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Old 05-30-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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How critical is GVWR?

I have a half ton 2011 Silverado w Max Trailering Package (6.2 liter, 3.73, transmission cooler, all disc brakes, 6 speed transmission, heavier rear axle, etc.). The GCVWR is 16,000 with the GVWR at 7200. With me, the dog, junk and a full tank of gas, it weighs 5800. I generally haul my 600 pound four wheeler in the back which brings it to 6400. I'm getting an Equalizer 4 point hitch and after all the planning forgot to add the tongue weight to the GVWR. The unit's receiver hitch says 1100 tongue weight and 10500 towing capacity with a weight distribution hitch. The new rig is a 2703ws GVWR @ 7621 and dry hitch weight at 621. Adding 2-45lb batteries and propane bottles, would put the hitch weight near or a little over 800, not counting the Equalizer hitch itself. If I have to add all of that to the GVWR of 7200 when I only have 800 to spare, I may be over the GVWR for the truck. I'm hoping the Equalizer will make the difference.

Lots of figures but I'd appreciate some help from the experts.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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What's your payload capacity printed on your door tire sticker?
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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Phil, the dry weight of the camper is pretty optimistic and rarely accounts for things like you said - batteries, propane and (of course) any thing you throw into the camper. It's much more realistic that you're going to be in the ballpark of 7,250.

Given that travel trailers are usually 10%-15% of the loaded weight, you're likely looking at a tongue weight of 725-1087 pounds. And, yes - you're right, you'll have to include the weight of the WDH itself.

So, it sounds like you've actually been weighed since you said "it weighs 5800". That's great because most people make assumptions based off of what they think that they know.

Back to your question - how important is GVWR. This causes much angst, woe and discussions amongst forum participants. You've stepped into the veritable "hornet's nest" with this one. Here are the 2 main schools of thought:

1) All of a trucks ratings matter - GVWR, axle ratings and tire load ratings. In some people's views, none of these should be exceeding. (For full disclosure- this is my view.)

2) The GVWR is more of a legal/liability thing for the manufacturer and the real ratings to not be exceeded are the rear axle ratings, tire load ratings and hitch ratings.

You have to decide which camp you're in because you'll get equally vehement arguments on both sides of this coin.

FINALLY- 32' of camper is a lot of camper for a 1/2 ton truck. I'd want to make sure I had as much sway control built into the system as possible. What is your wheelbase measurement? I think some on here have talked about general formula for how long you can be for the particular wheelbase. (I don't know it and am pulling a long-tushie fifth wheel with my truck.)
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:03 PM   #4
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I'm hoping the Equalizer will make the difference.
The W/D hitch will transfer some of the tongue weight to the front axles of the truck and the axles of the camper, so depending on the amount transferred to the camper's axles, you may not exceed the truck's GVWR.

You didn't indicate any passengers in the truck when you weighed it which will reduce you allowance even more.

Did you happen to get a rear axle weight when you weighed the truck and compare that to the RAWR?

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Old 05-30-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re:How critical is GVWR?

I appreciate the replies.

In regard to Payload capacity, the sticker says the GAWR FRT is 3959 and the GAWR R is 4200 (Total 8159?). The sticker says the total occupant and cargo weight is 1735 but the owner's manual says the max payload is 1812. The 5800 that I quoted was me, the dog, interior truck stuff and a full tank of gas. I didn't get a rear axle weight when I weighed it.

The vehicle is an extended cab with a 6'6" box. The wheelbase is 12' by measurement from center of rear axle to center of front axle.

The hitch I planned on getting was a Equal-i-zerŪ 4-Point Sway Control 4,000 lb. hitch w 12,000#ADJ. EQUALIZER

Hope this information helps and I really appreciate the replies. I don't know how I can turn back at this point in time since the unit is at the dealers and ready to be picked up June 6th.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
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Where did you get your GVWR? It's usually on a black sticker on the doorjamb - likely the same one that you found the GAWR for the front and rear. And no - your GVWR isn't the combination of both of them.

