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Topic: Towing Capacity - real world help needed!

Posted By: dieseldan723 on 07/27/11 10:31pm

I have searched for this info. and haven't been able to find it readily available. I finally found it in my owners manual buried way in the back. I thought I would put it here for others ease of access.

The information below is for a 2003 K-2500 Crew Cab Short Box HD (4WD) also known as a 2003 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab (with Duramax Diesel and Allison Transmission).

GVWR - 9,200 lbs
GCWR - 22,000 lbs
Maximum Trailer Weight - 14,700 lbs*
GAWR (Front) - 4,670 lbs
GAWR (Rear) - 6,084 lbs

*Tongue weight should be 10% to 15% of trailer weight up to 1,500 lbs. Fifth-wheel or gooseneck kingpin weight should be 15% to 25% of trailer weight up to 3,000 lbs maximum.

Maximum Trailer Weight is limited to 12,000 lbs with weight distributing hitch.

Here are my weights from a recent trip (in lbs):

Truck w/ Trailer 10,350
Truck alone 7,950
Difference 2,400 (pin weight - 18.6% of trailer weight)

Trailer hooked to truck 10,450
Pin weight 2,400
Total Trailer 12,850

The truck doesn't feel uncomfortable to drive or out of control at all. With the brake controller and the Allison tranny all seems well. I hope I am not being foolish. The trailer is not over weight based on above numbers from owners manual, however the truck is 1,150 lbs too heavy.

I have upgraded my rims and tires. The tire shop tells me both have a higher rating than the same stock equipment. I have upgraded suspension as well (no air bags though). I have never had any issues with slowing/stopping as I do not push it too hard.

Is there anything I can reasonably do to increase the towing capacity of my truck? I have a programmer but that's not what I am talking about. I am talking about the ability to carry additional weight. I plan to upgrade the brakes to slotted rotors as well. What else should I do?

I am looking at a new 5th wheel with a dry weight of about 11,600 lbs and a hitch weight of about 2,525 DRY weight. I estimate that I will put 1,500 - 2,000 lbs of weight into it (gear, clothes, food, water, etc).

This is pushing the top limits of the stated capacity, but I feel the truck will handle it.

Am I worrying too much about this?


2014 Keystone Fuzion 301 Toy Hauler towed by 2007 GMC Sierra 2500HD Classic CCSB 4X4 with Duramax/Allison

SOLD
2012 Komfort 3530FBH towed by 2008 Chevy 3500HD DRW
2006 Forest River Cardinal 33TBH towed by 2003 GMC 2500HD

Prodigy 3 brake controller



Posted By: Golden_HVAC on 07/27/11 10:47pm

Hi,

I would be worried enough to get a 1 ton truck for that kind of load.

You seem to forget about the sticker inside the glovebox of most GMC trucks. It states the maximum cargo rating of the trucks. Yours probably says the empty truck is 7,250 pounds, GVWR is 9,200 pounds and it can carry 2,000 pounds without exceeding the GVWR.

That does not mean a 2,000 pound hitch with a 8,000 pound trailer behind it (25% of 8,000 is 2,000 pounds of hitch weight), but you have to deduct for your fifth wheel hitch (probably came in a box with a weight of 150 pounds or more) and each passenger and driver too!

So you are down to about 1,560 pounds of cargo after the hitch is installed, and 2 passengers inside.

I was talking with a designer of trucks several years ago, advising him to never sell another truck with the diesel engine in the SRW 3/4 ton version, because there is not enough cargo rating. He also designed the Diesel Excursion in 95, and it has less cargo rating than my Windstar minivan, can only carry about 1,100 pounds before exceeding the GVWR. Instead in 2005, they upgraded the GVWR from 8,600 pounds on the F-250 to 10,000 pounds on the crewcab F-250 and 11,500 pounds on the SRW Crewcab F-350 diesel. I guess that not selling 2/3 of the trucks was not a option for Ford. Yes 2 out of 3 Superduty trucks come with the deisel engine. The 2005 + F-250 can carry about 3,000 pounds while SRW F-350 is close to 3,900 pounds and dually F-350 is about 5,500 pounds. They also make a F-450 pickup for really heavy trailers.

