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Old 01-18-2014, 08:42 AM   #15
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Read the towing specs for the tow vehicles and pick the one that will handle your trailer. Forget about the personal opinions, get the facts. You are legally responsible for having an adequate tow vehicle.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:47 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post

If you have kids, ask her how she would respond to "But Mom, ALL the other kids are doing it"

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Then....get ready for a quick, stinging pain on the left side of your face. Lol
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:13 AM   #17
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This aint rocket science. Forest River fivers, especially their upper line ones are very pin heavy. When your all done and finished i would not be surprised one bit if your actual pin weight will not be north of 3000 pounds. Take it from people that know, get the right truck for the trailer or, if momma wont budge on a dually tell her in as simple of language that her pea sized brain can handle that with the truck she wants the trailer is going to be about half of the one she has picked out. And stick to your guns.
I towed my Cedar Creek which scales just about what you looking at with a 2500HD for about 2.5 years. Adding air bags, different tires did nothing to alleviate the tension i felt after towing. In the back of my mind was the fear of either breaking down or blowing a tire on the road because i had actually stopped and weighed it several times. We upgraded to a dually and i have never regretted it for one second. At the end of the day, i can arrive with no fears. It used to take me about three stiff drinks to relax, now it is a cold coke.
Always remember, you need the right tool for the job at hand. Or it will cost you in the end.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:01 AM   #18
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Use the tow vehicle weight calculators given on the first topic of this forum if the others have not yet convinced you. You are legally responsible for the safe operation and loading of your vehicle. The excuse of "we everyone else is doing that" will not get you to far in court and a real good lawyer may suspect an avid camper like yourselves may have joined a forum such as this and do a little research on your posts.......do I hear "you sank my battleship?"

The only stress in our travels is meeting up with those that are grossly overloaded because it's matter of what and when things could happen, and for what? Just so you have the right size of truck to drive around town? Unacceptable, in my books. We have a f450 crewcab longbox truck, and yes I can't park it near the door of a store, but we have never felt safer in a vehicle loaded or unloaded for that matter.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:21 PM   #19
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Using the info on a 2008 Dodge 2500HD Diesel and round/estimated numbers:
Truck Weight (loaded) = 7,500 lbs. (6,487 curb weight + occupants & cargo)

Fords are heavier than Rams, but not that much heavier. My '99.5 F-250 CrewCab diesel 4x2 weighed 8,000 pounds when wet and loaded ready to hook up to the 5er, with DW, small dog, toolbox full of tools and a full tank of fuel. That's for a 4x2. If you're looking at 4x4s, add 400 pounds to the wet and loaded weight of the truck. If you're looking at a shorty bed, subtract 200 pounds.

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Est. Hitch Weight = 2,600 lbs. (20% of 13,000 lb. 5th wheel)

That's 10,100 lbs. This truck has a GVWR rating of 9,000 lbs.

If I understand the ratings correctly, I need the GVWR to meet or exceed this number, right?
If your weight estimates are accurate, you need the GVWR of the truck to exceed 10,100 pounds. Plus I'd add a fudge factor and want a GVWR of over 11,000 pounds. (The F-350 SRW diesel just happens to have a GVWR of 11,500 pounds.)

Quote:
Additionally, this truck has a payload of 2,513 lbs. How does this factor into the trailer weight?
Payload rating = GVWR minus the weight of the truck. The manufacturer's payload rating is way overstated, because it uses the shipping weight of the truck, so that results in a nice fat rating. Ignore the manufacturer's payload rating and compute the real-world rating. Load the truck with everything and everybody that will be in it when on the road, including the hitch but not the trailer. Go to a truckstop that has a certified truck scale, fill up with fuel, and weigh the truck. Subtract the actual weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR of the truck and that will show you the real-world payload available for hitch weight. It will be a lot less than the manufacturer's payload rating.

Quote:
The GCWR of the Dodge is 20,000 lbs. If I use the numbers above, I have a 13,000 lbs of trailer and 7,500 lbs. of truck/cargo for a total 20,500 lbs.

If my math is correct, I'm overloaded in both GVWR and GCWR. Is my math right?
Your math is good enough. The GVWR is an important spec so don't exceed it. The GCWR is more of a guideline. The GCWR tells you the gross weight of a rig your drivetrain should be able to pull up a normal hill or mountain pass at a reasonable speed without overheating anything in the drivetrain. On a tow vehicle with single rear wheels, if you never exceed the GVWR then you'll probably not get even close to the GCWR. On my '99.5 F-250 with GCWR of 20,000 pounds, my gross weight was about 16,000 pounds but I was overloaded over the GVWR by several hundred pounds. On my F-150 with 14,000 pounds GCWR, I'm overloaded over the GVWR when my gross weight is only 11,420.

