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Old 03-29-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
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Payload Calculation Realities

Payload can be a real issue on "1/2 ton" trucks. I'm throwing this "out there" in hopes that it might be useful to someone just getting into RVs and towing. It might help prevent the wrong TV/RV combination. Here's my situation as an example.

2012 F150 with 7,700 GVW and Surveyor SV235RKS; dry weight 4,450, tongue weight 460. Should be WAY enough tow vehicle seemingly. Well, it IS enough TV but not by as much as you might think.

Factory calculated payload after truck is optioned up: 1,820 pounds
WET weight of trailer after options and loaded for camping: 5,500 lbs, tongue weight approximately 600 pounds.

Added Stainless Steel step bars and Aluminum roll top on bed; 220 pounds, so now we are down to 1,600 payload remaining.

So, let's see how much payload is left in reserve once we are ready to go.

Tongue weight 600 pounds
Wife and 2 dogs 180 pounds (no breakout, self preservation instinct)
Hitch 40 pounds
Generator 65 pounds
Step ladder 15 pounds
Screen Room 15 pounds
Kayak 55 pounds
Gas can 10 pounds
Grill 15 pounds
Compressor 5 pounds
Gas heater 15 pounds
Tool box 25 pounds

Total 1,040 pounds Reserve 560 pounds

Think about other things you might carry. Coolers, bicycles, children, boxes of food, etc . . .

Many trucks START with a payload of 1,300 to 1,500 pounds vs the 1820 on my truck. And my trailer is on the smaller side. I'll bet that a substantial number of TVs are inadvertently overloaded. It's something to think about.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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That is exactly why I say DO YOUR OWN MATH... It's an enlightening exercise ... everyone should do it!!

Nice post Acadianbob, I hope everyone reads it.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
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Great post --- I have payload issue as well. Purchased Aluminum Tonneau cover before understanding how fast payloads disappears. Now looking for a new TV
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Very true! Here is my break down:

7200 GVW of truck
5650 weight of truck with full tank of fuel but no one in it

1550 cargo capacity left over

650 tongue weight
220 for me
230 for wife, daughter, and dog
60 for fire wood
40 for cooler
20 for hitch

I have about 330 lbs left over after all loaded up.
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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When we still had the TT I had to upgrade the truck from 1500H to 2500HD when I started carrying a pair of dirt bikes in the bed.

I had so much sag when I tried using the 1500HD that I was unable to remove the tongue wheel.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:37 PM   #6
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I would be willing to bet that the same goes for the 3/4 ton crowd...I know mine started going away fast. After my truck is setup to tow, myself, wife, and DD I only had about 200lbs more payload than you do.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Helmsey View Post
I would be willing to bet that the same goes for the 3/4 ton crowd...I know mine started going away fast. After my truck is setup to tow, myself, wife, and DD I only had about 200lbs more payload than you do.
I'll bet it's worse for 3/4 tons.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:45 PM   #8
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What exactly are the risks of being slightly to moderately to grossly overloaded? Wheel bearing failure? Tire failure? Brake failure? Suspension failure? Frame damage? TV warranty (if still applicable) void? Vehicle insurance problems if in an accident? Fines by law enforcement? Possible loss of life? All of the above??

Also, if a WDH is set up with no payload, and someone puts too much weight in the rear, what does that do to weight transfer and handling?

Now that we have a newly acquired 3/4 ton extended cab TV, I want to check the math to see where we sit. It would be easy to think we automatically have another 1/4 ton of capacity.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
What exactly are the risks of being slightly to moderately to grossly overloaded? Wheel bearing failure? Tire failure? Brake failure? Suspension failure? Frame damage? TV warranty (if still applicable) void? Vehicle insurance problems if in an accident? Fines by law enforcement? Possible loss of life? All of the above??

Also, if a WDH is set up with no payload, and someone puts too much weight in the rear, what does that do to weight transfer and handling?

Now that we have a newly acquired 3/4 ton extended cab TV, I want to check the math to see where we sit. It would be easy to think we automatically have another 1/4 ton of capacity.
Payload seems to be the biggest issue.
Brakes would always be my concern then handling.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:15 AM   #10
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I know how this goes and it was kinda tough for me to go from a half ton Titan to a half ton tundra. It took a lot a checking but I will come out ok with my tundra. I have 700 more pounds with the tundra. But when loaded will be darn close to the gvw of 7200 pounds of the truck. But I am under the rawr by 400 pounds so that did make me feel better. When loaded the truck doesn't squat when hook up with WDH and pulls great.
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