GMC really needs to step up to the plate and admit that they can not tow a 10,000 pound fifth wheel with a truck only rated to carry a 1,800 pound hitch weight. They will also help out a lot if they would rate the trucks to carry a decent amount of cargo. The truck itself can carry the load, and the engine and transmission are top rate, well within the 22,000 GCVWR that they give the engine and transmission. Yet they need to have tires rated at 3,650 pounds, and rims to match. The rear axle is already rated at 10,000 pounds, but the overall truck is not meeting with those capacities.

Sure people tow all kinds of RV's without ever getting near a scale, and do it somewhat safely. However what happens if the wiring for the trailer pulls out, and you don't have trailer brakes anymore? That could be one exciting exit from the freeway. I know that your Allison and the truck's 4 wheel disk brakes are enough to handle an emergency like that, but you really should have a truck that is rated for the weight you are putting on it.

Some slick lawyer will have a feild day if there is a accident, and you are well over the GVWR of the truck. And your insurance company can "Walk Away" from a collision that is expensive and negegent on your part. They can potision the Insurance Commission to not cover the accident.

Fred.


Posted By: jshul on 07/27/11 11:40pm

I have a similar concern about my fifth wheel/tow vehicle combination. I truly believe that the wheel/tire configuration on the 2500HD Duramax is the weak link in the weight carrying capacity of your duramax. For now lets disregard the numbers printed on the stickers...... Your stock tires (245's) have a capacity of 3042 lbs. each even though your rear axle capacity is 10,000 lbs. The axle/tire configuration is limited by the 6084 lb tire capacity.

Your brakes, engine and transmission have the same specs as the 3500 HD model.

Your rear springs lack on leaf found on the 3500HD.

From examining this information it appears that a 2500HD's towing capacity can be similar to a 3500HD's (single wheel) if the springs were somehow strengthened and a higher capacity tire (and wheel) were supplied.


2011 Carriage Cameo 34sb3
2005 GMC Sierra Duramax/Allison
Crew Cab/4x4


Posted By: fla-gypsy on 07/28/11 06:10am

You will need a bigger truck IMO. The current one may not have a catastrophic failure and cause multiple deaths but you will surely cause premature death to the truck components going that big.


This member is not responsible for opinions that are inaccurate due to faulty information provided by the original poster. Use them at your own discretion.

09 SuperDuty Crew Cab 6.8L/4.10(The Black Pearl)
06 Keystone Hornet 29 RLS/(The Cracker Cabana)


Posted By: webecreekin on 07/27/11 11:07pm

Golden_HVAC wrote:



...Some slick lawyer will have a feild day if there is a accident, and you are well over the GVWR of the truck. And your insurance company can "Walk Away" from a collision that is expensive and negegent on your part. They can potision the Insurance Commission to not cover the accident...


Does anyone have any anecdotal data to support this statement?


2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 DRW Crew Cab--Duramax/Allison
2009 Cedar Creek 36 CKTS

www.cedarcreekrvownersclub.com



Posted By: DrBaker on 07/28/11 05:38am

webecreekin wrote:

Golden_HVAC wrote:



...Some slick lawyer will have a feild day if there is a accident, and you are well over the GVWR of the truck. And your insurance company can "Walk Away" from a collision that is expensive and negegent on your part. They can potision the Insurance Commission to not cover the accident...


Does anyone have any anecdotal data to support this statement?


I don't recommend anyone tow over the manufacturers recommended limits. However, I've never heard of even one case of this happening. It just seems to a popular RV.net quote.

Golden_HVAC, let us know if you have ever heard of it actually happening. It's not you only, but many people. I've read many of your posts and always find them to be very informative. I appreciate your contributions to the forum and would not be surprised if you had heard of something that I was not aware of.


2011 Chevy 2500HD CC/SB 4x4 Victory Red
2003 Crossroads Cruiser CF27RL
Champion Screamer, Reese 16k, and a Blue Status Symbol


Posted By: Chris on 07/28/11 07:56am

Washington State licensed my 8800lb GVWR 2500 Dodge for 12,000 lbs! 1.5 times the tare weight, and then rounded to the next even K. If I carefully loaded the 6830 lb capacity of the rear tires(factory optional 265's and below the Dana 70's rating) and the 5200lb front axle rating(Dana 60), then that is 12030 pounds.

