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Hitch and dry weight


Lee and Christine

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Couple more questions...

 

The manufactures all give a hitch weight. Does that change at all with the size of the bed( pushing the hitch further back onto the trailer axles)?

 

Dry weight...we're getting overwhelmed with options. 18 cu ft fridge vs 23 cu ft, washer/dryer, etc... The manufacturers don't seem to be able to give a good dry weight with the options. Our concern is cargo weight when you subtract the options. I know we can weight after we buy but how do we know what to buy if we don't know the weight?

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Couple more questions...

 

The manufactures all give a hitch weight. Does that change at all with the size of the bed( pushing the hitch further back onto the trailer axles)?

 

Dry weight...we're getting overwhelmed with options. 18 cu ft fridge vs 23 cu ft, washer/dryer, etc... The manufacturers don't seem to be able to give a good dry weight with the options. Our concern is cargo weight when you subtract the options. I know we can weight after we buy but how do we know what to buy if we don't know the weight?

 

The hitch weight is not affected by the length of the pick up bed.

 

Dry weight for most RV's is an estimated weight based on an average trailer in the floor plan in question. Very few manufacturers actually individually weigh each trailer to get a true dry weight. This is why they cannot tell you how different options will affect the overall dry weight of the trailer.

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The manufactures all give a hitch weight. Does that change at all with the size of the bed( pushing the hitch further back onto the trailer axles)?

If you are moving where the hitch attached to the tow truck for a fifth wheel, the effect of that is on the truck but has no impact upon the amount of weight that hitch is applying. By locating the hitch mounting ahead of the truck's real axle, it then applies some of the hitch weight to the front axle of the truck and some to the rear. If the hitch point is directly above the truck's rear axle then all of the hitch weight is applied to the rear axle, with no effect on the front axle at all. When you apply hitch weight to a point behind the truck's rear axle, it applies more than the total amount of hitch weight to the rear axle of the truck because leverage has some unloading effect upon the front axle and in effect applies extra weight that it removed from the front axle.

 

 

Dry weight...we're getting overwhelmed with options. 18 cu ft fridge vs 23 cu ft, washer/dryer, etc... The manufacturers don't seem to be able to give a good dry weight with the options. Our concern is cargo weight when you subtract the options. I know we can weight after we buy but how do we know what to buy if we don't know the weight?

That part is difficult to know for sure. Some dealers can give you weights for some of the options which they add but many have no idea. If you are looking at a trailer that is on the lot, it is a good idea to get an actual weight before you buy it by taking it to a scale. If you are configuring an RV that you plan to order, then you would need to find shipping weights for each option and compare them in that way. You are right to be concerned about the issue of added weight from optional equipment and many a buyer fails to take that into consideration. Often the sales people are so ignorant that they have no idea of what you are asking them about and they will nearly always try to downplay the importance of this issue.

This is frustrating. This is a lot of money. How do you decide on a camper without all the facts?

Absolutely true. Even for an experienced buyer it can be a real challenge. Some manufacturers are better about weight information than others, but very few are as helpful as they should be. About the only thing that you can do is to get the best estimate that is available and guess. Most manufacturers reveal as little of this kind of information as they can get by with and their sales people are often ignorant and misrepresent things.

 

The forums here can help, and they also provide a place to vent and to find support or empathy. Fire away and we will at least listen and advise as best we can.

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If you know the brand and model of the appliances, you may be able to get the weights from the appliance manufacturers. In the case of the refrigerator, you would need the weight of the OEM model and the optional model to come up with the difference.

 

With pickups, the bed length will not change the hitch rating. However, it will likely increase the wheelbase which may increase stability from side forces and may affect the payload capacity and or tow rating of the truck due to the additional weight of the longer bed.

 

If you do not already own the truck, pick the trailer first and then match the truck to the trailer.

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I know we can weight after we buy but how do we know what to buy if we don't know the weight?

 

You can have it written into the purchase contract that the empty unit be weighed before purchase and that it must have at least "X" pounds of CCC. Make sure you're there when the rig is weighed.

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Airstream used to have the weights of the various options, as well as the prices, on the order form. Don't know if they still do that, or if anyone else does it, but that would be a good practice for the entire industry to follow. Just build one of an absolutely standard trailer, weigh it, and you know the base weight.

 

As for figuring hitch (pin) weight, just use a percentage of the GVWR. For travel trailers, figure 14% of the GVWR is what's on the hitch (tongue). For 5'ers, figure 25% of the GVWR is what's on the pin. If you are looking at various trailers, use the numbers for the heaviest one.

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It not rocket science. Gross weight of camper. Only reason to be concerned about dry weight is for carrying capacity. Must have enough. Sadly many are low here. All campers I have owned showed dry and gross weight listed. Diff is carring capacity. From my experience you will weigh the max gross.

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Thanks to all for your advise and knowledge.

 

I'm going to need to take tools with us as I will still be working some months out of the year. Tools are heavy so the concern is the carry weight. The weights are all over the place with what seems to make no rune nor reason. Everything from 2500 to 5k.

 

Linda...you hit the nail on the head. If we can do that it would be great. Never thought of it.

 

I'd hate to buy something that turned out to not work well for us.

