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Old 02-05-2017, 11:01 PM   #1
Adrianmitchell
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31BHPR and an F150

Hi, I need the weight formula (simple terms) to help support my decision.

I'm a fairly experienced rv driver, owned a sunset trail 30bh(5600lbs dry) for 8 years and put many many miles through the mountain passes, I know big deal. I own a 2013 f150, Ecoboost with the max tow, think it's rated at 11,200 but never checked.

I've basically purchased the 31bhpr (just sending the cheque) and I want to be sure I'm safe. Wife, two small kids, and dog. Travel about the same as most, don't haul water.

We were really sold on the layout, did the quick math on the weight, and salesman showed me that they sell tons to the half ton crowd. We did get the husky TS centre line anti sway hitch, am I a crazy person? Forget the sales person, and I know the power is there.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:20 AM   #2
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Congrats on your new trailer and welcome to the forum. There are a number of "towing capacity" calculators that you can use to determine if you're within specs of your tow vehicle and trailer. This link will allow you to fill in your vehicle's capacities. You'll be able to see what your safe towing margins are. Realistically, the best way to determine proper weights are at a truck weight station (i.e. Cat Scale). You'll get realistic numbers. From there, you can determine if you need to make adjustments to load and such.

Many members on here are proponents of 3/4 ton to full ton vehicles to pull loads over 6,000 lbs. I would agree that they pull easier and are more capable instruments in moving and arresting a load.

But properly equipped 1/2 tons are not inept either. Trucks have come a long ways in the last 15 years, having capacities that were once only reachable by their heavy duty big brothers. Sophistication of power plants and transmissions, responsive brake controllers, larger TV brakes, tow-happy tires, and hitch engineering are a few elemental components to modern day safe towing. This doesn't include design changes to the coaches that include spread axles and light weight materials.

With the 31bhpr, your biggest threat to your TV is payload. As tongue weight goes up, payload is removed. The coach empty has a TW of 820 lbs. Add battery(s), hitch, propane, and items for passthrough and m. bedroom storage, and you'll begin to loose a good chuck of remaining payload. That's the biggest reservation with 1/2 ton vehicles: limited payload (an Achilles heel if you will).

On the other hand, your TV is more than capable of moving your trailer. You just have to stay within your limits. Load everything but human (no joke) into the trailer. Spread out additional weights evenly in the trailer and over the axles. The bunkhouse is great to keep some of the heavier things stowed as it won't take up much of your precious TW. That's what we use to stow our BBQ, inflatable kayak, pack & play, and clothing in our Bullet 308BHS . Since were very close to our payload limits, the only thing that rides up front with us is 1 diaper bag.

Other advice I can give is buy an effective sway control hitch. I originally invested in a $600 Blue Ox Sway Pro hitch. Initially, it seemed to dampen sway in ideal conditions. But when your moving a 35 feet long, 11 feet tall box at 60-65 mph in 30 mph crosswinds, the sway will make you and your spouse soil your pants. We had that exact experience with this mid-grade hitch and decided it was worth it to invest in premium sway ELIMINATION hitch (in my signature). It was tested on the way to Disney World last summer with a potentially catastrophic roadway hazard. I know if my TV wasn't hooked up with a Hensley, I would not have recovered the trailer at 60 mph. I only preach about these premium hitches as I think it should be standard issue with a trailer over 30 feet.

Good luck with your walk through.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:21 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum from Southern MD. BusterBrown said it well. You need to look at all the numbers for your TV including the payload sticker on the door frame. I was surprised my son's 1/2 ton F150 Eco-Boost only has a payload of 1000LBS. Hopefully yours will be better than that. I use an Equalizer hitch and when the TT is properly loaded don't have a big problem with the wind but there are definitely times I can feel the gusts. I did upgrade my truck's tires to LTs. That helped. Enjoy your new rig. I hope the numbers work out for you.


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Old 02-06-2017, 09:45 AM   #4
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You're not a crazy person. Wanting a new trailer can make a person do crazy things.

In this case you are planning on putting a trailer that will weigh 8000 lbs behind a 1/2 ton. Will it pull it? Yes. Will it pull it well? Maybe (even HD trucks have this problem depending on drivetrain and what it's towing). Will it HANDLE it? No, not well. I've been there and done that.

