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Old 08-16-2022, 06:55 PM   #1
Jef
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Tow vehicle question

I think I know the answer, but being new to towing something this big and weight, want to get experienced opinions.

Have 2007 Challenger, 37', 11030lb empty. Keystone states hitch weight is 2080. Gross capacity is 14000 but I do not plan on traveling with full water tanks, etc.
Bought a 2014 F250, diesel, 4x4, CC, because the sales manage at CW stated a 3/4 ton would pull the unit. And I did not know at that time that CW lies just to make a sale and to look at all the numbers and calculations before making the truck acquisition. Truck weight is 7960 (weighed it a few days ago), just full tank and driver in the truck.
Considering the Cargo capacity of the Ford is 2040lb, I am going to be a few hundred pounds over GVRW when we add the hitch, the pin weight and two adults.

Otherwise, I am under rear axle weight recommendations, GCWR and tow capacity.
However, even though I am under in most ratings, being over in the GVWR has me concerned.

Am I missing something or am I correct?

If I am correct and will be over safe ratings I see my options as
1. sell 250 and get a 1 ton
2. keep 250 and get a smaller unit to tow
3. just say to heck with it, sell both, and have other things to worry about

Is there an option 4?

Adding to my confusion is when we had the Challenger towed to a storage unit while we cleaned and remodeled, it was towed to us by a commercial driver in a Ram 2500. He had no problem moving it. So either he was over weight or had completely different cargo capacities that the Ford.
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Old 08-16-2022, 07:06 PM   #2
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The pin weight shown by Keystone is before battery(s) and propane. NO ONE tows with the front compartment empty, so you need to add that to the equation. Since you weighed your truck, itís safe to say your going to be over by more than you think, and will probably be over the rear axle rating too.

Itís up to you, are you comfortable knowing your overweight? The commercial driver that moved your trailer probably knew he was over but figured he wouldnít be stopped or gave to stop at any scales on the way. Iím sure others will chime inÖmy personal choice would be if you really like the trailer then get a more capable truck.
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Old 08-16-2022, 07:44 PM   #3
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Clarify that the Challenger is a fifth wheel and the specific model. A rule of thumb for fifth wheel pin weight estimation is 23 percent of the gross weight or 3220 lbs pin weight. You may be a bit less on the pin depending on loading but use the gross weight to ensure safety. Add weight of the hitch and whoever and whatever you have in the cab to the payload and you are looking at almost 4000 lbs payload. If you truck has a payload of 2040 lbs you can see you will be seriously overloaded. Suggest you go with the one ton option on your list if you can swing it.
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Old 08-16-2022, 07:49 PM   #4
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The commercial driver that moved your trailer probably knew he was over but figured he wouldn’t be stopped or gave to stop at any scales on the way.
Even if he had to stop at scales, they don’t check if you’re over the GVWR of the vehicle. Commercial scales are only concerned about how much weight is on each axle and if you’re over 26k.

You will be over your GVWR, I doubt you’ll be over your axle rating. Of course, you haven’t stated what that is so I’m only guessing that Ford is similar to GM. The F250 has a GVWR of 10k because it’s a class II truck and is limited to that. I can tell you some are rated heavier than that. There’s also some 1 tons out there that are derated to 10k so commercial companies don’t have to have their drivers licensed for a class III truck. I’ll admit I never understood that, why not just get a 3/4 ton instead of a 1 ton? My guess is they’re running them over GVWR and using the GVWR for licensing purposes. I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do or even make a recommendation. There’s a ton of information out there about this stuff. Remember, just because someone puts it on the internet doesn’t make it accurate. If you’re not comfortable with being over GVWR and the little sticker on the door, get a 1 ton.

