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Old 02-11-2019, 11:49 AM   #1
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Patriot Edition 26DBH

Hello, all.

I'm new to this forum, and have recently purchased a new truck and camper.

Here are the details.

In Dec. I bought a 2019 RAM 1500 Crew Cab 4WD Laramie Short Box.

The sticker on the inside of the door says I have a payload capacity of 1,667, with a GVWR of 7,100, so the curb weight is 5,433. I've added some things to my truck and weighed it with me in it with a full tank of gas and it's at 5,940, so my true extra payload is only 1,160. My son weighs 75 lbs (for now) and he'll be the only other passenger.

The camper I bought, but I'm actually already having second thoughts about and I'm thinking of cancelling, is the Forest River Patriot Edition 26DBH.

It has a dry weight of 5,795, GVWR of 7,725, and a tongue weight of ~725.

I think most people would take the towing vehicle's GCVWR (13,900) and subtract the tow vehicle's GVWR (7,100) to get the max GVWR of the camper they could buy. In that case, the camper weight couldn't exceed 6,800.

At first glance, it might appear that my truck doesn't have enough to pull the camper, but diving deeper into the numbers, I think, gets me there.

Here's what I mean. The max camper weight of 6,800 should be a fully loaded camper, minus the weight of the tongue (since that's already included in the GVW of the truck, which reduced the max GVW of the camper. Including the tongue weight on the GVW of the truck and the camper means that the tongue weight is included twice in the GCVW, which I don't think is correct.

So if I assume the max tongue weight to be 15% of the GVWR of the camper, the tongue weight would be 1,158.75. That amount would exceed my truck's payload with my son in the truck by 73.75 lbs, but it would reduce the GVW of the camper from 6,800 to 5,641.25.

Now I don't think I will EVER load the truck to it's GVWR, meaning it would never have 1,930 lbs of payload, so I'm reducing it to 700 to account for propane, the battery(2?), and other stuff for just 2 people. I won't be filling it up with water, especially before going on long trips.

So reducing the camper's payload to 700, my tongue weight drops to 944.25, so then my payload, including my son this time, drops to 6,959.25. Then the max towing capacity increases to 6,940.75.

Taking out the tongue weight from the trailer brings the GVW of the trailer to 5,351 when only loaded with 700 lbs, which is quite a bit under its max. Based on this calculation, I'd be towing 77% of it's max (5,351 / 6940.75), but with a near 100% payload capacity on my truck.

I could probably reduce the payload on my truck for the long trips by removing the tonneau cover and running boards, and I would guess that would save maybe 125 lbs.

So, there's all of the information. I hope that I'm calculating things correctly. If my calculations are incorrect, please let me know, but I'm not interested in hearing from others that I HAVE to have a fully loaded trailer.

I'd also be interested in hearing if there are other Patriot owners here and what their experiences are with this model. I've heard that it's not the best quality and things fall apart easily and resale is not good.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:19 PM   #2
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You are pretty close to limits with this setup. Your 1,160 says where you are at. Maybe some firewood or a bike in the bed of truck that would be it. The tongue weight is not going to be 725 look more at 1,000 done with moderate trailer loading. The game of removing tongue weight as it sits on the truck doesn't count. Weight is just that and all pulled by the truck.

Good luck with your decisions. The safety of your son rests with you and how much risk you are prepared to take.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:10 PM   #3
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I have a Patriot as well, so I will address that first. We bought our Patriot at AC Nelson RV in Shakopee. The dealer told us the Patriots are different paint on a Grey Wolf (maybe Cherokee's too), specifically for AC Nelson. Kind of like a private label trailer. I'm not aware that the quality is any different from a Grey Wolf.
I think you figured out already that you will be close to maxed out with TV-TT combo you mentioned. However, to your point, you can control your weight to a certain extent by packing light, don't haul water, etc. B and B is correct in that you will probably run out of payload before you get anywhere close to GCVW or tow limit. I think you can make that work, but everybody's situation (and comfort level) is different. If you focus on the GVW of the TV, and the max axle weights - a properly setup WDH should keep you within specs. But the bed of the truck won't be very useful. I'm in a similar situation, towing a 23MK w/ a Durango w/ 7100 GVW. I weighed my setup last spring (and will do it again this spring) and was under TV GVW by less than 400#'s and was 20#'s over my max tongue. My TT CAT scaled at 5660, and we tow with almost nothing in the Durango, everything goes in the trailer, and I tow without water. It's just my wife and I, and all our camping trips are state parks within 4 hours of home. The WDH is dialed in, and this works for us until I can rearrange vehicles and get a truck (Durango is my wifes). You may be planning trips through the Rockies and want more cushion.
Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by B and B View Post
You are pretty close to limits with this setup. Your 1,160 says where you are at. Maybe some firewood or a bike in the bed of truck that would be it. The tongue weight is not going to be 725 look more at 1,000 done with moderate trailer loading. The game of removing tongue weight as it sits on the truck doesn't count. Weight is just that and all pulled by the truck.

