Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-04-2021, 11:08 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 35
Nervous after visit to Cat Scales. Would love your advice!

Hey all, thank you for however you can guide me, I’m relatively new to this and trying to keep safe for my wife and I and our four kiddos.

Long story trying to keep short, in trying to figure out where I should be putting bikes and deciding if we need to upgrade our TV to a 2500 level truck, I decided to weigh the trailer in a more “camping” setup loaded with most of our gear. Only things missing was food and having the propane tanks completely topped off. The results kind of shocked me to see how heavy we actually were. Also in the process I weighed with and without our WDH bars attached and those results also kind of shocked me. So below I’ll put all the specs I can think of and what my questions are at this point.


SPECS
Tow Vehicle
2015 Chevy Suburban EcoTech 5.3L V8 With the 3.08 Rear Axle
GCWR 12,000 / GVWR 7300 / Towing Capacity 6,300
(Max Trailering package is 14,000/8,300)
Contents were me alone (252 lbs) and a moderate level of stuff from what the kids bring into the care)

Trailer
2011 Forest River Surveyor 235RKS
Dry Weight 4591 / GVWR 7476
Contents were all of our camping gear, no liquid in the tanks, but about half way filled on the tongue tanks propane)

WEIGHTS
Weigh 1 (TV & Trailer, no WDH Bars)
Steer Axle - 2560 lbs
Drive Axle - 4200 lbs
Trailer Axle - 4960 lbs
Total Weight - 11720 lbs

Weigh 2 (TV & Trailer, with WDH Bars)
Steer Axle - 2720 lbs
Drive Axle - 4000 lbs
Trailer Axle - 5020 lbs
Total Weight - 11740 lbs

Weigh 3 (TV only)
Steer Axle - 3020 lbs
Drive Axle - 3080 lbs
Trailer Axle - 00 lbs
Total Weight - 6100 lbs

QUESTIONS
1. Shouldn’t the WDH bars have shifted more weight forward on the TV than they are, with these weight results, should I adjust them?
2. I don’t have the max towing package on the Suburban, but from what I see it’s mostly a trans cooler and a different rear axle. I have added the cooler but would I be able to up my gross by swapping the rear axle?
3. By the weights below can I assume the tongue weight of 600 lbs? I don’t have a scale but have been wondering how to get this number.
4. What else am I not thinking of here, I’m way too close to gross considering I have my wife, 4 younger kids and a dog to add into the TV, and propane to add to the trailer.

(Edit 1: Payload sticker uploaded in message #4 below)

Thank you so much for any help you can give!
lavaweb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 11:28 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 163
You need payload number on the door sticker of the TV to finish calculations..
1100mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 11:38 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
rsdata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Northern KY
Posts: 5,110
Quote:
You need payload number on the door sticker
X2

looks like this will say cargo capacity

are you towing in the mountains of flat land?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	payload.jpg
Views:	225
Size:	205.5 KB
ID:	253586  
__________________
"nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle."
Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell pg. 2, June 11, 1807

2014 Shamrock 183
2014 RAM 1500 Bighorn Crew Cab, HEMI, 3.21 gears, 8 Spd, 4X4 TST TPMS
rsdata is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 12:04 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 35
Sorry about that. Here it is.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 10.03.18 AM.jpg
Views:	246
Size:	271.0 KB
ID:	253591  
lavaweb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 12:05 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
U.S.ArmyVeteran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 842
2. I donít have the max towing package on the Suburban, but from what I see itís mostly a trans cooler and a different rear axle. I have added the cooler but would I be able to up my gross by swapping the rear axle?


A 3.08 rear axle is not ideal for towing. And the gear ratio is one of the more important components for proper towing. The closer to 4.00 the better. And it is a fairly inexpensive way of improving your tow capacity. If you have four wheel drive you would have to replace front also.

Just keep in mind that it will still not change the "legal" tow capacity of your Suburban. I am not sure where this would come into play, but I am sure the TOW POLICE will remind me.........

Good Luck!
U.S.ArmyVeteran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 12:06 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 42
First off disregard the payload sticker it has nothing to do with towing at a legal weight. Axle weights, tire loads, GCWR and GVWR are what you need to stay under. Payload sticker is just a guide.

What you need is the front and rear axle gross weight ratings (white sticker in the door jamb that has the VIN number on it), and the rear tire max load numbers.