You mentioned 7,200 so your effectively available payload is 7,200 minus 5,800 = 1,400. Take away whatever your going to include in the truck bed and the hitch weight and whatnot and your left over (just like you did above).

It looks like, weight-wise, you're going to be very close if not over. Can you re-weigh to get a rear axle weight?

What's the carrying capacity of your tires?

And again, on a short-bed/extended cab truck, that's a lot of trailer for the truck. BUT- like I said, that's just my uneducated opinion.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:48 PM   #7
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Just went down to a feed store and weighed the truck. Certified scale. GVW is 5740 plus whatever 2.5 gallons of gas weighs and the rear axle weighs 2350. The tires are rated at 2535. Also, the GVWR is on the same sticker as the other info I gave you, 7200.

I had calculated that I had 800 lbs to go but forgot to add the weight of the hitch and the tongue weight w the batteries and propane. So I would have been over the GVWR by whatever lbs are over 800. At least, I've got a a few more pounds in my favor to work with.

To answer Dave's question: Rear Axle Rating of 4200. 4200 minus 2350= 1850. What does that say?
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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Just went down to a feed store and weighed the truck. Certified scale. GVW is 5740 plus whatever 2.5 gallons of gas weighs and the rear axle weighs 2350. The tires are rated at 2535. Also, the GVWR is on the same sticker as the other info I gave you, 7200.

I had calculated that I had 800 lbs to go but forgot to add the weight of the hitch and the tongue weight w the batteries and propane. So I would have been over the GVWR by whatever lbs are over 800. At least, I've got a a few more pounds in my favor to work with.

So to answer Dave's question: Rear Axle Rating of 4200. 4200 minus 2350= 1850. What does that say?
The rear axle weight is probably a little low without full fuel, gear etc, but generally the GVWR is a tighter limit than the RAWR...it's up to you whether that's acceptable or not. Many consider the RAWR as a true limit rather than GVWR.

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Old 05-30-2013, 04:17 PM   #9
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So to answer Dave's question: Rear Axle Rating of 4200. 4200 minus 2350= 1850. What does that say?
Nothing.

The GVWR applies to the entire vehicle not a particular component of the vehicle. Although each component has its own rating, the component with the LOWEST rating is the GVWR. (Typically it is the frame, but may be some other critical component.)

You must take the GVW (5740) and subtract it from the truck's GVWR (7200 pounds) or 1460 pounds for EVERYTHING including the hitch, your family, a full tank of gas, and the tongue weight.

I suggest you load what you plan to carry in the truck, IN the truck, the next time you go to the feed store and weigh it loaded. Add 100 pounds for the hitch and subtract THAT number from 7200 pounds to discover the maximum tongue load.

THEN

Divide the maximum tongue load by 0.12 to find the maximum weigh travel trailer you should be pulling.

For example:

Say your truck with a full tank of gas, your hitch, your family with gear weighs 6300 pounds. Subtract that from 7200 pounds gives you a maximum tongue load of 900 pounds.

Divide 900 pounds by 0.12 (12%) and you will discover that the maximum camper you should be towing is 7500 pounds.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:04 PM   #10
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The load I want to carry on my truck plus the hitch (100lbs), plus the batteries(100lbs) plus propane (100lbs) is a total of 6650 which leaves only 550 lbs left. That's 12% of a TT that weighs 4583. That certainly doesn't add up to the stats given by Chevrolet that their Max Trailering Package can tow 10,400 lbs. My last camper was a 19' that weighed about 4583. I am not a happy camper.

So Dave, et, all.

I don't want to be driving something unsafe. I might be able to work with the dealer on another contract. I've only paid a $500 deposit. I really like the 2703ws floor plan but...

Is that what you all recommend? The 2703ws @ 7621 GVWR plus the tongue weight with batteris, propane and my loaded truck is too much?
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