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Old 02-25-2017, 02:28 AM   #1
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I don't understand payload and axle weight

I'm really struggling. I've read 50 threads on this and I'm still baffled. I'm considering a 26U and would love to get an F150 Crew. I see posts where people are "just fine" with 1150 payloads in their loaded F150's. Simple math says 1150 - 903 = 247 lbs of available payload. Since my wife and I ALONE weigh more than that, there would be zero payload left for anything in the truck bed. I understand that more payload would fix this, and don't actually PLAN to buy an F150 configured this way (I'd get Max Tow or HDPP) but I'm asking the question anyway since I'm confused about how people with sub 1200lb payloads tow a 25 ft+ AS. Clearly I'm missing something?
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:19 AM   #2
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I don't think you're missing anything and it's no surprise you say after 50 threads on this you're still confused.

I think I've seen 4 basic streams of thought - and I'll preface this by making it clear I'm no expert on this topic so take all this with a salt lick...

1) weigh everything carefully (camping ready) and stick within manufacturer tolerances, period

2) exceeding payload isn't the problem, exceeding axle ratings is the problem

3) manufacturers lie about ratings - you can tow anything or modify any vehicle to tow any trailer regardless of what the manufacturers say

4) don't care, don't bother weighing, hitch up and go


Personally, I'm in the 1 camp though I veered off of that with Michelins but that's another confusing topic. You have to be comfortable with your own decision or you'll be miserable towing.

Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:31 AM   #3
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Some people exceed their payload ratings.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:37 AM   #4
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That states the various points pretty well and as put, you need to discuss with your wife and figure out which camp your in.

There are plenty that work on the belief that ignorance is bliss and have never had a problem. But where you're asking the question, this probably isn't you.

Every specification is a lie and you CAN configure anything to tow it works (the are no magic sensors that can tell when you've exceeded a limit and stop the vehicle from running) because once you've overcome the initial inertia battle "an object in motion.." the problems become stopping, how many times it can do both (stop and go) how fast everything fails and falls apart, because it just really wasn't designed and engineered to do it.



You can cherry pick which tolerance specification you want to follow, GVWR GCVWR, GAWR, Max Tire Load, HitchWeight etc.. this makes ME chuckle because if I'm going to disbelieve ONE spec then why would I adhere to another, figuring THAT is the one they didn't lie about. I did learn something new, in one of the 50 threads about the difference in axle construction and how the weight is supported on them for the heavier duty setups

And again back to camp 1, you believe that all the engineers and millions of dollars that car companies have invested are for a reason and actually have some clue about what they are talking about and haven't just wasted so their time and money just to then "lie" "fake truth" "alternate facts" you (no matter what one Canadian and his band of merry followers spew on this forum)

In researching something else yesterday I stumbled across this LINK

Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Ultimately it IS your piece of mind that needs to be achieved. Good luck and do the research yourself outside of the opinions on here.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:42 AM   #5
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I too am concerned or maybe confused.
I have a 2016 F150 with "never exceed" placard on truck at 1568 lbs.
AS states the 26U hitch weight at 903 lbs (with batteries and LP).
So does this means I only have about 600 lbs. left over for everything else?
Me, wife, and dogs come to 400 lbs.
So that only leaves 200 lbs for remaining camping gear.
Does stuff in trailer (water, plates, glasses) add to the 903 lbs?
If so, would I not be on the bleeding edge if not over for my F150?
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:49 AM   #6
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Does stuff in trailer (water, plates, glasses) add to the 903 lbs?
If so, would I not be on the bleeding edge if not over for my F150?
I am also close on my payload, so I carry most items in the trailer, during travel, and move them to the truck upon arrival. I would rather do this then buy a bigger truck at this point.

It only adds to the 903 depending upon how you load it, start out over the axles and then go out from there evenly and you should be fine. If you put it all in the front, then yes it almost directly adds to it. Once packed check it out on some scales to get an idea of your configuration and see what minor adjustments you might need.
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Old 02-25-2017, 06:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
I don't think you're missing anything and it's no surprise you say after 50 threads on this you're still confused.

I think I've seen 4 basic streams of thought - and I'll preface this by making it clear I'm no expert on this topic so take all this with a salt lick...

1) weigh everything carefully (camping ready) and stick within manufacturer tolerances, period

2) exceeding payload isn't the problem, exceeding axle ratings is the problem

3) manufacturers lie about ratings - you can tow anything or modify any vehicle to tow any trailer regardless of what the manufacturers say

4) don't care, don't bother weighing, hitch up and go


Personally, I'm in the 1 camp though I veered off of that with Michelins but that's another confusing topic. You have to be comfortable with your own decision or you'll be miserable towing.

