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Old 10-11-2016, 01:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Barbieri View Post
My advise is to ignore the wife not wanting a truck. From what you wrote a truck is the only option if you want capability and safety. The western part of the US requires a truck. When you start driving in the Rocky Mountains only a truck can handle the steep road grades. You need that added margin of safety that only a truck can give you. I have a 2004 classic 31 ft and tow with a Ram 2500 6.7 diesel. It is a sweet combination. Gives me piece of mind.

I've often wondered if this is the major difference between those that prefer a 1/2 Ton and those that like 3/4 & 1 Ton trucks. While our '12 Ram 3500 CTD 4x4 handled the mountain passes west of Denver well last month, there was no surplus of power.


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Old 10-11-2016, 07:15 AM   #16
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My door sticker is 1,420 lbs payload after fuel tank is full I believe (might be 1,450 actually I forget the exact number but it's right in that range). I have 4wd drivetrain. The 2wd version has higher payload due to lower curb weight (no center diff, etc).

My tongue weight adds 760lbs to the truck on the scales so I have a net carrying capacity of 660lb before I hit the theoretical "limit". This is similar to many 1/2 ton pickups.

I believe that payload is an important metric to take into consideration for safe vehicle handling when adding an 800lb trailer tongue to the overall vehicle weight along with occupants and camping gear in the vehicle.

I believe in (a) not exceeding the gross vehicle weight rating and (b) not exceeding front or rear axle weight ratings.

I have a pretty aggressive weight distribution with my 1000# equalizer hitch (late model QX's have a supple suspension and a short rear overhang which helps dial things in) and last time I weighed everything all my axels we within their respective limits along with GVWR reading for camping....
Thanks for the info. Appreciate it.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:25 AM   #17
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Payload is what you are carrying in the vehicle at any given time, perhaps useful as a shopping tool. The sticker payload number will be preceded by "should never exceed", and will most probably be invalidated by dealer options or mod's before it leaves the lot.

The axle ratings (GVAR) are hard numbers stated on the door for each axle, weighing the loaded combo ready to tow will tell you if you are overloaded. And you could be under the "should never exceed" number and have an overloaded axle. Use a quality weight distribution hitch, set up properly, and take it to the truck scale and weigh the axles to see what you actually have.
Payload = GVWR - curb weight. Say a vehicle weighs 6000# when shipped from the factory (curb weight = 6000#) and has a 7300# GVWR. The difference (7300 - 6000 = 1300) will be stamped on the yellow payload sticker. GVWR is stamped on the same sticker that has axle ratings and is also a hard number. You cannot exceed the payload (1300# in my example) without exceeding the GVWR (7300# in my example). So, just like GVWR payload is a hard number. You can reduce the payload by adding accessories to your vehicle, and increase it by removing accessories. In any case you should not exceed GVWR, which is a hard limit.

Using your logic, you could be within the axle ratings and exceed the tire ratings (by loading unevenly right and left). This does not make axle ratings meaningless. In my experience exceeding the payload/GVWR results in degradation of handling/cornering/braking. YMMV.

While I am against regulations, I really think DMV should require a 30 minute online course on towing jargon before issuing a permit. These topics have been discussed to death and still some folks do not seem to be clear.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:42 AM   #18
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It's clear to me payload and GVWR are not hard numbers, they are suggested numbers ("should not exceed") from the manufacturer. Axle ratings are the hard numbers.

Handling is much less about weight than weight distribution, suspension design of the tow vehicle and trailer, center of gravity of each, and quality of the hitch and setup. Actual towing experience will make that very clear, internet towing experience will not. And you will learn what your truck and trailer are actually capable of (it may be less than GVWR).
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Old 10-11-2016, 09:16 AM   #19
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It's clear to me payload and GVWR are not hard numbers, they are suggested numbers ("should not exceed") from the manufacturer. Axle ratings are the hard numbers.

