DOT class 1 truck, up to 6000 lbs gvwr, ie half ton
Class 2 light duty 6001-8400 lbs. ie heavy half, light 3/4 ton, most 15 series badged trucks of today.
Heavy duty 8401-10000 lbs. IE most 3/4 or 25 series trucks, Could include a lot of 35 series badged SW trucks, and many duallys up to around 1995-2000 depending upon the brand.
Class 3 10001-14500 Most would call a 1 ton. Includes many duallies from about 2000 on forward, and some sw rigs over the last 5 yrs or so.
Class 4 14500-16500 includes a few 35 badged duallies over the last couple of years most of the 45 series trucks, but ford does have a 450 that falls into the class 3 relm. Most 35 trucks over the last 5 yrs or so, would fall into this catagory if the gvwr was GRAWR + GFAWR, not the 10-15% derate that most manufactures use.
Class 5 is 16501-19500
Class 6 is 19501 to 26K
Class 7 26001-33K
Class 8 usually over 50K gvwr, ie something with tandem rears. Altho Single rear axel rigs can be considered class 8's, if they tow trailers that put them over 50K lbs total gvwr including trailer(s) wt. I use plural on trailer, as many tow tandem/triple 20-25' box trailer upwards of 80-100K lbs
Shall we look at the numbers this way?!?! then in reality, there is no such thing as a half ton today! unless you are buying a really small pickup. Even my sons toyota tacoma with a 4 bangers has a gvwr just over 6000 lbs, licensed at 8K lbs......so a dot class 2 truck it is!
1980's typical GCWR for a 454 is 14500 for 3.73, 16K for 4.10 and 19K for a 4.56. Later years when the vortec version hit the streets about 95 or so, then the warranty ratings went up 500-1000 lbs or so. Why do I say warranty ratings.....well, it is just that, a warranty rating where if over this amount, GM, For etal can deny you warranty work done. As noted, there is no legal standing from ANY state, federal level as to you have to follow this amount.
Where you will have to be, is as you note, your toad does have brakes that function. WHich is good, some states require ANY "towed" item to have brakes over 1500 to as much as 4500 lbs. Wa st where I am, it is 1500-4500 or 40% of the tow rig gvwr. I personally would not recomend towing a trailer that puts you much over about 1000 lbs of gvwr, then after this, you do notice a serious lack of braking power, even if legal per say.
Have fun with the setup.
Not sure how well they would work in NW slushy snow ice....midwest, where it is colder, drier etc. They frankly, probably work pretty well. As they noted, many of the european cars have low clearance for cable or chain chains. So one needs a lower clearance/thinner volume help in some extreme cold snowy conditions. THese would appear to work well. Reality, if made correctly out of some water proof material, not cotton or wool, they should last a reasonably long time. But driven on literally a hard concrete surface, like metal chains, they will not do well for long.
I was going to say 400-500 lbs or so. Flat beds depending upon the material used are 80-120 lbs per foot in length. A LOT heavier than a pickup bed.
I could also imagine, some of the newer GM beds where the inner bed is metal, outer sidewall FRP, they could be a few lbs lighter yet, 50-75 lbs vs all metal.
Who had them monster 150-170 hp motors?!?!?! I seem to recall my first NEW truck having a whopping 105HP in an 81 GMC 2500 with a 292I6, and a muncie 4 spd.....slower than a slug up a freeway grade. But could out pull the 454/th400/4.10 1 ton dully at slow speeds up twice as steep a grade. The one ton was stalled out buying th400's every 25K miles, meanwhile the 292 would go thru a clutch every 70-80K miles.........
Never had an issue in the rockies, pretty mild % grades.....now down town Seattle mind you, or in the columbia river area......grades in the 15-25% range. Rockies never saw anything over 10-15%..... Freeway grades in the 4-6% range are nothing. Usually have a gear or two before you run out of lower gears. now on a 25% grade.....oh boy, already in low gear, that will pucker you cheeks!
