Truck Campers- Axle Weights
When you take your truck to a public scale, its important to not only get a weight for the total truck, but to also get a weight for each axle (the weight on the front tires and the rear tires). If you are going to be over the GVWR, you will really need to know what your truck’s allowable axle weights are. Even if you are within your truck’s GVWR fully loaded, you still need to know that the axle weights are not exceeded. In the same place you find the manufacturer’s GVWR on the truck, there will be a listing of the front and rear axle maximum weights. The typical ¾ ton truck will have a front axle allowable weight of around 4500 lbs, and the rear axle limit is usually 6084 lbs. Typically unloaded at the scale this truck will weigh 3600 lbs in front and 2600 lbs at the rear tires (notice they total the 6,200 lbs of total truck weight). On this truck, the maximum load on the rear axel would be 3,484 lbs. Whoa, your saying, why is it overall I’m only allowed 2600 lbs going by the GVWR and yet my rear axle can clearly take 3,400+ lbs? I can’t give you a clear answer to this, but if you’re wondering why 80% of all truck & camper combos travel thousands of miles without incident, the answer is partially here. For more about what limits a truck’s axle rating, read the section about tires.
Could you clarify in your post that the 6084 axle rating, or whatever it is that is published, is normally not the axle limit, but rather the sum of the tires. A 2500hd axle is rated for 6900. An F250 is even higher, I believe.
Axle weight ratings are a stickey issue.
Typically, the axle weight rating is NOT what's posted on the truck's doorjamb. THAT number is tied into the size/type tires the truck was built with.
You have to go the dealer's PARTS Dept. to find out which axle your truck has under it, and what it's actual weight rating is.
For instance; my 2nd generation 2001 Dodge 2500 truck with a diesel engine and camper package was built with a Dana 80 rear axle rated at 7500 lbs- it's the same axle as used on the 3500 trucks.
My Chevy 2500HD has a truck door sticker limit of 6084. The brochure specs however say the axle itself is 6900 and that the [i]suspension[/i] is rated 6084 lbs. I have added on to all of the suspension system items to offset the load I am carrying:
[ul][*]Firestone Air Springs
[*]KYB Mono Max Shock Absorbers
[*]Hellwig Rear Anti Sway Bar
[*]Alcoa Classic 16"x7" Rims (3750 lbs capacity)
[*]Michelin LTX M/S 265/75R16 (3415 lbs capacity)
Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.
This is an interesting post. The published limits for my rear axle is 6200# which would be close to the combined rating of the standard tires for this model. I have the upgraded 265/70R17 E(3195x2=6390) which implies my tires can carry more load than my axle which just isn't true! I have the 11.5" rear axle (same as the 3500) from American Axle which is larger than the Dana 80 that I had on my 2001 Dodge diesel. I just talked to the axle manufacturer and they said this was the same axle they used on some small motorhomes and that the maximum weight rating for the axle is 12,000# plus. They also said that what Dodge published was a combination of factors; but, in essence, the limiting factors would be everything but the axle. Makes me feel better about upgrading my tires and wheels at some later date.
* This post was
edited 10/15/04 02:02pm by Shipper *
This message was spell checked before posting! Don't you wish everyone did? "I'm not insensitive, It's probably that I just don't care!"
To properly utilize my axle, I would probably need to beef up the frame along with the springs, wheels, tires, transfer case, and transmission. I have added 6000# rated Timbrens that should help my springs. I wonder if they make a 6000# TC that would fit a short wheel base truck. Seriously, it would be nice not to have to drain my holding tanks before traveling.