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Old 02-17-2013, 04:19 PM   #29
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From the Ram bodybuilder guide:

2011 Ram Laramie Crew Cab Long Bed 4x2 SRW, 6.7 diesel, 6-speed auto, 3.73 gears

Curb weight - 7,070
GVWR - 10,100
GCWR - 21,000

As above, but 4x4

Curb weight - 7,359
GVWR - 10,100
GCWR - 21,000

Since the curb weight is a bare truck with a 150 lb driver, add the weight of any options over and above the base Laramie, add the weight of driver and passenger(s) over the 150 lb assumed driver loading, add the weight of pets, cargo, accessories (the toolbox and fuel tank in the bed, for instance), the 5th wheel hitch, etc. This will give you your laden curb weight - the actual curb weight of the truck with full fuel tanks and all driver/passenger, option, accessory and cargo loading exactly as you'll be hitting the road. If you wind up at 8,000 lbs with a 4x4, then your numbers shake out as:

GVWR - laden curb weight = maximum pin/tongue weight of loaded trailer
10,100 - 8,000 = 2,100 = maximum pin/tongue weight of loaded trailer
2,100 / 20% = 10,500 lbs. That's the most the loaded trailer could weigh without exceeding your GVWR with a pin weight of 20% of the loaded trailer weight (a good estimate for sizing).

GCWR - laden curb weight = maximum total weight of loaded trailer
21,000 - 8,000 = 13,000 = maximum total weight of loaded trailer

So, in your case (as is typical for SRW trucks), GVWR is your limiter. By the way, forget that "dry pin weight" - you aren't towing a dry, unoptioned trailer. Figure 20% of the trailer's GVWR for pin weight when you get it loaded for use for sizing purposes. So your truck is capable of 10,500 lbs max TOTAL trailer weight based on truck's GVWR; 13,000 lbs max TOTAL trailer weight based on truck's GCWR. Using the lower of the 2 numbers - that's 10,500 lbs.

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Old 02-17-2013, 05:54 PM   #30
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It makes sense Rusty thanks - numbers don't leave room for "interpretation". But I'm still bothered by hearing that there apparently are some folks out there who are pulling more weight with less powerful trucks. I guess what I need to know is what is at risk if I pull at or just above the maxes. Is it "just" that it would be hard on the truck or are there significant safety issues (even with exhaust and trailer braking). I imagine there may even be liability issues as well?
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:19 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonbound View Post
I guess what I need to know is what is at risk if I pull at or just above the maxes.
Not much risk if you don't exceed any of the max weight limits. It's when you exceed one or more of the max weight limits that get you into trouble.

Then it depends on which weight rating you're talking about.

For GCWR (and tow rating which is derived from GCWR), the primary adverse consequence is that your truck will be working above its design limits, and can overheat something in the drivetrain, and thus kill your truck. You can prevent that consequence with a full set of accurate gauges and never exceed any of the heat limits, such as tranny temp, coolant temp, motor oil temp, and differential temp. Or if it's a turbo diesel, never exceed 1,250 pre-turbo exhaust gas temp (EGT). I haven't studied up on the Ford EcoBoost gasser, but I assume you also don't want to exceed 1,250 pre-turbo EGT on that either. The aluminum pistons won't last long if you exceed 1,250 pre-turbo EGT.

Another adverse effect of exceeding the GCWR is the truck won't have the power and torque to tow that weight over hill and dale at a reasonable speed. You'll be the pokey holding up traffic when climbing long steep hills or mountain passes.

But other weight limits are mechanical limits, such as GVWR, GAWR, and weight limit on individual components such as tires, wheels, suspensions, axles (including bearings), and various components of trailer hitch systems. Exceeding any of those weight limits can result in disastrous failure of a component.