If a pickup had/has the same features the MB suv has from an anti sway etc setup, then they would be every bit as equal as the European SUV's! Until that time comes, then for smaller trailers, these SUV's are killer. For larger trailers, one is stuck with the heavier duty light duty trucks.
I would also agree that ninerbikes has a setup issue with the trailer. He should not have had any issues with those side winds, unless it is his issue, not the rig as a whole. I've driven in 30-50 mph sidewinds. Yeah, a bit interesting, I did slow a bit depending upon the winds, how they were hitting etc, but nothing to say I felt out of control per say. Altho it is a bit interesting when one gets moved a whole lane buy a side gust, as I did going across I205 from Portland to Vancouver with what was probably a 60-80 mph gust. I was not the only rig that moved 1/2 to a full lane either!
Reality is, the max you can tow will vary based on how you load it. PAYLOAD is the key here, not tow rating!
I take the max the truck can weigh, then take the base wt if I know that amount, add in people and other items to the base. This gives me a loaded without trailer number. I then subtract this number from the max the rig can weigh. This gives me a remaining payload, that I can use as hitch wt. From this number, I can divide by .10 up to .25, ie 10-25% of the trailer wt as hitch wt. This then gives me a real world max trailer I can tow.
My old rig as an example, weighed 6600 lbs. By the time I added a pipe/lumber rack, cross bed tool box, family of 6 as teens in the 1200-1300 lbs range, along with a canoe and assoc paddles etc. my truck weighed 8500-9000 lbs sitting there. WIth a gvwr from the manufacture of 9200 lbs. I had 200-700 lbs for hitch wt! or a 2000-7000 lb trailer if I used 10% for hitch wt. If I used 25%, then a whopping 800-2800 lbs of trailer!
I personally do not care about the gvwr that GM gave me, I was more worried about the axel wts, and my PAID for license which was 10K lbs. With my 6500-7000 lbs trailer hooked up with typically 700-750 lbs of hitch wt. I was under the paid for license, so legal. And I was under the Rear axel wt rating of 6100 lbs in the typically 5000-5500 lb range. I was also typically 200-300 lbs under the FA rating. And the axel rating on the trailer was under by 500-1000 lbs typically. Total for the truck was 9000-9500, generally speaking.
My actual total gcw was 14000-15000 lbs. I had no white knuckle issues etc, even tho my GM rated GCWR was 12500. One of the best tow rigs I have had frankly, still wish I had that truck! I had no issues towing up to 20K gcwr, and a 12K equipment trailer!
In the end, tow ratings and what you can tow, will probably never make sense, as the factors you have to add together, will make most folks go crazy. There is no one way to figure out what you can tow. You need to factor in many many numbers.
THere are a lot of places open in the winter months with at least electric hook ups. Never been to leavenworth in the winter. But a number of the ski area;s have hookups. Including WHistler and some of the ones in the Okanagaon valley in BC. Stevens and Chrystal locally have electric hookups. I;ve also been to MIssion, Scwietzer, Timberline, mt hood in the RV to ski also.
All the above are reasonably easy to do, just need to give yourself some time if the road is a bit tough. Correct tires, not street tires, then chains are a must a lot of times to.
As someone noted, yeah, the first time is interesting, after that, like all things, you get used to it, and it gets easier per say. Or at least you learn what to expect in certain conditions.
Timberline was fun coming down with 40-60 mph winds, snowing, compact snow on the road. 10$ for 6 miles. Stopped in the middle, one person in front a couple of vehicles, got out, was on there kiester before they could take a breath or heart beat!
Then on some grades, your tires are just warm enough to melt the ice/snow, putting a bit or water under your tires, and down the hill you go! Locally King 5 an NBC affiliate has or had some winter driving videos. Fun watching the bumper cars in some of Seattles 5-10% grades! You do not see folks trying to drive on the 15-26% grades, THose like queen anne ave, 18% have closed signs top and bottom. Not to mention bus route changes......
