Max weight of trailer

Discussion in 'Towables' started by stephs2125, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. stephs2125

    stephs2125 New Member

    Hi there!
    I am in the market for my first travel trailer (excited and terrified!)

    I have a Dodge Ram 1500 ('04) w/ Hemi 5.7L and 3.92 axle ratio and a class IV hitch w/ 7 pin wiring harness.
    According to Dodges website on Towing, this vehicle can tow 8550 lbs.
    Here are the specifics (all weights in lbs):
    GVWR = 6650
    GAWR Front/Rear = 3900/3900
    GCWR = 14000

    Based on that information and what you have come to know in your years of RVing, what is the maximum trailer weight I should be shopping for? There are three of us (2 adults and a 5yr. old) and I know I need to consider things like clothes, pots, pans, food, and barbies dolls ;)

    But what I don't know is how to safely estimate how much all this extra stuff adds up to...is it 500 lbs? 5000 lbs? I really have no frame of reference.

    Also I assume I will need to have electic brakes installed - I haven't begun to research that yet - can anyone give me an idea of what this costs and if there are specifics I should be considering?

    Thanks!
    Stephanie
     
  2. krsmitty

    krsmitty Senior Member

    Re: Max weight of trailer

    I can answer some about the brakes. Your TT will/should already have electric brakes installed. You need a brake controller that controls the brakes on the TT. Most newer trucks usually have a connection under the dash for a brake controller. Your owner manual should tell you that. You can pick up controllers from $50 to $500. I use a Prodigy P2. Believe I paid around $130 for it. They sell them at Camping World or numerous places online (where I bought mine).
     
  3. Triple E

    Triple E Senior Member

    Re: Max weight of trailer

    If your truck came with a 7 pin connector you should have a blue wire tuck up under your dash on the driver side. You might even have a fuse maked "Trailer Brakes" but not sure if you do.

    Water weighs 8.33 pounds per gallon. That will add up fast. Are you planning on doing a lot of dry camping or staying a camp grounds. Knowing this will help us help you. :approve:
     
  4. stephs2125

    stephs2125 New Member

    Re: Max weight of trailer

    Hi, The trailer will be used for vacations. Mostly short trips 4-5 hr drives, 3-4 days in length, staying at larger campgrounds that accommodate trailers with all the necessary power/water hookups.
    There mat be an occasional longer trip but I don't envision me ever staying outside of a campground. If and when I do I will likely be ready to upgrade but for now family camping vacations are the plan.
     
  5. akjimny

    akjimny Senior Member

    Re: Max weight of trailer

    Stephanie - If you plan on staying in campgrounds every night, you don't need to tote a full water tank. I never take more than 1/3 tank of water when we're traveling - just enough to flush the toilet for the day and maybe wash up the lunch dishes.

    The rest of your load will basically be food and clothing. Unless you are like some of our friends here who bring along formal clothes, that shouldn't be a problem. Just use common sense when loading and you should be fine. :) :)
     
  6. stephs2125

    stephs2125 New Member

    Re: Max weight of trailer

    So for example, I am eyeing a TT with a dry weight of 6293 lbs. If I understand this correctly and I do mostly dry camping, if I estimate adding 800 lbs of stuff (high? Low?) am I ok because the tow capacity is 8550?
    I am really struggling to understand these concepts. :(
     
  7. krsmitty

    krsmitty Senior Member

    Re: Max weight of trailer

    Yes. You want to keep total weight below tow capacity. You also have to look at the weight etc of passengers/cargo in you truck .
     
  8. mrmac8

    mrmac8 Junior Member

    I went through this process last year and it is confusing. Tongue weight and hitch weight are the same -- usually about 10 percent of total weight. However, there are two weight measurements - dry and gross. Dry weight is empty with nothing, and I mean nothing, in the trailer other than what came out of the factory. Add-ons like awnings and LP gas bottles are just the beginning of added weight. Water is a pound per pint and your trailer can probably carry between 90 and 120 gallons of water - fresh, grey and black -- which means if full you can have about 1000 pounds over dry weight. Then factor in what you add to the trailer to leave in it -- dishes, pots, linens, chairs, tools, etc -- and what you carry for a trip -- clothes, camping gear, etc -- and you can add another 1000 pounds in a flash. What is more important is the gross weight of the trailer as it sets the maximum as well as considering what your maximum tow weight is for your tow vehicle. As a matter of practically, you will rarely trailer with full grey and black tanks. Most travel with only enough fresh water to cover water needs between stops -- something like 25% to 33% of fresh water and minimum grey water -- this is still 200 pounds +/-. So you can see that 6300 pounds dry gets to 8000 pretty fast. Generally more carrying capacity is better than just meeting the maximum capacities. Still everything you carry on in either the trailer or tow vehicle affects the gross weight capacities of the trailer and tow vehicle. Don't forgo an equalizer, I think it is a mistake. They make hitching a bit more complicated, but the safety factor in both equalizing the weight across the tow vehicle and preventing sway (most equalizers are also stabilizers) is too important.
     
  9. mrmac8

    mrmac8 Junior Member

    By the way, dry camping could easily put you at the maximum very quickly -- a 30 gallon fresh water tank is about 250 pounds by itself and 40 gallons is 320 pounds. Depending upon you ability to dump, you could easily add another 500 or 600 pounds. Remember this is addition to the 800 pounds you bring on. And you may be estimating low. People should weight thier rigs. They would probably be surprised.
     
  10. brodavid

    brodavid Senior Member

    load it up like you are going camping and take it to a weigh scale and have it weighed, then you got it down to a pound what you can carry and not carry
     

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