View Full Version : legal obligations of trailer dealer???

02-22-2011, 11:55 AM
I have a 2009 Ford F150 super cab, 5.4 eng with 3.73 rear, w/ max tow package. this truck is rated for pulling 11,000 lbs. Gross vehicle weight 7200 lbs, tires rated 114 T (2601 lbs). Aug 2009 my wife and I went looking for a trailer. we looked at reguler trailers but liked the bunk house layout on a new 2008 KZ sportsmen 255BH 5th wheel that was on the lot. the salesman stated it was only 6900 lbs dry weight and my truck would not have any problem towing it. he set me up with the whole package, a Slide Right hitch for my 6.5' bed, brake controller and the trailer. about 2 months ago i was reading forums about exceeding GVWR and started doing some home work. even though the trailer is 6900 lbs dry weith the dry hitch weight is 1963 lbs !!!! Almost 30 percent of the trailer weight. add in the hitch and i'm about 500 lbs over my GVWR. Shouldn't the dealer be responsible for selling something so over weight for the tow vehicle or am I screwed for trusting them?

I need some help on how to handle this.


02-22-2011, 12:45 PM
If you want legal advice your best bet is to contact a lawyer in the proper jurisdiction. Any "legal advice" you get for free here is worth what you paid for it.

I learned a long time ago that you can always tell when a salesman is lying, his lips are moving. If it is not on paper you have nothing to argue about.

The salesman is NOT your friend. He is there for one reason, to separate you from your money and reduce his inventory.

It's up to you to check the figures and buy within the capabilities of your tow vehicle. I'm assuming you got the pin weight from a scale. If not then you do not have the actual weight.

One should never ever buy an RV because the empty weight is within the tow vehicle limits. Unless you are towing the RV to deliver it you are not going to be towing or using an empty RV. Always look to the max weight. If the tow vehicle is not up to handling the max weight of the RV then you need to decide what to do about it. Move on to select another lighter RV or get a more qualified tow vehicle. In any event it is up to the buyer to beware.

No matter what the Ford commercials imply, the F150 is a half ton PU, that means it's about the lightest weakest PU they make. It is not an RV hauler.

02-22-2011, 01:00 PM
Mike, Thanks for your imput. Pin weight was found online on KZ's website.

looks like cousin Vito might need to pay this guy a visit.

02-23-2011, 09:37 AM
"FREE advise"
You can go to a certified scale and get weight tickets.
You should weigh your truck first.
Then weigh your truck with your trailer attached to get some facts.

02-23-2011, 09:47 AM
Thanks for the input. I did find a cat scale nearby and I'm going to try to go this weekend to get true weights. I'm not actually looking for legal advise but wondering if anyone else has had this issue and what did they do about it. Not sure if you can modify the suspension, change tires, our just get a new trick or lighter hitch weight 5th wheel.
All opinions welcome.

02-23-2011, 11:29 AM

All good advice posted. You need to see what the door jam sticker on your truck says your front and rear axles are rated to carry.

Load the truck with full fuel and any passengers and other gear that you may take on the road with you get your trailer also loaded like it would be when you go on the road and go to the cat scale.

Most all cat scales will let you make multiple weights on the scale. Sometimes for a small extra fee. Cut your trailer off and weigh the truck put your front axle on one platform and your rear axle on another platform.

Next get the trailer and do the same thing again this time putting the trailer tires on yet another platform.

Then take the figures and see if you are over any of the axle weights posted on the door jam of the truck and total GCVW of the truck.

By doing this you will know just where you are with the weights.

You can make modifications to suspension and other things but the main problem is being over what the axles, tires and wheels are rated to carry. If you end up being over what either axle is rated for then there isn't much you can do about that except get a bigger truck.

Mike is pretty dead on about salesmen if they are talking then they are most likely telling a lie. I have had one that was truthful she is who we bought our first Mobile Suite from. We have become close personal friends with her. She is the exception to the rule. I'm sure there are others but they are far and few between.

As always good camping
Joyce and Jerry

02-23-2011, 01:47 PM
There is nothing you can add to the truck that is going to increase the load it can carry. Only the Ford Factory can change the GVW and GCVW of the truck and they ain't doing that because it's a severe liability issue. If you go over the wheel / tire / suspension limit it is on you.

Once you signed the papers and took the unit off of the lot it becomes your problem as far as the dealer is concerned. They completed the sale and it is the owners responsibility to use the "product" properly. The dealers position will be that it is up to you to have the proper equipment needed to use the item they sell you. If they sell trucks they may be happy to sell you the "right truck" but it's still up to you to look at the factory supplied figures and comply with them.

Frankly it's a caveat emptor - buyer beware situation.

03-06-2011, 09:22 AM
Hi Guys, went to a CAT scale yesterday. drive axle weight was 4140 lbs, 290 lbs over the rear axle rating of 3850. ( trailer weight 5600, gvw 12,900.)

I went back again last week to talk to the salesman, at an RV Show, about this issue and he said he would talk to the owner. they did get back to me and agrreed that if the published pin weight is 1963 lbs they would revise their offer on a newer fifth wheel. they are contacting KZ tomorrow.

I had orignially went to them with this issue and mentioned they have a newer fifth wheel with a pin weight of 1060lbs that i would be interested in if the deal was good and this problem would go away quietly. Anyway, waiting to hear from them what they are planning to do.

any thoughts?


03-06-2011, 05:45 PM

And I'll bet they will be willing to correct their error for very little $$$ on your part.


Also, If by any chance they take care of this properly, let us all know. An honest salesman/dealership is hard to find.

03-06-2011, 07:19 PM
Hey Joe, How little do you think they will go? I paid $19,300 for the 2008 KZ sportsmen new in August of 2009. (supposedly $500 over invoice). it has 1500 miles on it, in perfect condition and still smells new inside. the one they have on their lot is a 2011 Cougar X lite. the price is 26,800.

Give me your opinion what you think a good deal would be?

03-06-2011, 11:21 PM
Sorry, I was being sarcastic. Most cases like this I have heard of, all ended up costing the buyer to correct.
But please keep us informed how it comes out--if they do right by you, we would all like to know.
But there are only 2 ways to correct your problem--upsize the truck, or downsize the trailer.

Pat L.
03-09-2011, 10:17 PM
Roughly if you can get the new unit for $8000 and change and your unit then it might be a goood deal. I ran some numbers quickly but I would start at 6K and your unit. Beat on them and bitch like a bantty roster. You never know what will happen if you don't try! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!