The lawyers are looking for anyone unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident while overloaded over any of the weight limits of their tow vehicle. And especially accidents where someone is injured or killed. If you're the owner of that overloaded tow vehicle, then bend over and kiss ole hiney goodby.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:11 AM   #32
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RVing is supposed to be fun, not a chore. The difference between towing with an over loaded truck and one that is rated to tow the load is like night and day.

Many of us on here have a lot of experience and started out RVing trying to tow too much because the salesman told us.....NO PROBLEM. We learned and are more than willing to help folks avoid our mistakes.

Getting by with a marginal truck may be fine for a two hour trip a couple of times a month, but when you take out across country, and put in 8 to 10 hours a day for a couple of days, the difference becomes very apparent. This is assuming that anyone can afford the diesel fuel in the future.

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Old 02-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #33
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I was not on this forum when I bought my 5er. But I knew that I did not know much. I actully stayed in a seasonal RV park just so I could learn. After 4 months I decided to buy a 5th wheel. I was in a 22 foot camping trailer during this learning period. Everyone (10) people told me to buy the 5er 1st. (Same advice as I now see given on this forum).

So I bought a 37 foot 5er. Had it delivered to the park by the desler. Had people come see it. All 10 people said I needed a dually. I resisted and asked 4 more people. 3 out of those 4 said dually. Man, dually trucks are ugly I thought.

I ended up with a dually. Now all I can say is Wow - my rig goes down the road great.
No white knuckles, no close calls, up mountains, down mountains. Much better than I could have imagined. People told me SRW trucks get a bit squirrelly with a heavy 5er pushing them when at the bottom of a mountain and having to make that left or right sweeping turn.

Now I plan to tow a lot into the mountains as DW and I see the country. A lot of sweeping downhill turns are in my future. I am glad now to have the dually.

I checked out that Bighorn. It is a heavy unit probably because of all that insulation. Heartland builds a good 5er. Heartland builds the lighter Silverton with not the insulation as the Bighorn Elite.

I am trying to think of what I would do in your shoes using what knowledge I think I possess.

Options:

1. You try to make the Ram 3500 SRW work.
2. You trade up to a 2012 dually
3. You wait to see what the new 2013 SRW will carry. Then trade for a newer Ram 2013 or buy the dually at that time.

I would think I am going full-time. I really don't know what I will be getting into. I would want the most truck. I think I would bite the bullet and get a dually. It simply will carry more weight and that is what you want to do.

Now - I would also try to wait for the new Rams with the improved frame...ugh.

Good luck
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #34
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Thanks Ken. We are going to get something lighter and in fact will try to keep it 10-20% below the maximum. We figure this will get us there easier and get us by until we get settled in Oregon. Then maybe we'll trade it in for both a Destination trailer that is closer to the maximum (for short moves if we need to) and one smaller one for weeknd camping trips. Again, thanks for the advice.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:36 AM   #35
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Thanks Tuffr2. Will take a look at the Silverton. We are quickly realizing that we are going to have to give up some features to tow comfortably with the truck we have. Do you have any opinions as far as lightweight models (5ers or TTs) that don't sacrifice many features? As this will be a full-time home, we're willing to spend more than what we were originally planning.
I looked at the the Keystone Montana High Country last night (Helium Technology). They seem like a pretty good option. What do you think?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:51 PM   #36
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Ok - I am thinking outside the box. I would consider an Airstream Classic Trailer. We are going 9/10's full time this summer with our rig. From May 2013 to May 2014 we will only spend 1 month in our house. Once sold we will be 100% full-time. So I have recently ran thru all the full time scenarios.

We would go full time in a 40' diesel pusher or a real nice 5er and real nice truck (which we picked) or a 27' to 30' over priced AS Classic trailer and a real nice 3/4 ton truck.

The AirStream classic trailer has a lot of downsides but the 'cool' factor is off the charts. You can get a 2 year old one for about 60k to 70k. If you do not tow it a lot it should not leak or have the inside fall apart. The inside falls apart because some of the screws are into thin sheet aluminum. Ok now back into the box.

