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  1. #1
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    Imagine XLS / Chevy Silverado Towing Question

    Hello and thank you for reading my post. I am brand new to RVing and looking to purchase my first travel trailer. I do have some experience towing work trailers up to 16-20 feet long. We have been looking at different make/models over the last few months. My wife and I have determined that either the 2022 Grand Design Imagine XLS 23LDE or 22 MLE is the best fit for us and how we plan to use it. My wife really wants the 23LDE model but I am unsure if I have the truck for it. I spoke to the dealer and without hesitation he stated my truck is fine to tow it. I have used a online calculator and it comes up green to tow. The problem is I don't really understand all the numbers involved (I have read what the acronyms' mean but now I am lost) and will I be pushing the limit, how it impacts what I have in the truck and how much I have in the travel trailer and where all that weight sits. As like most of you, we have precious cargo that we need to protect as well as others on the road.

    We do not plan to tow a ton. 10-15 trips per year to see how the wife likes it. Mostly highway miles with some boondocking involved.

    I own a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 RST 5.3L ECOTEC3 V8 W/O DFM. Some of the numbers I pulled off the door jam sticker are GVWR 7100, GCWR 15000, RGAWR 3800, curb weight 5344, max payload 1756, an rear axle 3.23 ratio.

    As stated above I would like to buy either the 23LDE (dry weight 5597 gross weight 6995, hitch weight 524) or 22MLE (dry weight 5716, gross weight 6995, hitch weight 490).

    Can I tow either of this comfortably and safely? Or should I look for a lighter/smaller RV?

    Thank you so much for your help.
    Last edited by cnowland; 09-25-2022 at 12:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Site Sponsor NB Canada's Avatar
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    First off towing comfortable and safely can never be determined. I have complete confidence in my ability to tow anything safely but I canít determine that for you

    The very first thing you need to do is head to a ďcat scaleĒ with your truck loaded up with the way you would take it camping and weigh it
    Subtract this from the gross weight rating and you will get a rough estimate of the amount of weight you have for a trailer
    The only bad thing you canít fix about your truck is the axle ratio. Not the greatest for towing

    Good luck
    2021 Imagine 2400 BH
    2018 GMC Sierra 4x4 Crew 1840lb payload

  3. #3
    Rolling Along Tigger1's Avatar
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    First, welcome to the forum!

    I canít speak for the 23lde although its dry numbers look similar to the 22mle, but hereís what my CAT scale weight was last September loaded for camping with a full tank of gas. Maybe you can extrapolate for the 23lde or an owner can chime in.

    22mle
    Tongue- 740
    Total trailer-5960
    Combined- 12180

    My truck
    GVWR- 7100
    GCWR- 16000
    GAWR Front- 4000
    GAWR Rear- 4150
    Hitch class 4 max- 1050
    Curb weight- 5643 (from CAT scale)
    Payload- 1457(from CAT scale)
    Rear end- 4:30

    We are light packers and donít carry any significant water in the tanks. We also usually camp in MD, PA, DE, VA, and occasionally in WV to give you an idea of the terrain.

    Hope this helps your decision.
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NB Canada View Post
    First off towing comfortable and safely can never be determined. I have complete confidence in my ability to tow anything safely but I can’t determine that for you

    The very first thing you need to do is head to a “cat scale” with your truck loaded up with the way you would take it camping and weigh it
    Subtract this from the gross weight rating and you will get a rough estimate of the amount of weight you have for a trailer
    The only bad thing you can’t fix about your truck is the axle ratio. Not the greatest for towing

    Good luck
    For that year 3.23 is the only alxe ratio you can get unless you have the Max trailering package then you get 3.42

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    Thanks NB Canada. Nearest CAT scales are about an hour from me. I will need to get loaded up. Is there an easier way to get to the fully loaded weight (estimated)? Add up passenger weight and add gas weight (6 pounds per gallon) then weight gear you plan to take? Or is that just guessing as things may weigh more than anticipated?

    And there is no way I can change out the tow vehicle. If I did I couldn't afford the travel trailer because my alimony payments would crush me

  6. #6
    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    As the Wizard of Oz said, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" In this case, dealers will always tell you that your tow vehicle will pull anything they want to sell you. Also, you can't use the advertised tongue weights for anything, either. Most trucks will hit the payload max long before the max tow numbers. Calculate 12% of the trailer's GVWR for an estimated loaded tongue tongue weight. For both of the trailers you're considering this could be as much as 840 lbs. This would leave you about 900 lbs. left over for passengers, gear, and a good weight-distributing hitch. In other words, it would be close. We towed a travel trailer (another brand) of about the same weight with a 1/2 GM. It had the 5.3L in it so it turned some pretty high RPMs on the grades. Your 5.8L should do better. With a good WD hitch, though, we didn't feel like the tail was going to wag the dog, though. The second season with the trailer we traded for a 3/4-ton diesel truck and were quite a bit more comfortable towing - from both payload and power perspectives (I know, overkill for that trailer).

    Rob
    U.S. Army Retired
    2012 F350 DRW CC LB Lariat PS 6.7
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes,
    Sailun LRG tires, solar, DP windows, W/D
    (Previously in a Reflection 337RLS)
    Full time since 08/2015

  7. #7
    Site Team Second Chance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnowland View Post
    Thanks NB Canada. Nearest CAT scales are about an hour from me. I will need to get loaded up. Is there an easier way to get to the fully loaded weight (estimated)? Add up passenger weight and add gas weight (6 pounds per gallon) then weight gear you plan to take? Or is that just guessing as things may weigh more than anticipated?

    And there is no way I can change out the tow vehicle. If I did I couldn't afford the travel trailer because my alimony payments would crush me
    @cnowland -

    Check for an agricultural co-op near you. They nearly all have scales.

    A couple of forum tips:

    1) If you use "Reply With Quote" (to the right of "Reply") as I have here, folks will know to whom you are responding and that person will get a notification.

    2) You can also tag folks using the "@" symbol and their user name (as I have done yours) - they'll also get a notification that way.

    Rob
    U.S. Army Retired
    2012 F350 DRW CC LB Lariat PS 6.7
    2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes,
    Sailun LRG tires, solar, DP windows, W/D
    (Previously in a Reflection 337RLS)
    Full time since 08/2015

  8. #8
    Rolling Along Tigger1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnowland View Post
    The problem is I don't really understand all the numbers involved (I have read what the acronyms' mean but now I am lost)
    This might help with the acronym understanding:

    https://www.curtmfg.com/towing-capacity
    2010 Tundra SR5 DC 5.7L 4x4
    2020 Imagine XLS 22MLE
    Andersen WDH
    Dexter E-Z Flex Suspension Kit
    2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s
    2014 Jayco x17z Hybrid

  9. #9
    Setting Up Camp FjClay's Avatar
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    I didnít know GM made a 5.8 liter motor

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FjClay View Post
    I didn’t know GM made a 5.8 liter motor
    I am sure he meant 5.3L

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