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Old 04-12-2017, 07:34 PM   #1
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Towing and Load - Another Perspective

I'm by far an expert on this, but seeing threads on this topic again and again inspired me to write an app that, among other things, pulls factual weight information together. Believe me, I'm not trying to hawk my app - it's far from market-ready and I'm not sure it will get that to that point anytime soon, if at all. As I sat this past weekend in my site and watched the various rigs depart, some of the combinations were just outright scary. A lot of folks out there are asking about whether a similar tow vehicle to mine is adequate. It depends. I hope this is helpful.

Regarding towing, tow vehicle (TV) ratings, supposed travel trailer (TT) weights, etc., thoughts and opinions are all over the place. Like some, I've come to the opinion that despite the variety of these data points, it comes down to actual scale weights and the combination of tow vehicle and trailer. This coupled with accurate weights of all people, fluids and cargo in both the TV and TT. Moreover, to me things like a TV's payload and max trailer weight start to lose their significance - the rating itself has meaning, but isn't a number to rely on solely. To me it's all about scale weights of the TV and TT together, and comparing to GVWR and GCWR. The combination of these tell the story with respect to manufacturer guidelines.

Consider the following screen shot. These are my actual scale numbers taken last November - the app is doing the math and rendering. This was my 2010 F150 5.4 and my 2016 Classic. I knew I'd be cutting it close and immediately felt the increased heft from my prior 25'. Still, I took it easy and was fine, but I wasn't as confident as I used to be. I went to the scales gassed up, no TV cargo and loaded my TT with fluids as I normally would on a trip. Did 3 weighs (with WD, w/out WD and TV only) so I could accurately calculate tongue weight. I was surprised in learning several things from my CAT scale experience:
1. Me, 21 lbs of cargo, 35 gals fuel and tongue weight alone weighed in at exactly my TV GVWR. Once my wife, dog, firewood, tools get tossed in I'm over the GVWR.
2. My trailer was heavier than I thought it was. Now out of curiosity I meticulously weighed everything I brought in it - 303 lbs. I'm probably a light traveler. Then, yes, once I subtract liquids, batteries, solar panels, awnings, anything considered "options", my trailer is now within the ballpark Airstream posts as empty weight.
3. With options, my tongue weight was a bit more than Airstream posted; but with my WD hitch some of that weight is transferred back to TT.

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So you can see how my scale weights compare to my manufacturer ratings. This was a bit eye-opening to me. So while I felt comfortable I think it's still healthy to have this information instead of me wondering or speculating.

Now consider the next screen shot. This is when I go on a trip. This is a simulation of data if I added my wife, dog, tools, firewood and maybe food and clothes in the TT. Because I captured the weight of people, fluids and cargo at the time of the weigh-in, I can now simulate additional or removed load for comparison. In this case I added weight in both the TV and TT. Look at my numbers now. Still, it seemed workable but it impressed upon me to maybe consider a TV with higher ratings. This is why I tend to place less emphasis on my TV's payload and max towing rating.

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I'm not trying to persuade anyone from changing their TV - rather just wanted to share another perspective based on real scale numbers and manufacturer ratings. I won't debate others have better experiences than me... this is just my situation. Despite my signature below, I moved to an F-250.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:12 PM   #2
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Can I be a beta tester for this app?
Looks quite interesting to me.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:45 PM   #3
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Is this an iPhone or android app? If the former is be willing to be a beta tester too!
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:37 AM   #4
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I found this travel trailer weight calculator worked well to check tow vehicle / travel trailer compatibility.

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml

It may give you some ideas on how to improve your app.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirMiles View Post
I found this travel trailer weight calculator worked well to check tow vehicle / travel trailer compatibility.

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml

It may give you some ideas on how to improve your app.
I tried to use the link. I couldn't find some of the weights asked for. Enter Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating as provided by tow vehicle manufacturer. ??? I've never seen anything like this listed in specs, has anyone?
Great idea that needs work.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:53 AM   #6
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Ford puts the front and rear axle ratings on their driver side door placards. GAWR
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:33 PM   #7
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Inside the drivers door. Maybe
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:47 PM   #8
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There are usually two labels, the "Tire and Loading Information" label, which gives the maximum payload (occupants, cargo and hitch load), and the Safety Compliance Certification Label, which gives the axle ratings and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. They don't always seem to agree with each other.
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Old 04-13-2017, 12:55 PM   #9
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Ford puts the front and rear axle ratings on their driver side door placards. GAWR
Good idea, I'll look. I scoured the owner's manual, and online, but not the door!
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:11 PM   #10
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And then there's the other label next to your hitch receiver that shows maximum trailer weight and maximum tongue weight. Mine also shows the maximum distance from hitch pin to hitch ball.

When you put all three labels together it basically says you cannot tow anything.
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Old 04-13-2017, 02:41 PM   #11
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It's occurring to me that I might not be smart enough to go camping! :-(
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I tried to use the link. I couldn't find some of the weights asked for. Enter Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating as provided by tow vehicle manufacturer. ??? I've never seen anything like this listed in specs, has anyone?
Great idea that needs work.
Yes they do my new 2500 ram shows gawr front is 6000 lbs.
Rear is 6500 lbs.
Real simple , no worries. No such thing as too much money or too much horsepower....
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:25 PM   #13
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It's occurring to me that I might not be smart enough to go camping! :-(
I knew that degree in Math/Physics would pay off some day.
It's taught me just enough to be cynical.
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Old 04-13-2017, 04:39 PM   #14
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It's occurring to me that I might not be smart enough to go camping! :-(
Are your eyes glazing over? I know mine were when I first started trying to figure all this stuff out.
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