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Old 07-04-2016, 09:10 AM   #1
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Need help with weight limit

I have read a few threads on this already and hate to repeat this topic but I want to be 100% clear on it all before I get something I shouldn't.

Family-Me, Wife, 3 kids 5yrs and younger, 2 dogs

Tow Vehicle-2015 Ford Expedition, 3.5L ecoboost twinturbo, 3.31 gear ratio, WD hitch and electric brake controller

Current TT-2016 Coachmen Freedom Express 246RKS, hitch wt 500, uvw 4700

Factory weight limit guide-http://www.ford.com/resources/ford/general/pdf/towingguides/15RV&TT_Ford_Expedition_Sep30.pdf

This little TT is awesome and was great for us when we purchased it.....then we found out we were expecting our 3rd addition to the family We have used it and it just isn't big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably. We are looking to upgrade and preferably one that has a private rear bunkhouse.

When we travel we never carry fresh water and utilize full hookup sites or one with a dump station so worrying about those weight capacities doesn't matter.

Question 1- Is HITCH weight the same as TONGUE weight? (refer to the link I provided and look at the "hitch receiver weight capacity").

Question 2- With my weight limit being 6600lbs is a TT in the UVW of 5500-6500 out of the question?

Here is a TT I am looking at which is the Coachmen Freedom Express 29SE which has a hitch weight of 639 and a UVW of 5638. Coachmen RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes

Another one is the GD Imagine 2800-https://www.granddesignrv.com/showroom/2017/travel-trailer/imagine/floorplans/2800bh

Help me!!!!
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:45 AM   #2
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So "hitch weight" and "tongue weight" are used interchangeably, but I always refer to Tongue weight as tongue weight so someone won't confuse it with the weight of the actual hitch itself.

Have you weighed the tongue of your ready to travel current 24 foot trailer? You could do this with the scale method or drop it on a CAT scale. I know your current trailer is advertised at 500, but I would wager a bet that it's higher by 100lbs.

If your vehicle handles fine currently, would adding another 200lbs+ of TW throw it over?

If your vehicle felt marginal now, that would be telling. If it felt rock solid now, that would telling.

The first link advertises 639 TW, probably in reality 739. I bet your door sticker reads approx. 1500 lbs of payload. Deduct all weight of the family, gear, hitch, and tongue. If you end up with a negative number, handling could be squirrel.

Pulling weight, you're fine.... might stress the trans a little, but if you're under, you're under.

But payload.. the weight exerted straight down.. you might go over.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:49 AM   #3
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to do with a bathroom scale..

Measuring trailer tongue weight with a bathroom scale
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:25 AM   #4
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Ok gotcha. So in regards to the tongue weight limit for my vehicle am I interpreting that since I'm utilizing a WD hitch that the limit is the 920lb and not the 660lb?

Obviously I'm not planning on going to that extreme but just want to make sure I'm understanding that correctly.
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Old 07-04-2016, 11:41 AM   #5
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Thanks Plasma800. That's a great find. I'm gonna try this out.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:02 PM   #6
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Ok gotcha. So in regards to the tongue weight limit for my vehicle am I interpreting that since I'm utilizing a WD hitch that the limit is the 920lb and not the 660lb?

Obviously I'm not planning on going to that extreme but just want to make sure I'm understanding that correctly.
No, when you open the drivers door you will find a sticker that says "Cargo and Passengers should never exceed XXXXlb's"

This the amount of weight the manufacturer feels the vehicle can safely have on it, straight down.

Really this would signify the amount of weight the tires, and the leaf springs can absorb before being maxed out.

I'm sure there is a safety margin built into that number, how much I could not say.

Changing to E-Rated tires would improve your overall load capability, but by how much, I can't say.

