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Old 03-04-2003, 12:20 PM   #1
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Question OK- what does your A/S weigh & what's your tow vehicle

There's been a number of threads pretaining to towing safely and I'd like to hear from you all on how much your trailer weighs and what's your tow vehicles rating & weighs.

My 28' trailer has a GVWR of 8,400lbs. My 2000 Chevy K-1500 5.3L 4:10 Z71 tow-haul mode, 4 wheel ABS with dynamic rear proportioning, 4 wheel disc brakes with thick rotors and large pads, has a tow rating of 9,000lbs.

Here are my weighs per a certified scale:

Truck front axle: 2860lbs GAWR 3925lbs
Truck rear axle: 3200lbs GAWR 3750lbs

Both trailer axles: 6760lbs GVWR 8,400lbs

Total combined weigh: 12,820lbs GCWR 14,100lbs

Note: I did not weigh the trailer by it's self, so I don't know the tongue weigh or the trailers stand alone weigh.
I removed the front sofa/sleeper and so I don't store anything there, but with the extra 200lbs from the Hensley, I'm sure this off sets not having weigh stored under the sofa/sleeper. I do have a fullsize lay-z-boy and a swivel chair which weigh together about the same as the sofa/sleeper.

I'm using the Jordan Ultima 2020 brake controller, 4 new Dexter brake assemblies and the Hensley Arrow hitch.

I feel that this combo is very safe to tow on both hwy's and steep mountain passes. But again, it's only a 1/2 ton truck, not a super monster.

The main reason why I'm posting this thread is because I bet 75% of the active members(newbies excluded) within this forum have EVER had their trailers and tow vehicles weighed.

If you have, please share your weighs.

John
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:49 PM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
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'03 Bambi 19' (GVWR) 4,600lbs
Gross tongue weight 480lbs (approx)

'96 Chevy Caprice Classic w/HO8 option (Heavy duty cooling) and LT1 engine- (GVWR) 5,300lbs

I don't have the front and rear weights handy but I can say that it something like 60/40. 60- front- 40-rear is what the door sticker has it at gross.

The car from the factory is rated to pull 5,000lbs.

I have large disc brakes in front and 12" drums in the rear and I installed the Police Vehicle SEO front air dams that channel front air directly to the inside front rotors for additional cooling rather than civillan cars that push the air around the tire. I will edit the post later with the brake control system I have for the tralier brakes.

The car has a Reese Class 3-4 weght distrib hitch rated at 10,000lb capacity and 1,200 gross tongue weight (both with weight distribution taken into consideration) My weight distribution bars are rated at 10,000lbs and I have friction sway control.

Additionally, the car has been fitted with a 160* thermostat, upgraded trans cooler (from the factory one), deeper trans pan like one on the 2000 Silverado truck (uses the same basic trans but holds more fluid to keep temp low).

Future mods planned are 3.42 or 3.73 gears for the back, ram air torque converter cooler, lowering the secondary cooling fan via the PCM(Powertrian control module) from 200 some odd degrees to about 190-195 degrees since the car with the new stat, pulling does not get warmer than 175*.

This current setup works well. Starts, maintains and stops extremely well.

I will also add that I check the brakes at every tire rotation (6,000 miles) for wear and/or problems and am fairly meticulous on all aspects of regular maintenance.



Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:55 PM   #3
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Knowledge!!!!

If we don't know how much our combo's weigh fully loaded when heading out, then how safe are we truly being????

We might be surprised to find out that we have way too much or not enough of a tow vehicle to safely pull those steep mountain grades.

I find it amazing how little is stressed or talked about having our combo's weighed on an annual bases. We seem more consumed with power than actual facts.

I myself have grow tried of these debates of how bigger is better, than actually weighing and knowing.

How about the importance of your brake controller? Because I switched from an inferior controller(Reese Brakeman) to the Jordan Ultima 2020, I was able to stop in a controlled manner that avoided me hitting a car that pulled out in front of me. Yes the brakes on the tow vehicle are very important and so are the trailer brakes and the brake controller.

We all have different sizes of trailers, different weighs, different needs(some will only tow on the flat land and some live in the mountains) and different tow vehicles. It's not one size fits all, but what are your indiviual needs and requirements.

I feel if the community focuses on helping, rather than fighting, we all will learn and tow OUR trailers more safely.

This is a community?? Is it not??

John
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Old 03-04-2003, 01:01 PM   #4
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Eric,

Excellent information!!!

This is what I'm truly interested in, how well do we know our tow vehicles and trailers.

I hope ALL will share this type of information, including the weighs of our trailers.

Then we'll all know how's advice is valid. We'll all know who's done their home work. We'll all know how's truly towing safely.

John
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:57 PM   #5
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My rig

2003 22' International AS, weighed while loaded for a trip with 1/3 tank of fresh water and bad tanks empty:
GVW - 5000#
As loaded - 4860#

2001 Chev 1500 Z71 (just like John's except I have extended cab) with nearly full tank of gas, as unhitched from trailer:
truck total - 5600#
front axle - 3180# GAWR 3925lbs
rear axle - 2420# GAWR 3750lbs

rig hitched with equalizer bars set:
Total weight - 10440#
front axle - 3060# GAWR 3925lbs
rear axle - 3120# GAWR 3750lbs
trailer tandem axles - 4260#
trailer axle rating - 5000#

I use a Draw-Tite hitch and a Reese friction sway bar. The sway bar is probably redundant. I use left-over 550# equalizer bars from my prior trailer. These are a bit light for the tongue weight, but since the trailer is not large, the truck barely squats. The lighter bars give a good ride in the truck.