Congrats on running onto a CAT scale, this is above and beyond what most people would do.

Take the total weight of the combo - 11720 minus the TV weight 6100. Your trailer weighs 5620 lbs

To get the tongue weight of the trailer take the rear axle weight without the WDH bars (4200) and subtract the unloaded rear axle weight of the TV (3080). 4200-3080=1120 lbs tongue weight. Thats a lot of tongue weight for such a light trailer and the propane is not full yet.

Yes, your WDH needs more transfer. The ultimate goal is to achieve the same steer axle weight of the unloaded TV with the WDH bars engaged. 3020 - 2720 = 300 lbs more weight need on your steer axle for proper adjustment. Depending on your hitch you could add a single washer to the hitch head to tilt the ball back which will exert more force on the bars.
Dirthawg_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 12:06 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdata View Post

are you towing in the mountains of flat land?
Little bit of both to be honest. Southern California here, sometimes up to the mountains and sometimes out to the beach.
lavaweb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 12:12 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 956
experience with a 5.3 and 3.08 gears. Trailer was quite a bit heavier but it did NOT work. Changed to 3.73 gears and much better but still not enough truck. The tall gears will KILL your transmission. I went through 3 and finally added a REAL trans cooler. If you continue with the TV, get a good trans cooler, they're easy to install.
nayther is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 12:24 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nayther View Post
experience with a 5.3 and 3.08 gears. Trailer was quite a bit heavier but it did NOT work. Changed to 3.73 gears and much better but still not enough truck. The tall gears will KILL your transmission. I went through 3 and finally added a REAL trans cooler. If you continue with the TV, get a good trans cooler, they're easy to install.
From what the show told me I have the biggest one they can put on there. Thank you so much for the reply!
lavaweb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 12:44 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 804
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100mike View Post
You need payload number on the door sticker of the TV to finish calculations..
I have to disagree. Payload number is useless for you because you know what the truck's GVWR and it's ready to travel weight from the CAT scale. That tells you how much extra stuff you can still load into the truck. 7300lb-6720lb= 580lbs of payload still available.
You have a MUCH MORE meaningful numbers using the CAT scale.

Weight wise your safe just need to transfer more weight back to the steer axle by adjusting your hitch.

Safe travels
__________________
2019 F150 4X4 7050 GVWR 1903 payload
2018 Avenger 21RBS 7700 GVWR
Mike134 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 01:12 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirthawg_ View Post
Yes, your WDH needs more transfer. The ultimate goal is to achieve the same steer axle weight of the unloaded TV with the WDH bars engaged. 3020 - 2720 = 300 lbs more weight need on your steer axle for proper adjustment. Depending on your hitch you could add a single washer to the hitch head to tilt the ball back which will exert more force on the bars.
Thank you so much for the response! So here's the thing, there's probably three washers already in there. I can grab a pic of the ball angle if needed. But I'm worried my setup is all kind of jacked now, especially if that's how much tongue weight I have going onto the truck...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 11.11.44 AM.png
Views:	142
Size:	1.06 MB
ID:	253608  
lavaweb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 01:34 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavaweb View Post
Thank you so much for the response! So here's the thing, there's probably three washers already in there. I can grab a pic of the ball angle if needed. But I'm worried my setup is all kind of jacked now, especially if that's how much tongue weight I have going onto the truck...

Now we have all the info you need except for your tire loads. Those will be located on the sidewall of the tire.

4200 lbs max on your rear axle to stay compliant with the DOT. The rear axle is actually rated to hold more than the number listed but it is not advisable to exceed that number. This is totally up to you as the driver. Hopefully your tires are rated to haul 2100 lbs each. If not you will want to upgrade to a higher load rating.

You are riding right on the line with this TV and trailer and you haven't added the family yet.

I would suggest, if possible move some weight to the rear of the trailer, tighten the spring bars by adding a washer, load up the family and re-weigh just as you did before.