Plus, you have the mid westers that say they can drive in the snow......still they meet our snow! As noted, about as slick as slick can be. 5-15% grades are not uncommon in the lowlands here. You need the chains to stop, more than to allow you to go forward.
Plus I have heard. Metal traction devices are illegal in some states etc. That would be both chains and metal tire studs. I can do with out stuff, but chains a re a different better animal to have.
This issue with not chaining up, can mean in some cases, a 2-4 day wait! I've seen some of the passes locally that have been shut down that long, or you have a day of chain use required, shut for 2-3 days, then another half to whole day or intermittent openings with chains required.
Or if you are like myself, and upwards of 300 OTHER RV's I have counted in different ski area's parking lots, if you want to go skiing/boarding, you put the chains on! be it on an RV or your personal rig!
It really comes down to, chains are a safety item for those road conditions. Refuse to put them on, no big, if pulled over with out, you get a ticket. If you sit it out, a tow truck may show up to pull you out depending upon where you stopped etc. again, $$$$ out of your pocket.......
At the end of the day, if traveling thru the mtn passes here in the western states, BC etc, one better have chains in there rig, ready to use, if you total gvwr is over or potentially over 10K gvw.
Hopefully you left it at the dealer to deal with tomorrow monday. Then hopefully it is a simple fuel line or equal problem.
This would not be the first rig with an issue off the lot.....lets see, two with alternator/bad batteries, one with a starter a week after purchase.......there built by humans, humans err! altho there seem to be a few on this forum that are PURRRRRRRRFECT.....yeah right!
ps, shoulda bought a GMC, not a chebby!:)
If you can get away with the aluminum rims, do so. As weight will effect braking, as will the overall dial of the tire. So if you can stick to the same diameter, lighter in weight, you shod in the end have better braking, mpg, acceleration etc. Or if you have to go a bit larger in diameter, say no more than an inch, go 5-10 and lighter, braking may not be effected at all.
All I am saying, is that the local LEO's DO NOT follow the door sticker from a law, or operating from a safe and sane standpoint. I've had too many tell me this. Yes I have been pulled over, weighed, checked etc in my rigs. MANY times over the door sticker. Not once have I been cited, fined or equal. As I am with in the legal means from which the LEO enforces the laws. If I am unsafe a lb over that door sticker, so be it. I doubt that I am frankly. I've seen rigs under the door stickers that are unsafe! ie trailers waging back and forth. THere is a law stating a trailer moving more than IIRC 12 to 18" one way or the other is illegal.
I'll follow the known legal laws the leo has to follow. Upgrading to higher load tires to gain a higher payload is not illegal. Nor is adding more spring pack etc.
I prefered chain chains when towing my RV to the local ski area when using it as a ski hut. I also used chain chains on the tow rig too. I did have a set of cables for the truck, only used them once on the FA to get out of a very bad situation. Only due to it snowing for 3 days straight, 5 some odd feet, I90 was closed, I was at the top at the ski area parking lot, not even able to ski in all this new snow......used everything to get to the hwy when it opened, then took off cables for the way down.
Just make sure you have clearance between the two trailer axels.
Now you are talking civil, vs legal. Legal is what an LEO charges you on, jail or fines can occur of out of the black and white laws as they are written. Civil on the other hand, have a LOT of gray in them. There is not always a 100% this is law. Only what a person thinks a law should be etc.
The local CVEO/LEO's that I have had "weight laws" of washington state, have ALL been very clear, manufacture door stickers etc are nothing more than warranty/performance recommendations. THer is nothing illegal about being over those amounts, as long as you have a paid for license/registration that is greater than your current weight, along with you are not over the Federal BRidge Laws for max weight on ANY given road!
This is what the LEO enforces, not door sticker rules.
My 2000 C2500 has an 8K registration, I am legal to 8K lbs gvwr, NOT the 8600 on the door sticker from a legal standpoint. If I am pulled over at 8500 lbs, I would get an over weight ticket! I would need to buy a 10K registration, then I would be legal to the door sticker, along with to 10K lbs.
