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Old 03-31-2006, 05:49 PM   #1
Bill Frisbee
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M.O.C. #4493
Weight being carried versus weight being towed

This may be a dumb question ... but if my fifth wheel weighs 14,000 lbs with a hitch weight of 2,000 lbs, when it is hooked to my pick-up am I

(1)carrying 2,000 lbs and towing 14,000 lbs? OR

(2)carrying 2,000 lbs and towing 12,000 lbs? OR

(3)some other combination?

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:14 PM   #2
JH Sechelt
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(1) sounds right to me.
but who knows. The pros should be along shortly.

J & D
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Old 03-31-2006, 06:50 PM   #3
Garin1
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Now what was the name of that television program that used to teach us this stuff? Oh Yea, "Bill Nye, the science guy"
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:10 AM   #4
Montana Sky
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#2 sounds more like it to me.

If you were "carrying" 14,000 lbs on the rear axles and 2,000 on the kingpin that would give your coach a GVWR of 16,000 lbs. Having 12,000 on the axles would be approx. 6,000 per axle and that would keep you inline with the CC (carrying capacity) of the coach.

For my specific coach I have something like 11,200 lbs on the axles and 2,100 lbs on the kingpin bringing my "total weight" to 13,300 lbs.
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:29 AM   #5
Countryfolks
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It needs to be referenced to something; ie., the rear tires or the motor, etc. The motor is providing power to move the total weight of the entire setup, the weight on the 5er axles, the pin weight and the weight of the TV. That being said, # 2 is what's happening, you're moving 14k + the truck, with part of the weight being carried and part being towed.

Skip
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:34 AM   #6
OntMont
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About a year ago I called the Ontario MOT with this question. I was told by one of their enforcement officers that for weight enforcement purposes, the part of the trailer's weight that is carried by the truck is not counted as part of the trailer weight. In his words the trailer weight is "that part of the total weight that is transmitted to the road through the trailer wheels".

I think this translates to option (2).
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Old 04-01-2006, 05:45 AM   #7
carlson
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14,000 lbs is 14,000 lbs.
When the 5th wheel is hooked up the 2,000 hitch pin weight is spread onto the TV weight some to the front and most to the rear.
Then the weight on the 5th wheel 4 tires is 12,000 lbs.
Just my thoughts
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:28 AM   #8
sreigle
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Number 1 is correct. You are carrying (payload) 2000 in the truck and towing 14000. Good question.
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Old 04-01-2006, 06:49 AM   #9
firetrucker
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Another way of looking at it is how much are the axles supporting and how much is the TV pulling. The gross weight (GVW) of the trailer is what the TV is pulling, part of the GCW and GCWR of the combination. Here are the definitions of these alphabet soups (thanks to RV.net):

GVW: Gross Vehicle Weight - the actual weight of a vehicle.

GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: The maximum allowed GVW for a vehicle.

GCW: Gross Combined Weight: The total weight of everything - tow vehicle, trailer, etc.

GCWR: The maximum allowed GCW.

GAW (front or rear): The Gross Axle Weight - the amount of weight on that particular axle.

GAWR (front or rear): The Gross Axle Weight Rating: The maximum allowed GAW.

UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight, also know as "Dry Weight". This is the weight of a trailer with no liquids or options. The GVW of the trailer will usually be 500-1500 pounds more than this number.

Tow Rating: The rated towing capacity of a tow vehicle - generally based upon curb weight plus one 150-lb driver. This number is NOT designed as an indicator of what you can tow under normal conditions, but it is useful for comparisons.

Actual towing capacity is about 1,000 pounds less that the tow rating, or, to be more accurate, it's GCWR-GVW (of the TV), provided that the number you get is less than the tow rating, which it may not be for certain vehicles (it's pretty unusual - mostly heavier duty trucks).

A note on GVWR and GCWR: Sometimes odd things happen with GVWR and GCWR on larger trucks especially. The thing to remember is that neither GVWR nor GCWR can be exceeded safely.

