View Full Version : Hitch Weight

11-23-2004, 07:11 AM
We thank you all for your welcoming messages on the new members topic.
Our question is, does anyone know the hitch weight of the Montana 3380RL with its full carrying capacity loaded?
This is a major factor in deciding between a 2500HD or a 3500 tow vehicle.
Any othe comments on tow vehicle choice would be appreciated.


11-23-2004, 09:29 AM
Mike, the hitchweight will vary according to what options you have installed, how much, if any, fluids are in your freshwater and holding tanks, how much gear and where it is installed, etc.

It should be between 20% and 25% of the actual towing weight. So maybe we can throw some numbers at that to give you a very general idea. I don't have 2005 specs but the 2004 numbers should be very close if not identical.

The UVW is the unloaded vehicle weight. There should be a sticker on the inside of a cabinet door showing the UVW of your rig. That's without propane bottles, without battery, and without gear and fluids. So take that as a number you'll never get it down to. The GVWR is the max you should have it loaded to. Your actual weight will be somewhere inbetween. Real precise, huh?

The UVW per the brochure is 10,950. GVWR is 13,480. So, hitchweight should be somewhere between 2190 and 3370. Pretty wide margin. I'd bet your loaded weight if you weekend/vacation will be right around 12,000-12,500. So that would indicate hitchweight will be between 2400 and 3125. I'd bet it will be around 2500-2700 lbs. The brochure says hitchweight is 1840. That seems awfully low to me for that model. But maybe it carries less hitchweight than most.

Not much help. Hopefully someone with this model who also has weiged the rig will provide better information. As a point of reference, when we had a 2880RL (2001 model) the hitchweight was around 2300-2400 when loaded for a two-week vacation with full freshwater. The 2880RL is center kitchen peninsula, very similar to the 3380 but smaller.

Montana Sky
11-23-2004, 08:57 PM
The hitch weight for the 3380RL is 1,840lbs. That is according to the 2005 brochure. The spec of the 2005 Chevy for the 2500HD is 3,000lbs. On the 3500 it is 3,500lbs. I tow the 3400RL with a crewcab 2500HD shortbed with the Duramax diesel and have not had any trouble. If you went with a 2500HD ext. cab 4x4 and the 3.73 rear end on a duramax diesel you would have a max trailer weight of 15,000lbs. Same truck except the 3500 (w/ single rear wheel) would require you to have the 4.10 rear end you would have a max trailer weight of 15,000lbs. So you would be able to tow the same but the 4.10 is not going to give you the mpg that the 3.73 would on a 2500HD. Buy using the numbers that Steve gave example to, if you maxed the pin weight out that would put you at 3,125lbs or 125lbs over the RGAWR. Put 20 gallons of water in your fresh water tank and you are back under 3,000lbs on the king pin. I had found that on my 3400RL my hitch weight is right around 2,100lbs and my truck squats less than 2 inches. Good luck on your choice of a T/V. Either a Chevy or GMC would do just fine for you. =)

NJ Hillbilly
11-24-2004, 01:57 AM
Unless there was a change, I thought the Duramax/ Allison combo only was available with the 3.73.


11-24-2004, 11:27 AM
I have a 3380RL and a GMC 2500HD Crew 4X4 with Duramax/Allison. So far, I have only towed it about 20 miles to get it home from the dealer, but there were a few steep hills and it didn't seem like the truck was really working very hard (I know the trailer wasn't loaded yet). Braking was fine with the Prodigy controller. The dealer felt my truck was quite adequate (maybe they say that all the time!).

I haven't weighed it yet, but I ran the numbers with 4 occupants, some gear in the truck, and an average load in the trailer; it was still under the rated capacity of the truck. The combination rode very level; don't think the truck bed lowered more than an inch or two. I'll be weighing it in the spring when we are ready to go and have a normal load.

If you are going to use the tow vehicle for regular use (without trailer) as a first or second "car", I would go with the 2500HD. I tried an F-350 and it would have been nearly unbearable to use as an everyday vehicle. I presume the 3500 would be similar. For its capacity, the 2500HD rides fairly well.


11-24-2004, 03:28 PM
I have to wonder what was wrong with that F350. We towed with a '99 F350 4x2 and an '03 F350 4x4 as fulltimers, so it was our only vehicle. We put 69,000 on the '99 and 51,000 on the '03 and felt both rode very, very nicely. In fact, I couldn't tell the difference between the F350 and the F250 of the same years, as far as ride. I do know that in those years the Off Road versions rode hard. So maybe that's what you drove. But our F350's rode very nicely. Our current one is an F250 with the FX4 Off Road package but it rides even better than our F350's did. I can tell this one rides even better than the prior trucks but I think the improved ride is because of the new front suspension and frame on the new ones. And part of the difference has to do with the shocks. In earlier years the Off Road package had two shocks per rear wheel. The new one has just one but they're Rancho shocks. We are very, very comfortable using it as our daily driver, even on these bad Kansas City freeways. By the way, we leave the tires at the towing psi all the time. On the prior trucks that was 55 in the front, 75 in the rears. This one came from the factory with 65 all around and we haven't towed with it yet so haven't change the pressure yet. I'll probably start with 65 in the front and 80 in the rears for towing and all other driving. With 65 all around it drives and rides beautifully. Even Vicki will tell you that. Just wanted to comment since our F350's and F250 definitely are not 'unbearable' as daily drivers. Quite the contrary.

