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Old 08-04-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
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Close to Maximum Rating

We just took our maiden voyage with our new-to-use TT. We towing with a Ford Sport Trac with a max tow rating of about 5000 lbs. On our way to the campsite I stopped at a certified scale and weighed the TT (without vehicle). It turned out to be 4630 lbs.....fully load with LP, gear, etc.

I'd like to know others thoughts on running so close to the maximum tow rating.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:02 PM   #2
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You dont need to be too worried about tow ratings (depending on the vehicle ofcourse) once you learn how they come up with the numbers. However the numbers you do need to be concerned about are all your axle weights. Leave yourself some room with those numbers.
...and to answer your question, i surpased my tow rating by 2400lbs in my non tow package equiped minivan lol.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:07 AM   #3
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Shep13 you are my hero.

To the OP,sounds like you are close. But look into what your trucks gcwr is and the trucks gvwr.

And check your trailers gvwr.

But I think you will be ok.

But on the other hand don't take my word. But the weight police will chime in soon.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:44 AM   #4
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Your max tow rating , is calculated with only a 145lb driver in the vehicle. So you needed to weigh the tow vehicle as well.
Towing in excess of GCVW, can lead to problems with the cooling system, transmission and brakes.
How do I know this , I've towed over GCVW, replaced a rad one trip and with a heavier duty rad still overheated, and spent 2 hrs roadside waiting while things cooled and the rest of a 104f day driving with the A/C off, to keep from overheating again; with one very ...... off DW.
So if telling people not to go over there weight limits, to avoid my repeating my mistakes, makes me one of the weight police, so be it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:07 AM   #5
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We have a Ford F150 5.0 V8 super crew; the ultra lite trailer is 31 feet long- states 6012 lbs for dry trailer wt; I don't think my truck will handle this well; any thoughts?
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:46 AM   #6
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Did you unhook the trailer so that the trailer jack and axles were on the scale and nothing else?
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #7
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Tow ratings are not an exact science. Every type of car is different as some are under rated and some over rated. If pulling your tt causes your tv to overheat,blowup and pushed all over the road then you past its limits! In general, i dont think off road suv/trucks make good tv anymore regardless of torque or cooling capacity, while some vehicles like minivans, full sized sedans are able to handle more than they advertise.
The op is probally at his limit with his sport track based on my pervious experience with my old explorer.
Good tv have high payload, low to the ground, long wheelbase and a firm suspension.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:03 AM   #8
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I think where the prooblem comes in is during a panic stop when someone pulls out in front of you, etc.

I'd suggest making a few fast stops when no one is close so you can understand how your rig will react in a hard braking situation.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
Did you unhook the trailer so that the trailer jack and axles were on the scale and nothing else?
I didn't have time to unhook at the weight station with truckers zooming around. But, I doing an approximation on the weight and I think the 'margin' will put me right at the 5000 lb.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:17 PM   #10
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But on the other hand don't take my word. But the weight police will chime in soon.
Yah, I'm starting to think that if your TV name doesn't start with Peterbilt, the weight police will rip you a new one for being dangerously overweight. :-)

For me the only thing that i didn't care, when towing heavy, was some of the rolling country hills. I found i needed to gain a little speed to get up the other side.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:56 PM   #11
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Yah, I'm starting to think that if your TV name doesn't start with Peterbilt, the weight police will rip you a new one for being dangerously overweight. :-)
Not true. I and several others simply want the posters to know what the real world numbers are since the truck and trailer manufactures inflate their numbers so that they can maximize the fictitious tow ratings.

Knowledge is truth.

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Old 08-05-2013, 09:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clarkgriswold View Post
We towing with a Ford Sport Trac with a max tow rating of about 5000 lbs. On our way to the campsite I stopped at a certified scale and weighed the TT (without vehicle). It turned out to be 4630 lbs.....fully load with LP, gear, etc.

I'd like to know others thoughts on running so close to the maximum tow rating.
The factory rating is based on an empty truck with no options and only a skinny driver. Therefore, for 99 percent of us, it's optimistic.

Your actual tow rating is the GCWR of your tow vehicle minus the wet and loaded weight of the tow vehicle with hitch but without the trailer tied on. So your actual tow rating is probably closer to the 4,630 pounds weight of your TT than you thought.

Your actual tow rating is an indicator of the weight your tow vehicle can pull at a reasonable highway speed without overheating anything and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic when climbing a grade.

A more serious towing limit is the GVWR of your tow vehicle. The GVWR minus the weight of the wet and loaded tow vehicle is the maximum hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. The GVWR limits the weight of passengers, other cargo, and hitch weight you can have without overloading the suspension, axles, and tires of your tow vehicle.

When you weighed the trailer, you should have weighed the wet and loaded entire rig on a 3-pad truck scale. Add the weight on the front and drive axles of the tow vehicle and compare to the GVWR of the tow vehicle. Compare the gross weight on all the axles of the rig to the GCWR of the tow vehicle.

If you don't exceed either the GVWR or GCWR of the tow vehicle, then the weight of the trailer doesn't matter - other than for use during happy hour bull shooting.

You use the weight of the trailer only to help in matching trailer to tow vehicle. But after you own both the truck and trailer, then you need the weights on the various axles to compare to the GVWR and GCWR of the tow vehicle. The CAT scale doesn't give you tongue weight nor trailer weight. It gives you the front and rear axle of the tow vehicle plus the weight on the trailer axles. But that's all you need to determine if you are overloaded over either the GVWR or GCWR of the tow vehicle.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:22 PM   #13
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since the truck and trailer manufactures inflate their numbers so that they can maximize the fictitious tow ratings.

Knowledge is truth.

Ken
I respectively disagree. There is a certain liability by overstating numbers.

I also know a lot of engineers, and they all like to over engineer their designs.

So, I feel the opposite is true.

I would tell you a truck tows 5000 when i know my design stress levels show 6000. This way you are less likely to break it and sue me for negligence.

Truth is subjective, based on prospective.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ken90004 View Post
Yah, I'm starting to think that if your TV name doesn't start with Peterbilt, the weight police will rip you a new one for being dangerously overweight. :-)

For me the only thing that i didn't care, when towing heavy, was some of the rolling country hills. I found i needed to gain a little speed to get up the other side.
Its all fun and games as long as nothing happens. Many people go for years (decades) without need for a panic stop, or encountering 50mph crosswind, etc. The OP will 'probably' be fine if nothing happens. It'll all be OK under normal circumstances.

My suggestion for those who think overloading is OK, reduce some weight by throwing away your fire extinguisher and smoke alarms. You'll 'probably' be OK without them.
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