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Old 02-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #1
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New to Towing would like some advice

This is much information but please be patient and read to help me out.

I am looking at all the stats for the Ram Trailer Tow Information Chart.

Here is what the chart says for my vehicle:

2006 2500 Ram Quad 5.9L Automatic 4 speed:

Axel Ratio 3.73 (not sure how to tell if I have 4.10 or not) It is a Big Horn but I don't think that makes a difference yet the ratings in the chart are the same for both the 3.73 and 4.10 - That I do not understand because I thought the rear ratio makes a difference in tow ability (the higher the ratio the more you can tow????)

GVWR 9,000

Payload 2,530

Base Curb Weight 6,466

BC FT 3,811 BC R 2,655

GAWR front 4,750 GAWR rear 6,010

GCWR 20,000

Max Trailer weight: 13,400

Given these stats what would the vehicle tow rating be? This is where I am confused. Is it the 20,000?

Here are some weights that need to be taken into account:

Cargo in trailer this includes: all household cargo, marine battery weight AC unit I am not toting water so I did not add that, plus LP weight. Total 1916.

Added extra Truck weight: 300 lbs. hitch, 243 Lbs. full diesel (34 gal) 400 lbs. two passengers extra cargo in bed (tools and misc.) another 200 lbs. total 1143 lbs.

Here are my trailer stats:

GVWR 11,300

UVW 9,385

NCC 1,916

If I tote water: 467 lbs. (do not plan to tote fresh water) however I did want to tote at least 1/3 or 1/2 full black water as the tank needs cleaning from setting idle for some time and was being used stationary. I wanted to scour the sides with cleaning mixture while doing my first drive to fully clean the black tank.

Can any of you that may be expert at calculating this statistics help me understand what my vehicle tow rating is and if I am exceeding the safe thresholds.

I do not want to be over any ratings regardless if others have done so. I would feel more comfortable being under if possible.

Any help any of you could give in the forum helping me determine this would be most appreciated.

Naturally before I tow, I will get weights of the fully loaded truck before hitching the trailer and then get the weight of the trailer hitched on so I can determine the actual weight of the trailer fully loaded and ready for travel as a safety measure.






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Old 02-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by first5thwheel View Post
This is much information but please be patient and read to help me out.

I am looking at all the stats for the Ram Trailer Tow Information Chart.

Here is what the chart says for my vehicle:

2006 2500 Ram Quad 5.9L Automatic 4 speed:

Axel Ratio 3.73 (not sure how to tell if I have 4.10 or not) It is a Big Horn but I don't think that makes a difference yet the ratings in the chart are the same for both the 3.73 and 4.10 - That I do not understand because I thought the rear ratio makes a difference in tow ability (the higher the ratio the more you can tow????)

GVWR 9,000

Payload 2,530

Base Curb Weight 6,466

BC FT 3,811 BC R 2,655

GAWR front 4,750 GAWR rear 6,010

GCWR 20,000

Max Trailer weight: 13,400

Given these stats what would the vehicle tow rating be? This is where I am confused. Is it the 20,000?

Here are some weights that need to be taken into account:

Cargo in trailer this includes: all household cargo, marine battery weight AC unit I am not toting water so I did not add that, plus LP weight. Total 1916.

Added extra Truck weight: 300 lbs. hitch, 243 Lbs. full diesel (34 gal) 400 lbs. two passengers extra cargo in bed (tools and misc.) another 200 lbs. total 1143 lbs.

Here are my trailer stats:

GVWR 11,300

UVW 9,385

NCC 1,916

If I tote water: 467 lbs. (do not plan to tote fresh water) however I did want to tote at least 1/3 or 1/2 full black water as the tank needs cleaning from setting idle for some time and was being used stationary. I wanted to scour the sides with cleaning mixture while doing my first drive to fully clean the black tank.

Can any of you that may be expert at calculating this statistics help me understand what my vehicle tow rating is and if I am exceeding the safe thresholds.

I do not want to be over any ratings regardless if others have done so. I would feel more comfortable being under if possible.

Any help any of you could give in the forum helping me determine this would be most appreciated.

Naturally before I tow, I will get weights of the fully loaded truck before hitching the trailer and then get the weight of the trailer hitched on so I can determine the actual weight of the trailer fully loaded and ready for travel as a safety measure.





