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Old 06-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
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Dry weight versus measured weight. Wow.

Our trailer has a sticker dry weight of 3,827 lbs. I weighed the trailer on the way to camping on the weekend at commercial truck scales and it weighs 5,026 lbs. Holy smokes!

I am truly shocked. Our trailer wasn't even as loaded as it possibly could be. All tanks were empty. I did a lot of modifications to the inside which I am guessing added maybe around 200 lbs (laminate flooring was 110lbs). Am trying to guess at some of the heavier things that would add up - BBQ, memory foam mattress, couple dozen bottled water & pop, some misc. canned goods, spare hand tools and, levelling jacks. Nothing major in itself.....

Is another 1200 lbs typical? Our truck is rated to tow 5,500 lbs (V6 F150) so I am glad we haven't gone overboard with adding stuff. When we went trailer shopping, we had read that should not not go over 80% of the TV towing capacity. Sure glad we didn't. Will have to watch what else we add for longer trips. And I doubt I would travel with a full water tank which would add about 250 lbs and definitely not with full grey/black tanks (about 500 lbs). Our truck does not have any trouble handling the weight, but we have yet to go up a long mountain pass.

What does the factory include or not include when coming up with a "dry" weight? Do they include a mattress, spare tire, battery(s), etc.? Maybe the truck scale method isn't quite accurate?

Maybe DW has a bunch of big rocks hidden like Lucille Ball in the Long, Long Trailer.....
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:27 AM   #2
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No propane or tanks are included
Possibly no stab jacks
No battery
Microwave may be an add on
No spare or mounting bracket


Propane and tanks are almost 200 lbs
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #3
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Generally anything that is optional equipment is not part of dry weight...
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:48 AM   #4
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My understanding is that the UVW listed on the yellow sticker is the weight of the camper as it exits the factory. This weight includes any factory added options.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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My understanding is that the UVW listed on the yellow sticker is the weight of the camper as it exits the factory. This weight includes any factory added options.
My understanding is that the yellow stickers are printed in bulk and applied to multiple units that may have different options. I look forward to any secondary confirmation of this.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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The reason manufacturers publish dry weights is because they do not know what options people will choose. The 80% number you quoted is a good way to avoid buying too much trailer for a vehicle but even that can be problematic for heavy packers.

Factory Options: packages, power awning and jack, wood doors on fridge, etc. Our trailer came new weighing 300 lbs more according to the yellow sticker than the brochure dry weight.

Once it arrived, I added propane, two 6-volt batteries, Equal-i-zer hitch and vent covers.

Once it was home we added all of our cargo, my tools, a few additional modifications, filled up the fridge and added a little water in the 6-gl HWH and some in the FW and BW tanks. We also have memory foam mattresses and they are HEAVY .

This adds up fast and I'd guess 1,200 lbs above the brochure dry weight is very reasonable.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #7
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Now you understand why terms like "dry" or "shipping" are totally meaningless. everything is a guess until you actually get it loaded and on the scales. But lacking that people need to look at GVWR numbers. At least you will always be on the safe side of the equation.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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My understanding is that the yellow stickers are printed in bulk and applied to multiple units that may have different options. I look forward to any secondary confirmation of this.

With all due respect, you may be incorrect. I purchased a hybrid about 3 years ago from a different manufacturer. The dealer had bulk purchased about 10 identical units. Each unit had a sticker affixed with the UVW listed and each one was different, albeit within about 50 lbs of each other. I was told they were weighed as they left the factory floor and the sticker was added at that point. This may not be the case for FR products, but I do know that the dealer that I purchased my 5er had 2 identical units (colour differences only) and they had different weights. There was almost a 100 lb difference in the 2.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for the clarification. Were these different floor plans too or all the same floor plan with different options?
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:12 PM   #10
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Thanks for the clarification. Were these different floor plans too or all the same floor plan with different options?

Identical Units with the exception of interior colours.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rugged Brown View Post
My understanding is that the UVW listed on the yellow sticker is the weight of the camper as it exits the factory. This weight includes any factory added options.
My understanding as well. My TT is weight is very close to the yellow sticker weight..
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:58 PM   #12
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So would that be the weight of it when you buy it with the addition of battery and propane tanks provided you had no dealer installed options?
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #13
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Rugged Brown is correct. I looked into this a few months ago because I kept reading it but couldn't find a reference. Well, here it is ...

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Cargo Carrying Capacity

Just to summarize, Federal law requires a sticker to be affixed with the weight for that unit as it leaves the factory.
The weights on the label ... must reflect the particular weight specifications of the motor home or travel trailer to which it is affixed as the vehicle leaves the factory.
Interestingly, the label needs to be replaced by the dealer if they add options or modify the trailer before the first sale.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:09 PM   #14
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So would that be the weight of it when you buy it with the addition of battery and propane tanks provided you had no dealer installed options?
Good question.