LEO's have a field test they do to determine if your brakes are legal or not. If you fail this test, the rig is red tagged, and not allowed to go anywhere. You have to either get the rig towed, flatbed hauled to a shop, or fix it on the side of the road. You then have to call the LEO out to verify the rig is fixed before taking it out on the road. An LEO has no way of knowing if your rig is passing the FMVSS laws or not. Those tests go beyond what they have the ability to check on the hwy with you pulled over, so they have there own field tests that have passed local and state courts.
Civil court is a totally different animal as you are talking about.
ALL of the powered RV's with tag axels on them, those tag axels along with the added frame to make the rearend longer were added AT the RV manufacture. It is up to the END body user to install the door sticker. Our pickups and vans are finished at the factory, hence why they have door stickers from the manufacture. But Fleetwood has to put the final door sticker on the cutaway vans they use for class C rigs. As such, they can use the max of the axels, or the reduced gvwr that tha frame manufacture uses. OR if they add a tag, then they can use the max axel rating for all three axels if they wish.
Most dump trucks you see with drop axels, ALL have been added after market. There is nothing illegal about modifying a rig, except if you go beyond some requirements. A lifted pickup for example that has headlights or a bumper too far off the ground can get cited and red tagged.
THe reason the OEM's use a low drag trailer, is the SAE specs DO HAVE a max frontal area for the trailers, depending upon the GVWR of the truck and combo. 80SQ ft IIRC for the full size rigs.
At one time Ford had a poster that some RV dealers had up. I recall seeing one when I bought a TT in 92. Max trailer at the time for fords BB and diesel motors was 10K lbs up to 80sq ft. 81-100 it was reduced to 7500 lbs, and 101-120 down to 5000 lbs max lbs of trailer. Over 121sqft it was not recommended you tow with your F series truck! For the Ranger Aerostar, max was ~5K up to 60sqft. 61-70 reduced to 4000 lbs, 71-80 reduced to 3000lbs, OVer 81sqft it was not recommended you tow with a 4.0 V6 motor.
Semis when speced, get a max trailer wt for a given chassis gvw. Then you spec the drive train to the type of useage. An OTR rig with get a higher HP rig than a equal total lb rig doing city work. Gears will be overall lower for the city driver, taller for better MPG on the road for the OTR. FRONTAL AREA is a VERY IMPORTANT number, along with the how aerodynamic a rig is as to how much HP a rig with have. A typical 18 wheeler will have a rating of 1. A FUll aero pkg rig will be .7, and a car hauler will be a 1.3! If you need say 100 hp for the typical 18wheeler, the aero setup will need 70hp to move the same wt, the carhauler 130hp.
For someone to say, frontal area and wind drag is not important, they have the head somewhere where the sun does not shine! It is more important in most cases IMHO than actual weight!
Sorry Larry, Bert is correct. There is not a law around that refers to the vehicle door sticker. You legal wt is what you have paid for! as long as it is below the road bed design limits. This goes back into the late 1700s to early 1800;s in some parts of the US, Way the hecko before manufactures door stickers!
Have not seen you in a bit, you got rid of the chebby?!?!?!?! Look at some 19.5" tires too. You can get a 245-70-19.5, same diam as a 285-75-16 or 285-70-17, an LRG will net you about 5500 IIRC. Have not driven the IHC for a bit, so do not remember what I have on the sidewall. If you need a good traction, look at the Michelin XDE M+S....I can't believe I am recomending michiblows.......oh dear oh me oh my! a low point here.......oh dear oh me oh my.....
Cooper is my #1, 2, 3, 4......choices....Toyo #10, 11-19 Cooper, #20 Good Year, 21-99 Cooper, 100 Firestone, 101-99999999999999999 Cooper, might hit michelin somewhere in the trillion trillion range of choices......