With your max trailer weight of 13,600 you are pushing the payload numbers far more than the tow rating numbers. A fifth wheel should have 20 percent of trailer weight on the pin or in your case at least 2700 pounds plus the weight of the hitch, another 150-200 pounds for a total of nearly 3000 pounds. You are already over the payload of 2530 before you add people, dogs, firewood, bbq, bicycles, tools, diesel, lawn chairs, generator, etc.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #3
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Tow rating is maximum, GCWR minus trucks scaled ready to camp weight plus 250 pounds for the hitch. That is the absolute maximum you can have going down the road according to the vehicle manufacturer. In the real world, with a gas motor I would even consider a fifth wheel over about 25 feet long. You will just not like the drive. remember the manufacturer ratings tor towing are calculated using a flat bed trailer, not a 14 foot high slab sided fifth wheel. Wind resistance is going to kill you no matter what, so keep your weight and length to a minimum. Or plan on a lot more truck in the near future.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmtandem View Post
With your max trailer weight of 13,600 you are pushing the payload numbers far more than the tow rating numbers. A fifth wheel should have 20 percent of trailer weight on the pin or in your case at least 2700 pounds plus the weight of the hitch, another 150-200 pounds for a total of nearly 3000 pounds. You are already over the payload of 2530 before you add people, dogs, firewood, bbq, bicycles, tools, diesel, lawn chairs, generator, etc.
My max trailer weight I am calculating is only 11,300, where are you coming up with 13,600? I am a little stumped on your figure? Maybe you can help me understand how you are coming up with 13,600? Thanks
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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If you truly don't want to exceed any ratings, be aware that with your 2500 towing a 5th wheel you'll run out of truck GVWR before you approach your trailer tow rating or GCWR. As far as Dodge is concerned, their bodybuilder's guide states, "Additionally, the (truck's) GAWRs and GVWRs should never be exceeded."

Your 11,300 trailer weight, if correct, translates to a pin weight applied to the truck of 2,260 lbs @ 20% of trailer weight. This counts against your 2,530 lb payload rating, as do your 5th wheel hitch, cargo, passengers, etc. which I suspect weigh substantially more than 270 lbs (2,530 minus 2,260).

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
Tow rating is maximum, GCWR minus trucks scaled ready to camp weight plus 250 pounds for the hitch. That is the absolute maximum you can have going down the road according to the vehicle manufacturer. In the real world, with a gas motor I would even consider a fifth wheel over about 25 feet long. You will just not like the drive. remember the manufacturer ratings tor towing are calculated using a flat bed trailer, not a 14 foot high slab sided fifth wheel. Wind resistance is going to kill you no matter what, so keep your weight and length to a minimum. Or plan on a lot more truck in the near future.
I am diesel? not gas?

As far as the GCWR are you saying take the 20,000 and subtract the weight of the truck once fully loaded or travel? then subtract or add the hitch. Little confused here...?
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #7
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I have another idea and question that will resolve most of my questions? Who out there has my exact truck, and what is the maximum safe weight you are currently pulling. (Scaled wieghts) Surely there must be an RV'er out there with my exact truck size. Let me know what you are pulling max without exceeding ratings?

Thanks
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #8
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If you truly don't want to exceed any ratings, be aware that with your 2500 towing a 5th wheel you'll run out of truck GVWR before you approach your trailer tow rating or GCWR. As far as Dodge is concerned, their bodybuilder's guide states, "Additionally, the (truck's) GAWRs and GVWRs should never be exceeded."

Your 11,300 trailer weight, if correct, translates to a pin weight applied to the truck of 2,260 lbs @ 20% of trailer weight. This counts against your 2,530 lb payload rating, as do your 5th wheel hitch, cargo, passengers, etc. which I suspect weigh substantially more than 270 lbs (2,530 minus 2,260).

Rusty
Rusty isn't the pay load just the weight calculated for the bed. I did not realize the payload had to include diesel weight, people and other cargo inside the truck cab. I may be confusing myself more. I better sleep on all of this till I can clearly understand all these variables.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by first5thwheel View Post
I have another idea and question that will resolve most of my questions? Who out there has my exact truck, and what is the maximum safe weight you are currently pulling. (Scaled wieghts) Surely there must be an RV'er out there with my exact truck size. Let me know what you are pulling max without exceeding ratings?

