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Old 03-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #1
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5 lugnuts or 6 lugnuts, does it matter when towing?

5 lugnuts or 6 lugnuts, does it matter when towing? Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:41 AM   #2
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Towing what? Was it designed for 6 and you only have 5? You going to buy?
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
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??????
Are you talking about one missing or what ? Different manufacturers use different lug patterns for different size wheels.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:01 AM   #4
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If you're talking about trailer axles, hubs and wheels, it matters a BUNCH. Most RV manufacturers severely skimp on chassis, axles and tires to concentrate on the "foo-foo" cosmetics that sell units. It's not uncommon to find the OEM RV tires running at 95% or more of their maximum weight rating when the trailer is loaded to its rated GVWR. That's one factor behind the tire failure problem that's pretty widespread with towables and the reason that many of us upgrade our tires and wheels.

So, yes, when shopping, check the sticker at the driver's side (road side) front of the trailer for GVWR and GAWRs. More GAWR relative to GVWR is your friend!!! By the way - ignore "dry weights" since you'll never be towing an unoptioned, empty, dry trailer.

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Old 03-16-2012, 08:24 AM   #5
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Chiefgeek,

Assuming you are referring to the number of lugnuts, not missing ones...

Think about it for a moment--more lugs (studs) = more carrying capacity. The ONLY thing keeping the wheels on the trailer are the lugs--if they break, the wheel falls off.

Same situation in the automotive world--4 lugs on real light vehicles up to 10 lugs on my F450.

BUT, if you mean having only 4 of 5 lugnuts on a 5-lug wheel--not good. Doable for short distances, but risky.

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Old 03-16-2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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I agree with what others have posted here. Generally speaking, more lugnuts indicates more carrying capacity.

However, technically speaking, you need to check towing and weight capacity ratings on both the tow vehicle and the vehicle being towed.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:08 AM   #7
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I'm sorry, I should have clarified. The GMC I'll be using to tow has six lug nuts per tire instead of five. A friend told me that was better for towing purposes and I'd never heard that before.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:33 AM   #8
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My `94 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 only has 5 lugs and I towed a 5,000#, 16' toy hauler with a quad in the back of the truck for 3 years with no problems. Six is better though.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:23 AM   #9
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Chiefgeek, Six lugs as people have said is a heavier rated capacity for load carried. Anything carrying weight, the more lugs the better. In rv's [tt, 5th wheel] I highly recommend 6 lug. There are 5 lug out there but the manufacturers push the limit on the rated weight capacity of the axles. Five lug wheels on a tt or 5th wheel are 15" tires, and it is hard to get a good rated 15" tire on a larger rv. I had a 5th wheel where the best I could do was barely meet the carrying capacity of it when I bought new tires, in fact I think I was a little under. Now, most larger RVs have six lug axles 16" tires and have a larger selection of tires for the rated capacity of the axles. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefGeek
I'm sorry, I should have clarified. The GMC I'll be using to tow has six lug nuts per tire instead of five. A friend told me that was better for towing purposes and I'd never heard that before.
Your GMC is a 3/4 ton and probably has 2500 on the side some place. In comparison, a 1/2 ton or 1500 truck will only have 5 lugs. Of course a 3/4 ton can carry more weight than a 1/2 ton. This is why you'll see 3/4 and 1 ton (dual rear wheels 8 lugs) pulling the larger 5ers. The more weight carrying capacity, the mores lugs.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clyon51

Your GMC is a 3/4 ton and probably has 2500 on the side some place. In comparison, a 1/2 ton or 1500 truck will only have 5 lugs. Of course a 3/4 ton can carry more weight than a 1/2 ton. This is why you'll see 3/4 and 1 ton (dual rear wheels 8 lugs) pulling the larger 5ers. The more weight carrying capacity, the mores lugs.
My chev 1500 series pick up 4x4 has six lugs.
And I have seen other chev, gmc two wheel drives 1500 series with six lugs
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguyfromcalg

My chev 1500 series pick up 4x4 has six lugs.
And I have seen other chev, gmc two wheel drives 1500 series with six lugs
I was trying not to confuse the OP with options and variations, just give him the basics for a general understading, not writing a GMC manual here
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:27 AM   #13
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More important than the number of lugnuts (5, 6, 7 in the case of some Fords or 8) is the design of the rear axle. Most 1/2 ton trucks have semi-floating rear axles where the outer axle bearing rides on the axle shaft. 3/4 and 1 ton trucks have full-floating rear axles where the weight is carried by bearings in a hub at each end of the rear axle and the axle shafts only provide the drive force to the hubs.

The full floating axle can be identified by a ring of bolts at the outer end of the axle shaft where the shaft bolts to the hub. The design of the full floating axle means that an axle shaft can be pulled and changed with the wheel still bolted to the hub and that, in case of a broken axle shaft, the wheel can't become detached from the truck since it is secured by the hub and not bolted to the end of the axle as is the case with a semi-floating rear axle.

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Old 03-17-2012, 09:51 AM   #14
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Actually it should make no difference if ti's 4,5 6 or 10 lug nuts (Yes they make 10 nut wheels)

HOWEVER.. In practice the number of lug nuts is increased as the vehicle Max GVW or Max CGVW goes up, so where as a quarter ton truck may have 5, a 3/4 six and a multi-ton 10, Though the lugs do contribute somewhat to the ability of the wheel to cary weight, fact is the hub is the primary weight carrier, the lugs do provide torque.

In my working days, oh, around 40 years ago, I often drove a Ford F-350 Custom, Dual rear wheels, 10 lug nut rims, and 10,000 Max GVW rating... Save for the right front which only had 9 lugs.. You see, we got a flat and the boss told me to change it, When I hit the lug with the tire wrench bolted to the inside fender.. It snapped like a toothpick. That was about a 1/2 inch lug.

When we next had the tire changed, at the tire shop, the technician used a 3/4 inch air impact wrench.. It did not think he was going to get it loose.. I'd used the "Stock" wrench to tighten them you see.

I can still pick up and carry over 200 pounds... Just not as far as I could back then.
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