Handling is much less about weight than weight distribution, suspension design of the tow vehicle and trailer, center of gravity of each, and quality of the hitch and setup. Actual towing experience will make that very clear, internet towing experience will not. And you will learn what your truck and trailer are actually capable of (it may be less than GVWR).
If you read your user manual (or any other vehicle's user manual for that matter), you will see that the same language is used for GVWR and axle ratings. There is no way to infer one as being a suggestion and the other as being a hard limit. Here is a snippet from Ram user manual: "Do not load your vehicle any heavier than the GVWR or the maximum front and rear GAWR. If you do, parts on your vehicle can break, or it can change the way your vehicle handles. This could cause you to lose control. Also overloading can shorten the life of your vehicle."

You had serious stability issues with your previous setup. You solved it by buying the most complex hitch in the market. Good for you. Your experience validates my personal experience that there is a lot more to stability than low center of gravity, independent suspension, and an aerodynamic shape of the trailer (buzz word repeated here over and over). If these attributes REALLY mattered, you would have come here and reported than you get excellent stability while using a simple $200 hitch. Or that you could get excellent stability while using NO WDH with sway control.
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:16 AM   #20
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Someone asked for the specifics of my 2012 QX... here are the door stickers...

Great tow vehicle for my 25'...

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Old 10-11-2016, 11:52 AM   #21
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Wulfat, nice tow vehicle with very good rear axle rating.

Rostam, I've been here awhile. You have no towing experience to talk about. Your advice based only on manufacturer's recommendations will lead many Airstreamers directly to a larger truck than they need. The manufacturer's love it, the power train (and warranty) is never challenged and they get you into a much more expensive (and profitable) vehicle. Then when we learn it's a nightmare to drive around town, they can sell us a decent companion vehicle, or take it on trade for yet another sale.

Here's the site of North America's best travel trailer hitch and towing shop. Read and learn.

http://www.canamrv.ca/towing-expertise/
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:05 PM   #22
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Wulfat, nice tow vehicle with very good rear axle rating.

Rostam, I've been here awhile. You have no towing experience to talk about. Your advice based only on manufacturer's recommendations will lead many Airstreamers directly to a larger truck than they need. The manufacturer's love it, the power train (and warranty) is never challenged and they get you into a much more expensive (and profitable) vehicle. Then when we learn it's a nightmare to drive around town, they can sell us a decent companion vehicle, or take it on trade for yet another sale.

Here's the site of North America's best travel trailer hitch and towing shop. Read and learn.

http://www.canamrv.ca/towing-expertise/
dkottum, unfortunately the number of posts in this forum (or the duration of membership) does not imply that a better advice is being provided. Your statement that I have no towing experience is obviously false.

I go to RV shops to buy/repair my RV -- I do not take towing advice from them. As for your preferred RV shop, they lost me with their "Chrysler 300 is a better TV than a Ram 2500" and their installation of an Andersen hitch. You should not limit your horizon to what one RV shop says. Best of luck to you.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:20 PM   #23
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Just a reference point, my BMW X5 yellow sticker shows 1100 lbs payload. A visit to CAT scales shows that it is over 1300 after the full tank and the driver. They just put the same sticker on each X5, even the manual states payload 1100 lbs for each engine version, regardless of the fact that 3l version is much lighter than V8 and the suspension, etc. are the same.

Thanks for knowledgeable people on this forum I am towing (over 3,000 miles already) 33 ft long SOB trailer. The setup is very stable, at least in the 55-60 mph range. Not planning to test higher speeds.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:30 PM   #24
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Not everyone agrees about the Canadian dealer, opinions vary. He does get a ton of free advertising though,
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:57 PM   #25
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Here's mine.

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Payload is 1500 and I removed the back seats, which is about 100 lbs more.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:30 PM   #26
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Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade platform. 8300 towing, 1600 payload.
Before you add options, gas, people, and extra gear. Oh, I forgot about the 800 lbs from the hitch.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:39 PM   #27
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tow vehicle recommendation

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Before you add options, gas, people, and extra gear. Oh, I forgot about the 800 lbs from the hitch.


Yes? I had it weighed on a CAT scale and came in under. 1600 is a lot of payload.

http://www.ourflyingcloud.com/2016/0...airstream.html
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:10 PM   #28
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My hitch is a weight distribution type. In short it distributes the weight equally between truck and trailer, and not in one place.
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