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Old 07-31-2020, 06:39 AM   #1
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Important Tow Vehicle Cargo/Payload Consideration

I wanted to start a discussion for newbies that ask; “what do I need to tow my new xx’ trailer”? Rather than start the discussion with the OEM’s stated max tow capability, I would like folks to focus on payload only and provide a statement on the payload limit listed inside the drivers door. 1. A friend has an ‘18 F250 KR, 4x4, diesel with payload of 1950 lbs
2. My brother has an ‘18 Tundra with 1150 lbs of payload
3. My F250 Lariat, 4x2, gas has a payload of 3500 lbs of payload
* All are crew cabs with std beds.

Comments about durability and reliability of TV’s is not desired, expected or requested. All OEM’s are making good products for TV’s since these are their profit makers, as many sedans are being discontinued. Also, I read where some people disparage RAM trucks and call them Fiats! In all fairness, that perspective would require you to call your Airstream a THOR!

I have met many folks at RV Parks around the country that do not know about or understand payload. Here is a simple math example on calculating payload:
* 1000 lbs - Tongue Weight, including propane, batteries, etc.
* 300 lbs - Driver & Passengers
* 200 lbs - Bed topper (tonneau cover @ about 100 lbs)
* 400 lbs - Cargo in bed or back seat = protective rubber bed mat, tools, BBQ, kayaks, bikes, chairs, levelers, x chocks, etc.
* Total = 1900 lbs

Please note this is an example only. You can plug your weights into the example and obtain your payload requirement for your TV.

After reading hundreds of responses from folks that say their SUV tows up to 30’ trailers and seeing some TV’s headlights pointing to the sky while traversing the U.S., I believe payload to be the HIGHEST priority when considering which TV to purchase.

A rule of thumb for me is a minimum of 2,000 lbs of payload is needed for towing 25’ or longer AS’s. I have not seen many 1/2 tons even with max tow, max payload, that provide 2,000 lbs of payload on dealers lots, or at RV Parks, so if you have a 1/2 ton with that amount or more, it would be great to read what factory equipment your TV includes to reach that figure.
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Old 07-31-2020, 06:58 AM   #2
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I pay little attention to the 'payload' numbers.

TV & AS GAWR and tire load ratings, stay below and you'll be OK.
34yrs & counting...SFSG.

Bob
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:01 AM   #3
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Geez...I am sick of this whole topic. Everything that ever could have been said about it is in a post somewhere on the forum!!! Why not talk about hitches instead? Wait, that is more than covered as well....
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:02 AM   #4
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I tow a 2018 Serenity 28. Started towing with a 2016 Expedition with a 9200 lb tow rating, but only 1319 lbs payload. It had enough power, but did not like the hitch weight of 963 lbs. Traded for a 2018 F250 diesel with 2240 lbs payload. Problem solved.
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superChop View Post
A rule of thumb for me is a minimum of 2,000 lbs of payload is needed for towing 25’ or longer AS’s.
You encourage people to look at their numbers and you throw out a "rule of thumb" that simply ignores them? I have a 25 foot FC and an SUV. There is me, wife, and two smaller dogs. I have 1552 payload. I know I can't put a whole lot in the truck to stay within limits, but I have also weighed it and know exactly where I am on loads. I agree with you when you say know your numbers. Why can't you leave it at that?
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Old 07-31-2020, 07:49 AM   #6
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This topic, as well as hitches, gas vs diesel, tires, Walmart parking, is getting to be like flogging the same old horse over and over. Many members of this site have their opinions and repeat the same opinion over and over again, it seems sometimes just to create a confrontation with other members that have a different opinion. Lets try to BBQ a steak a thousand different ways!! I haven't seen that discussed here yet!! Isbrodsky, you hit the nail on the head!!! JMHO
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:04 AM   #7
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You can’t just jump on the topic of grilling steaks. You certainly have to decide on the cut first.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:12 AM   #8
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Lets be fair to the OP. It does seem like there are numerous threads on tow capacity and tongue weight/ hitch ratings but not as much in payload. People new to towing are smart enough to understand a tow rating on a vehicle. Car salesman and RV salesman might mention tow capacity but I don’t believe are as likely to bring up the subject of payload.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:06 AM   #9
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Hi

I actually like the idea of starting from the payload number. You *do* need to do a few things though:

1) Dig a bit to find out what is or is not already included *before* the payload number is arrived at. Are passengers already in the vehicle? How about fuel? Sure there are supposedly "standards" for this sort of thing. Better to read the fine print on *your* vehicle / sticker.

2) Payload *assumes* the weight is distributed between the axles / tires to give you the max load the vehicle can handle. It's amazingly easy to violate that assumption.

3) All these numbers are estimates / recommendations / calculations. That's true of the axles, the tires, the springs, the brakes and the frame. None of them instantly disintegrate when you go over by a few hundred pounds. You see a *lot* of vehicles on the road grossly overloaded. Mostly they don't explode .....

4) There is *way* more to how well this or that tows than what payload covers. Are you ok with a max speed of 40 mph? If so you can get away with a lot on your TV. Do you want the ability to run at 75 mph on an open road with a bit of wind? Your TV setup needs to be pretty good.

5) Trailer loading counts at least as much in all this as a payload number. Put this stuff here vs the same stuff there and the towing experience is way different. You may actually find things tow better with *more* weight in the trailer (mine does ..... specifically a full water tank).

There are good reasons to look at *all* the numbers. There is no single one that gives you the whole picture ....

