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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Reviewing results from CAT scale weigh in

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Gator81Burb

Sunset Cove

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Posted: 07/09/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello - and thanks up front for the help. I know this is long post with lots of questions. :-)

I just weighed TV and TT at CAT scales. I would like to share the numbers, get your take, and I have three questions.

Background:
- TV is 2003 2500 suburban with 8.1 L, autoride suspension, 3.73 rear end, and LT245/75R16 tires.
- TT is 30 foot with 9500 GVWR
- WDH is blue ox. I set hitch almost as "strong" meaning there us only 2-3 more links available.
- During weighing TT had empty tanks and usual stuff when we camp. TV had 1/2 tank of gas and usual stuff we take camping.

Weight measurements - TV only
Front axle 3640lbs
Rear axle 3540 lbs
Total 7180

TT and TV -
Front axle 3440 lbs
Rear axle 5280 lbs
TT axles 7500 lbs
Total 16220 lbs

Question 1 - internet shows curb weight of TV= 5796 lbs. Is that right? How can I be 1384 lbs over curb weight with 2 ppl and 1/2 a tank of gas?

Question 2 - what is the GCWR for my TV? I can't find that anywhere. I know towing capacity of TV is 10,400 lbs.

Question 3 - total weight on both TV axles with TT attached is 8720 lbs. GVWR of TV is 8600 lbs. Am I unsafe? My GAWR front is 4180 lbs and 5500 on rear axle. So I am not maxing out axle rating.

Question 4 - with TT attached front axle is 200 lbs lighter than without TT. I don't have many more links available on WDH. Do I need a different hitch?

Thanks so much and again I am sorry for the long post!!

Gator81Burb

Sunset Cove

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Posted: 07/09/21 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Actually I think I just answered question #2. I found a "GM Trailering Guide.pdf" that states Gross Combination Weight Rating" for my TV with correct options is 17,000 lbs. So I am 780 lbs under GCWR

wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 07/09/21 11:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For starters your curb weight from the web was likely with a 5.3 engine and 2wd.

Grit dog

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Posted: 07/09/21 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’d say you must have a toyhauler to have that much tongue weight “with” your wdh cranked up.
And the only concern I’d have with that setup aside from it generally being quite a load for a basically 20 year old vehicle is the tongue weight if you’re still rocking an OE GMT800 hitch.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 07/09/21 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1) What is the source for the curb weight? Did it include the exact model with the options you have? 7000lb sounds about right for a 3/4 ton truck. Our F250 weighs in around 7500lb loaded for travel. I realize suburban not pickup but I would be surprised if it was that much lighter. Are you sure you didn't pull the 1/2 ton numbers? What about after market add ons like running boards and luggage racks? Is it a gorped up harley edition (or what ever GM calls it). Those all add weight.
3) You are over the GVWR for the truck when hitched. A bit of a gray area. Are you exceeding what the manufacturer recommends...sure thing. Will it immediately explode in a raging ball of fire...no.

If you hadn't bought already, I would suggest a bigger truck or a smaller trailer. Since you already have them, see if you can't move some weight around. Back calculating, you are around 17% hitch weight. It could be as simple as move 100lb from the front to the back of the trailer. That should put you somewhere around 13-15% which is still fine but it will move weight from the hitch weight to the trailer axles. As a side effect, this should put some weight back on the front axle to better balance out the load on the truck axles.

4) Adjusting your loading may solve the WDH issue but what is the rating on the hitch? They come in different strengths. If you've got a WDH with 1000lb bars, your current 1540lb hitch weight is more than they are designed for. They are still an improvement over nothing but they won't do as good as correctly sized bars.


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BenK

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Posted: 07/09/21 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My comments in red and report back on how it goes. Your model year is one of the last real truck based full sized SUV's and has a much stronger ladder frame than the newer models that has the rear frame section designed with crumple zone duties. Why their receiver is bracketed to the frame & limited hitch weight of 1,000 lbs

Gator81Burb wrote:

Hello - and thanks up front for the help. I know this is long post with lots of questions. :-)

I just weighed TV and TT at CAT scales. I would like to share the numbers, get your take, and I have three questions.

Background:
- TV is 2003 2500 suburban with 8.1 L, autoride suspension, 3.73 rear end, and LT245/75R16 tires.

The autoride might interfere with your WD system. Check your manual on HOW2 adjust a WD Hitch system.

Have read advice ranging from 'turn it off while adjusting the WD Hitch system' to 'leave it on while'



- TT is 30 foot with 9500 GVWR
- WDH is blue ox. I set hitch almost as "strong" meaning there us only 2-3 more links available.

Which Blue Ox? I like their 'Sway Pro' and there are spring bar ratings. So make sure the correct bar rating for the trailer tongue weight.




