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Old 01-14-2013, 12:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
Freeze Plug
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Should I be concerned or not? (Weights)

* I’m still shopping for a new 5th wheel. I’m looking at the 2013 27’ Arctic Fox. So I weighed my 2009 CC 4x4 Std bed Duramax today……Placed four bags of wood pellets to simulate my hitch 160lb, placed four bags of wood pellets in the passenger seat to simulate passenger. Wife wasn’t thrilled about being compared to bags of pellets. Filled up with fuel 45gal Transfer tank replacement tank.

Truck weighed 7600lbs GVWR is set at 9200 lbs
Front 4360 lbs Listed capacity 4860 lbs
Rear 3240 lbs Listed capacity 6084 lbs

GVWR of Truck is 9200lbs so that leaves 1600lbs for pin weight before I start going over.

The Arctic Fox’s are heavier.
The posted dry weight of the trailer is 10120 lbs
The GVWR of the trailer is 13955 lbs (I will never approach this weight)
The listed dry pin weight is 2110 lbs

My tires are LT 265 /70R17E listed capacity to carry the 6084lbs

Bear in mind I’m trying to figure out what’s reasonable. If I were to purchase I would be over on the GVWR by 500lbs dry.

I figured the pin weight and it works out to be approximately 21% so If I added 1000 lbs that would be another 200lbs in pin weight exceeding the GVWR by 700lbs more or less. Nothing else would be over rating: not axles, tires, maximum towing etc only GVWR of the truck itself.

I would add air bags to level the truck if necessary. I understand that this does not effect the weights….I have 21,000 miles on the truck and am not planning on upgrading.

The dealer will allow the trailer to be hooked up and weighed prior to purchase to make sure weights are accurate and trailer pulls ok……

We are not full timers and do not travel with water or waste in tanks, just short trips to local state parks etc. I currently pull a 2005 28’ Holiday Rambler that is lighter and does not exceed any of the weight number ratings…..I’m just looking to upgrade prior to retiring…..

I recognize there are a lot of perspectives on this ranging from the “letter of the law” to “do whatever you want”. I think I fall in the middle. So aside from allowing for braking distance, watching gauges and driving my normal 50-60 mph while towing what do I need to be concerned with or do I really need to be concerned.

I would appreciate all thoughts

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Old 01-14-2013, 01:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, first off you are already screwed. You are using 40 lb bags of wood pellets to simulate weight. Now here's where you messed up: No matter how much your wife weighs, you put three (3) bags of pellets in the front passenger seat. Doesn't matter if her ass is the size of Idaho, you put three bags there and patiently explain to her what they represent. You can always toss the fourth bag in the rear floorboard to represent "luggage".

I don't do any 5th wheel towing but I do have the spec sheet from the GMC brochure that came with my truck ('07.5 NBS). It lists the max trailer weight for a 4x4 CC short bed Duramax 2500 at 13,600 lbs. Max payload in the truck is 3458 lbs.

My guess would be that you are going to be close enough for it to work safely unless you load way up on fluids and gear or if you divorce your wife and marry my sister-in-law.


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Last edited by Jaybeecon; 01-14-2013 at 01:27 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hmalaga View Post
GVWR of Truck is 9200lbs so that leaves 1600lbs for pin weight before I start going over.


Nothing else would be over rating: not axles, tires, maximum towing etc only GVWR of the truck itself.
Ok, I see several areas of concern here, but you've done your homework.

Going over GVWR concerns me little - AXLE, wheel, and tire ratings should be concerning. If, as you suggest, you can load the trailer on and pin weight is the only thing that will push your GVWR over while all your OTHER weights are within legal ratings, than IMHO, you'll be fine.

Look at it this way - there are plenty of pickups out there being used grossly beyond their GVWR - and as long as your truck is licenced/plated for it, it's ENTIRELY LEGAL unless you exceed axle/tire/wheel ratings - this is where things get unsafe. Of course, you must also be able to demonstrate that the truck can safely maneuver and stop/start with those weights, but ~1000lb over GVWR isn't going to be a concern there.

