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Old 11-17-2007, 09:32 AM   #1
chev74
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Trailering Special

My friend's 78 is a Trailering Special...

What made it a Trailering Special?
Are these rare/ worth more?

Just wanting a little info to relay to him and for my own knowledge.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: Trailering Special

I am not familiar with a "Trailering Special", but I used to have a "Camper Special" which had the "heavy-half" 7-stack leaf springs and 12-bolt differential in back and originally came packaged with a 350 (it had a 305 by the time I got it). The heavy springs accomodated a camper sitting in the box. These springs and axle are now under my '86.

Don't know if a trailering special woudl be similar? Maybe included towing package, additional tranny cooler, etc.???

Dunno...
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: Trailering Special

It has a 454 in it, and its a 3/4 ton, not a Hefty Half. Havent counted the leafs or rear end bolts
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:18 PM   #4
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Re: Trailering Special

I haven't heard of the term "Trailering Special" either. I just bought a truck similar to your friends, though. A 1979 GMC 1 ton "Camper Special" single-rear-wheel that originally came with a 454, but now has a 350.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:06 PM   #5
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Re: Trailering Special

Growing up in Texas I'd have to say it must be a towing package, maybe a transmission cooler, bigger radiator, different gearing, etc.

Or maybe it's like Ford has done with the King Ranch there. With the saddle leather interior.
(Not say check for leather interior just something different.)

Not real sure just my guesses.

Last edited by 77GMCTruck; 11-17-2007 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:10 PM   #6
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Re: Trailering Special

I've heard of the Trailering special but I dont know what it came with. I will call my 73-87 expert (my dad) he bought a 79 new and special ordered it so he should remember the stuff it came with. I'll call him in the next hour or so.


btw Get rid of the ford mirrors!!!
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Last edited by abebummy26; 11-17-2007 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:23 PM   #7
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Re: Trailering Special

My 73-87 expert said It more than likely had a 7 wire harness, hd leaf springs, locking differential, maybe a different axle gear ratio upgrade, and a 2 inch receiver hitch.
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Last edited by abebummy26; 11-17-2007 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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Re: Trailering Special

Just answered this on my board:
Trailering special got you the badging, power steering, Heavy Duty Battery, and on specific series you got bigger tires, HD springs, TH400 or 4 speed manual.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:58 PM   #9
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Re: Trailering Special

its a 4 speed manual. would this be the SM465? i have a SM465 in my 1/2 ton and this one shifts the same way, but that doesnt necessarily mean anything. So are these Trailering Specials rare?
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:20 PM   #10
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Exclamation Re: Trailering Special

The components provided in the Z82 Trailering Special package varied by model and model year, but to echo Chris, on your friend’s 1978 C20 the option included the UA1 heavy duty battery and N41 power steering, and the Trailering Special emblem. The purchase of the option also stipulated that the V01 heavy duty radiator be installed at a cost beyond the Trailering Special option cost if the sm465 transmission was chosen and air conditioning was not. This stipulation did not apply if the buyer selected either the automatic transmission or air conditioning since the heavy duty radiator was already included with those items.

At any rate, in the case of the ’78 C20, the package could be purchased with the 350/350 and 454/400 V8/automatic transmission drivetrains, or with the 350 or 454 engines teamed with the sm465 manual. Axle ratios included the 3.73, 4.10 and even the 3.21 – the latter which was exclusively available with the 454 engine. The particular engine/transmission/axle combination determined the gross combination weight rating of the vehicle/trailer combination, and this GCWR number was printed just below the “Trailering Special” script on the emblem.

On the C20, the Z82 Trailering Special package did not require the heavy duty springs, tires, and brakes that the more popular Z81 and Z83 “Camper Special” option packages included since trailer towing placed fewer demands on these components than carrying a cabover camper. As a result, the “Trailering Special” could be equipped with any of the four GVW rating packages (not to be confused with the above-mentioned GCWR) available on the C20 (6,400, 7,100, 7,500, or 8,200 lbs. GVWR). However, GM issued a special set of guidelines for 5th wheel trailer usage, which mandated that the 7,500 package be selected as a minimum for such an application (with upgrade to the maximum 8,200 package as an alternative). For this reason, the 7,500 lb. suspension package is found on most pre-1980 Trailering Special C20’s (this is my own personal observation).

