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Old 10-01-2015, 08:21 AM   #1
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Dazed and Confused...towing capacity

Hi All, obviously a newbie to this towing thing but I've been trying for the past few weeks to wrap my brain around this as we are in the market for an upgrade. We currently haul a popup (GVWR 3500) and looking to upgrade to a TT, looking at the Starcraft 27BHU (new model 2016). TV ratings are below.

TV - 2006 Ford F150 XLT 4WD Supercab
TV GCWR - 15000
TV GVWR - 7200
TV Payload - 1729
TV WB - 145
TV AR - 3:73
TV RGAWR - 3850
TT GVWR - 7750
TT Tounge Weight - 600
TT Lenght - 33' 3"

If I understand all the calculations and weights correctly here's what I am looking at and these are best guess estimates. (I am hoping to get to a scale with TV only in the next day or so as I don't have TT yet) My payload is 1729 capacity, between me and the fam and other camping supplies loaded in TV we are looking at around 1000 so brings me down to 729 available. We are also looking at a WDH (most likely Hensley or ProPride as safety for us out weighs cost), so lets add another 100lb for that, now down to 629 available. My question is do we now also have to account for the weight of the loaded TT hitch weight as part of the TV GWVR and does the addition of a WDH change anything with this? Also, how do i determine if the axle can support the trailer as well? Seems like to accurately determine that you need to have both TV and TT and get weighed but don't have that luxury? I think I know the answer that this trailer is probably out of scope for the TV but just want to confirm as I have no experience towing larger TT and would greatly appreciate some of the expertise on this forum. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:33 AM   #2
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Short answer- yes you have to account for the TT tongue weight in the GVWR of the tow vehicle. The WDH will spread a little of the tongue weight amongst the axles of the whole combo but not enough to make a difference really since some of it heads to your steer axle. You will likely be over. The dry tongue weight of 600lbs will likely increase at an alarming rate. I would bet on closer to 800lbs depending on how you load.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:10 AM   #3
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A 33' trailer is really a big trailer for a 1/2 ton truck. It will be difficult to get everything dialed in to eliminate trailer sway. Especially if driving the interstate where semi trucks will be zooming by. As they pass there is an air wave that will affect your rig.

Good luck
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:00 AM   #4
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BTDT with a 31' 7300lb TT and a 2008 F150 5.4 4sp 3.73 with 1775lbs of payload. The truck struggled on the power side and I never had the feeling the truck was in complete control. I also put Bilstien 4600 shocks on, had air bags and ran D rated Coopers on it.
I would look for a shorter trailer and lighter as well. A 7000lb TT should have a TW of around 875lbs @12.5%. Add another 50-60lbs for the Hensley over a standard WD hitch.
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
It will be difficult to get everything dialed in to eliminate trailer sway.
Good luck
So would a Hensley or ProPride have little to no effect controlling sway due to the size?
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmb1219 View Post
Hi All, obviously a newbie to this towing thing but I've been trying for the past few weeks to wrap my brain around this as we are in the market for an upgrade. We currently haul a popup (GVWR 3500) and looking to upgrade to a TT, looking at the Starcraft 27BHU (new model 2016). TV ratings are below.

TV - 2006 Ford F150 XLT 4WD Supercab
TV GCWR - 15000
TV GVWR - 7200
TV Payload - 1729
TV WB - 145
TV AR - 3:73
TV RGAWR - 3850
TT GVWR - 7750
TT Tounge Weight - 600
TT Lenght - 33' 3"

If I understand all the calculations and weights correctly here's what I am looking at and these are best guess estimates. (I am hoping to get to a scale with TV only in the next day or so as I don't have TT yet) My payload is 1729 capacity, between me and the fam and other camping supplies loaded in TV we are looking at around 1000 so brings me down to 729 available. We are also looking at a WDH (most likely Hensley or ProPride as safety for us out weighs cost), so lets add another 100lb for that, now down to 629 available. My question is do we now also have to account for the weight of the loaded TT hitch weight as part of the TV GWVR and does the addition of a WDH change anything with this? Also, how do i determine if the axle can support the trailer as well? Seems like to accurately determine that you need to have both TV and TT and get weighed but don't have that luxury? I think I know the answer that this trailer is probably out of scope for the TV but just want to confirm as I have no experience towing larger TT and would greatly appreciate some of the expertise on this forum. Thanks in advance.

Take the truck loaded as you would to a scale. From the GVWR subtract the weight of the loaded truck. Subtract 100 lbs. That will give you the total amount of weight you can add to the truck including the pin weight of the trailer.

Take the GAWR (rear) and subtract the loaded weight of the rear axle. Subtract a 100 lbs for a hitch. That would be the approximate total weight you can add to the rear axle.

