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Old 09-10-2019, 01:23 PM   #1
Spletbr
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Hitch weight

Heading to Hesrshey to look for a new 5th wheel, moving up from a TT. Question...is the advertised hitch weight that the dealers show for a fully loaded trailer or dry? Do I need to add 20% of my expected gear weight or work off what they say. I am focused on not exceeding my payloads as I’m also going to upgrade from an F150 and need to decide between a 250 and 350. P
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
KimNTerry
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Forget the dry weight and brochure values.

for a fifth wheel

new "xtra lite" and "1/2 ton towable" (they aren't really for the most part) plan on 15-20% of GVWR for pin weight.

for a standard 5er plan on 20-25% of GVWR for pin weight.

Be very leary of heavily optioned 3/4 ton trucks especially diesels, they can actually have less payload than a 1/2 ton.

If you're already considering the expense of a new truck, then I suggest the 1 ton either SRW or DRW that will get you the most trailer. The delta between 3/4 and 1 ton is negligible.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:40 PM   #3
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You’re towing with a 150? So you’re speaking with experience...don’t do it? I don’t plan on using our 150 with a “half ton” FW but would like to avoid a 350 if possible for registration costs, etc.

Also want to avoid 5he diesel...can drop a 350 payload down to a gas 250 butbwelcme any/all thoughts...
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:54 PM   #4
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when we were upgrading from TT to a fifth wheel i did a TON of research on how to safely figure what your hitch weight will be.

the simplest way i found was to take the dry weight of the RV, add the listed payload capacity, which will give you the GVWR of the RV. take that number and multiply it by 0.225 and that will give you the approximate fully loaded pin weight of the RV.

if the fully loaded pin weight is 500 lbs less that your payload capacity of your current truck, you're golden. if not, it's time to look at a lighter RV or a bigger truck.

you can easily find the trucks payload capacity by looking at the yellow tire sticker on the driver's door jam.

in our case, our new 368MBI was going to be too much RV for my 2500HD Duramax by about 500 pounds, which led to me having to buy a 3500HD Duramax to get the additional 1500lbs of payload capacity i needed to safely haul that rig.

hope that helps. good luck in your search.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:55 PM   #5
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I actually do tow with a "1/2 ton towable" 5er with an F150 HDPP, it works for me and I actually really like the configurstion I use. That being said, I don't recommend it unless you have experience with a combination like this.

Sounds like a gas 250 it is for your particular circumstance.

I do recommend limiting your options on the tow vehicle as these can also kill payloads especially the Platinum and King Ranch trim levels.

Keep an eye out for the payload sticker when looking on the dealer lot. Forget about "Brochure payload" those are a myth of what the payload can be and not at all grounded in reality.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:06 PM   #6
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Hitch weight

So I have had a 150, 2500, and 3500. Here is what I have learned. 150/1500 is good for small to medium travel trailers. 2500 is great for travel trailers and small fifth wheels. 3500 works for fifth wheels and if you go really large go dually. If I was you I would go to a 3500 and have piece of mind that it should be good for your next larger RV also. Your opinion may be different but I payed a lot to learn this lesson.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:57 PM   #7
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Pin weight is somewhere around to 20% of the trailers gvwr. So if the trailer's gvwr is, say 11000 lbs pin weight will be about 2200 lbs.


And yes the advertised pin weight is trailer empty as it leaves the factory.
Remember everything in the truck including you and wife, etc is counted as payload. So if pin weight is 2200 lbs with two people, hitch and cargo your looking at 2800 lbs to 3000 lbs total payload.


And one rule of thumb...You can't have too much truck! It's always better to have too much than just enough.


Good luck shopping.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:51 PM   #8
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I will just say this having done the merry go round and still in it; get a one ton. I bought my 3/4 and it has everything I need for what I do, and maybe will ever do, but, soon I will replace it. I will go to a 1 ton simply because the payload increase opens different doors for what I may or may not want to do and the price difference is negligible. For the things you are thinking about it seems to make sense to me.

Anticipate your pin weight to be at least 20% of the gvw of the trailer. Add to that every single thing that will be in the truck; hitch, people, gear, tools, toys etc. Those add on top of the pin weight. Diesel will take 600lbs. or so off your available payload but give you towing ability....it's a "dance" as I like to call it trying to balance all the things a person wants/needs/can afford. Good luck.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjr vfr View Post
Pin weight is somewhere around to 20% of the trailers gvwr. So if the trailer's gvwr is, say 11000 lbs pin weight will be about 2200 lbs.


And yes the advertised pin weight is trailer empty as it leaves the factory.
Remember everything in the truck including you and wife, etc is counted as payload. So if pin weight is 2200 lbs with two people, hitch and cargo your looking at 2800 lbs to 3000 lbs total payload.


And one rule of thumb...You can't have too much truck! It's always better to have too much than just enough.


Good luck shopping.
I think what you are trying to say is that the pin weight will be about 20% of the weight of the trailer, not of the GVWR. Example...a 12000 lb empty trailer will have about 2400 lbs of pin weight. Load it up to 14,000 lbs and the pin will be in the 2800 lb range. Load it up to let's say 15,000 lbs and assume that is the GVWR of the trailer, you then would have roughly 3000 lbs of pin weight.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:14 PM   #10
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I think what you are trying to say is that the pin weight will be about 20% of the weight of the trailer, not of the GVWR. Example...a 12000 lb empty trailer will have about 2400 lbs of pin weight. Load it up to 14,000 lbs and the pin will be in the 2800 lb range. Load it up to let's say 15,000 lbs and assume that is the GVWR of the trailer, you then would have roughly 3000 lbs of pin weight.