I hope that helps rather than confuses.

Bob
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Old 04-02-2006, 07:22 AM   #10
drhowell
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The best way to actually see what is happening with your static weight transfers is to weigh the trailer unhooked from the TV and then weigh the pickup the same way along with individual front and rear pickup axle weights. Then with the pickup and trailer hooked up ready to go run each axle or set of axles over the scale to get individual axle weights. You can then determine how much of the total trailer weight is transfered to the pin (pickup rear axle) and the pickup front axle.

I also agree with Steve and Firetrucker. Of course if you want to get really precise you need to take into account the % of grade you are pulling or descending as that also transfers some of the weight. But now we are getting a little off course. For most purposes just basic round numbers give us all the information we need for GVW's and GCW's.

As firetrucker said; " A note on GVWR and GCWR: Sometimes odd things happen with GVWR and GCWR on larger trucks especially. The thing to remember is that neither GVWR nor GCWR can be exceeded safely." AMEN
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:29 AM   #11
sreigle
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Firetrucker, interestingly, I read in one of the Ford tow guides their ratings are based on both driver and passenger being onboard.

On my earlier reply, I replied before seeing OntMont's post. His info came from a govt entity and would apply in situations like licensing the tow vehicle, etc. But to me I'm still towing 14,360 lbs as that would not be there if the trailer were not connected. That doesn't mean I'm right. It just seems more logical to me to say I'm towing 14360 lbs rather than to say I'm towing 11,060 pounds and carrying 3,300 lbs.
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Old 04-02-2006, 09:51 AM   #12
firetrucker
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I've seen comments about the way people load up their TVs without regard to its GVWR and the GCWR, and the fact that Ford is being a little more realistic is some improvement.

When I first started looking for a TV, I ignored what the salesmen were telling me and went to the published specs. I guess driving emergency vehicles for the last 23 years stuck with me and made me safety conscious. By the time I added up all the things I wanted to carry in the TV, I couldn't find a TV that met the budget and wasn't overloaded. That drove Sharon crazy and is why she found Big Red. Now that's one worry that never crosses my mind (not Sharon being crazy, but how much the TV is loaded).

You've got to be able to stop safely!!

Bob
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Old 04-02-2006, 01:51 PM   #13
sreigle
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Reading through this one again... I would say none of the above. To me it's carrying 2,000, PULLING 12,000, and towing 14,000. This one obviously is not going to have an answer everyone agrees to. Sorry, Bill.

Whatever we say, if I say to you that I'm towing 11,060 pounds, that gives you the wrong impression. You relate the unhitched truck weight and 11060 as the trailer weight. If I say I'm towing 14,360, then you get a more accurate feel for the overall. I'm using 'you' in the generic sense, not you Bill.

Also, I don't think the manufacturers' tow ratings mean what's on the trailer axles. I suspect they mean the total weight of the trailer. I do, however, understand the technical argument that the pinweight is in the bed of the truck but I still don't think that is what the tow ratings mean. GVWR takes into account the pinweight, however.
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Old 04-02-2006, 02:30 PM   #14
Montana Sky
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When talking about towing and weight I usually use the Gross Weight of the trailer when saying "I am towing 13,300 lbs". I have never really thought about saying I am towing 11,100 lbs and carrying 2,100 lbs on the rear axle on the truck. Not really sure there is a right or wrong answer to this one...
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Old 04-02-2006, 05:27 PM   #15
firetrucker
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If you look at the work the TV is doing by pulling (towing), whether the trailer is connected to a hitch over the axle, or to a hitch behind the TV, that is the weight (plus the weight of the TV including its load) that the TV must accelerate or decelerate. That relates to the stress on the rear end, drive train, transmission, engine, and brakes. That's why there's a GCWR, an upper limit (with a safety factor) on those stresses.

The vertical loads are limited by the GAWR, based on the weakest link in the suspension (and, probably, the general stability of the TV).