Since you are sending the check now is a little late to wonder if the truck is up to it. You need to make sure it is as capable as it can be. Upgrade all tires to LTs if you haven't. Install air bags. Make sure you run your tires at max pressure when towing - same on the trailer. Check the weight ratings on the sides of the trailer tires and see if they aren't just barely above the weight of the trailer....they probably are. If so, upgrade the tires to the next weight range and run fully inflated - it made a heck of a difference with my truck. A good WDH is a must. You've are buying a Husky hitch. I don't know anything about them but I don't hear of many using them so someone with experience with them may be able to shed some light on that. It needs to be good to keep 8k from pulling your 1/2 ton all over the road.

The tongue weight will probably be around 1000 or so. What does the door sticker say you have for a payload? Subtract the above from it and what do you have left for people, cargo, fuel, hitch etc.?

You need to know your axle ratio and GCWR to know your max towing capacity, or it may be on the door as well; I don't know and haven't looked at mine. The Ford chart uses those 2 numbers to show the max towing capacity for the various trucks. Lastly, take it to the scales and see where you really are when you are done.

They have made lots of advances in 1/2 ton pickups; they haven't made them into heavy duty towing trucks yet. My last 1/2 ton was a 2013 and I got rid of it for a 3/4 ton in 2014 due to the reasons listed above.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:25 AM   #5
Outback 325BH
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31BHPR and an F150

Calculation is easy:

Find the "payload" number on the yellow sticker in your door jamb.

Multiply that payload number times 6.67. This will give you the max GVWR TT you should pull.

Anything loaded in the truck or in the bed should be subtracted from your "payload" number BEFORE doing the calculation I provided.

For example, if your "payload" number (from the yellow sticker) is 1,500 lbs... and you will have 500 lbs of passengers and firewood in the truck and bed, you have 1,000 lbs of payload for the trailer. 1,000 times 6.67 is 6,670... so 6,670 is the max GVWR your TT should be.

Another example, let's say your "payload " (from yellow sticker) is 1,700 lbs and you always drive alone with an empty bed. This means your payload is 1,500 (you weigh 200 lbs in this example). 1,500 times 6.67 is 10,000 lbs. In that case 10,000 GVWR is what your TT should be (or les).


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Old 02-07-2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outback 325BH View Post
Calculation is easy:

Find the "payload" number on the yellow sticker in your door jamb.

Multiply that payload number times 6.67. This will give you the max GVWR TT you should pull.

Anything loaded in the truck or in the bed should be subtracted from your "payload" number BEFORE doing the calculation I provided.

For example, if your "payload" number (from the yellow sticker) is 1,500 lbs... and you will have 500 lbs of passengers and firewood in the truck and bed, you have 1,000 lbs of payload for the trailer. 1,000 times 6.67 is 6,670... so 6,670 is the max GVWR your TT should be.

Another example, let's say your "payload " (from yellow sticker) is 1,700 lbs and you always drive alone with an empty bed. This means your payload is 1,500 (you weigh 200 lbs in this example). 1,500 times 6.67 is 10,000 lbs. In that case 10,000 GVWR is what your TT should be (or les).


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That's a handy calculation and I don't think I've seen it used before. It's an easy way to calculate max trailer size as long as you don't underestimate your payload subtraction. Just wondering where you got it? Good explanation too.
I'll be heading your way at the end of the month. My mom lives in Columbia, IL.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:48 PM   #7
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Don't really understand your calculations. For instance 2013 Ram 1500 5.7 quad cab, payload is the same for all 3 rear end ratios (1680#)yet tow ratings for 3.21 diff is 7000# and for 3.92 diff is 10500#. Both trucks are exactly the same in everything except the rear diffs. Would your method still work?
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:10 PM   #8
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Don't really understand your calculations. For instance 2013 Ram 1500 5.7 quad cab, payload is the same for all 3 rear end ratios (1680#)yet tow ratings for 3.21 diff is 7000# and for 3.92 diff is 10500#. Both trucks are exactly the same in everything except the rear diffs. Would your method still work?

I agree. I don't see how one number can take into consideration all the vehicle variables required to determine the max weight for a trailer. 6.67 might work for one particular vehicle but I don't see how it could possibly be all inclusive.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctbruce View Post
That's a handy calculation and I don't think I've seen it used before. It's an easy way to calculate max trailer size as long as you don't underestimate your payload subtraction. Just wondering where you got it? Good explanation too.
I'll be heading your way at the end of the month. My mom lives in Columbia, IL.
Same difference, this is the same 15% that many members use to estimate TT pin/hitch weight. Remember you can either divide in this case by the number .15 or multiply by the reciprocal of that number. The reciprocal of 15% (.15) is 6.66..6 or rounded up to 6.667 or 6.67 etc Rounding of the reciprocal will effect accuracy, in our case it is already an estimate

So you can either estimate the max TT GVWR, given a TV payload of say 1000 lbs, by using our 15% method ie, dividing the TV payload by .15 giving you a max TT GVWR of 6,667 lb or you can multiply that same payload (1000 lb) by 6.667 (reciprocal of .15) giving you the same result of 6,667 lb.