I can also tell you that I have a slightly larger 5th wheel and the difference in loaded vs unloaded weights on the scales for me is 2800 lbs. I know people will estimate your weights to be much more than that. It could be, or it could be less, depends on how you load. Your rv has an advertised dry pin weight a couple hundred lbs less than mine.
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Old 08-16-2022, 08:23 PM   #5
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Even if he had to stop at scales, they donít check if youíre over the GVWR of the vehicle. Commercial scales are only concerned about how much weight is on each axle and if youíre over 26k.

You will be over your GVWR, I doubt youíll be over your axle rating. Of course, you havenít stated what that is so Iím only guessing that Ford is similar to GM. The F250 has a GVWR of 10k because itís a class II truck and is limited to that. I can tell you some are rated heavier than that. Thereís also some 1 tons out there that are derated to 10k so commercial companies donít have to have their drivers licensed for a class III truck. Iíll admit I never understood that, why not just get a 3/4 ton instead of a 1 ton? My guess is theyíre running them over GVWR and using the GVWR for licensing purposes. Iím not going to tell you what you should or shouldnít do or even make a recommendation. Thereís a ton of information out there about this stuff. Remember, just because someone puts it on the internet doesnít make it accurate. If youíre not comfortable with being over GVWR and the little sticker on the door, get a 1 ton.

I can also tell you that I have a slightly larger 5th wheel and the difference in loaded vs unloaded weights on the scales for me is 2800 lbs. I know people will estimate your weights to be much more than that. It could be, or it could be less, depends on how you load. Your rv has an advertised dry pin weight a couple hundred lbs less than mine.

When an individual is "speculating" about towing, new to it etc. the last thing, IMO, is to give them lowball numbers. What one person runs in a trailer has nothing at all to do with what another person does. I've seen folks carrying unimaginable stuff in a 1/2 ton, or Taco, pulling trailers way bigger than they should or were rated for - I'm sure they were told "I do it...so can you". The reason, and you know this, for "estimating" those numbers at the highest level is because we have no idea of what that person has in mind and the only way to even sort of try to keep them safe is to estimate on the high, logical side. If the truck can't fit that it's not appropriate for the job. IMO new folks looking for solid advice to keep them safe is not the time for "you can get away with this" guidance.
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Old 08-16-2022, 08:45 PM   #6
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When an individual is "speculating" about towing, new to it etc. the last thing, IMO, is to give them lowball numbers. What one person runs in a trailer has nothing at all to do with what another person does. I've seen folks carrying unimaginable stuff in a 1/2 ton, or Taco, pulling trailers way bigger than they should or were rated for - I'm sure they were told "I do it...so can you". The reason, and you know this, for "estimating" those numbers at the highest level is because we have no idea of what that person has in mind and the only way to even sort of try to keep them safe is to estimate on the high, logical side. If the truck can't fit that it's not appropriate for the job. IMO new folks looking for solid advice to keep them safe is not the time for "you can get away with this" guidance.
I get that, but giving the impression that they will be way heavy and there isn’t anything they can do about it isn’t good either. I’m being realistic. I simply stated what my ACTUAL numbers are with a 5er that has a dry pin weight a couple hundred lbs more than his. Personally, I have quite a bit of stuff packed in mine, I don’t know how I could ever get my payload to 4000 lbs. 23% of my GVWR would give me 300 lbs more than the OP.
However, as I stated, he could possibly get that high, but I also let him know that he may be well below that as well. We don’t always have to be gloom and doom. Someone pointed out worst case scenario, I pointed out it MAY not be that bad. We can speculate high, low, or anywhere in between. He doesn’t have to, he already has the truck and trailer, he can go weigh it.
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Old 08-17-2022, 05:40 AM   #7
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I get that, but giving the impression that they will be way heavy and there isnít anything they can do about it isnít good either. Iím being realistic. I simply stated what my ACTUAL numbers are with a 5er that has a dry pin weight a couple hundred lbs more than his. Personally, I have quite a bit of stuff packed in mine, I donít know how I could ever get my payload to 4000 lbs. 23% of my GVWR would give me 300 lbs more than the OP.
However, as I stated, he could possibly get that high, but I also let him know that he may be well below that as well. We donít always have to be gloom and doom. Someone pointed out worst case scenario, I pointed out it MAY not be that bad. We can speculate high, low, or anywhere in between. He doesnít have to, he already has the truck and trailer, he can go weigh it.