Good luck with your decisions. The safety of your son rests with you and how much risk you are prepared to take.
I'm not sure what you meant by "The game of removing tongue weight as it sits on the truck doesn't count. Weight is just that and all pulled by the truck.".

If the GVWR of the trailer is 7,725, that includes the tongue weight, but between 10 and 15% of that weight is being transferred from the trailer to the truck's payload, so the trailer's GVW would be reduced by the weight transferred to the truck's payload.

My calculation was 974.25 tongue weight when the trailer is loaded with 700 lbs, and that's going to the extreme of using 15% (and it could be just 10% which is 649.5 with 700 lbs payload in the trailer). I'm curious why you would think that the tongue weight would be closer to 1,000, as that would be closer to 16%.

******************

Another way to think about it is to calculate the GVW of the truck and the camper separately.

So my GVW of the truck (without the tongue weight since the camper isn't connected) is 5980 (the ACTUAL weight of my truck with a full tank of gas and me inside) + 75 lbs for my son + 100 lbs for the weight distribution hitch = 6,155.

The GVW of the trailer with 700 lbs payload and the full tongue weight would be Dry Weight 5,795 + 700 lbs payload = 6,495.

6,155 + 6,495 = 12,650, which is 1,250 less than GCVWR of my truck, and that amount includes the tongue weight.

974.25 lbs of the trailer's GVW will be transferred to the Truck's payload, so the trailer's CONNECTED GVW will be 5,520.75.

The Truck's payload then increases by 974.25 lbs to 7,129 (I found an error in my previous calc) and the max tow rating drops by the same amount to 6,771. Since the camper's GVW without the tongue weight is 5520.75, I'm towing 1,250 lbs less than the max.

So after correcting my calculation mistake from my first post would leave 1,250 lbs less than max towing capacity, and so does the 2nd way of calculating. In both cases, with 700 lbs of payload in the camper, I've exceed my truck's payload capacity by 29 lbs. All of this is assuming the tongue weight will be 15% though, and it might just be 10%, and I could reduce my truck's weight by ~125 lbs by removing the tonneau cover and running boards.

Once I get to where I want to be, and unload the camper, I'd get the extra things I need for camping (firewood, food, etc). I don't need to travel across the country with all of that stuff in the camper and definitely not in the truck.

At this point, I feel the numbers are OK (not great, but ok).

I guess my main concern is being so close to the max payload on my truck. I know it's not possible to INCREASE the payload on the truck, but maybe I could take the back seats out too (don't even know if that's possible) to see if more weight could be saved.

Would it be beneficial to get LT tires, or better Shocks/Struts?

If I could find a trailer about the size of the 26DBH but 500 lbs less, I'd buy it even if it cost more money. Cost wasn't a major factor in my choice. It was really weight and features that sold me on this one.

***EDIT***

One more question. I hear the tongue weight is between 10 and 15%, but I've been told that once the weight distribution hitch is on that it's not going to change weight distribution. So how would the tongue weight % on the truck vary?

Is it as simple as loading my 700 lbs of weight in the back of the trailer, so most of that weight stays on the trailer and not transferred to the truck?

