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Old 04-22-2019, 05:32 PM   #1
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Weighed RV at CAT scale. Do I have towing issues?

Hi Everyone!
First time poster here! My wife and I took our new Freedom Express 231 out for it's maiden voyage this past weekend. Based on the feedback on this forum, I've been trying to determine if my tow vehicle is safe. I stopped at a CAT scale and weighed my 2008 QX56 and our camper. I had thought payload might be an issue. Now it appears I may have a number of issues. Determining what I can tow safely is all new to me. We're planning a trip to the Smokies in May and to the Rockies in the fall. I'm now thinking that I may not have the proper vehicle to safely tow out west and into the mountains.

The math is all new to me. From my calculations I'm over on payload, GVWR, and real axle weight. This doesn't sound like I should even tow to the Smokies (we live in NC and it's 4 hours away). Would you please help to assess the safety of my current vehicle.

Here are the numbers on our 2008 QX56 (130,000 miles):
Curb Weight: 6011lbs
GVWR: 7299lbs
GAWR Front: 3699lbs
GAWR Rear: 4299lbs
Payload: 7299 - 6011 = 1288 lbs

CAT Scale weigh #1 Truck & Camper:
Front axle: 2820
Rear axle: 4640 (I'm over by 341lbs)
Trailer: 5720
Gross weight 13,180
Dry weight for camper is 5500lbs

CAT Scale weigh #2 Just Truck:
Front axle: 3080
Rear axle: 3580
Gross weight: 6660

How much does the stuff in my truck weigh:
From CAT #1: 6660 - 6011 curb weight = 649lbs

How much does the trailer hitch weigh:
From CAT #2: 2820+4640 = 7460. 7460 - 6660 (from CAT #2) = 800lbs

What percent is the trailer hitch weight to total RV weight: 800/5720 = 13.9% (seems OK here with the range being 10-15%)

Payload Calculation:
629lbs of stuff in truck + 800lbs for trailer hitch weight = 1429lbs
The payload calculated above is 1288.
Over payload by 141lbs

MFR GVWR: 7299
Actual GVWR: 6011 (curb weight) + 629 (stuff in truck) + 800 (trailer hitch) = 7440 lbs. Over by 141 lbs.

A few other things. On the drive to the beach, on flat land my RPMs were around 1750. On a slight long incline, the RPMs went to 2500. On a slightly steeper incline I was at 3250-3500 RPMs. I really don't like the listening to the high RPMs and feeling like engine is struggling. The QX56 is a 5.6L, 320 HP, and torque 393 torque. Max towing is 8900. I averaged 8.5mpg.

Thanks for your help with this. I'm looking for folks way more experienced in towing to help assess this setup and if I'm looking at this correctly. I'm brand new at this.

Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:49 PM   #2
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It appears you are not using a 'weight distribution hitch' (WDH)


With a WDH you can 'shift weight' back to front axle and onto trailer axles so rear axle is NOT overloaded


CAT Scale weigh #1 Truck & Camper:
Front axle: 2820
Rear axle: 4640 (I'm over by 341lbs)


CAT Scale weigh #2 Just Truck:
Front axle: 3080
Rear axle: 3580


Should be able to get front axle weight in #1 back/close to front axle weight in #2 with WDH hooked up and properly adjusted
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:10 PM   #3
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Hi Old-Biscuit - I actually was using an Equalizer WDH hitch when I weighed the camper for CAT #1 weights. This was the first time using the hitch and was installed by the dealer. The hitch was making all kinds of creaking noises while towing slowing. I had thought I needed to lubricate something.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:36 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!!

Next time you go to the beach, be sure and wave as you go by.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:37 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum!!

Next time you go to the beach, be sure and wave as you go by.

You also need to check out this bunch of nuts.
Carolina Campers - iRV2 Forums
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCamper2 View Post
Hi Old-Biscuit - I actually was using an Equalizer WDH hitch when I weighed the camper for CAT #1 weights. This was the first time using the hitch and was installed by the dealer. The hitch was making all kinds of creaking noises while towing slowing. I had thought I needed to lubricate something.



Using a WDH in #1 weighing.........??


Then it is set up WRONG
Weights should be closer to #2 with it adjusted correctly.
See pg 16---22
https://www.equalizerhitch.com/docum...al_2016-06.pdf
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:30 AM   #7
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The 1000/10000 WDH was installed.

With more weight shifted to the front, would there still be an issue with payload and GVWR?

