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Old 01-23-2021, 06:56 PM   #1
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GCVWR vs Payload

This is my first post in this forum but I have been reading most of the threads about tow vehicles and ratings since October of last year.

I know conventional wisdom says with 1/2 ton trucks you will almost always exceed payload before reaching tow rating or exceeding GCVWR. But I appear to have a differnet situation where I will be likely exceeding GCVWR (and tow rating) slightly without exceeding Payload, GCVWR or RAWR.

I have a 2015 Silverado 1500 Z71 double cab 6.5' bed with 5.3L and 3.42 rear end. The payload sticker says 1756 lbs. Currently I have a Jayco 23FB travel trailer. I race motorcycles and the last couple years I have loaded the race bike and most of the associated track gear in the bed of the truck and towed the travel trailer to the track. This last year I added a second bike that I take to the track. it's a tedious and stressful excercise getting both bikes in the bed of the truck with all the gear but it is possible.

With the jayco trailer I am well under the GCVWR but with both bikes, gear in the bed and the tongue weight of the TT, I am a couple hundred lbs over the GRAWR and obviously over the payload number and GVWR of the truck. I have a well setup WDH and both the trailer and truck sit nice and level and I never had any issues with handling or trailer sway.

I am taking delivery of a toyhauler in March that is 5 feet longer and about 2000lbs heavier than my current travel trailer. Because I know the empty weight and as loaded weight with all my gear of the current trailer, I have a pretty accurate estimate of the weight of the cargo I will be putting in the toyhauler. With the bikes and gear in the toyhauler, the bed of the truck will basically be empty now. With the max tongue weight of the toyhauler and basically empty truck bed, I will be able to easily get under the payload, GVWR and GRAWR on the truck, but the increased weight of the toyhauler will mean I am likely to be 500lbs or so over GCVWR (and the useless tow rating number). I could save some weight by not filling the toyhaulers 30 gallon fuel tank until I am near the track. (186 lbs). I could likely do the same with the fresh water tank. The current TT only holds 38 gallons of fresh water and we have never run out at the track, so I will not be filling the 60 gallon fresh tank all the way anyways.

Because of the increased weight and length of the toyhauler I am investing in a Propride 3P hitch. I'm not concerned about sway or the "tail wagging the dog", so to speak.

So my question is being 500 or so lbs over GCVWR but well within axle ratings, GVWR and payload better than being under GCVWR but being over Payload, rear axle rating and GVWR, like I was this past year? Obviously the loading and unloading with the toyhauler will be much easier and having a fuel tank rather than hauling multiple 5 gallon jugs of fuel will be so much more convenient.
I am well prepared to see a decrease in fuel mileage and of course I expect the accleration with the increased weight to be somewhat reduced. I used to tow the Jayco and one bike and gear with a 2002 4.8L 4speed silverado and the 5.3L six speed is light years better, so I'm not to concernced about the loss of acceleration performance or fuel mileage.

I live in WNY and the racetracks I frequent are in OH and PA. No extreme mountain grades or towing in extreme heat, like in the Southwest or anything.

I'd like to get through this year with my current tow vehicle and likely upgrade next year. (2017 or newer 6.2L w/max trailer) Currently my wife uses the truck as daily driver and there is no way she could handle the increased ride height of 3/4 ton truck in her heals and dress clothes. So just hoping to get through one race reason with the current truck before upgrading next year.

So is a bit over GCVWR but below everything else better or worse than being under GCVWR but being overloaded on the rear axle, payload and GVWR like I was last year?
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:09 PM   #2
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I would say you are better off then being over your rear axle weight rating which I think is very bad.

If you are under payload and under rear axle rating with the toy hauler that is much better IMHO.

And I would recommend a 2019 GM 1500 series truck as it is a much better truck then the previous generation. Payloads will be 1,800 to 2,100lbs on most 2019 trucks.
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I would say you are better off then being over your rear axle weight rating which I think is very bad.

If you are under payload and under rear axle rating with the toy hauler that is much better IMHO.

And I would recommend a 2019 GM 1500 series truck as it is a much better truck then the previous generation. Payloads will be 1,800 to 2,100lbs on most 2019 trucks.
Thats what I thought. I'm trying to convince myself that is the case but fully aware the convenience of the toyhauler may be causing me to be biased in my assesment.

