Airstream Forums

Airstream Forums (http://www.airforums.com/forums/)
-   Tow Vehicles (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/)
-   -   Same old, same old (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/same-old-same-old-155041.html)

whitegs 08-10-2016 07:25 AM

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

TG Twinkie 08-10-2016 08:02 AM

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.

ROBERT CROSS 08-10-2016 08:08 AM

Don't stress...
 
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....:wally:

Bob
:flowers:

Tyvekcat 08-10-2016 08:13 AM

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,

whitegs 08-10-2016 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TG Twinkie (Post 1833280)
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.

whitegs 08-10-2016 08:23 AM

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?

ROBERT CROSS 08-10-2016 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by whitegs (Post 1833286)
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...
http://i63.tinypic.com/33x816t.jpg

TV & AS no WD.................................TV & AS with WD set.
http://i64.tinypic.com/2jceekh.jpg


Quote:

Originally Posted by whitegs (Post 1833287)
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
:flowers:

aftermath 08-10-2016 09:27 AM

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.

Wingeezer 08-10-2016 10:00 AM

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

Bill M. 08-10-2016 10:31 AM

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.

cazual6 08-10-2016 11:10 AM

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.

cliffcharb 08-10-2016 11:41 AM

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.

Loden 08-10-2016 11:50 AM

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.

m.hony 08-10-2016 11:51 AM

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.

Hiho Silver 08-10-2016 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TG Twinkie (Post 1833280)
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.


On my 2016 F150 lariat, the base curb weight as defined by Ford does Not include the weight of the driver or any people in the truck.. It is calculated on my truck by weighing the empty truck with all fluids full including a full gas tank.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums

Hiho Silver 08-10-2016 12:18 PM

My guess is the base curb weight of your truck will be around 5435 lbs.
That is calculated by subtracting 7000 lb GVWR from your sticker payload of 1565 lbs. Mine was a little more than what was on the sticker, so your actual weight may be off a few pounds. When you go to the scales you will need to check the weights on the steering and drive axles to make sure they are not overloaded. I learned from Robert Cross, who posted his weight tickets above. He was a great help to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums

Rjpuckett 08-10-2016 12:47 PM

I too have a F150 Crew Cab with a Cap V8 5.0 installed and wondered if I needed to upgrade to a F250. I just couldn't convince myself it was necessary due to the reason stated to need to do so.

I have a 2012 25' FC and its rated at 7300 #'s with 1060 #'s TW. It pulls the trailer in many different terrains without any issues. The Tow/Haul feature works great selecting the proper gear when needed.

However, there are some things I have done to address what I considered short comings to the setup.

1. Exterior Mirrors weren't allowing me to see behind as much as I wanted.

(Solution). I brought and installed (very easy) OEM Replacements for those standard mirrors. I now have the same type mirrors as the F250+. They manually extend out up to 24 inches. ($325)

2. Suspension was close to its max rating.

(Solution). I bought and had installed Super Springs that added an additional leaf to the rear springs. They only come into play when the rear has a load. The maker says they also reduce moment left and right on the rear of the truck? ($492)

3. Tires were a limiting loading factor.

(Solution) Replaced the tires that came with the 2013 truck with Michelin LT275/65R18. (normal replacement time)

Rather than not going to the big diesel engine that would cost more to maintain and operate, I haven't found anything else that makes me want a bigger truck.

dkottum 08-10-2016 12:49 PM

We have absolute confidence in our truck loaded within its axle and tire ratings, and our weight distribution hitch ensuring the truck and it's towing load is well-balanced on its axles.

On a trip we weighed the loaded Ram/Airstream to learn the axles were loaded under GAWR within 20 lbs of each other. That won't happen when we haul a full load of lumber in the bed of the truck and no trailer; it will be unbalanced, the steering, handling and braking will be compromised, we may be under GVWR but have an overloaded rear axle. The truck is much safer and pleasant to drive with the Airstream hitched up and w.d. set.

When towing the important ratings for us are axles and tires. Within these limits, experience with three different half-ton trucks towing our Airstream all over the country many times has shown it is an absolutely comfortable and safe combination.

Jacob D 08-10-2016 12:58 PM

You have had only good experience with your rig. Best to keep on truckin' and not worry. The advice others have given on tires is very true. Make sure you are running LTs at the max pressure until you have weighed your rig. Don't run Ps as I mistakenly did a few years back. Mine had belt slippage and side wall bulging after a few thousand miles. After getting weights and adjusting your hitch accordingly and if the load per tire is low enough you may want to reduce the pressure to get a softer ride, but max pressure will always give you better tire mileage.

When you get to the scales, weigh your TV front wheels first to get the loaded weight on the front of the TV, pull forward to the front trailer wheels and weigh , forward again to weigh the entire rig, forward again to weigh just the trailer (while hitched). Pull off the scale, unhitch the trailer, Weigh the TV by itself. With those 5 weights you can calculate the load on each axle,tongue weight and total loaded weights of your TV and trailer. Subtract the trailer weight (while hitched) from the total to get your loaded TV weight. Subtract the TV weight by itself from the loaded TV weight to get your tongue weight. Subtract the loaded TV weight from the total rig weight with just the front trailer wheels on the scale to get the load on the front trailer axle, from that you can calculate the weight on the rear trailer axle. Then check the load/pressure chart on the web site of your tire manufacturer(s) to ensure you are operating at the recommended pressures.

dkottum 08-10-2016 01:16 PM

One stop on the CAT scale when loaded for a trip will tell you the weight of each truck axle and the two trailer axles.

We have kept the stock tires on our last two trucks; air them to maximum sidewall rating when towing and have no problems. They are easily rated for the load our truck axles can carry.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.