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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan to order a 2024 2500 HD Duramax 4 x 4 as soon as my local dealership says I can.

Background: My wife and I are avid fishers. We will soon be retiring, and our dream is to travel around the U.S. and Canada towing our new 27' Airstream with our 15' aluminum boat (weighs 340 lbs) on the truck using a motorized Rear Boat Loader as per the pictures below.

We do plan to have a cab-height truck canopy.

This new truck will be my everyday vehicle, as well as our TV.

We do plan to install a Weight Distribution Hitch. TBD, which brand, etc.

Here are some questions/comments that I would greatly appreciate feedback on. Your input will help be configure my order for our new 2024 truck.

1. Payload: The tongue weight of the AS will be approximately 1,000. Assuming the Payload Capacity of the new truck is around 3,300 +/-, we should be fine with our total Payload, based on my spreadsheet with everything we plan to carry, including the boat on top and the weight of the boat loader rack itself.

2. Crew Cab vs. Double Cab and 8' bed vs. Standard Bed: With considerations in mind for every day driving and parking, and turn radius when towing the AS, I'm working on the pros/cons of overall body length, wheelbase, cargo storage in second row Cab area and bed cargo storage. We may need the 8' bed for cargo, and if so, we might go with the Double Cab to avoid such a long vehicle that would come with a CC + 8'.

3. Ride comfort is important. Our "senior bodies" will be logging alot of miles, so hoping that we don't have to sacrifice comfort for load capacity and safety.

4. The roof top Rear Boat Loader raises two primary concerns for me: (1) Top Heaviness and (2) Wind profile (side winds, etc.). In configuring my new truck order, are there options I could include to reduce those concerns? For example, would the F60 package with the Heavy Duty Front Springs be beneficial? If so, how much would that affect "comfort"? Other suggested configuration options?

5. If the F60 package is a good idea, does that reduce the Payload number on the driver's door jamb sticker, under the assumption that folks who order the F60 package will be using the truck for a slide-in Truck Camper.

6. I can't get an answer from my local dealer as to when I will be able to place my order or, what the anticipated lead time is for delivery.

OK, I'll stop there. I will greatly appreciate your insights/suggestions.

Cheers,

Bryan

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2006 LBZ, 2009 LML, 2022 L5P. 1993 6.5 parked in the shed.
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Payload rating does not equal tongue weight rating. To give you an idea, my dually has a payload weight rating of over 5000 lbs, the tongue weight rating is only 2000 lbs.

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As to your other questions, the longer the truck the wider it turns. A long bed crew cab is a bit of an aircraft carrier as far as turning, adding a bumper pull trailer will add greatly to it. What bed length do you need to have for the boat loader that fits your boat length?

The F60 package is for things that will load the front heavy, like a camper, plow or other front heavy things, doesn't sound like you'll need it unless the boat loader is heavy (how much does it and the topper weigh?).

Wind....... that's a comfort level thing but with the boat on top, a topper, and the trailer..... you're going to find places out west like WY challenging some days. A 3500 would be better here but it will ride harsher when empty for trips into town.....would having to wait a day or 2 for wind to subside be aggravating to you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Piper One,

Thank you for your reply.

I'm certainly not locked into a 2500. If a 3500 is going to be a better overall option, then I'll go with that. But, I'd prefer to not spend the extra $ for the 3500 if I don't need to, and also have the stiffer ride, unloaded.

I didn't realize they post a Tongue Weight on the door sticker. I assume, however, perhaps wrongly, that the Tongue Weight on the 2500 would handle the 1,000 Tongue Weight of the Airstream.

As regards my concerns for the Boat Loader with Canopy Topper, let's assume the boat itself + the Boat Loader assembly will be approximately 500 - 600 lbs. And, let's assume the Canopy Topper is approximately 300 lbs.

As regards the Truck Bed, one of the Boat Loader companies wants an 8' Truck Bed for my boat and the other company says they can do it with a 6'9" bed or an 8' bed.

I'm pretty sure I don't want a Crew Cab + 8' bed. So, I'll probably go with a Double Cab Long Bed or a Crew Cab Regular Bed. TBD.

I live in the PNW (used to live in Montana) and we travel to Montana and Wyoming and other Western states on a regular basis. So, "yep", certainly do know about the winds, including on the mountain passes. If a 3500 really will make a significant difference (I'm not keen on "white knuckle" driving with this rig) then the extra $ and stiffer unloaded ride may be required.

I definitely am not looking to push the safety envelope. If it appears it really won't work, then we'll just have to leave the boat at home when we are towing our AS. Ugh. Yet, when I know that many folks are using their 2500s and 3500s for Truck Campers, which are heavier and have a significant side-wind profile, I have hope!!!!

Again, thank you for your input.