The equilizer hitch will move some weight from the rear axle to the front axle and trailer axles so in all likelyhood the GVWR will be the limiting factor. The next calculations are approximate because of the weight distribution.

Take the lessor weight of the GVWR or GAWR calculations above and divide that by .15. That number would be the approximate GVWR of the TT you should consider.

I am having some issues with the tongue weight. It appears that the weight is for an empty trailer. Calculating 15% of the GVWR will bring the tongue to just about 1200 lbs. I have found through experience that the trailer will soon be closer to the max if not over than close to the empty. Things have a way of piling up in the available storage spots.

Water, propane and any accessories you add to the trailer such as a generator are not included in the dry weight.
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:50 PM   #7
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kmb - a Hensley or ProPride won't be enough help once you try to go over 35-40 MPH or head downhill. Too much trailer.

Another reason for a heavier TV is to make sure you can get your rig stopped when you really need to!
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:24 PM   #8
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My question is do we now also have to account for the weight of the loaded TT hitch weight as part of the TV GWVR
Yes, you must have available payload to support the tongue weight.

Quote:
and does the addition of a WDH change anything with this?
No. While a WDH throws some of the weight forward to the front axles of the truck, to level out the TV, it does not reduce the effect on payload by any helpful amount.

If you are not in the market for a new truck, you need to look at TT's that when you take 12% of the total wet and loaded weight you have 600 lbs or less. That's the tongue weight you'll need to support (12% of the total wet and loaded weight). You need this 12% for stability. If you try to go lighter on the tongue you will increase the occurrence of sway.

ProPride claims to eliminate sway completely, however, it does not magically take weight off your truck so you would still be way over on your payload.

Get a F250/2500 =).
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:50 PM   #9
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The ProPride is one of the best to control sway. But I think the size of the long trailer sidewall when being pushed by the air wave of a semi tractor trailer will still affect the way the truck will feel. You will need to make steering corrections.

Now the only trailer that would be ok would be an Airstream trailer as they have a lot of rounded edges. A 1/2 ton truck with Pro-Pride and Airstream trailer would work great.
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Old 10-01-2015, 05:15 PM   #10
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Instead of the really good, but really expensive, hitch, seriously consider updating the tow vehicle. The tail only needs to wag the dog just one time really hard to make you wish you had not maxed out the weight capacity.

I tow a 5k pound trailer with a 2500 pickup, and I am not to bold when I say I am in almost total control of the trailer. I can almost not feel a thing when a larger vehicle passes me or I'm dealing with a side wind. It feels rock solid going down the road and there are no confidence issues with my rig. I'm glad I bought to much truck.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:31 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. I had a feeling that the TT was too large but as expected the deal says my truck can handle it but my gut is telling me that it's too large. I just need to understand all this so I can go back and dispute the dealer on these items and can speak intelligently about it. Again, appreciate the help. Happy camping.
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Old 10-01-2015, 09:23 PM   #12
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A wise man told me that the longer the unit is the better it drives. He also said that a longer unit will have more empty space that if carefully not to fill it will not affect the weight to much. Empty space weights nothing.
For me I prefer a heavy trailer on the tung for ease of towing.
I have seen many women get mad at their man for choosing a smaller unit, enough that it's well worth the load on the truck.
I will never tow one of those light build trailers, even with my F250 that can tow up to 23000 lbs gross combined weight.
I towed a badly setup boat on a trailer that was dangerous. It only weighted 2500 lbs. If truck is well loaded it will be much safer then trying to unload to suit the advised weight.
Just do not overload the tires and do not put to much weight transfer to the trailer. The truck is stronger the the trailer.
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Old 10-02-2015, 03:19 PM   #13
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The model we are looking at is new this year and there is no info online (Starcraft website), searches return no info, and there was no literature at the RV show (Hershey) about it. I contacted the RV dealer from the show today to discuss my concerns about the TV and of course they assured me that TV could handle the TT. I expressed my concern again and began talking weights. They told me that the GVWR of the TT is 6500. However, I have documentation from the sales rep at the show that the GVWR is 7750, so someone is missing something.

Let's say the GVWR is 6500, is the fact this is a 33' unit still and issue? I know the likelihood that the GVWR is that low for a unit that size but just curious if the length is still something to be concerned about if the unit is actually a little lighter?
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:53 PM   #14
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Could be even worse the lighter it is...no way to get around the fact that the longer the trailer and the shorter the tow vehicle, the easier to induce sway.
From the above post, sounds like you have not even seen the unit in question and the salesman is telling you all the numbers? Documentation from the show rep is in print, or by word? Suggest you not get too involved with this unit until you see one in person and look at the mfg tag for GVWR.
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