I'm fairly close to gross on the trailer, but when I weighed, it was packed with about everything we carry for a trip. There is no reason I would exceed the GVW. My recent changes have taken about 25 pounds out of the trailer.

With the Banks exhaust system, towing performance is excellent and has yielded over 13 MPG.
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:17 PM   #6
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John,

I noticed that my trailer tandem axles weigh 2500lbs more than yours. Not bad for a 28' fulltimer !!

Could you edit and add your GAWR for your front and rear axles of your truck?

Thanks for sharing-John
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:33 PM   #7
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Some of us are afraid to know the truth.... however, am having trouble finding a scale. The local dump...sorry, transfer station, will not let me weigh my tt.

I tend to travel the back roads ( I-10, I-5 ) so of course there is not problem going 55.
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:44 PM   #8
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Look for a large truck stop

There are surely truck stops in your area with computerized scales. Most of them have the advantage of weighing each axle/axle group separately. It cost me just about $8 to weigh mine.

I weigh:
truck+trailer in travel condition
truck+trailer with equalizers released
truck alone

Before weighing I go in the office and explain that I will weigh 3 times. Saves confusion.

With those 3 weight slips, you know everything there is to know except side to side balance on the trailer tires.
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Old 03-04-2003, 04:55 PM   #9
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Kistler,

Did you pull your trailer to CO?

If so, how did your Jeep do?

Are you still look for another tow vehicle?

John,

You shared some good information on how to get all of the different weights.

Thanks-John
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:22 PM   #10
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No, have not been to CO....that's week after next. Yes, am searching for a new tow vehicle.

I am afraid the thinking is....a 2004 Jeep Overland. The horsepower is up a little.

Most of the problem is $ of course and the size of our garage; doesn't exactly allow for an Excursion or Suburban... by the way I think I read somewhere that the Excursion is being discontinued.

There is going to be an Airstream with about 4,000 miles on the tires for sale here I think. The Jeep is my wife's choice vehicle and we are getting really old.
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Old 03-05-2003, 12:35 PM   #11
 
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1900 Chevy van, G-30, 1ton , 146" wheel base, 18'8" body length , 54' turning radius
max tow cap. 10,000Lbs, curb weight 5433LBs
V8, 454, 3 speed auto, 230hp @ 3600 rpm
Down side: the engine is so big, I don't have space to put both of my feet (size 7) flat on the floor at the same time. (one goes on the wheel well)
Upside: yesterday was the 1st time in 11 years we used it, empty, to take our 32' home. We always carried about 1 ton of cargo, and it had moved that 29' trailer at 70mph on flat highway (I bet we could easy reach 95mph downhill !!!!). When empty (trailer empty too), what a difference: it feels like a race car !!!!
We think that it is a great tow vehicle for the average RVer. Can carry a lot of bikes, luggage, dogs, anything to make for happy campers.

old trailer was 29' 1974: dry weight 4850 lbs Tongue Wt 485 lbs
we weighed the all rig twice. Forgot the results. We were just on the safe side of the line.

current tow vehicle used with 29': 1998 International 4700, about 23,000GVW, 195hp.
next trailer we will use this season: 32' 1990 Excella: dry weight 6350LBs, 8300 GVW, tongue WT 700 Lbs.
We have to stop at weigh station, but I don't think we will bother to get the print-out.

Chantal & Mike
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Old 03-07-2003, 08:39 PM   #12
 
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Hi Don,

I realise now that you are the fellow we talked to on RV Forum or Escapees.

The discussion was on how to select a shock absorbing hitch to tow with MDT or heavier.

We are now convinced that we are going to kill that trailer someday.
We have tracked down some information about air hitch for TT.

If you have any information to share with us on that topic, please email or PM us.

Thank you
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Old 03-07-2003, 09:45 PM   #13
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1977 Excella 500 31'
GVWR 8500 lbs
front axle 4000 lbs
rear axle 4000 lbs
Whole trailer weighed at a weigh station with 2 full 40 lb. LPG alum. tanks, fresh water, grey water and black water tanks with 2 gallons in each, food stocked for 4 days, hunting equipment/clothing-------- 5680 lbs? I'm surprised because my factory info quoted 5880 w/o options.

Left side of trailer on scale---- 2840 lbs. (Alaskan Guide Tent on that side of the trailer over axles I guess.
Right side of trailer on scale---- 2740 lbs.
Tongue wt.--- 1160 lbs.

Tow vehicle is a '01 Chevy 2500HD extended cab 4X4 shortbed with 8.1 V8 340 HP and Allison transmission. It has a GVWR of 9200 lbs.
4670 lbs. front axle
6084 lbs. rear axle

With the 3.73 rear axle ratio and standard LT245-75-16 tires it does a good job and I can't complain.

I use a Reese towbar rated at 12,000 lbs. trailer wt., 1,200 lbs. tongue wt. and springbars rated at 1,200 lbs. No sway control is used and it works fine. I probably am overequipped with the springbars but it is what was avail. at the time.
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Old 03-08-2003, 07:50 AM   #14
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Nice setup Craig. I like that 8.1L V8 they offer. What is the cubic inch of that motor? Also, we had a 454 back in '85. I know well that you pay for the priv of having the engine, but can you comment on the MPG not pulling and pulling?

Regards,

Eric
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