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Old 06-29-2012, 08:43 AM   #29
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Reducing tongue weight by moving weight to the back of TT is BAD idea. That is a recipe for sway and bad handling. You must maintain the proper percentage of TT GVWR (10/12% min). Reducing TT weight is better.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:08 AM   #30
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Reducing tongue weight by moving weight to the back of TT is BAD idea. That is a recipe for sway and bad handling. You must maintain the proper percentage of TT GVWR (10/12% min). Reducing TT weight is better.
You want at least 10 percent of gross trailer weight on the ball, so your sway-control system will work properly to minimize sway. But most wet and loaded TTs have 12 to 15 percent on the ball, so moving some of the weight to be back of the trailer is perfectly safe - provided you properly adjust the weight-distributing hitch to handle the actual weight on the hitch.

My TT weighs around 5,000 pounds on the road, and has about 650 pounds hitch weight per the Sherline tongue scale. So I could move about 150 pounds from in front of the trailer axles to behind the trailer axles and still have over 10% hitch weight. If the CAT scale ever says I'm over the GVWR of my F-150, that's what I'll do.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:09 PM   #31
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What TXiceman said.

"Safe" is a relative term. You'll be overloaded, but only by a smidgeon. So consider that when you decide to add people or stuff to the inside of the SUV. And do those things that reduce hitch weight, such as always dumping the holding tanks before you tow, stowing heavy items behind the trailer axles instead of in the front "basement" area, use a good weight-distributing hitch that distributes about 25% of the hitch weight back to the trailer axles, etc.

Exceeding the GCWR is not a big deal. It just means you'll not have enough power and torque to drag the trailer at a normal speed up a steep mountain pass without burning up something in the drivetrain. Or it will struggle in the hill country. It doesn't really affect safety, other than as a cause of road rage in other drivers sharing the road with you.

But exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle is a safety issue. You are stretching the weight capacity of the suspension and brakes of the tow vehicle. So try to avoid rough roads and chug holes, and leave lots of room between your rig and the other vehicles on the road with you. Plan ahead and avoid panic stops. Keep your tires properly inflated to handle the weight.

And good luck.
I was actually under the GVWR of the TT by about 1800 lbs. The TT total GCWR of the TV and TT was 13580. When I looked in the door to get the GVWR of the vehicle I was 7050 in the SUV which is the 50lbs over the TV GVWR. The Trailer is fine. My thoughts were to not have anything extra in the SUV, just vehicle and people. Pack light in the TT and weight again. The WDH I have is welded, which is why I mentioned replacing the WDH with one that will raise the hitch up to the TT. This will take some weight off the tongue and shift it more level. If I don't bring along groceries and heavy drinks and water I will reduce the GVWR easily below the SUV amount, since that is where the over came from. I can also reduce the things I take. My thoughts are if I can sell the camper then sure I will sell it. If I don't then I can use it in the mean time.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:12 PM   #32
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Reducing tongue weight by moving weight to the back of TT is BAD idea. That is a recipe for sway and bad handling. You must maintain the proper percentage of TT GVWR (10/12% min). Reducing TT weight is better.
The TT actually was under the GVWR of 8600 as it weighed in at 6530. When I loaded up to test instead of putting everything in the TT I put some of my normal TT stuff into the back of the SUV. Changed the game altogther. Had I put it int he TT the SUV would not have been over the GVWR and neither would the TT. I would have still been over the GCWR.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #33
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Good point... that falls under the generic term 'proper loading'
moving weight around to balance the load 'properly' !

have you looked at the condition of your tires ?
and the psi you put in the TV and TT tires ?
suggest the tires be at max sidewall psi if you are near capacity...
but watch the condition/age of them...
(on the sidewall will be a WWYY date stamp for the week of the year mfg'ed)

good luck and your smart to ask these questions BEFORE something happens!
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:42 PM   #34
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Thank you all for the education. Should have consulted before the purchase, however I am much more educated now. I have the camper posted for sale and should be able to sell it without losing money. Lucky enough to camp in it once and won't lose out. My best bet is to purchase a camper no more than 5500 lbs that will put me in the range with weight to spare. Hopefully this one sells easily and I will be on the hunt. Wish me luck.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:56 PM   #35
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Well I sold the camper today for what I paid for it. I was sad to see it go as I loved the camper. My next camper will be "The One" since all of you have educated me.
Thanks to you all.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:17 PM   #36
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UPDATE: I am educated and can say with clarity I bought a camper too big for my Yukon XL. Manuals and calculations are misleading and confusing. Best way to determine is to load up and pay the $9.50 for CAT scale certified weight. Manual states this vehicle can pull 7400, the camper weighed 6530 loaded. So with Yukon loaded and family aboard we weighed 13,580. According to the book the combined weight should be 13,000. Anyone want to buy a 2001 Wilderness 31G with superslide?
Thanks to everyone for your assistance...My next one will be the right one. I need to now sale and make a purchase. The hunt is on
The easiest formula for a set up like yours for figuring tow capacity, is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:46 PM   #37
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My best bet is to purchase a camper no more than 5500 lbs that will put me in the range with weight to spare.
My TT has a GVWR of 5,600 pounds. It's a Skyline Nomad Joey 196. Skyline makes the Joey 196 under three or four different brand names, including Nomad, Layton and Aljo. It's about 20 feet long inside, but counting the hitch in front and spare tire out back, it's about 24' long outside. No slide. If you demand a slide, then good luck finding one with a GVWR of 5,600 pounds or less.

