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Old 06-28-2013, 09:25 PM   #1
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Is it too much?

I have been thinking too much and I've confused myself.

My 31 foot travel trailer weighed 8000 lbs when we bought it, I don't know how much weight we put in in, clothes, food, pots and pans, crap, etc...the tongue weight is around 900 with two full 30lb LP tanks and a battery.

My tow vehicle payload is 1840 and it can tow 10,300. I added air bags and obviously have a weight distribution hitch, so what I'm doing is rounding up, I figure the trailer weighs 9,000 with 1000 on the tongue. Do I subtract the 1000 from my payload? And now I can stuff 800 pounds in the bed or does the hitch enable me to put more in the bed?

I can't complain about the power, the truck pulls pretty good, it's a 2010 silverado 1500 with a 6.2 and a 6 speed with 3.42:1 gears in the rear.

I've been thinking about getting a diesel f350 or a 2500 hd which would be way better, but do I need it?
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
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The 1840# and 10300# are MAXIMUMS based on a stripped base model truck with only a 150# driver. For every pound you add to this mythical truck, you reduce payload and towing capacity by the same amount.

You need to weigh the truck loaded for a trip with full fuel, cargo, passengers and hitch. On the door jamb, find the GVWR and in the owners manual, find the GCWR for your cab/engine/axle combination.

GVWR - loaded truck = max tongue weight.
GCWR - loaded truck = max loaded trailer weight.

The tongue weight is part of the payload for the truck.

ken
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Shaggy368 View Post
I figure the trailer weighs 9,000 with 1000 on the tongue.
Only a tiny percent of half-ton pickups can tow a 9,000-pound TT without being overloaded. My half-ton pickup is overloaded with a TT that grosses 4,870 pounds.

And you're assuming only 11 percent hitch weight. Most TTs have hitch weight of 12 to 15 percent, with 12.5% being common. At 12.5 percent, and assuming your wet and loaded trailer grosses only 9,000 pounds, then your hitch weight (tongue weight or TW) will be 1,125 pounds.

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Do I subtract the 1000 from my payload?
Yes. Hitch weight is part of your payload.

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And now I can stuff 800 pounds in the bed or does the hitch enable me to put more in the bed?
The WD hitch moves a small amount of weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle to the trailer axles. Maybe 200#, depending on how your WD hitch is adjusted. But your actual available payload is probably a lot less than the factory numbers show.

The only way to know where you stand is to load the pickup and trailer with everything that will be in it when on the road, go to a truck stop that has a truck scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the wet and loaded truck. Include tools, jacks, people, pets, WD hitch and anything else that might be in the tow vehicle when towing. Subtract the weight on the two pickup axles from the GVWR of the pickup and the answer is how much available cargo capacity you have left. If the answer is a negative number, then you're already overloaded so you can't haul anything in the bed.

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I can't complain about the power, the truck pulls pretty good, it's a 2010 silverado 1500 with a 6.2 and a 6 speed with 3.42:1 gears in the rear.
The pulling power of the truck with single rear wheels (SRW) is not usually the limiter. Your tow rating of 10,300 says you should be able to tow your 9000-pound trailer without the danger of overheating anything or being the slowpoke in the right lane holding up traffic - if your trailer actually grosses around 9,000 pounds per a scale. Your limiter is the hauling capacity of your truck - indicated by the GVWR. IOW, your limiter is probably hitch weight. You can be over the GVWR by a bunch without exceeding the GCWR (indicates towing capacity).

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I've been thinking about getting a diesel f350 or a 2500 hd which would be way better, but do I need it?
Diesel vs. gas is a different topic. But I'll bet your poor little half-ton pickup is overloaded with that trailer. The only way to be sure is to load it up, fill it up, and weigh it. If your wet and loaded pickup with the trailer tied on is overloaded over the GVWR of the pickup, then the only practical fix is to jack it up and run a heavier-duty truck under it. An F-250, F-350, or 2500 HD should do the trick, regardless of diesel or gas engine. So yes, my guess would be that you need a tow vehicle with more hauling capacity for hitch weight.

I don't know about GMs, so I'll use a new Ford F-250 as the example:

Your trailer will probably "grow" to around 10,000 pounds gross trailer weight after a few camping trips. At 12.5% hitch weight, that's 1,250 pounds hitch weight.

2013 F-250 CrewCab 4x4 with 6.2L gas engine and 3.73 axle has a GCWR of 19,000 pounds and a GVWR of 10,000 pounds. The wet and loaded pickup will probably weigh around 8,500 pounds. 19,000 GCWR minus 8,500 pickup weight = 10,500 pounds max trailer weight without exceeding the GCWR. 10,000 GVWR minus 1,250 hitch weight = 8,750 max pickup weight without exceeding the GVWR.

So you can see there's not much wiggle room for bad estimates with an F-250. I would pay a few more bucks and get an F-350 with single rear wheels (SRW).

