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Old 05-14-2016, 10:57 AM   #1
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Help With Deciphering Scaled Weights

I thought this would be easy but after looking at my actual truck/trailer weights and the Cat scaled weights I am more confused. Here are my scaled weights and truck weights. Looks to me I am over on my GVWR by 340 lbs. and over on rear GAWR by 60 lbs. Not sure why my truck says 7200 GVWR when I have axle capacity of 8150. Tires have 10,200 lbs. so the frame must be the limiting factor???? It also looks like I am over on payload by 280 lbs. So what do you guys come up with looking at this info ? Truck was loaded as we tow and has a fiberglass topper on it. Trailer was loaded as normal with 1/3 full fresh water tank. I have extra GCWR so I think if I just added more fresh water in the tank I can remove some tongue weight and rear axle weight. I also have a older Reese WDH with 10,000 max wt. and 1200 lbs. bars I run at 4 links from the bars. (really tight) I am thinking of upgrading to a new 14,000/1400 lbs. WDH and not need a separate sway control. Trailer tows great and truck has plenty of power so I have no issues but am concerned with safety and durability. Not sure why RV yellow sticker pic is upside down. Hopefully you can zoom in and read all these pics. Thanks for any help and/or advise.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #2
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Typically run out of payload before tow rating. You have one of the best half tons on the market IMO and I would be a little concerned, but not overly concerned if it was mine. With a 1200 lb tongue weight I would check the receiver rating though. Weight distribution is spot on with almost exactly the same front axle weight.


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Old 05-14-2016, 01:05 PM   #3
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I had virtually the same truck and I was 200# over weight but within the maximum axle ratings. I drove it that way for two years without any problem. Also I quit carrying so much unneeded "stuff". If my wife HAD to bring extra I just said, "put it in the back of the trailer". Also all my tanks were always empty. All that to say you can minimize the weight. Over time some of the stuff migrated back to the truck and trailer.

Last April I bought a 3/4 ton Chevy. It has weight capacity left over.
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Old 05-14-2016, 01:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I bought this truck just for towing. It's all I use it for and really like it. I didn't buy a 3/4 ton because I wanted the 6.2L engine and it only comes in the 1/2 ton max tow option and the towing capabilities were not that much different. I thought I had plenty of payload until I actually weighed it. I roughed out 1000 lbs. tongue weight based on dry weight and was surprised I was at 1200 lbs. What really makes me wonder is the GCWR of truck at 7200 when I have axle capacity of 8150. I can adjust cargo to get within weights. I just checked and the receiver is rated at 1100 lbs. with WDH. Looks like I am 100 lbs. over on it. I suspect my topper has a lot to do with rear truck weights being over. This is by far the fastest truck I have owned. Really fun to take out with all the nanny controls turned off and race these other trucks and blow them away with my old man truck
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Old 05-14-2016, 02:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EDABEUT View Post
Thanks for the replies. I bought this truck just for towing. It's all I use it for and really like it. I didn't buy a 3/4 ton because I wanted the 6.2L engine and it only comes in the 1/2 ton max tow option and the towing capabilities were not that much different. I thought I had plenty of payload until I actually weighed it. I roughed out 1000 lbs. tongue weight based on dry weight and was surprised I was at 1200 lbs. What really makes me wonder is the GCWR of truck at 7200 when I have axle capacity of 8150. I can adjust cargo to get within weights. I just checked and the receiver is rated at 1100 lbs. with WDH. Looks like I am 100 lbs. over on it. I suspect my topper has a lot to do with rear truck weights being over. This is by far the fastest truck I have owned. Really fun to take out with all the nanny controls turned off and race these other trucks and blow them away with my old man truck
Topper can't weigh more than 200 can it? You're scaring me about pulling my windjammer down to Florida.
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Old 05-14-2016, 03:08 PM   #6
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If you want to wonder some more my Ford truck's GVWR is 9200 and axle ratings are 5600 and 6100. GM doesn't put your engine in the 2500/3500 because it has an aluminum block. It's a great engine but not nearly as durable as the 6.0L. I would keep a close eye on your water and transmission temperatures towing that much weight. Like I said earlier, I would be concerned but not overly concerned.


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Old 05-14-2016, 08:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by EDABEUT View Post
I thought this would be easy but after looking at my actual truck/trailer weights and the Cat scaled weights I am more confused. Here are my scaled weights and truck weights. Looks to me I am over on my GVWR by 340 lbs. and over on rear GAWR by 60 lbs. Not sure why my truck says 7200 GVWR when I have axle capacity of 8150. Tires have 10,200 lbs. so the frame must be the limiting factor???? It also looks like I am over on payload by 280 lbs. So what do you guys come up with looking at this info ? Truck was loaded as we tow and has a fiberglass topper on it. Trailer was loaded as normal with 1/3 full fresh water tank. I have extra GCWR so I think if I just added more fresh water in the tank I can remove some tongue weight and rear axle weight.
First, you aren't confused. You might not be happy, but you aren't confused.

I ran your numbers through my site at:
Actual Weights - Travel Trailer/Bumper Pull Weights from CAT Scales - Towing Planner

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So, yes- you're over the rear axle capacity by 60 lbs.

