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Old 01-22-2013, 11:56 PM   #1
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Hitch Ratings - What does this label say?

I have my new tow vehicle. The first thing I took a look at is the label on the hitch to see if I need to purchase a different hitch with larger ratings. Looking at this label I am confused as to what it is. I need some help....

Is it a Class III or Class IV. There is a huge difference. If its 1000/10,000 then I'm set for my Roo 233s. If its the 400/4000 then it needs be replaced.

TV is a 2006 Chevy Express Conversion Van. 2500/6.0/3.73

Previous discussion of towing my future camper here...
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:21 AM   #2
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The difference in the numbers relates to whether you are towing straight on the ball or using a weight distribution hitch. The
Hitch can handle a 4000 lb trailer without wdh or a 10,000 lb trailer if using a wdh. Use wdh and you will be fine towing your roo.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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Exactly as anaro said. Without a WDH, you are limited to 400lb hitch weight, and a 4,000lb trailer. WITH a WDH, you can go up to 1,000lb hitch weight and 10,000lb trailer.

Congrats on the new TV and Roo, and have fun!
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
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WARNING - that is the HITCH rating; NOT the tow vehicle's max rating.

The tow vehicle's rating depends on engine, transmission, rear end ratio, frame construction, axle ratings, brake size, etc.

It may not be even close to what your hitch is "good" for. Check your manual and the web site for your vehicle for what information you need to figure out what you can safely tow.

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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Good catch Lou.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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You mean if I put that hitch on a VW beetle and use a WDH I wont be able to pull those kind of weights?? j/k

Its always good to make sure that people understand even the simplest of things. A dealer told me that my TV I am replacing could tow a ton more weight than it actually can when you consider in all of the factors. He only looked at one.

I improved my towing with this purchase. Here is the old and the new situation.

OLD
1999 Ford E-150/5.4/3.55 Conversion Van
GVWR: 7000
GCWR: 12,000
Max Towing: 6,900
Empty Weight: 5,986 CAT CERTIFIED (Full Tank of Gas No Driver or Passengers)

NEW
2006 Chevy Express 2500/6.0/3.73 Conversion Van
GVWR: 8,300
GCWR: 14,000
Max Towing: 8,300
Empty Weight: ?? (Taking it over to be weighed this weekend)

TT:
Empty Weight: 4497
Tongue Weight: 590 Empty
Max Cargo: 1,867

My situation will have improved a bit. Not substantially but an improvement that will only be made certain when I get the TV weighed. Any thoughts or ideas what it might weigh in at? The Ford E-150 conversion which looks identical on the inside was 5,986. Now might be a good time to do a raffle. $1 tickets with the pot going to the closest guess.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:52 PM   #7
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On our trip home with the new TV we snapped this picture of a guy leaving Las Vegas and headed east. I'm wondering where he was headed and if he left anything behind! SO many situations out there where vehicles are severely over loaded and/or towing more than should ever be attempted.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarMovies View Post
On our trip home with the new TV we snapped this picture of a guy leaving Las Vegas and headed east. I'm wondering where he was headed and if he left anything behind! SO many situations out there where vehicles are severely over loaded and/or towing more than should ever be attempted.
This is my favorite one of those situations that I have come across so far!

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:35 PM   #9
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This is my favorite one of those situations that I have come across so far!

Is that legal anywhere?
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:44 PM   #10
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Is that legal anywhere?

I sure hope not!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:11 PM   #11
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I don't know I liked the 1/2 ton that was pulling a 30ft toy hauler TT with no wdh or sway control.

Weigh your TT to so you know exactly where you stand with it.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:57 PM   #12
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I went and weighed the TV today. I will weigh the TT when I pick it up in March. I was going to wait until the weekend to weigh my TV but I really was itching to see what the numbers said. Looks better than the previous TV numbers but I am going to have to throw out any ideas that this is going to be an easy tow like the popup was. When I started looking for a different TV I tried telling the co-pilot that we should get ourselves a pickup but she wouldnt have any of that. She looked at me as if I suggested we put a little kink into our marriage. The new TV being a 3/4 ton drives a whole lot more like a truck and I told her that. She corrected me rather quickly..."It's a van!" If we had went the truck route numbers would not be so tight (if I bought right). There's always hope for the next TV. Any ideas how to warm her up to pickups?