I'm assuming that if I loaded the 700 lbs in the front of the trailer, than most of that weight would be transferred to the truck.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MillMitch View Post
I have a Patriot as well, so I will address that first. We bought our Patriot at AC Nelson RV in Shakopee. The dealer told us the Patriots are different paint on a Grey Wolf (maybe Cherokee's too), specifically for AC Nelson. Kind of like a private label trailer. I'm not aware that the quality is any different from a Grey Wolf.
I think you figured out already that you will be close to maxed out with TV-TT combo you mentioned. However, to your point, you can control your weight to a certain extent by packing light, don't haul water, etc. B and B is correct in that you will probably run out of payload before you get anywhere close to GCVW or tow limit. I think you can make that work, but everybody's situation (and comfort level) is different. If you focus on the GVW of the TV, and the max axle weights - a properly setup WDH should keep you within specs. But the bed of the truck won't be very useful. I'm in a similar situation, towing a 23MK w/ a Durango w/ 7100 GVW. I weighed my setup last spring (and will do it again this spring) and was under TV GVW by less than 400#'s and was 20#'s over my max tongue. My TT CAT scaled at 5660, and we tow with almost nothing in the Durango, everything goes in the trailer, and I tow without water. It's just my wife and I, and all our camping trips are state parks within 4 hours of home. The WDH is dialed in, and this works for us until I can rearrange vehicles and get a truck (Durango is my wifes). You may be planning trips through the Rockies and want more cushion.
Good luck and stay safe.
Thanks for your reply. I'm curious to know if you've had any quality issues. I really like all of the features on that camper, but I'm hearing about quality issues which concerns me. How long have you had the camper? Did they take care of you when it was still under warranty, or did they fight warranty claims? Did you buy the 5 year extended warranty?
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:29 PM   #6
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Right now I'm pulling a 2018 Patriot Cherokee 304BS with an 11,070 lbs max cap with a 2500 Diesel. Before that I towed a 2007 28' Jayco that topped out at 7700 max and 6500 curb. Pulled it the first 5 years with a 2003 F150 SuperCrew with 5.4 and pulled it the last 4 years with a 2013 Chevy 1500 Crew cab 6.5' bed and 5.3. Average load was 3 adults, 2 grandkids and 2 dogs. Hooked up with the Equalizer 4 point. Enjoyed the heck out of it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by clphillips72 View Post

Would it be beneficial to get LT tires, or better Shocks/Struts?
LT tires yes.
Shocks/struts do nothing for supporting weight. All they do is help control rebound.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by clphillips72 View Post
Thanks for your reply. I'm curious to know if you've had any quality issues. I really like all of the features on that camper, but I'm hearing about quality issues which concerns me. How long have you had the camper? Did they take care of you when it was still under warranty, or did they fight warranty claims? Did you buy the 5 year extended warranty?
We bought our 2018 TT in Oct 2018, so at max it was sitting on the lot for less than a year. We love the trailer and have had no quality issues or warranty work. And no, we didn't get anything beyond the standard 12 months (plus what ever the appliances are) warranty.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by clphillips72 View Post
[...]
payload capacity of 1,667, with a GVWR of 7,100, [...] I've added some things to my truck and weighed it with me in it with a full tank of gas and it's at 5,940, so my true extra payload is only 1,160. My son weighs 75 lbs (for now) and he'll be the only other passenger. [...]
For a 1/2 ton, 90% of the issues come from payload, so it's a great place to start. Please note that both you and your son will count against the payload and your weights need to be real-world, fully-clothed weights.

I'll assume that the 1,160 lbs includes you in the truck. If it doesn't, then you need to factor in your weight. Otherwise, after your son, you have 1,085 lbs left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clphillips72 View Post
[...] It has a dry weight of 5,795, GVWR of 7,725, and a tongue weight of ~725. [...]
Just remember that dry weight is about the same as if someone asked you your own weight and your response was, "Well, I weighed 160 lbs in high school."

Your trailer will be in excess of 7,000 lbs after its loaded with options, battery, cookware, and everything else that goes inside. It all adds up and it adds up fast. Before you sneeze, there's 1,000 lbs on your trailer that isn't in that fictional dry weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clphillips72 View Post
[...] I think most people would take the towing vehicle's GCVWR (13,900) and subtract the tow vehicle's GVWR (7,100) to get the max GVWR of the camper they could buy. In that case, the camper weight couldn't exceed 6,800. [...]
Not me. I start at the payload. You'll eat that up before you have to worry about your two capacity or your GCWR.

Your ~7,100 lb trailer will have 12.5% on the tongue. 885 lbs. So, that leaves you with 200 lbs. Again, I hope that you are already factured into your payload, otherwise, you're pretty much done.

