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Old 12-08-2019, 10:54 AM   #1
swj
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F150 12,000 tow capacity, maxed out by 6000 lbs dry travel trailer

Found an excel spread sheet which calculates tow capacity.
I scaled my trucks' "curb weight" and weight the trailer tongue weight. Other numbers came from Ford website, truck door jam sticker an trailers' mfg sticker. A 6000 lbs travel trailer maxes out a F150 with tow capacity of 12,000, makes no sense.

2018F150SCrew
3.5E max tow 2017 Surveyor 251RKS

Curb Weight 5,040.00 UVW 6,000.00
GVWR 6,750.00 GVWR 7,768.00
GCVWR 17,100.00 Hitch Weight 900.00
Payload 1,732.00
TowCapacity 12,000.00

Estimated Payload
Passengers 350.00
Cargo 400.00
Hitch weight 900.00
Total payload 1650.00

Hitched
Available Payload 82.00
New GVW 6,690.00
NEW GCVW 13,558.00
Towing Capacity 12,000.00
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:00 AM   #2
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Payload is always the limiting factor with light duty vehicles. The max tow rating is for a truck that only has a driver and no other occupants or non-factory items or objects in the truck. As you add more people and stuff to the truck your tow capacity drops due to payload restrictions.
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:03 AM   #3
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That's why "tow capacities" are nothing more than selling points. Unless you travel alone with no gear and an empty stomach, you'll likely max out on CGVW long before the alleged tow limit.
As far as ever pulling a trailer at any maximum weight limit, I heed the same advice I'd use if going to a clothing-optional beach.

"Just because I can, doesn't mean I should".
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Old 12-08-2019, 11:42 AM   #4
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Stripped or base F150 models such as the one in the photo typically have the best payload.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swj View Post
Found an excel spread sheet which calculates tow capacity.
I scaled my trucks' "curb weight" and weight the trailer tongue weight. Other numbers came from Ford website, truck door jam sticker an trailers' mfg sticker. A 6000 lbs travel trailer maxes out a F150 with tow capacity of 12,000, makes no sense.

2018F150SCrew
3.5E max tow 2017 Surveyor 251RKS

Curb Weight 5,040.00 UVW 6,000.00
GVWR 6,750.00 GVWR 7,768.00
GCVWR 17,100.00 Hitch Weight 900.00
Payload 1,732.00
TowCapacity 12,000.00

Estimated Payload
Passengers 350.00
Cargo 400.00
Hitch weight 900.00
Total payload 1650.00

Hitched
Available Payload 82.00
New GVW 6,690.00
NEW GCVW 13,558.00
Towing Capacity 12,000.00
Is this your truck and trailer? How long have you been towing it?

Have you ever weighed it, truck and trailer, loaded as you drive it down the road?

Sometimes "doing the math" comes up with a far different number than a scale will.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:02 PM   #6
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F150 12,000 tow capacity, maxed out by 6000 lbs dry travel trailer

You forgot to add the weight of driver. The yellow sticker says occupants because the driver's weight must also be subtracted from payload. A 150lb driver is included in the tow rating, but not the payload rating.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:05 PM   #7
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Max tow capacity is basically a manufacturer's joke. I've seen people with all kinds of half ton trucks that can supposedly tow 10,000 having their suspension squatted out with trailers way below that. The majority of people have no clue how to distribute weight on a trailer so tongue weight is frequently far over or under what it should be which translates into white knuckle driving and a scary driving experience. Education is key. Know what you want to tow. Try to think down the line a bit. Don't buy a truck because of what the manufacturer says it will tow. Look at the true gross weights of the truck and do some math. You'll get a lot better idea of what the truck can really pull.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:38 PM   #8
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It’s no joke. The general public doesn’t understand that ratings are a best case scenario and a RV situation is far from best case scenario. Not everyone in this world tows a RV, there’s many other trailer types being used that tow far better then a RV. It’s ignorance on the topic that gets the general public in trouble.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:38 PM   #9
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The deal here is a mishmash of DOT, DMV, marketing, engineering, etc.

Read the SAE spec. Written by engineers to standardize towing capacities, only. Can I pull it. Period.

You can kind of ignore towing capacity. Payload is almost always the issue. Not addressed in the SAE spec. Confuses it for some.

Further confusing is the sail effect of the rv. Fifth wheels are less affected. Trailers over 30’. Tend to wag the dog. Also not addressed. Having more weight helps. An #8,000 diesel pickup is better than a #6,ooo half ton.

Going up hills at 30 mph with the engine in second screaming is scary.

There are expensive hitches that help.

Just trying to help. Every situation is different.

