Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
WOW! So much info to be weighed (pun intended).
Manufacturers give you their numbers to cover their butts. They do extensive testing to make sure that you do not get hurt or killed following their reccommedations. They also test, as stated, for pulling on inclines and at extreme heat conditions, to make sure their product wont fail for their ratings.
Therefore, a consumer, armed with manufacturers tested numbers for EXTREME conditions, can make an informed CHOICE to tow slightly overweight (or not) within the conditions they know they will encounter. I will NOT encourage anyone to tow overweight, without knowing all I can, and since I can NEVER know your experience, I DO NOT RECCOMMEND towing overweight! BUT, it CAN be done safely!
Ken towed knowing he was overweight after weighing HIS knowledge of where he was going and his experience. He survived and is here to give us his story. I'm sure he took into account brakes for the trailer, speed traveling, roads, and other varibles. He will make any necessary adjustments and upgrades as he sees necessary.
I too did tow overweight and make NO apologies for it to anyone. I got a 2007 Salem 27' toyhauler for a STEAL! Had a 1500 Z71 4x4 extended cab with tow ratings of 7500 lbs. Probably the only time I towed within the limits was towing it home from the previous owners home PROBABLY towing too fast. Like stated here within this forum, the trailer weight increases EVERY trip! Add this and that and hardly take anything out. Add toys, and that put me over my TRUCKS rating, BUT - NOWHERE NEAR the trailers max GVWR!
Research here gave me information to weigh myself. I took the topper off immediately as I found out it put me over the rear axle weight rating. I changed tires from P-metric to LT to increase stability. Axle weight ratings were more for trucks that had the SAME axle, but were equipped with LT tires from the factory! I found the numbers back then. Just an empty trailer put me near my RAWR without the topper!
Having access to scales (at work) to use as long as I want, I was able to weight the trailer empty and loaded with 2 different toys (1 - 850 lbs, the other 1,200 lbs) and see the differences in tongue weights - it was HEAVIER empty, as the toys lift the tongue. Weighed the truck with full tank of fuel and near empty, with tools and without. Weighed the truck and trailer together - with and without the WDH connected. Was able to put front axles on scales and adjust hitch as long as I wanted - till I felt I had it right. Took them to scale each time I felt the weights had changed enough to readjust the hitch. I was able to weight the truck and trailer anyway you can think of, and probably did.
Trailer brakes and a controller adjusted correctly was a MUST - the truck stopped better WITH the trailer than without. Still, I learned HERE to tow slower for increased fuel effiency and safty (tire ratings).
Experience towing a bike trailer (with brake axle) loaded w/2 bikes, and a utility trailer (NO BRAKES) overloaded with 2 banded bundles of plywood for work (I used to do hardwood floors), that following distances increase, and speed MUST be decreased. Balance is key for proper towing, you have to follow the 12-15% trailer tongue weight (not talking 5th wheel here) for proper handeling.
My experience told me that I could tow my new to me Toyhauler here in Florida to the places I had been to, with my bike trailer I had been using as a camper/tent. I would encounter hills that were akin to large overpasses, not anything like what I saw in the mountains or even foothills of NE Ga. Roads I traveled with it were long, flat, and mostly straight. I figured I would not strain the truck as much as if it were at manufacturers numbers in extreme conditions. I chose to, and did tow overweight knowing there was a safty buffer built in to meet the extreme condition towing numbers the manufacturer set. Truck never had a problem, but was slow to reach highway speeds getting on an uphill freeway on ramp (60 -63 mph, is my towing speed for the Toyhauler - slowest top of ramp speed towing was 53). I was still above MINIMUM traveling speed for the highway (45mph). Funny thing is - IF my truck had EITHER the bigger 6.0 motor OR the 4.10 gears, I would have been right AT manufacturers numbers! IF I had both, I would have been under those numbers. I chose to tow anyway, BUT chose the conditions. NEVER in rush hour traffic, always giving myself a buffer zone I was comfortable with, and at speeds I was comfortable with.
I knew also that I wanted to tow my Toyhauler, some day, wherever I wanted to and looked to upgrade, which I did! Now the trucks numbers are well above the trailers MGWR, and I am nowhere near those numbers yet.
Point I have is: SOMETIMES ya got to do what ya got to do - IF you believe it is SAFE for you, your family, and EVERYONE you will travel near! WEIGHT YOUR OPTION CAREFULLY - I DID! Thanks to the scales at my work. You MAY come to a different conclusion, that is why people come HERE to IRV2 - to get info to make an informed decision, NOT to get beat up by the Weight POLICE! I know why the Weight POLICE will not condone or even reccommend towing overweight - THEY DON'T WANT LIABILITY to fall back on them. I wish there were easier ways to give advice other than "DON'T DO IT"! They don't mean to come across as 'party poopers' (for lack of an acceptable name) but are giving their own experienced opinions from what they know about you and your info you have given. Sorry for the long reply.
Bob and sometimes - Nina - a Staffordshire Terrier/a SPOILED pit and her kitty Spaz
2006 Dodge SLT 2500 4x4 Cummins Quad Cab w/AT and 3.73
2007 Salem Sport LE 26FBSRV (TH) w/ my Victory Motorcycle in it or a EZ GO Shuttle cart.