I'm likely not buying brand new when I do upgrade, so what year I get, might be dependent on what I can actually find with the max tow package that's also a good deal, but thanks for the tip!
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:48 PM   #4
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What gets checked generally if you get pulled over and weighed, is the load on the rear axle and the load ratings on your tires. They compare the load on your rear axle and the load rating on your tires. If you're over you get cited. I've not read that they look at the yellow payload sticker. IMO so long as you're below your rear axle load rating and the load rating of your rear tires, you should be ok. The only way to verify that is to take your rig, loaded up as your would normally, and visit the CAT scales. Make sure you follow the proper procedure so you can get the weight over your rear axle as compared to front axle and combined weight.
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Old 01-23-2021, 08:01 PM   #5
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What gets checked generally if you get pulled over and weighed, is the load on the rear axle and the load ratings on your tires. They compare the load on your rear axle and the load rating on your tires. If you're over you get cited. I've not read that they look at the yellow payload sticker. IMO so long as you're below your rear axle load rating and the load rating of your rear tires, you should be ok. The only way to verify that is to take your rig, loaded up as your would normally, and visit the CAT scales. Make sure you follow the proper procedure so you can get the weight over your rear axle as compared to front axle and combined weight.
Yeah, as soon as I get the toyhauler I plan on loading it up and making the trip to the closest CAT scales and see how close or far off my estimates are! If I'm way off time to start telling the wife she needs to figure out what gets left behind LOL!
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Old 01-23-2021, 09:48 PM   #6
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I donít profess to know what goes into the mfrs rating of GCWR but I would lower my speed and accelerate and brake very smoothly. Less wind resistence as well as less stress on all the components of the frame and drivetrain will help.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:17 PM   #7
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Depends on the state. Some will look at the GCVWR of the truck, then look at the GVWR of the trailer. If the the trailer GVWR would put you over the GCVWR, you get a ticket, even if the trailer is empty!

Hot Shots deal with this all the time. Tow Piglet on YouTube had an episode where he had the trailer manufacturer de-rate his trailer and send him new tags so he wouldn't get ticketed.

That said, personnally can't think of a time I have ever heard of someone getting pulled over and checked for weights when pulling a travel trailer unless they were stupid over loaded and it was obvious. Hot Shots get checked all the time.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:39 PM   #8
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I don’t profess to know what goes into the mfrs rating of GCWR but I would lower my speed and accelerate and brake very smoothly. Less wind resistence as well as less stress on all the components of the frame and drivetrain will help.
The max towing package for a 2015 5.3L with a 3.73 (I don't have max towing and have a 3.42 ratio) increases GCVWR by 1800lbs over my truck. Per the dealer e-process documentation the max towing package for my truck includes the following:

"The Max Trailering Package is available on 2WD and 4WD V-8 crew cab and double cab models and includes a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning for increased control, enhanced cooling and an integrated trailer brake controller. Also included is the G80 locking rear differential, a trailer hitch and bumper-mounted four- and seven-pin connectors."

The axle, rear springs and shock tuning shouldn't be a detriment as I won't be overloading the rear axle with the empty bed and expected tongue weight.

I have the locking rear differential, so no problem there.

So my limiting factor is likely the axle ratio and the cooling. Since the ratings are based on J2807, I suppose my truck and toyhauler might not be able to make it up the Davis Dam grade according to the test requirements or not pass the “Launch on Grade” test. To pass, while on an incredibly steep 12 percent grade, a truck must be able to launch and travel 16 feet (5 meters) uphill, five times in a row, in 5 minutes or less.

Since I don't plan on doing either of those things, I think I might be alright the six or seven times I go to the track this year. LOL!

I plan on replacing the rear diff fluid and maybe put a aftermarket larger capacity cover with cooling fins on the rear diff. I'll do a tranny fluid change at the same time. With that and watching both engine and tranny temp while towing, I'll have an idea if I need to slow down and reduce the stress on the truck.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:04 PM   #9
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Better not being over on any weight rating.
And, better to have a wife that can buck up and drive a 3/4- ton.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLex View Post
What gets checked generally if you get pulled over and weighed, is the load on the rear axle and the load ratings on your tires. They compare the load on your rear axle and the load rating on your tires. If you're over you get cited. I've not read that they look at the yellow payload sticker. IMO so long as you're below your rear axle load rating and the load rating of your rear tires, you should be ok. The only way to verify that is to take your rig, loaded up as your would normally, and visit the CAT scales. Make sure you follow the proper procedure so you can get the weight over your rear axle as compared to front axle and combined weight.