It's not "giving the impression" they will be way heavy, it's reality. The dry pin weight alone exceeds the payload of the truck. Ignoring the payload (that little sticker on the door) and worrying only about rawr is not a good choice - especially for someone new to towing - why not forget the rawr and just go straight to tire capacity only and get heavier tires? They CAN do something about it and the OP even listed some options himself - he knows what he's looking at and has done some homework. He said Keystone states the dry pin is 2080 - there is no need to weigh to find that out and it will be way low from a loaded trailer. He's weighed the truck, no guessing there and we know that the gvwr of the truck should be 10k. This isn't "trying" to be realistic, they are real numbers. You say it might not be "that" bad but how much is "that" bad? He will be over payload by several hundred pounds, to me that's bad...and unsafe.

OP, first welcome to the forum! You asked a question about a topic that generates a lot of conversation. You asked some specific questions that really only you can answer, primarily because some of them involve spending money and only you know how that will work for you.

Changing the combo would be in order IMO. Is the truck just what you want and a 1 ton just not right for you? There's your answer. Does the RV have everything you want and you just wouldn't be happy with anything else? There would be your answer as well. The option that doesn't seem logical is selling it all and worrying about different things. You obviously bought this combo because you want to get into RVing. Everyone has their own ideas of what "RVing" should be but IMO it's something you should do if you're inclined - it's a lot of fun.

The last thing I would do is ignore the stated payload and figure it's OK to run hundreds of lbs. over. Lots of reasons not to for the safety of you, your family and others along with possible legalities. Having driven over payload knowingly I can assure you that it is one of those things you will worry about every time you get ready for a trip and every mile of the trip. Trying to take out everything before a trip and carry the bare essentials, not able to carry the "fun" stuff, gets really old really fast....and takes the joy out of RVing. Combine that with the possible loss of control due to being overweight, and staring into a 400' abyss, makes one want to take the safe route.

Those "commercial" drivers? They come in all kinds of truck; many use 3/4 ton trucks and at times are very overloaded. I always figured it was because one day they may be hauling a 6k bumper pull and tomorrow a 14k 5th wheel so try to meet the bare minimum. Virtually all are empty. Because you see someone do it doesn't mean they are doing it properly.

