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Old 02-06-2020, 03:21 PM   #1
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Know your tv capacity limits?

It's pretty eye opening when you do the math on your true cargo capacity of your tow vehicle and realize you've probably been at your limit or over most of the time.

I don't have a scale to get the exact numbers, but knowing I have a long distance trip this summer with several teenage nephews in tow I decided to do the math with the numbers I have and see where I was.

Surprising was how little my 2010 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer can really carry according to their factory sticker, it's only 1402#s. The truck pulls like a champ and has a 9200# tow capacity, but the payload is a whole different scenario. So I started adding up my totals, 760 basic tongue weight, 40 propane, 50 grill and cover, 25 hoses and blocks, 50 for battery - this takes me to 477# left and that's being conservative.

I weigh a sad 280 and now I have 197 for the boys, um, looks like someone needs to go on a diet (me) and some kids may have to stay home. Usually it's just my wife, dog and I and I think we're good. But taking others is pushing the limit or over. In this case I was taking 3 teenage boys, and by my math I'll be over this limit by probably close to 200#. Truck has HD tow package and I use a WD system. I don't really think it's going to stress the truck too much. What concerns me more is the liability/insurance denial that could happen should something should go south.

So, how many of you have done your totals? I'm hoping I'll be ok. Upgrading to a 2500 class Truck just ain't going to happen and it's not like every trip we're over. But I must say, it's a little disappointing and concerning.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:40 PM   #2
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I created a spread sheet to do the math.

From payload (GVWR less as-built weight of truck) I subtract:
1. The accessories added to my truck after purchase.
2. The passengers (including my cat and his litter).
3. The stuff I have in the bed.
4. The tongue weight of the trailer.

That leaves me just over 100 pounds. That's my closest restriction.

For GCVW I add:

1. The as built weight of the truck plus 1-3 above.
2. The as built weight of the trailer plus cargo.

Comparing tongue weight and max tow weight limits is relatively easy, but I do have a tongue scale and try to weight both the truck and trailer at a scale when I can just to make sure the above calculations are not too far off.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:52 PM   #3
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The CAT scale for our TV/TT loaded for a one-month trip indicated we had 23% margin to the GCWR. If both TV and TT are at their GVWR limits then I would have 6% margin to GCWR.

TV curb weight: 6,951#
TV payload capacity: 3,049#
TV tow capacity: 12,500#
TV GCWR: 19,000#

TT GCWR: 7,000#
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:15 AM   #4
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Go to a CAT truck scale with your RV and get real world weights when your truck and trailer are loaded for travel.

It’s easy to do, especially with the “Weigh My Truck” app on your smart phone. Be sure to set up your accounts and payment on a computer before heading out to the scale.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
Go to a CAT truck scale with your RV and get real world weights when your truck and trailer are loaded for travel.

It’s easy to do, especially with the “Weigh My Truck” app on your smart phone. Be sure to set up your accounts and payment on a computer before heading out to the scale.
Thank you for that. It beats my method of going to a state scale, hoping it's closed but the scale turned on. ;-)

Apparently it now costs $12.50 per weigh (except re-checks), but apparently you can get the entire weigh process as part of one weigh. See examples.

https://catscale.com/how-to-weigh/

My main complaint is the scale locator is a separate app. And it doesn't help that the separate app isn't similarly named so that you can locate it easily among all your apps.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:37 AM   #6
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In your area there must be dozens of CAT Scales. Many truck stops, Loves, Pilot, Flying Js, TA, etc.

Yes, it's $12.50 but you can weigh each axle of your truck separately and the trailer axles all in one weigh. Reweighs are cheaper. With the App you get an on screen weight and they email you a PDF And you can go inside and ask for a printed copy for no additional cost.

It's harder to do with a TT because of how busy truck stops are, but if it's not busy you can drop the trailer and put the tongue on one section and the axles on another and get the true tongue weight separate of the truck. However, if there are trucks that want to weigh they'll get mad.

You drive up, position your axles on the well marked scale. Fire up the App and and click weigh. Bingo you're done.

We've done it a few times. With a motorhome it's vital for setting proper tire pressures. Wouldn't hurt to do the same with your TV and TT, either.

PS. It's not uncommon to see RVs and TTs in line at the CAT Scale.
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Old 02-07-2020, 11:45 AM   #7
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Here are the three nearest to the zip code in your Profile:
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:56 PM   #8
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It's harder to do with a TT because of how busy truck stops are, but if it's not busy you can drop the trailer and put the tongue on one section and the axles on another and get the true tongue weight separate of the truck. However, if there are trucks that want to weigh they'll get mad.
I have my own scale for tongue weight, and I'm not too worried about that number except as it contributes against payload, but maybe I'll try that sometime if there's no one there.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:21 PM   #9
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OK, I just got the app. It's asking me for a code number from an "intercom." Is this something I'd find at the scale itself, or ?? It's obviously set up for tractor/trailers moreso than me and my 5th wheel. Can it find the location of scales for me?
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:00 PM   #10
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OK, I just got the app. It's asking me for a code number from an "intercom." Is this something I'd find at the scale itself, or ?? It's obviously set up for tractor/trailers moreso than me and my 5th wheel. Can it find the location of scales for me?
Yes the code would be at the scale, and they have a separate app for finding scale locations. It's called Cat Scale in Android.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:31 PM   #11
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In my experience when you are at the scale the app will automatically recognize your location and display the scale number but it will be on a placard above the intercom if it doesn’t fill it in for you automatically.

Don’t forget, it’s vastly better to set up your account on a computer before you ever go to a scale.

And yes it’s set up for semi-trucks. It will ask you for your “truck number”. Just put in any number you wish. It makes no difference. I used 001 I believe.
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:36 PM   #12
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Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:02 PM   #13
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This impacts most personal vehicle owners/drivers around from little sports car to the largest SUV and Motor Home. My 2 passenger convertible is rated for 2 passengers plus 130 lbs of luggage in the trunk however wait a minute what the Big Print Giveth the Fine Print Taketh Away since a Passenger is defined as 150 lbs so including luggage the capacity is only 430 lbs or 35 lbs less than my 250cc Motor Bike.

I only know a couple of folks who fit the 150 lb model they use to define a "Passenger" which makes it so the number of belted seating positions in a vehicle can be very misleading. The logic for some 6 passenger vehicles appears to be a young couple traveling with one set of their thin/elderly parents plus two small children and leave your stuff at home.

Too many gas motor homes have less than 1,000 lbs capacity left after you add water and fuel making the up to 10 belted seating positions a bit of a moot point too.

Indeed the Devil is In The Details so you need to weight and confirm things before loading up and yes many times it may be quite startling to see how the number stack up.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:08 AM   #14
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Too many gas motor homes have less than 1,000 lbs capacity left after you add water and fuel making the up to 10 belted seating positions a bit of a moot point too.
Good points. I would point out though that some suggest travelling with no water in the tanks even if you're not near capacity limits, unless you know you're going someplace without hookups. Personally I want enough to flush the toilet several times just for in-travel use and in case I unexpectedly end up someplace without hookups.

I know people think of their motor homes and full size trucks as being beasts, but water is heavy!
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