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Bugman123

How Heavy is too Heavy?

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Today went to Dealer to get a 2003 Elkhorn slide camper. It is a camper made for a short bed truck. The deal was done. Then i got the bright idea too weight my truck do to seeing that the camper weighed in at 2,745 lbs. The truck weighed in at 6,545 lbs. The total weight was 9.290 and put me 490 lbs over my GVWR of 8,800 lbs. So i had to break the deal.Now i know i have seen trucks like mine with even bigger camper on them. Are they setup in some special way? The dealer said airbags. But my thoughts are they would only make the load "happier" and not increase the GVWR. There is only 2,255 lbs to play with for the payload of my truck and there isn't too many NICE camper in that weight limit. I also tow a trailer with two quad weighing in at about 1,200 lbs total.Sorry for a long thread. Any thoughts?

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I'm going to say you can get away with up to 3-5k lbs without trailer brakes. After that you pretty well must have them. It is not about the engine pulling it or not, it is about can you stop if something should happen. There are people on here pulling 10-15k lb trailers around no problem that also use proper braking. I would say any sane person can pull up to 15k with said trailer brakes. I wouldn't pull anything heavier than 20-25k. There comes a point where you just need to get something better for the job at hand. Having experience is the biggest thing. There are people on the road with duallys who shouldn't be given the right to pull a jet ski trailer. Like the people with 30ft enclosed trailers doing 80 on the interstate. There are many circumstances to it all which will effect the max weight you should pull. I rode with a guy with a dodge V10 and we pulled a 50ft gooseneck heaping with I beams that was 50k lbs. Not a problem doing that if you want to kill your trans and potentially kill everything else, but stopping is the problem. We only had to go a mile down the road and we never broke 25mph. Not sure it could go any faster than that as it was to the floor the whole time but, it is just logic. If your gonna pull a big load like that, logic tells you that you better take it easy. Ok I posted this with you only having 5 words done at first lol. To answer the rest of your post, GVWR means just the truck. So A truck with 100lbs of tongue weight for the trailer means your at 6645 (if it weighs 100lbs). The OEM hitch seems to be 1000lbs tongue weight/10,000lb trailer. That means you can max the hitch out and still be under 8800 lbs GVWR. This might help you out as well. http://dodgeram.info/2001/towing-charts.html

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As long as you don't exceed tire or AWR (whichever is lower) you are fine. I have determined that SRW (2500 or 3500) ratings are based on being lower than DRW, and have nothing to do with capacity.

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Sorry about the five words. hit wrong key :doh:. Pulling weight is different than carring weight right? this is a slide in camper.

--- Update to the previous post...

I'm going to say you can get away with up to 3-5k lbs without trailer brakes. After that you pretty well must have them. It is not about the engine pulling it or not, it is about can you stop if something should happen. There are people on here pulling 10-15k lb trailers around no problem that also use proper braking. I would say any sane person can pull up to 15k with said trailer brakes. I wouldn't pull anything heavier than 20-25k. There comes a point where you just need to get something better for the job at hand. Having experience is the biggest thing. There are people on the road with duallys who shouldn't be given the right to pull a jet ski trailer. Like the people with 30ft enclosed trailers doing 80 on the interstate. There are many circumstances to it all which will effect the max weight you should pull. I rode with a guy with a dodge V10 and we pulled a 50ft gooseneck heaping with I beams that was 50k lbs. Not a problem doing that if you want to kill your trans and potentially kill everything else, but stopping is the problem. We only had to go a mile down the road and we never broke 25mph. Not sure it could go any faster than that as it was to the floor the whole time but, it is just logic. If your gonna pull a big load like that, logic tells you that you better take it easy.

Ok I posted this with you only having 5 words done at first lol.

To answer the rest of your post, GVWR means just the truck. So A truck with 100lbs of tongue weight for the trailer means your at 6645 (if it weighs 100lbs).

The OEM hitch seems to be 1000lbs tongue weight/10,000lb trailer. That means you can max the hitch out and still be under 8800 lbs GVWR.

This might help you out as well. http://dodgeram.info/2001/towing-charts.html

Your Chart shows payload at 2380. I thought maybe and the dealer was going to let me roll off the lot with the camper but i was thinking if i have some one run into me or worst with me being overloaded i would be at fault and insurance company would just walk away.

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Yes it is just the truck and the tongue weight of the trailer. So if you wanted to find out you would hook the truck to the trailer and weight it leaving the trailer hanging off the scale. That would make it 8800-Truck+Tongue Weight=GVWR. Basically a dakota is what is rated to pull that thing.. Your good to go, with lots of room to grow, so pull the boat behind the camper :thumb1:Payload means GVWR (8800) - Vehicle Weight (6545) = 2255 (or 2380). That is how much weight you can add to the truck. If you want to get more detailed there are ratings per axle. So if your truck was like it is now, you could put a tongue weight of 2255 on the truck and be fine, though that would be wayyy more tongue weight than you would ever want and would have to be a 5th wheel. Like I said, the OEM hitch on the bumper is only rated for 1000lbs tongue weight.

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Yes it is just the truck and the tongue weight of the trailer. So if you wanted to find out you would hook the truck to the trailer and weight it leaving the trailer hanging off the scale. That would make it 8800-Truck+Tongue Weight=GVWR. Basically a dakota is what is rated to pull that thing.. Your good to go, with lots of room to grow, so pull the boat behind the camper :thumb1: Payload means GVWR (8800) - Vehicle Weight (6545) = 2255 (or 2380). That is how much weight you can add to the truck. If you want to get more detailed there are ratings per axle. So if your truck was like it is now, you could put a tongue weight of 2255 on the truck and be fine, though that would be wayyy more tongue weight than you would ever want and would have to be a 5th wheel. Like I said, the OEM hitch on the bumper is only rated for 1000lbs tongue weight.