2006 Chevy Express 2500/6.0/3.73 Conversion Van
GVWR: 8,600
GCWR: 14,000
Max Towing: 8,300
Empty Weight: 6,840

TT:
Empty Weight: 4497
Tongue Weight: 590 Empty
Max Cargo: 1,867
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:26 AM   #13
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I ran the figures from your other thread. Even though you have gained 1600 lbs. of GVWR over your E150, that is not what you have gained in payload because of this being a heavier vehicle to start with......the new van weighs 1000 lbs. more, empty. But......you have gained 600 lbs. of payload over the E150........1760 lbs. vs. the 1160 lbs. of the E150.

With a properly setup WDH and sway control, this new van should work well for towing the new Roo. Enjoy.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:30 AM   #14
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The empty weight of the van; was it truly empty or was it loaded as you would when camping? IE full of family and gear with hitch installed?
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
The empty weight of the van; was it truly empty or was it loaded as you would when camping? IE full of family and gear with hitch installed?
Van had a full tank of gas. Only items inside were a couple of napkins, a frozen 12oz bottle of water (its MN), and my wallet (almost as empty as the van). No passengers either. I stood outside while it was weighed so I can know the precise weight by what I put inside when I travel and usually start off with a full tank of gas.

Hitch installed? The hitch in the picture is installed. Not sure if thats what you are referring to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
I ran the figures from your other thread. Even though you have gained 1600 lbs. of GVWR over your E150, that is not what you have gained in payload because of this being a heavier vehicle to start with......the new van weighs 1000 lbs. more, empty. But......you have gained 600 lbs. of payload over the E150........1760 lbs. vs. the 1160 lbs. of the E150.

With a properly setup WDH and sway control, this new van should work well for towing the new Roo. Enjoy.
Your figures and mine seem to be about the same. With the E-150 I was looking at being over a couple numbers (GCWR, TV GVWR) most of the time by a couple houndred pounds. Now it looks like I will be slightly under those limits with the new TV.

All of the talk on here about vans, by those who are in the know, seems to have played itself out here in that "conversion" vans truly are a heavy beast and dont offer up as much towing capacity when you match them up with their pickup counterpart.

I'm adding as you say a 1,000 lbs (empty) to the Chevy Express 2500 compared to the E-150 but my engine is getting a boost from the 5.4 to the 6.0. Will that give me any sort of boost/help towing after considering in the extra weight of the TV's at max GVWR (7,000 lbs compared to 8,600 lbs). I would have been over the 7,000 and will be darn near close to the 8,600 with the Chevy 2500.

I really believe that no conversions should be done on any 1/2 ton van, especially if you are going to tow. There are no margins at all. I have learned thru this process that I have been towing over the GVWR of my E-150 for most of the trips I have taken over the last 11 years. The van has been filled with two to three full coolers, two large bins of food (lots of it canned), four kids, and other gear. I have been over limits and only towing a popup (1,700 lbs empty). Most of the gear was stowed in the van. Comfy...NOT!

One final question...does anyone know how much those hi-top roofs weigh? Mine is a high top and I'm wondering how much, if any, weight would have been shaved off if I had purchased a low-top. My E-150 was a low-top too.

A huge thank you for all the input from everyone and the questions. I have spent lots of time researching this and the next time a TT passes me on the freeway (MPG and SPEED..more questions to come) I will never look at it the same as before when pulling the popup and I was the one doing the passing.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:35 PM   #16
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The reason I asked is that your van currently weighs 6840 pounds without you, your family, your gear, and the remaining parts of your WD hitch. With a GVWR of 8600 pounds your "payload" is 1760 pounds.

4 adults can push 750 pounds and add another 500 for tools and "travel junk"
you can be running out of available tongue weight pretty quickly.

Something to think about considering you will need to load the travel trailer for a tongue weight that is about 12% of total camper weight.

At your trailer's GVWR of 6364 pounds, the optimum tongue weight @ 12% is 764 pounds.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #17
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Yep. Not much wiggle room there. I can use every lb of margin I can get my hands on. "Kids...keep your toothbrush and ipods in the camper. Every single oz matters here!"