The OP says that he addressed the 6084 limit of the stock rear axle created by the factory LT245/7516 LRE tires rated to 3042 lbs each.

The RV.NET weight police need to spend a day in a chicken coop and watch them weigh hotshot haulers with pickup trucks. These guys are not all sidelined because of lawsuits.

If one is licensed in a state that collects fees based on tonage, then make sure that you are licensed for the correct amount required for your load, make sure that you have not exceeded your tire limits and that your rear bumper is not dragging on the ground. Then go enjoy camping, RVing or Snowbirding!

Chris


My Rig
2001.5 2500 STD CAB AUTO SLT 4x4, CTD 4:10's, Bomb'd to Tow
2005 Cardinal 29WBLX.


Posted By: wandering1 on 07/28/11 07:50am

Get a 3500, get rid of the 4x4 and get 4x2.


HR



Posted By: JIMNLIN on 07/28/11 06:49am

Oh boy, the weight police are out already.
You will not find a lawsuit case of carrying weight over a trucks GVWR. Its simply not illegal to do so. Legal weight carrying issues involve the trucks certified axle/tire/brake capacity numbers.

First, any weight discussions without actual seperate scaled axle weights is just personell opinion/estimates. Without any actual scaled seperate axle weight numbers we are all guessing. A single gross weight is as usless as tits on a boar hog when figuring axle/tire payloads.

The OP says he wants to pull a 11600 lb dry weight trailer with a 2525 lb dry pin weight.
The 11600 lb dry weight probably will approach 13000 lb to 13500 lbs after loading which is within the K2500 trucks pulling ability.

The 2525 lb dry pin weight could be close to 2800-2900 + lb estimate. GM rates the 2500 trucks rear axle/tires at 6084 RAWR because of the spring packs/wheels and tires. Many 2500 4x4 GM rear axle unladin weights run in the 2800-2900 lb range which leaves approx 3100-3200 lb for a payload. Subtract another 250 lb for a hitch and another 200 lbs for gear and folks and your left with approx 2700-2800 lbs for a wet pin weight.
My guess is your going to be at or above max axle/tire cap numbers.

Now the easy part is your 2500 has the same AAM 11.5" axle as the SRW and DRW. GM parts shows the 2500 4x4 and 3500 SRW brakes are the same number so no brake issues. The new SRW and DRW are rated 7000 RAWR amd 9375 RAWR with the same 11.5" AAM axle. Your biggest safety issue is the 2500 truck small spring/wheel/tires need to be uprated.

The decission to mod a truck to carry more weight than the trucks ceritfication is the responsibility of owner/operator. I would contact your northwest states motor vehicle size and weights folks and get their input on legal issues involving how much weight your truck can carry and how much weight it can pull from a legal perspective.


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides


Posted By: stripit on 07/28/11 08:51am

Check the actual load on the rear tires with the trailer hooked up at the scales, then check the max load capacity of those tires. You will probably see they are either over loaded or very close to being overloaded. Don't forget, they are sitting still, not driving down the bumpy pot hole infested roads taking even more beating.Your rear truck tires are the weak link.


Stacey Frank
'04 Mobile Suites 36 TK3 #1341
'99 Int'l 4700 Lo Pro MDT
'08 Lexus 400H


Posted By: donn0128 on 07/28/11 06:34am

I made the same mistake when I bought my Cedar Creek 34CKTS. Three years was enough, and finally upgraded to a dually. Boy what a difference. Whereas I was always uncomfortable towing with the Chevy, now with my dually I am totally comfortable driving. At nearly 3000 pounds over the trucks GVWR there is nothing you will be able to do to make it a happy experience.


Don,Lorri,Max (The Rescue Flat Coat Retriever?)
The Other Dallas



Posted By: portablevcb on 07/28/11 08:30am

Yep, I love all the advice.

Find a good truck shop and have them do the things necessary to increase your cargo capacity to what you need. There is one here that will do everything, including putting a dually axle on a 3/4T truck.