Cheers,

Bryan
 

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If you can, before you buy, turn all of your "assume's" into "knows" . Trucks are too much money now not to get it as close to right as you can first go. Sounds like it's going to be a cool rig👍.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When your checking out what options you want for your new truck. Keep a eye out for options that are not going to be available yet at the beginning of the launch of the 2024 trucks. See if those options are worth waiting.
Ok, thanks, will do. Presumably (hopefully), my dealer will have that info so I can make an informed decision re: timing of my order.

Cheers,
 

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These things are always tough to figure out. Do you have actual weights of air stream, boat, and boat lift or manufacturer specs? Where are payload numbers you are using coming from? Most 2500 diesels are around 3000 lbs of payload.

A lot of times people use payload numbers from website and trailer specs from manufacturer. Payloads are less and trailer weight are generally higher when you put all your stuff in and then the truck is over capacity.

F60 heavy front suspension/ camper increases your FGAWR by 400 lbs and has a larger front spring rate. It helps for more load capacity on front axle and more roll stability and understeer with load. Most times the limiting factor for pickup campers is over FGAWR not gvw or RGAWR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, thanks for everyone's feedback.

Here are the numbers I have:

15' Boat: 320 lbs.

Rear Boat Loader: 200 lbs.

Canopy: 300 lbs

27' Airstream Trailer: 7,600 GVWR Tongue Weight: Most people with this model report an actual Tongue Weight of 1,000 lbs (+/- 100 lbs)

Payload: I got these numbers from the GMC 2024 2500 Printbook for a Duramax 4 x 4 and 20" wheels. I recognize that these are based on the standard equipment and they could be significantly lower with added options. Standard Bed/Crew Cab: 3,583 lbs. Long Bed/Crew Cab: 3,748. Standard Bed/Double Cab: 3,556. Long Bed/Double Cab: 3,738.

I recognize fully that the real Payload, as configured, and as displayed on the door jamb sticker is what counts. But, there are none availalbe (even 2023 models) locally for me to do some comparisons of.

So, is a Payload of 3,000 lbs a good assumption?

If the F60 package is designed, in part, to provide more "roll stability" could that be beneficial to counter cross-winds that would be hitting my boat and canopy?

Again, thank you for your help.

Cheers,

Bryan
 

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F60 would help with crosswinds from your boat being up there but will make it ride rougher. Sounds like the boat, loader, topper weight won't be any kind of real issue.

It would be nice to know what the trailer weighs empty (not it's GVWR), then you can kinda figure out what your 'stuff' would add and then have a reasonable idea of the trailer weight you would be towing.

This is a great exercise to go through and even better to be out here sharing it on the forum. You don't have to read very far around here to find folks that took the dealer or trailer dealers word on something and have ended up with bad results. Bravo to you for doing the work!

And please share pics when you get it all done, I know I said it before but this really does sound like a cool setup!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Piper One,

Thanks for your reply.

Airstream lists the "Net Carrying Capacity" of this trailer as 1,300 lbs. Thus, I assume the dry weight is 6,300. But, I will be checking these numbers and getting real data when I visit the Airstream dealer and get pictures of the capacity info on the stickers actually on the trailers that are similar (or identical) to what I'll be getting.

As regards the F60 package, since this is going to be my every day ride, I need to figure out if the potential benefits of the F60 package for my application (not a Truck Camper scenario) are worth the stiffer ride.

Again thanks. And yes, I'll post pics when this is all put together in reality!!

Cheers,

Bryan
 

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Remember that the load added to the rear axle is actually more than the tongue load due to the rear overhang. For a CCSB like mine the multiplier is approximately 1.4, so if the tongue load is 1000 lbs then the weight added to the rear end is 1400 lbs. Weight distribution will mitigate this effect but just how much it distributes to the front axle can only really be determined in practice by going to a scale after setting everything up.

As always, the real limitation is going to be your rear tire load capacity. With 1000 lbs of boat/loader/canopy and maybe a few hundred pounds of tools and other stuff in the bed (perhaps an auxiliary fuel tank? They're nice to have, but heavy with all that fuel), plus 1400 lbs from the tongue load (remember the multiplier), you're looking at around 3k lbs added to the rear end. Subtract a few hundred for the effects of weight distribution but I think 2500 additional lbs on the rear end is a safe bet. I'd see if you can find the empty rear axle weight for the truck you're considering and make sure that with an additional 2500 lbs back there you're not razor-blading the rear tire capacity.

Also consider that you may load that Airstream heavier than a lot of folks since it sounds like you'll be using it a whole lot. Having lithium batteries and inverters is great for boondocking but the weight adds up quickly. And under those conditions you'll be running with a full fresh water tank too. So make sure you use the most conservative possible estimates.

