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Old 09-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #1
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I Have a 1997 S10, 4cyl. 5 speed pickup that says it will pull 2000lb, I just got a 83 t1350 and when I hooked it up the truck would hardly pull it and it was skepping badly. It should pull this little camper with no problem. Right?

What could be my problem?


I just seen a nice Sunline 13.5 and would like to have one. Anything up to 17'. Does anyone know where I could come across a good one?
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:09 AM   #2
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Your question is more of a vehicle question than a camper quesiton.
You may have better luck on the chevy forum.

that said, there are many variables to consider.
If it says your truck will pull up 2000 lbs, then that is with your truck empty.
So how much stuff is in your truck counting you and the passengers?
Also, pulling 2000 lbs was when new and in good running condition. pulling a load will bring an existing problem to your attention.

Take your truck to a mechanic and have it checked out.
If you haven't done a tune up in some time, then it's time.
have them check the compression (this will tell you if the engine is capable).

There are too many things to list here so start with the basics and have a mechanice look at it. He will be the one to tell you what is going on instead of us guessing.

Good luck

Tim and Karen

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Old 09-20-2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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This question would be better in the towing forum, but I will add to the thread here to try and offer some help.

First, 2000 lb. is the max towing capacity. Depending on body style/2wd/4wd/rear end ratio it could be as low as 1400 lb. Tow capacity includes all the weight the truck is hauling: trailer, cargo and passengers. Definitions are really important, and, despite the implication, towing capacity is not the weight of a trailer that can be towed unless the truck is empty except for the driver--hardly a typical camping situation.

Performance of a truck will deteriorate quickly as it approaches its max tow rating. The tow rating of a 4 cyl. is much lower for obvious reasons, but GM also lowers the rating even more for a 4 cyl./5sp combination because starting a load up is very hard on the clutch. I'm not sure exactly what your symptoms are, but at 13 yr. your truck could have a number of mechanical issues:
-worn clutch = stalling or shuddering on start up
-leaking rear seal and oil on clutch friction plate
-poor traction/weak shocks = axle hop
-needs a tuneup

I've towed a 1000 lb. popup with a 3.0L/5sp Ranger and it was maxed out on hills and in head winds. With the extra weight and wind resistance your S10 may not have anything left.

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Old 09-20-2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by henryj View Post
I've towed a 1000 lb. popup with a 3.0L/5sp Ranger and it was maxed out on hills and in head winds. With the extra weight and wind resistance your S10 may not have anything left.
We had a nearly identical S-10, and it struggled badly to tow a similar popup.

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Old 09-21-2010, 09:26 PM   #5
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In my experience I figure you don't want to tow more than 75% of the capacity of the tow vehicle.

I started with towing a 1400# camper with a 4 cyl Nissan PU with a 2000# limit and even that slowed me down on hills and I couldn't keep up to highway speeds. I was always at 4000 rpm and got about 10-12 mpg.

Then I got a 6 cyl Nissan which could tow 5500#. Perfect, but you guessed it, stepped up to the T-1950, maybe 4800# and ended up back to the 4000 rpm struggle and 10-12 mpg.

Now I have the F150 which tows 7500#. Perfect and better towing milage. I'll leave things alone now.

Even if you're within your limit you may not like the performance if it's close.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:42 PM   #6
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I think the dry weight of the 83 t1350 is around 1600 pounds. Add LP and some clothes and you get too close to the so called 2000 pound capacity then add in some wind resistance which would be a lot more that a popup.

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Old 09-23-2010, 12:07 PM   #7
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I seem to detect a note of whistfulness in posts that certain campers make certain trucks slower when pulling away or uphill?

well duh....

I *surely hope* they do...

Im using a 122hp F100 to tow a 4000lb coach and Im pleased as punch with the performance.

Expectations set too high

1987 2461 behind a 1981 F100 and sometimes my 1990 F150
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