Interestingly, in the early years (i.e. the 1973-1979 time frame) the Z82 option typically did not include a receiver hitch, trailer wiring harness, or even an engine oil cooler. Those items were usually available as separate options, however, and eventually became incorporated into the trailering package during the 1980’s. Locking differentials, while not a part of the package during 1973-1987, were recommended by GM as a supplement to the Z82 package for trailer towing, and as such are often found on Trailering Special – equipped trucks.

As far as rarity goes, I do not know the production stats for Trailering Specials. However, I do know that the Z82 package was introduced to GM pickups, vans, and sport utilities during the 1973 model year, and it continues to be offered to the current day. Personal observation make me conclude that the Trailering Special option was very, very rarely seen on 1973 and 1974 models, only slightly more evident on 1975 vehicles, and somewhat more common on 1976 – 1980 vehicles, although it never reached the commonality of Camper Special –optioned 20 and 30 series trucks during those years. During the 1980’s Trailering Special production took off, and today trailer special optioning is selected on the majority of pickups, suburbans, tahoes, etc.

Hope some of this info is useful…

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Old 11-18-2007, 01:29 PM   #11
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Re: Trailering Special

good info! Now this truck has factory air, the SM465, 454cu. So this has the heavy duty radiator, HD battery (not anymore- just put a new one on it).

Will there be a stamp on the axle for the gear ratio?

and when you said "The particular engine/transmission/axle combination determined the gross combination weight rating of the vehicle/trailer combination, and this GCWR number was printed just below the “Trailering Special” script on the emblem. "

Where is this located? glove box? inside the door?

There is a 5th wheel ball installed in the bed, this is stock?
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:45 PM   #12
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Re: Trailering Special

The emblem I am referring to is positioned on either side of the truck just aft of the door handles (visible in your picture). The large scripting reads "Trailering Special", but if you look closely at this emblem you will find that the GCWR is printed at the bottom just below the large script.

Actually, if I had my data books handy, I could tell you the GCWR for that truck, assuming I new which axle ratio it is equipped with.

Axle codes stamped on the axle housing will idendify the rear end; however, you can also look on the service parts identification sticker(option listing) usually found in the glove compartment or under the hood for the axle ratio. If it is a 3.21 (which was standard with the 454 on C20's and C30's) it may or may not identify that fact. However, if it is the optional 3.73 or 4.10, that will appear there.

Just for kicks, the GVW rating (not the GCWR) is listed on an i.d. plate on the driver's door jamb.

The 5th wheel hitch was not available through GM, and was therefore added later.
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:46 PM   #13
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Re: Trailering Special

heres a pic i just took:

the glove box reads: MODEL CC20903

for options:
C60
F59
KC4
MM4
P13
VF1
XPB
ZPB
Z53
Z84
64W
VR4 (weight distribution hitch - 5th wheel?)
among other things.
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Old 11-18-2007, 03:53 PM   #14
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Re: Trailering Special

A weight distribution hitch is not a fifth wheel, it is a hitch used with a below-the-bumper trailer hitch to more evenly distribute the weight of the trailer being towed.
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:31 PM   #15
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Re: Trailering Special

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraser Beatty View Post
A weight distribution hitch is not a fifth wheel, it is a hitch used with a below-the-bumper trailer hitch to more evenly distribute the weight of the trailer being towed.
ah, so just a trailer hitch. Got it.
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:03 PM   #16
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Re: Trailering Special

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev74 View Post
ah, so just a trailer hitch. Got it.
No, it goes beyon that. It should have bars that go up toward the front end to help transfer some of the trailer weight up there.

Last edited by 1968 c10; 11-18-2007 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:10 PM   #17
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Re: Trailering Special

That ball in the bed is for a gooseneck hitch, they're mainly used to pull cattle trailers and flat deck equipment trailers. A 5th wheel is completely different, it's basically a smaller version of a big rig trailer hookup.
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