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Old 09-20-2011, 04:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Telle View Post
If my truck has a maximum tow capacity of 10,400 and the trailer has a gross vehicle weight rating of 9500 does that mean we are good to tow?

It just means that the grossly overstated manufacturer's tow rating is higher than the GVWR of the trailer.

You need actual weights to tell how you stand. So load up the truck with all the stuff you'll have in it on a towing trip - people, pets, tools, options, trailer hitch, cooler, whatever. Then drive to a truckstop that has a CAT scale an fill up with fuel. Then weigh the wet and loaded truck. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR of the truck. The result will tell you the maximum hitch weight you can have without being overloaded.

A travel trailer (TT) should have about 12 percent hitch weight. So your 9500 pound trailer when loaded for bear should have a hitch weight of about 1,140 pounds. If your maximum hitch weight is more than 1,140 pounds, and if your receiver and all parts of the hitch are rated for at least 1,140 pounds - and provided you do a decent job of distributing the weight in the trailer - then you probably won't be overloaded. So yeah, you'll probably be good to tow.

But notice that "probably". Those numbers will be good enough to decide if the trailer weight matches your tow vehicle capacity so you can decide wehther to buy that trailer. But you'll need actual wet and loaded scale weights before you'll know for sure. So load the truck and trailer for a trip, including enough fresh water to flush the pottie on the road. Then go to the truckstop, fill up with fuel, and weigh the rig. Compare the weight on the two truck axles to the GVWR of the truck. Compare the combined weight of truck and trailer to the GCWR of the truck.

And after two or three long towing trips, weigh the rig again. Weight seems to accumulate in the trailer over time and miles, so even if you started out good to tow, you might be overloaded by the third or later trip.

Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196S, and my tow vehicle is a 2012 F-150 EcoBoost SuperCrew.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:49 PM   #16
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When all of the above calculating is done, then go around and check that the allowed weight rating of the tires still is within their range. I like a margin for safety for this.
The more that you trim the margin, the more likely you will be under the truck or trailer trying to jack it up to fix a blowout (on a 107 degree day).


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Old 09-22-2011, 04:45 AM   #17
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We have talked about it and don't want to be over weight and not safe. So we are looking at a 2004 f-250 lariat 4x4 gas and a jayco eagle 298bhs. I feel like a need a degree in physics to figure all this out. what do you guys think about this combo?
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:31 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Telle View Post
So we are looking at a 2004 f-250 lariat 4x4 gas and a jayco eagle 298bhs. .... what do you guys think about this combo?
You'll be right up against the weight limits of your tow vehicle - not overloaded, but no wiggle room.

If your Ford tow rating is 10,400, then you have a 2004 F-250 SuperCab 4x4 with the V-10 engine and 3.73 axle ratio. GCWR is 17,000 pounds, so Ford thinks your truck weighs only 6,600 pounds. But the CAT scale will probably show that your truck weighs around 7,500 pounds when wet and loaded ready for the road. So your actual tow rating is closer to 9,500 pounds.

Your GVWR is 8,800 pounds, so if your wet and loaded truck weighs 7,500, you'll have up to 1,300 pounds available for hitch weight.

The 2006 Jayco Eagle 298BHS has a GVWR of 9,500 pounds, and probably a wet and loaded hitch weight of about 1,150 pounds. So with a good weight-distributing hitch, you won't be overloaded over the GVWR of the tow vehicle. If your significant other loads the trailer the way most sigs do, then you'll be right up against the GVWR of the trailer and right up against the GCWR of the pickup. No problem, as long as you understand that you're loaded to the max capability of your tow vehicle, so you won't be winning any races to the top of the mountain pass. I would be very weight consious and always dump the holding tanks before hitting the road, and haul only enough fresh water in the fresh water tank to flush the pottie while on the road.

The key to this is that CAT scale ticket. Weigh the wet and loaded truck (including driver, passenger(s), pet(s), toolbox full of tools, floor jack, extra fluids, hitch installed, full tank of gas, cooler full of cool, etc.) If it weighs more than 7,500 pounds, then maybe get rid of some of the weight before you tie onto the trailer. No, keep the floor jack. You might need it to change a trailer tire in a muddy gutter during a rainstorm.

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