I also recommend building in the assumption that the truck will likely need air bags or helper springs on the rear end to deal with squat/sag since you're dealing with more than just the camper tongue load back there.
 

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F60: not sure exactly what that is now but have a little experience with "upgraded front suspension, RV" or something like that from when I was helping my brother spec / order his 2020, 3500. He ordered the truck with that option against my "feelings" on it. His is a 2020, HC, Crew, LB SRW 3500. VERY nice truck and for the most part rides pretty good, but if you hit the wrong kind of bumps, it'll require a visit to the dentist to fix any dental work jarred loose LOL. He sometimes bitches about it but he tows VERY heavy with it and says it is just insanely stable. Like me, he drove an older Duramax 2500 (2003 purchased new) until he got this truck and he is just so much more confident when towing heavy.

Crew cab and long bed: Probably makes for the most stable towing platform out there along with the 3500 suspension but like Piper One said, it's like driving a bus. I've borrowed it a couple of times over the past 3 years or so when my old turd was broken. Coming out of a 2002, 2500, crew, short bed, that thing is insanely HUGE! The 2020+ models are just sooooo much bigger than the older models.

I don't really have any specific advice for you other than go drive a couple if you can before you order anything. I use my truck as a daily driver, whereas my brother still has his 2003 and a company car AND he lives out in the boonies. There's no way, even though I'd love to have the 8' bed, that I could drive a CC, LB every day. It's gonna be hard to find a CC, LB on a lot these days to test drive. Maybe there's a WT gas model sitting out there somewhere that you can drive. I'd drive it around a bit and try to get in and out of some small parking lots and parking spaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jdwarren: Thanks for your feedback. Good comments.

According to the GMC print book for the 2024 2500 Duramax 4x4, the Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) are as follows: CC (Long Bed or Standard Bed) = 6,600 lbs.; Double Cab (Long Bed or Standard Bed): 6,600 lbs.

long-time dmx: I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go with a CC Long Bed. Too much truck for my daily driving, etc. Plus, that extra length will limit some of the campground sites we like to use.

Thanks.

Cheers,

Bryan
 

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jdwarren: Thanks for your feedback. Good comments.

According to the GMC print book for the 2024 2500 Duramax 4x4, the Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) are as follows: CC (Long Bed or Standard Bed) = 6,600 lbs.; Double Cab (Long Bed or Standard Bed): 6,600 lbs.

long-time dmx: I'm pretty sure I'm not going to go with a CC Long Bed. Too much truck for my daily driving, etc. Plus, that extra length will limit some of the campground sites we like to use.

Thanks.

Cheers,

Bryan
I would definitely be looking at a 3500 SRW in your situation. The additional rear end and rear tire capacity (7250 lbs) likely won't affect unloaded ride because the overload springs are only engaged when the main springs are a few inches into their travel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
jdwarren,

I'm new to this, but won't the "1000 lbs of boat/loader/canopy and maybe a few hundred pounds of tools and other stuff in the bed" as you mention, be partially distributed to the front axle (irrespective of the WDH)?

In other words, looking at the two photos I posted above of those two Rear Boat Loader racks (and my boat is a bit longer than either of those two boats), I would assume (perhaps incorrectly) that some of that load would be distributed to the front axle.

Cheers,
Bryan
 

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jdwarren,

I'm new to this, but won't the "1000 lbs of boat/loader/canopy and maybe a few hundred pounds of tools and other stuff in the bed" as you mention, be partially distributed to the front axle (irrespective of the WDH)?

In other words, looking at the two photos I posted above of those two Rear Boat Loader racks (and my boat is a bit longer than either of those two boats), I would assume (perhaps incorrectly) that some of that load would be distributed to the front axle.

Cheers,
Bryan
Some, yes. But I suspect it will only be a few hundred pounds. It really depends on the weight distribution system and how you set it up. The way I had mine I only got about 500 lbs transferred to the front axle. Remember also that these trailer tongues are often constructed from 1/8" steel and hence are not indestructible. If the trailer is only supposed to exert a 1000 lb tongue load and you set it up with a WDH designed for 2000 lbs you may end up looking like this:

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yep, understand.

So, even with no trailer hooked up and, thus no WDH engaged, some of the load from the boat, Loader rack, Canopy, and cargo in the bed (up near the Cab), will be distributed to the Front Axle, is that correct?

Cheers,
Bryan
 

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Yep, understand.

So, even with no trailer hooked up and, thus no WDH engaged, some of the load from the boat, Loader rack, Canopy, and cargo in the bed (up near the Cab), will be distributed to the Front Axle, is that correct?

Cheers,
Bryan
I'm sure some of it will be. But I'm equally sure it'll be way less than half. I'm imagining most of that will be roughly centered over the rear axle.
 
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