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Old 01-10-2019, 01:37 PM   #1
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Politically Correct Payload?

Pickup trucks play a large role in the RV world. Obviously they make great tow/haul platforms for Truck-campers, Travel-trailers, and Fifth wheel campers.
Since my limited experience (and simple common sense) is with slide-in type truck campers, that is what I base the following comments on, but in many ways it applies to all types of towable/haulable RV's and the vehicles that move them.

The big conundrum seems to be with matching a slide-in camper to a pickup truck.
Facebook, Truck Camper Magazine, and several RV forums all feature articles or threads with long detailed essays on the magical & mystifying art of matching a camper to a truck.
The difficulties people have when accomplishing this simple task have always amazed me so perhaps some of you out there can help me understand it better...

Every vehicle manufactured in North America in the last 15 years has a Tread Act sticker on the B-column. The sticker states the exact payload allowable for that specific vehicle.

Any truck camper I have ever seen also has a VIN sticker stating the dry weight of the camper.
Plus camper manufacturer's web sites and sales brochures always post the dry weight of their equipment.

With the wonders of the internet even a fool like me knows that the rule of thumb is to add 500 to 1000 pounds to the camper's dry weight and you will have a good idea of how much its loaded and ready to camp weight will be.

Sample camper dry weight sticker pictured below showing a 2910 Lb dry weight, (plus we add 800 Lb for gear) = actual weight of 3710 Lb...


.
.
Sample truck payload sticker shown below stating a 3823 Lb max permissible payload of the truck...



In the example above the camper fits the truck's payload rating rather nicely and it didn't require much effort (or intellect) to figure it out.
So my question is why all the confusion about matching a camper to a truck?

As a rookie truck-camper shopper myself, here are a few Fun-Facts I learned early in the game, before I bought my first rig...

* If its on a dually truck it 'might' be overloaded, if its on a single rear wheel truck it's almost 'definitely' overloaded.

* Overloaded vehicles are dangerous and against the law.

* The tires & rims your truck ride on are usually the limiting factor on how much weight the rear axle can carry.
For most SRW vehicles that's an anemic 7000 pounds max!

* Installing Air-Bags or jamming steel wedges between the shackle pack and the lower overload leaf do NOT increase the GVWR of the truck.

* After-market equipment such as Air-bags, Helper springs, Anti-sway bars, etc... all suck up precious payload while doing nothing to increase the truck's GVWR.

* A CAT Scale is your friend. Its a good place to get a 'reality-check' if you already have the truck but no camper yet, and a great place to go if you already have the complete rig and are experimenting with the art of load balancing.

Unfortunately for the RV rookie, the above items are seldom mentioned pre-purchase in the name of spoiling the sale, and seldom mentioned post-purchase in the name of political correctness.
<go figure>

While I completely understand why a salesperson would sell a customer an improper camper-to-truck match up, I cant for the life of me understand why any consumer would buy it?
In this age of the information highway pre-sales research & knowledge is very abundant, so my question is; why are mismatched truck to camper issues so abundant and such a hot topic lately?

Recently RV forums and magazines have been loaded with articles trying to help people salvage their RV investment.
People that confidently spent their life savings on a new RV and placed something like a Lance 975 on the back of their RAM 2500 and swear that "she rides like a dream"
(Yeah... Just add a set of air-bags and you'll be fine)

So answer me this. . .
Why purposely buy a truck (or camper) that makes for a grossly overload rig and then defend that foolish action (and waste of money) vehemently?

Baffled in Buffalo,
-Jake-
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:01 PM   #2
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Ignorance is bliss; spending more money to insure a safe, and safe-handling vehicle is not in many peoples plans. Truck campers and high-profile RV's must overcome wind resistance, this is not included in any calculations or on-line RV weight calculators that i'm aware of today. This wind resistance is pushing weight onto the rear axle of a pickup with a truck camper, which increases actual rear axle weight when driving at highway speeds.


There is an ongoing thread here about a man towing a 40' trailer with an older Toyota Tundra. Same ideology.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:24 PM   #3
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Here a conundrum using YOUR numbers
Payload 3823#
Camper dry plus 800# gear----3710#


That only leaves 113# for:
All people & stuff in truck cab (bags, door pockets, seat back pockets, under the rear seat, in the floor/on the seats ----dogs/cats/birds etc)


So there goes your simple weight rating understandings


***Many folks use AXLE Ratings/Tire Max Load Ratings to safely utilize their trucks capacity






Wind causes Resistance.....drag....which affects performance
Wind does NOT ADD weight to truck/trailer
14.7#/sq inch at sea level is already there.

Wind speed does not increase the weight
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:57 PM   #4
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Let me throw more confusion int to the mix:


1. If you run heavier tires or rims, is this really taking away from payload? This would also apply to helper springs, stabilizer bars and shocks since they are not suspended.


2. If you opt for a lighter engine up front, do you really gain payload in the rear?


3. If you change a tire or suspension component for a softer unloaded ride, does your payload sticker still apply? What about changing out to heavier rated springs and wheels?