Ford actually supports this kind of stuff and you can get guidelines from them for up-rating and down-rating their vehicles. FWIW, most of the work is to take a larger capacity truck and down-rate it to get below certain state tax codes.

charlie


2009 Dodge 2500 Double Cab Cummins
2003 Skyline Nomad 24ft Fiver
Me and Wife
Maggie the Old English Sheepdog


Posted By: diesel man 03 on 07/28/11 08:09am

You cannot increase the towing capacity of any truck by adding better brakes or whatever, the truck was built with that weight in mind, please consider a 1 ton or smaller camper.


Posted By: GM-Jayco36REQS on 07/28/11 10:15am

You know, I've NEVER stayed within the manufacturers ratings when towing on any truck I've ever owned. I tow what feels good. If it feels the truck is over capacity, I boost it's capacity by adding power, better brakes, bigger sway bars, air-bags, stiffer shocks, more-ply tires, beefed up trans, etc... and the funny thing is.. my trucks have lasted me for years and have NEVER had one break or leave me stranded on the side of the road.

Go figure....


2011 Chevy 3500HD, DRW/CC, 4x4, Duramax TD, Curt 20K, Trifecta Cover
2011 Jayco Pinnacle 36REQS, MOR/ryde pin

2003 SVT Cobra Convertible, 16 lbs boost, Magnaflow cat-back, K&N CAI, MGW Shifter, 18" Bullet Wheels, Toyo Proxies



Posted By: Chris on 07/28/11 10:17pm

Should we count the number of posters that missed the fact that the OP said he upgraded the tires and rims in his original post? Chris


Posted By: Chris on 07/29/11 08:34am

DanD is the truck squatting in the rear under the pin weight load? If so then air bags will help level the truck.

The weight police here get all wrapped around things. There are more 5th wheels in our snowbird park of all sizes towed with 250/2500's then anything else.

If one is buying a new truck then get the 350/3500 for a few hundred bucks. But to sell a 250/2500 to go purchase a 350/3500 SRW does not compute in my book, except, the newest round of trucks have upped the capacities greatly!!

I would love to have a new truck, however they have become very complex pieces of equipment and no longer are easily worked on by the back yard mechanic. By todays standards my 2001.5 is crude, rude and loud, however I can work on it myself. And it was paid for the day I drove is home 10 years ago.

Chris


Posted By: mowermech on 07/28/11 11:29am

The truck: 1994 dodge CTD Ram 3500 dually (see sig.).
The trailer: 32 foot triple slide fifth wheel.
LEGAL, do-not-exceed GVW of the truck, as noted on the registration: 14,000 lbs.
Results of going across the scales, after three years + of full-time living in the trailer, moving every 13 weeks:
UNDER truck GAWR front and rear.
UNDER truck GVWR.
WAY UNDER legal GVW.
UNDER trailer GAWR front and rear.
UNDER trailer GVWR.
OVER truck GCWR by 3,180 pounds.
ACTUAL results of driving around the West for over three years under those conditions:
No accidents, incidents, or occurrences.
No blowouts.
No insurance cancellations.
No breakage of the truck or trailer.
No clutch problems.
No trail of death, destruction, or mayhem left behind me.
No weight tickets.
Never got stopped by any law enforcement personnel in any state.
However, my zero to sixty acceleration times were atrocious!

The OP is less than a ton over GCWR? Myself, I would not worry about it. But, that's just me. Others must make up their own minds about such things.


CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad 1: '06 PT Cruiser, Kar Kaddy dolly
Toy (and Toad 2): 2001 Dodge QC SWB, 360 Magnum, Auto, 4X4
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"


Posted By: WTTCS on 07/28/11 03:28pm

There are no cases of illegal overweight in a rec veh. There are hundreds if not thousands of cases involving "reckless driving".

and yea there are cases where insurnace companies left the cases up the individual due to overloaded rigs.

Do you really care? If you are worried about that, then you sure aint worried about your family , yourself and mainly other peoples right of life.

Do it right the first time and sleep good at night.


1997 chev crew cab 454, 5 sp. 4.10



Posted By: WTTCS on 07/28/11 09:43pm

So................lar4..............if it feels good DO IT HUH ?


