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Old 03-02-2015, 07:27 PM   #1
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Forgive me: Does tongue weight count against payload?

Forgive me if (or how many times) this has been discussed, but I'm about to buy a tow vehicle for a 25' AS that we haven't purchased yet. I'm certain I'm getting some bad info from some Ford truck salesmen. What????

The yellow sticker on the door jamb lists the available "payload" for that truck based on the installed options and VIN#, correct? My trailer tongue weight applies to that payload calculation, right? I had a Ford salesman tell me today that a 5th wheel load would be included but a bumper trailer hitch wouldn't count against the payload. Really?

The tongue weight of a trailer is applied to the payload rating, right?

I'm certain the answer to this is yes, but I need to confirm since I've had several Ford truck salesmen tell me that it's not. To say that it's not is crazy; the asterisk and the fine print clearly state that the trailer tongue weight is counted against the payload published on the yellow sticker on the door jamb.

Sorry for how many times this has been asked, but I'm making a decision tomorrow and I want it to be a smart one.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:41 PM   #2
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Thumbs up More importantly....

Tongue weight goes against rear axle weight ratings,(GAWR), along with tire & receiver load ratings.

Ck your door sticker, tire sidewall and receiver tag.

Bob
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by marter View Post
Forgive me if (or how many times) this has been discussed, but I'm about to buy a tow vehicle for a 25' AS that we haven't purchased yet. I'm certain I'm getting some bad info from some Ford truck salesmen. What????

The yellow sticker on the door jamb lists the available "payload" for that truck based on the installed options and VIN#, correct? My trailer tongue weight applies to that payload calculation, right? I had a Ford salesman tell me today that a 5th wheel load would be included but a bumper trailer hitch wouldn't count against the payload. Really?

The tongue weight of a trailer is applied to the payload rating, right?

I'm certain the answer to this is yes, but I need to confirm since I've had several Ford truck salesmen tell me that it's not. To say that it's not is crazy; the asterisk and the fine print clearly state that the trailer tongue weight is counted against the payload published on the yellow sticker on the door jamb.

Sorry for how many times this has been asked, but I'm making a decision tomorrow and I want it to be a smart one.
You are talking to a salesman who has no idea what he is talking about. Ask to speak to a salesman who is knowledgeable. Yes, the tongue weight of a trailer is part of the payload.

On a late model 25 foot Airstream, the tongue weight would be in the 800#+ range.

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Old 03-02-2015, 07:54 PM   #4
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Yes , the tongue is part of the payload rating
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:11 PM   #5
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Tongue weight must be subtracted from payload. There is a difference of opinion here as to whether that means the tongue weight as measured on a ball mount scale, i.e. without the effects of weight distribution, or as measured as an increase in the truck weight with the trailer hooked up and weight distribution engaged. I believe if you can't measure it at the wheels of the truck it doesn't count against the payload. To be perfectly correct, the tongue weight gets distributed among the TV rear axle, the TV front axle, and the trailer axle(s). If you put 1000# on the hitch at the rear of the truck, the net effect without weight distribution is an increase over 1000# on the rear axle and a reduction of the same amount on the front axle. The idea of weight distribution is to never have the front axle carry less weight hitched than unhitched. Fifth wheel hitches are mounted very close, or at the same location as the rear axle. In that case the effect discussed above is negligible, but if you weigh the truck with a fifth wheel attached, you will see the load on the truck axles and therefore it counts against payload.

For the question you didn't ask, trailer towing capacity, if that parameter is stated, different manufacturers have different definitions at different times. For my 2006 F-150, any payload carried in the truck is subtracted from the "maximum trailer weight". I think Dodge/Ram does it differently but I'm not sure. As I understand it they quote trailer towing capacity assuming the truck is loaded to maximum payload, but that may not be correct. Let the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) be your guide. That is the total weight as measured at all axles on the ground when fully loaded for camping, including TV curb weight, driver, passenger(s), fuel, dogs, firewood, trailer dry weight, food, clothing, water, propane, batteries, black and gray tank contents, etc....you get the picture.