Good luck and happy camping!
I have followed #1 but occasionally have followed #4 - usually when I didn't have a choice. #3 is correct all towing ratings are conservative, but if a state patrol decides to set up a roadside check of your vehicle GVWR, it could get expensive for exceeding the capacity of the truck. It never hurts to have more capacity than you need.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:24 AM   #8
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I don't understand payload and axle weight

I don't have a dog in this fight but I do have to ask: "Has anyone on the Forum ever been stopped by a State Patrol Officer and had the vehicle placards checked or the rig weighed?"

I keep hearing about it but in ten years and 70000 miles, I have never seen or heard of such a thing.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:32 AM   #9
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Understand this basic difference and it may be quite clear to you why many (probably most) people tow over payload/GVWR with absolutely no problems.

When hauling a load or towing a trailer without a weight distribution hitch payload/GVWR will be useful and may prevent overloading the rear axle, for example. When towing an Airstream with a capable, properly adjusted weight distribution hitch payload/GVWR means little.

The axle ratings (GAWR) will advise what load we can carry on the truck and the combined truck/trailer weight rating (GCWR) will advise what our truck is designed to pull and stop.

This is the way most Airstreamers have been towing for generations and continue to tow today, without problems. Unfortunately there are some who don't believe they need w.d. hitches when towing with lighter axle ratings or don't understand proper loading. The manufacturer gives the rest of us a one-size-fits-all payload/GVWR to accommodate everyone, what else can they do.

For recreational towing, you will not be stopped at a weigh station for weighing because weigh stations apply to commercial trucking. The only exception would be some nut who has piled his truck high with stuff and pulling a huge trailer that is obviously an unsafe condition. Most people have more sense than that and so does the department of transportation.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:46 AM   #10
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Here's my OPINION.
1. Airstreamers tend to be older, financially better off and mechanically inclined. So they take numbers very seriously.
2. Tow vehicle manufacturers don't want to be sued, so they allow a safety factor which they don't tell you.
3. I've read some ridiculous things on this forum, many would say I've written them, but I like common sense.
4. Some of the folks here would buy a new truck if their old one was 1 pound over the GVWR.
5. This is still the best source of information, read it all, then decide what's best for you.

Oh, and I want to be one of the GVWR police squad. Best gig ever!
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:47 AM   #11
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Well, after a little research (and I apologize for the learning curve) I read that the WDH reduces the hitch weight be about 1/3.
So F150 Platinum Eco MaxTow 4x4 with "Do not Exceed Capacity" = 1568:
AS 26U = 600lbs (900 tongue weight - 300 using WDH).
Me, Wife , Dogs = 400lbs (and that's high).

That leaves around 550lbs capacity for emergency gear, lawn chairs, grill, step ladder, some firewood, etc. I know things add up fast, but I cannot fathom reaching 500 lbs. of camping gear and other misc. junk.

Appears that the F150 is certainly up to the task. Thank goodness because as much as I like the F250 I really do not want the extra expense, it's not really a good daily driver (25 miles round trip to work), and it just barely (if at all) would fit in my garage.

So I think I'm golden.
Just bought the F150 and I love it - really, really, really want/need to keep it.

Thank you to every one.
The knowledge-base on this forum is amazing.
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:52 AM   #12
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Probably very few people understand how the factory determines payload and why it varies so much with similar models. I know I sure do not.

But many people believe that the WD hitch, with the ability to put the amount of weight desired on the front axle, mitigates being over payload somewhat. The WD hitch also limits the extreme travel of the rear springs making it less subject to bottoming out. You do not get the light front end and wallowed out back feel of a badly overloaded pickup.

I have an older, narrow body, 25' and when hitched it puts 800 lbs of weight on the TV. I do not know the tongue weight
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:59 AM   #13
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Your wheel bearings are good for a certain weight, same as your axles and housings, and frames. This is all engineered to work together, you overload you could could void your warranty. I am not an engineer or designer but I trust what information they supply. I don't think I want to lose a front wheel bearing going down the road...
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Old 02-25-2017, 09:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWBishop View Post
I cannot fathom reaching 500 lbs. of camping gear and other misc. junk.
When you add a generator (100#), 5 gallons of gas in a can, (40#), and a topper(?) the weight disappears fast.

I'd like to hear back about the F-150 after pulling the 26U.
That's my future AS and the truck is on the short list.
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