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Old 10-02-2012, 07:52 AM   #15
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It's true the companies pay the engineers big bucks but they also pay their lawyers to work with the engineers to ensure there is a fudge factor built in to the calculations to protect us from ourselves. Reminds me of my flying days when we would routinely fly in planes that were over gross weight by 10% or so.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azdryheat
It's true the companies pay the engineers big bucks but they also pay their lawyers to work with the engineers to ensure there is a fudge factor built in to the calculations to protect us from ourselves. Reminds me of my flying days when we would routinely fly in planes that were over gross weight by 10% or so.
10%? To put it in aeronautical terms, OP is talking about fitting 12 people in a piper and flying cross country.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:17 AM   #17
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The safety factor is designed in for emergency use to make sure the device will hold together if you bump up over the design numbers for a short time. It is not meant to be used every day to the limits of the safety factor.

The auto manufacturers are never going to tell you how much safety factor they have buit in due to some knuckle head deciding to run at the limits ALL OF THE TIME and then sue the manufacturer for the junk falling apart.

Ken

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Old 10-03-2012, 11:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by fschambe View Post
When I jump on chevy's website the tow ratings (which are also in my owner's manual) state that I can have a combined 30,500 lbs, 22,400 max 5th wheel trailer, 5,133 lbs in the bed.
Sounds simple, but it's not. If you rely on those numbers, you're probably going to be overloaded when on the road with your RV trailer tied on.

Granted, the raw numbers are easy to find. But they are extremely misleading if you don't understand what they mean. For your truck the GCWR is 30,500 pounds, which is a firm limit to the combined weight of truck and trailer. When you weigh the wet and loaded rig on a CAT scale, if the combined weight is less than 30,500 pounds, you should have no problems in overheating and melting anything in the drivetrain. And you should be able to climb normal interstate mountain passes at a reasonable speed.

But the tow rating is a computed number with flawed assumptions. Your tow rating of 22,400 pounds does NOT mean you can tow a 5er that weighs 22,400 pounds without being overloaded, unless your wet and loaded truck weighs LESS than 8,100 pounds before you tie onto the trailer. But your tow vehicle is probably going to weigh a lot more than 8,100 pounds when wet and loaded for towing. So the tow rating is a myth.

And your max payload is also a myth, with the assumption that there is absolutely nothing in the truck except a skinny driver. No options such as spray-in bedliner, no 5er hitch, no passengers, pets, tools, jacks, spares, coolers, nothing. So no, you cannot tow a 5er with a hitch weight of 5,133 pounds without being overloaded.

So before you rely on the tow rating and payload rating GM published, you need to load the truck with everything that will be in it when towing, go to a truckstop with a CAT scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded tow vehicle. Subract that weight from the GCWR of the truck and the answer is the actual tow rating if GCWR is your limiter. Subtract that weight from the GVWR of the truck and the answer is the max hitch weight you can haul without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch weight by 20% and the answer is the actual 5er tow rating if GVWR is your limiter. Use whichever of those two tow ratings that is the lighter weight. For a dually tow vehicle, GCWR is usually the limiter. For an SRW pickup, GVWR is usually the limiter.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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Smokey...good explaining there....BUT, the problem is some do not do a good job of listening or reading. They just want to wait until one person comes along and says he does just fine towing his 40' Teton with the 4 cylinder Ford Ranger...but you are going to have to add some air bags to the rear end.....you know the rest of the story.

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Old 10-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #20
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I would like to hear of a wreck caused soley because a TV was, say, 500# or even 1000# over GVW.

Before we got the Everest I was looking into Lance campers. The model recommended for my truck weighed 2500#. Add 1000# to that and you get a more realistic weight. If I were to do that I would be 2000# over weight. You see, my truck says the allowed payload is a meesly 1500#. I say an attorney came up with that number not an engineer. If we were held to that number there would be no 3/4 trucks carrying anything...no campers, no 5th wheels, no nuth'n.

