10/21/17 3:07 p.m.

I have a 2012 GMC 1/2 ton truck.  It is rated to tow 9400lbs and the load rating is slightly over 1600lbs.  We race in Lemons about 5 times a year.  I am looking at a Lance 650 camper that weighs 1600 lbs.  My open trailer and race car (I use that term loosely) weighs 5000lb.  If I use a weight distributing hitch how insane is it to drive this set up?  I know a 3/4 ton solves my problems but I do not want to trade trucks.

Thanks, John


Huckleberry MegaDork
10/21/17 3:21 p.m.

So, you are asking if you can tow 1600+ 5000 = 6600lbs  with a truck rated for 9400? Or is the camper putting 1600 on the bed making the tongue weight (~550lbs) blow your GVWR? I bet some air springs and a distro hitch ought to make it doable. Not legal, but doable.


Patrohn New Reader
10/21/17 3:39 p.m.

In reply to Huckleberry :

Thanks!  John

Toyman01 MegaDork
10/21/17 5:29 p.m.

You might want to check and make sure the camper isn't too long. My slide in camper was 10' and pretty much made the hitch useless for any kind of weight. 

Trans_Maro PowerDork
10/21/17 6:06 p.m.

My half-ton was sketchy as frig with a camper on it until I added some air springs.

'twas all good after that.


Rodan Reader
11/18/17 7:09 p.m.

Sorry I didn't catch this sooner...

We carry a Lance 981 and pull an 8.5x24 enclosed hauler...  obviously much more than you're planning, but I did a lot of research in the process, and hopefully can provide some useful info...

First, there's lies, damn lies, and published camper weights.  Is your camper weight an actual weight, or something that came off a brochure or tag?  For example, our camper's brochure weight is ~3800.  Wet, with the options we have, it's closer to 4500!  If you already have the camper, go to a certified scale and weigh the truck with and without it.  Get axle weights if you can.  

This site is really good:  Camper weight calculator

So, once you're sure you are within your rated axle and wheel/tire weights with the camper, you can start looking at the trailer.  Remember that your 1600lb payload rating also includes driver/passengers!   Make sure to figure the tongue weight into the axle weights you calculated above to see it doesn't push you over the limit.   If you need an extension for the hitch, it will reduce your available tongue weight considerably.   IMHO, the only extension I'd use is a Torklift Supertruss, which is going to require a Torklift receiver.  I wouldn't even consider what you're doing on a 1/2 ton without a weight distributing hitch.

It may be possible, but you're likely looking at overrides and maybe airbags.  A larger swaybar will help with the high CoG of the camper.  Just remember that a 3/4 ton has the uprated axles/brakes/springs, etc. that will make driving the rig a much less harrowing experience.  That's important if you don't want to arrive at the track exhausted.

You may be able to make it work, but it already sounds sketchy.  1/2 ton trucks just aren't designed to run with those kinds of loads.

bearmtnmartin SuperDork
11/18/17 10:02 p.m.

I have a friend who bought a new half ton and a new camper for same. Ran it across a government scale and found it was 1000 pounds more than advertised. They just seem to lie about the weight to get people with smaller trucks to buy them.

frenchyd HalfDork
11/19/17 7:12 a.m.

In reply to Patrohn :

It’s not the truck it’s the driver

for decades I towed a tandem axle race car trailer all over the country, up and down mountain ranges.  1/2 ton short box. V8 automatic. 

371,000 miles. Never had an issue.  Other than normal maintenance I spent about $1000 on repairs to get there.  

In addition I built my house using that truck.  4500 pounds worth of granite steps 55,000 board feet of hardwood timbers.  Etc etc etc 

my nephew bought a heavy duty 3/4 truck at the same time and had nothing but trouble . Same brand same year. He never overloaded or really worked the truck. 

The difference is I know how to ease into a load, how to use a truck hard without abusing it. Some call it mechanical sympathy.  

If you have that your 1/2 ton will be fine if not.  Well,  I’m not sure what your best bet would be. 



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