Here is what we are figuring on:

Van (Empty) 6,840
Passengers 750 (High End...all depends on who is coming along)
Total 7,590
Tongue Weight (Est) 764
Gear ?
Total 8,354

GVWR 8,600
Running Total 8,354
Available Weight 246

Thats pretty darn close. It's better than the E-150 where I was over the GVWR no matter how I worked the figures. This is why we upgraded. Not much of an upgrade and a word of warning to others. The good news is no more coolers. No more dry food storage bins. Most gear of any weight will go into the camper. I prefer that anyways as it gets to be like a hoarders episode otherwise. It's good to see these numbers as it will help me keep focused on how much weight is going into the van and what my margins are.

What will the WDH do to my numbers? We are having a blue ox installed.
I have never had to concern myself much with loading previously. There must be a knack to where you load items and how it affects tongue or axle weight on the TT. I'm eager to get it home, load it up, and get it to the scales. Whats the best way to weigh the tongue?
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WarMovies View Post
What will the WDH do to my numbers? We are having a blue ox installed.
I have never had to concern myself much with loading previously. There must be a knack to where you load items and how it affects tongue or axle weight on the TT. I'm eager to get it home, load it up, and get it to the scales. Whats the best way to weigh the tongue?
The WD has nothing to do with the numbers.
Tongue weight is still tongue weight.

In fact to determine tongue weight you weigh the TV and the camper hitched without the WD bars installed.

THEN you reweigh with them again with the WD bars installed to determine where, and how much, the tongue weight is redistributed (front axle and camper's wheels) to make sure you do not exceed the axle ratings.

The hitch receiver and frame sees 100% of the tongue load so that still has to be under the maximum tongue load for a WD hitch for your vehicle.

This graphic might help you to visualize what is going on. I have a vector analysis on a WD system but it is pretty complicated.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:49 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
The WD has nothing to do with the numbers.
Tongue weight is still tongue weight.

In fact to determine tongue weight you weigh the TV and the camper hitched without the WD bars installed.

THEN you reweigh with them again with the WD bars installed to determine where, and how much, the tongue weight is redistributed (front axle and camper's wheels) to make sure you do not exceed the axle ratings.

The hitch receiver and frame sees 100% of the tongue load so that still has to be under the maximum tongue load for a WD hitch for your vehicle.

This graphic might help you to visualize what is going on. I have a vector analysis on a WD system but it is pretty complicated.
Very good illustrations. Thank you.

The numbers....I am referring to the shift not elimination. This is hard to do but can an educated guess be made as to how much weight will move from the tongue to the TT axle and TV front axle? Is this what will be happening? Correct me if I'm wrong. Because if a 100 lbs shifts from the tongue to the TT axle wouldnt I theoretically lessen my TV GVWR by 100 lbs. Like I said...correct me if I'm wrong. Just about the time I feel like I'm getting this...I realize something else.

I am having a hard time finding the certification label on my Chevy van. On my Ford it was right there. Bam! I really wanna see the load ratings for each axle but I cant find the label.

Oh..and one more thing. I have the feeling I am going to get to know the people at the scales on a first name basis.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:07 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by WarMovies View Post
The numbers....I am referring to the shift not elimination. This is hard to do but can an educated guess be made as to how much weight will move from the tongue to the TT axle and TV front axle? Is this what will be happening? Correct me if I'm wrong. Because if a 100 lbs shifts from the tongue to the TT axle wouldnt I theoretically lessen my TV GVWR by 100 lbs. Like I said...correct me if I'm wrong. Just about the time I feel like I'm getting this...I realize something else.
WarMovies, with my trailer tongue weighing in around 700 lbs., when I hook up the WDH it lessens my truck weight by 160 lbs.....that extra weight is now on the trailer axles.

You should have similar results, depending on how you setup your WDH. I have my WDH setup so that I have 60 lbs. more weight on the front axle with the trailer and WDH, vs. just the truck by itself. If more weight is put on the front axle of your van, then a little more weight is shifted to the trailer axles, and more weight is taken off of the van rear axle. If less weight is put on the front axle, then less weight is shifted to the trailer, and not as much weight is taken off of the rear axle.

Just as with Lou's wheelbarrow diagram, the weight is shifted around.....there is no overall loss or gain.

Hope that makes sense.
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