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Old 05-09-2016, 09:40 AM   #1
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Pin weight question

Searching for a fifth wheel for fulltiming, and also wanting to get the towing weights right. Is the manufacturers pin weight stated by comparison to dry weight or gvwr?
Thank you
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:05 AM   #2
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Dry. To be consertative and safe use 20-22% of the GVWR for your pin weight number. Also please remember trucks CCC is based from an empty truck with one 150 pound occupant.
How big a fiver are you considering?
As a rule of thumb,
1500 series not suited to tow a fiver
2500 series, fivers up to about 10,000 pounds gross
3500SRW series, fivers up to about 12,500 pounds gross
3500 dually series fivers up to about 16,000pounds gross
Anything heavier you should consider a MDT.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:16 AM   #3
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Manufacturers pin weight as stated on the brochure is generally for the basic unit. Any options, etc will change or affect the pin weight.

I agree with Don to use the GVW and would use 22% to estimate the pin weight. Add another 150 lbs for the 5 wheel hitch you will need.

IMO having a bit more truck is better than having not quite enough truck.

Opinions will vary depending upon who you talk to. Many will point out they have successfully towed well over for years. I consider my family too important to stretch the limits.

Do not forget to weigh your truck will full fuel, occupant and all of the stuff like tool box you will be carrying in the truck. This reduces the weight left on the rear axle for the carrying of the pin.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:30 AM   #4
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You actually need 20ish% per cent pin to tow safely. Anything else can get you in a squirrelly situation. I know with first hand knowledge that towing at or close to max pin cap on truck is not any fun. When suspension is maxed out it rides like a sled.
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Old 05-09-2016, 03:11 PM   #5
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You actually need 20ish% per cent pin to tow safely. Anything else can get you in a squirrelly situation. I know with first hand knowledge that towing at or close to max pin cap on truck is not any fun. When suspension is maxed out it rides like a sled.
Many people are very shocked the first time they actually weigh their rigs. Many are in the 25 Percent range especially full timers.

I don't think you have a concern any longer!!!
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:18 PM   #6
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No I'm not worried a bit about mine. Just know my dually was a sled towing Teton. I am running close to 25% pin. It is very stable. I'm good for 22,000#s. Singled it.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CRHyde58 View Post
Searching for a fifth wheel for fulltiming, and also wanting to get the towing weights right. Is the manufacturers pin weight stated by comparison to dry weight or gvwr?
Thank you
Generally a pin weight in a brochure can be a percent from the mfg estimated dry gross trailer weight or it can be a percent of the trailers actual scaled gross weight as it leaves the factory.
However I would contact the trailer mfg tech folks for input on a actual dry pin weight a particular unit unless you find the units shipping weight.

Some trailers may have a 15k GVWR and have a 4500 lb CCC ......and other 15k GVWR trailers may have 1500-1800 lb CCC so dry pin weights can be quite different.
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Old 05-10-2016, 04:05 PM   #8
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Basically the RV trailer manufacturer’s published/established hitch/pin weight is a mandatory requirement as described in FMVSS 571.110 & FMVSS 571.120.

It is not a dry weight, it’s a final weight and is probably determined by the trailer’s GVW as it leaves the factory. It is also very instrumental in determining the trailer’s total GAWR (s). Once the CCC is added to the GVW the result is GVWR. The hitch weight is then deducted from the GVWR. Then that value is divided by the number of axles. The axles on RV trailers normally share the total weight minus the hitch weight which is transferred to the tow vehicle. The manufacturer’s hitch weight is added to total GAWR and MUST equal or exceed GVWR.

Remember, the manufacturer’s hitch weight is an ideal weight, derived from an extremely well balanced trailer. As we all find out sooner or later it’s very difficult for owners to be able to balanced their trailers as well as the spec writers could do on paper.

Weight and balance of your new trailer can be changed by the dealer before the papers are signed. At that point they have very strict guidelines to follow. If you sign for it and then have the changes made the guidelines are broken and you’re on your own.
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Old 05-11-2016, 10:07 AM   #9
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Hmm - the pin weight (3500) on our 5er was different (heavier) than the advertised pin weight (3060) in the brochure with the addition of a bedroom slide. They called it dry pin weight.

When we add the motorcycles to the garage the pin weight (2645) is lower than the pin weight advertised in the brochure (3060) even though the GVWR is 18,000 and the loaded weight is 17,856.
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