Figuring Out Weights

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PatriciaS

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Jan 27, 2007
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We are buying a new 5th wheel (first time) and are concerned our truck might not be able to handle the unit we are looking at.  I was wondering what would be the average weight that someone would add to say a 35 ft 5th wheel, not including water.
The truck we have is a 2005 GMC 2500HD Diesel, crewcab long box,4x4.  The Trailer dry weight (11790)  is just about 1600 lb less than the trucks Max. Trailer Wt.  Would additional cargo go over 1600 lbs?

Thanks for any help.
Pat
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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1600 lbs is too close for comfort.  The Max Trailer weight assumes a truck that is empty except for fuel and a 154 lb driver. The weight of any passengers, any gear in the truck and even the trailer hitch is not included, so has to be subtracted from the truck's tow capacity.

We recommend that the trailer's GVWR be used as its estimated weight. The Dry Weight is a fiction and doesn't even include propane in the tanks (about 60 lbs). It also does not include any options installed, even factory options. It's a generic weight for the base model and your particular trailer will almost certainly weigh more, probably anywhere from 100-300 lbs more.

You also need to be concerned about the pin weight (weight that rests on the hitch and carried almost solely by the truck's rear axle.  On that size trailer it is likely to be 20% of the actual trailer weight or something like 2500 lbs. Make sure the truck's rear axle GAWR is up to that much weight - a busted axle or spring is no fun.

Sooner or later most everybody ends up with the  trailer loaded near its max and it is not wise to assume anything less.  We also usually recommend a 10% safety margin on tow capacity, but that is not a major concern on a 3/4 ton diesel truck like yours.

Will you be fulltiming or just vacationing? Fulltimers generally exceed 1600 lbs, but vacation use may not. Depends on YOU and what you feel you have to carry to enjoy life. Bikes, golf clubs, canned and bottled beverages, etc. add weight FAST! You will be amazed when you weigh the rig after three months of travel.
 

Ned

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A fulltimers load can easily exceed 2,000#.  A CCC of 3,000# or more is ideal, but we have gotten by with about a 2,000# CCC, but are probably a bit over that.  Instead of looking at the CCC, use the GVWR of the trailer when determining if you can tow it or not.  Our towing experts here will give you the details, but I suspect your truck is too small for what you want to do.
 

Ron

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Like Gary mentioned 1600 lbs is too close for comfort.  Use the trailer GVWR when checking to determine if your truck GVWR, GCVWR will allow towing a trailer.  No matter what the salesman says it is NOT safe, wise,  or legal to drive a over loaded vehicle.
 

PatriciaS

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Jan 27, 2007
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5
Thanks for the reply's.  This is soooo confusing.  I checked the GAWR RR on the truck door which says 6084 lbs, so I think we will be O.K. there.  The truck GCWR is 22,000 lb.  So I am going to get the truck weighed tomorrow (we have weigh scales just down the road from us) and get the trailer dealer to check the weight of the trailer we are looking at.    I will report back this week.  Thanks again for the info.

Pat
 

Karl

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Pat,
In all likelihood, the dealer won't have scales, and you can't believe his estimates. It must be weighed. Have HIM take it to the scales and have it done. If he wants to make the sale, he'll do it. When you're that close to the maximum just on published dry weight, it's you who will suffer; not the dealer.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Once you weigh the truck (axle by axle, not just total), you can figure out how much payload weight the rear axle can carry. Your trailer's hitch weight can't exceed that and should be less, since the rear axle also carries the hitch itself (mounted almost directly above the axle) and some percentage of any other weight carried in the truck.  Merely knowing that the GAWR is 6084 doesn't  answer anything yet.
 

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