Yes- you're over GVWR by 340 lbs.

Yes- it is common that the GVWR is less than the steer axle + drive axle. No one knows how the GVWR is attained. Though, there are never ending theories.

The good news is that you're at 14% tongue weight and can fair to reduce that a little. I would think you could likely get under the rear axle weight. That's only 60 lbs. I wouldn't be enthusiastic about being over on that.

Basically what you're seeing is a reality for 1/2 ton trucks- especially as you add your personal touches to the truck and goodies into it. My family, our stuff, and what I've done to the truck eats a good 1,200 lbs. of payload right out of the gate (I'm a hefty guy, what can I say?).
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:51 PM   #8
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You're scaring me about pulling my windjammer down to Florida.
IMO, this is why everyone should way. It's a great learning experience.
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:37 PM   #9
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Thanks Ependydad for taking the time to run my numbers. It confirms my math was correct. It looks like I need to take at least 100 lbs. off the rear of truck which is easy to do. I am not to concerned about being over the GVWR as long as I am under the axle weights since it seems to be fudged number anyway. I am more concerned now on the factory hitch weight max of 1100 lbs. I think without changing anything just adding 15 more gallons of water in the tank will fix that. Also probably upgrading my WDH
will help since I am running a older heavier one. I would like to know how hot the rear end fluid gets.

I always keep my eye on all fluid temps when towing and have only seen my trany temp go up to 220 towing thru the Rockies on a 90 degree day.
Water temp never over 220 but this truck runs hot anyway at 200 all the time. It does have dual electric fans that helps keep it cooled down and oil and trany coolers. I am heading to the Smokey's next month so we can give it another good test. Hope to meet you all at Goshen in August.
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:26 AM   #10
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I've never weighed, and I've stared at these slips for a while and they're confusing me.
So I'll just ask.

The gross weight is 14940 on one slip and 14740 on another, then 14780 on another. I don't understand how this could change if you didn't remove anything?
Since the gross weight is over 14000 on all 3 tickets, did you just unhook while on the scales and weigh again? As in pull on scale, weigh, unhook wdh and weigh, and then unhook trailer and weigh all in one pass?

I'm trying to figure all this out before I make a trip to a scale. I thought I'd have to make 3 trips through there, one without the trailer.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:09 AM   #11
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Good catch Kingfisher. Looks like someone was out of the truck for the last two weighings.


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Old 05-15-2016, 09:06 PM   #12
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Since I was surprised when I got to the scales I will share my experience. First off I had printed out the procedure from this forum so I had a pretty good idea what to do. I also had weighed my last trailer 2 years ago at the same scale but I know now I did it all wrong. The Cat scale by my house is at a truck stop off I-75 which is quit busy so a little intimidating being around all the trucks. I was on our first trip heading north to Traverse City for the weekend on a Friday morning and was loaded as it would normally be. I caught a break when I got there because the Cat Scale repair crew was there cleaning and servicing it. They had just installed a call button down lower on the pole. I remember last time the call button to call the scale operator was at semi height and I had to pull up and stand in the truck doorway just to reach the button. I pulled off to the side of scale and went inside to let them know I was going to take 3 weights and that it would take awhile. They were really helpful and said no problem and also recommended I do a tandem weigh which would cost less. (someone can correct me here on what kind of weigh it is called) It was $10.50 for the first weigh and $2.00 for the next 2. I had a plan on how to most efficiently take the three weights but I was told that I had to drive off and then back on between each weigh to reset the scale. That through my plan out the window as I had never heard anyone mention this before. So what I did was drive onto scale as is for the first weigh. So it was truck front axle on scale 1, rear axle on scale 2 and both trailer axles on scale 3 with WDH attached. Wife and dog in truck but me outside standing on scale I so I could hit the call button for them to take the weight. It actually takes about 10-20 seconds and they call back and say ok done and ready for next weigh. I then backed off the scale completely and then pulled back on. Same as first weigh with truck front axle on scale 1, rear axle on scale 2 and trailer axles on scale 3. I then had to run jack down to raise trailer and remove equalizer and sway bars then run jack back down to have full tongue weight on truck. First mistake and weight discrepancy is I laid the bars down off the scale to the side. Then went to hit call button and I was standing on scale 1 but wife was standing on scale 2. My truck just barely fit with axles on scale 1 and 2 and when it was I could not sit inside and hit the call button. In hind site I should have jumped back in truck before they did the weigh. Anyway after weigh 2 I then backed off scale again and pulled back on but this time I had the whole trailer sitting on scale 3 so when I unhooked it the front tongue jack and axles were all on scale 3. I then pulled the truck forward so it was on scale 1 and 2 like before. This gave me the actual loaded truck weight and trailer weight. Except next mistake was wife was outside standing on scale 3 and I had put the bars back by trailer ready to install. Really hard to get this all done correctly. Glad I did not have any trucks waiting to weigh. So after weigh 3 I hooked back up drove off and parked and went inside to get my weight slips and pay. All together it probably took me 20 minutes to complete the whole thing. Hope this helps. All I can say is have a plan and be ready to move fast.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:02 AM   #13
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I don't rush, but I also don't dilly-dally on the scale. Slow and steady win the race. I pull onto the scale with the combo hitched up like normal. I stand on the truck's running boards in order to reach the call button. That gets my first weighing.

