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Old 09-10-2019, 10:11 PM   #1
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How does a TV get its tow rating ?

When I bought my truck I first looked at TT’s and was going to buy a truck based on what I needed to tow. At first I was sure we would get a 5th wheel. I was looking at 2500 and 3500. Long story short we decided we wanted a travel trailer bunk house model. I was still going to get a 2500. Now I had to decide if I wanted to mess with diesel and the DEF of today and the loss of gas mileage that creates or stick with unleaded.

I came across a website talking about a Chevy Silverado 1500 with full tow package 6.2 liter 4x4 that had a tow capacity of 12500 lbs. I asked the sales guy what was the catch? Why wouldn’t it be considered a 2500. He didn’t know. I made them give me something in writing saying it could tow that. So I bought the truck.

Now I have people at the RV places telling me all the time that there is no way my truck is able to tow that. They claim they can find the truth with the vin number. After some time they come back and say they can’t find out but they don’t believe it is rated for that.

My understanding is 2500 and 3500 trucks have stronger leaf springs and larger breaks but that is about all the difference is between them. If you look up my truck it says all over the internet it has a to capacity of 12500 lbs. So what gives ?
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:24 PM   #2
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What's the payload capacity of your truck?
It's on the driver's door yellow sticker. It'll say something like "Occupants and cargo should not exceed xxxxlbs".
No matter what they say is the towing capacity, you'll run out of payload capacity WAY before getting close to that towing capacity number.
That's why payload capacity is more important than towing capacity, especially for 5th wheels.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:28 PM   #3
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Some #'s here https://media.gm.com/media/us/en/che...2017.tab1.html actual will come from scales ... thanks Frank
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:50 PM   #4
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What's in the owners manual? There should be a breakdown of the truck w/options including engine and gearing
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:51 PM   #5
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The tow capacity doesn’t mean anything. Like another post said payload capacity is everything. “Most” 1500’s or 150’s I’ve seen have around 1400 - 1800lbs payload and 2500 and 3500’s jump up and can almost double the payload of the 1500’s. Payload includes people, cargo, and tongue or pin weight. I used to go by tow rating as well so don’t feel bad. If you go over the payload capacity you are breaking the law and as I’ve found out, your entire rig usually doesn’t handle very well.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:09 AM   #6
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First off, my thoughts below are not because I drive a Ford. It's just a breakdown of the "Max tow rating" all these trucks get only to find out that they can actually be very limited.

One of the first and places I would reference for actual tow rating info on your truck is the 2017 Chevrolet Trailering & Towing Guide. Page 9 references the Silverado 1500 for conventional, bumper pull trailers.

For your truck to have a true 12,500 tow rating, it would have to be equipped exactly as follows:
  • 6.2L
  • 2wd
  • 3.42 rear end
  • 4 door double cab or a crew cab

If any of these are missing, it has a lesser tow rating.

The fine print on Page 9 also notes:
"TRAILER TONGUE WEIGHT NOTES Trailer tongue weight should be 10% to 15% of total loaded trailer weight up to 1,250 lbs........"

Up to (not more than) 1,250 lbs. If the loaded trailer has exactly 10% tongue weight, it could be a 12,500 lbs trailer. But, if the tongue weight is 15%, the trailer could only weigh a maximum 8,333 lbs (1250/.15). That's a pretty big swing.

"....The addition of trailer tongue weight must not cause vehicle to exceed Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (RGAWR) or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)."

The 1250 pound tongue weight will chip away heavily at the available payload listed on the yellow door sticker. If your payload is 1500 pounds (pretty common for a moderately equipped crewcab, 4wd 1/2 ton, shortbed), your WDH is 100 and your tongue weight is 1250, the truck is then able to only take a 150 lbs driver and absolutely nothing else before it's overloaded. (1500-1250-100= 150)

I found this very frustrating with my '11 F150 that had a payload of 1529 and a tow rating of 9,700. We bought our trailer that was 6008 dry and about 7500 fully loaded. With the tongue weight, WDH, family of 4 and gear, the truck was maxed out....and you could feel it.

Having another kiddo on the way and the other 2 kids (8yr and 5yr) growing like weeds, we needed a truck with more payload. I found my F250 200+ miles away and called the dealer asking to see pictures of the door stickers. The salesman was a bit confused but reluctantly sent me pictures with the information. Within minutes I determined that the F250 had a payload of 2766 and a towing capacity of 12,200. It was more than enough truck for the trailer and I was able to put a deposit on it until I could see it in person.

My point is that a "1/2 ton towable" trailer (bumper or 5er) is likely far from that. Ford, GM, RAM, 'Yota & Nissan all push 3 numbers: horsepower, torque & towing capacity all while Forest River and Keystone all push dry weights. For the consumer, it's an evil concoction of numbers that easily lead to frustration in owning underrated trucks and over-weighted trailers.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepseadan View Post
If you go over the payload capacity you are breaking the law and as I’ve found out, your entire rig usually doesn’t handle very well.
At the risk of immediately derailing the thread:

What’s your source on that?

What law? State and statute number, please?

(Mind you, I’m a card carrying member of the “weights matter” club. I upgraded my dually to a newer one with higher capacities when I upgraded trailers. But, I’ve not really found positive proof that the manufacturer’s Weight ratings are legal guidelines; especially when you can often register your truck for higher or lower with some states.)
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
At the risk of immediately derailing the thread:

What’s your source on that?

What law? State and statute number, please?

(Mind you, I’m a card carrying member of the “weights matter” club. I upgraded my dually to a newer one with higher capacities when I upgraded trailers. But, I’ve not really found positive proof that the manufacturer’s Weight ratings are legal guidelines; especially when you can often register your truck for higher or lower with some states.)
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ependydad View Post
At the risk of immediately derailing the thread:

What’s your source on that?

What law? State and statute number, please?

(Mind you, I’m a card carrying member of the “weights matter” club. I upgraded my dually to a newer one with higher capacities when I upgraded trailers. But, I’ve not really found positive proof that the manufacturer’s Weight ratings are legal guidelines; especially when you can often register your truck for higher or lower with some states.)
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:22 AM   #10
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OH NO. Not another weight thread. Let's say that it is LEGAL to exceed GVWR and GCWR and Max tow capacity. It is a personal choice. Some people don't care some people do.
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