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Old 09-09-2011, 11:16 PM   #1
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Towing Capacity

I pull ourTT with a 2003 Excursion 7.3. Just wondering what the max towing capacity is as we're looking at upgrading our TT.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:16 AM   #2
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Here is Ford's 2003 towing guide.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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Since you already have your tow vehicle, you really need to load it up just like you were heading out on a trip - cargo, full fuel tanks, driver and passengers, etc. - and head to a set of scales to get it weighed. Once you know your true laden curb weight (LCW), your tow capacity is:

Vehicle GCWR - LCW = maximum total loaded weight of trailer*

Vehicle GVWR - LCW = maximum tongue weight of loaded trailer*

*If your receiver hitch capacities are lower than either of the above, the lower numbers would govern.

The reason for using this approach instead of the fictitious "manufacturer's trailer tow rating" is that the manufacturer's trailer tow rating is calculated as GCWR minus published curb weight of the vehicle, and the published curb weight of the vehicle is based on a base model vehicle with no options or accessories and only a 150 lb driver, so it's going to be grossly inflated.

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Old 09-10-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
Since you already have your tow vehicle, you really need to load it up just like you were heading out on a trip - cargo, full fuel tanks, driver and passengers, etc. - and head to a set of scales to get it weighed. Once you know your true laden curb weight (LCW), your tow capacity is:

Vehicle GCWR - LCW = maximum total loaded weight of trailer*

Vehicle GVWR - LCW = maximum tongue weight of loaded trailer*

*If your receiver hitch capacities are lower than either of the above, the lower numbers would govern.

The reason for using this approach instead of the fictitious "manufacturer's trailer tow rating" is that the manufacturer's trailer tow rating is calculated as GCWR minus published curb weight of the vehicle, and the published curb weight of the vehicle is based on a base model vehicle with no options or accessories and only a 150 lb driver, so it's going to be grossly inflated.

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Lots of good information here. The formula for calculating the tow capacity as noted in the last paragraph is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow, or the capacity if the hitch, which ever is lower.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:19 PM   #5
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The formula for calculating the tow capacity as noted in the last paragraph is the GCWR minus the weight of the tow vehicle when ready to tow, or the capacity if the hitch, which ever is lower.
Close but no cigar. You omitted consideration of GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Towing weight limiters include GCWR, hitch weight rating, and GVWR of the tow vehicle. Whichever limiter results in the lesser trailer weight is the one you have to worry about. On a diesel-powered Excursion, the GCWR is 20,000 pounds, so that is not usually the limiter. The factory hitch is usually rated 12,000 pounds max trailer weight with a weight-distributing hitch, and that is not usually the limiter either.

On an Excursion - especially a diesel Excursion - the limiter is usually the 9,200 pounds GVWR of the tow vehicle. A wet and loaded Excursion with diesel engine usually weighs over 8,500 pounds. That leaves only 700 pounds for max hitch weight. 700 pounds hitch weight on a TT is less than 7,000 pounds gross trailer weight.

20,000 pounds GCWR of the diesel X-Car minus 8,500 pounds wet and loaded weight of the tow vehicle = 11,500 pounds max trailer weight if GCWR is the limiter. The hitch is rated for more than that, so it's not the limiter. But almost always if you tie onto a TT that weighs 11,500 pounds, you're going to be overloaded way beyond the 9,200 pounds GVWR of the X-Car.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:40 PM   #6
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My assumption was the GVWR is within limits...that formula is the one listed in all GM pubs for "actual" tow capacity.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:30 PM   #7
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Cat320, I would not go by any of the manufacturers pubs for "actual" tow capacity.

What you can go by is the information posted by Rusty. Actual weights and GVWR and GCWR. The manufacturers ratings have to be researched to see how many little "*" or footnotes they have tagged on the numbers.

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Old 09-13-2011, 08:46 PM   #8
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Cat320, I would not go by any of the manufacturers pubs for "actual" tow capacity.

What you can go by is the information posted by Rusty. Actual weights and GVWR and GCWR. The manufacturers ratings have to be researched to see how many little "*" or footnotes they have tagged on the numbers.

Ken
I agree 100%, and have stated on here many times not to believe any tow specs in brochures, on the internet or from any manufacturer. However, the formula I used is correct (given the GVWR is not exceeded), and is published in all GM truck brochures, no numbers are given, just the formula.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:58 AM   #9
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However, the formula I used is correct (given the GVWR is not exceeded), and is published in all GM truck brochures, no numbers are given, just the formula.
True, but bad formula. GM, Ford and MOPAR tow rating formulas all ignore the GVWR, which limits hitch weight. They all assume that you can tow a 5er or gooseneck or TT without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle as long as you don't exceed the GCWR of the tow vehicle. Bad assumption, especially on a diesel-powered Excursion or F-250 or comparable tow vehicle from the other guys.