For a fifth wheel, you only need 2 weighings:
1) Truck + camper
2) Truck-only
Reference: Learn To RV: How to Weigh a Fifth Wheel Camper (at CAT Scales)

For a travel trailer, you need 3:
1) Truck + camper w/ WDH engaged
2) Truck + camper w/o WDH engaged
3) Truck-only
Reference: Learn To RV: How to Weigh a Travel Trailer

After the first weighing, I then drive off the scale (forward, not backward) and make whatever changes I need to in the parking lot where I'm out of the way of everyone. While that happens, my wife goes inside and pays for the first weighing and gets the weight slip. Once she's back and everyone is in the vehicle where they were the first time, THEN I pull back onto the scale.

After the second weighing, I again drive off the scale (forward, not backward) and do the needful. Just remember, all weighings need everyone in their same seats/spots for consistency.

I've read about folks here unhitching on the scale and I've also read about scalemasters telling people to NOT do that. In fact, I believe I read a CAT scale sign that said don't do it. When I need to unhitch, I park the setup in a truck parking space or wholly off to the side somewhere it's not in the way. (Truthfully, this is the most nervewracking part for me.)

Once I have all of the numbers, I plug them into my other site:
Actual Weight Utilities - Towing Planner
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by EDABEUT View Post
Thanks Ependydad for taking the time to run my numbers. It confirms my math was correct. It looks like I need to take at least 100 lbs. off the rear of truck which is easy to do. I am not to concerned about being over the GVWR as long as I am under the axle weights since it seems to be fudged number anyway. I am more concerned now on the factory hitch weight max of 1100 lbs. I think without changing anything just adding 15 more gallons of water in the tank will fix that. Also probably upgrading my WDH
will help since I am running a older heavier one. I would like to know how hot the rear end fluid gets.

I always keep my eye on all fluid temps when towing and have only seen my trany temp go up to 220 towing thru the Rockies on a 90 degree day.
Water temp never over 220 but this truck runs hot anyway at 200 all the time. It does have dual electric fans that helps keep it cooled down and oil and trany coolers. I am heading to the Smokey's next month so we can give it another good test. Hope to meet you all at Goshen in August.


Personally I towed heavier. I also had a fireballs cap. That thing weighed 500 lbs, I went with a soft Tonneau cover and made everything right with my TT and the F 150. I have two the 5.4 V8 and Ecoboost. Both were within rating and would have performed better with E rated tires.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:16 AM   #15
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That's interesting I never seen a sign and the operator knew what I was doing and the CAT scale service people watched me do everything and never said anything. So if you don't unhook on the scale you really never get the true total weight of the RV or am I missing something here ????
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:15 AM   #16
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That's interesting I never seen a sign and the operator knew what I was doing and the CAT scale service people watched me do everything and never said anything. So if you don't unhook on the scale you really never get the true total weight of the RV or am I missing something here ????
I swear I took a photo of the sign, but I can't find it. Story of my dang life.

But you can get the true total weight of the trailer by adding the hitch weight + the trailer axles weight. To get the hitch weight, you have to do some math between the loaded and unloaded weights. That's where my towingplanner.com site comes in handy.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:20 AM   #17
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For a travel trailer, you need 3:
1) Truck + camper w/ WDH engaged
2) Truck + camper w/o WDH engaged
3) Truck-only
Reference: Learn To RV: How to Weigh a Travel Trailer
ependydad, when looking at the excellent instructions in the above link, task 3 reads:

"Weighing Truck Only; park the travel trailer in a truck parking spot, put the WDH bars with the travel trailer (locked inside) and come back around to just weigh the truck"

When mentioned "...put the WDH bars with the travel trailer...", does one leave the hitch itself in place on the truck?

Thanks in advance for the response...and for the neat site once I get weighed.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:22 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by windsurfdog View Post
ependydad, when looking at the excellent instructions in the above link, task 3 reads:

"Weighing Truck Only; park the travel trailer in a truck parking spot, put the WDH bars with the travel trailer (locked inside) and come back around to just weigh the truck"

When mentioned "...put the WDH bars with the travel trailer...", does one leave the hitch itself in place on the truck?

Thanks in advance for the response...and for the neat site once I get weighed.
I think I would leave it in the truck, but I am curious what others say.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:48 PM   #19
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Help With Deciphering Scaled Weights

You should leave the hitch on and put the bars in the back end of the pickup behind the axle. They are not really tongue weight but should be applied against the truck's payload. Personally I think the hitch and bar weight should be added to the tongue weight when looking at the receiver rating, but people have different opinions on that.


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Old 05-16-2016, 03:26 PM   #20
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Again, most 2500 and F250s can tow considerably more than 1500 and F150s but the max payload may be less than a 1500 or F150 with the heavy duty payload package. Just check the driver door and post stickers, some 2500 and F25 owners were surprised.
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