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Old 03-02-2015, 08:15 PM   #6
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You have two ways to hitch up. One is without a weight distribution hitch. In that case all of that hitch weight of the trailer is carried by tow vehicle. With a weight distribution hitch under ideal conditions, some of that hitch weight is carried by the trailer, and the other portion is carried by the tow vehicle. Without weight distribution you may see the trailer nose down as the rear of the tow vehicle sags with the total weight of the hitch.

If you ever look at a hitch receiver on the tow vehicle, you will see two numbers. One is the hitch capacity without weight distribution (or load carrying) and the other is with weight distribution. Sometimes the load carrying capacity of the tow vehicle hitch doubles when weight distribution is used. For example it is not unusual to see a 500 lb load carrying number on the hitch receiver and 1,000 lbs for weight distribution. In the case of my Hidden Hitch receiver on my van, the load carrying number is 1,200 lbs. With weight distribution it is 1,400.

So any weight you put on that hitch connection counts as part of the tow vehicle payload. The sticker can't account for your hitch weight since Ford doesn't know what you are hooking up to. All they can do is tell you the towing capacity and the payload of your truck. They can also give you a gross weight capacity of your tow vehicle which is probably on that sticker. It may be two numbers listing a gross limit for each axle or it may be the total of both. That gross number is the tow vehicle, fuel, items you carry in the vehicle including passengers. Obviously if the hitch puts weight on the tow vehicle, its considered part of the payload. So technically you can be rated to pull a trailer that weighs x amount of pounds, but with hitch weight, fuel, camping items, and people, your tow vehicle could be overloaded.


So if the number they are showing you on the sticker is the gross vehicle weight, then keep in mind that is a vehicle + payload figure. An example with my GM van. It has the unloaded weight of my van. 8,600 lbs. Then it has the gross weight capacity of each axle. Add those two numbers together and you get the gross weight capacity of the van. Those numbers should exceed the empty weight of the tow vehicle. The difference between the two numbers is your usable load capacity. Carry any more and you have exceeded the load capacity of one or both axles.

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-02-2015, 08:25 PM   #7
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As noted by others, many of the sales folks have no idea regarding trailer pulling and loads. You have to do the work on your end to verify if the vehicle you are buying is truly sized properly for you load. In some cases there are customer trailering guides available from the dealerships. These guides have more detail about each vehicle relative to using them as tow vehicles. If they don't have one, find a dealer who can get one for you. The standard dealer brochure may not have all the information you need. Many of the sales folks think everything is in the standard brochure and give you that instead. I asked for one when I shopped for my van. We only found one after going to 4 different dealerships.

If you draw a blank, contact Ford directly and ask them if they have one available. They should be able to send it to you. Here's a link to the PDF's for the guides. Ford Towing Guides | The Official Site of Ford Vehicles | Ford.com

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Old 03-02-2015, 09:02 PM   #8
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...and if you have a good weight distribution hitch this also weighs an appreciable amount to the payload.

You can also adjust the balance of the trailer to have less tongue weight by moving stuff to the rear - but don't futz too much. You do need a positive weight on the tongue.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:03 PM   #9
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Any weight you add to the TV is subtract from the load carrying capacity. If the load carrying capacity is 1,700 pounds, the hitch weight is 900 pounds. You have an 800 pound cushion. Put two 200 pound people in the TV and you are down to 400 pounds. Put 400 pounds of cargo in the TV and you are maxed out.


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Old 03-03-2015, 05:23 AM   #10
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Payload paranoid.....load to your axle ratings.

Loaded.
GAWR FRT 4180 CAT wt 3640
GAWR R 5500 CAT wt 4680
Tires Okay, hitch Okay.

Bob
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:00 AM   #11
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As stated YES. Any weight added to the truck or car is considered payload for this discussion. Weight distribution hitch moves some of the weight to the front axle, but does not lessen the weight of the hitch, hitch mount and ball assembly.

Everything you put in your tow vehicle is considered payload - you, your significant other, a dog, chairs, bikes, kayaks, grills et al. Sales people at dealerships are there to sell cars, it's only a rare one indeed who studies the brochures and on line corporate info well enough to give an accurate answer on payload or even towing. My first truck I had to explain that the tires on my intended purchase were not sufficient - D rated, for what I wanted to carry.

