gas mileage but safely tow a 5th wheel just fine.

How much are you guys towing with your trucks and how do they feel on the highway and in stop and go situations? I have a 1996 truck with a 4L80e and 4.62 axle. Its a 135 wheel base truck with a basic flatbed. I have a new 454 to drop in and most things will be rebuilt or replaced, so let your comments reflect the capabilities with a fairly fresh truck.

I know I will be using the hell out of some gas, but will my truck feel in control of a 7 or 8,000 camper? I know factory ratings can be misleading, for example Ford is advertising their F-150's pulling 5th wheels. Personally I think that's unsafe, but since I jumped into this truck without doing this research before hand I'm having second thoughts.

Experiences please.


  • 3500HD Driver
  • ****
  • Posts: 235
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Maine
Re: what dry weights are you guys towing?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 06:31:57 PM »
I think you'll be fine. I'm sure you'll use a lot of fuel, but these trucks have a good four wheel disc brake system and it takes a lot to squat the huge rear leaf packs. The huge front sway bar does a great job of steadying the truck too. I left the scales this week with my HD dump weighing 20,000lbs gross loaded with gravel and it stopped ok, first time I've ever seen my rear leaf springs flat. Of course I wish the 6.5 was a 5.9 Cummins but the truck was up for the task
1999 chevy HD 4x4 135.5" 6.5 nv4500 bw4470 Dana 70 HP 10 lug front

Due to recent budget cuts the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off


  • Global Moderator
  • 3500HD Driver
  • *****
  • Posts: 382
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Port Huron Area, MI
Re: what dry weights are you guys towing?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2017, 10:36:45 AM »
I agree. While not the most ideal daily driver, it's the most comfortable I've been pulling a trailer. I spent some time hauling this trailer with an M715 using a '97 crew cab light 3500 and I missed my truck every second.
'94 3500-HD, Cummins, Getrag, NP205. Shortend rear frame with a Pickup Bed. Dana 60 front, stock 80 rear.

'03 2500-HD 8.1 and Allison


  • One Ton Driver
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Western Montana
  • K3500HD from when it wasn't just a sales gimmick!
Re: what dry weights are you guys towing?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 07:18:07 PM »
You won't find many other 15k trucks that handle the weight as well as these HD's. I pull a 30 ft gooseneck under my backhoe regularly with my 94 HD and it doesn't mind the weight at all. 9,000 lb truck, 5,600 lb trailer, 10,000 lb Backhoe plus some chains/attachments & body weight for the driver puts me at or over 25K gross. I still get about 8-12 mpg with the cummins in it this way or around 15-16 with just the truck in the mountainous area I live.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 03:23:51 AM by AZTimT »
94 K3500HD (factory Monroe 4wd upfit) short wheel base 9' bed 454 no more/NV4500HD/NP261HD/D70 frt/D80 rear 5.13's Cummins powered with 3.73's.
93 C3500HD long wheel base parts truck 14' bed 6.5(gone)/NV4500HD/D80 4.63
95 C3500HD medium wheel base 11' bed 6.5/4L80E/D80 4.63
2000 C3500HD Monroe extended cab 9' bed, 6.5/4l80E/D80HD 4.63 will become 4wd with D70 front and repowered some day...

GM Guy

  • 3500HD Driver
  • ****
  • Posts: 239
  • Age: 28
  • Location: NW. KS to S. ID
  • manual transmission 2wd enthusiast
Re: what dry weights are you guys towing?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2017, 09:35:18 AM »
We have north of 35,000 combination with dad's 92 C3500HD before, 6.5L 5spd 4.63 gears.

Heaviest long distance pull (1,000 miles KS to ID) was around 24K. Handled like a champ. bumper pull to boot!



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