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Old 08-10-2016, 07:25 AM   #1
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Question Same old, same old

I apologize in advance for rehashing this question that has been beaten to death, but please, I need some peace of mind.
In December I bought a new 2016 FC28. The dealer (Tampa RV) installed an Equalizer hitch with 1000 lb. bars. I talked to the dealer, the Ford dealer, and even called Jackson Center, all of whom assured me an F150 would be fine as a TV. I bought a 2016 F150 Lariat and now have 6 months and over 5000 miles of towing under my belt. Plenty of power and no sway with gas mileage up to 13 mpg.
Then I made the mistake (?) of reading these forums, particularly about cargo capacity so I looked at the sticker inside the driver's side door which says the max cargo load is 1565 lbs. If I estimate my tongue weight at 1000 lbs, this leaves 565 for everything else. My wife and I weigh 350 total, and the two dogs, a husky(90lbs) and a retriever (80) lbs weigh an additional 170 lbs. This leaves 565 - 520 or 45 lbs.
With the truck bed almost empty and the fresh water at 35%, the truck and trailer appear level. When I add two EU2000 generators and two 2.5 gallon gas tanks, 2 lawn chairs and a small weber propane grill, the trailer appears slightly nose down.
I know the thing to do is to drive to a CAT scale and see how overloaded I really am. But the nearest scale is 50 miles away, and I am afraid to drive the thing even though I never gave it a thought before.
I either have to stop reading these forums, trade up to an F250, or just believe all the people who post on the forum that they have been driving big Airstreams with F150s with no trouble.
I know it's opening a can of worms and this subject has been beaten to death, but all of my reading has me totally confused as to what I have to do. Even if I go to the scales and find I am a bit overloaded, is that really a problem given the success I've had towing my current setup.

Thanks, and again I appreciate any and all opinions.

Richard
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:02 AM   #2
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Same old, same old

I believe the drivers weight (200lbs or so) is considered in the base weight of the truck. So you might have a little cushion.
Slightly nose down is better than nose up. Isn't your WD system adjustable? Be careful not to remove too much weight from the rear axle of the TV if you adjust the WD system.
Have you measured the actual tongue weight? You can do it with a bathroom scale and a couple of boards.
Isn't the FW tank over the axles or close? Full or empty it should not affect the tongue weight that much.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:08 AM   #3
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Richard,

Don't think about it ....all the way to the CAT scales.

Get your loaded weights. Including, tow vehicle alone.

Set the the WD properly.

Check the door jamb sticker for axle ratings, and tire sidewall for load ratings.

Report back with the numbers....

Bob
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:13 AM   #4
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28's

It's good you are questioning and researching. Knowledge is good.
Are you running LT tires on your truck ? I recommend the LT tires for your truck. They are stronger than the P series, that would help the truck and give you a greater margin of safety.

Do the scale thing sometime and then you will have it on paper, and maybe it will be easier to make a decision. I think you have an idea, of what you may have to do, just by reading your post.

We have a 28' as well and I have a equalizer with the 1000 lb bars like you. The 28' is heavy, but it tows so well. Best towing trailer I have owned. I know what you mean there.

Yeah its quite the conundrum.
Have a good one,
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I believe the drivers weight (200lbs or so) is considered in the base weight of the truck. So you might have a little cushion.
Slightly nose down is better than nose up. Isn't your WD system adjustable? Be careful not to remove too much weight from the rear axle of the TV if you adjust the WD system.
Have you measured the actual tongue weight? You can do it with a bathroom scale and a couple of boards.
Isn't the FW tank over the axles or close? Full or empty it should not affect the tongue weight that much.
I would hate to have to readjust the Equalizer every time I change the load in the truck. It is adjustable in that I can add or remove washers and raise or lower the hitch, all of which involves removing nuts and bolts and retorquing. If I have to raise the hitch, I think I need humongous torque on the nuts.

First stop in my next trip will be the CAT scales. How about just one measurement of front axle, rear axle and trailer weights to see if I'm within the sticker numbers? I understand the CAT scales give those three measurement in one weighing.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:23 AM   #6
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Bathroom scale

By the way, how can a bathroom scale measure 1000 lbs. of tongue weight? If it can, can I put it under the jack?
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitegs View Post
SNIP....
First stop in my next trip will be the CAT scales. How about just one measurement of front axle, rear axle and trailer weights to see if I'm within the sticker numbers? I understand the CAT scales give those three measurement in one weighing.
TV alone...