So since I didn't go with a 3500# camper, I figure my 2000# hitch weight ain't too bad.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:29 PM   #21
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One other thought. How many camper and 5th manufacturers are selling rigs specifically aimed at the 3/4 ton short bed crowd and say as much? Lots. Seems if there were a weight problem then the attorneys for the companies selling the campers/trailers would be putting a stop to such a practice.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:34 PM   #22
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If I recall right when the salesperson tells me, "The trailer is 3/4 ton tow able." Technically he is correct, it is just when you load everything it is no longer 3/4 ton towable.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:58 PM   #23
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There is a short article in GS Highways magazine on page 35 entitled, "Over the Limit".

In summary it states that The RV Safety& Educational Foundation estimates that 58% of the RVs and tow vehicles EXCEED a manufacturers stated weight rating. Of those:
60% are tow vehicles
59% are motorhomes,
55% are 5th wheels and
51% are travel trailers.

These are pretty disturbing numbers, when some do not know and some just do not care.

Their advice was to weigh your rigs and understand the weight ratings. So it goes back to never believe anything the RV dealer or Truck dealer tells you and for that matter what a lot of the folks on the internet tell you. Since there is a good sampling of people on the internet, it stands to reason that 60% of the people giving tow vehicle advice are probably wrong.

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Old 10-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #24
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When I jump on chevy's website the tow ratings (which are also in my owner's manual) state that I can have a combined 30,500 lbs, 22,400 max 5th wheel trailer, 5,133 lbs in the bed. 5ers are generally around 20-25% on the pin.
Looks like some didn't read what you said. That your truck can have a combined weight up to 30500 lbs which according to GM you can. No myth there.

You may also tow up to 22500 lb trailer and you may also carry 5133 in the bed. No myth in either of those numbers given by factory engineers.

IMO some folks are still stuck with stripped down models with a couple of options from years past. Those days are gone. Most options of years past are included as std equipment today.

Also GM has a online weight calculator that gives the user weights of all options say in a loaded 3500 DRW LTZ. It give us the trucks allowable front and rear axle weights and GVWR weights. All thats necessary is the owner to add up the weight of all occupants and any gear he adds to the truck. Or simply weigh the trucks front and rear axles seperatly.

With all the hand wringing about all the overloaded trucks out here we should see broke down trucks everywhere littering the sides of the road. Not so.

Its been my experience operating a truck above its GVWR/GCWR has not caused them to wear out prematurely. I've had several, mostly one ton DRWs and a couple of 2500, trucks in commercail service carrying weight up to the sum of the axle rating and pulling max weights allowed by the manufacture or allowed by law and ran the truck for 300k-400k miles before selling it and put another one in service.

I reckon the OP has been probably gotten bored or scared off with the usual banter about which weights should I use. Which is where these type threads head without any actual weight numbers being posted.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:53 PM   #25
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Do some people say you can only tow with a 1 ton dually? Do some say you'll be overloaded towing with a 3/4 ton? Do all the numbers get crazy?

I went to Ford and Chevy and got numbers for towing 5th wheels with the various truck models they offer. Here are the numbers for my model of truck and these numbers are specifically for towing a 5th wheel:

Ford's website says a 2013 F250 diesel, standard bed, crew cab, 4x4 can tow a 15,200 pound 5th wheel.

A 2013 Chevy 2500HD equipped the same can tow a 15,800 pound 5th wheel. BTW, there is no caveat telling a buyer to check hitch weight, length or anything else. All it says is, "Max 5th Wheel Trailering, 3.73 Rear Axle - 15,800 lbs".

Looking at the Heartland website, for example, I would not consider their top-of-the-line Landmark series because they are over 16,000 GVWR, which are for the dually crowd. Next in line is the Bighorn. Out of 16 Bighorn floor plans there are 4 models that have a 14,000 GVWR and the rest are 15,500 GVWR.

