The TV capacity and TT weight aren’t all that reliable to make a decision. The TV capacity of 8600# is a base vehicle with a 150# driver. Your TV likely weighs more than the base vehicle and everything else that goes in it, like gear and passengers is subtracted off that number. The only way to get a good number is to weigh it loaded as you would for a trip. Easily done at a truck stop, less easy to load it up.
I think TT manufacturers are now required to have a sticker that shows the real weight when it left the factory, but I’m not positive of that. Regardless, it’s likely heavier than the brochure weight and doesn’t include accessories the dealer may have added which could add hundreds of pounds. So, in effect, your TV capacity is overstated and the TT weight understated. If you can get good weights and it falls within your capacity you should be able to safely tow it. It’s usually safer to use the TT GVWR than any dry weights because of the aforementioned, even if you don’t load it to the max. You need to watch your loaded hitch weight, too, so you don’t exceed your rating. It is typically 10-15% of the loaded TT weight.
Beyond the issue of being within your capacity is the one of performance and that’s a personal thing. If you’re anywhere near your capacity you may very well climb grades at slow speed with your rpm wrapped up. Whether that would bother you only you can answer. I spend most of my time in the western mountains and I have a low tolerance for slow, high rpm climbs. So I lean toward your BIL’s philosophy of staying light, though I think you could go heavier than his 5000#. I pull a 16’ 3000# loaded TT with an F150 5.4 and I’m totally satisfied with it. But I’m pretty confident I wouldn’t be if I doubled that weight. But I spend a lot of my towing time climbing, if I towed mostly in the flats the weight would be less of an issue. Your 32’ caught my eye, too. If I were pulling a 32’ rig there are very few non-commercial cg’s I could get into. Perhaps the GA mountains are different?
Read the label on your hitch. BE sure it does not say. Weigh carrying (WC) 500lbs tongue weight, and 5000lbs trailer weight, and then Weight Distributing (WDH) 1000lb tongue weight, and 10,000 lbs trailer weight. I bet it does. It is the only way the rating can be 8600lbs
As for the trailer weight. Yes the yellow sticker tell what it weighes is required, A very useful tool. I ALWAYS use the Dry trailer weight listed on the sticker. Why? Because i know that I will NEVER load my TT to the max weight GVWR. I know that I will add a little less than 1000 lbs to the dry weight, and IF the dry yellow sticker weight is 4500lb, then the Tt will never weigh over 5500lbs. I can almost guarentee you will NEVER load 3000lb to the trailer. Unless of course it is a toy hauler, and you put a car in it. Other than that. there is not enough room to load 3000 lbs to a TT. Unless you collect big rocks like Lucy.
Keep the trailer GVWR inside the tow rating and you should be fine. Most class 3 hitches are 500/5000 unless WDH is used then the rating is more but verify. If you are close to the rating do not expect to put a person in every seatbelt and 800# of firewood in the bed.
rfryer, there doesn't seem to be a length limitation in the GA State Parks. Private Parks are a different matter.
OK, didn’t realize we were talking about state parks. A lot of CA’s are 30’ and Arizona has a 35’ limit. Habit probably, but when I think mountains I think national forests and out here access for a 32' would be very limited.
To me it's not rocket science, if the hitch limit is 5000-lbs then that's it! That's what the hitch, base and attachment hardware is made to use.
Typically manufacturers build in about a 30% margin for safety to accomodate dynamic load and stresses but if you start at the 30% limit, you may well get a structural failure at some point. Uneven road surfaces, bouncing, acceleration and braking are all dynamic stress factors.
Just my opinion fron an engineeing perspective.
* This post was
edited 08/24/11 05:23am by PackerBacker *
2009 Holiday Rambler Admiral 33SFS (34' 3")
2008 Jeep Liberty - North Edition (4x4 auto)
FQCC/Camping Quebec, KOA, Good Sam, Coach-Net