Learn from our mistakes.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidBo View Post

"Just because I can, doesn't mean I should".
I have never heard that put so well!
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:14 PM   #11
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Towing

I always try to have about a 15% reserve capacity over max tow weight. When the mfgs. set this, it is with a flat bed. Considering we tow TTs and 5ers that are shaped more like a sail or barn door. Of the 3 trailers we have owned, actual weight has been over advertised spec weight. The number one weight TV spec to check is Payload Cap, first to be exceeded.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tundra 2014 View Post
I always try to have about a 15% reserve capacity over max tow weight. When the mfgs. set this, it is with a flat bed. Considering we tow TTs and 5ers that are shaped more like a sail or barn door. Of the 3 trailers we have owned, actual weight has been over advertised spec weight. The number one weight TV spec to check is Payload Cap, first to be exceeded.


What actual weight was over what advertised weight? I hope you weren’t using dry weight vs weight as you left the dealer. Dry weight should never be used for calculations because you’ll never see it. GVWR is far better and if you exceed GVWR then you’re over the certified limit of the trailer.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:25 PM   #13
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You got it, that's pretty much it. With a weight distribution hitch you might move 100lb to the trailer, but the hitch probably weighs about 50lb.

Cargo weight is almost always limiting and about the only thing you can do is get a trailer that has plenty of storage and load your gear in the trailer. This means you need to load the trailer evenly and probably need to get it to the scales. My trailer allows about 2000lb on a 4500lb dry trailer. I have almost nothing in the back of the truck.
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:32 PM   #14
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Tow capacity

Keep in mind it is "semantics" vs "reality".

Yes, you TV can "tow" (aka: move) 12,000 pounds but that doesn't necessarily safely move it at highway speeds when you consider maneuvering in traffic, stopping suddenly or traveling up a long, steep mountain road.

Here is a link to better explain what all of those ratings mean.

https://www.curtmfg.com/towing-capacity
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Old 12-08-2019, 02:28 PM   #15
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Years ago we had an F350 to tow with and my wife had a Chevy S10. When asked about out truck I said we had 2, a Super Duty and a half of a half ton. I pulled the small boat with her truck as it was light and did not act as a sail. It was just a grocery getter.
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDrax View Post
Payload is always the limiting factor with light duty vehicles. The max tow rating is for a truck that only has a driver and no other occupants or non-factory items or objects in the truck. As you add more people and stuff to the truck your tow capacity drops due to payload restrictions.
This is also a huge impact to 3/4 tons with a diesel...i was well over my payload - long before my max towing capacity in my Ram 2500.
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Old 12-08-2019, 03:52 PM   #17
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My first weight was truck only, full furl with hitch installed. Next was a week later trailer on scales. Two axles on one pad. Tongue jack on other. Now I knew what my truck with me, fuel, and hitch weighed.
As long as trailer axle weight was below max by a decent amount, I could verify of truck could take the load. Last weight marathon was to set up WDH.
If other weights don’t fall under max limits nothing else will matter. It just doesn’t work if either one is over weight.
My 4K trailer scales at 6K. Sticker tongue weight of 450 is closer to 950.

Tows good.
Good travels to you. ��
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:10 PM   #18
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Towing capacity refers to the maximum weight your vehicle is able to pull while towing -- i.e. the weight of a trailer, a boat, or another vehicle that you plan to tow. ...
The 12,000# tow capacity referred to by the OP is not maxed out. As stated by all the others, payload is a different story. And almost always first to max out. The title of this post is a little misleading.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by pdqparalegal1 View Post
My first weight was truck only, full furl with hitch installed. Next was a week later trailer on scales. Two axles on one pad. Tongue jack on other. Now I knew what my truck with me, fuel, and hitch weighed.
As long as trailer axle weight was below max by a decent amount, I could verify of truck could take the load. Last weight marathon was to set up WDH.
If other weights don’t fall under max limits nothing else will matter. It just doesn’t work if either one is over weight.
My 4K trailer scales at 6K. Sticker tongue weight of 450 is closer to 950.

Tows good.
Good travels to you. ��
I think cargo capacity is with a full tank of gasoline. In other words it doesn't count against the stated cargo capacity. But if your looking at GVW than the scales are what counts.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:40 PM   #20
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What actual weight was over what advertised weight? I hope you weren’t using dry weight vs weight as you left the dealer. Dry weight should never be used for calculations because you’ll never see it. GVWR is far better and if you exceed GVWR then you’re over the certified limit of the trailer.
Emphasis on a trailer's dry weight. That spec is pretty much as useless and deceiving as a truck's tow rating. Both numbers need to be ignored when trailer/TV shopping.
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