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Old 09-06-2014, 06:42 PM   #15
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I can understand why so many people post on this subject and get confused by it. It is actually a simple matter IF one does not try to fudge the numbers. The problem is that non- trucks do not usually list payload ratings. So when looking at an SUV the owner may find a tow rating and a hitch rating but no payload. They have to dig for load rating for the vehicle.

Tongue weight is part of the gvwr but it is irrelevant. You need the separate tongue figure to subtract from the vehicle load rating. The other figure, as already stated is the gvwr

Make it simple. What is the tow rating of the vehicle and what does the fully loaded trailer weigh? A 25' AS is rated around 7000 lbs depending on which model some 7300 lbs. the vehicle has to be able to tow that much as designed tranny stresses cooling, etc.

The key factor is he tongue weight. This is where controversy is king. My 25 ft has a CAT Scale weight of 1000 lbs at the tongue. A vehicle would have to have a load rating of at least 1000 lbs for my trailer- the payload rating. The controversy begins when some want to make it work on a vehicle not designed in all ways to bear that amount. It is easiest to stick with ratings.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:49 PM   #16
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On the Dodge truck. The axle ratings added minus the truck weight will be the payload rating which, should be on another sticker somewhere. If not, shame on Dodge
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:52 PM   #17
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:09 PM   #18
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Follow your math there.

3800lbs x2 = 7600lbs - 1548lbs (your payload) = 6052lbs

So in theory your truck empty weights 6052lbs or 748lbs shy your GVWR???
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvery Moon View Post
If a given tow vehicle (TV) has two axles and each axle has a GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) of 3,900 pounds, your GVWR for that TV would be 7,800 pounds. Very simple.
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Lets see who can answer that. And now you see why I made my comment about arguing payload ratings.
Two axle ratings may add up to the GVWR, depending on the manufacturer, but it isn't usual. The simple answer is load distribution.

If, in the first example, the GVWR was actually 7800, then the designers would need to know where you are applying that load. More to the front? More to the rear? Owners could put the load against the cab wall, or hang it out behind the tailgate on a hitch ball. So the axles are spec'd to cover the range of situations that owners may encounter, for a given GVWR. GVWR trumps the total of the two axle ratings. But axle ratings count as well if you hit that limit first.

Taking this further, it is why the rated payload for a given vehicle is often less than the GVWR less the curb weight. People who violate the latter rule by exceeding the published payload (while staying within the GVWR) are in the same situation as those who don't explicitly follow the published tow ratings.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:38 PM   #20
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When DOT does a stop, they do not care about the door sticker payload, they care about the axle ratings and do the tire ratings equal or exceed the axle ratings. If the scale weight on the axles is lower than their rating, then the vehicle is not overloaded.

The above is independent of the gross combined towing weight with is the total weight of tow vehicle and trailer when attached.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:52 PM   #21
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FAWR + RAWR > GVWR

At least in all the vehicles I have seen so far


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Old 09-06-2014, 08:10 PM   #22
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When DOT does a stop, they do not care about the door sticker payload, they care about the axle ratings and do the tire ratings equal or exceed the axle ratings. If the scale weight on the axles is lower than their rating, then the vehicle is not overloaded.

The above is independent of the gross combined towing weight with is the total weight of tow vehicle and trailer when attached.
Depends on who stops you, ie which jurisdiction, but I would agree they don't care about payload. And they don't care about tow rating. They do care about tires, axles, as you note, and GVWR, which you don't mention.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:58 AM   #23
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I keep on reading...please do check my math, as it's been questionable before.

Ram trucks website says tongue weight is "The downward force exerted on the hitch ball by the trailer coupler. In most cases, it should fall between 10 to 25 percent of Gross Trailer Weight." It then further says, "Trailer tongue weight must be accounted for in total payload."

The confusion comes in part from a related statement about Gross Vehicle Weight where it says, "Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the total weight of a fully loaded vehicle, including passengers and payload – but excluding all towing."