Not sure about PA but being one of the ďtheyĒs in OH, campers arenít pulled over and weighed. Non commercial vehicles are not required to pull into weigh stations in either state. Further if you were a commercial vehicle unless youíre over on an axle or total weight you would keep moving without stopping. You canít read a tire as itís rolling across a platform scale.
We donít bother with weights of private vehicles unless something is dragging.
Now tow a 326 Cat behind your f250, you will have our complete attention. Yes, Iíve dealt with that.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:40 AM   #11
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Not sure about PA but being one of the ďtheyĒs in OH, campers arenít pulled over and weighed. Non commercial vehicles are not required to pull into weigh stations in either state. Further if you were a commercial vehicle unless youíre over on an axle or total weight you would keep moving without stopping. You canít read a tire as itís rolling across a platform scale.
We donít bother with weights of private vehicles unless something is dragging.
Now tow a 326 Cat behind your f250, you will have our complete attention. Yes, Iíve dealt with that.
I do know that a member of the Grand Design forum reported that in Southern California he encountered a checkpoint where CHP was pulling all RVs into an area with a portable scale. The member reported that the officer weighed the rear of his truck and compared the load on the rear axle with the load rating on his tires. This was done with all the RVs that were forced to go through the portable weigh station. If loads were over the load rating of the rear tires or if the towed RV exceeded allowable weights for the driver's license class, the driver was cited. The member stated at no time did he ever see an officer check the yellow payload sticker in the door jamb.

What's curious is I've also read posts where folks have registered their trucks for a weight over the class III GVWR. These folks were carrying the big Host Mammoth or Eagle Cap truck campers (they're usually over 6lbs wet weight). So the combined weight of the truck camper and truck (F450 which is typically 9300-9500 lbs) was at least a couple thousand over 14k lbs.

I'm not sure how that works because technically they're registered at CVRA class B, which is 15,001-20,000 lbs. So if they're GCWR is 16k lbs, they're technically registered at the correct CVRA weight class, their load on the rear axles remains under the 16k lb capacity of the rear axle and 15,800 lb load capacity of the 4 rear tires, but they're a couple of thousand pounds above the yellow payload sticker.
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Old 01-24-2021, 01:21 AM   #12
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Depends on the state. Some will look at the GCVWR of the truck, then look at the GVWR of the trailer. If the the trailer GVWR would put you over the GCVWR, you get a ticket, even if the trailer is empty!

Hot Shots deal with this all the time. Tow Piglet on YouTube had an episode where he had the trailer manufacturer de-rate his trailer and send him new tags so he wouldn't get ticketed.
How would "they" know what the GCWR is ? There is no federally mandated sticker on the vehicle that states GCWR (GM's sticker is a useful courtesy but not more). As you know GCWR depends on engine, transmission and gearing. Nowadays the numbers are based on the requirements of SAE j2807 which includes things like repeated hill starts on a 15% grade but 10 years ago manufacturers would just sprinkle some magic towing fairy dust to one-up each other.

Hot shot truckers are a different animal because commercial vehicles have a documented GCWR, which sometimes is actually higher than the manufacturer GCWR (if you pay for it you can run it kinda deal). For those guys the sum of truck and trailer GVWR can not exceed the registered GCWR.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sv Todd View Post
This is my first post in this forum but I have been reading most of the threads about tow vehicles and ratings since October of last year.

I know conventional wisdom says with 1/2 ton trucks you will almost always exceed payload before reaching tow rating or exceeding GCVWR. But I appear to have a differnet situation where I will be likely exceeding GCVWR (and tow rating) slightly without exceeding Payload, GCVWR or RAWR.

I have a 2015 Silverado 1500 Z71 double cab 6.5' bed with 5.3L and 3.42 rear end. The payload sticker says 1756 lbs. Currently I have a Jayco 23FB travel trailer. I race motorcycles and the last couple years I have loaded the race bike and most of the associated track gear in the bed of the truck and towed the travel trailer to the track. This last year I added a second bike that I take to the track. it's a tedious and stressful excercise getting both bikes in the bed of the truck with all the gear but it is possible.

With the jayco trailer I am well under the GCVWR but with both bikes, gear in the bed and the tongue weight of the TT, I am a couple hundred lbs over the GRAWR and obviously over the payload number and GVWR of the truck. I have a well setup WDH and both the trailer and truck sit nice and level and I never had any issues with handling or trailer sway.

I am taking delivery of a toyhauler in March that is 5 feet longer and about 2000lbs heavier than my current travel trailer. Because I know the empty weight and as loaded weight with all my gear of the current trailer, I have a pretty accurate estimate of the weight of the cargo I will be putting in the toyhauler. With the bikes and gear in the toyhauler, the bed of the truck will basically be empty now. With the max tongue weight of the toyhauler and basically empty truck bed, I will be able to easily get under the payload, GVWR and GRAWR on the truck, but the increased weight of the toyhauler will mean I am likely to be 500lbs or so over GCVWR (and the useless tow rating number). I could save some weight by not filling the toyhaulers 30 gallon fuel tank until I am near the track. (186 lbs). I could likely do the same with the fresh water tank. The current TT only holds 38 gallons of fresh water and we have never run out at the track, so I will not be filling the 60 gallon fresh tank all the way anyways.

