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Old 03-22-2015, 06:55 AM   #1
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Travel Trailer GVWR and axle rating don't leave much margin, is this normal?

I've been shopping for a travel trailer and have noticed the following with the Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 16BHS:

GVWR exactly 3917 pounds
Axle is 3500 pounds
Hitch weight is exactly 417 pounds

I looked at one today at a dealer and the sticker said:

Dry weight is 3212 pounds
This trailer has a 32 gallon fresh water tank, 267 pounds per the sticker. So 3479 pounds with just water.

So with a battery and propane, gear, food, and luggage you are well over 3500 pounds. That doesn't leave much margin in the GVWR and exceeds the axle ratings, probably the tires as well.

Is this normal? Should a trailer this weight have a higher rated axle and tires? Seems to me they are underrated components on this trailer. Don't you want more margin in a trailer? Seems like running maxed out is unwise?
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tiger View Post
I've been shopping for a travel trailer and have noticed the following with the Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 16BHS:

GVWR exactly 3917 pounds
Axle is 3500 pounds
Hitch weight is exactly 417 pounds

I looked at one today at a dealer and the sticker said:

Dry weight is 3212 pounds
This trailer has a 32 gallon fresh water tank, 267 pounds per the sticker. So 3479 pounds with just water.

So with a battery and propane, gear, food, and luggage you are well over 3500 pounds. That doesn't leave much margin in the GVWR and exceeds the axle ratings, probably the tires as well.

Is this normal? Should a trailer this weight have a higher rated axle and tires? Seems to me they are underrated components on this trailer. Don't you want more margin in a trailer? Seems like running maxed out is unwise?

You see that mostly in the light weight trailers where they are trying to persuade that you can tow their light-weight with a Prius or some such.

Our old trailer was like that. GVWR was 4000#, GAWR was 3500#, the difference was supposed to be the hitch weight. It worked, but we were right at the tire and axle limits. And had to replace the axle once.

Our current trailer is a heavy weight with a 8100# GVWR and the axle/tires are rated over 10400#. Much better IMHO.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:45 AM   #3
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Also worth considering, the water tank may not be mounted in such a way to carry water over long distances. 3500 lb with water but at least 500 lbs (and probably a lot more) will be on the tongue, so you have some extra capacity on the axle.

The manufacturer measures the tongue weight for a bare bones trailer, no options, no AC, no battery and no propane. Depending on where the water tank is located, it may increase or decrease the tongue weight. You should expect the tongue weight to be about 20 to 50% heavier than quoted.
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #4
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I'm a looking at some similar trailers, similar floor plan, different manufacturer, different specs. For comparison the other one I'm considering has an aluminum frame. The Forest River above has a steel frame. Both trailers have essentially the same GVWR but the dry weight is 600 pounds less, probably mostly due to the aluminum frame.

I really like the Forest River. It looked nicer and had more stuff for the money. But I'm concerned about it being too heavy for its axle and tires.
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Old 03-23-2015, 11:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tiger View Post
I've been shopping for a travel trailer and have noticed the following with the Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 16BHS:

GVWR exactly 3917 pounds
Axle is 3500 pounds
Hitch weight is exactly 417 pounds

I looked at one today at a dealer and the sticker said:

Dry weight is 3212 pounds
This trailer has a 32 gallon fresh water tank, 267 pounds per the sticker. So 3479 pounds with just water.

So with a battery and propane, gear, food, and luggage you are well over 3500 pounds. That doesn't leave much margin in the GVWR and exceeds the axle ratings, probably the tires as well.

Is this normal? Should a trailer this weight have a higher rated axle and tires? Seems to me they are underrated components on this trailer. Don't you want more margin in a trailer? Seems like running maxed out is unwise?
Ask this question on the Towing & Tow Vehicles forum, there are many on that forum who have a lot of knowledge (and apparently the time to spend) on trailer weights. I learned a lot on that forum, wish I had visited the forum before I bought our present trailer.
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