Got our TV and trailer weights - are we in trouble?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by raising4daughters, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. raising4daughters

    raising4daughters Active Member

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    Took over loaded HW PUP to the CAT Scales yesterday. Then, after weighing connected, we weighed the TV separately. Mainly wondering if we need a weight-distributing hitch and, regardless of a WDH, do we have too much weight on the tongue and what to do about it. The trailer is pretty much fully loaded for camping other than clothing and the empty refrig.

    Without the PUP, the TV front axle weighs 2,660 lbs. and rear is only 2,020 for total TV weight of 4,680. With the PUP, the front drops to 2,580, rear jumps to 2,760, and PUP axle is at 3,200 for total of 8,540. Total difference is 3,860 for the net loaded PUP weight which slightly exceeds the GVWR of the PUP itself. We know we need to remove about 100 lbs. of gear which is feasible, though not happy about it.

    Bigger concern, if our math is right, this tells us we've got close to 20% of the trailer weight on the rear of the truck exceeding the 12-15% guideline. Not even sure a WDH can help that. We do have some heavy items in the front storage bin, but not sure we can remove 150 lbs. worth or move to trailer middle or rear.

    I threw 40 lb. bag of fertilizer in the TV bed (a Chevy Colorado) to simulate some gear. Even with that, seems like the 1,506 payload on sticker is not our issue.

    We've buttoned up and winterized, but would love to hear suggestions for next year.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    So your saying the tounge is 740? Thats a bit high. Maybe move stuff to the tv? But with 740, plus passangers and gear, are you sure your not over payload? You have to add the tounge weight and the passangers in the TV. I figure with 4 daughters, you would be closer then you think. A wdh can help, if the tv and camper can use it. But you also have to add the weight of that. Maybe consider taking less, or getting some light weight stuff? I would be concerned with over loading the pups axel. Nm , 1506 may be enough payload, i read it as 1106 for some reason. Messure it out. How does it tow? Notice any lopsided ware on the tires? Is it mostly flat where you go?
     
  3. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    How does the truck handle while towing? If the front end doesn't feel light, you're probably OK. I would think a Colorado should tow about any pup without a problem.

    Having said that, if you've overloaded the pup I would address that. Also make sure you're not exceeding the Combined GVW on the Colorado?

    Finally, most manufacturers don't recommend using a WDH with pups so I would check that too.
     
  4. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    750 tongue is a lot. What's the pup tongue weight empty?
     
  5. raising4daughters

    raising4daughters Active Member

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    Thanks guys. Actually, despite having 4 daughters, 3 are grown and no longer travel with us. In fact, because of all the activity gear we take and because we camp 2-3 hours from home, the DW usually drives separately with her minivan, daughter, and friend if one joins us. They bring the bikes, tubes, clothes, and food in the van. So, when I weighed with just me at the wheel, it was comparable to how we roll. Most of our trips are in rolling hills in Western PA and NY going from NE OH....no mountains, and we've performed fine.

    Sticker on my Colorado says 1,506 and the literature says 1,600 lbs, so even at 740 tongue (which is too high, I know), we're clear especially with me driving solo. I weigh around 170.

    Really glad I did this. I didn't feel like we have a lot of gear in the PUP and was expecting us to come in with 100-200 lbs. to spare. Clearly the 2 full propane tanks, AC, and bike rack add more weight than I guessed. We've got a lot of duplicates in the PUP that can move to a TV. Will re-think supplies in the Spring and try moving some from front to rear of PUP, too.

    Good question on GCVWR. With the 3.6L V6, it's 12,000 lbs. Theoretically, the Colorado has 7,000 lbs. towing capacity. Fully loaded HW PUP is only tad over half that. Think we'd max out on payload long before the GCVWR.
     
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  6. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    Where are the bikes mounted?
     
  7. raising4daughters

    raising4daughters Active Member

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    On the wife's minivan driven separately. We've never loaded them on the PUP despite having a bike rack on it. Was hoping to try that on a longer camping trip, but now realize that's only possible if we pull a lot weight off the PUP (or get a heavier duty axle).
     
  8. jeepster04

    jeepster04 Active Member

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    If it tows fine and the truck doesnt look like a west coast squatter, I personally would roll with it. I have right around 700lbs tongue weight which exceeds my rear axle weight, but Ive never had an issue. I air up the rear tires and rear air bags to near max cold PSI and roll on. I would like to have a WD setup but couldnt find anything I liked.
     