The big deal is when the leaf springs are loaded fully, they lose their ability to travel, and the travel is what gives you the control. They help oppose the shift in weight from above... go through a dip, they dip and return. Trailer yaws, one side dips and the leaf spring compresses for the travel then returns the rear end after the dip like a spring. But when fully compressed already... yaws of the trailer can't quite be returned as it had no place to travel in the first place, so instead the yawing of the trailer simply remains and it pulls the rear end of the vehicle.. but of course the trailers leaf springs are going to return, but the trucks lags behind, then the weight shifts the other way, but the truck is still pulled in the opposite direction, and the oscillation can make your knuckles turn white.

However, you're not talking about moving to a much much heavier TW, especially with the grand design.... so it might work out just fine. If you were moving to a 1000 lb tongue weight, I'd say you're not going to like it....

Worst case scenario is you drive it, hate it, move up to a 2500 chassis, which would more than handle that trailer. If you need to space of an SUV, possibly a 1 ton diesel passenger van would fit the bill.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:03 PM   #7
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you might could also modify with helper springs if needed.

Understanding your pickup’s max payload capacity and how helper springs make a smooth ride of a heavy load | Equipment World | Construction Equipment, News and Information | Heavy Construction Equipment
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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Oh one more thing... regardless of advertised tongue weights.... in order for a rig to be stable, the trailers tongue weight MUST be 10% -15% of the trailers weight.

So if in fact, your trailer actually DOES weigh say 6350 lbs ready for travel, then at least 635 lbs will be on your bumper. Any less and you're really not going to like the ride.

This is a good article to read, boring to look at, good to read.

Controlling Sway Causes of poor tow
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:11 PM   #9
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shoot something else I just thought of.. some people use the phrase "hitch weight" to describe how much weight the receiver (sometimes referred to as "the hitch) can hold.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:12 PM   #10
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Thanks Plasma800. That's a great find. I'm gonna try this out.
just be sure to go 4 to 1.. or your scale might go POOF
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Old 07-04-2016, 01:53 PM   #11
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Wow!!! Lots of awesome info.

Ok so I'm getting there haha.

So is the tongue weight factored into the total payload?

Where my payload limit is 1528 you minus weight of passenger, cargo etc. and then once that is subtracted the remainder would be the tongue weight limit?
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Old 07-04-2016, 08:19 PM   #12
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Yes, the tongue weight is part of that " cargo and passengers not to exceed...". With your Expy the thing is this, At 6000 pounds dry your trailer will be 7000 or more by the time you are loaded to camp. Dry weight does not include batteries or propane so figure 300 there mostly on the tongue, and then you will need water. Even if you do not travel with full tanks you will want 5 gallons in the black tank and at least that much in the fresh tank for flushing. Figure 300 pounds for food, clothes, dishes etc. and you are up to 700 added and we have not even talked about lawn chairs, barbecue, fishing gear, bicycles.....

So now you have a 7000 pound trailer which needs a tongue weight of about 850 pounds plus 100 or so for the WD hitch. Subtract that 950 from the Expeditions cargo capacity and whatever is left is how much the people and gear in the Expedition can weigh. With most SUVs you will struggle to carry the tongue weight of a medium trailer while still loading it up with kids and dogs and their friends and gear.Depends how big your kids and dogs are but it sounds to me like you are pretty much maxed out with an empty trailer or an empty tow vehicle, and no one camps alone and without their gear.

Trailers also get heavier with age because we always find things we want to bring on the next trip.

Hope it works out for you.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:11 AM   #13
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More great info!!

So I'm working on adding everything up.

So on my TT the spare tire comes factory mounted under the tongue. Is that included in the advertised weight or do I need to add up the battery, tire, propane bottles etc. and factor those into everything else?
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:00 PM   #14
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That Coachmen trailer that you linked, has the weight of the propane (only) figured into the dry weight. I don't if the GD does .
You said your tow rating is 6,600#, so I assume you don't have the optional HD trailer towing package. In your case I believe your biggest problem will be not exceeding your 12,300# GCWR. Your empty Expedition won't be much less than 1/2 of that figure.
You are probably around, if not over your GCWR with the trailer you have now. Have you ever had it weighed with you and your family, fully loaded for "camping" ?
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