My '99.5 F-250 PSD CrewCab 4x2 grossed almost 8,000 pounds when wet and ready for the road. Ford's "Tow rating" was over 13,000 pounds, so my 5er was nowhere near the "max trailer weight" per the tow rating. But with only 8,800 GVWR, the actual max hitch weight was only 800 pounds without busting the GVWR of the tow vehicle. And there is no such thing as a 13,000-pound 5er with a hitch weight of only 800 pounds. My 25-foot 5er grossed only 8,000 pounds when loaded for the road, but it overloaded my F-250 PSD by several hundred pounds over the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

So Rusty's rule of
"Vehicle GVWR - LCW = maximum tongue weight of loaded trailer"
is very important if you don't want to be overloaded, regardless of the truck manufacture's tow rating or formula that ignores the GVWR and the actual wet and loaded weight of the tow vehicle.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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Years ago, when I sold Dodges, and the need arose, I would use Dodge's tow ratings, have the potential customer get me the tow vehicle weight, and then add 2000lbs more for SAFETY.

SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY. That's my thing. People make mistakes ! Period ! I also sold RVs for a peroid.

I don't want to be the one the overloaded driver crashes into when his rig has a problem.

The newbies will listen to the over-ankshus(?) salesman, RV or truck, and then have a weight problem that he probably doesn't even understand.

I've heard too many times: "the motor in this truck will pull just about any trailer out there".

It was this dealers policy to figure it all out with the customer so there would not be a liability concern for the dealer if an accident happened.

Lawyers are pretty good at their job.

Plus, people are always looking for the next rv, and its usually bigger.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
True, but bad formula. GM, Ford and MOPAR tow rating formulas all ignore the GVWR, which limits hitch weight. They all assume that you can tow a 5er or gooseneck or TT without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle as long as you don't exceed the GCWR of the tow vehicle. Bad assumption, especially on a diesel-powered Excursion or F-250 or comparable tow vehicle from the other guys.

My '99.5 F-250 PSD CrewCab 4x2 grossed almost 8,000 pounds when wet and ready for the road. Ford's "Tow rating" was over 13,000 pounds, so my 5er was nowhere near the "max trailer weight" per the tow rating. But with only 8,800 GVWR, the actual max hitch weight was only 800 pounds without busting the GVWR of the tow vehicle. And there is no such thing as a 13,000-pound 5er with a hitch weight of only 800 pounds. My 25-foot 5er grossed only 8,000 pounds when loaded for the road, but it overloaded my F-250 PSD by several hundred pounds over the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

So Rusty's rule of
"Vehicle GVWR - LCW = maximum tongue weight of loaded trailer"
is very important if you don't want to be overloaded, regardless of the truck manufacture's tow rating or formula that ignores the GVWR and the actual wet and loaded weight of the tow vehicle.
We'll have to agree to disagree. As I stated before, the formula is totally correct if you do not exceed the truck's GVWR. The manufacturers (at least GM) figure the tow capacity by subtracting the emtpy truck weight from the GCWR...which it totally worthless whether towing a pull behind or a 5th wheel. The hitch weight or pin weight is weight carried in the truck and increases it's weight, thus spoiling their "tow capacity" figure.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:15 PM   #12
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Actually, Dodge addresses the GVWR (and, by extension, GAWRs as well) with a statement in the footnotes of their trailer tow ratings that says, in effect, "None of the truck's other ratings are to be exceeded when towing." The other manfacturers likely have similar verbiage in their ratings sections as well.

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Old 09-14-2011, 07:35 PM   #13
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Actually, Dodge addresses the GVWR (and, by extension, GAWRs as well) with a statement in the footnotes of their trailer tow ratings that says, in effect, "None of the truck's other ratings are to be exceeded when towing." The other manfacturers likely have similar verbiage in their ratings sections as well.

Rusty
Yep, those brochures are FULL of fine print. One I never could understand regarding my Chevy dually D/A, was a limit of 3,500# of 5th wheel pin weight regardless of the cargo capacity listed on the sticker. My cargo capacity on the sticker was over 4,200, yet I could not go over 3,500#. In that same paragraph was a statement limiting all 3/4 tons to a max of 3,000#. Of course a D/A 3/4 ton could not get near that much cargo capacity, much less pin weight only, however the gassers could due to no heavy diesel engine. On another forum there are many 3/4 ton D/A drivers touting how there trucks are "limited" to 3,000 PW, by misreading the paragraph and not knowing their own truck's rating.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:39 PM   #14
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help?

Hi all I am knew to all this and having a really hard time. 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?
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