I'm thinking, and not trying to put words in the mouth of the poster, that he is referencing the guideline you should use minus the data that could/should be provided from a scale.
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Old 09-10-2019, 08:16 PM   #11
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Pay absolutely no attention to the RV dry weight, dry pin/hitch weights, brochure weights for truck or RV & do not take truck or RV salespersons word on any of the weights.
Use minimum of 20% of the GVWR to figure pin weight of a 5th wheel & payload from sticker on the individual truck of your choice.
From my experiences if you choose a 5th wheel 14k pounds or more get the 1 ton, srw or drw, diesel for payload & ease of towing.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:28 PM   #12
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The published hitch weight is a mandatory requirement for the trailer manufacturer to provide because it's necessary for vehicle certification.

Ultimately the consumer is 100% responsible for the trailer hitch weight.

There are all sorts of web pages to explore to establish an individual/hypothetical hitch weight for your particular trailer. However, the only factual figures you will find will be at some certified scales.

I've done the math on at least 65 Keystone fivers and 50 TTs published hitch/tongue weights. All were within a 3rd parties guesstimates.

Remember, for vehicle certification, the manufacturer's published/recommended hitch weight plus the load capacity of all vehicle certified GAWRs, when added together, MUST not be less than the trailers GVWR shown on the trailer's certification label.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:50 AM   #13
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Without being too technical here, why the heck did the OP ask the question without mentioning which 5th wheel model. Granted the F150 will very likely not cut it but we are in 100 percent blue-skying land without a little to go on. Now all that has been written is true but since the fella hasn't picked up the trailer, the scales option is off the table at this point. He would do well to mention his prospective trailer and get some of the wise folks taking a wag as to what truck would actually be happy pulling his new trailer. If I was buying a new 5th wheel, I would likely jump to a 1 ton and the weight of the 5th wheel would tell me how many rear wheels made sense. Once he gets the new truck AND trailer, off to the scales if there is any quesiton of hitch weight. My old beater F350 has a payload of about 4K lbs so I don't really care much about hitch weight and scales unless I contemplate the RV of my wifes dreams and then hitch weight would certainly come into play. She likes those residential fridges and front living room rigs... Very possibly dually land if we ever go that route.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:06 AM   #14
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All good points (your and everyone else’s). I don’t know what 5th wheel we’ll be getting yet. Doing some research but can’t really narrow it down until we get to the show tomorrow. Just trying to figure out that if I went with X with Y specs I would be fine with a 250 with a payload of Z. However, if we went for a bigger/heavier we’d need a one ton...

PS as the truck is also a daily driver it will be the 6 foot bed, gas
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:24 AM   #15
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Here's a "general assessment": Most half ton fifth wheels are OK with a gas 3/4 ton as long as you don't "option out the truck"... Platinum/King Ranch and similar "luxury trucks" lost significant payload with all the "bling"... If you want the "bling" then opt for a one ton model truck.

If you're looking at "standard weight" (bed slide models as opposed to closet slide models). Fifth wheels with "full height upstairs rooms" are in the standard weight class (in Keystone brands), then you'll probably need to opt for a one ton truck, possibly a dually if you're looking at the larger standard weight trailers (over about 35-36' floorplans).

If you want a diesel, then "cut to the chase" and buy a one ton truck. I've got a 3/4 ton diesel, with a 31' XLite Cougar, I'm maxed out in truck payload, even with the "rear kitchen model" which counterbalances much of the pin weight by placing the heaviest trailer equipment behind the axle.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by wiredgeorge View Post
Without being too technical here, why the heck did the OP ask the question without mentioning which 5th wheel model. Granted the F150 will very likely not cut it but we are in 100 percent blue-skying land without a little to go on. Now all that has been written is true but since the fella hasn't picked up the trailer, the scales option is off the table at this point. He would do well to mention his prospective trailer and get some of the wise folks taking a wag as to what truck would actually be happy pulling his new trailer. If I was buying a new 5th wheel, I would likely jump to a 1 ton and the weight of the 5th wheel would tell me how many rear wheels made sense. Once he gets the new truck AND trailer, off to the scales if there is any quesiton of hitch weight. My old beater F350 has a payload of about 4K lbs so I don't really care much about hitch weight and scales unless I contemplate the RV of my wifes dreams and then hitch weight would certainly come into play. She likes those residential fridges and front living room rigs... Very possibly dually land if we ever go that route.
So correct. I had a 2016 F350 diesel fuel until wifey got the front living, residential fridge, stackable washer/dryer and now a 2019 F350 dually is in the driveway.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:06 PM   #17
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Lots of buyers of RV trailers just don’t understand the trailer manufacturer’s published/recommended tongue weight. They are required to be published because it’s a necessary/mandatory requirement bit of information that must be used for the vehicle certification process. Therefore, the recommendation must be usable. My theory on that is, their computer model will subtract from the cargo capacity until a usable - minimum – tongue weight is established. Then publish the cargo weight. It’s probably why we get so many odd cargo capacities.

Here is the verbatim wording in the standard.

FMVSS 571.120 paragraph S10.2: On RV trailers, the sum of the GAWRs of all axles on the vehicle plus the vehicle manufacturer's recommended tongue weight must not be less than the GVWR.

GVWR is maximum weight, not GVW, delivery weight.

You’re going to find all sorts of aftermarket recommendations on how to predict the actual tongue weight. They are just predictions/ guesstimates. The only way to get a valid answer is from certified scales.
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