Thanks
Even if someone has an identical truck, his/her driver, passenger, cargo, accessory, 5th wheel hitch weights and pin weight of his/her 5th wheel will differ from yours, so what may work for him/her may or may not work for you. Sorry, but to be accurate, you need to do the math with the weights of your actual truck and 5th wheel loaded up and ready to camp - or better yet, load up as above and go to the scales and get actual weights for the truck's front axle, rear axle and the trailer axles.

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:43 PM   #10
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No, the allowable payload is the truck's GVWR minus the truck's curb weight. To get 2,530 lbs, Dodge uses a curb weight of a base truck (no options) with only a 150 lb driver in this calculation. Every pound of truck curb weight above Dodge's curb weight must be deducted from the allowable payload of 2,530 lbs.

Using the figures you provided, Dodge's calculations for allowable payload are 9,000 lbs GVWR minus 6,466 Base Curb Weight (Dodge's term) = 2,534 lbs which they round to 2,530 lbs.

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #11
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Wow that sure does not allow for any extra. Shocking. Thank you for helping me to understand this. That means I cannot put any extra weight in the truck over 270 lbs, unless I lessen the trailer weight. So the figure I need to lighten is the 11,300. That makes perfect sence. So my goal would be to get the 11,300 down as much as possible to keep the pin wieght and truck weight withing safe ratings. Give me an amen if you think I am understanding you correctly. Regardless I will take your advice and get actual scale weights of everything combined and seperate to make sure I am not exceeding ratings. Thank very much !!! :O)
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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That means I cannot put any extra weight in the truck over 270 lbs, unless I lessen the trailer weight. So the figure I need to lighten is the 11,300.
Actually, in this case, you need to reduce the pin weight of (assumed @ 20% of trailer weight) 2,260 lbs. You can do this by reducing the trailer weight of 11,300 lbs (assuming the 20% pin weight figure is constant and correct) or by reducing how much you load up front in the trailer to reduce the 20% to something like 17%-18%. Everything ahead of the trailer's axles is contributing to the 2,260 lbs pin weight, and the farther ahead (or closer to the truck) the weight is, the greater the contribution. So, a lighter trailer or more weight toward the rear of the trailer will reduce the pin weight.

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Old 02-29-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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Awesome thought. So my plan will be to definitely reduce the trailer weight, and what weight I do put inside the trailer that I can keep toward the rear of the trailer. If I decide to carry some water in the black tank for scrubbing while driving that will unfortunately ride ahead of my trailer axels, but I will comensate for that by lightening the load. Thank you for your advice. Being new to this I do not have the knowledge of such things, so any advice helps. An example of this is keeping the weight in the back of the trailer behind the axels...would have never in a million years thought of that and how it would help. Great Stuff !!!!!!
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #14
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My max trailer weight I am calculating is only 11,300, where are you coming up with 13,600? I am a little stumped on your figure? Maybe you can help me understand how you are coming up with 13,600? Thanks
You are correct. My bad. I read the wrong numbers for your trailer. At the end of the day it makes little difference as you are still pushing the trucks payload and gvwr even at 11,300 trailer weight. It is a rule of thumb that at least 20 percent of the trailers weight (and even a better number would be twenty five percent) is on the pin and you come out to 2260 -2700 pounds pin weight. The hitch is another 200 or so pounds and a tank of diesel weighs 200 pounds, the absolute lightest weight you will ever have with the truck towing this trailer at gross weight.

Adding weight behind the axles will help a little but it does not change any numbers significantly and will only lower at the pin a few pounds, probably not enough for you to still take the family and supplies in the truck and be under gross weight. You may have as little as 1000-1500 pounds payload available after loading the family, all your camping gear in the truck and accounting for a hitch weight of up to 250 pounds.

Many fifth wheel and travel trailer manufacturers plan for the pin /tongue weight in their calculations of tire and axle capacities. Keep getting the pin lighter, in your case in excess of 700 pounds lighter, by placing more and more in the rear of the coach and you may find you are now at or exceeding the tire and axle loading capacities. Also, you want both axles to carry about the same load, the rear axle and tires should not be carrying substantially more weight than the front axle/tires. Look at the axle capacity and tire weight rating for the trailer. It is not at all uncommon for a trailer with a gross weight of 11300 to have two 5000 pound axles and tires rated for around 2800 pounds each, leaving you very little capacity should you try to remove substantial weight from the pin since the manufacturer has concluded the truck will carry the pin weight therefore the axles and tires do not need to include that weight capacity.

Why not look at a 3500 with at least a 4000 pound payload, that would go a long way to solving the issues presented?
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