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Old 07-13-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Woes - Help/Advice Appreciated

HELP, 320RS Owners PLEASE!!!!

I am in a complete and total conundrum here!!! I weighed my rig and the numbers are, well SHOCKING!!!! According to what the CAT scale reported, I should have bent axles, no tires and the springs should be broke in two on both sides.

Truck stats -

2011 Laramie Longhorn, 3500 SRW, GVWR 10,100, FAWR - 5,500, RAWR - 6,200
Towing capacity 13,500 (from the RAM Customer Service) GCVWR - 21,000

Here are the Scale rates (in pounds as Kilo only confuse everyone except us Canucks (and we're bi-weightial (my word and I'm sticking to it)))):

Bare truck - Me, my Wife and a full tank of Diesel
Front - 4940, Rear - 3280 (Total 8220)

Stand-a-lone Trailer - (Washer/Dryer, 5500 Genset, King Bed, Trav 'ler Satellite Dish, 1/3 tank of Fresh Water, a few clothes, tools (a wrench set), two folding lawn chairs, slide covers, 2nd AC and 6 point leveling system)

On the landing struts - 4,420, on the Axles 8,680 - Total 13,100 (I had the struts at the 12th notch and trailer was at disconnect height)

Combined unit, with my wife and I on board the tow vehicle

Front (TV Steer axle) - 4,920 (lost 20lbs to the rear)

Rear ( TV Drive axle) - 10,980 (????????? The Drive axle has gained 7,700lbs)

Trailer axles - 5,440

Total combined 21,340 (yes over GCVWR by 340lbs)

There are no bows between the truck and trailer, everything is pretty much level.

OK, I knew that the factory pin weight would go up, the W/D (@ 250lbs) and gen set (listed at 250lbs) are forward of the axle, and add another what 50 to 75 lbs for the king bed upgrade + the 6 point systems (but most of that should be rear or at the trailer axles, the only weight would be the two motors for the front struts say what, 100lbs), so lets say we've added 675lbs forward of the axles.

The factory pin weight of a bare 320 is listed at 2,015lbs and I think the factory bare weight for a 320 is somewhere around 10,900lbs. That's puts the hitch weight around 18.5% of the trailer weight, which is in the acceptable norms of 15 - 25%.

So, mine came off the factory floor weighing 12,900 with the extras, so based on what we've seen, the hitch weight at 18.5% would be somewhere around 2,386lbs.

I've only added 200lbs with the water, clothes, propane, battery, chairs and satellite receivers to bring the trailer weight up to 13,100lbs.

If I do the prescribed math for calculating pin rates of a unit using the 15-25% method, a 13,100lb trailer should only have a pin weight of between 1965 and 3,250lbs and the truck back end weight of 3,280lbs should put me at 6,530lbs.

Where the HE** (ah) CK is the extra 4,400lbs coming from? How does 675lbs rotate that much weight forward to the Pin???

According to these scale figures, there isn't a 1 ton SRW or Dually out there that can pull this puppy. The new 2013 Dodge 1 Ton DRW is suppose to pull 30,000lbs, but the RAWR of the new truck is only 9750lbs. According to my scale figures, my trailer is 1,230lbs over the RAWR of the new truck.

Now to add insult to injury, I just looked at a new 2013 Ford F450 King Rancher Dually. The RAWR on that machine was only 9,100lbs. Sorry "Ford is the way to go" guys, but open your driver door and have a look at the restrictions.

Neither Ram or GM make a 4500/5500 that has a cargo box on the back, they're strickly Chassis models and to custom it into a TV hauler or put a custom box on it, an extra 10 - 50,000 dollars...

On top of this I went to a Spring and Airbag shop, I was advised that adding springs or airbags would not distribute enough (or any) weight back to the trailer. So I went to a tire shop to see if I could buy larger or higher rated tires (mine are currently 10ply E-rated tires) only to find out that there are no F or G rated tires available for LT type tires (at least not in the size I require), also that if I increased the size of my tires so that the weight bearing number were high enough to support the reported scale rate, I would have to run OffRoad nubbies.

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! I'm afraid to hook up and go anywhere now!!!!

HELP, where could I have gone wrong???? I went as far as going back to the scales to see if there was anyway that I could have had one of the trailer axles on the same scale as the drive axle.

Please, I can't afford a mini Freightliner just to pull this "LIGHT" trailer...

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Old 07-13-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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The only possible answer is that the 3rd weighing was messed up. The only figure that seems to jive is the total combined weight. The 4400 lbs you measured on the landing gear is not the same as pin weight...it will be much lower but more weight on the axles when hooked up.

You really need to repeat the weighing...forget about weighing the camper alone as that can be calculated. Just make sure that you're positioned properly on the 3 weight sections.

Dave
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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X2 what you got is not possible...
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:13 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, and I too believe I need to re-weigh. I got a target figure reference in the Columbus RV forum on Facebook where the numbers actually make sense. So, I'll be hooking up again and looking for another scale.

I also went back to the scale to see if it was possible that I had one of the trailer axles on the same pad as the drive axle, but the length of the pads would not allow something like that. As the truck and trailer weights seem logical, I ass-u-me-d that the combined should be correct as well. So that brought me in here to see if someone else was in the same boat.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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When you go to re-weigh, here's how you should do it if you're at a CAT scale setup with 3 scales:
How to weigh a fifth wheel
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advise gang and yes after pulling the unit back to the scales I found the error of my weighs (pun). This particular Cat Scale is not 5'ver and short box truck friendly, when I did my initial weigh, I had pulled up to the speaker box and pressed the button. On my reweigh, I found that in order for all three sets of wheels on separate pads, I had to stop 3 or 4 feet short of the speaker box. So my initial weight had one of the trailer axels on the same pad as the drive axels. Actual weight on the drive axels is 6220lbs. and the actual load on the truck is 11140lbs.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
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Glad you figured out what it was!

Interesting, you're over GVWR and rear GAWR. How are you on tire load capacity?

Looks like you have about 2,920 pounds in pin weight (11k loaded weight minus 8k truck weight). Right in-line with about 22% pin weight.

Total camper weight seemingly is right about 13,120 pounds (to find this, I took your 21k GCWR from the first weighing minus the 8k loaded truck weight plus the 3k pin weight).

Looks like your trailer axles are carrying right about 10,200 pounds. Which is well within their capacity.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:32 AM   #8
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Well, someone who can see exactly what my plight is... congrats ependydad, your numbers are almost bang on the money. Tires are 17E's and are rated at 3195 at 80psi (so that's 6390lbs). SO, now I'm waiting for delivery of a 2013 Ram Longhorn Dually at the end of the month just to get me into the green numbers with room to spare for the grand kids, grand dogs and grand cats. I would have gone with the new SRW model, but the new ratings leave only a little wiggle room so I opted to go large. I will say this for my Ram Dealership, despite the heart and headaches caused while trying to figure this out, they did come through in the end and I am happy again. My poor salesman, dreads every time I walk through the door, he'll be glad when I take delivery of the new truck.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:51 AM   #9
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Looks like your tires are under, so that's good.

Congrats on the 2013 Ram Longhorn Dually on order! I remember the torture that was our wait. We ordered the truck (2012 Ram Laramie Dually) first after knowing ballpark of what kinds of campers that we were looking at.

Have fun and enjoy it!
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