IMHO

Bob
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:52 AM   #16
sreigle
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by firetrucker

If you look at the work the TV is doing by pulling (towing), whether the trailer is connected to a hitch over the axle, or to a hitch behind the TV, that is the weight (plus the weight of the TV including its load) that the TV must accelerate or decelerate. That relates to the stress on the rear end, drive train, transmission, engine, and brakes. That's why there's a GCWR, an upper limit (with a safety factor) on those stresses.

The vertical loads are limited by the GAWR, based on the weakest link in the suspension (and, probably, the general stability of the TV).

IMHO

Bob
Correct, Bob. Our GCW (scaled) with full diesel, full water, both of us and all gear, etc., is 22,920. GCWR on our F250 is 23,000. So we're under the rating. Barely.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:32 AM   #17
Bill Frisbee
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Bob, I like the notion of "vertical" (suspension) load and "horizontal" (towing) load. Would seem that as long as the combined weight of the truck and Montana stay within the GCWR and IF I am as close as possible to the GVWR of my truck when all hooked-up, the "horizontal" load should not be an issue.

Bill
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:22 PM   #18
firetrucker
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Bill,

The first time out, we probably overdid the GVWR of the Monty...there's way more space than there is cargo capacity in the 3400. That's the only problem we'd ever tun into. It was pretty easy to shed some weight; we either left it behind, got lighter versions, or put it in the TV.

I know there are people running over the GCWR who are on borrowed time. Running at the GCWR means you're playing the game by following their rules. To me it just means that all the brakes better be in top condition. I think it's a lot more important to be able to stop quickly than go quickly (of course, that may be because I have to go through 7 gears to get to speed, and the brakes are designed to handle a lot more than just the TV).

Bob
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Old 04-03-2006, 02:35 PM   #19
Bill Frisbee
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Bob, I agree with the "shedding weight" strategy. The first thing I shed was the 500 lbs of fresh water the dealer put in when we picked up the new Monty. Given the way we use the Monty at this point, there is no need to haul that weight around. With my TV, we have a GCWR of 23,000 lbs. Assuming that the TV is at its max GVWR of 9900 lbs when the Monty is hooked up and assuming that the "factory door" weight of the Monty is the 11,650 lbs stated in the specs, that leaves only 1,450 additional lbs if I am to stay within GCWR. If it is not absolutely necessary, we do not haul it. If it is necessary, it better be LIGHTWEIGHT!

Bill
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:07 PM   #20
Wrenchtraveller
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Your GVWR is the maximum weight of your particular truck and it's payload. Options and people are part of the payload. You must weigh your particular truck to know your legal payload.
It sounds anal but your truck's legal payload even changes as your fuel tank empties.

Your GCWR is everything, payload and trailer and you are pulling the full weight of your Fiver even though the pin weight has become part of your payload........you still tow it all.

You can be legal on your combined weight and still be legally overloaded on your GVWR and most 3/4 ton trucks with Montys are over their GVWR.

If you add the front and rear axle ratings, they will always come to more than the GVWR, that is the safety factor, but what you go by is the GVWR.

Very, very simple............ with the Monty on tow, weigh the front axle of your truck and the rear axle of your truck ( this of course will have your pin weight too )

If your two truck axles add up to more than your GVWR, no ifs, buts , & ors.....you are overweight on your GVWR.

Now weigh your Monty's axles and add the weight of all 3 parts, the trucks front axle, the trucks rear axle and the Monty's axle. If they add up to more than your GCWR, than you are overweight on your GCWR.

Your Monty's GVWR is the total weight of the Fiver and that includes the pin weight.
To find if your Monty is overweight, you have to weigh your truck unhitched to the Monty.
Then weigh the entire unit and subtract the weight of the truck. Confusing.........you bet.

But to answer Bill's question, yes, you are towing 14000 pounds and you have added 2000 pounds of payload because of the pin weight.
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