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Old 03-09-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Need help understanding weights

I just finished reading Maverick's Towing Bible post (which was excellent by the way) and need a couple of things cleared up.

I always assumed a trailers stated weight would include the batteries, propane bottles, etc. Basically everything except water in the tanks and any personal items you throw on. After reading Maverick's post though, it would appear that is not the case, as he stated adding the weight of propane, batteries, water, etc.

I'm looking at renting a 19' travel trailer to go camping this summer, and it's beginning to look like my truck can't safely haul it. What all do I need to add to the stated trailer's weight so that I have the "towing weight?"

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Old 03-09-2009, 06:43 PM   #2
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The "Towing weight" is the weight of everything your gonna have in the trailor at time of towing. Only way to be accurate is to have it weighed at a scale house
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris, but I guess what I'm asking is if someone tells you a travel trailer weighs, say 3000 lbs, what all do you need to add to that to get the "real" weight. In other words, knowing the trailer weighs 3000 lbs doesn't do me a whole lot of good if in fact that weight does not include water, propane, batteries, and anything else I may be missing.

For example, the trailer in question I am told has a dry weight of 3295 lbs. Other than any junk I might throw in it, what else do I need to account for to know how much weight I am really pulling?
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:56 PM   #4
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Someone double check these numbers for me, because I am having a hard time believing that I could be under the GCVWR by so far, yet over the rated payload...

I am trying to rent a 19' travel trailer for a short trip in the Rockie Mountains (60 miles each way). All I know about the tt is that it has a dry weight of 3295 lbs, and a tongue weight of 161 lbs. The empty weight of my truck, as stated in the sales brochure, is 4155 lbs. However, I have one of those yellow stickers on the driver's door that says "modifications to this vehicle have reduced the load carrying capacity by 290 lbs." I seem to remember reading a post that mentioned that this sticker is installed on trucks with the tow package, which I have. If this is correct, then the actual empty weight of my truck is 4155 + 290 = 4445 lbs. Subtract this number from the GVWR of 5450, and I have a whopping 1005 lbs of payload capability.

From 1005 lbs, I would subtract 130 lbs for gas (21 gallons x 6.2 lbs / gallon), 200 lbs for myself, 120 lbs for my wife, 110 lbs for one of my sons, 30 lbs for my other son, 200 lbs of camping gear in the bed of the truck, 161 lbs for the tongue weight, 50 lbs for a battery on the travel trailer, and 170 lbs for propane on the trailer (40 gallons propane [2 tanks] x 4.24 lbs / gallon). This puts me 166 lbs over the max payload of the truck.

However, the GCVWR would only come up to 8750 lbs, plus the water tanks (I don't know how big the water tank is).

How is it I can be 2350 lbs under the max GCVWR, yet over the payload by 166 lbs? I'm certainly not putting much weight in the truck, yet I see posts by others that are hauling trailers that weigh 2000 - 3000 lbs more (resulting in higher tongue weight), and have a quad or a bike in the bed. Are they just not paying attention to the payload, or are my numbers all screwed up???
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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GVW is the max weight of the vehicle
GCVW is the max capacity of both trailer and tow vehicle.

Never go over the GVW.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:42 PM   #6
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So what you're saying is that no, I cannot tow a light trailer, with a mere 200 lbs in the bed, with my wife and 2 sons because that puts me over the GVWR. Wow. I don't know what to say, other than I just lost of ton of respect for the Tacoma and its "capabilities" tonight.

Would it be a safe assupmtion to say that all those who are pulling bigger trailers and have quads (or whatever else in the back) are simply ignoring (or not calculating) the GVWR?
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropJet View Post
So what you're saying is that no, I cannot tow a light trailer, with a mere 200 lbs in the bed, with my wife and 2 sons because that puts me over the GVWR. Wow. I don't know what to say, other than I just lost of ton of respect for the Tacoma and its "capabilities" tonight.