I also hope that your number above has the WDH included, which is heavy. Not sure if it also includes bikes, wood, or anything else you'd have in your bed for camping. Pets, duffel bags, and other transient gear in your cab would need to be accounted for.

So, you're right up against your payload and still quite a ways from your tow capacity. For 1/2 tons and campers, it's rarely about tow capacity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clphillips72 View Post
[...] At first glance, it might appear that my truck doesn't have enough to pull the camper, but diving deeper into the numbers, I think, gets me there.

[lots of calculations]

I could probably reduce the payload on my truck for the long trips by removing the tonneau cover and running boards, and I would guess that would save maybe 125 lbs. [...]
Most of those calculations are analogous to mine and also illustrate that payload, not tow capacity, is your enemy ... or, at least, the limiting rating.

Tongue weight is estimated at 10-15%, so you're using a conservatively large estimate. I generally just use the mid-point.

Don't trust the dry weight. The weight of your trailer that you picked up from the dealer weighs more than the dry weight. I believe it will be difficult to achieve the weights you're targeting.

I think you're calculating things correctly. I just don't believe you'll be able to shave weight in the ways that you think you can ... speaking on the trailer side of the equation.

You can do it, but it will be very difficult.

I'd go with a Rockwood 2504S or 2509S or equivalent. It gives you a shorter trailer for your 1/2 ton and a weight that is more manageable, but still offers the same basic floorplan.

Your trailer of interest is 31' 7", 7725 GVW:


The Rockwood 2509S is 25' 11", 6869 GVW


Good luck.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:01 PM   #10
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I have a 2018 26dbh and off the factory line before battery, propane, or any fluids mine weighed 6,068 pounds. Quite a bit more than the advertised dry weight. Just something to consider.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MillMitch View Post
I have a Patriot as well, so I will address that first. We bought our Patriot at AC Nelson RV in Shakopee. The dealer told us the Patriots are different paint on a Grey Wolf (maybe Cherokee's too), specifically for AC Nelson. Kind of like a private label trailer. I'm not aware that the quality is any different from a Grey Wolf.
I think you figured out already that you will be close to maxed out with TV-TT combo you mentioned. However, to your point, you can control your weight to a certain extent by packing light, don't haul water, etc. B and B is correct in that you will probably run out of payload before you get anywhere close to GCVW or tow limit. I think you can make that work, but everybody's situation (and comfort level) is different. If you focus on the GVW of the TV, and the max axle weights - a properly setup WDH should keep you within specs. But the bed of the truck won't be very useful. I'm in a similar situation, towing a 23MK w/ a Durango w/ 7100 GVW. I weighed my setup last spring (and will do it again this spring) and was under TV GVW by less than 400#'s and was 20#'s over my max tongue. My TT CAT scaled at 5660, and we tow with almost nothing in the Durango, everything goes in the trailer, and I tow without water. It's just my wife and I, and all our camping trips are state parks within 4 hours of home. The WDH is dialed in, and this works for us until I can rearrange vehicles and get a truck (Durango is my wifes). You may be planning trips through the Rockies and want more cushion.
Good luck and stay safe.
Late to the party, but I just wanted to say Hi Neighbor! Got our Patriot 26DJSE from the same place.
We also spend most of our camping nights in MN State Parks. Hope to see another Patriot some time!
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:58 PM   #12
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I bought my 2015 Patriot 26BH new from AC Nelson in Omaha and had it brought to Nashville. Never had a warranty issue or any quality issue outside the norm. I enjoy the heck out of mine! Towed with a Chevy Tahoe 5.3 w/tow package, WDH and a AIR LIFT 60769 1000 Series Rear Air Spring Kit
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:09 AM   #13
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Good morning everybody. Not going to get in all the weights and measures plus and minus and percentages however, but I have experience with 150s and 1500s. My current 1500 Silverado Crew Cab, 5.3, short box, HD trailering and chassis 3.42 LS rear works great along with Monroe Max Air HD air shocks. I've used them on several vehicles. They have a 150 psi limit. I usually run 120 psi with heavy bed loads or hooking up my 33 foot Alpha Wolf TT. 120 psi raises the backend of the truck up about 3 to 4 inches, hook up the trailer and it rides nice and level. Pulling it through the Smoky Mountains where I live have no problem I highly recommend Monroe Max Air shocks. They can remedy a lot of issues and concerns.
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