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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Weight Facts and what to do…

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Houston, TX

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Joined: 09/02/2007

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Posted: 08/31/12 01:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Like this topic has not been gone over and over in the past. I have read most, if not all of the current posts about this… and I don’t like the results. We are currently thinking about getting a TC for the short weekend trips. But I don’t like the numbers.

Five years ago we purchased a 30 ft. fifth wheel and a 2008 F-250 truck (6.4 diesel). I will tell you that we took the 8520 lbs. truck and 12,020 lbs. trailer from the bottom of a mountain in North Carolina and not once, not once, did that diesel ever give me the feeling it was not going to do the job. That is why I paid the extra bucks. But did I say it was heavy?

During the 5th wheel purchase I was diligent and took everything into consideration. Once we were settled, took it to the scale for a “Real” test (fully loaded with dog and all). Did I say the diesel is cool but heavy? lol

The truck handles great (except when people pull in front of me and suddenly make a right turn). You need to drive defensively when you have a trailer… But I am on vacation; I should not be in a hurry… lol

I am very pleased. Very pleased…

Without trailer

Front 4800 Whew…..
Rear 3720 (with Pull-rite hitch)

With trailer

Front 4800 (wow, the same, which is good)
Rear 5940
Trailer 9600

Front is the same, this tells me that I am not overloaded in the back, or so I think, because I would think it would lift on the front if it were. Rear has increased by 2220 lbs tongue weight (19%) and the trailer is, what the trailer is… (11,800 total) Holy Moses…

GVWR is 9800 (which means I am over by 1000 lbs.).
Front GAWR is 5250, which is above the actual front weight by 450 lbs.
Rear GAWR is 6100 which is above the actual 5940 lbs (160 lbs less)

Single rear tires with a rating of 3185 lbs. each. (6370 lbs. total)

To summarize, the rear axle can have a max. of 6100 and the current tires a max. of 6370 lbs. My current rear weight with the 5th wheel is 5940 lbs. So all is well with the 5th wheel and it drives well.

But now we want a TC for short weekend trips and this has made things difficult for me.

At the scale (with a full load of everything (including Justin Case in the back seat)), no hitch, these are the results

Front 4800 Same
Rear 3430

Think of this… with a GVWR of 9800 I am currently at 8230 lbs. What TC could I possibly load? Nada. But I am willing to exceed the GVWR rating as I have with the fifth wheel. My main focus it to not exceed the rear GAWR of 6100 or the rear tire load max. of 6365

From this I have 2670 to 2940 lbs. to work with as my approximate fully loaded payload for a TC. Since I liked the Lance brand… this leaves me with very few options. Lance 825 (dry 1700 lbs.) being the best, but an 830 (dry 2240), 850 (dry 2360), and 865 (dry 1818) are also on the list. Possibly other brands as well.

It is my opinion that the front axle weight (as long as it is not over weight) is what it is. But my main concern is the max. rear axle weight and at the top end, the rear tire max. weights must be adhered to.

So after all this I have a simple question… who of ya’ll, assuming you trusted my driving, would ride 2000 miles with me in a F250 with a 2500 lbs. TC?

BTW… I’m cute, or at least my DW thinks so…

Your comments are welcome.

Thank you for reading and responding.



Rochester, NY

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Posted: 08/31/12 01:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You've been driving with 2500lbs in the bed right along. I don't see where you need to seek approval or justification for putting 2500lbs in the bed again.

Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

the bear II

Torrance CA.

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Posted: 08/31/12 01:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would ride with you but jump out if you have to make a panic stop....LOL

Trucks will pull heavy weights way beyond the maximum....it's the stopping where the problem comes in to play. Too much weight is hard to stop safely.

I once pulled a 2 1/2 ton truck with a 10 foot chassis mounted camper using my 77 Honda Civic up a 3 percent grade to get it out of traffic when the truck stalled. The honda did it.



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Joined: 08/27/2012

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Posted: 08/31/12 01:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

with no experience in either I am curious.

Wouldn't 2500lbs with a 5th wheel be different in stress on the axle than 2500lb TC.

I would think the sway with the high TC would have the truck leaning from side to side where as with the 5er it would just glide down the road.

just curious.

TC must be harder on a truck


Tucson, az, usa

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Joined: 01/24/2005

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Posted: 08/31/12 05:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm in.
But I would be interested to know what the rear GAWR is based on. Could it be that it was for stock tires at 3050 lb each? 6100 seems too low to me. GMC listed my rear spring capacity at exactly twice my stock tire 3042 capacity, but the axle rating was 6900 (the actual AAM 1150 axle rating is over 10,000 lbs)



Western WA

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Posted: 08/31/12 06:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Based on your post, I think you are pretty long winded. [emoticon] So, I don't want to ride with you for 2000 miles. On the other hand, I think your truck will probably handle 2500 with a tire upgrade to at least high range Es, shock upgrade, and updated rear springs.

'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.

Artum Snowbird

Campbell River, B.C., Canada

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Posted: 08/31/12 01:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, that's almost 1000 pounds heavier than mine and mine is a 1 ton 7.3.

Some of the camper weight will go to the front depending on what model camper you get.

You will likely exceed your tire capacities, but if you put on 19.5 Visions and 5000 pound Michelins you might feel better about exceeding your weights. Knowing my tires and wheels are not near their capacity just feels good. Stiffer tires also help with sway a lot.

Keep on reading and see what others do. That's what I did, then made decisions about how I felt about it.

Mike and Carole
2012 Winnebago Impulse Silver 26QP
2005 16.6 Double Eagle
2018 Jeep Wrangler JK
previously Snowbird Campers


Lake Norman, NC area

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Joined: 05/01/2005

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Posted: 08/31/12 06:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In other words it's going to cost you a lot more money to carry one of the lightest hard sided campers around. Lol.

If you haven't seen my postings, I have a 2010 f250 v10 gasser. According to the sticker in my door, I have about 2700lbs left. Truck camper magazine has a buying guide that puts on weights to different models. Not including the passengers and fuel, they are saying the lance 825 is about 1000 lbs extra over the dry weight. Bu that is including 500lbs of "stuff". It is also including full tanks. I would hope most of the time at I am not driving around with my tanks full. Water maybe. Also, the gas tank may start full, but won't be long till it gets real light at my mpg ratings. Lol 10 miles down the road and I will already have she'd over 8lbs... Lol

2013 Thor Chateau 31L


Sugar Hill, NH, USA

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Posted: 08/31/12 06:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a Lance 825 on a gas engine Chevy 2500 4x4 crew cab and are just about at the GVWR when loaded for a few days away (and Lance says that an 825 could go on a 1500- yeah right). Check our signature.

Have you looked at Camplite. Quite a bit lighter and full features.

John & Cathy
'12 Chevy 2500HD CC 4x4 sb
2016 Cougar 25RKS w/ Andersen rail mount
B4 that a few other TCs and a TT


West Hills, CA

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Joined: 12/08/2010

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Posted: 08/31/12 08:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Big interest in this thread.

I just purchased my '08 Lance 825 yesterday and it's sitting on a 3/4 Dodge Ram 5.9L Cummins (curb:6900, GVWR:9000 = payload: 2100). I'm anxious to get it over to the scales this weekend and do my due diligence. I already know I'm going to be over when loaded ... just how much is the question.

Jeff J

2006 Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab, SLT 5.9L Cummins
2009 Lance 825

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