Would it be a safe assupmtion to say that all those who are pulling bigger trailers and have quads (or whatever else in the back) are simply ignoring (or not calculating) the GVWR?
Toyota does their weights with a full tank of gas. I wouldn't worry too much about it. You are driving pretty much as normal, but with some camping gear in the back and 160 pounds of tongue weight. The truck will have no problem with this. I tow a 4550 dry with a 550 pound tongue and the same passenger load as you and it is fine.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropJet View Post
So what you're saying is that no, I cannot tow a light trailer, with a mere 200 lbs in the bed, with my wife and 2 sons because that puts me over the GVWR. Wow. I don't know what to say, other than I just lost of ton of respect for the Tacoma and its "capabilities" tonight.

Would it be a safe assupmtion to say that all those who are pulling bigger trailers and have quads (or whatever else in the back) are simply ignoring (or not calculating) the GVWR?
Im sorry. I dont think Im being very clear, as Im a little distracted. Gross Vehicle Weight is tha maximum the truck can weigh. Gross Combination Vehicle Weight is the maximum the trailer and truck can weigh together, but keeping in mind, the GVW of the tow vehicle.....In other words, if the GVW of the trck is 5000#, and the trailer is 2000#. If your truck weighs in at 5200 # and your towing 2000#, its bad because you are over the GVW of the truck. Now, if the truck is 4800# and the trailer is 5000# its ok, because you are under the GCVW, and the GVW. Am I makeing sense?
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropJet View Post
50 lbs for a battery on the travel trailer, and 170 lbs for propane on the trailer (40 gallons propane [2 tanks] x 4.24 lbs / gallon).
I am assuming that you mean 2 * 20lb tanks (40 gallons of propane is a huge amount). Another thing to note is not all of this extra weight will get added to the truck (some will stay with the trailer). As for your cargo, I would load it in the trailer as well.

Take a look at the sticky explaining Toyota towing at the top of the towing section, if you need help with GCVW and GVWR ect...
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropJet View Post
Someone double check these numbers for me, because I am having a hard time believing that I could be under the GCVWR by so far, yet over the rated payload...

I am trying to rent a 19' travel trailer for a short trip in the Rockie Mountains (60 miles each way). All I know about the tt is that it has a dry weight of 3295 lbs, and a tongue weight of 161 lbs. The empty weight of my truck, as stated in the sales brochure, is 4155 lbs. However, I have one of those yellow stickers on the driver's door that says "modifications to this vehicle have reduced the load carrying capacity by 290 lbs." I seem to remember reading a post that mentioned that this sticker is installed on trucks with the tow package, which I have. If this is correct, then the actual empty weight of my truck is 4155 + 290 = 4445 lbs. Subtract this number from the GVWR of 5450, and I have a whopping 1005 lbs of payload capability.

From 1005 lbs, I would subtract 130 lbs for gas (21 gallons x 6.2 lbs / gallon), 200 lbs for myself, 120 lbs for my wife, 110 lbs for one of my sons, 30 lbs for my other son, 200 lbs of camping gear in the bed of the truck, 161 lbs for the tongue weight, 50 lbs for a battery on the travel trailer, and 170 lbs for propane on the trailer (40 gallons propane [2 tanks] x 4.24 lbs / gallon). This puts me 166 lbs over the max payload of the truck.

However, the GCVWR would only come up to 8750 lbs, plus the water tanks (I don't know how big the water tank is).

How is it I can be 2350 lbs under the max GCVWR, yet over the payload by 166 lbs? I'm certainly not putting much weight in the truck, yet I see posts by others that are hauling trailers that weigh 2000 - 3000 lbs more (resulting in higher tongue weight), and have a quad or a bike in the bed. Are they just not paying attention to the payload, or are my numbers all screwed up???
No subtracting....it's all about adding.

You need to take 5350lbs (GVWR) + 320lbs (you & your wife) + 130lbs (gas) + 340lbs (your kids & cargo) + 265lbs (all that other stuff you mentioned) + 3295lbs = 9700lbs (GCVWR)

These trucks have a GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating) of 11,100lbs. This is the total weight of EVERYTHING (truck, fluids, people, cargo, trailer, etc etc etc).

