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Old 06-01-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
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Over Tow limit- What Happens ?????

Just curious !!!! What happens if you are towing over your limit ? We have a 26 ft TT rated at 4600# Dry and a 6,000 towing capacity, with no problems, but have not had it in the hill. All the upgrade TT we like sem to be in the 6500# range. What happens when you go over the limit ? engine overheat? Trans overheat ? What the first sign ????
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:37 PM   #2
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There are two weight limits you need to be concerned with. GVWR and GCWR. Tow rating is not a weight rating - it is simply the GCWR minus the shipping weight of the new truck.

If you exceed the GVWR, that means your suspension and brakes are overloaded. Maybe the frame and other components such as tires and wheels are overloaded too. So that's mechanical overloading, and the results could be broken springs, busted shocks, not enough braking power to stop the weight of your truck, busted wheels, and/or blown out tires.

If you exceed the GCWR, that means your engine and drivetrain won't have enough power and torque to pull your rig up a normal interstate mountain pass or up a steep hill at a reasonable speed without overheating something in the drivetrain - engine cooling system, engine oil, transmission, torque converter, rear axle, etc.

So think of the GVWR as your limit to hauling capacity, and your GCWR as your limit to pulling capacity. Most pickups with single rear wheels (SRW) can pull a lot more weight than they can haul the hitch weight of that trailer. So with an SRW pickup, be concerned with GVWR and not GCWR or tow rating.

For example, my GCWR is 14,000 pounds and tow rating is 8,400 pounds. But I exceed the GVWR of my pickup with a GCW of less than 11,500 pounds and a trailer that grosses less than 5,000 pounds. So I ignore tow ratings and GCWR and worry about GVWR and available payload capacity for tongue weight.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:02 PM   #3
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The first sign of towing overweight is the smell of your brake pads burning as you go downhill.
The second sign is running into the guy in front of you because you have no brakes.
The third sign is the ambulance taking your family to the hospital.

Don't do it. Get a smallerTT or a bigger TV.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:08 PM   #4
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In addition to what SmokeyWren said, overloading can create a balance issue. The trailer can oscillate to the point of wrenching you out of control. Be careful with tongue weight and keep within limits of 12-15% of trailer weight. If that weight overloads the tail end of the TV, then you must redistribute weight and/or lighten your load. Too much weight on back end of the truck reduces steering and braking effects and be dangerous in a emergency maneuver.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:22 PM   #5
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Don't forget your axle weight ratings.
You can lose your insurance when operating vehicle outside it's limits/capacities as well as brakes, transmission etc.
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Old 06-01-2014, 06:41 PM   #6
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This a typical problem. Have a SUV or half ton truck and maxed out with first trailer. When you look at 2nd trailers they are usually longer and heavier and you can't tow them safely. I always tell people that 7500 is about the safe half ton limit. I was surprised to hear a Dodge dealer say the same thing when I was looking at a 2500. For safeties sake be over trucked and not over trailered.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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Don't forget your axle weight ratings.
You can lose your insurance when operating vehicle outside it's limits/capacities as well as brakes, transmission etc.
That is an internet myth. Even the Minnesota State Patrol say that your insurance WILL cover you in the unlikely event of an accident if you are over weight. The reason is because there is no law against being stupid. You may have a problem getting insurance afterwards, but you will be covered.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #8
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Over Tow limit- What Happens ?????
Not much.
However much depends on the tow vehicle in question and how much over the tow limit.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:05 PM   #9
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The first thing to determine the weight capacity has been the cooling system capacity. Where their is heat there is concerns.
If the tires are not overloaded, and the trailer brakes and axles are good then the problem is power train heat that needs attention.
I towed a 6000…lbs trailer with a 3500 lbs rated truck. But the same automatic model was rated for 6000lbs trailer. The clutch was the problem on my truck.
The driver makes a big difference when towing. Some will break anything with half the load while others will survive well with 50% overload. The manufacturer takes that in consideration when rating a vehicle.
I have seen it often, a bigger truck braking up the trailer and itself due to unconcerned driver. Many fair well with overloaded trucks while driving properly.
A dealer told me he rather set up his trailer on a boarder line truck then on a larger truck with an agressive driver.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:15 PM   #10
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What happens if you exceed tow limit...

Additional stress and strain on engine, transmission drive train and brakes cause them to fail sooner than they should.. Stopping distance may be increased, control reduced, and some hills.. Might not make it at all. There is a much greater chance of the cart getting ahead of the horse (Rig reversal or jacknife type accidents) and remember that hill you had trouble making it up.. Well going down is no fun either (Brakes)

Finally, heaven forbid you crash INTO SOMEONE.. there may be a smart attorney who figures you you were towing in a reckless manner and even though all your "Victim" suffered was a very minor injury (If any) how's half a million dollars grab you for a settlement?

Yup, not a recommended practice.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:27 PM   #11
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White knuckle scary driving is what happens. Always making steering corrections just to keep in your lane. Driving at 55mph in a 70mph zone. Every semi-truck that passes will be an exciting experience, and not in a good way.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:58 PM   #12
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It depends. Exceeding GVWR is illegal in many states, I thing it answers the question. Towing capacity is just a manufacturer recommendation, it may be based on serious tests, engineering calculations or be totally arbitrary, especially when it comes to cars, crossovers, minivans. Many vehicles have zero TC which has no sense, it just reflects lack of the manufacturer's desire to promote the vehicle as a TV on the US market. For example, my E-class is not recommended for towing, but in Germany it's good for 4600lb. Going over the TC in some situation may be both legal and safe, it just requires someone to know what he is doing, understanding some mechanical aspects of the vehicle, correct installation of appropriate hitch receiver and other hardware. The rule of thumb is that any vehicle can pull it's own weight. Going a few hundreds pounds over the capacity unlikely to cause significant adverse effects, if the TV is capable to begin with. On the other hand, towing a TT is less about weight and more about aerodynamics. Overall, If you pull 25 feet without problems, you are likely to be ok with 28 feet ultralight a few hundreds lb heavier as well.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:31 PM   #13
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It only takes one time losing control of your trailer in an emergency to realize, you were way wrong in by-passing rules designed for safety.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:45 PM   #14
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That is an internet myth. Even the Minnesota State Patrol say that your insurance WILL cover you in the unlikely event of an accident if you are over weight. The reason is because there is no law against being stupid. You may have a problem getting insurance afterwards, but you will be covered.
Rules and regulations vary between states and provinces which means what is legal and covered in Minnesota may very well be illegal elsewhere.
Even if it is not illegal it doesn't automatically make it safe or can be recommended.
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