How does the truck handle the trailer as it is set right now? That is the biggest factor even if you are a smidge overloaded.
__________________
2016 F250 6.7L
2021 Grand Surveyor 272FLS
Dirthawg_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 01:50 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirthawg_ View Post
How does the truck handle the trailer as it is set right now? That is the biggest factor even if you are a smidge overloaded.
Thank you! Will check all of my tire ratings and update, and then load the family up for a good 'ole trip to the Cat Scales!!! :P

The truck pulls this trailer like a dream! No bouncing when the bars are on, and I haven't (cross fingers) had any sway issues!
lavaweb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 02:14 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Blackrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SE Arizona's Gila Vally
Posts: 1,430
I'm on the way to the CAT scale.
Attached Images
 
__________________
2016 RAM 1500 - 2016 Keystone Laredo 265SRK
The road goes on forever and the party never ends.
Illegitimum non carborundum
Blackrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 03:38 PM   #15
Just as confused as you
 
Scrapper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: south central Wisconsin
Posts: 5,107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackrock View Post
I'm on the way to the CAT scale.
With that spread axle you need to shift some weight from the tv to the front of the trailer.
__________________
Richard & Jill
2014 Flagstaff 832IKBS Classic Super Lite
2018 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Z71 4WD All Star Edition
Camping since 1989, Seasonal since 2000.
Car Shredder Op/Tech, Scrap Metal Recycling - retired
Scrapper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 03:53 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Lins's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Yellowknife
Posts: 1,106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirthawg_ View Post
First off disregard the payload sticker it has nothing to do with towing at a legal weight. Axle weights, tire loads, GCWR and GVWR are what you need to stay under. Payload sticker is just a guide.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike134 View Post
I have to disagree. Payload number is useless for you because you know what the truck's GVWR and it's ready to travel weight from the CAT scale. That tells you how much extra stuff you can still load into the truck. 7300lb-6720lb= 580lbs of payload still available.
You have a MUCH MORE meaningful numbers using the CAT scale.
Thank you, I wish people would stop focusing so much on that one placard and actually look at the big picture.
__________________
2007 Rockwood 2701SS
2017 Ram 2500 Granite Crystal SAP Laramie 6.7L
2014 Triumph Bonneville. NH Togas, tuned
1953 GMC 9314
1982 GoldWing Interstate
Lins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 06:24 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,153
Your tongue weight is 660. Truck weight in ticket1 minus truck weight in ticket 3. 6760 - 6100.

Yes, you should transfer a bit more of the front axle weight back to the front axle if possible.
__________________

2011 Flagstaff 831FKBSS
2010 F250 4X4 5.4L 3.73 LS
EQUALIZER E4 1200/12000
lbrjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 07:36 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrjet View Post
Your tongue weight is 660. Truck weight in ticket1 minus truck weight in ticket 3. 6760 - 6100.

Yes, you should transfer a bit more of the front axle weight back to the front axle if possible.
I stand corrected. I was accounting for the weight transfer from the TV front axle to the rear axle, which is more important than the actual tongue weight of the trailer.

My Apologies
__________________
2016 F250 6.7L
2021 Grand Surveyor 272FLS
Dirthawg_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 08:21 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 941
First off, what WDH are you using, and what bar weights does it have? Second, was it properly set up from scratch per the manual. Weight wise, you are fine, my fully loaded Platinum F150 towed more than that and stayed within specs.

If the ball height is correct, the trailer is level, but your front fender is not at or very near unloaded height, and you ran out of links, then it is possible the bars are too light. If you still have links, and the trailer is level, your ball is too high. Most WDH will specify the ball to be 1 inch above the top of the level trailers socket, some may require 2".

In essence you need to transfer another 300 pounds to the front axle. Your TW is 1120 - WDH weight on the ball unless you weighed empty with the WDH on and bars in the bed. You need at least 1200 pound bars for that tongue weight.

All told, you will need to transfer 460 forward, and 230 back for a good set up based on your scale numbers.
Bhrava is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2021, 08:37 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 804
To the OP

As you can see information from a forum can vary from useful to wrong. I've always used the analogy that asking in a forum is the same as asking the guys sitting along the bar what they think. Can be some good answers and then there are those not so good.

You have 2 different answers to what your tongue weight is, one at 660 the other at 1100. I'll leave it to you to educate yourself how to determine tongue weight based on the 3 pass method you used at the cat scale for the correct answer. I'm curious when you weighed the truck alone did you have the hitch and sway bars in/on the truck so they don't factor into your tongue weight calculation?

Good luck, safe travels
__________________
2019 F150 4X4 7050 GVWR 1903 payload
2018 Avenger 21RBS 7700 GVWR
Mike134 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cat, scales

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:12 AM.