Note: The travel trailer should not exceed 6500lbs (your tow rating) of TOTAL WEIGHT of the everything (travel trailer, and everything & anything inside it or even attached to it, etc).
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:09 AM   #11
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I think everyone is getting a little confused / sidetracked with all of the numbers involved.

Max GVWR, as stated by Toyota, is 5450 lbs. The GVWR that I am coming up with for my scenario is 5616 lbs (166 lbs over the max), which includes the vehicle, gas, 4 occupants, 200 lbs of gear in the bed, and tongue weight (161 lbs + weight of propane and battery).

The max GCVWR, on the other hand, is 11,100 lbs. In my scenario, I am well under that number at 8750 lbs.

In other words, although these vehicles have a decent tow rating, I am discovering that the payload rating is leaving a lot to be desired. I am suspecting that many people are simply looking at the 6500 lb tow limitation, and 11,100 lb GCVWR to determine if they can pull a given trailer, and failing to calculate the GVWR to see if they are over the max of 5450 lbs.

Sorry if this comes across as me being condenscending, as I don't mean it that way. I see a lot of posts by others pulling much bigger loads, and I'm just trying to figure out who is correct, as I don't need to be exceeding any limitations / ratings in the mountains.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropJet View Post
I think everyone is getting a little confused / sidetracked with all of the numbers involved.

Max GVWR, as stated by Toyota, is 5450 lbs. The GVWR that I am coming up with for my scenario is 5616 lbs (166 lbs over the max), which includes the vehicle, gas, 4 occupants, 200 lbs of gear in the bed, and tongue weight (161 lbs + weight of propane and battery).

The max GCVWR, on the other hand, is 11,100 lbs. In my scenario, I am well under that number at 8750 lbs.

In other words, although these vehicles have a decent tow rating, I am discovering that the payload rating is leaving a lot to be desired. I am suspecting that many people are simply looking at the 6500 lb tow limitation, and 11,100 lb GCVWR to determine if they can pull a given trailer, and failing to calculate the GVWR to see if they are over the max of 5450 lbs.

Sorry if this comes across as me being condenscending, as I don't mean it that way. I see a lot of posts by others pulling much bigger loads, and I'm just trying to figure out who is correct, as I don't need to be exceeding any limitations / ratings in the mountains.
Your calculations are a little off. Here's why.

The RV has 2 20lb bottles, not 2 20 gallon bottles. The propane weight is roughly 55lbs(40lbs of propane and 2 7.5lb bottles), not 170lbs.

Payload capacity1005 lbs,
subtract 130 lbs for gas (21 gallons x 6.2 lbs / gallon),
200 lbs for you
120 lbs for wife
110 lbs for son 1
30 lbs for son 2
200 lbs of camping gear
161 lbs for the tongue weight
50 lbs for a battery
55lbs for propane on the trailer

Based on this calculation you would now be only 51lbs over

Now then, Unless you are carrying an additional 21 gallons of fuel that 130 lbs is already included in the curb weight of the truck. Also, depending on the competancy of the outfit you are renting the RV from the 161lbs of tongue weight may I STRESS MAY include the propane and battery. So here is the new calculation.

Payload capacity1005 lbs,
200 lbs for you
120 lbs for wife
110 lbs for son 1
30 lbs for son 2
200 lbs of camping gear
161 lbs for the tongue weight
50 lbs for a battery
55lbs for propane on the trailer

This puts you 79 lbs UNDER the payload capacity, and depending on how and where you got the tongue weight for the trailer you may be as much as 184lbs UNDER payload capacity. Also, unless they have speciically told you that the trailer has dual propane bottles, it is unlikely that a stock 19 foot trailer has 2 bottles, it is likely only a single bottle set-up.

If you have physically seen the exact unit that you will be renting on the door inside one of the interior cabinates will be the actuall as manufactured weight plate for that exact trailer, which will break down what that particular trailer weighs, and what if any options like propane and battery are already included in that figure.

