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Old 07-01-2014, 06:48 AM   #15
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However, the numbers that are checked when stopped by DOT will be the axle ratings and tire ratings.

Our 2012 Ram 2500HD diesel has a 5,500 pound rated front axle and a 6,010 pound rated rear axle. The original equipment Michelin Load E 17" LT tires are rated 5,500 pound at 60psi and 6,010 at 70 psi. I run them at 80 psi which means their carrying capacity exceeds the axle rating.

My springs were all removed for air bags. The rear air bags are rated 10,000 pounds, so the weak link in the rear suspension is the 6,010 pound axle rating.

The door label of 9,600 pounds GVW is meaningless to me as the legal capacity per DOT if stopped would be 11,510 pounds.

I tow at 10,600 pounds on the truck when crossing the scales.

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Old 07-01-2014, 08:32 PM   #16
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Just curious. Has anyone ever been stopped by any official anywhere in the States and had their trailer weighed and the matched up against their "official" numbers?

We have half-timed for 7 years. Traveled over 50000 miles in tow and no one has ever given us a second glance...

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Old 07-01-2014, 08:47 PM   #17
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Not a truck and trailer, but a pickup truck that was overloaded.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by mikekey View Post
I'm only arguing this for the sake of arguing it, but...

That is HALF correct, you can increase the payload thru reduction but you can't increase payload thru GVW. I think you are thinking about the LEGALITY, which is what I think most people mean when they say you CANNOT.

Legally when a car is built it's stamped with a payload rating that is based on it's Curb Weight minus it's GVW. This GVW has been approved by DOT.

For example, all Dodge Ram 1500's have a GVW of 6800lbs. But each has a different payload based on options. One with cloth seats has a different payload from a vehicle with leather seats.

If your leather seats weight 300lbs and the cloth weight 180lbs and you switch, you've technically just increased payload by 120lbs.

So YES, you CAN increase payload, but you CANNOT exceed the GVW rating as that is what has been DOT approved for that vehicle. You CANNOT add a modification and increase payload. So YES, you're right that I cannot add springs and add 500lbs of payload because that would mean the GVW is now 7300lbs. Doesn't work that way.

So yes, legally if I rip out the interior of my truck it'd get lighter and I could fill that with cargo. Would you actually do that? Probably not, that's silly.

I suggested springs with an increased spring rate over stock that actually can carry more. Doesn't mean payload is increased, just it's ability to handle the weight.

Wanted to clarify that.

On another note of weight reduction, while I don't think most here would do it, when we built our overland rig, I removed the rear seats and the rear carpeting and sound deadening material. The weight was about 220lbs. It was nice because it offset the weight of our camping gear nicely.

I wouldn't do this to my Tow Vehicle, but you get the point.

Thanks for the detailed explanation. I learned something today! Your detailed explanation is why I consider payload to be a difficult spec to follow. You can't measure it. What you can measure is the gross vehicle weight of the truck and how this compares to the truck GVWR.


The weak link for me and for most with a 1/2 ton tv is the truck gvwr and the truck rawr (rear axle weight rating). I am just under both specs by about 200 - 300 lbs.

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Old 07-02-2014, 07:20 AM   #19
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Switz nailed it, I totally forgot about mentioning the Axles.

Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
Just curious. Has anyone ever been stopped by any official anywhere in the States and had their trailer weighed and the matched up against their "official" numbers?

We have half-timed for 7 years. Traveled over 50000 miles in tow and no one has ever given us a second glance...
I would think folks with commercial plates would have to worry the most, and folks who make it obvious to a state trooper or local police officer that their vehicle may pose a danger to other motorist.

Like this clown:

Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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