With an F-350 SRW, the GVWR jumps up to 11,200, while the GCWR remains at 19,000. Load the pickup to 9,000 pounds and that still leaves 2,200 pounds for max hitch weight. So no problem with exceeding the GVWR. With a 9,000 pound pickup, that leaves 10,000 pounds max trailer weight without busting the GCWR. That's our estimate of the heaviest the TT should ever weigh. So we're at the limit, but not over the edge of good to go.

If you prefer to have more GCWR to give you lots more wiggle room for max trailer weight or max pickup weight or speed up the mountain pass, then consider the $8,000 extra cost of the diesel engine in that F-350 SRW. GVWR jumps to 11,500 and GCWR jumps way up to 23,500. No worries about being even close to the weight limits - until your significant other decides that she would really love to have a big fifth wheel RV.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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I think the 8500 on the gas example is pretty high. My 13 super crew 4x4 diesel 4x4 weights 8180 fueled, dw, me, and 13lb dog.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
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I think the 8500 on the gas example is pretty high. My 13 super crew 4x4 diesel 4x4 weights 8180 fueled, dw, me, and 13lb dog.
You don't haul a floor jack and a big bottle jack, along with a toolbox full of tools, spares and extra fluids? If you don't, then I hope you never have a flat on the trailer. Add a spray-in bedliner and those tools and jacks and you'll easily reach 8,500 pounds before you tie onto the trailer.

My '99.5 4x2 CrewCab diesel longbed, wet and loaded for the road with dw, me, and 10 lb dog weighed 8,000 pounds. Add 300 pounds for '05-up and 400 pounds for 4x4 and the diesel should come in at around 8,700 with my load including toolbox, jacks, bedliner, hitch, etc. Lots of folks haul 300 pounds of kids in the back seat, so that's how I came up with 9,000 for the diesel. The gas engine weighs a lot less than the diesel, so I wagged 8,500 for the gas version.

The answer is to use a truck scale to be sure. But don't cheat yourself by not having the tow vehicle loaded with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing, including the hitch, toolbox, jacks, full tank of fuel, etc.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:09 AM   #6
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Say what you want, BUT my 2013 F250, supercrew 4x4, srw, diesel, 26gal fuel, wife, me, dog, hitch, spray in liner weighted on the CAT scale in Center Point,Iowa was 8180 the weight ticket is in my console. We only travel with a small cooler with 6 cans of pop, and a couple bags of chips. Everthing goes in the 5er.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:22 PM   #7
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Say what you want, BUT my 2013 F250, supercrew 4x4, srw, diesel, 26gal fuel, wife, me, dog, hitch, spray in liner weighted on the CAT scale in Center Point,Iowa was 8180 the weight ticket is in my console. We only travel with a small cooler with 6 cans of pop, and a couple bags of chips. Everthing goes in the 5er.
Mine F250 long box 4 x 4 extended cab extra tank and me and the wife comes in at 7800 pounds. And I cannot licence it under 12000 lbs.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:21 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info Smokey. Our longest trip is usually around 130 miles ans were looking into a seasonal but I still want to upgrade trucks in case we decide to tow instead.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:30 PM   #9
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I can't complain about the power, the truck pulls pretty good, it's a 2010 silverado 1500 with a 6.2 and a 6 speed with 3.42:1 gears in the rear.

I've been thinking about getting a diesel f350 or a 2500 hd which would be way better, but do I need it?
Your numbers look good and those two sentences tells me the combo pulls ok but in reality your wanting a 3/4 or one ton diesel truck.

Your trucks payload and tow rating are based on your trucks particular std equipment and options packages. A model with std packages and very few options has a even higher payload and tow rating when you use GM weights calculator.

IMO your not satisfied with the current truck. Tell the wife folks on the internet says you need a new/bigger truck .
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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The WD hitch moves a small amount of weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle to the trailer axles. Maybe 200#, depending on how your WD hitch is adjusted. But your actual available payload is probably a lot less than the factory numbers show.
It also adds weight to the front axle.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the info/advice. Today I bought a 2500hd and don't need to worry about any of it anymore. Now my question is.....do I still need a WD hitch? The truck came with a 2-1/2" class 5 receiver and can handle 1500 lbs of tongue weight, I also like the factory brake control too. I went with a 6.0 gas guzzler, I couldn't afford the extra $9500 for the diesel, it would have been nice but I only put 7-8k a year on the truck, sometimes it sits for 2 weeks at a time. I'm gonna miss my 1500 with that 6.2 in it, no more blowing mustangs away from red light to red light.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:58 AM   #12
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Now my question is.....do I still need a WD hitch?
Yes, definitely.

You need a weight-distributing (WD) hitch for any trailer that grosses more than 5,000 pounds. I don't know about GM, but the Ford towing guide states that any trailer over 5,000 pounds requires a WD or 5er hitch. And for a wind sail such as a travel trailer, I would lower that to 3,500 pounds and add dual sway controls to the requirement.

A 9,000 pound TT will probably have 1,125 to 1,350 pounds of hitch weight connected to the truck several feet behind the rear axle. So the see-saw effect means if you don't have a WD hitch your headlights will be aiming at the stars and blind oncoming drivers. Your front suspension will be unloaded and thus you won't have good, firm steering response.

