Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-06-2019, 01:35 PM   #1
Member
 
rickj514's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 34
Soliciting Feedback on Hitch Weight / Loading Strategy

Hi Everyone,

I'm relatively new to truck and travel trailer ownership. In the past, we had a couple small trailers (Chalet, Trailmanor) that we towed with a Dodge Durango SUV. We recently purchased a 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie 4X4 and 2019 Flagstaff MicroLite 25FBLS, and I think it's not as ideal a setup as I had envisioned.

The truck is pretty heavily optioned which seriously limits it's load capacity, which is only 1278 lbs. It does have the 3.92 axle ratio and actually seems to have plenty of power to pull the trailer. (Not good gas mileage though!)

When I was researching trailers we decided on the 25FBLS due in part to uts hitch weight as compared to others. It empty weight (UVW) is 5364 lbs, which is well below the truck's tow capacity of 9900 lbs after factoring the options it came with (11,340 lbs otherwise.) The trailer's claimed hitch weight is 711 lbs.

I purchased a Sherline hitch scale and made some measurements with the trailer loaded and just back from a camping trip, as follows:
- Loaded / ready to camp (800 lbs)
- Loaded but empty storage bay (750 lbs)
** My weight (210 lbs) on the rear bumper reduced tongue weight 100 lbs.

Obviously, the 800 lbs on the hitch only leaves me with 478 lbs that I can put in the truck, including passengers and gear in the truck bed. My wife and I (and 30 lb dog, Frodo) generally travel pretty light, but we're likely at the limit of the truck's weight capacity or even a bit over! I don't know the loaded weight of the trailer, but I doubt if it's over 6000 lbs, so we're well within the tow capacity of the truck.

I'd like to get the hitch weight of the trailer to 700 - 725 lbs, which would put us within the load capacity of the truck. This would put our hitch weight at about 12% of the trailer, which I think is a safe configuration.

I can accomplish this by replacing the stock rear bumper with a SafetyStrut aluminum bumper and a couple GennyGo bumper mounted carriers. The bumper is heavy duty but only weighs 26 lbs, likely less than the stock bumper, and the carriers are only 12 lbs each. This would allow me to theoretically carry as much as 400 lbs on the rear bumper, but the plan would be to put about 200 lbs back there.

I'd very much appreciate comments on this strategy, or if someone has a better idea I'm open to suggestions.

I realize that the setup I purchased is less than ideal, but we had reasons why we went with a half-ton 1500 rather than a three-quarter 2500 heavy duty truck.

Thanks in advance!

Rick
__________________

rickj514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 01:22 PM   #2
Member
 
rickj514's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 34
I thought I'd provide couple of links to the bumper and bumper carriers I mentioned above in case what I am contemplating wasn't clear.

Again, the goal is to off-load some of the weight from the front of the trailer to the rear to reduce the hitch weight somewhat. With the Shoreline hitch scale and this setup I can always control my hitch weight while making storage more convenient. I do plan on adding a second Class 31 12-volt battery, which will add more to the hitch weight.

SafetyStruts Aluminum Bumper:
https://mount-n-lock.com/put-more-ge...ent-bumper-kit

GennyGo RV Bumper-Mounted Cargo Carrier Tray
https://mount-n-lock.com/put-more-ge...y-kit-aluminum

Feedback / comments appreciated...
__________________

rickj514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 01:32 PM   #3
llr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 915
That is an option as long as you don't go too light and have handling issues. Where is the water tank located?

Personally as long as I wasn't over the truck axle ratings I would keep the heaver tongue weight and be a little over on payload.
__________________
TT 2017 Flagstaff 831CLBSS Classic Ultra lite
TV 2014 Silverado 2500 HD
llr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
Member
 
rickj514's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by llr View Post
That is an option as long as you don't go too light and have handling issues. Where is the water tank located?

Personally as long as I wasn't over the truck axle ratings I would keep the heaver tongue weight and be a little over on payload.
Thanks. I don't actually know exactly where the water tank is located and can't see it due to the skirt they place under the trailer. I'd like to believe that it's over the axles, but I'll look into that. As a matter of practice, I don't travel with the water tank full. Generally empty or near empty.

I do understand that it is dangerous to lighten up the hitch weight too much. I'm shooting for 12% to start, but may adjust as I see how i does. Do you think 12% is a safe number on a tandem axle trailer?

The axles have a combined rating of 8000 lbs, but the truck's GVWR is actually 7100 lbs. I always thought that the weight on the axles set the GVWR, but there must be some other issue that limits it. Not sure I understand this, but I'm a noob to trucks. First one!