Posted By: Pete_k on 07/28/11 01:16pm

Year newer truck then yours, Haul a truck camper that's around 3500 to 4000 lbs when loaded down then a 20ft boat behind that. Have 100,000 miles on the truck, about 30,000 hauling a load. Still on factory brake pads and Rotors. did have to change the front hub Assy at 92,000 and that's more then most get.
So far I have not killed my truck hauling way more then any 5th wheel your looking at is going to put on the back of the truck.
Also never seen or heard of anyone that lost everything they had because of being overloaded. And I have hauled many loads ( up to 120,000lbs) when I was driving an 18 wheeler know a lot of people that had wrecks and were over loaded ( Logs and dust haulers) Never was the truck weighed to see if it was over weight. Even with a fed deaths. But then again the other person caused the wrecks also.

So not saying your truck will hold up to the little bit of weight. But for the most part I think people that has never hauled or towed anything until they found a forum to tell them they need a bigger and bigger turck. Are the ones jumping up to a 1 ton or even a class 6 or 7 truck to haul something that is way small for there truck. But then again they have the cash to run out and buy a new truck. My self I will be hauling our camper when we get it that's about what your looking at or a little more. And be a happy camper. Like 95% of the rest of the world that has never had the weight police here after them.
Pete


2005 Chevy Kodiak c5500 Cummins 5.9/Allison Trans
2012 Landmark Key Largo
2008 Lund 1825 Pro Guide Tiller, With a Evinrude 90 HP E-Tec
Live near Pickwick Dam and the Tn river


Posted By: fla-gypsy on 07/28/11 08:58pm

Well there you go, we have both sides of the argument. Let me summarize, On one hand some of us say you should never exceed the makers ratings because they are put there for good reason, the other side says do whatever you want and do not worry about It. The choice is up to you.


Posted By: donn0128 on 07/29/11 08:42am

guess you missed my original post. I did everything you did and it still did not behave like a bigger truck. Your money to spend so do what you want. Just don't come back complaining in a year. BTW don't cross the border. BC polie will cite you if spotted.


Posted By: dieseldan723 on 07/28/11 11:29pm

I appreciate your replies. Thanks to those who closely read my original post.

To clarify, I said I had upgraded the rims and tires so the STOCK 6,084 rating is actually upgraded to 6,830, effectively increasing the pin weight capacity by 746 lbs. My new tires have a load/speed rating of LT265/75R16C1 112Q W.

I am considering adding airbags. I don't know anything about them so any help/recommendations would be helpful.

Based on everything I have read in this post, and talked about with the dealer, I think I am ok. Will feel even better with airbags.

DanD


Posted By: dieseldan723 on 07/29/11 11:23am

donn0128 wrote:

guess you missed my original post. I did everything you did and it still did not behave like a bigger truck. Your money to spend so do what you want. Just don't come back complaining in a year. BTW don't cross the border. BC polie will cite you if spotted.


WOW! They have some good police up there in Canada. They can tell my looking at my truck that I am overweight by a few hundred lbs!

AMAZING!!!


Posted By: 45Ricochet on 07/28/11 10:31am

IMO your going to need to upgrade your tires and maybe wheels for a higher RAWR.
Your current 6084 legal rating should be surpassed after your new 5er is loaded up.
I prefer to stay within GVWR of TV but many folks run the RAWR numbers.
Going over GVWR is one thing, going over RAWR is not suggested by anyone I know of.
Okay I said it, now someone will come along and say its fine


06 Ram 3500 CC LB Laramie 4x4 Dually 5.9 Cummins Smarty Jr 48RE Jacobs brake
GVWR 12,200 RAWR 9350
06 Grand Junction 34' High profile 15500 GVWR 3200 pin Mor/ryde 5500 Onan genny Dual A/C Wet bolts
27' Hallett 502, 500HP



Posted By: 45Ricochet on 07/28/11 10:39am

GM-Jayco36REQS wrote:

You know, I've NEVER stayed within the manufacturers ratings when towing on any truck I've ever owned.



LOL

I suppose that statement is no longer true with your new truck
You must be within all GM's ratings?