To full time you want opposing slides in the living room as well as a bedroom slide with the wardrobe in the front.

I would look at the smaller Komfort by Dutchmen, the smaller Pinnacle by Jayco, the smaller Stoneridge by KZ, the smaller Sanibel by Primetime, and my favorite Columbus by Palomino.

The Columbus 295RL, 320RS, and 325RL might work.

Humm - looking at the 295RL, I could live in that. It has two big slides in the living area and bed slide. They are insulated good too.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:48 PM   #37
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I guess what I need to know is what is at risk if I pull at or just above the maxes. Is it "just" that it would be hard on the truck or are there significant safety issues (even with exhaust and trailer braking). I imagine there may even be liability issues as well?
The '11 Dodge/Cummins 3500 SRW 3.73 axle will have no issues pulling a 13k trailer as its rated for. The 4.10 axle ratio gives you a 16k+ tow rating with the exact same truck.

There is no risk towing within the trucks ratings. However towing involves carrying weight and pulling weight.

The risk of pulling to much weight may result in the truck only lasting 198000 miles instead of its 200000 mile duty cycle estimate from the truck maker.

The risk of carrying more weight than the truck makers axle/tires ratings is a safety risk. Its illegal and being illegal can result in civil liability issues.

Many state may require a "PRIVATE USE" truck, like yours, to be registered at a certain GVW or laden or even gross combined/etc. Some state as mine has no weight registration requirements.

Its critical knowing the trucks actual separate front and rear axle weights. The 3500 SRW 2wd weighs around 7000 lbs. Empty truck scale tickets I've seen run in the 4000-4100 lbs on the front axle and 2900-3000 lbs on the rear axle which leaves around 3200 lbs for a payload. Now subtract the "stuff" you added that sits over the rear axles and do the math These are estimates. Actual scaled axle weights work best.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:43 PM   #38
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Rusty is mostly right except for the 2100 lb. weight limitation of the king pin. The Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating and "maximum payload" specified by the truck's manufacturer is based on the rims and tires that were on the truck when it left the factory. Go to any dealer's lot and you will see identical trucks with identical GVWR figures but very different payload ratings. The only thing different is the rims and the tires. Often the stock tires have max load capacity of under 3,000 lbs. and if you take the 6000 minus the weight of the empty truck on the rear tires you get a figure for the truck's payload. There is no reason not to change the tires and or the rims and increase the load on the rear axle safely.

All the 3/4 and 1-ton trucks have a rear axle and wheel bearings that is rated to over 8900 lbs. (GM and Dodge use AAM axles and wheel bearings rated at 10,900 lbs), so the limitation is the rims and the tires. With my truck the limitation was the tires and not the forged aluminum rims and I replaced the stock 3195@80 tires with ones that are 3750@80 for a rear axle gain of 1520 lbs.

The GCWR reflects all the truck's components ability to handle the stresses involved with towing which includes the engine and its main bearings, the transmission and torque converter, the drive shaft and U-joints, the rear differential, suspension, frame, and brakes. When GM upped the power output of its diesel engines in 2011 and increased the tow rating of its heavy duty trucks, every one of these components was made stronger as well.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:51 PM   #39
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A prospective purchaser always has a choice to either tow within ALL the manufacturer's ratings or to exceed one or more of them. We have given the OP the calculations he needs to stay within the manufacturer's GVWR and GCWR ratings. If he chooses to ignore one or more of these ratings, then with the calculations we've provided he will be at least be making an informed decision.

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Old 02-20-2013, 12:18 PM   #40
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Lets be careful about recommending GCWR and GVWR on how much weight a truck can carry.

Ford says;

"(4) Gross Axle Weight Rating is determined by the rated capacity of the minimum component of the axle system (axle, computer-selected springs,
wheels, tires) of a specific vehicle. Front and rear GAWRs will, in all cases, sum to a number equal to or greater than the GVWR for the particular
vehicle. Maximum loaded vehicle (including passengers, equipment and payload) cannot exceed the GVW rating or GAWR (front or rear)."

