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Old 04-19-2014, 02:05 PM   #1
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Tongue Weight Question

hello,

I need some help with hitch weight/tow weight. I am looking at buying a TT, not sure which one yet, in early stages of exploring the TT's and deciding on if we need a different TV. Currently we have a 2005 Chevy, with tow package. I have seen 2 different 2 different figure of max tow weight of 7500 and 7800 pounds. After reading this site and others I am beginning to understand tow weight better.
My question is, on my factory installed hitch I have the following info and not sure exactly what to make of it.

Maximum Trailer Weight Maximum Tongue Weight

Weight Carrying 5000 lbs 600 lbs
Weight Distribution 12000 lbs 1500 lbs

I have seen very few TT's with 600 lbs tongue weight. I don't want to imply that all sales people are unethical, just want to make sure I understand so i can make a good buying decision.

Thanks
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:42 PM   #2
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Welcome to iRV2

The manufacturers numbers are based on a base model truck and a 150 driver. You add accessories, options, cargo, hitch and other passengers, the tow rating and cargo capacity are reduced pound for pound.

The only way to know exactly what your towing limits are to load the vehicle with normal travel passengers, cargo and full fuel. Get it weighed and add for the weight of the hitch head.

Look on the drivers door jamb and you will find a sticker with the GAWR (gross axle weight rating) and the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating). In the owners manual, you can find a GCWR (gross combined weight rating) for your specific cab, engine and axle ratio.

GCWR - loaded vehicle = max loaded trailer weight (note: not dry weight).

GVWR - loaded vehicle = max loaded trailer hitch or tongue weight. (Note: not dry weight.

Read the footnotes on the manufacturers tow ratings and you will find that they say not to exceed any of the ratings for GAWR, GVWR and GCWR.

The hitch weight on a typical travel trailer will be 10% to 15% of the trailers loaded weight or GVWR.

As an average use 12.5%.

In the absence of an actual weight on the vehicle, use 80% of the manufacturers tow ratings to allow for loading the vehicle.

You hitch is rated for a maximum of 12,000# trailer weight and 1500# tongue weight with weight distribution hitch. This is considerably higher than the vehicle is rated....7500 or 7800#. So you are limited by the vehicle rating.

Actually your real world towing capacity is closer to 6000# and a tongue weight of something like 750#, provided this does not put you over the GVWR of the vehicle.

Ignore the dry and brochure weights for the trailers. These weights are a dry weight and do not include any item listed as an option in the brochure. This is typically items like A/C, microwave, TV, awning, battery and does not include propane or any fresh water and your camping supplies. A trailer can easily be 500 to 1000# more than the brochure weight.

Ans lastly, do not take the dealers word on what you can pull. His job is to sell RVs and very few will take the time to educate a buyer.

Have fun shopping.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:28 PM   #3
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An example, my TT has an advertised dry weight of 7,400 and tipped the scales at over 8,500 before I loaded it out. I'm well over 9,000. At a minimum, take the dry weight and add 1,500 to 2,000 lbs for a more realistic estimate. I'd rather over estimate than to find out later my truck just really can't handle it.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, I pretty much gathered from reading here that 7500/7800 was going to be high end tow capacity and probably risky.... thanks for clearing up the tongue weight ratings. Most likely we will look for a used 2500/250 to tow with. Really enjoying this site.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scfella View Post
Thanks for the replies, I pretty much gathered from reading here that 7500/7800 was going to be high end tow capacity and probably risky.... thanks for clearing up the tongue weight ratings. Most likely we will look for a used 2500/250 to tow with. Really enjoying this site.
Or a mid-size trailer with maybe a 5000lb dry weight.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scfella View Post
hello,


Maximum Trailer Weight Maximum Tongue Weight

Weight Carrying 5000 lbs 600 lbs
Weight Distribution 12000 lbs 1500 lbs


Thanks
Those are the weight limits for the hitch himself, not for the vehicle. Most likely you will reach the payload limit and gawr (usually indicated on the driver's side door) before the 7500lb towing limit. Payload includes passengers, cargo in the vehicle and bed, the hitch and tongue weight of the trailer.

For the hitch, 600lbs max tongue is for a normal hitch and 1500 lbs would be the max tongue weight when using a weight distribution hitch. However, 1500 lbs probably exceeds your max payload and Max rear gawr (gross axle weight rating).

Whatever the manufacturer suggests for a tongue weight, add 150-200lbs to get a real world figure.
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