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Old 09-01-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
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"1/2 ton towable" - really??

Is the truth out there? Where's Fox Mulder and Dana Scully when they're really needed?

Weight and capacity discussions can be quite entertaining to say the least. It's so confusing though. Trying to put together and make sense of what tow vehicle, travel and 5th wheel manufacturers and RV + TV owners tell you will get you nowhere fast. Have the wrong opinion and you could get your head blowed clear off...

The "1/2 ton towable" labels that manufacturers are using now doesn't make sense at all. Some swear by the accuracy of max. payload values published by truck makers and some say it's hooey and you must go weigh your truck to know the actual, real, legal and safe number. I'm with the latter. Then there's axle ratings, GCWR and tire ratings to consider. And what about over-stressing brakes, suspension and drivetrain?

I just came across these threads from the Forest River forum.

http://http://www.forestriverforums....uck-47063.html
http://http://www.forestriverforums....0-a-46611.html

Interesting comments. Same 'ol stuff, different forum, different day. Nobody knows for sure, nobody wins, nobody loses. You'd probably have a lot better luck at trying to nail Jello to a wall.

I just wish truck and RV manufacturers would get their poop together so we could compare apples to apples, so that there is some sort of commonality, consistency, truth and reality to weights and capacities. Nowadays they can put their own spin on it however they want and get away with it.

Being a KZ owner, I am more familiar with their products and what they do. Their line of Durango 5th wheel trailers that have a "1500 half-ton towable" designation. Their heaviest one has a GVWR of 10,800 lbs which is probably close to what the actual weight would be, meaning that the pin weight is likely to be in the 2,000 lb range and possibly higher. Will someone from KZ please step forward and list any 1/2 ton trucks that can safely tow this thing without exceeding the GVWR, GCWR or RGAWR? Oh, but wait. It's all good. They have a qualifier on the spec page that says "It is important for your safety and enjoyment that your tow vehicle be adequately sized and equipped to tow and handle the GVWR of the RV you select. Review weights and rating of your tow vehicle and consult a competent advisor for questions or advice." And they also have a link to the Trailer Life Towing Guide.

The same 1/2 ton towable issues can apply to travel trailers too.

Gonna go make me some Jello and see what I can do with it. Also gonna contact a "competent advisor" and see what he/she says. Then I'll come back and see if anyone has the right answer to all of this..
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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Still No standardized testing because tow ratings would decrease.

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130211/OEM03/302119913/pickup-truck-towing-standard-isnt-standard
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
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Comes down to the sales pitch:

Can this 1/2 ton truck pull that trailer?
Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

Will I like the way this 1/2 ton truck pulls that trailer?
Certainly. I see no reason why not. None at all.

And later, reality strikes.
Buyer's remorse.
Dissillutionment.

And then there is iRV2
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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Dave - Let us not forget the ever popular shifting of all blame from buyer to seller.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampDaven View Post
Comes down to the sales pitch:

Can this 1/2 ton truck pull that trailer?
Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

Will I like the way this 1/2 ton truck pulls that trailer?
Certainly. I see no reason why not. None at all.

And later, reality strikes.
Buyer's remorse.
Dissillutionment.

And then there is iRV2
We purchased a 31 foot ultra lite recently and pulled it with my F 150 4x4 with 3.73 gears. It did great on a flat surface lol. Drove me nuts going up and down the East Texas rolling hills shifting gears constantly. Did it "pull" it? Yes. Did it pull it well? No.

Two weeks ago purchased my first diesel. F 250 and love it. Can't wait to pull our new camper with it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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Dave - Let us not forget the ever popular shifting of all blame from buyer to seller.
Ahhhh, there in lies the rub, Steve old pal, and it aint rub for pork ribs nor bacon.
When ya mess up yesterday it is tough to admit that ya cant get yesterday back. So, the finger gets pointed outward vs inward.
Luckily, I found iRV2 before my finger even felt like being pointy. The luck of others may vary.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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Mossy cat - just think how happy you will be when ya cross over into New Mexico and Colorado! Congrats on both. Many long, safe and happy journeys!

On Edit - you are not the first to find ultralite still had weight - length - mass - wheelbase. The name may have relative meaning but does not defy physics.
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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Common sense is also needed. But where does one get common sense? I got mine the hardway. Listen to a salesman when I was young and stupid. Had one truck exactly 4 months.

My common sense says if I tow 10,000 lbs. with a truck rated to tow 10,000 that truck will be maxed out. Common sense tells me 'maxed out' is not good.