Because of the increased weight and length of the toyhauler I am investing in a Propride 3P hitch. I'm not concerned about sway or the "tail wagging the dog", so to speak.

So my question is being 500 or so lbs over GCVWR but well within axle ratings, GVWR and payload better than being under GCVWR but being over Payload, rear axle rating and GVWR, like I was this past year? Obviously the loading and unloading with the toyhauler will be much easier and having a fuel tank rather than hauling multiple 5 gallon jugs of fuel will be so much more convenient.
I am well prepared to see a decrease in fuel mileage and of course I expect the accleration with the increased weight to be somewhat reduced. I used to tow the Jayco and one bike and gear with a 2002 4.8L 4speed silverado and the 5.3L six speed is light years better, so I'm not to concernced about the loss of acceleration performance or fuel mileage.

I live in WNY and the racetracks I frequent are in OH and PA. No extreme mountain grades or towing in extreme heat, like in the Southwest or anything.

I'd like to get through this year with my current tow vehicle and likely upgrade next year. (2017 or newer 6.2L w/max trailer) Currently my wife uses the truck as daily driver and there is no way she could handle the increased ride height of 3/4 ton truck in her heals and dress clothes. So just hoping to get through one race reason with the current truck before upgrading next year.

So is a bit over GCVWR but below everything else better or worse than being under GCVWR but being overloaded on the rear axle, payload and GVWR like I was last year?
Your post is one we see all too often, but at least you have the common sense to validate your setup. You may not like it.

You seem to say your new trailer setup won't overload your truck, yet we have no idea of its length and total weights loaded up. On average, a 6000lb loaded trailer will put 900lb or more on the tongue (and rear bumper) of the truck. Payload can be easily attained or surpassed.

As to your question on GCVWR, this is the ONE weight I sometimes say is a useless spec. I am well under all specs except this one, where we are thousands of lbs over when hitched up. In our case, my dually has a huge radiator, huge engine oil and transmission coolers. Heck, it has a power steering cooler too, just like my old 1994 Suburban 1500 has.

The issue with GCVWR on your truck is it's not built for heavy(ish) towing. The 3.42 rear is weak. I have a contractor customer with the same setup and we have already replaced one rear axle and one transfer case. The gearing offers little low end grunt and taxes the engine, trans and t-case (if 4WD) a lot. Engine cooling is OK but marginal for lots of extra stress. Brakes are also pretty marginal for extra weight. They will wear at least twice as fast. Rear suspension is marginal in most cases. The worst part is AFM (active fuel management or cylinder deactivation) does not like extra stress and overloading. It's an EXPENSIVE repair. You get the idea?

Propride may correct the basic sway and control issues but it will not fix your truck. With accurate weights we may be able to help better, but you'd be best off with a nice 2500HD or better 3500HD that's built for the job.

Yes, you'll guzzle more gas due to weight and a bit of extra height. Yes, it'll ride a bit less carlike. Overall size is within a few inches of your 1500 if the same configuration. It parks and drives fine. With running boars my 5'3" girlfriend can drive my huge dually easily. You'll have a tool built for the job, dependable and won't be worn to hell when you decide to replace it. Resale will also be good onthe 3/4 or one ton. JMHO
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:51 AM   #14
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The way I read the posts he knows he needs a more muscular truck. He has about 6 or 7 races he wants to go to in the up coming 8 months. He is towing from western NY and into Pennsylvania and Ohio to these races. I am guessing 200 miles one way to 500 miles on way. Let's say a max of 7,000 miles with time in between 1,000 mile trips to fix things that break. Actually the race season only last 5 or 6 months.

Agree the OP needs a truck with 3:73 or 3:92 gears or even 4:10 gears but let's hope not 4:10.

But can his 2015 Chevy 1500 with 3:42 gears last this next 6 month race season towing the bigger and heavier toy hauler trailer?

From western New York to Pennsylvania or Ohio the roads are mostly flat with a few mountains. As long as he does not try to cut across Pennsylvania I think he will be ok for this upcoming race season.

I would recommend a Nissan Titan XD or Ford F-150 with the HDPP option or a muscular 2019 GM truck for the 2022 race season.
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