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Old 11-01-2015, 10:53 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Crawfordsville, OR
Posts: 7
Truck weight ratings?

Hi Folks, newbie here - have been travel trailer owner for years, and looking to move up to a 5th wheel.

Current truck is a 2005 Chevy Silverado 2500HD with the 6.6L Duramax and Allison tranny, crew cab long-bed. This rig pulls our 2010 Arctic Fox 27T (29 ft end-to-end) like a dream, figure it was all the truck I would need. But now looking at numbers on the 5-ers we're interested in not so sure... So looking for advice from the experienced members here. Here go some numbers:

Current truck ratings
GVWR: 9200
GAWR front 4800 / rear 6084
GCWR: 22,000

Actual truck weights:
Total 7450
Front 4400 / rear 3050
Tire sidewall rating: 3415 each (so 6830 total)

Truck manual says max trailer 12,000; VIN decoder on Chevy truck forum shows 5th wheel max of 13,400

We really like our Arctic Fox TT (quality, features), and the AF 5th wheel model we're most interested in (model 32-5M) shows a dry wt of 12,030 and GVWR of 16,500. Wow - not sure how it is that heavy! And numbers look too big for our truck.

Another 5-er we're looking at (Heartland Sundance 3280RES) lists gross dry at 10,740 and GVWR of 13,800. Looks closer but still too much?

Doing the math on our truck GVWR and actual total weight leaves only 1750 available. If I take 20% of Sundance weight (using mid-point between dry wt and GVWR) gives an estimated hitch weight of 2454... Hmm

In general, what factors go into truck trailer weight ratings? I notice that newer models than our 2005 have much higher numbers. Are they building the trucks beefier? Or just cutting margins on specs to compete against the other brands?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Rick from Oregon

GearHeadOSU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2015, 08:37 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Where we park it
Posts: 2,838
Based on your numbers, you have 1660lbs (9200-7450) available for total weight on the truck. Also, on the rear axle, 3034lbs (6084-3050) available. But total weight trumps the axle weight in this case, so you are still limited to 1660lbs on the rear axle.
Don't know if the actual truck weight is loaded for travel (fuel/kids/dogs/firewood,etc.); if not, this figure will be even less. 1660lbs translates to a fiver pin weight of only 83-8500lbs (pin wt = about 20% of trailer gross weight rating). This is a small, light fiver to be looking for--AF definitely out of range; Heartland closer but still way over. Also, the highest capacity tire for a SRW truck will be about 3750x2=7500lbs max weight on the rear axle.
You are limited on RAWR and tire capacity--can't recommend going over any of these limits, but many do tow larger fivers with a 2500/250 model. No matter what, I would not go over the tire capacity on your truck. You can tow the fiver empty of everything, but you can't put that stuff in the truck, either.
Need more truck or smaller, lighter units to consider.
As far as weight capacities/ratings, mfgs have done a lot more recently to increase the capacity of the vehicles, but still a 3/4ton model is quickly overloaded by most fivers.
If you do go to a newer truck, get a 3500 model--more rated capacity for little extra cost. Or to do it right, get a DRW model...
And, welcome to the forum.
2016 Tiffin 40 QBH
2015 38RSSA, traded
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