In reading through this again, I learned that the weight of full propane is included in the vehicle's UVW weight.

Battery is treated as cargo as is water, any dealer installed items (except if they are over a certain weight before the first sale) and your actual cargo.

Kind of complicated isn't it?
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:51 PM   #15
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The brochure listed weight of my trailer was 4139 lbs.

The added weight per option listed in the brochure:

Interior Luxury Package: 208 lbs.
Exterior Luxury Package: 267 lbs.

That adds up to 4614 lbs. Don'tcha know that is the exact weight listed on my title and also the on the cabinet cargo carrying capacity sticker ?? Seems a bit suspicious to me that my trailer weighs exactly what the brochure says with those options.....there has got to be some weight variables in the construction and appliances.

But......I think the forgot to add a few items to the list:

Roof Ladder: 15 lbs.
Double Step: 20 lbs.
Outside Grill: 20 lbs.

Another 55 lbs.

My trailer was built in October 2007, so things might have been done differently back then.

FWIW, I ran my trailer across the local quarry scales on the way back from picking it up, and it weighed in at 4760......60 lbs. of propane and a battery added in the formula seems about right.
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Old 06-04-2012, 03:13 PM   #16
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On ours the brochure says #7059 & the sticker says #7268. When we bought it the dealer gave us the options invoice showing what options with price were added at factory and stated that all options are included on the yellow sticker and that all units are weighed at end of assembly line. This included the stabilizer jacks the #30 tanks but not the lp, spare tire w/mount and tv plus some. Basically everything except lp, battery and the electric jack the dealer installed.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:54 PM   #17
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How does the TT tongue weight figure in this?

Say your TT has a dry weight of 5000 and a dry tongue weight of 500 and a cargo capacity of 1500.

Does the dry tongue weight carried by the TV mean that the cargo capacity can be increased by the 500?

If the cargo capacity doesn't change what happens when you use a WDH that transfers 200 back to the TT; does that mean your cargo capacity is decreased by the 200?

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:46 PM   #18
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Chuckinca, that's a really good question. I hope someone will be along to answer it.

I was also wondering what happens with the weight of the equalizer bars. I left the camper and bars at the campground and measure the weight of the truck without the bars. So how does one account for this plus the tongue weight question?

Does the EDH only transfer weight from the rear truck wheels to the front? I haven't quite got my head wrapped around all this yet....
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chuckinca View Post
How does the TT tongue weight figure in this?

Say your TT has a dry weight of 5000 and a dry tongue weight of 500 and a cargo capacity of 1500.
If it is listed as dry weight, then that is the entire weight. If you have dry weight of 5000 lbs. and a tongue weight of 500 lbs., then you will have 4500 lbs. on the trailer axles. Dry weight is the total weight of the trailer.

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Does the dry tongue weight carried by the TV mean that the cargo capacity can be increased by the 500?
I think the short answer is no. Usually the total GVWR is the maximum weight of the axles (or tires, or whatever the weak link is) and the tongue weight. Case in point, my trailer lists a 7559 lb. GVWR in the brochure. I have 2 3500 lb. axles (7000 lbs.), and the brochure lists a 559 lb. tongue weight. 7000 +559 equals my GVWR of 7559.

What if I have a 700 lb. tongue weight as the trailer weight increases ?? Even though more weight is on the tongue, if I loaded up the trailer to 7000 lbs. at the axle, I would be over the GVWR by 141 lbs. (7000 +700 =7700 lbs.).

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If the cargo capacity doesn't change what happens when you use a WDH that transfers 200 back to the TT; does that mean your cargo capacity is decreased by the 200?
The short answer this time is yes. Again, your GVWR is determined usually by the trailer axles.......in this case you are adding 200 lbs. back to them, reducing the additional weight that they can handle.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:25 PM   #20
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Chuckinca, that's a really good question. I hope someone will be along to answer it.

I was also wondering what happens with the weight of the equalizer bars. I left the camper and bars at the campground and measure the weight of the truck without the bars. So how does one account for this plus the tongue weight question?
When going across the scales with just my truck, I keep the spring bars in the back part of the bed for those readings. The hitch stays in the receiver.

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Does the EDH only transfer weight from the rear truck wheels to the front? I haven't quite got my head wrapped around all this yet....
Yes, the WDH will transfer some weight back to the trailer axles. In my case, my trailer axles are 140 lbs. heavier with the spring bars in place then without the spring bars.
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