TV & AS no WD.................................TV & AS with WD set.



Quote:
Originally Posted by whitegs View Post
By the way, how can a bathroom scale measure 1000 lbs. of tongue weight? If it can, can I put it under the jack?
Bathroom scale

Bob
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:27 AM   #8
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I figure that the TW from the posted weight slips is 1160. To calculate the TW as it was told via the formula posted by REDNAX on 09-21-2010, you simply compare the total weight of the TV axles unloaded to the loaded values when the trailer is connected and the WD hitch is NOT ENGAGED. Made sense to me.
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:00 AM   #9
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While I do always like to have things operating well within specified limits - IMHO for improved longevity and reliability - I don't think these numbers are precise to the point that your F150 will turn into a pumpkin if you are a few pounds over.

If you are like me though, you may well feel more comfortable having excess capacity and I can understand that!

I guess it depends how much it bothers you - and the financial implications. I imagine you might take a substantial hit trading in such a new vehicle.

Brian
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Old 08-10-2016, 10:31 AM   #10
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Certainly drive it to the scales and weigh it hooked up and the truck alone. Look at how much weight return you have to the front axle. Adjust the hitch so the trailer is level and you have some additional weight on the front axle. Then figure how much weight the trailer is adding to the truck. That is probably the number you need to count against the payload. And it should be a little less than the actual tongue weight. Then look at the tires and the tire load rating on the truck. Maybe there is need for or room for improvement in the tire load carrying.

My guess is once you do all that and set it up properly you will be fine. No point in guessing and then worrying. Maybe worry when you have the facts? There are many F150's pulling that size trailer and they seem to do it very successfully.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:10 AM   #11
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Personal experience about this forum:

"Most" people here are genuinely here to help and give sound advice. Some are here on a high horse. Some are numbers by the book people.

What I have learned in this forum has been great. Lab and Field work, theory and application don't always go hand in hand. Just because it works for one, doesn't mean it will work for all.

The bottom line, do what you are comfortable with given all the information you have acquired through your own research here and abroad.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:41 AM   #12
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I agree with cazual6. Don't overthink it, but if you're concerned hit up a cat scale the next time you're out. Since you don't have a scale nearby you could just take a measurement from the ground to your wheel well both unloaded and trailer loaded ready to go. I recently purchased a 30' Bunk model and purchased a new Reese to go with this trailer. Set it up strictly by measuring and when I hit the scale on our maiden 800 mile trip numbers looked great. I also tow with a 1/2 ton (GMC) and was slightly concerned as these newer trailers are heavier than the 70's/80's trailers that I normally tow. I came in at 3100/3300/6600. Axle ratings on my truck are around 4k so I have plenty of room.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
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Here is my two-cents worth, which may be overpriced! If, when you are loaded and towing, your TV feels comfortable and is not either waddling or squatting, you are probably inside your limitations. Sounds like you have a good hitch.

Given that you are pushing the manufacturer's load limits I would recommend a couple of things. First, if you hit a stretch of highway like I-10 across southern Mississippi and Alabama where the highway slabs set up a pretty severe rocking/bouncing motion, slow down. Second, be sure you have tires on the TV that are rated well above your axle weight, and run them at the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall. I also recommend you get the most highly rated LT tires you can find. They are not going to be cheap, and probably will be Michelins.

I also suggest getting your rig on level ground and following the procedures outlined in the Equalizer users' manual. First carefully note the measurements when hooked up and loaded and then note the washer number when you have made the adjustment. When you are done, the trailer and truck should be sitting level, neither nose high or nose low. Take it out on a test run down hills and around bends at highway speeds. If it was more stable and comfortable at the old settings, go back to them. If it is good with full leveling support, then you are in the sweet spot.

The biggie is the tires. F150s have a pretty large margin of error on loads, and it is very rare for that to cause a critical problem. Long-term, driving a truck overloaded will cost you in drive-train and suspension maintenance costs, but it is generally not a short term issue. If you sample what you have seen on the side of the road and what RV owners talk about as the most common failure, you will quickly see that the tires are the weak point in the system. Thus, get the highest rated, highest load rating tires you can find.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:51 AM   #14
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Keep the truck and trailer you have and enjoy them.
No need to change anything.
All is well.
You may be at the very limit of towing capacity and payload for your truck, but the truck doesn't seem to know or care.
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