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:10 AM   #8
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A former neighbor went through this several years back when he bought a 26' express cruiser boat to tow behind his Nissan Armada to their vacation cabin on a lake 150 miles away. The Armada was spec'ed to tow 8500# with a max hitch weight of 850#. The boat was around 7800 with trailer but the tongue weight was about close to 1000#. After adding wife, 3 kids, labradoodle and snacks he was several hundred over weight on the SUV. He had a WDH dealer installed and after the dealer and we both fooled with different settings it ultimately only shifted ~130# of tongue weight and that was mostly onto to the Armada.

The weight made the boat scary for him to tow with the Armada so the boat became a trailer queen down at the marina for about a year and then one day he brought home a shiny new 2014 F250 SCREW with more than enough capacity. Of course with the new pickup he went "urban cowboy" on me, wearing cowboy boots, chewing Redman and spitting all over the damn place but that's another story.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:19 AM   #9
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You actually need to make 3 passes at the scales. Truck only, truck and trailer without the bars hooked up, and truck and trailer with the bars hooked up. That will give you all the weights. Tongue weight, gross trailer weight and how much weight the hitch is transferring. Without the third pass you will not know tongue weight or whether the hitch is even working

It would appear that you need a larger tow vehicle. Your hitch can probably be adjusted to get you a bit closer but I don't think it will get you another 300 pounds. High revving is not pleasant to listen to but it is better for the engine to review as lugging it will cause it to overheat.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:59 PM   #10
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Old Biscuit gives great advice! Just noticed you are kinda new on IRV2 and wanted to say hello! Have fun and keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:33 PM   #11
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I would agree with Keymastr:

You need a beefier tow vehicle. You don't want to be at max all the time you're towing.

I would opt for a 3/4 ton pick up, with a good tow package. As time goes by you'll be towing longer distances when you discover what's out there for great camping. Hills will become moot. You would be surprised how much weight you keep throwing into the trailer and tow vehicle. Not to mention water and other liquids.
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:00 PM   #12
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Yep, just like us, RVs get heavier with age, lol.
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Old 04-24-2019, 05:51 PM   #13
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First of all there is really no reason to weigh your truck on it's own. What you really needed is a TRAILER ONLY weight with the hitch on one scale section and the axles on another. There is no need for three passes through the scale to determine what you need to know.



Then a combined weight of the two vehicles while hitched. (The combined weight minus the trailer only weight will give you your truck weight)



Unless you do this you will not get an accurate weight on your tongue which is important. Your tongue weight should be about 12% of the overall trailer weight (not including your truck).


My guess is you have overloaded the front of your trailer. You may want to re-balance the load in the trailer.


I DO NOT agree that you need a heavier tow vehicle.


Your trailer should have a net carrying capacity weight listed on a placard usually pasted in a cabinet somewhere. This will also have all the trailer weight limits listed, GVWR etc...


When I loaded my trailer for the first time before setting out to Full time I weighed everything that went in it. (I simply weighed myself on a scale and then weighed everything I carried out and had that recorded). I didnt skimp either and I was hundreds of pounds under the capacity listed. When I weighed the truck and trailer I was just fine. You might try that next time.


Your vehicle has plenty of power to haul your trailer the problem is the torque doesnt peak until the revs are high. And what you are experiencing is common to gas powered tow vehicles. This is why going up steeper inclines it gets into the 3500rpm range. But my guess is that your vehicle doesnt red line until 6 or 7k RPM'S so you are not straining the engine.


There are always those that will tell you you need a 1 ton dually to haul almost anything...this is nonsense.


It seems you have a WDH, be sure the WDH is set up correctly.



With your vehicle on a flat hard surface such as concrete or asphalt, measure the distance from the top of the wheel well at the body to the ground. Do this on all four wheels. Note the results.


Then hitch up and adjust your WDH correctly. Then re-measure all four wheels. Your squat should be within reasonable limits and there should not be a big difference between front and rear. (there is no way to tell you what it should be as every suspension is different) And your suspension is tuned for a more luxurious smooth ride not trailering so yours may squat more.



Hang in there with your vehicle I think once you get it tuned in and balanced and you get used to towing it things will look much better.
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Old 04-25-2019, 04:57 PM   #14
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BTFT,
I wasn't aware that torque kicks in at higher RPMs.

I'm new at towing. Is it OK to tow at 5000 RPMs trying to maintain a speed of 60mph up a mountain and not hurt the engine or transmission?

I plan to tow using to the Smokies in May. This would be very nice to know. I rented a couple of RVs and towed them in the mountains. I think maybe I was 'babying' my vehicle by not pushing the accelerator to the floor. I think I was going about 30mph not wanting to overheat or stress anything.

The Smokies trip is a 'test drive' of how the tow vehicle does prior to heading to Rockies in the fall.
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