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Old 06-16-2013, 04:31 AM   #1
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2014 Salem Hemisphere Lite 286RLT

My wife and I looked at the 2014 Hemisphere Lite 286RLT (dry weight 7920lbs) yesterday and decided to trade-in our 2005 Fleetwood Orbit 29RLS for it. If everything goes well for the financing we'll be picking it up sometime this week. My tow truck is a 2012 Tundra. It didn't have any problem towing my TT rated for 7500lbs, so, I'm thinking I shouldn't have any problem with the 5th wheel either since it's almost the same weight. We were interested at first with the 2013 Chaparral (dry weight 9484) but the salesman swayed us to the Salem because of the towing capacity of my Tundra. Three feet shorter and 1500lbs lighter.

Not new to camping but new to a fifth wheel Trailer. Anything I should be aware of while towing a fifth wheel? What about the Hemisphere anything I should be worried about this model trailer? Sorry for a long first post... Thanks for any input you guys can provide... Rick
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
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The Hemisphere Lite 286RLT has a dry hitch pin weight of 2000 lbs (according to FR web site) which seems to be over the payload capacity of any model Tundra. Others will tune in with more experience on fifth wheel towing. By the way welcome to the forum.......

http://www.toyota.ca/toyota/en/vehic...apacity#tp4_dc
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:42 AM   #3
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fonzie,

Thanks for your reply... It's way over the payload of any Tundra... Now I am really scared. My wife really likes this new RV.... Have you seen anyone that tows a fifth wheel with a Tundra?
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:58 AM   #4
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I have seen Tundra pulling fifth wheel, but can't say if they were overload or not. Look at these different posts and do a search on this site for more info.

Towing With A Tundra

tundra fifth whhel - Google Search
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:06 PM   #5
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My salesman is saying that my truck should have no problem pulling the trailer. He is most concern with the towing weight more than the payload. The reason he swayed me to this trailer..
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rambilt View Post
My salesman is saying that my truck should have no problem pulling the trailer. He is most concern with the towing weight more than the payload. The reason he swayed me to this trailer..
Good for the salesman swaying you away from something way too big. But, you need to become educated and not let the salesman tell you what you want to hear.

There are a couple of weights to keep in mind:
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) - this is the maximum weight that the truck is rated to handle. This includes the weight of the truck, the driver, passenger(s), pet(s), all stuff in the cab, all stuff in the truck bed, the hitch itself *and* the amount of weight that the pin is pushing down on the truck (this is typically 20%-25% of the total loaded weight of the camper).

-- Payload is the GVWR minus the weight of the loaded truck, passengers and stuff. Your truck is designed with a certain amount of payload, but as you add things to it, that is decreased. Though, I'll give Toyota credit for following the newest standards and includes a more realistic weight for driver + a passenger in their payload calculations.

- Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) - this is the maximum weight that your axles are designed to carry. The front axle (FAWR) is designed to carry a different amount than the rear axle (RAWR). Again, this includes the weight of the truck pushing on that axle and a portion of everything in the truck.

- Tire Load Capacity - on the sidewall of the tire, it lists how much weight the tire is designed to carry. This carries the same weight as the rear axle.

- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) - this is the weight of the truck (all of the things in GVWR) and camper (including anything that you load into it) combined. You will a generally run out of payload before you hit GCWR.

Now, the next biggest question is to overload or to not overload. Personally, I'm in the camp that I feel the need to be within all of my camper's ratings. I don't know enough about trucks to be able to intelligently pick and choose which ratings that I'm going to believe vs. those that I feel like can be exceeded. For some, they knowingly exceed GVWR but not axle weights or tire load capacities.

Finally, I'm a strong proponent of taking a truck, loading it up like you were going camping and getting it weighed. Having the numbers in black and white let you make an educated decision. There are all sorts of scales all over the place - either CAT scales at truck stops near the highway, or quarries or dumps, etc. If you do weigh, make sure to get separate weights for the front/steer and rear/drive axles.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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fonzie,

Thanks for your reply... It's way over the payload of any Tundra... Now I am really scared. My wife really likes this new RV.... Have you seen anyone that tows a fifth wheel with a Tundra?
Some people do it. Usually you're looking at a small fifth wheel to keep within all of the ratings. It can be done, it's just challenging.

I wouldn't be surprised if you weren't overloaded with your TT. Did you ever get it and the truck weighed?
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
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ependydad, thanks, that's a very educational read. No, I did not know how much the travel trailer weight. But my truck towed it without a problem..

My wife fell in love with the lay out of the trailer. I tried to sway her with a different trailer but she keeps going back to the Salem hemisphere.

Thanks for your response and I'm to change my wife's mind and look at a different trailer.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:09 AM   #9
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There's another model that I think she might like but it's longer, heavier and the hitch weight is 1750lbs which is 250 lighter than the hemisphere 286. The dry weight is 9455lbs I think..
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #10
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You should have a pair of stickers on your truck that show you:
#1 - what your GVWR is for the truck (as well as Front GAWR and Rear GAWR)
#2 - what your cargo carrying capacity is ("weight of occupants and cargo should not exceed XXX pounds")

What are some of the values from those stickers?
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:41 AM   #11
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It he GVWR is 7200lbs.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:58 AM   #12
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Unless you've gotten your truck weighed, the second one is a little more important:
#2 - what your cargo carrying capacity is ("weight of occupants and cargo should not exceed XXX pounds")

The sticker looks something like this:
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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Yeah it say don't go over 1375lbs..
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:50 AM   #14
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Yeah it say don't go over 1375lbs..
So, from this number - you need to subtract the following things:
- the driver's weight over 150 pounds
- the passenger(s) weight
- pet(s) weight
- anything you've added to the truck after it was built at the factory (bed cover, topper, even minor things like lock attenuator, tail gate assist, DVD player)
- anything in the cab that you carry with you (GPS, tablet devices, pocket books, drinks, snacks, food)
- anything you carry in the truck bed (firewood, coolers, grills, tools, toolbox)
- the fifth wheel hitch itself

What's left over after all of that is your actual available payload for pin weight. As you can see, that number can get eaten up pretty quick.

As a random note and all of our situations are different - when I went to the scales earlier this year, I was pretty surprised that my family of 4, our stuff and hitch all weighed about 1,200 pounds
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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I should have gotten my diesel transmission fixed instead of trading it in for the Tundra...
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:07 AM   #16
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Of course, a lot of guys hook on and tow whatever they please. (Or, they get weighed and knowingly go over the truck's ratings.) Not my way, of course.

---

Actually, I think I need to modify my first two items. I think Toyota uses the new towing specs and therefore supports a larger driver and a passenger.

Really, the best thing you can do is go get weighed. Find out how much your truck and your passengers and stuff really weigh. Subtract that from the GVWR and you find out how much payload you have available. If you weigh the axles separate, you can also watch out for the rear axle weight rating.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:20 AM   #17
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Thank you Ependydad, you have thought me a lot that I should consider before buying the trailer. I might just get me an old heavy duty truck used only for hauling..
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