 

As far as the truck, we're working on that at the same time. Looks like we're going to be right around 20k so we're leaning towards a freight liner we've been looking at. It's not the truck I'm worried about. I'm getting rid of stuff fast and don't want to get rid of things we could have kept but didn't know it. We will be loading stuff into totes and weighing everything. We're even going to put the dog on a diet!lol

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Most of my tools now is in the truck. I will be putting boxes on sides. All those tools will go in there and I'll start customizing the truck insides. That section at the rear will be a one large single box from one side of truck to other. Ramps and most anything can go in there. Side boxes will be 30" deep and 5 ft long. Truck was 21,500. Got about 10k in singling, bed, ET hitch. Gets better mpg than dually.

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Lee & Christine,

 

Glen has a Freightliner Century. His is similar to ours except he has a Condo height and we have a Mid Roof height. We custom built our hauler bed and have various storage boxes on both sides. For a lot of tools, I would put drawers in them behind the doors to keep everything easily findable. We currently use a couple of tool boxes that load in the passenger front compartment to carry what I need.

 

IMG_20150402_124759_252_zpspojvpa9r.jpg

 

IMG_20150402_124830_271_zpsyno9e4df.jpg

 

If you want to haul your snap on chest in the toyhauler, you need to weigh it and get individual wheel weights and wheel sizes and discuss with the manufacturer if both the floor and the ramp can handle the weight. While the trailer may be able to handle the total weight you may find that the load per sq in is too great for the floor and ramp and you will punch holes in it without adding some alum. floor plate which guess what, it adds weight and reduces what you can carry.. Don't forget that anything loaded behind the the trailer axles is going to bounce and the farther back the more it will bounce.

 

You may be better off having a custom trailer built like a Spacecraft or New Horizons where they can build it to you specs and needs.

 

Dave

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We're in a similar situation, in that we're full-timing in a motor home with a basement. We work with Laborers For Christ once in a while so I have to have tools. Habitat For Humanity Care-A-Vanners, we don't have to have our own tools, but sometimes they are handy to have. Since we can be several months on a Laborers project we're switching from our Foretravel and Jeep to an F350 towing an Airstream. ALL of the stuff in the basement will have to ride in the bed of the pickup. With the weight of the cap that will amount to 1500-2000 pounds. Tongue weight of the Airstream is 1000 pounds, which is why we're looking at an F350 rather than an F250. Since we're full-timers, the truck will be our daily driver, too. One added benefit of this is that I won't be saying, "Yes, I have that tool - back at the campground." Everything will be in the truck.

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Wow! That's a lot bigger tha our truck.

 

I keep trying to figure out how to load the pic my sent via text. Doesn't seem to want to take it on here when I try to do copy/paste.

 

We are going to be at max money out of pocket between the camper and camper with options. I do not wish to finance so that much customization isn't practical for our situation.

 

I've got to keep in mind that TODAY this is what we want to do. I'm very practical, logical, and research everything. But I also am pragmatic. If I/ we get sick and can't do it anymore there needs to be a life after. No debt. That's the goal. Cash on the barrel now. When it's gone it's gone. No room for buying more than we can afford. No room for buying what we can afford but doesn't work.

 

This has been a work in progress for more than two years. I don't take life changes like this lightly. This is a LOT of money.

 

Thanks for your responses. The more I listen, the more I read, the more I research, the more prepared we will be and the better decisions we will make. And the more I learn that I just don't know everything.

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To load pictures, we find that you need to use a 3rd party site like follow my build or photobucket (which it what we use). We post the picture there and then they have an IMG link that you copy and put in your post here and it shows up as a picture.

 

Saving money is actually why we went the HDT route and sold our old dually which was not big enough for our trailer. Even though it (The HDT) is used, the life left in it will far surpass what a new dually was going to last and the price was one third the cost. Plus we have enough truck to stop the trailer plus haul extra items.

 

Dave

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“Dry hitch (tongue) weight” is often a misnomer used by RV trailer manufactures.


Here is a snip from FMVSS 571.120. It clearly indicates the recommended tongue weight is used in the certification process to establish GVWR.


S10.2 On RV trailers, the sum of the GAWRs of all axles on the vehicle plus the vehicle manufacturer's recommended tongue weight must not be less than the GVWR. If tongue weight is specified as a range, the minimum value must be used.


Most RV trailer manufacturers recommended tongue weights will be between 15 - 18 %.

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Couple more questions...

 

The manufactures all give a hitch weight. Does that change at all with the size of the bed( pushing the hitch further back onto the trailer axles)?

 

Dry weight...we're getting overwhelmed with options. 18 cu ft fridge vs 23 cu ft, washer/dryer, etc... The manufacturers don't seem to be able to give a good dry weight with the options. Our concern is cargo weight when you subtract the options. I know we can weight after we buy but how do we know what to buy if we don't know the weight?

When we were shopping for a new 5er, I immediately told the salesman I required the actual weight as it sat on their sales floor. I was never denied my request. The salesman and I towed it to the nearest truck scales, which nearly always was within 2-3 miles.

There can be quite a difference between advertised weight and actual weight, which of course determines cargo carrying capacity.

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