Lots of commentary and opinions - you will get all kinds of viewpoints. Ask away and I have no doubt others will share their thoughts - and good luck on getting the right combo for you and yours.
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Old 08-17-2022, 06:17 AM   #8
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It's not "giving the impression" they will be way heavy, it's reality. The dry pin weight alone exceeds the payload of the truck. Ignoring the payload (that little sticker on the door) and worrying only about rawr is not a good choice - especially for someone new to towing - why not forget the rawr and just go straight to tire capacity only and get heavier tires? They CAN do something about it and the OP even listed some options himself - he knows what he's looking at and has done some homework. He said Keystone states the dry pin is 2080 - there is no need to weigh to find that out and it will be way low from a loaded trailer. He's weighed the truck, no guessing there and we know that the gvwr of the truck should be 10k. This isn't "trying" to be realistic, they are real numbers. You say it might not be "that" bad but how much is "that" bad? He will be over payload by several hundred pounds, to me that's bad...and unsafe.
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Whatever. You can twist what I said anyway you want. I never said he wouldnít be over his GVWR. In fact, the very first thing I said was that he would be over it. I just told him that his load MAY not be close to 4,000 lbs. The only reason I mentioned the axle rating is because someone else told him heíll most likely exceed that as well. I donít think heíll exceed that so I said so. I never said the axle weight will be fine so youíre good to go. You guys all like to say weights are going to be the absolute worst case scenario and the world is going to stop spinning. I simply stated the weights MAY not be as heavy as what you all say theyíll be, then gave my ACTUAL weights on a similar sized trailer. I never said the axle weights are fine and ignore the payload number. I donít know why you get heartburn over someone providing real weights instead of some calculated weights based off a percentage of GVWR.
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Old 08-17-2022, 07:09 AM   #9
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Expect the pin weight to be 20% of the trailer's loaded weight, based on my experience, but you should weigh it to be sure. Only you can answer these questions. I towed a 14,000 lb fifth wheel trailer with an F250 crew SRW short bed (had the truck BEFORE I purchased fifth wheel trailer) for 15 years but now have a F350 crew cab DRW long bed 6.7 diesel..........far safer and stable tow for me.
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Old 08-17-2022, 08:31 AM   #10
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Unless I'm missing something .....truck available payload is 2,040 EMPTY pin weight is 2,080. Now when it comes to math I'm old-fashioned. According to my math you're 40 lbs in the hole and you haven't added a hitch or put a single thing into the truck or the trailer. The payload deficit will only widen and I'm guessing by rather large numbers.
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Old 08-17-2022, 09:05 AM   #11
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The tag on the truck door says "must not exceed" so in my opinion if we calculate 23-25% of a rvs GVWR as pin weight for any given 5th wheel that's the max that the pin weight "must not exceed" for THAT truck to safely carry it. With any rv there's very little if any way of weight shifting to make much difference in pin or tongue weight.. I were the one asking I'd want the worst case, not the "you'll be OK if" weight.
Will the owner ever get to that max? Only time will tell. The OP has already stated it'll be nice to load it & leave it.
As I've said before anyone, especially families, will have them loaded to the max rather quickly if each take that "must have" every time they go & never take it out again.
We swapped rvs twice while fulltiming & each time we wondered where we had all that stuff even trying to conscious about overloading stuff.
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Old 08-17-2022, 09:53 AM   #12
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I guess a lot of people take construction materials with them if most max out the GVWR. Iíve had 3 different 5th wheels ranging from 30-39í and a family of 5. Iíve never maxed out the payload. Iím currently 1200 lbs under. Granted, mine has a large capacity, but it also has A LOT of storage. I have lightened it up a bit, removed about 300 lbs of unnecessary items that were collecting dust. My parents have a 35í Jayco, doesnít have as much capacity as mine, but theyíre still 500 under it. BTW, we both have between 1500-1800 lbs of cargo. Although a person can plan for the worst case scenario if theyíre out shopping for a new truck, but once they have itÖÖ. Whatís wrong with giving some real world numbers? You all say you plan on worst case scenario and itís not appropriate to tell someone anything else. I disagree, thereís isnít anything wrong with giving real world numbers. Nothing I said in my post was inaccurate.
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Old 08-17-2022, 12:07 PM   #13
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Why not tell a new person what the MAX is, that way they can know the limit and stay under it. Just because YOU lightened up, doesnít mean that someone new wonít load up to the hilt. Knowing what the hilt is can be the difference between a comfortable towing experience and a scary ride. Each one of us loads different things and differently than anyone else.

Knowing the MAX and never going over is exponentially better than needing it once and not having it.
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Old 08-17-2022, 12:45 PM   #14
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Why not tell a new person what the MAX is, that way they can know the limit and stay under it. Just because YOU lightened up, doesnít mean that someone new wonít load up to the hilt. Knowing what the hilt is can be the difference between a comfortable towing experience and a scary ride. Each one of us loads different things and differently than anyone else.

Knowing the MAX and never going over is exponentially better than needing it once and not having it.
Never said we shouldnít tell the max, that gets done every time someone posts the question. Whatís wrong with also telling what we actually have. The assumption is that everyone loads to the max, thatís what people like to tell, but very few actually say what their actual numbers are. Iíd like to see the weight tickets for all these people that are maxed on their RV GVWR.
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Old 08-17-2022, 01:16 PM   #15
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YOUR real weights are YOURS, not anybody elseís. What YOU load isnít necessarily what I or anybody else loads. MY real weights and YOUR real weights donít really mean anything for ANOTHER person. And as stated numerous times, it is advised that a trip to the scales would clear up any confusion.

