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Old 05-24-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
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Overweight - what am I risking?

I have a 35' 6" TT that I pull with a Yukon XL Denali (1/2 ton). I have plenty of HP but am overweight. I have 5 kids and two big dogs so a large SUV is a must. We mostly do weekend trips and nothing more than a five or six hour drive. Because of this we don't carry a lot of extras on the trailer so not a huge amount of additional weight. I could buy a 3/4 ton suburban but would still be overweight. The only "correct" option I see is to sell the trailer and get a class A. But dealing with what I have now, what risk am I taking by driving my current rig?
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyWhoTris
I have a 35' 6" TT that I pull with a Yukon XL Denali (1/2 ton). I have plenty of HP but am overweight. I have 5 kids and two big dogs so a large SUV is a must. We mostly do weekend trips and nothing more than a five or six hour drive. Because of this we don't carry a lot of extras on the trailer so not a huge amount of additional weight. I could buy a 3/4 ton suburban but would still be overweight. The only "correct" option I see is to sell the trailer and get a class A. But dealing with what I have now, what risk am I taking by driving my current rig?
What are you risking?
- your life
- you didn't say but I'm assuming your wife's life
- the lives of 5 kids
- two dogs
- and possibly my life

Please don't do it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:21 AM   #3
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You are only risking your life and your family's lives. An overweight tow vehicle will be taxed in handling and stopping. Will that extra 20 feet of stopping distance run you through a car or truck ahead of you? Will the sway and handling of the trailer cause you to flip when a truck goes by or a gust of wind hits you? You are just an accident waiting to happen. I would not gamble my family's lives on it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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Length really does not mean a thing. What is important are the weight of the trailer and the weight of the tow vehicle along with the combined weights of both.
So the first thing you need to do is weight the trailer and the tow vehicle on a certified scale to find out how much weight you are towing. Then you need to find the correct tow vehicle and trailer for your needs, regardless what anyone else tells you this is imperative that you know this information.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
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the bad thing is you just told the whole world you are overweight
now if you have a mishap the lawyers will be all over you because you willing and knowingly operated an illegal motor vehicle
i try to never say anything in print that will come back and bite me and if you were to google my name this is close to 50 years of my life's activity document on the web
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:19 AM   #6
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I am new to this. Everyone says "don't do it" but I have never seen why. Because of increased wear and tear on the TV? Possible blowout? Etc. I was told I was fine by several sources who are experienced full timers in trailers that i trusted but after reading these forums i am trying to understand if I am or not. I am realizing I am probably not and am looking for solutions. "risking my life" may be true - that's what I am trying to understand and why. If the risk is additional wear and tear, so be it. If it is loss of control, etc that is hugely different. I do not have problems with rigs passing me when I am driving at certain speeds. So I stay below those speeds. Stopping hasn't been an issue either. So I have been confused by the "don't do it" comments.

Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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We are trying to help you by giving advice based on experience and knowledge.

Several members have listed potential disaster scenarios above, with causes and effects. You admit that you realize you are operating past the established safety limits of your equipment and want justification, you won't find that here.

Assuming you don't like the answers... Why did you ask?

What are you risking? Everything.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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GWT the problem is the tow unit is lacking on weight and suspension to handle the
towed unit if something happens. Even with working brakes on the towed unit a
emergency stop will cause handling problems for the driver.

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Old 05-24-2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyWhoTris View Post
I am new to this. Everyone says "don't do it" but I have never seen why. Because of increased wear and tear on the TV? Possible blowout? Etc. I was told I was fine by several sources who are experienced full timers in trailers that i trusted but after reading these forums i am trying to understand if I am or not. I am realizing I am probably not and am looking for solutions. "risking my life" may be true - that's what I am trying to understand and why. If the risk is additional wear and tear, so be it. If it is loss of control, etc that is hugely different. I do not have problems with rigs passing me when I am driving at certain speeds. So I stay below those speeds. Stopping hasn't been an issue either. So I have been confused by the "don't do it" comments.

Thanks.
Your truck and trailer are systems designed to work within certain limitations. The tires, brakes, suspension, engine, transmission, etc are designed to work safely as long as you do not exceed the design limits.