Around Memorial Day, we towed the Joey on a 4,000-mile trip from west Texas to Knoxville TN to Detroit MI, crossed the river into Ontario, then back into MI and up to the northwest part of lower MI, then to Chicago, St Loius, OK City and home. We weighed the rig and the trailer was about 4,870 pounds (4220 on the trailer axles and 650 pounds hitch weight). We were pretty well loaded with food and clothes and drinks and stuff for a two-week trip, so you can probably count on a wet and loaded trailer gross weight of around 5,000 pounds.

Two old folks, plus a big Bordie Collie and a small Pomeranian. It was the perfect camper for us. The only fault was only one person can walk around at the same time. So I had to sit at the dinette while Darling Wife prepared meals. And Sugar, the Border Collie, couldn't figure where she was supposed to be so Daddy wouldn't step on her. Sandy the Pom stayed on the bed and out of trouble.

We liked our previous RV better, a 25' 5er with one big slide, but it weighed 8,000 pounds on the road. Our F-250 diesel was overloaded over the GVWR with that trailer.

Here's the floorplan of our 2012 Nomad Joey 196:



What we like about the floorplan is a walk-around queen-size bed, seperate bathtub/shower room so you don't have to sit on the potty to take a shower, and a decent-size closet. And it has all the normal amenities, such as water heater, reefer, AC, furnace, microwave, optional wall-mounted TV, wired for cable TV as well as the rooftop antenna. (Lots of campgrounds have "free" cable TV as well as Wi-Fi for your laptop).

The first thing we did with the new trailer was give the stock mattress to Habitat for Humanity's Restore and buy a good Serta EuroTop mattress from Sam's Club. We slept great on our trip.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:07 PM   #38
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I am in a similar situation. I purchased a TT with a dry weight of 5930# and a gvwr of 8100#. Specs say 725 hitch weight. I assume thats dry so I guess about 925 with batts and propane? I have a f150 5.0 4x4 screw with 3.73 gears. Mt gcwr is 15100# and payload is 1700#. The manual says 9300# trailer weight, so I was basing my TT choice off of that. Now if I have a dry weight of 6000 I assume I would have a loaded weight of 7500? I dont plan on taking any water as I would camp at full service sites. I have 2 young kids and a skinny wife so we are at about 500 with the 4 of us and the dog. So I am thinking that leaves me with about a payload of 1425#? If I do the math right that leaves me with 275# of cargo in the truck. To me it looks like I am right at the limit? Looking for other opinions on if I figured this out correctly. Thanks. Oh and looking forward to the rv life
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:13 PM   #39
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You're fine. Just need s little practice backing up by the sounds of it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:47 AM   #40
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I am in a similar situation. I purchased a TT with a dry weight of 5930# and a gvwr of 8100#. Specs say 725 hitch weight. I assume thats dry so I guess about 925 with batts and propane? I have a f150 5.0 4x4 screw with 3.73 gears. Mt gcwr is 15100# and payload is 1700#. The manual says 9300# trailer weight, so I was basing my TT choice off of that. Now if I have a dry weight of 6000 I assume I would have a loaded weight of 7500? I dont plan on taking any water as I would camp at full service sites. I have 2 young kids and a skinny wife so we are at about 500 with the 4 of us and the dog. So I am thinking that leaves me with about a payload of 1425#? If I do the math right that leaves me with 275# of cargo in the truck. To me it looks like I am right at the limit? Looking for other opinions on if I figured this out correctly. Thanks. Oh and looking forward to the rv life
PistonPuller, , all your figures look fine, but it is possible to overload the rear axle of the truck and still be ok on overall weights, you need to run over the scales when your loaded to travel, weigh each axle, don't forget to adjust tire pressures on the truck.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:49 PM   #41
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The manual says 9300# trailer weight, so I was basing my TT choice off of that.
The tow rating is overstated by at least 1000 pounds, so your TT with GVWR 0f 8,100 is probably just about right to be loaded to the gills but not overloaded.

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To me it looks like I am right at the limit?
Sounds like it. But we can do all the guessing and estimating and figuring in the world, but only the CAT scale knows for sure.

In the middle of your first camping trip, stop at truckstop with a CAT scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the rig. Front and rear truck axles added together should not exceed the 8,100 GVWR of the pickup. Gross weight of all the pickup and trailer axles should not exceed the GCWR of the pickup. If your WD hitch is properly set up to distribute about 25% of the hitch weight to the front axle of the truck, another 25% to the trailer axles, and about 50% remaining on the ball, then you're good to go.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:00 PM   #42
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The tow rating is overstated by at least 1000 pounds, so your TT with GVWR 0f 8,100 is probably just about right to be loaded to the gills but not overloaded.



Sounds like it. But we can do all the guessing and estimating and figuring in the world, but only the CAT scale knows for sure.

In the middle of your first camping trip, stop at truckstop with a CAT scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the rig. Front and rear truck axles added together should not exceed the 8,100 GVWR of the pickup. Gross weight of all the pickup and trailer axles should not exceed the GCWR of the pickup. If your WD hitch is properly set up to distribute about 25% of the hitch weight to the front axle of the truck, another 25% to the trailer axles, and about 50% remaining on the ball, then you're good to go.
We are going camping this week when I pick her up. We are only going about an hour away and I see there is a CAT scale on the way. I will stop and check it out. With a dry weight of 6k I am thinking that loaded it cant weight more than 7.5k? 1500# seems like a lot of stuff loaded for a small family of 4. What is the average weight people usually add to the dry weight?
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