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Old 01-15-2014, 04:23 PM   #15
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Cyclone Dave, I'm still in the research phase of finding a 5th wheel trailer. I've been looking at the ASHS and running numbers. I'm trying to convince my self that exceeding the Gross Combined Weight Rating using the ASHS is ok. With the trailer I'm looking at I'll probably be over the GCWR by however much the ASHS weighs. I've got a call in to Joe Jamieson to find out how much the ASHS weighs. My Tow vehicle will be a 2014 or 2015 Chevy 2500HD Diesel 4WD SRW. GCWR of 24,500 and a listed 5th Wheel Trailer max of 15,800 (assuming the 2015 numbers don't change from the 14's). I really don't want to go with a DRW/dually for a truck. Any ideas on how much weight is actually on the truck axle with the ASHS?
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:30 PM   #16
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Why not go up to a 3500 SRW. If you don't want dually at least get as much truck as you can.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wg5jim View Post
Cyclone Dave, I'm still in the research phase of finding a 5th wheel trailer. I've been looking at the ASHS and running numbers. I'm trying to convince my self that exceeding the Gross Combined Weight Rating using the ASHS is ok. With the trailer I'm looking at I'll probably be over the GCWR by however much the ASHS weighs. I've got a call in to Joe Jamieson to find out how much the ASHS weighs. My Tow vehicle will be a 2014 or 2015 Chevy 2500HD Diesel 4WD SRW. GCWR of 24,500 and a listed 5th Wheel Trailer max of 15,800 (assuming the 2015 numbers don't change from the 14's). I really don't want to go with a DRW/dually for a truck. Any ideas on how much weight is actually on the truck axle with the ASHS?
Here is a formula I created for computing towing with the ASHS.
(Note: This is for late model diesel trucks with at least 3.73:1 gear ratio or better.)
**THIS IS NOT SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN. I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.**

Total Truck Wt.
Plus
ASHS Wt. 1,600
= GVW

GCWR
Minus
GVW
= Tow Capacity (TC)

Add 50% to the TC and this will give you the ASHS TC for the truck.
(i.e. (TC) 14,000 X 1.5 = 21,000 ASHS TC)

The most important factors are not exceeding the truck's GVW and GAWR. The more I have studied towing weights, the more I've become less concerned about GCWR. GCWR isn't a legal requirement anyway.

My truck's GCWR is 24,000 pounds and I've been towing a trailer for the last 4+ years that weighs over 19,000 pounds. Well over my GCWR. Please don't tell my truck that.

Make sure you have a gear ratio of 3.73:1 or better. A 4.10:1 is best.

jesilvas is correct. You could get a 350/3500 SRW truck to do the job. I don't how much more it would cost over a 250/2500. You'll have to calculate the cost on that one.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:21 AM   #18
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I'm trying to convince my self that exceeding the Gross Combined Weight Rating using the ASHS is ok.
It is not okay to exceed the GCWR of any tow vehicle, regardless of the hitch system used.

GCWR is a measurement of the capability of the tow vehicle to drag a trailer up normal hills and interstate mountain passes at a reasonable speed without overheating anything in the drivetrain. It's basically a measurement of engine power and torque, along with the leverage of the drivetrain, and the strength of the frame and chassis. It has nothing to do with brakes. GVWR considers braking power, but GCWR does not.

If you exceed the GCWR of your tow vehicle, then don't try to cross the Rockies on I-70 or I-90. Or the Appalachians on I-68 or I-64. Stay away from the Hill Country northwest of Austin, or any other terrain with lots of hills. You'll not only be the slowpoke blocking traffic up the passes, you'll also be in danger of overheating the transmission, differential(s), engine, U-joints, etc.

There are lots of snake-oil salesmen in the RV business, claiming it's okay to exceed the tow vehicle manufacturer's weight limits. Don't believe any of it unless they can show you their certification as a Professional Engineer (PE) in chassis engineering. You won't find a PE that dumb.

The ASHS sounds like a good product to allow you to drag a heavier trailer than you could with a normal hitch, especially with an SRW tow vehicle. Most SRW tow vehicles will exceed the GVWR long before they get close to the GCWR of the tow vehicle. The ASHS removes most of the hitch weight from the tow vehicle, so GVWR is no longer the limiter. But it doesn't change the GCWR, so GCWR becomes the limiter.

All the truck manufacturers make "more" truck than you need for any normal towing job. If a 250/2500 is not enough truck, then they also make 350/3500, 450/4500, and 550/5500. If that's still not enough truck, they also make medium duty trucks 650/6500 and 750/7500. And some folks think a "Class 8" heavy duty truck (HDT) is not too much truck for a big 5er or goose.

If you want to tow more trailer than your truck is rated for, then buy more truck. Compromise is fine, to have a tow vehicle that can also be used as a commuter car. But don't compromise on the weight limits of the truck. Instead, buy a lighter trailer.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:57 AM   #19
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It is not okay to exceed the GCWR of any tow vehicle, regardless of the hitch system used.

If you exceed the GCWR of your tow vehicle, then don't try to cross the Rockies on I-70 or I-90. Or the Appalachians on I-68 or I-64. Stay away from the Hill Country northwest of Austin, or any other terrain with lots of hills. You'll not only be the slowpoke blocking traffic up the passes, you'll also be in danger of overheating the transmission, differential(s), engine, U-joints, etc.

There are lots of snake-oil salesmen in the RV business, claiming it's okay to exceed the tow vehicle manufacturer's weight limits. Don't believe any of it unless they can show you their certification as a Professional Engineer (PE) in chassis engineering. You won't find a PE that dumb.
I have towed my heavy trailer both directions across I70 over the Rockies. I have towed across and up and down the Appalachians twice. No HDT or motorcoach ever passed me. I've driven over 80K on my 2008 Ram 3500 and over half of that towing. When I had my routine transmission serviced last year, the mechanic said other than the dirty oil it looked great.