Seems to me that, based on Chevy's own numbers, the Chevy 2500, diesel, standard bed, crewcab, 4x4 can tow all of these Bighorns and be within weight limits as set by the manufacturer. The Ford can only handle the 14,00 pounders. Note these are maximum loaded trailer weights so don't overload your trailer. And notice that Chevy doesn't mention the length of the trailer nor the hitch weight.

I'm sure there are members here who would tell you not to pull a 15,500 pound trailer with anything less than a 1 ton dually. Yet Chevy tells you you can tow that trailer with the 2500 described above and be within limits. I don't think for a minute that the Chevy lawyers would allow such numbers to be published if there was the remotest possibility of a potential law suit from being over weight. I agree that a 1 ton is the best, most stable truck to tow with but it is not the only truck to tow with.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:04 PM   #26
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While reading the tow charts, did you happen to read the fine print at the bottom? On the Ram charts, the following is contained in footnote #3:

Quote:
Additionally, the GAWRs and GVWRs should never be exceeded.
I suspect that Ford and GM have very similar language in theirs. If one is going to use the manufacturer's towing information contained in the towing charts, one cannot just look at a manufacturer's trailer tow rating and quit there.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:38 PM   #27
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A 2013 Chevy 2500HD equipped the same can tow a 15,800 pound 5th wheel. BTW, there is no caveat telling a buyer to check hitch weight, length or anything else. All it says is, "Max 5th Wheel Trailering, 3.73 Rear Axle - 15,800 lbs".
What Rusty said.

Read it again. The Ford, GM and MOPAR towing guides all have the same fine print that says, in effect, "never exceed the GCWR or GVWR of the tow vehicle ".

The "Max 5th Wheel Trailering, 3.73 Rear Axle - 15,800 lbs" line includes the word max, which means maximum. So with certain very exacting conditions, you might be able to tow a 5er that weighs 15,800 pounds without exceeding either the GCWR or GVWR of the truck, but it's very unlikely. You'd have to have an empty truck with absolutely nothing in the truck but a skinny driver. And your 5er would have to have less than the normal percentage of hitch weight.

Subtract that 15,800 from the GCWR of the truck, and you'll see the maximum your truck could weigh before you tie onto the trailer. Good luck with getting the truck's weight down to that amount with driver, full tank of fuel, and 5er hitch installed. And your normal stuff in the truck, people, pets, cooler, tools, whatever, will cause your wet and loaded truck to substantially exceed that weight. Subtract that truck weight from the GVWR of the truck and you'll see the maximum hitch weight your 5er can have without exceeding the GVWR of the truck.

In a nutshell, you cannot tow a 5er that weighs 15,800 pounds with that Chevy with normal weight of people and stuff in the truck without being overloaded - per Chevy's definition of overloaded.

But it's not just Chevy or GM. Ford, MOPAR, Toyota, Nisson and GM all publish the same unrealistic max trailer weights (tow ratings), based on GCWR and an empty tow vehicle, and ignoring GVWR. The fine print somewhere says that you cannot exceed GVWR, but the average Joe is not going to find it - or if he's the same mindset as you, not even look for it. But it's there if you look for it.

For example, here is part of that fine print for the 2012 Chevy Silverado:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012 Chevrolet Silverado Towing guide

There are a couple of other ratings that are also important to making sure your trailering combination performs properly. It is also important that your vehicle, and your trailering combination, do not exceed the Tongue Weight, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), or Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (RGAWR) limitations for your vehicle. The only way to be sure it is not exceeding any of these ratings is to weigh the tow vehicle and trailer combination, fully loaded for the trip, getting individual weights for each of these items. This can be done at a weigh station having a multi-platform scale.

Here's where I found that insight:

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:07 PM   #28
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It all boils down to people reading the big print and once they see a weight, they do not read the rest of the statement which does put the limitation on the aforementioned rating.

Smokey, I think I getting to your GRUMPY OLD MAN state with almost 30 years of towing experience and 42 years engineering experience.

Folks, please read all of the footnotes.

Ken
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