As for your trip, you will be more than fine. My closing advice is to put the 200lbs of camping stuff in the trailer just to give yourself a little more wiggle room. When my wife and I go camping, the only things in the bed are our mountain bikes on fork mounts(about 49 lbs combined), (the front wheels are in the trailer) and a tupperware tub full of firewood, which is about 60lbs. anything else involved in camping stays in the trailer.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:02 PM   #13
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Thanks Maverick. I was hoping someone would find some stupid mistake on my part, and you came through for me. I mistakenly thought the vehicle's empty weight would NOT include gas, and I'm not sure where I came up with the numbers for the propane. I think I took 5 gallons x 4 lbs / gallon (20 lbs), got distracted by my son, then went back and interpreted the 20 to be gallons, which I multiplied by 4 again.

Also, through communications with the rv rental place, they realized they gave me some incorrect numbers, so here is my new calculation:
Payload capacity = 1005 lbs
200 lbs me
120 lbs wife
110 lbs son 1
30 lbs son 2
200 lbs gear in bed
239 lbs tongue weight

This puts me 106 lbs under the payload capacity (based on their wording in my last conversation, it sounded like the 239 lb tongue weight included the propane and battery...however I emailed back and specifically asked that question).

Another question. Would having the rear suspension tsb performed increase the payload rating at all, or give me a little more margin? In either case, I am going to assume that Toyota will likely not update the tsb to include 2009's before my trip. If this is the case, would it be wise to install the Timbren bump stops that you made reference to in the towing bible post?

Thanks again
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PropJet View Post
Thanks Maverick. I was hoping someone would find some stupid mistake on my part, and you came through for me. I mistakenly thought the vehicle's empty weight would NOT include gas, and I'm not sure where I came up with the numbers for the propane. I think I took 5 gallons x 4 lbs / gallon (20 lbs), got distracted by my son, then went back and interpreted the 20 to be gallons, which I multiplied by 4 again.

Also, through communications with the rv rental place, they realized they gave me some incorrect numbers, so here is my new calculation:
Payload capacity = 1005 lbs
200 lbs me
120 lbs wife
110 lbs son 1
30 lbs son 2
200 lbs gear in bed
239 lbs tongue weight

This puts me 106 lbs under the payload capacity (based on their wording in my last conversation, it sounded like the 239 lb tongue weight included the propane and battery...however I emailed back and specifically asked that question).

Another question. Would having the rear suspension tsb performed increase the payload rating at all, or give me a little more margin? In either case, I am going to assume that Toyota will likely not update the tsb to include 2009's before my trip. If this is the case, would it be wise to install the Timbren bump stops that you made reference to in the towing bible post?

Thanks again
The TSB will not "increase the payload capacity" It will just make the truck more happy about hauling the payload capacity it was already rated for. I have not been following the TSB threads lately so I am not sure if it is even still an issue on the 09's as they may have finally put the new springs into the new trucks, if they have not done so then it is not likely that you'll get it covered untill the add the 09's to the TSB in mid 2010.

The timbren bump stops are great, but only if you are going to be hitting or riding on the bump stops, and I don't think you will be. You are really only dealing with 239 lbs of tongue weight, as the rest of the payload will be very well distributed throughout the truck. Try to secure the camping gear you are going to put in the back in the nose of the bed as close to the cab as possible, and you really should be good to go.

Do they rent the trailer with a weight distribution hitch? This is also good information to have. If it does, it is height adjustable, and make sure you allow enough time when you pick it up for them to get it set correctly. If not have them provide (ore preferably take yourself) a measurement from the ground to the inside of the coupler when the trailer is perfectly level so that you can get the right size drawbar. Make sure to weight the back of the truck by 239 lbs when you are taking your measurement of the hitch height, and do not forget to account for the height of the ball. When towing you want the trailer to ride perfectly level or slightly nose down.

To check if you need the timbrens, have wife, both kids, and a 200lb friend sit in the cab. Put 200lbs of camping stuff in the bed, and then have another 239lbs of friend(s) stand on the bumper. Stick your head under the truck and take a look at your bump stop clearance. Then have the guys on the bumper bounce the truck a little bit (careful of your head at this point), and see if when bouncing it is hitting the stops, if yes, get timbrens, if no, then you are good to go.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:34 PM   #15
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I have seen a post were a guy got Toyota to TSB an 09. Not sure if it was here or at Toyota nation
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