Truck 6545, Camper 2745, Quads w/ trailer 1200 total maybe 150 lbs of tongue weight.

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Oh now I see. As in a camper in the bed. Had to read it a few more times. Yes, now I see why you want air bags and stuff. You would be overloaded in that instance.

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What are the chances of all that happening and you getting sued? All of the people with utility beds on their trucks are overloaded. My brothers 6.0 powerscope weighs in at 13,000 with all the crap in that bed. His is a SRW as well, still an F350 but still, it's gotta be way over, he does have air bags on it.

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I am a chronic over loader. I go WAY over the payload capacity all the time. I have modified my suspension to handle it though. I use a coilover shock, timbren bags and a add a leaf. I think timbren bags are said to raise your payload capacity 500 or 1000 pounds. As far as attornies go I have been told by a few that I would be in trouble if I got in an accident when the truck was overloaded. I am not an attorney so I can't tell give you any real legal advice. I would put the camper on myself. The airbags would help a lot as well. Using them may also raise your carrying capacity..

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Sorry about getting here late, but when I got my truck I had an OLD 10' slide in (read HEAVY). I put this camper on a truck I had before my Cummins. It was a 1989 Chevy R-30 (4 full size doors on the cab) dually. About 50 MPH was all it felt comfortable going down the road. My truck has air bags on it. I put the same camper on my 2500 and aired the bags to 35#. I could set the cruise at 65 mph and just ride with one hand on the steering wheel! I went from northern Mn to Branson, Mo and back with absolutely NO problem. I never did cross a scale with it. What i am trying to say is you could put air bags on (they don't increase the LEGAL GVW, but they will increase the over all carrying ability of the truck. I keep hearing about how you can get sued for being overweight, but have never heard of it happening. If you claim to not know the weights can it be proved otherwise? Remember..... There is NO law about being stupid.....

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There is NO law about being stupid.....

I think potential liability for "gross negligence" may apply. That said I'd probably have no issues running the camper, nor do I think if properly prepped it's a negligent setup. IANAL either.

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You are correct, there is a liability for Gross Negligence, but simply being slightly over the GVW would not be considered gross negligence. The point I am trying to make is *I* would not have ANY issue with putting a load on that is capable of putting me slightly over the CVW.

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Well according to the Arkansas Highway Police (DOT), in AR, weight is the same as a tractor trailer. ie...my 98.5 3500, pulling my 45 ft tandem dual gooseneck. I'm legally allowed to haul 66,000 lbs Breakdown 12,000 lbs steer axle20,000 lbs drive axle34,000 lbs tandem duals on trailer66,000 lbs legal weight As for how I know this! I got conned in to hauling a New Holland DC 100 LGP Dozer for a buddy! He told me that the dozer was about a 15,00 lb machine! Well I had my permits and flagged out right because it was a little over 9 foot wide! Well when I came across the weigh scales, I was told to park in the back and bring my paper work inside! As I was walking in, the DOT officer meet me halfway and said we need to look the situation over! We got to talking and he carried me inside and showed my weight and low and behold I weighed in at 62,430 lbs! I was like thats not me! I'm only supposed to be around 40,000 at the heaviest! Well I was instructed to pull back onto scales and come in again! It weighed 62,200 lbs then! I had no problem pulling it or stopping it! An I have no intentions of hauling that much again!

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I have no intentions of hauling that much again. Although I do have a couple of tractors tha im supposed to haul today that weigh about 12-17 k each

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The owner isn't a bit :cookoo:, he's alot of :cookoo:!!!:lmao2::lmao: I hauled an old 4020 john deere tractor yesterday! Had it on my mind to take pics and post them! But I didn't think about it again till I had the tractor unloaded! I will be hauling my backhoe tomorrow and will take pics of it! It weighs about 22k! Between running runs, working, and trying to keep my dad up to snuff! I feel like I'm getting OLD TIMERS...:lmao:Just getting plain forgetful lately!:doh::duh: I looked through some pics on my phone! Found my lil backhe...tractor with backhoe attachment! Had the trailer hooked up and decided not to swap trailers so I hauled butt with it!post-10918-138698177473_thumb.jpg

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Towing heavy also depends on "HOW" your trailer is loaded. In North Dakota, I see farmers/ranchers pulling round bale trailers that'll blot out a semi-truck in your rear view mirror. These boys have the weight on the trailer axles and not the truck. Only problem is........stopping!!!!!!:doh::doh: No traffic out there though!!About 4 years ago, my cousin rented a skidsteer and hydraulic auger to grade his yard and drill footings for a deck he added to his house. The skidsteer probably went 6000lbs by itself.......then the flatbed, at least another 5-6000lbs, plus the auger attachment. The idiots at the rental place had the skidsteer on the front of the flatbed and the auger behind. I was leery of hauling it, but my cousin and the rental guy said it'd be OK!!!! Wrong!!!!:doh::cookoo: I couldn't go over about 35mph without my truck getting "squirrelly" in the steering. I told my cousin, that if he wanted me to haul that thing back, he'd have to figure a way to load the trailer differently...........he did, and the 10 mile drive back was a piece of cake. Once that load was moving, the only problem was stopping!!!!:smart:

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I'll haul just about anything, I take my time and always check my brakes before I cut out on a trip! I replace my front brake pads yearly, adjust the rear brakes regularly! Trailer brakes are checked often as well! Matter of fact fixing to replace them on the trailer! What is crazy is I called the place where I get my trailer parts from, told them to get a price to replace the brakes and backing plates. The guy told me I would be cheaper replacing the axles instead!!! Said backing plates and brakes would run 500 per wheel, total 2 grand or I can get new axles and springs for 2200! So I guess I'll be replacing axles and springs!

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