Posted By: lar5camping on 07/28/11 09:14pm

.

* This post was edited 10/30/11 08:44pm by lar5camping *


Posted By: GM-Jayco36REQS on 07/28/11 11:11am

rick83864 wrote:

GM-Jayco36REQS wrote:

You know, I've NEVER stayed within the manufacturers ratings when towing on any truck I've ever owned.



LOL

I suppose that statement is no longer true with your new truck
You must be within all GM's ratings?


LOL.. yea over rating this 2011 truck is a bit difficult under "normal" use. But I actually have done it.. I pulled a tripple axle 5th wheel low-boy trailer out of a buddies back field that was full of junk farm equipment, and bet it was every bit of 25,000 lbs. He took the stuff in 3 loads to the scrap yard and scrapped out 24,000 lbs of steel... I have no doubts that tripple trailer was well over 1,000 lbs empty. My curt 20k hitch groaned a little going up the hill as I hit a few bumps in the gravel lane, but the truck pulled it all out in 4wd with no problems. Gotta love the 2011!!

btw.. I have 5k Air-ride air bags on the truck, with in-cab controller. No tbecause I "need" it to pull my Jayco, but I just liek it to adjust the ride and handling whenever I want to suite my taste depending on road conditions.


Posted By: GM-Jayco36REQS on 07/29/11 11:03am

dieseldan723 wrote:

I appreciate your replies.

I am considering adding airbags. I don't know anything about them so any help/recommendations would be helpful.

Based on everything I have read in this post, and talked about with the dealer, I think I am ok. Will feel even better with airbags.

DanD


I have been using Air-Ride airbags for 15+ yrs on my trucks.. currently have the Air-Ride 5000 series on my 2011 Dually with in-cab controller and love them! Allows me to control my handling/ride to suite my tastes based on current road conditions.


Posted By: roadhermit5858 on 07/28/11 03:20pm

If you were overloaded like that with a commercial vehicle, you would get a high dollar overweight ticket.
Also if you get in a panic situation you are most likely to have a problem.
There are a lot of reasons that they put weight ratings on vehicles.


Posted By: 9452772 on 07/29/11 11:44am

diesel man 03 wrote:

You cannot increase the towing capacity of any truck by adding better brakes or whatever, the truck was built with that weight in mind, please consider a 1 ton or smaller camper.



That is not a true statement.


M&R
Schertz, Tx
2008 GMC Sierra SLT CC Dually, 4x4
94 gallon in bed tank, 129 gallons total fuel
2010 Heartland Sundance 3200re






Posted By: JIMNLIN on 07/29/11 06:52pm

Actually there is no state or province that uses the truck manufactures GVWR to determine loads the truck can carry (GVW) so dieseldan or any other RVer won't have to be concerned about being over the truck manufactures GVWR.
BC says this
BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulation
(snip)
(4) The gross weight of any vehicle or combination of vehicles shall be the sum of the individual gross axle weights of all the axles of the vehicle or combination of vehicles.

(en. B.C. Reg. 68/71, s. 5; am. B.C. Regs. 413/97, App. 1, s. 11; 135/2003, s. 6.)

Someone posted a clicky to a BC info sheet thats says GVWR determines the load however it is not regulatory in nature or a code. The info sheet defers to the BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.


Posted By: donn0128 on 07/29/11 01:56pm

dieseldan723 wrote:

donn0128 wrote:

guess you missed my original post. I did everything you did and it still did not behave like a bigger truck. Your money to spend so do what you want. Just don't come back complaining in a year. BTW don't cross the border. BC polie will cite you if spotted.


WOW! They have some good police up there in Canada. They can tell my looking at my truck that I am overweight by a few hundred lbs!

AMAZING!!!


GVWR is law in BC Canada, so if you cross the border with your current setup and you are stopped for any reason they can direct you to the nearest scales. And if your TV is over the manufacturers GVWR numbers you will be parked and not allowed to move until you either shed pounds or get more truck to tow the load. Not to mention the fine.
Like I said your money bub. So spend it how you see fit. Personally I have been there and done that and was still not happy towing at 10,500 pounds on a 2500HD GM product.


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