- During weighing TT had empty tanks and usual stuff when we camp. TV had 1/2 tank of gas and usual stuff we take camping.

Weight measurements - TV only
Front axle 3640lbs
Rear axle 3540 lbs
Total 7180

TT and TV -
Front axle 3440 lbs

Check your manual for the proper front axle condition after setting up the WD Hitch system. My Suburban's manual says return to normal height (no trailer tongue on the ball)

If yours is 4x4, note that there is now a second set of front axle springs, and they are the bump stops, which rests on the lower arm.

But, IMHO, not enough tongue weight has been WD'd to the front axle. You will hear many differing opinions, but we advisors have no skin in 'your' game. Up to you to decide


Rear axle 5280 lbs
TT axles 7500 lbs
Total 16220 lbs

Question 1 - internet shows curb weight of TV= 5796 lbs. Is that right? How can I be 1384 lbs over curb weight with 2 ppl and 1/2 a tank of gas?

Question 2 - what is the GCWR for my TV? I can't find that anywhere. I know towing capacity of TV is 10,400 lbs.

Question 3 - total weight on both TV axles with TT attached is 8720 lbs. GVWR of TV is 8600 lbs. Am I unsafe? My GAWR front is 4180 lbs and 5500 on rear axle. So I am not maxing out axle rating.

Question 4 - with TT attached front axle is 200 lbs lighter than without TT. I don't have many more links available on WDH. Do I need a different hitch?

Thanks so much and again I am sorry for the long post!!



-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

Gator81Burb

Sunset Cove

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Posted: 07/09/21 06:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you to everyone who has replied.

1- curb weight is just what google returned it clearly stated 2500 8.1 l LT. I also checked like cars.com and confirmed. If better source available let me know.

I need to double check the weight rating on the hitch but I am 90% sure it is 1500 lbs. That is a main reason why I took setup to CAT scales.

I do have the blue ox sway pro hitch.

That brings up next good question. How do I calculate tongue weight to make sure I have properly sized hitch?

I have read I take 2 weight readings: weight of truck with no trailer (7180 lbs), weight of truck with WDH disconnected (8890 lbs). So I believe I have 1710 lb tongue weight. Did I calculate that right.

That being said it sounds like it would be a good idea for me to get a beefier hitch. Do they make 2000 lbs hitches? Suggestions??

Also - more numbers for you. I measured front and rear wheel well heights with no trailer and with trailer attached with WDH setup. No trailer has front 36.5 in and rear 38.25. Trailer with WDH has front at 36.5 and rear at 36.5. That good? I think so because I have front within 0.25 inches of unloaded height.

noteven

Turtle Island

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Posted: 07/09/21 08:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Gator -

Here is a video describing setting up a WD hitch correctly:

Setting up a WD hitch video

I towed a travel trailer with a Buick Roadmaster with rear air levelling suspension.

The manual stated to pull the fuse for the air compressor and set up the WD hitch without using the air levelling system on the rear axle.

So the information should hide somewhere in the owner manual for your Suburban.

An alternate method to get tongue weight is scale without the WD bars and uncouple the trailer on the scale, then subtract the trailer axle weight from the total uncoupled trailer weight.

You can also use a bathroom scale and a piece of lumber to form a beam.
Do this on a level concrete surface if possible. Rest one end on a block and the other on the scale so the beam is level. If you set the jack down exactly 1/2 way on the beam, the scale = 1/2 the tongue weight. If it is too heavy for the scale, move the non scale end closer to the jack and calculate the proportion. If the scale is 3/4 distance to the jack it is supporting 1/4 of the weight and so on.

BenK

SF BayArea

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Posted: 07/10/21 12:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Unless your year's door sticker had 'as shipped' weight, the curb of old was the stripper model without power windows/etc, no carpeting, cardboard door panels, ZERO options like ac, automatic, etc

Here is the smog sheet for my 1996 K3500 Suburban and it lists 'curb' as 5250lbs and it weight around 7200lbs at the local garden scale with me/toolbox/misc cargo
[image]
[image]Click For Full-Size Image.

Best to go back to the scales and weigh it as is.

Ditto for the tongue, go to the scales and weigh it. There is a way to figure it out from weighing all of the axles plus NOT having the WD tensioned.

That will then tell you what WD bar rating you should have. Think Blue Ox Sway Pro bars come in 1,400 lb rating

Boomerweps

Hills of PA

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Posted: 07/11/21 08:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Easiest way to figure your factory TV curb weight is to subtract your payload capacity from your GVWR as marked on your vehicles door frame stickers.


2019 Wolf Pup 16 BHS Limited, axle flipped
2019 F150 4x4 SCrew SB STX 5.0 3.55 factory tow package, 7000#GVWR, 1990 CC Tow mirrors, TBC


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