Citation: Ram Trucks - Towing Capacity Chart

I guess that exclusion applies to the axle weight of the trailer. So, the trailer's axle weight would be evaluated vs. the TV's remaining towing capacity, not its payload capacity. That's the weight I pull behind the TV vs the weight the TV actually carries on its own two axles.

However, any weight the trailer applies to the TV via the hitch counts against the TV's GVWR...which is considerably less than I had previously believed due to my misinterpretation (e.g. in my truck's case Front GAWR + Rear GAWR is 1K pounds greater than GVWR).

We're well below GAWR for each of the two axles. Unfortunately, I'm now realizing our TV is currently a bit over GVWR when it is hauling the TT.

So, I could move as much as possible out of the truck and into the trailer and move the heavier items into the back of the trailer while making sure we keep 10-12% of the trailer's GVW on the tongue. (I doubt it would be a challenge to keep 10-12% on the tongue.)

Of course, I'm now finding docs that confirm the tongue weight is indeed counted twice - once for the weight it adds to the truck as payload, and again for the weight it adds to the trailer for the trailer's GVW, which must then be compared to the trailer's GVWR. This means my trailer is closer to it's GVWR than I had previously believed. It's not over, but it's roughly 1K pounds closer.

Citation: Trailer Loading and Towing Guide (Weighing the Trailer)

I'm pretty disappointed to discover that despite my prior research I seem to have missed the mark, even though I tried hard to get it right.

If I finally understand everything correctly, the real fun begins with tossing every possible bit of extra weight from the TV and TT, and optimally re-arranging the remaining stuff fore and aft of the trailer axles. Maybe next time I'll just go hot-air ballooning instead of buying a trailer.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:18 PM   #24
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I'd say the first step is to evaluate what you really need to bring with you. Then, figure out what can go in the trailer instead of the tow vehicle.

I am pretty sure hot air ballooning will not be any easier....being overloaded there has some pretty serious consequences.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #25
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Spent the morning tossing out anything remotely redundant, moving everything heavy south of the trailer axles and clearing out the truck bed. We also removed everything we can from every cabinet north of the axles. Given we've an FB model, that includes under-bed storage and front compartment storage. Mostly, the only thing we'll store north of the axles is a few clothes for the trip.

We'll weigh again this week to see whether that's made a useful improvement.


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Old 09-07-2014, 05:15 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=RhinoWW;1506889 Second car is an early model Lexus GX460, essentially a 4Runner V8, with similar stated capacity of 5000, and 6500 with WD.[/QUOTE]

The 2004 4Runner V8 has a (2WD) 7,300 and (4WD) 7,000 towing capacity, with a max trailer weight of (2WD) 5,450 and (4WD) 5,710

Maximum Trailer Tongue Weight
(2WD) 730 (4WD) 700
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
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I'm also looking for some answers. I have a 1/2 ton 2013 tundra 4x2 crewmax 5.7L V8. The posted GVWR is 7000lbs and a 4.300 rear diff. It has the towing package with the trailer brake prewire. I need to know what size AS trailer I will be safe with. We were looking at a 27 ft. Would it be better to go smaller? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am a general newbie.
I have a 2008 Tundra 5.7L double cab. It is a great TV. The towing specs are pretty close to your Tundra. My GVWR is 6,900 lbs. The payload is 1,475 lbs and the RAWR (rear axle weight rating) is 4,100 lbs. You may be ok with a 27 ft trailer, but smaller is always better (in terms of safety for towing- hey you asked). Buy the one you want is my advice.

Pharm Geek, post #10, has a pretty good way of defining some terms that can be hard to understand.

Here is how I look at it. Payload is important, but you can't measure it. You can only calculate it. What really is important is the TV GVWR and the RAWR. You can easily measure both. The TV GVW, gross vehicle weight, is the weight measured with both sets of TV tires on the scale with the trailer attached ready for camping. This needs to be less than the GVWR. The TV RAW, rear axles weight, is the weight measured with only the TV rear tires on the scale, with the trailer attached ready for camping. This needs to be less than the RAWR. If both the GVW and RAW are fine, you are in good shape.