Ok here is other common sense. Wow, that 35' travel trailer is cool. And wow is it long. I probably need big big truck to pull a big big trailer.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:04 AM   #9
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I have weighed my past 2 trailers at a CAT scale. Axle weights of tow and towed vehicles are weighed. Weighs all axles first, then parked trailer in lot and weighed truck alone. I found in both cases that I was well under CGWR and tow capacity rating. It was also comforting knowing I was not killing my truck and towing safely with regards to weights. Both trailers were "lightweights". 1, a 25', the other a 31' w/slide. Dry on the larger was appx 5500#. CAT weight all loaded up (tanks empty) was around 6400#. GWR was 7200# if I remember correctly. I was appx 2000# less than CGWR of tow vehicle which was a 2001 Chevy 1500LS, 2wd, 5.3V8, with factory tow pkg. Regardless of what you drive or tow, this is invaluable info to know.
I my be wrong, but I think posted dry weights do not include A/C, propane tanks, battery(s), spare tire, any options in TT. Then add the weight of your personal items loaded. Water weighs 8#/gallon, if you've filled your fresh water tank.
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Mossy cat - just think how happy you will be when ya cross over into New Mexico and Colorado! Congrats on both. Many long, safe and happy journeys!

On Edit - you are not the first to find ultralite still had weight - length - mass - wheelbase. The name may have relative meaning but does not defy physics.
Thank you. Can't wait to test it out. I know this truck will pull a moose!
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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Being a KZ owner, I am more familiar with their products and what they do. Their line of Durango 5th wheel trailers that have a "1500 half-ton towable" designation. Their heaviest one has a GVWR of 10,800 lbs which is probably close to what the actual weight would be, meaning that the pin weight is likely to be in the 2,000 lb range and possibly higher. Will someone from KZ please step forward and list any 1/2 ton trucks that can safely tow this thing without exceeding the GVWR, GCWR or RGAWR? Oh, but wait. It's all good. They have a qualifier on the spec page that says "It is important for your safety and enjoyment that your tow vehicle be adequately sized and equipped to tow and handle the GVWR of the RV you select. Review weights and rating of your tow vehicle and consult a competent advisor for questions or advice." And they also have a link to the Trailer Life Towing Guide.
What KZ is sayin' is they know there are 1/2 tons that can handle a 10800 lb trailer and some that can't.
You can bet KZ and their attorneys know all about any legal issues involving how much weight a truck can legally carry or any legal issues regarding how much weight a truck can pull.

IMO most folks lump all 1/2 ton truck in the same box.
However our 1/2 ton trucks come with GVWR's from 6xxx up to 8600 lbs. Some have tiny 3600 RAWR/p tires and others 6000 RAWR/E tires and wheels.

The F150HD 8200 GVWR with the 4800 RAWR E tires and wheel with up to 3000 lbs can handle a 10800 lb trailer if its the right cab selection and the usual 15-20 percent pin weights.

The '00-'06 1500HD GM with a 8600 GVWR 4.10 gears 6000 RAWR E tires and wheels with payloads over 3000 lbs.

The mid to late '00s 1500 Dodge Mega Cab has a 8510 GVWR with 6000 RAWR E tires and wheels. This truck is the same chassis as the 2500.

So yeah we have 1/2 ton trucks that can carry the pin weight and pull a certain 10800 lb 5th wheel trailer.
However the std 6800-7000 GVWR 1/2 ton 3600-4000 RAWR/P tires won't.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:48 AM   #12
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Our TT has an advertised dry weight just shy of 7k. Its scale weight, load with "stuff" is well over 9k with basically empty tanks (maybe 4 or 5 gal of water and we have an average amount of stuff). I can pull it with my 1/2 ton but my 3/4 duramax does much better.
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Old 09-03-2013, 06:40 AM   #13
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If it has more than one axle you should have a at least a 3/4 ton. I see way too many suburbans and half ton trucks going down the road with thier tail dragging. When I had my old 20ft bumper pull and suburban it worked fine for short trips that's about it.
You cant go by the weight on the sticker. All your stuff you load up clothes, lawn chairs, food, cooking utensils, pots and pans, beer ect add up a bunch of weight real fast.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trooper25D View Post
I have weighed my past 2 trailers at a CAT scale. Axle weights of tow and towed vehicles are weighed. Weighs all axles first, then parked trailer in lot and weighed truck alone. I found in both cases that I was well under CGWR and tow capacity rating.
But how was the GVW compared to the GVWR? (The weight on the 4 tires of the pickup with the trailer tied on, compared to the GVWR of the pickup.) Most half-ton pickups can pull a trailer that is close to the GCWR of the pickup. But they cannot haul the hitch weight of that trailer without exceeding the GVWR of the pickup.

In my case, my GCWR is 8,400 pounds. But my TT that grosses less than 5,000 pounds wet and loaded on the road overloads the 7,100 pounds GVWR of the F-150 4x2 pickup. Trailer GVWR is 5,600, but I knew we had to load light because of hitch weight, so my on-the-road weight was 4,780 with 650 pounds hitch weight. GVW was 7,200, which exceeded the GVWR of the F-150 by a smidgen. We've towed that TT about 10,000 miles over the last two summers with no problems, but I still don't like being overloaded. Next time I'll bite the bullet and get the 3.73 rear axle which will add the Max Tow pkg which includes an additional 500 pounds GVWR.

Quote:
I was appx 2000# less than CGWR of tow vehicle which was a 2001 Chevy 1500LS, 2wd, 5.3V8, with factory tow pkg.
I was 3,500 pounds less than GCWR, but still overloaded over the GVWR of the F-150.
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