Well, no PE has yet to prove drop axles to be bad for HDTs or even for LDTs. Several professional truck drivers are using drop axles. There is no evidence indicating drop axles are a bad idea. (At least I haven't found any yet.)

But there sure are a few negative opinions thrown around instead of real factual information.

Please, anybody, post the links to any qualified scientific article proving using drop axles are bad idea to exceed the GCWR. If it really is a problem, surely some qualified person has written a paper on it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:28 AM   #20
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HDTs have a sky high GCWR. It's a rating to be adhered to, especially if you are commercial, but applies to all. Pickups GCWR are NOT sky high.

Speaking of factual information, a mechanic "looking" at fluid isn't evidence that exceeding your GCWR was detrimental or not. A fluid test is.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #21
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jesilvas: The Combined Weight Rating on a SRW 3500 is the same as the 2500.

Cyclone Dave: I'm not sure I could go for an increase of 50%.


My current thinking is that a 3500 DRW is rated at 30,500 Combined Weight, with the same engine and transmission as the 3/4 ton. I'm wondering what could be so different about the truck (other than two more tires) to increase the combined weight rating by 6,000 pounds over a SRW truck. I wouldn't think there was something vastly different about the frame of the truck to rate the increase. If the ASHS weights around 1,600 pounds then I'm not going to be over the combined weight much. This still leaves me room for around 2,000 pounds of gear in the trailer, after factoring in Water and Propane.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:05 PM   #22
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Depending on configuration, the 3500s will usually have a diff rear axle and spring pack at least.
Go to a DRW and you may add overload springs too, and maybe even then another different axle.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:09 PM   #23
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jesilvas: The Combined Weight Rating on a SRW 3500 is the same as the 2500.

Cyclone Dave: I'm not sure I could go for an increase of 50%.


My current thinking is that a 3500 DRW is rated at 30,500 Combined Weight, with the same engine and transmission as the 3/4 ton. I'm wondering what could be so different about the truck (other than two more tires) to increase the combined weight rating by 6,000 pounds over a SRW truck. I wouldn't think there was something vastly different about the frame of the truck to rate the increase. If the ASHS weights around 1,600 pounds then I'm not going to be over the combined weight much. This still leaves me room for around 2,000 pounds of gear in the trailer, after factoring in Water and Propane.
Between the late models 2500 and 3500, every component between the engine and the differential are the same. With most new model trucks, the breaks are the same as well. That leaves the springs, wheels, tires and the gear ratio to cause towing capacity differences. And yes, it can be as much as 6K.

I have worked with other clients and showed them how the primary drivetrain was identical by comparing part numbers between the 2500 and 3500. A little time and research on the internet will prove it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:51 PM   #24
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Speaking of factual information, a mechanic "looking" at fluid isn't evidence that exceeding your GCWR was detrimental or not. A fluid test is.
I agree. A fluid analysis is the best way to determine engine or transmission condition. I started that program for my truck when it was new. To obtain a valid report, there must be a base analysis to compare with. Without a base analysis, (preferably between 1K and 2K miles or so) one cannot conduct a qualified test.

For all other people, the only way I know of to check the transmission is visually inspecting the pan for foreign matter, inspecting for component wear and a driving test.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:32 PM   #25
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wg5jim,

I was working on some website updates tonight and took a look at the 2014 Chevy 2500 HD 4X4. I think you read the numbers wrong. The towing capacity is 17,500 pounds less any additional weight you add to the truck. With that said, I'd tow any trailer with a GVW of 18,000 pounds and not have a worry in the world. The potenial problem for the 4X4 is exceeding the pin weight. The payload is only 3,079 pounds vs. 3431 on the 2X2. You haven't said what the trailer's GVWR is. Still, you can tow a good size trailer without the ASHS. But if pin weight is the problem, then get the ASHS and tow it.

Maybe for less costs, you could add aftermarket springs, change the gear ratio to 4.10:1 and put better wheels and tires on. You'll just have crunch the numbers.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:51 AM   #26
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wg5jim,

I was working on some website updates tonight and took a look at the 2014 Chevy 2500 HD 4X4. I think you read the numbers wrong. The towing capacity is 17,500 pounds less any additional weight you add to the truck.
The trailers I'm looking at have a GVW between 15,500 and 16,000. I haven't checked the axle weight, lacking numbers on the unloaded axle weights. I'm leaning to the ASHS because of the turning and braking.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:14 PM   #27
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Okay, after more than a day of additional research and crunching numbers, I have edited my article mentioned in the OP.

I've removed the references to "50%" towing increase. Surprisingly, there are a small number or 2500 series vehicles that could increase towing capacity more than 50% when towing with the ASHS.

I hereby withdraw the suggested formula shown above. If I could delete it, I would.

Here is an additional statement found in my article:

Basically, any 2500 series vehicle that has the identical engine, transmission and gear ratio as the 3500 counterpart is capable of towing the maximum listed towing capacity of the 3500 series when towing with the ASHS.
Note: The Ford F250 is excluded because it does not have an F350 Counterpart due to the gear ratio limitation. The F250 Power Stroke comes only with a 3.55:1 gear ratio.


All in all, it is clear that only the Chevy and Ram 2500s with diesel engines are the best optional choice for towing heavy 5th wheels and gooseneck trailers with the ASHS.

I consider it shameful that Ford limits the awesome power of the Power Stroke on their F250 vehicles.
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