Your windsail will be about 8 feet tall by 20 to 30 feet long, so gusts of wind hitting the side of the trailer can put the trailer into a sway condition which can result in an upside down rig. I've seen it often, and that family's weekend was ruined, or worse. And even if you manage to keep the greasy side down, you'll probably need to change your underwear. Been there, done that, and had the stinky shorts.

You can get an idea of the problem by trying by yourself to manhandle a 4x8 sheet of plywood or sheetrock upright on a windy day. With gusts of winds over about 20 MPH, you probably can't handle that windsail by yourself, and that's only 32 square feet. A TT with 24' inside measurement has a windsail of about 6 times that size.

So you not only want a WD hitch, you want that hitch to have excellent anti-sway controls. Several brands are available for list price less than $1,000. Equal-I-Zer and the Husky Centerline are excellent. My Reese Strait-Line with dual cam sway controls lists for almost $1,000, but internet price is less than $600 for one that can handle a max hitch weight of 1,350 pounds of a 9,000 pound TT.
Strait-Line Weight Distribution w Sway Control - Trunnion Bar - 1,500 lbs TW - Reese Weight Distribution RP66130

There are cheaper WD hitches available, but stay away from them. Reese sells the Pro Series, and you don't want one of those. Curt WD hitches do not include sway controls, although they do include the attachment points for the cheap friction sway bars. So ignore those. Drawtite and Hidden Hitch are the same as Reese, so ignore those with friction sway controls and insist on dual cam anti-sway. EAZ Lift is one of the first WD hitch manufacturers, but they still use the cheap friction sway controllers, so dodge them too. Husky is another brand that makes both cheap and excellent WD hitches. If you buy a Husky, be certain it is the "Centerline" model and not the others that have cheap friction sway controls.

There are also more expensive WD hitches available. They have the ultimate in anti-sway control, and cost over $2000. ProPride and Hensley Arrow are the brand names.

When shopping for a WD hitch, ignore the rating for trailer weight (GTW) and get one that will handle the hitch weight (tongue weight or TW). The hitch industry assumes only 10 percent hitch weight when rating their WD hitches, but TTs with only 10% hitch weight are rare. Most have a least 12.5%, and mine has 15% when wet and loaded for the road. So ignore the GTW rating and go by the TW rating.

Most WD hitches will have a 2" shank. So you'll need a reducer to plug a 2" shank into your 2.5" receiver.

Don't leave home without a good WD hitch with excellent sway controls.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:42 PM   #13
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You don't haul a floor jack and a big bottle jack, along with a toolbox full of tools, spares and extra fluids? If you don't, then I hope you never have a flat on the trailer. Add a spray-in bedliner and those tools and jacks and you'll easily reach 8,500 pounds before you tie onto the trailer.

My '99.5 4x2 CrewCab diesel longbed, wet and loaded for the road with dw, me, and 10 lb dog weighed 8,000 pounds. Add 300 pounds for '05-up and 400 pounds for 4x4 and the diesel should come in at around 8,700 with my load including toolbox, jacks, bedliner, hitch, etc. Lots of folks haul 300 pounds of kids in the back seat, so that's how I came up with 9,000 for the diesel. The gas engine weighs a lot less than the diesel, so I wagged 8,500 for the gas version.

The answer is to use a truck scale to be sure. But don't cheat yourself by not having the tow vehicle loaded with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing, including the hitch, toolbox, jacks, full tank of fuel, etc.
No I don't carry any of that stuff. I retired 16 years ago at age 51, and there are people out trying to make a living and support a family. I will gladly pay someone for any repairs needed on the road. Oh I do have a spray in liner.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the info/advice. Today I bought a 2500hd and don't need to worry about any of it anymore. Now my question is.....do I still need a WD hitch? The truck came with a 2-1/2" class 5 receiver and can handle 1500 lbs of tongue weight, I also like the factory brake control too. I went with a 6.0 gas guzzler, I couldn't afford the extra $9500 for the diesel, it would have been nice but I only put 7-8k a year on the truck, sometimes it sits for 2 weeks at a time. I'm gonna miss my 1500 with that 6.2 in it, no more blowing mustangs away from red light to red light.
Do you need WD. Maybe, maybe not. What does your hitch have for the non WD rating? It may well handle 1500lbs, but that could be the WD rating. Also it's not about the hitch as much as it is about the weight transfer. How much weight is being lifted off the front wheels from the tongue weight. That's one of the reasons people use WD's. You need to make sure your not lifting the front too much. Just because the rear doesn't sag a lot doesn't mean the fronts not being lifted. Measure the front fender well, hitched and unhitched, you should be somewhere between the unhitched number and 1/2 the non WD hitched number. Example, 38" unhitched, 40" hitched w/o WD. You want to be 39" to 38" with the WD. I see lots of guys toing big trailers w/o WD and the front of the trucks are pointing to the sky. But they think since they have a 'big truck' that they can tow anything. All trucks have limits, some are higher than others but the owner is responsible for finding those limits and adhering to them.
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