--edited-- I probably should add that both our F350's were single rear wheel, not dually. Maybe that's the difference in your experience.

Montana Sky
11-24-2004, 08:34 PM
The change came for the 2005 model year. GM has had to offer the 4.10 rear end on the 3500 to get the higher max trailer weights. The crew cab 4x4 DRW with the Duramax and Allison tranny has a max trailer weight of 16,100lbs. The 3.73 rear end of now only available on the 2500HD.

NJ Hillbilly
11-25-2004, 01:58 AM
So did they change the combined weight rating? My truck is rated at 22,000 and the truck solo with 2 passengers, toddler and a little gear and firewood weighs 8650. In reality I can 13,350 but I am already over in the truck gvw (only 280 lbs ) but a heavier trailer will add more pin weight. Did they up the truck gvwr also?

I have to ask since wife has banned me from going to dealerships(tend to come home with a new toy).:)


11-25-2004, 02:28 AM
I always like to error on the safe side. That's why we went with a 3500 dually - it will tow anything Montana makes. It is used only for that purpose and not for daily use so the width (parking/garage) is not a factor with us. The cost between a 2500 and 3500 is not that great (less than $1,000) in most brands. If cost diffenence is not a major factor, I would choose the 3500. If you don't mind the extra width, go dually. It will carry more pin weight. JMHO. Do the research and good luck with your choice.

11-25-2004, 03:03 AM
My 04 GMC 4x4 CC D/A 3500 Dually has a GCWR of 23500. I weighed it with a full tank of fuel, me and my wife and it weighed 8020 lbs.

11-25-2004, 03:04 AM
We just purchased a 2005 3500 drw with the duramax and it has the 3.73 gear. I just looked in the owners manual and in the 3500, all gas engines come with the 4.10 gear regardless if it is 2 or 4wd. All diesels have the 3.73 only. They show the 6Liter in the 2500 as a 4.10 only. The 8100 engine is listed as 3.73 or 4.10. All the ratios are listed the same in 2 or 4wd. The gcwr is 23,500. We chose the 3500 because we have heard of some states pulling campers over and checking weight for overloaded pickups and I just wanted to be safe. The 2500 is just as good for overall towing capacities and actually better in some configurations, but we have always had a large truck of some sort and are used to the parking problems. The ride on the 3500 is actually really smooth. But again that is our opinion and some people would say it rides like a truck! I think the 2500 on a daily basis for non towing use would be better, we only use our 3500 for traveling and the 2500 for everyday. I think this is really good time in truck buying because no matter what brand you like you have excellent trucks to chose from. Good luck I am sure no matter what you get it will work fine. Just make sure you wife likes the color!

Montana Sky
11-25-2004, 06:15 PM
Well now I am pretty confused. I just test drove the 2005 dually on wednesday and it had the Duramax Diesel with the 4.10 rear end. The sticker in the window stated 4.10 rear end and the 2005 brochure only shows the duramax on any of the 3500 models with the 4.10 rear end and all of the 2500HD's with the 3.73. This info is under the fifth wheel towing section on the last page. This is something I am really going to have to look into, as it will change the max trailer weight. The one thing I agree with is the GCWR is 23,500lbs on the 3500 4x4 DRW. Will have to call Chevy to find out what the numbers for the rear end really are. As for my 2500HD, if I were to gross my 3400RL out at 13,800lbs and add my truck to that of 7,250lbs that puts me at 21,050lbs and the GCVWR is 22,000lbs that puts me under the magic number by 950lbs. And that would be both truck and my 3400RL fully loaded to the gross weight.

11-26-2004, 03:25 AM
Montana Sky,
Most manufacturers place a small metal tag on the rear differential housing that states the gear ratio. Usually it is attached with one of the bolts in the cover plate. If you don't mind crawling under the truck, this should tell you what you want to know.

11-26-2004, 01:19 PM
The only thing that changes the gvw or gcwr. when you change gear ratios is the ability to start fully loaded on a 5% grade with out slipping the clutch, I pretty sure it's 5% maybe 7%. There is no other change to the truck. It's been a long time but thats what I remember from the data book.

11-28-2004, 03:21 AM
I would like to thank everyone for their feedback on the hitchweight question.
All this information is really helpfull as I continue my search for the "perfect" tow vehicle. Is there such a thing?
Thanks, Mike.

11-28-2004, 07:52 AM
Nesta, all three brands do a great job towing the Montanas. The "perfect one" is the one that has the equipment and options you want at price you are comfortable with and a brand name you trust. With the newer diesels and big gassers it's really hard to make a bad choice. Good luck.