Originally Posted by taken
I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately being educated takes a bit more than taking a 5 second gander at the sticker on the doorjamb which means precisely nothing... First off, the sticker on the door doesn't take into account the actual weight of the truck when ready to tow. The only real way to get your payload is to get your truck weighed and subtract that number from the trucks GVWR.
But, for someone who is shopping for a truck- they can't load it up ready to tow and go.
They have to use the best guess estimation. You can use a calculator to get a best guess on pin weight and then estimate the list of other things that may be in the truck. You can add them together to get a feel for what available payload that you need. And, if you're personality is such that you want to be within the numbers, then you can use that as a 5-second check against the door jamb number.
I still come back to- this isn't a simple answer. To give a person advice to "which truck?", you need to know a heck of a lot more information about the driver and their experience and their philosophy/personality. Being a newbie at towing, in a dually with a 42' fifth wheel that is within all ratings - I don't claim to be any safer than someone who has a lifetime of towing but who is exceeding one or more parameters (heck, some even significantly).
It definitely doesn't help that I know next to nothing about trucks. Loosely being a math guy, I need something to work off of to decide if a combination is appropriate or not. Having someone tell me that a 3/4-ton truck is "just fine" for my camper and then me getting into a mess of crap, is there going to be enough truck to recover from? I know folks are pulling this camper with 3/4-ton trucks; I'm not saying they're less safe than me- I'm just saying that for me
, it's not a good combination.