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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Help me understand GCWR

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sportsman16

Washington

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Joined: 10/19/2004

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Posted: 03/09/12 08:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looking at Chev website specs for 2012 1500 crew cab 4wd.
If GCWR is 11,000 and the curb weight of truck is 5300lbs, how can the max tow rating be 9500?

Isn't the GCWR the rated maximum combined weight of truck and trailer?

Help me understand.

THanks

donn0128

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Posted: 03/09/12 08:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It can't in the real world. You are making a bad assumption. Curb weight of 5300 pounds is for a stripped base level single cab. Everything you add to that number adds to the trucks vehicle weight. If you take the trucks GVWR away from the GCWR you will have left over approx what it can tow. So if the truck weigh ready to travel full of gas, people, misc and it scales at 6000 pounds, that leaves you 5000 pounds for towing.


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4x4ord

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Posted: 03/09/12 08:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sportsman16 wrote:

Looking at Chev website specs for 2012 1500 crew cab 4wd.
If GCWR is 11,000 and the curb weight of truck is 5300lbs, how can the max tow rating be 9500?

Isn't the GCWR the rated maximum combined weight of truck and trailer?

Help me understand.

THanks


You are right the GCWR is the total combined weight of the truck and trailer that the truck is rated to handle. I don't know or care what the GCWR number is on my truck. If I was going to pay attention to one of the truck's ratings it would be its GVWR....... but as it is I'm not too concerned about that one either.


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belairbrian

Alabama

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Posted: 03/09/12 08:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Those numbers look like the spec page was mixing numbers from different drive trains and suspensions.

vortec 4.8 has a GCWR of 11000 yielding a 5500 trailer weight
a vortec 5.3 with heavy duty cooling has a GCWR of 15000 yielding a trailer weight of 9500

You need to look up the truck here:

2012 chevy trailering guide


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mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 03/09/12 08:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Personally, I do not worry about GCWR.
The GCWR in the Owners Manual for my truck states 18,000 lbs. with the Cummins engine and 4.10 diff gears.
When I weighed the rig once, the total weight of the truck and fifth wheel was 21,180.
Nothing broke. Nobody died. There were no accidents. No tires blew out.
Simply put, I had no problems at all!
In fact, later models of my truck, I have heard, have a GCWR of over 20,000 lbs, but nothing was changed.
I decided then and there I was just not going to worry about it.
Do I recommend that other ignore it? NO!!
You have to make up your own mind.


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Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 03/09/12 09:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

belairbrian wrote:

Those numbers look like the spec page was mixing numbers from different drive trains and suspensions.

vortec 4.8 has a GCWR of 11000 yielding a 5500 trailer weight
a vortec 5.3 with heavy duty cooling has a GCWR of 15000 yielding a trailer weight of 9500

You need to look up the truck here:

2012 chevy trailering guide


Yet both examples (4.8 or 5.3) end up with a 5500# truck in order for the numbers to add up with out going over the GCWR
(11,000-5,500=5,500 and 15,000-9,500=5,500).
Doubt if either truck camp ready will weigh 5500# or less so neither can tow the rated trailer weight without going over the GCWR.
Once again, the numbers don't add up and are meaningless, yet mfgs. put them out there as gospel.

BenK

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Posted: 03/09/12 09:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Made up this diagram for the OP's type of question

Then need to understand 'rating' vs 'actual' weights

The diagram is for 'actual' weights and if you study it a bit...can
or should see that the various ratings will add up to more than the
total GCWR....which goes back to how the OEM lists or derives the ratings




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Golden_HVAC

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Posted: 03/09/12 10:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Start looking at a Ecoboost equipped F-150 crewcab and you will be able to tow 9,500 pounds in addition to having passengers in the cab, firewood in the bed, and still not exceed the truck's GVWR, or the generous GCVWR.

Remember that a 9,500 pound travel trailer should have about 950 - 1,200 pounds of hitch weight to! So the cargo capacity of the truck must accommodate your needs for passenger weight, the 1,200 possible hitch weight, and any other cargo you want to take with you. Otherwise you might have a overloaded truck or tires, or be towing beyond the capacity of the truck.

New standards with "Truth in Advertizing" will come out soon. So that dealers will not be able to show off a 3/4 ton truck and "Claim" it can tow a 10,000 pound fifth wheel when in reality it can not, because the hitch weight and passengers will exceed the cargo rating of that truck while towing such a heavy trailer.

To bad the towing guides will not come out sooner. Because customers looknig for a trailer will first buy a 3/4 ton crewcab truck with dreams to tow a trailer, then find they like fifth wheels better, and then find out that the larger trailers require a much heavier truck. They might not even be able to safely tow a 30' well equipped travel trailer of their dreams.

I installed solar panels in a big Holiday Rambler, and it was being towed by a dually F-350, with a 5,500 pound cargo rating. Even that truck was within it's GVWR, axle weight ratings, but 1,000 pounds over it's combined gross vehicle weight rating with only 2 passengers in it.

With a 3/4 ton or 1/2 ton, exceeding the GCVWR will probably also overload the cooling system, due to the designers not putting in a radiator rated at 200 HP continuous output. 1 ton trucks seem to have a thicker radiator, many times a oil cooler too.

Fred.

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 03/10/12 06:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sportsman16 wrote:

Looking at Chev website specs for 2012 1500 crew cab 4wd.
If GCWR is 11,000 and the curb weight of truck is 5300lbs, how can the max tow rating be 9500?

Isn't the GCWR the rated maximum combined weight of truck and trailer?

Help me understand.

THanks

GCWR can be any number the truck manufacture wants it to be. So I wouldn't worry about why it doesn't calculate out from actual truck weight numbers. GCWR isn't on the truck anywhere and can change with a simple gear or tire and wheel change so most folks ignore it.
And no one has ever figured how the truck makers come up with their GCWR or GVWR numbers. Some folks swear by them and others go by actual tow ratings for how much trailer to pull and axle ratings for how much hitch weight the truck can carry.

Use THIS GM online weight calculator/traileribg specs/truck specs for figuring payloads/tow ratings/etc for your GM truck.


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skipnchar

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Posted: 03/10/12 07:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GCVWR is a WARRANTY issue only. It is arrived at from frequency of repair information compiled by the manufacturers. they set a limit that prevent an excessive number of warranty repairs on their vehicle. Maximum trailer weight is ALSO a warranty matter, not a safety one. Safety ratings include GVWR and GAWR only. These are the ones that are required to be on your DOT safety sticker found on the door post.

You are correct that those numbers cannot be correct. I suspect you have mixed specifications for two different models and you MUST be sure you're reading specifications ONLY for the model you have. Empty weight (curb weight) plus trailer = GCVWR


2011 F-150 HD Ecoboost 3.5 V6. 2550 payload, 17,100 GCVWR -
2004 F-150 HD (Traded after 80,000 towing miles)
2007 Rockwood 8314SS 34' travel trailer

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