I'm using Fords recommendation as in this example of a owner of a F150 7700 GVWR with a 4050 RAWR on another RV web did as a few suggested, use the trucks 7700 GVWR to figure how much hitch weight he could carry. He bought the trailer and the first trip to the scales when loaded had him under GVWR but was around 200-250 lbs over the trucks RAWR. He wasn't a happy camper with some folks.

Other owners on other websites (RV and non RV) with the newer gen trucks and high GVWR numbers are finding out the same thing. Watch those RAWR/tire load rating. Over loading either isn't safe and is illegal.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:37 PM   #41
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Whether or not a rig is going to fit within GCWR and GVWR ratings can be computed fairly readily as we've done in this topic. Whether or not GAWRs will be exceeded is not so simple. It depends on the static GAWs of the truck before the trailer is hitched up, and that's going to vary based on passenger loading, the weight of a 5th wheel hitch, the weight of that TransferFlow combo toolbox/fuel tank that's added to the bed along with the weight of the additional fuel, cargo, etc. In addition, in the case of a travel trailer, axle loadings are going to depend on the settings of the weight distributing hitch.

Realistically, computations from thousands of miles away over the internet are limited. We can assist a potential customer with GCWR and GVWR, but how does one go about determining GAWs from "500 lbs of cargo" which could wind up being carried in the back seat of a crew cab or behind the rear axle against the tailgate. Where it's carried doesn't affect the GVW, but it makes all the difference with GAWs.

In most cases, if one is within the GCWR and GVWR, the GAWRs will be OK since the sum of the GAWRs (in the case of our pickups) is greater than the GVWR. Can that be guaranteed in an absolute worst case scenario (2 anvils loaded in the bed against the tailgate?) No, it can't. Sometimes all we can do is the best that we can.

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Old 02-21-2013, 07:46 AM   #42
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Thanks again all. I did weight the truck. The GVW is 7740 with full fuel and as much payload as I will tow with. The GAW (rear) is 3000 and GAW (front) is 4740.

For a 5er, the approx. weight of the hitch is 150lbs. 7740 + 150 = GVW of 7890. With GAWRs of 6500, GAW will not be a problem for towing any large 5er (tongue weight could be as much as 3500 just for weight on the rear axle).
The problem is of course the GVW. GVWR of 10,100 - 7890 = 2210 for a max tongue weight of a wet 5er. At 17%, this works out to a max wet 5er weight of 13,000 (400 lbs under the towing max. for my rig). But, now I run into the GCWR. GCWR of 21,000 - 10,100 = 10,900 trailer max. So in order to tow up to 13,000 wet, we'll need to convert the axles to 4.10 which increases the "official" towing max from 13,400 to 16,400 and GCWR from 21,000 to 24,000.

Sooo, we will either be getting the 4.10 axle upgrade for a 5er or will be going with a TT (which have lower tongue weights) and thereby reducing GVW and allowing us to tow more TT. e.g.) with a 1000 tongue weight, the GVW would be 7740 + 1000 = 8740. 21,000 - 8740 for a max TT weight of 12260. We can get a lot of TT for under 12260 so this is likely the route we'll take. Will trade a little towing ease with a 5er for an increase in trailer weight. And if we get the 4.10 conversion, we'll be able to tow a travel trailer of approx. 15,000 lbs depending on tongue weight.

It is interesting that this vehicle, with JUST the gear ratio conversion, has such increased tow ratings (towing capacity from 13,400 to 16,400 and GCWR from 21,000 to 24,000). This tells me that, even though illegal and not worth the risk, this truck is mechanically capable (outside of axle ratio) of towing much more than the ratings.

Thanks for everyone's continued input. Great forum with great people.
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