If you choose to ignore the design limits, and introduce (acceptible to you) additional wear and tear on your system, eventually something will break.

When (not if) it does, unpredictible results will occur. These results can vary from minor annoyances (noises, etc), to catastrophic failure (tires blow, suspension breaks, brakes fail, etc).

Your ability to control your vehicle when a failure occurs is heavily affected by your overweight condition. It is more difficult to control when everything is working, and FAR more difficult to control when something breaks.

My advice: Don't do it. Why? Because being able to predict how your system will react to common failures is key to surviving them. That predictibility is built into the system by the manufacturers through their safety testing, and is used to set the limits. Being overloaded negates the manufacturers testing, takes much of the predictibility out of the equasion.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #10
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This question reminds me of one that has been asked over on one of the Dodge/Cummins truck forums. A poster has said that his receiver hitch is rated for a 500 lb "dead" (i.e., no weight distribution) tongue load. He wants to pull a trailer with (in his words) "between 1000 and 2000 lbs tongue weight" with no weight distribution equipment - for just one trip of 1000 miles. His final question is, "Will I be OK doing this?"

From my viewpoint, he probably will - until suddenly he ISN'T. If/when that happens (i.e., a hitch weld fails or the bolts attaching the hitch to the frame fracture), things are going to go very wrong very quickly. Your situation is the same, IMHO.

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Old 05-24-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyWhoTris View Post
I am new to this. Everyone says "don't do it" but I have never seen why.
You don't want to see why. Sure you have the HP to pull it in a straight line, but I'm sure you've seen stories of SUVs flipping or going out of control on their own. NOW add a 35'6'' lever on the back. If your 1000 lb (1/2 ton) capacity vehicle is hauling you, 5 kids and 2 dogs you are probably close to the limit. Then you hitch a trailer on the back? That puts more weight on the very end of your already loaded SUV.

You will probably pull this combination for many miles---until you arrive at the scene of the accident ---YOURS. The need for a quick maneuver to avoid a road hazard would be deadly with a vehicle loaded like yours.

Quote:
Stopping hasn't been an issue either.
I'm sure the stopping you've done so far has been under conditions you anticipate. How about an emergency stop? It will be the 'tail wagging the dog' in any kind of panic stop.

Ultimately it is up to you. The people who tell you this combination is OK are short sighted and ignorant of safe RVing.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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[QUOTE
I'm sure the stopping you've done so far has been under conditions you anticipate. How about an emergency stop? It will be the 'tail wagging the dog' in any kind of panic stop.

I could not have said it better and is very true.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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I wish I had a nickle for every RV out there running overweight. I'd get a Newell.

It is not a good idea as a matter of fact a really bad idea but you have a lot of unconfessed company out there on the road. The risk is a much greater likelyhood of accident or breakdown or both and yes people can be hurt or worse.

But you want to solve the problem, thank you.

It is not so much the "go" (HP) as the "whoa" (brakeing) that presents the most serious problem.

Unless you are traveling with the TT seriously overloaded which you suggest is not the situation.

It seems to me that one thing you could get for a good price is a big used gas eating vehicle that would handle this TT just fine. I assume from your description it is the tow vehicle that is the problem making you say you are overweight, not the actual weight in the TT.

Without a lot of checking and weighing, if you get a used gas MH you may go from the frying pan to the the fire. Some of them are built, come from the factory, with about 900 pounds carrying capacity shamefully. So shop smart.

Diesel is another matter much higher chasis weights and price. Regardless when you shop see if you can get a weigh slip before you buy.

Needless to say, be careful out there. I'll do the same for you.


PS: no, my rig is not overweight I just wish I could say the same about me.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #14
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Thank you for the answers. I didn't realize there was a potential problem until reading this forum. Now I have a decision to make and i don't like the conclusion. I don't want to be unsafe so will have to sell the trailer. I am not sure a class A is a possibility and my family/wife won't consider a class C - not sure how well we'd fit anyway. We may have to give up RVing until I get some of these kids out of the house.
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