Originally Posted by spmerriman
I have a 2009 toyota Tundra 5.7 crewmax,the load weight says around 10,100. Can you fine people through experience tell me a realistic max weight TT I can safely pull with this vehicle?
The tow rating is the MAXIMUM
trailer weight you could tow without being overloaded with a truck with no options and absolutely nothing in the truck but a skinny driver. As a general rule, subtract about 1,000 pounds from the tow rating to get a more realistic actual tow rating.
The tow rating is based on the GCWR. It tells you how much weight you can pull without overheating anything or burning up something in the drivetrain while maintaining a reasonable speed up a steep grade, such as a mountain pass on an interstate highway. But the tow rating ignores the hitch weight, and hitch weight is usually the limiter in a half-ton CrewCab pickup.
Your truck has a GVWR included on a sticker on the driver's doorframe. Toyota says you should NEVER
exceed either the GVWR or the GCWR of your tow vehicle. The GVWR limits your hitch weight, and is probably more restrictive than the GCWR which determines tow rating for your CrewCab pickup.
Your GVWR is probably about 7,000 pounds. You could guess at the weight of your wet and loaded pickup and come up with an idea of your maximum hitch weight. For example, if your wet and loaded pickup weighs 6,000 pounds before you tie onto the trailer, that leaves 1,000 pounds for maximum hitch weight. Travel trailers (TTs) have hitch weight of about 12 to 15 percent of gross trailer weight, so if your wet and loaded trailer has 12 percent hitch weight, divide 1,000 by 12 percent and the result is 8,333 pounds max trailer weight. But if your properly-loaded trailer has 15 percent hitch weight, then your max trailer weight is 6,667 pounds.
So if your wet and loaded Tundra CrewCab weighs 6,000 pounds, then the max trailer you should be considering would have a GVWR of less than 6,667 pounds.
But guessing at weights is a sure way to wind up overloaded on the road. The best way is to load the pickup with everything that will be in it when towing: People, pets, cooler, toolbox full of tools, shank and ball mount for your weight distributing hitch, floor jack in the bed in case of a flat on the trailer, and anything else that you will have in the truck when towing. Then drive to a truckstop that has a CAT scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the wet and loaded truck. Then you'll know where you stand. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR and that will tell you the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch weight by 15 percent and the answer is the max GVWR of any trailer you should consider.
Don't play games of guessing at trailer weights. Assume you'll eventually load the trailer close to the GVWR of the trailer, and you'll be close to accurate.
My half-ton CrewCab 4x2 also has a GVWR of a bit over 7,000 pounds. It weighed 6,030 with nothing in it but me and a camper shell. Replace the camper shell with people of the same weight and my pickup will weigh about 6,000 pounds before I tie onto the trailer. My TT has a GVWR of 5,600 pounds, and a hitch weight of a hair over 15 percent. With the trailer tied on, the CAT scale says:
3,040 steer axle
3,880 drive axle
And that's with an empty TT with only full propane tanks and a heavy battery on the tongue. So by the time Darling Wife gets through loading the trailer with camping stuff, we'll be over the 7,000 pounds limit of your pickup but probably right on the 7,200 pounds GVWR of my pickup.
So word to the wise: ignore the tow rating and concentrate on the GVWR of the tow vehicle and hitch weight of the wet and loaded TT.