As far as THIS thread goes, the OP asked a question about his new purchase, and did provide some REAL numbers. Based on his posted scale weight and GVWR of his tow truck, he is over before he loads ANYTHING in his trailer. He listed options that he thought of and answers were provided given HIS list of options.

In the end it doesnít matter what YOURS or MY weights areÖthey donít apply to his situation, so the only REAL worthy advise is to explain MAX weights.
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Old 08-17-2022, 01:26 PM   #16
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"Am I missing something or am I correct?

If I am correct and will be over safe ratings I see my options as
1. sell 250 and get a 1 ton
2. keep 250 and get a smaller unit to tow
3. just say to heck with it, sell both, and have other things to worry about

Is there an option 4?"

Hi Jeff,
Of course you know the answer. You, like me, really want a new truck
Even smaller 5th wheels can overload a 3/4 to diesel due to the average 2k payload limitation. We can certainly pull the 5ers but the payload numbers just aren't there. (Yes, we're a little over payload too).
An '07 trailer is getting a little long in the tooth but if it's paid for the trade in/resale value right now is as high as I've ever seen it. Same for the truck.
So I'm for option 4. Upgrade BOTH
Hopefully your "Director of Finance" will be more receptive than mine when it comes to approving your purchase request.
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Old 08-17-2022, 01:37 PM   #17
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I think real weights and knowing how much people really load into these things can be very educational. My personal experience and the experience of many people i know, tells me the real world cargo of the average camper is between 1-2k lbs. As I stated, i would love to see weight tickets on all these maxed out RVs. I think it would be very interesting to know how people got to that point. At no point did I say this is what I have so you should be good. At no point did I say you will never load more than this. I simply said your numbers MAY not be as bad as some will speculate. Nothing in that statement says you’re good to go.

MAY- used to indicate possibility or probably.

Your opinions are that listing worst case scenario is the only information that is valid and all that should be provided. Then you jump on and disagree with anyone who provides any other information. As I stated, nothing I have posted is not true or inaccurate. You may not agree with it, but I don’t agree with your opinion on the subject either. I guess what they say about opinions is true.
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Old 08-17-2022, 02:25 PM   #18
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You just donít get it. What your trailer, my trailer or anybody elseís trailer weighs does not apply to the question asked by the OP.
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Old 08-17-2022, 02:56 PM   #19
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Iím starting to thin more the only reason they even make 3/4 ton trucks is so they can sell two trucks.

Our 3/4 ton was 200 lbs above or below max payload, depending on how loaded we were for a trip. But even when under payload, it was a handful in a crosswind with a bumper pull.
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Old 08-17-2022, 03:00 PM   #20
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I think real weights and knowing how much people really load into these things can be very educational. My personal experience and the experience of many people i know, tells me the real world cargo of the average camper is between 1-2k lbs. As I stated, i would love to see weight tickets on all these maxed out RVs. I think it would be very interesting to know how people got to that point. At no point did I say this is what I have so you should be good. At no point did I say you will never load more than this. I simply said your numbers MAY not be as bad as some will speculate. Nothing in that statement says youíre good to go.

MAY- used to indicate possibility or probably.

Your opinions are that listing worst case scenario is the only information that is valid and all that should be provided. Then you jump on and disagree with anyone who provides any other information. As I stated, nothing I have posted is not true or inaccurate. You may not agree with it, but I donít agree with your opinion on the subject either. I guess what they say about opinions is true.
This is a moot point with regard the OP situation. He is overweight before he starts - his numbers. Encouraging him that he can "tow within the trucks limits" is irresponsible. Period.
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