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Old 03-12-2006, 01:32 PM   #15
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2005 16' International CCD
Ogden , Utah
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Thanks everyone for the dialog on my question. It's really helped me get my thoughts straightened out.

You helped me to realize that what I'm really concerned about is operating the trailer right at it's rated maximum. I fully intend to carry the heavy stuff (like the Honda generator, spare battery, camping gear) in the back of the truck. That's what I do now and it's the logical place.

If a suspension upgrade is reasonable from a technical perspective, it should include the whole thing - axles, wheels & tires, brakes - at the same time.

If it isn't 'easy' to do, it's not probably worth it to blaze the trail on this. I'll contact the local dealer and the factory, and if I get the "sure, no problem so long as you want to pay for it" response, then it's just a cost decision.

It's really the safety margin I'm after - my ideal rig would have been the 16' with a 4,500 weight rating. That way I could load up all the clothes and food and other stuff people want to take, and add the TV, and not worry about having to watch the limit.

Thanks again - I like knowing all the different perspectives people have.


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Old 03-12-2006, 03:07 PM   #16
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Y'know Bob, I can't say I've ever heard much said about a 15-20% safety margin by keeping the trailer below GVWR. I think that gets fairly arbitrary when you try to figure inputs from base or curb weight, options weight, and resultant net carrying capacity (NCC). 15-20% of a small NCC wouldn't contribute a lot if I'm figuring right. I do expect the trailer brakes to contribute greatly to stopping the trailer. Anticipation and driving according to conditions counts for a lot. The tow vehicle or driver input is having a bad day if the trailer does anything other than trail.

I usually don't want to travel with a full load of fresh water but have done that for particular reasons in good weather.

It is most important for the tow vehicle to remain in control, thus I'm most aware of keeping the tow vehicle light by about 15-20% of its load capacity. Does anybody "underload" their trailer by a deliberate amount?


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Old 03-12-2006, 05:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
Does anyone have thoughts on how to increae the load capability on an Airstream? I have a 2005 16' CCD, with a GVWR of 3,500. I notice the 19' model has a 4,500 rating. What makes the 19'er capapable of the extra 1,000 pounds? Is it mostly the axle and wheels, and is it feasible to switch my axle to the one used on the 19'?

Any other thoughts on ways to increase load capacity? Another 500 pounds capacity would let me carry the Honda generator, 2nd battery, dutch oven & camping gear, etc, and not feel like I've maxed out the load rating.

The shorter length works better for me, but I could sure use some extra load capability.

Thanks for any thoughts and ideas.
If I'm reading your question correctly..
The 16' is rated at 3500lbs.
The 19' is rated at 4500lbs.
These are the posted factory spec as stamped/etched on your vehicle's ID tag. You need to keep in mind the differences between the actual weight of your unit and, the load carrying capacity of your unit. They take the two together as the combined weight and, then post it as your load capacity of that unit. To find out what you can carry safely, you need to subtract the actual weight of that unit from the total weight as posted on the ID tag.
For the purpose of discussion, lets use these examples.
1.)16' actual weight is 3000lb minus 3500lb(on the ID tag)=carrying load of 500lbs.
2.)19' actual weight is 4000lb minus 4500lb(on the ID tag)=carrying load of 500lbs.
Don't go and substrate the differences between 4500lb and 3500lb to arrive at 1000lbs of extra weight carrying capacity for a 19' over a 16'. It just doesn't work that way.
Now, I grant you that there is a difference between the 19' and, the 16' in the tires. This is due to the fact that the 19' unit is heavier as it is an extra 3' .
The 16' has tires size 14 and, the 19' has tire size 15. for your actual tire size, you can go out and check them.
Finally, I see that your tow vehicle
it's a Dodge 2500 with the Cummin turbo diesel.
is quite capable of carring the extra weight that you're wanting to carry within the cargo bed.
I'd be more concerned with having the proper tires (load rating of E) on my tow vehicle and, keeping the tire pressure up to the max load rating for both the Airstream and the Dodge.
That's my take on the subject as I read your original post.
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Old 03-12-2006, 05:47 PM   #18
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I'm not sure that you can really seriously overload a 16' or 19' with 'stuff' unless you're carrying lead weights or something. Normal camping gear, clothing, and supplies weight is really dwarfed by the weight of the liquids, batteries, etc. I think it's probably more significant to keep your wet weight down when you can and not be so concerned about what you carry in the way of consumer goods and cargo in the trailer. I think the biggest issue is that the tires are weight-matched to the max anticipated load.

FWIW, running a tow vehicle with too much of a reserve load available is just as hard on the trailer as running a tow vehicle at max is on the vehicle. For example, towing a 16' with an HD 3/4 ton or one-ton truck will shake the trailer from hard suspension and rattle the rivets loose. There is a sweet spot for each trailer/tow vehicle combo that you need to find.

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Old 03-15-2006, 03:15 PM   #19
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You may not be as close to overloading as you think . Example , my '76 , 25' has a GVWR of 5800# , the axels are rated at 2600# each . If you add up the axels it = 5200# , which makes it look like the axels are under rated. The remaining 600# is the tongue weight on the TV.
You need to check the specs on yours and do the math to figure out your actual loading. Also need to determine the weak link , frame , axels ,brakes wheels or tires . Sometimes just changing one will get you where you want to be . Good luck

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