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  9. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    From what I understand, more tongue weight than recommended isn't generally BAD if your TV and hitch receiver can handle it. I assume you aren't exceeding your rear axle capacity.

    And do watch your popup tires for odd wear. The popular Fleetwood/Coleman HWs in the 00s came off the line too close to axle capacity and many owners had trouble with their axles eating tires.

    (I don't know what a west coast squatter is but I assure you my west coast truck doesn't squat hauling a HW popup. [?:~{] )
     
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  10. raising4daughters

    raising4daughters Active Member

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    Another good question. Rear axle weight ranking is 3,500 lbs and front is 3,200 (both pulled off door sticker), so we're well under even with trailer taking us only to 2,760.

    I'm not sure what a west coast squatter is, but we're not seeing the trailer push down the rear of the truck like our prior PUP did to our minivan.
     
  11. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    How much movement do you have in your 2" hitch?
     
  12. Patrick w

    Patrick w Active Member

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    Also if you have a lot of weight behind the trailer axle it can do weird things when hitting a bump
     
  13. raising4daughters

    raising4daughters Active Member

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    None that I've noticed
     
  14. Mary Bordeaux

    Mary Bordeaux Member

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    "Finally, most manufacturers don't recommend using a WDH with pups so I would check that too."

    Gosh, I was just reading another thread about a member's towing concerns and several folks were telling him to get a WDH. So - to add or not to add - what is the final answer? Or is that one of those "everyone has an opinion" things?
     
  15. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Mary, it depends on the trailer frame and varies by manufacturer. (Some cars recommend against them too, just to add more spice.) Most are fine, so it's generally a good idea.

    We should make a list here about which trailers don't like WDHs and sticky it!
     
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  16. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    If it has a c channel, you can't use a wdh. It will bend the camper frame eventually.
     
  17. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Or rip the whole coupler and A frame off.. seen it happen to once upon a time Portal members..

    Not only do you have to be concerned with the trailer frame style like Sjm9911 mentioned and whether the vehicle manufacturer advises against using them (contact the manufacturers main office directly, don't rely on an RV dealer, or vehicle dealership or a website, none if these people has your best interest in mind). You also have to size the WDH and the sping/load bars (they are NOT anti sway bars, although some do incorporate anti sway into the spring/load bars) to the weight of the trailer, too light of a spring bar and it won't do any good, too heavy and you'll twist the trailer frame (even a box frame) or vehicles unibody (assuming you don't have a truck or full framed vehicle)..
     
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  18. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I’m guessing it’s similar to the “Carolina Squat”, which is a dumb trend these days to lift the front and lower the rear.
    ED94C8C2-6382-40FB-9288-4C7AE1288674.jpeg
     
  19. Ed Llorca

    Ed Llorca Member

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    Your math is a little off. The rear ale went up by 740 but your front end lightened by 80 (that weight has to go to the ground somewhere) so the trailer is adding 740-80=660lbs. Next because of leverage that 660lbs is not the real tongue weight it is higher so your tongue weight is quite a bit lower than that. Before you make and decisions or purchases I would weight the tongue directly and then decide.
     
  20. Trevor Wade

    Trevor Wade New Member

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    According to those measurements 660 would be the tongue weight, which would be around 17%. Without a WDH you can't provide leverage around a tow ball. A little high according to the 12-15% rule of thumb, and when you you add the 660 tongue weight to the weight of all the gear and people in the TV you still have to be under the TV 1506 lbs TV payload. The fact that it is only lifting 80lbs off the front axle, implies you've got a fairly long wheelbase TV, which would imply that the TV handling shouldn't suffer too badly even with the higher tongue weight assuming you can stay under all the weight limits. For starters get the weight of the trailer under GVWR, and make sure the tongue weight does not exceed any of the towing component specs (draw bar, receiver, etc). If you still want to reduce tongue weight, focus on moving the heavy stuff to over the axle of the trailer, or within the wheelbase of the TV. Avoid lightening the tongue by simply moving heavy stuff to the rear of the trailer. Heavy weight at the extreme ends of the trailer, either front or rear, can contribute to an unstable pendulum effect and swaying. Given your TV and trailer combination I suspect it should tow fine without the need for WDH, and your best bet is to redistribute the weight by packing differently.
     

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