Bob
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:11 AM   #10
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I will say that I have tried to put my payload on a diet since starting. First, I didn’t need all that stuff. Second, I didn’t need it all in the bed of my truck. Regardless of capacity, payload management is important but for me, a journey. How much stuff can I get rid of because it is a backup to a backup to something that is unlikely?

How much space is there under the ‘trunk’ in the rear of my AS? Do I really need to carry 3 complete sets of 1/4,3/8 and 1/2 sockets in 12 and 6 point? I started my focus on payload after a few weighs and then started the payload diet. After removing things and rearranging heavy things to the rear of the AS for better tongue balance (based on weights) I have a much more stable tow. I also saved enough weight to upgrade to a 60 gal fuel tank from 38 gal. And my bed is half empty on trips. Makes it easier to ‘pack’ when it is raining. As in ‘throw it all in and run’. Now I have more space and more payload available when needed.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:46 AM   #11
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SuperChop is right to focus on payload first IMO just because many just see towing capacity as the only rule. Others comment that this is not the first thread on this topic but it seems that many have just focused on the other numbers. It is important for those looking for a TV to think about payload too. My 2017 F150 Lariat with the Max Tow Package has a payload of 1811 pounds. Tongue weight of my 22' Safari is around 610 pounds.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:42 AM   #12
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Where are the CAT tickets...You know nothing 'til you have the weights.
Weigh the TV loaded for camping and proceed from there.
Best NOT to think of the sticker as the holy grail.

POI...our Burb has no 'payload' number, just an 8600lb GVWR, without a P number it's a wonder we are still on the road.

Bob
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:47 AM   #13
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Where are the CAT tickets...You know nothing 'til you have the weights.
Weigh the TV loaded for camping and proceed from there.
Best NOT to think of the sticker as the holy grail.

POI...our Burb has no 'payload' number, just an 8600lb GVWR, without a P number it's a wonder we are still on the road.

Bob
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:52 AM   #14
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Payload is an arbitrary number. Looks at axle weight is what matters. It's all marketing BS. I've been in this game long enough to know.

Here's a conversation I once had:
me. It appears that the bearings are non replaceable. We can give you bearings that last a lifetime.
Answer: Not that is not acceptable. It needs to fail at 150k.

You guys really have no idea what really goes on inside the design meetings with automotive. You're living in a dream world.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:59 AM   #15
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Not to beat the dead horse...F150 payload of 2060# gets maxed out and over by 2-300# quickly when on the road with kayaks, racks, compressor, generator, extra fuel and water. TV handles loaded 25 FC no problem East to west and back. I’m hoping to not have to get into a F250 and while shopping for a new truck see that you can get a suspension that ups the payload to 2700#. That would do the trick. Any comment? Thanks,
Peter
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Where are the CAT tickets...You know nothing 'til you have the weights.
Weigh the TV loaded for camping and proceed from there.
Best NOT to think of the sticker as the holy grail.

POI...our Burb has no 'payload' number, just an 8600lb GVWR, without a P number it's a wonder we are still on the road.

Bob
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How old is your Suburban? I haven’t seen a vehicle without a published payload in more than 30 years.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
Payload is an arbitrary number. Looks at axle weight is what matters. It's all marketing BS. I've been in this game long enough to know.

Here's a conversation I once had:
me. It appears that the bearings are non replaceable. We can give you bearings that last a lifetime.
Answer: Not that is not acceptable. It needs to fail at 150k.

You guys really have no idea what really goes on inside the design meetings with automotive. You're living in a dream world.
There’s definitely nothing arbitrary about payload. It’s the GVWR minus the curb weight.

Most vehicles have a GVWR that is set at a weight the vehicle’s suspension and brakes can handle. One of the rare exceptions to this is 2500/250 series trucks which are limited to 10k GVWR to avoid higher registration costs for commercial users. Of course GM had to go be different this year so they could advertise a higher payload rating than everyone else.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:36 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by AdvToaster View Post
There’s definitely nothing arbitrary about payload. It’s the GVWR minus the curb weight.

Most vehicles have a GVWR that is set at a weight the vehicle’s suspension and brakes can handle. One of the rare exceptions to this is 2500/250 series trucks which are limited to 10k GVWR to avoid higher registration costs for commercial users. Of course GM had to go be different this year so they could advertise a higher payload rating than everyone else.
Nonsense. Is all I'm going to say about that. Marketing is what sets those numbers. The same axle components go into many vehicles all having different numbers. Nothing to do with horsepower or torque and nothing to do with the brakes.

You keep believing the lies these companies put out. Doesn't matter to me, I make my money either way. They pay me to help them and that's what I do. After that marketing gets involved but I'm out. Like I said if you only knew.
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:43 PM   #19
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There’s definitely nothing arbitrary about payload. It’s the GVWR minus the curb weight.

Most vehicles have a GVWR that is set at a weight the vehicle’s suspension and brakes can handle. One of the rare exceptions to this is 2500/250 series trucks which are limited to 10k GVWR to avoid higher registration costs for commercial users. Of course GM had to go be different this year so they could advertise a higher payload rating than everyone else.
You would think but that’s not necessarily true. Every recent Grand Cherokee I have seen has a sticker with a GVWR of 1040 regardless of trim. Jeep will not provide an answer as to why.
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:19 PM   #20
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Most DOT folks look at axle ratings and tire ratings. The tire ratings for any axle must exceed the axle rating.

The limits to my Ram 2500HD Cummins are in the tires and axles since all the steel springs were replaced with a Kelderman self leveling air bag suspension with higher ratings than the removed steel parts.

I have used my two sets of four wheel scales and know the loading on each tire and thus each axle and the vehicle as a whole. Knowledge is power to make decision based upon facts rather than wishful thinking.
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