So, you're fine in that regard.

I think what you need to be more concerned about is this:

Originally Posted by hmalaga View Post
The GVWR of the trailer is 13955 lbs (I will never approach this weight)
Yes, yes you will.

You'll probably find that the trailer weighs in the range of 12000# when it leaves the factory. Remember, most RV manufacturers "dry weight" is the base model with NO options, and you'd be surprised (amazed, actually) at how many things in many RV's are considered "options" - right down to furniture in some units.

So, those two propane tanks, roof AC unit, batteries, groceries, cookware, camping gear, wheel blocks, beer...EVERYTHING adds to that weight. Very few RV's going down the road today are actually below their GVWR - many are probably over.

There's one thing I always tell people in this scenario - ALWAYS assume you're trailer will be at or slightly over it's GVWR when you're pulling it down the road - if you can't get all your safety related weights within limits based on this assumption, then you're truck is inadequate.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Best to work on WORSE case scenario and know your right than try to cut everything to the knife edge and be JUST ok.

You either need to look at a smaller trailer OR a bigger truck.

Remember, Just good enough is exactly that, JUST
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Everything sounds fine to me. Short trips/rarely towing no real need to add airbags. Just make sure you carry enough fuel to get where your going. Pulling those big campers can suck the tanks dry quick.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very good answers posted that should give you a clue that you may want to keep shopping.

IMO...that dry pin weight of 2100 will easily creep up to 2500lbs or more after camper options, tanks, battery and all your gear inside the unit.
With that thought, could you be ok traveling 20-50 miles to your favorite state park, yep, but you will eventually want to stray further out, especially once you retire.
Now, I wouldn't want to drag this weight miles over the highway causing stress on the truck...something to consider.
Good Luck!
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Arctic Fox is a great trailer but in your case I would look for a lighter trailer.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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With a fiver, rear GAWR vs. actual loaded axle weight is the only real concern. You can generally license the truck for whatever GVWR you wish. My '03 has a very similar rear axle weight due to the custom RKI utility bed. And it is used almost exclusively for towing the fiver. My dry king pin weight is slightly less than the AF at 1900 lbs. The only limitation on rear GAWR is the tire capacity of 6084 lbs, so a tire upgrade is certainly an option if you want more margin.

I can offer several points that only you can answer. 1) loaded pin weight will likely be a higher percentage than the dry pin weight percentage. This is due to most of the storage being located so far forward. Rear kitchen floor plans are less affected than other floor plans. 2) very few owners of mid to high end fivers ever load the unit to full GVWR. We live and travel for months at a time with extra tools and sewing items and don't reach the fiver's GVWR. 3) many uninformed 3/4 ton owners are towing fivers with dry pin weights over 2100 lbs and they may be near or over the tire ratings. Doesn't make it right, but it happens. It is hard to find a fiver with a bedroom slide out that has a pin weight less than 2000 lbs. and the truck you have is just about the most popular tow vehicle for fiver owners.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I actually wouldn't do it. My old 5'er had an advertised pin weight of 1300 and it was darned near it. I got a new 5'er carefully selected to be about 1725 pin weight. I knew I could be maybe 200 lbs over 9200. Guess again the new 5'er pin weight was closer to 2300 lbs and I go to the scale and I'm at 9900 lbs. I didn't mind being a couple hundred over but 700 over really pissed me off to no end. I was under on the axles but use 245 tires . So first time I tow I decide to check how hot the tires are--- very, very hot. Long story short to get some over head you have to swap wheels and be at least at 265 tires. I also bet your going to be over me. Your choice but I don't like to bet against the house because I'm the kind of guy when I stretch things I usually loose.

Long story short it is always best to buy a 3500!!!!!!!
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Last edited by Coolbreeze; 01-18-2013 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
Tom S.
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Just so you know, pin weight can be adjusted by the way you load the trailer. That's why most trailers have the water tank in the rear. If you add 1000lb to the trailer, the actual effect on the pin weight will depend on where you add the weight in relationship to the trailer axles.

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