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Old 09-09-2014, 12:11 AM   #28
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Real World experiences vs. claimed capacities

So, will a 1/2 ton pickup with a GVWR of 7,000 pounds and a towing capacity of 9,000+ pounds tow a 27-28 foot trailer? Maybe. I'm not saying you need to buy a huge whomping truck, but I am definitely suggesting you learn from my experience before vs. after writing that big check.

Let's stipulate for the moment that ratings such as GVWR, GAWR, etc. actually matter (e.g. exceeding them for long is a pretty bad idea). If you don't accept that stipulation there's no point reading this post, as I'd just be wasting your time.

Given that stipulation, I'm learning the hard way that the stated load capacity for my 1/2 ton truck seems to have been largely fiction. My truck seems to weigh considerably more than stated, resulting in a substantially lower capacity than I had expected. To make matters worse, my AS tongue weight seems closer to 15% of the gross weight of the trailer than the 10% that AS suggests.

So, here's something I will be doing the next time I go through a TV/TT purchase:
  • Before I buy my next TV, I will weigh it or a similarly equipped model on a CAT scale, preferably with a full tank of gas. Then I'll compute the actual load capacity by subtracting that weight from the GVWR for the TV.
  • I'll subtract the claimed load capacity from the claimed towing capacity to ensure the TV I've selected can tow the gross weight of the trailer while it is also carrying the maximum possible load. This number may be incorrect but it should be wrong in the right direction, if you take my meaning.
  • Next, I'll review the GVWR for my trailer and estimate the tongue weight at 15% of that value. AS says it's going to be about 10% (e.g. if the trailer has a GVWR of 7600 pounds, the tongue weight will be stated as roughly 760 pounds at that weight). Given my limited experience, the actual tongue weight will be 50% greater. At last check mine was at 15%. So, I'll use that as a ballpark figure and be closer to the truth when towing in the real world instead of on the pages of a glossy brochure.
  • Then I'll put all the numbers together and ensure that a camp-ready rig fits comfortably within the TV's load capacity / GVWR as well as it's towing capacity. Again, I thought I had done my homework, but to my regret I did these computations based on bad information. Now I'm scrambling to find a solution that lets me avoid trading in my brand new truck for another TV, because that would be a really significant expense. (Trading in my TT for a smaller one isn't really an option, as I've spent the last 10 months working all the warranty-related kinks out of this one and I'm not anxious to through that again any time soon.)
Those of you who've been doing this towing thing for a while, have mercy. Numbers don't lie, but plenty of people I depended on when making a major purchase were apparently happy to do so to varying degrees...even though I repeatedly asked whether I was buying the right TV for the job. Remember, I never heard of this forum until after we bought our rig...

I got bad tongue weight numbers from AS (10% vs. 15% for tongue weight) and bad TV recommendations from my AS dealer (certainly a 1/2 ton truck is more than sufficient for that trailer). Then I used those numbers and ideas in combination with bad numbers from my truck dealer (claiming nearly 1,300 pounds of load capacity) to choose a very nice TV in the 1/2 ton range.

Ironically, I would have happily bought a beefier TV or a smaller trailer to make it all come out right...if I had been given realistic numbers and realistic recommendations, I could have made smart choices. Garbage in, garbage out.

Take my experience for what it's worth. I welcome your feedback and ideas, but would appreciate a minimum of "I told you so's" and fact-free opinions.

BTW, thus far our towing experiences have been really great, including an emergency stop and driving up/down over plenty of steep mountain passes and sharply winding roads without incident. We've seen zero symptoms of being at or above the GVWR for our TV. However, now that I realize how borderline we are wrt our TV's GVWR, I am trying to fit us reliably inside that envelope.

Those of you who are experts at towing 27-28 foot AS trailers with 1/2 ton trucks as TV's, I would love to hear your best weight management tricks. What's your GVWR and your real-world load capacity, and what cool things have you done to help keep your TV at or below GVWR while towing?
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