Lessons learned from a trip across the scales
Just wanted to share my experience at the CAT scales both as an education tool, and to put some more real-world numbers out there. I have had this towing setup for almost two years, and driven it over 10,000 miles with no issue, and thought I had more headroom than I do.
I weighed the rig exactly how I usually camp, with a full fresh water tank, full propane tanks, and just me in the cab (I weigh 165). Nothing was in the bed of the truck. I do have two GC2 6v batteries on the tongue, and a few items in the front storage compartment of the trailer.
Truck: 2018 Silverado 1500 5.3 V8 Crew Cab Standard Box 4x4
Payload (From Door Sticker) 1,630 lbs
"Tow Rating": 9,100 lbs
GVWR: 7,200 lbs
FAWR: 3,950 lbs
RAWR: 3,950 lbs
Trailer: 2017 Rockwood Mini Lite 2304
Stated Dry Weight: 4,100 lbs (From yellow sticker on trailer)
Stated Hitch Weight: 529 lbs
Stated GVWR: 5,469 lbs
Weight 1: Weight-distribution applied
Steer Axle: 3220 lbs
Drive Axle: 3520 lbs
Trailer Axle: 4280 lbs
Weight 2: Weight-Distribution Off, bars in bed
Steer Axle: 3080 lbs
Drive Axle: 3740 lbs
Trailer Axle: 4200 lbs
Weight 3: Truck Only, hitch on truck, and spring bars in bed
Steer Axle: 3400 lbs
Drive Axle: 2560 lbs
From this data, you can see that I am still under all my axle weight ratings, as well as the GVWR of the truck and trailer. I have 460 lbs of remaining payload with weight distribution applied, and my tongue weight calculates at 860 pounds. Keep in mind that's 300 lbs OVER the stated tongue weight, which shows just how unrealistic manufacturer's tongue weights are. Other than some stuff in the front storage compartment, and the two batteries, my trailer is bone stock. Each 6V battery weighs 64 pounds, so that's 128 pounds, plus the box which probably puts me around 130. But, even the stock single battery weighs at least 30-40 pounds if I had to guess, so that's only about 100 pounds additional. I know I don't have 200 pounds of stuff in the front compartment, but the fresh water tank is just ahead of the axles, so that contributes to tongue weight as well.
I am not a member of the weight police. On the contrary, I always thought that modern half-ton trucks were capable of quite a bit. But, I can see how I could easily get into trouble with this setup. If I bring my brother along on a trip, which happens once or twice a year, that's 250 lbs out of my payload, and I have 200 lbs left. Throw some firewood in there, and my Champion 3100 watt generator, and I've got nothing left. If I had a family of four, all bets are off. It's been said before, but the proof is in the pudding here. I consider a 5,000 lb trailer to be relatively light weight, and should be easily "half-ton" towable, which it is, but just barely.
Towed: 2017 Rockwood Mini Lite 2304
Tower: 2018 Silverado 1500 4x4 5.3L V8 3.42 rear end
2016 Camping Season: 62 Nights, 9,872 Miles
2017 Camping Season: 44 Nights, 4,580 Miles
2018 Camping Season: 48 nights, 7216 Miles
2019 Camping Season: 52 nights, 6721 Miles