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Old 03-04-2013, 06:34 AM   #1
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Is loading back of 5th Wheel a good way to minimize pin weight?

We are first time RVers (expecting our Redwood in several weeks). We are about 800 pounds under the TV's GAWR (rear) but I'd still like to minimize the amount of additional pin weight added through putting cargo in the 5th Wheel (approx. 20% of cargo weight will go to pin weight).

Is putting the majority of the cargo towards the back of the 5th wheel a good strategy for reducing additional pin weight or does balancing the 5th wheel on it's axles outweigh any benefits?

Thanks much
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:41 AM   #2
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Pin weight

I used to drive semi trucks for a living. Now whenever we loaded a semi trailer the weight should be evenly distributed between the axles of the unit being towed and the the towing vehicles axles. If only 20% of the weight will be on the pin I would not worry too much about the pin weight being too much that places 80% of the weight on the trailer axles themselves. I would try to balance that weight more towards the pin. But that is just me. I too am a first time 5er and I am about to go pick our unit up. It will be interesting.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
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good question.I have never had a 5th, but i have drove a semi..if them two are anything alike i would say you want your weight to be evenly threwout as much as possible..but what do i know. I always wanted to see what its like going around a corner at 50 with 5th..does it sway like a loaded semi does?? if so, I hope your weight is even.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:06 AM   #4
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Hey Oregonbound,

5th wheels are different than semi-trailers. You want somewhere around 20% of GVW on the pin. The rest of the weight will be on the trailer axles.

Yes, you can move any load in the trailer to the back to help distribute the weight. Our Carri-Lite actually has a rear basement to help keep the pin weight down!! I load most of the heavier, smaller items in the rear, and try to put the lighter items in the main basement and front generator storage area.

Just make sure anything you load inside the coach behind the axles is secure so it doesn't move during travel. Load your rig and run thru your local CAT scales to check your weights.

Regards, Hamshog
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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Towing a 15,000 lb 5er with a dually. There is no sway going around a corner. Or at least not any I can feel in the truck.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
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Yes you can reduce pin weight by distributing more toward the rear, but remember that it the weight that you are moving does not have to go all the way to the rear. Doing that may cause some porpoising. Instead try a little at a time and just move it towards the back axle. It doesn't take much to change the weight from front to back or back to front. Remember that there is a weight limit stamped on the tires and you do not want to exceed that limit at max PSI.

If you put to much to the rear you will feel and hear the king pin gong up and down inside the hitch. You want a smooth continuous weight from the king pin to the hitch.

Happy trails.

Previous 5er owner.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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X2, on Wayne M's warning , you do not want to reduce the pin weight below 20% of total 5th wheel trailer weight.
I travelled once with 15% on the pin and things got scary in a hurry
4, 5ths before I switched to a coach.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:00 PM   #8
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I do hope that you have DRW Ram. I would not add to much weight to the rear or you may get a rig that will have a tendency to poripose.

Ken
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
Towing a 15,000 lb 5er with a dually. There is no sway going around a corner. Or at least not any I can feel in the truck.
That answers my question. thanks. I know the first time i drove a semi, man was i scared, going around that corner and all of sudden the cargo shifts and hold on!!!
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregonbound View Post
We are first time RVers (expecting our Redwood in several weeks). We are about 800 pounds under the TV's GAWR (rear) but I'd still like to minimize the amount of additional pin weight added through putting cargo in the 5th Wheel (approx. 20% of cargo weight will go to pin weight).

Is putting the majority of the cargo towards the back of the 5th wheel a good strategy for reducing additional pin weight or does balancing the 5th wheel on it's axles outweigh any benefits?

Thanks much
How do you know that you are 800 LBS under the TV GAWR?
Have you weighed the combination and than the TV vehicle and trailer separately?

I am a firm believer in weighing the truck and camper as you would use them for camping. I have scaled my combination and all of my weights are under the maximum weights allowed for the truck. No guess work actual numbers.

Jim W.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #11
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LaZy507 - I want to add that all holding tanks were empty and there really were no heavy items that would shift.

I did pull a travel trailer once with 1/2 tank of fresh water. White knuckled until I pulled over and drained the tank.

But with my current set-up the truck is surprisingly stable. Not sure of what could be better. Maybe a tag axle motorhome I guess.

I never tried a SRW pulling my 5er so I do not know what it would be like. All I know is I am happy with the dually. And the people that told me that 5ers tow a lot better than trailers were 110% right.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:50 AM   #12
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And the people that told me that 5ers tow a lot better than trailers were 110% right.
Only if the hitch for the TT is an ordinary weight-distributing hitch that cost less than $1,000. But if you spend the big bucks for a ProPride or Hensley Arrow hitch, the properly-loaded TT will tow as good as any 5er.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:38 AM   #13
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ditto on the propride - they proved it to me...
first time EVER pulling a big tt from the dealer in 30 mph crosswinds and storming rain and 18 wheelers flying by it never twitched !

all that AND an undersized Ford Excursion
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Old 03-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jimcumminsw View Post
How do you know that you are 800 LBS under the TV GAWR?
Have you weighed the combination and than the TV vehicle and trailer separately?

I am a firm believer in weighing the truck and camper as you would use them for camping. I have scaled my combination and all of my weights are under the maximum weights allowed for the truck. No guess work actual numbers.

Jim W.
I have weighed the TV. The GAW (rear) was 3000 lbs with everything in the TV that will have when towing (including full fuel tank). The GAWR (rear) is 6500 lbs.. leaving 3500# margin. The pin weight of the dry 5er is 2400#. Add another 1500#s to 5er with options and cargo (will travel light) for hitch x 20% = additional 300# pin weight. Add 150# for hitch and the total GAW(rear) is 5850#. This leaves 650# clearance on GAW (rear). I forgot about weight of hitch in previous estimate.

I will certainly weight everything once we get the 5er hooked up to make sure nothing is exceeded.

Thanks for the input
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