Thanks for your comments!
rickj514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 01:57 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
MT Biker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Warwick, RI
Posts: 317
As mentioned, leave it as is.
__________________
https://www.facebook.com/westshorerailway/

2019 Ford F-250 Super Cab 6.2L Lariat
2016 ML23FB
MT Biker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 02:44 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
MillMitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: MN
Posts: 886
I would also leave the heavy tongue and adjust your WDH accordingly. I'm guessing the 800# tongue is without the wdh engaged. I'm towing a slightly lighter setup with our Durango. My 825# tongue (diy scale) comes in at 740# with the WDH engaged per CAT scale. It's 20# over the limit, but both axles are under. I've adjusted it 2x, and now with the WDH dialed in, the trailer tows great.
I know what you mean on the axle weights, the Durango axles add up to the GVW, 3200 on front + 3900 on back = 7100 GVW. I just assumed that all vehicles worked that way until I started reading all the towing posts on this site
__________________
Mitch in MN
2018 Patriot (Grey Wolf) 23MK travel trailer
2011 Durango 5.7L and OEM tow package
MillMitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 03:05 PM   #7
llr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 915
The water tank should be near the gravity fill port. If that is in back it will lighten the tongue if needed, of course if it is in front you probably don't want to carry any more water then needed
__________________
TT 2017 Flagstaff 831CLBSS Classic Ultra lite
TV 2014 Silverado 2500 HD
llr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 03:07 PM   #8
Member
 
rickj514's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillMitch View Post
I would also leave the heavy tongue and adjust your WDH accordingly. I'm guessing the 800# tongue is without the wdh engaged. I'm towing a slightly lighter setup with our Durango. My 825# tongue (diy scale) comes in at 740# with the WDH engaged per CAT scale. It's 20# over the limit, but both axles are under. I've adjusted it 2x, and now with the WDH dialed in, the trailer tows great.
I know what you mean on the axle weights, the Durango axles add up to the GVW, 3200 on front + 3900 on back = 7100 GVW. I just assumed that all vehicles worked that way until I started reading all the towing posts on this site
Thanks. I did in fact measure the weight with the WDH not connected.

Like I mentioned, I'm new to trucks but I didn't think the WDH actually removed weight from the tow vehicle. Rather, it only helps level it for safety and better handling. Maybe I'm wrong. I'll have to take it to a scale to measure it connected.

My concern is that my load capacity is only 1278 lbs and I'd prefer not to overload the truck. I have plenty of reserve towing capability though, which is why I wanted to off-load some weight from the truck onto the trailer. As configured, it tows and handles great. Gas mileage is not so good though!

We recently sold our V6 Durango and bought the truck so we could tow a larger trailer. We had a couple of smaller trailers (Chalet, Trailmanor) that we towed with the Durango, but this trailer at 6000'ish lbs loaded would have been too much!
rickj514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 03:17 PM   #9
Member
 
rickj514's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by llr View Post
The water tank should be near the gravity fill port. If that is in back it will lighten the tongue if needed, of course if it is in front you probably don't want to carry any more water then needed
Great point! The fresh water fill port is very close to the front of the trailer and the drain is well in front of the front axle, so a BIG factor. I thought I had drained the water tank, but I opened the valve and it has water in it! I'm draining it right now and am going to measure the hitch weight again when it's done draining.
rickj514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 03:18 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
MillMitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: MN
Posts: 886
The wdh pushes weight up to front tires and back to traler. But its all still there. And yes, to make this work everything goes in ghe trailer except my extendable ladder. Ours is the 5.7L durango.
__________________
Mitch in MN
2018 Patriot (Grey Wolf) 23MK travel trailer
2011 Durango 5.7L and OEM tow package
MillMitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 03:22 PM   #11
Member
 
rickj514's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillMitch View Post
I know what you mean on the axle weights, the Durango axles add up to the GVW, 3200 on front + 3900 on back = 7100 GVW. I just assumed that all vehicles worked that way until I started reading all the towing posts on this site
Yeah, this is confusing to me and I'd like to understand it better. My front axle is rated at 3900 and the rear at 4100, so 8000 total. But the GVWR is 7100 and not 8000 lbs. Safety margin or something else limiting GVWR?
rickj514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 03:47 PM   #12
llr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 915
I am not sure but have always assumed it was because you will never have perfect balance so if the axles equaled GVWR you could never actually haul the max.
__________________
TT 2017 Flagstaff 831CLBSS Classic Ultra lite
TV 2014 Silverado 2500 HD
llr is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 04:19 PM   #13
Member
 
rickj514's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by llr View Post
I am not sure but have always assumed it was because you will never have perfect balance so if the axles equaled GVWR you could never actually haul the max.
Makes sense...
rickj514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 06:59 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,859
If you are below the rear axle rating with the WDH hooked up I would leave it alone. I would not worry a bit about being over GVWR by 1 or 2 hundred lbs. The WDH does transfer some weight to the trailer axles as well, for you probably around 100-150 lbs.
__________________

2011 Flagstaff 831FKBSS
2010 F250 4X4 5.4L 3.73 LS
EQUALIZER E4 1200/12000
lbrjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2019, 07:18 PM   #15
Brake is on left
 
The Evil Twin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 320
I would suggest going back to basics. First of all, are the ball joints, hub bearings and steering linkages in good shape with no play? TV shocks replaced recently? Tires inflated on both TV and TT? Some of that may seem elementary but I have to ask. You also said it was lifted which changes the vehicle geometry too.
After that, it is a weight game. Putting a 1400# RZR in the garage along with extra fuel and gear plus kitchen supplies, food and water could easily be pushing you to max out the GTW. That said, you should hit a scale and find out what weighs what and where. We can all make guesses as to how much TW is enough but we do not know how much weight came off the front wheels and how much is on the TT wheels.
I don't think you necessarily need a 3/4 ton truck but dragging around 8000+ pounds with a half ton requires a little finesse.
__________________

The Evil Twin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
hitch, weight

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:29 PM.


×