If you don't want to think about how weights interact with each other, use the door jam sticker. If you need more capacity but want to do it safely, there are ways to get it without replacing the truck.
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:09 PM   #5
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The weight you carry is only one of the four things you are asking your truck to do when you load it.
1. Yes, the truck needs to carry the weight - Suspension, wheels and tires.
2. It also needs to move the weight -- Engine, trans and final ratio.
3. It needs to stop -- brakes.
4. It needs to cool itself -- radiator, engine oil and trans fluid coolers.
Put bigger wheels and tires on it and you have not touched the last three of these four factors, and barely touched the first.
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:19 PM   #6
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All good reply's listed above ^ ^ ^

Experienced truck camper people running older equipment can work miracles with their pre-Tread Act rated equipment.
However, my statements are directed toward the rookies (like me) buying relatively new or first time equipment.

My point is this. . .
I could have purchased a 2500, 3500, 4500, or a 5500 vehicle.
I wanted a small 4 season camper, I guesstamated a total camper weight of about 3500 pounds.
Thus why would I buy a truck with less payload capacity than at least 3800 pounds to put my camper on?

Second scenario...
If I already owned a pickup truck and I knew what my payload was, (for example a nice F250) why would I intentionally buy a camper that obviously overloads the vehicle?

There are all sorts of Class-3 and 4 trucks to choose from out there, and there are full featured campers in today's market that start as low as 1500 pounds dry weight.

Additionally, web sites like Truck Camper Magazine provide rookies like me with absolutely everything they need to make safe, intelligent, RV buying decisions, yet somehow people continue to enjoy blowing way, WAY past any rational payload numbers.

So next time somebody starts bragging about how well their Toyota Tundra handles their Host Rainier truck camper, please post a link here so I can ask him how he did it.

But I guess with a rice-burner anything's possible...



Regards,
-Jake-
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:38 PM   #7
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Here is a personal example:


2005 Ford F250, extended cab, short bed, 4wd, diesel, 275/70R18 tires on 18" alloy wheel option, camper package (heavier front spring rate, upper overload rear springs, rear stabilizer bar) stickered at 9800 lbs and registered at 12,000 lbs GVWR. Empty weight was 7250 lbs with 2750 lbs on the rear axle.


Loading a 2012 Arctic Fox 811 with supplies and water and two occupants resulted in 11,500 lbs with 7000 lbs on the rear axle with no front axle unloading. Adding upper and lower Torklift StableLoad's leveled out the truck and eliminated sway or porpoising. Frame tiedowns, turnbuckles and rubber mat were required to secure the camper.



Adding an 8000 lb 20' enclosed trailer to the rear resulted in 8000 lbs on the rear axle with no unloading of the front axle. Firestone airbags inflated at 50 psi were required to keep the truck level. 19.5" Vision Heavy Hauler 81 rims, 245/70R19.5 tires and Rancho RS9000XL shocks were added to stay within ratings and dampen the extra weight. A Torklift SuperHitch and SuperTruss were required to clear the camper overhang and a Harbor Freight WDH to balance out the 1000 lb tongue weight.


This setup ran great for 30,000 miles traversing the western half the US between the Mississippi River and Pacific Coast and Mexican and Canadian borders
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bedlam View Post
1.) Loading a 2012 Arctic Fox 811 with supplies and water and two occupants resulted in 11,500 lbs with 7000 lbs on the rear axle with no front axle unloading.

2.) Adding upper and lower Torklift StableLoad's leveled out the truck and eliminated sway or porpoising.

3.) Adding an 8000 lb 20' enclosed trailer to the rear resulted in 8000 lbs on the rear axle with no unloading of the front axle. Firestone airbags inflated at 50 psi were required to keep the truck level.
19.5" Vision Heavy Hauler 81 rims, 245/70R19.5 tires and Rancho RS9000XL shocks were added to stay within ratings and dampen the extra weight.

4.) This setup ran great for 30,000 miles traversing the western half the US between the Mississippi River and Pacific Coast and Mexican and Canadian borders
1.) Putting 7k on the rear axle of a short-bed without unloading the front axle is no simple task.

2.) I've always had a warm spot in my heart for 'upper' stable-loads.
I had an 07 F250 with the upper over-load leaf. They always seemed so much more workable and customizable than my 3500 RAM's single, stubby, lower overload leaf.



3.)Adding that trailer to the mix puts the rig in a substantial GCVW classification. The old truck's powertrain served you well.

4.) An impressive area of operation indeed!
I'm pretty much limited to the Northeastern pocket of states: NY, NJ, PA, VT, & NH.

Thanks for jumping in with the detailed reply.
It made the thread interesting!
Regards,
-Jake-
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Here a conundrum using YOUR numbers
Payload 3823#
Camper dry plus 800# gear----3710#


That only leaves 113# for:
All people & stuff in truck cab (bags, door pockets, seat back pockets, under the rear seat, in the floor/on the seats ----dogs/cats/birds etc)


So there goes your simple weight rating understandings


***Many folks use AXLE Ratings/Tire Max Load Ratings to safely utilize their trucks capacity






Wind causes Resistance.....drag....which affects performance
Wind does NOT ADD weight to truck/trailer
14.7#/sq inch at sea level is already there.

Wind speed does not increase the weight
You stated air pressure, not wind pressure.
You are right. Wind does transfer weight though.
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