Do exactly what you are doing, research and don't take this forum, my input or anyone else as the be all to end all. I called Ford corporate on each truck purchase and talked to an engineer, I've also called the "mother ship" and talked to several people down there not in Customer Service, but engineers about questions I've had. In every case the people I talked to were more than willing to discuss my concerns and they made some good suggestions.

Good Luck and enjoy
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:29 AM   #12
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My rule of thumb. For a F150, payload rating on driver side doorjamb. If its below 1,500 lbs I'd pass. Between 1,500 and 1,700 its adequate for your trailer, you and a passenger, and some light stuff in the bed. Above 1,700 and should be plenty.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:55 AM   #13
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Payload paranoid.....load to your axle ratings.
Bob
Yes and be sure your connection hardware, including the receiver/platform is up to the task of handling the tongue weight and forces of the WDH.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:06 AM   #14
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Thanks all for your replies. Let me get specific.

We' re planning on a new Flying Cloud 25' (and driving ourselves nuts with the FB vs. RB decision) and are looking at a '13 King Ranch SCrew 4x4, 145" WB, with a Max Tow package, 3.73 locker, 7650# GVWR, and the attached sticker.

That trailer has a base weight of 5,600#, GVWR of 7300#, and a hitch weight of 835#.

If we add a ProPride 3P hitch, fill up the 36-gal tank, how much is left for me, my wife and my stuff?
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:43 AM   #15
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Well the sticker tells you not to exceed 1,630 lbs of load. Gas is 6.3 lbs per gallon. I've read in other forums that the Propride weighs in at about 80 lbs. The unknown on my end is the amount of weight that the Propride will distribute to your tow vehicle. There's a lot of geometry here which depends on how your truck is sprung, and how much force needs to be applied to keep your truck and trailer level when you hitch up. If you use an assumption that 50% of the hitch weight will be transferred to the truck then add another 417 lbs or so to the load. Add up all those weights and subtract from 1,630. That will give you a ball park number to work from. My only concern is that my hitch weight transfer load might be a little high, but you really need scales to see the effect of weight distribution.

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Old 03-03-2015, 10:14 AM   #16
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We'll try again...

This is where we are hitched up ready to go....
GAWR FRT 4180 CAT wt 3640=540lbs of axle load remaining.
GAWR R 5500 CAT wt 4680=820lbs of axle load remaining.

1st ticket TV alone loaded for camping....

2nd hitched no WD, 3rd with WD set.....

Notice I have 1080lbs of actual receiver weight with WD set.

TV and trailer level with WD set, receiver, TV tire and axle loads all Okay.

IIWY...I'd weigh the truck loaded for camping and see how much weight you have available. (GAWR)
Ck the max load rating for your P rated TV tires.

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Old 03-03-2015, 11:51 AM   #17
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Thanks guys.

I just spoke with Sean at ProPride and he said his hitch weighs 195#, about 100# more than a standard hitch.

My understanding of the sticker assumes a full tank of gas, in this case 36 Gal, but no driver.

So if I'm starting with 1630# payload, subtract 835# for the tongue weight and 195# for the 3P hitch, I have 600# left for passengers and gear, correct?
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:32 PM   #18
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Thanks guys.

I just spoke with Sean at ProPride and he said his hitch weighs 195#, about 100# more than a standard hitch.

My understanding of the sticker assumes a full tank of gas, in this case 36 Gal, but no driver.

So if I'm starting with 1630# payload, subtract 835# for the tongue weight and 195# for the 3P hitch, I have 600# left for passengers and gear, correct?
No. You should in most cases have more since the ProPride is a weight distributing hitch. Some of that 835 lbs. will be carried by the trailer. The extent can only be measured by a scale.

You have to consider the weight distribution hitch is akin to a wheel barrow. When you lift the handles, some of that weight is transferred to the front wheel and some is transferred to your legs.

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Old 03-03-2015, 12:43 PM   #19
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Interesting. I assumed tongue weight is what it is, and the "distribution" was to the front axle of the tow vehicle.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:23 PM   #20
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This is a little complex, however, it will give you the info you need and lead you directly to actual possible tow vehicles:

RV Camping & RV Lifestyle - Changin' Gears
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