So don't worry about GCWR. GVWR (i.e., hitch weight) is your limiter.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:42 PM   #20
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So don't worry about GCWR unless you're evaluating a dually. GVWR (i.e., hitch weight) is your limiter with most SRW trucks.
See comments in red above.

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Old 01-22-2014, 05:56 PM   #21
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In my signature you will see I tow an Alpenlite (also referred to as Alpenheavies) and have made the trip from Grants Pass, OR to Quartzsite AZ only once and taken several local trips to the coast ,etc. I didn't record the numbers and I can't recite the specs on the truck but the GVWR on the trailer is 14,600 # and I stopped at a truck scale and weighed every axle on the truck and trailer. I am close to max but under on all axles .I have a Pac-Brake exhaust brake and rear air bags (and a SuperSteer Trac-Bar and my experience was great ,decent mileage ,plenty of power , and no issues whatsoever. Just my two-cents worth.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #22
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What were your steer axle and drive axle weights? What is your truck's GVWR? If you are operating just under your GAWRs, then you are over your GVWR, right?

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Old 01-23-2014, 04:53 AM   #23
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... I didn't record the numbers and I can't recite the specs on the truck but the GVWR on the trailer is 14,600 # and I stopped at a truck scale and weighed every axle on the truck and trailer. I am close to max but under on all axles .
GM says you should NEVER exceed the GAWRs, GCWR, or GVWR of you Chevy. They don't allow you to choose some weight ratings to meet and others to exceed. You said you are under on all axles, but you didn't mention the GVWR. Why? Since you have the weight on all axles, it's a 3rd grade math problem to add the weight on the front and rear axles of the tow vehicles to compare to the GVWR. I suspect it's because you were overloaded over the GVWR of your Chevy.

Quote:
I have a Pac-Brake exhaust brake and rear air bags (and a SuperSteer Trac-Bar and my experience was great ,decent mileage ,plenty of power , and no issues whatsoever. Just my two-cents worth.
If you exceeded the GVWR of your Chevy, you were overloaded. That's an issue. You were lucky and the overload didn't result in breaking something, but you were still exceeding the mechanical capability of your Chevy. Your diesel-powered drivetrain can PULL a lot heavier trailer than the suspension can haul the hitch weight without being overloaded.

Been there, done that, got several t-shirts. Most recent was dragging a "small" 5er with my F-150 - 350 miles across the Texas Hill country. Weight on the two axles of the F-150 was 7,980. GVWR was 7,100. Gross was 14,780, while GCWR was 14,000. Overloaded. I was lucky too, "and my experience was great ,decent mileage ,plenty of power , and no issues whatsoever". Except I was overloaded.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:34 AM   #24
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These guys are right. I didn't realize any of this stuff until I started researching fifth wheels. I figured like most folks 'any heavy duty truck will do it'. It pays to be 100% legal in the world we live in today, if for nothing else peace of mind
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:21 AM   #25
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Why do they even list GAWR when the GVWR is always lower?
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:18 AM   #26
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I got the manual out at the scales and did the third grade math, I was not exceeding the GVWR or the GAWR , or the max load per tire . If I was overloaded I wouldn't have made my comments. I didn't write the numbers down so I can't post them to "prove" my statement, but I put it on the internet ,so it's true. Lol. I do need to make a correction though, the GVWR of my trailer is 14,000 # not 14,600#.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:36 PM   #27
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Can you look in the driver's door jamb of your truck and post your truck's GVWR and front and rear axle GAWRs?

Rusty
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:59 PM   #28
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SuperSteer,
An '03 2500 has a GVWR of 9200# and if I remember correctly the rear GAWR is around 6000#. With a 14,000# trailer GVWR, your pin weight will be between 2600 and 2800#. Truck will weigh at least 7000#, depending on if it is regular cab short bed, or extended cab, or crew cab. Any way, you do the math, you are over the GVWR of the truck. And my guess, you are over the 22,000 GCWR, but that depends on the model. I would guess that you are real close to the 6000# GAWR of your rear axle also.
Frank
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