Using our 15% example Hitch/pin weight = 15% of the TT GVWR

Again same difference
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:26 PM   #10
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Makes sense. Correct me if I'm wrong but this relies on the fact that TV manufacturers use the 15% rule for tongue/pin weight on all trailer types. For that reason, even adjusted to the reciprocal of 25%, you can't use this method for fifth wheels. -Add disclaimer here...
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:39 PM   #11
Outback 325BH
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Originally Posted by 66joej View Post
Don't really understand your calculations. For instance 2013 Ram 1500 5.7 quad cab, payload is the same for all 3 rear end ratios (1680#)yet tow ratings for 3.21 diff is 7000# and for 3.92 diff is 10500#. Both trucks are exactly the same in everything except the rear diffs. Would your method still work?


The reason is manufacturers ignore payload. They advertise max tow, which "varies" by capabilities (rear end, etc)... but ignore payload. The only way to achieve those trailer weights without exceeding payload is to have a light tongue.

In some utility trailers, with some loads, you can place most of the weight over the axles and have a lighter tongue and not be too unsafe. For TT's, the 15% rule really should apply. Therefore, payload is the limiting factor before max trailer weight comes into play.


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Old 02-07-2017, 07:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Outback 325BH View Post
The reason is manufacturers ignore payload. They advertise max tow, which "varies" by capabilities (rear end, etc)... but ignore payload. The only way to achieve those trailer weights without exceeding payload is to have a light tongue.

In some utility trailers, with some loads, you can place most of the weight over the axles and have a lighter tongue and not be too unsafe. For TT's, the 15% rule really should apply. Therefore, payload is the limiting factor before max trailer weight comes into play.


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Outback, forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't you the guy that advocates the weights posted on a vehicle don't matter - you just kind of go by what seems right to you?? Not trying to be ugly, and working off memory, but seems like what I remember. If I'm wrong please correct me.
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Old 02-07-2017, 08:40 PM   #13
Outback 325BH
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Outback, forgive me if I'm wrong, but aren't you the guy that advocates the weights posted on a vehicle don't matter - you just kind of go by what seems right to you?? Not trying to be ugly, and working off memory, but seems like what I remember. If I'm wrong please correct me.


Yes, you are correct.

If you know your vehicle, I believe you should do what you think is right.

All of my arguments regarding exceeding sticker numbers are very narrow in focus: modern F250's vs F350 SRW's. They are the same truck.

When giving advice regarding vehicles I am not as familiar with or for people learning, I pretty much say to follow the stickers.



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Old 02-07-2017, 08:56 PM   #14
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From experience, I own a 31bhpr and towed with a 2010 F150 with a 5.4. My numbers were 8600 towing and a payload of 1700. I carried very little in the truck and was careful of what we had in the trailer. I know I was maxing out the numbers, especially the payload. We have an equal-I-zer E2 hitch. It towed fine, no issues, did fine in the White Mountains and never an issue stopping. If it was not for a life event, I would still have the truck but I have since upgraded.

Enjoy the new trailer and have fun camping.
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Old 02-08-2017, 03:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Outback 325BH View Post
Yes, you are correct.

If you know your vehicle, I believe you should do what you think is right.

All of my arguments regarding exceeding sticker numbers are very narrow in focus: modern F250's vs F350 SRW's. They are the same truck.

When giving advice regarding vehicles I am not as familiar with or for people learning, I pretty much say to follow the stickers.



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That makes sense now. I have read where you have made both arguments and it was confusing. Now that I think about it, they were about 250(0) vs. 350(0). Good to understand. Come on spring!

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Old 02-08-2017, 04:28 AM   #16
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For your truck, because you may have accessories, use the GVWR minus the actual scaled weight to find out your real world payload capacity.

For that camper, use 12% of the GVWR to get an assumed tongue weight.

If you have enough real payload capacity to handle the assumed tongue weight you'll be OK. If you are very close or over your capacity, you may be uncomfortable with how it tows.

Adding LT tires and air bags will improve handling but do not change your payload capability.

I upgraded to my F-250 because after scaling my F-150 with my current TT I was overweight by 600# on payload and just over the rear axle rating. I have family of 5 in the truck.
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