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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Need to bounce some ideas off you guys. Just for fun, I went to a CAT scale on Sunday. Did a weigh with trailer loaded and my family of 5 in the truck. It was a lighter trip (compared to what we normally do) - we only had a 7lb bag of briquettes, an empty ice chest, a small tackle box, a 20lb tool box and a few fishing poles in the bed of the truck. Trailer was loaded per normal and was well under it's load capacity.

I also topped off the fuel (36 gallons) as I wanted a full "lets go camping" ready weight.

I did two weighs. First was loaded w/trailer and each axle on its own pad. The re-weigh was just the truck. The hitch was still in the receiver and all occupants onboard. Only difference was we had dropped the trailer in the parking lot. Wanted a strict A/B comparison so I could calculate tongue weight.

The results surprised me. So much in fact, that I went to another CAT scale for a 2nd opinion. This time, I put the ENTIRE truck on one pad, and the entire trailer on the 2nd. Well wouldn't you know, the results were identical.

Images of the first two weights will be provided below.

First big eye-opener. Wow, it's easy to go over your GVWR. Look how heavy we were.. even WITHOUT the trailer!!!! Again I didn't believe it at first, but when I got home and started adding things up....larger LT rated tires... upgraded intercooler and radiator.. oil cooler.. rear lift blocks.. front leveling kit.. overload springs.. bed cover.. child seat.. skid plate.. two subs and amps.. recovery straps.. hitch.. wheel spacers.. 36 gallons of fuel.. family. Before you blink you're at payload capacity and you haven't even started putting things in the bed yet. They aren't kidding when they call these 'light duty' trucks.

But onto my question. I was shocked by the rear axle weight. By the numbers, if you do the math comparing before/after, here's what we're looking at:

Loaded:
Total Weight of truck: 7880 (includes tongue weight) (REAR AXLE OVER LIMIT @ 4260) Front Axle @ 3620
Total Weight of Trailer: 6800 (6060 trailer + 740 Tongue weight)
Tongue Weight (original Axle 1 & 2 weight - Reweigh): 740 (10.9% - right on target)
Total Rig: 13,940

Unloaded:

Front Axle: 3820 (OVER FRONT AXLE LIMIT)
Rear Axle: 3320
Total: 7140 (Only 60lbs under gvwr with a basically empty bed.. sad)

A few shocking things here. First, minor mods add up fast. Sure, the heavier tire weight isn't "ON" the axle, but, it all adds up. Sad that unloaded going down the road with basically nothing in the bed, I'm already 'over' a limit. I'm not exactly a 'small' person but my kids are - I would call us the 'average' American family (pic attached for reference.)

My question though is about the loaded limit. As you can see, about 200lbs shifted from the front axle to the rear axle when loaded (front axle weighed 3820 empty, 3620 loaded.) That weight shift + the 740lb tongue weight of the trailer itself put the axle over limit. I'd think, ok, my distribution hitch needs to be tightened, however I feel it's pretty well set already, and this is where I want your advice. Can you guys take a look at my rig and determine adjustments based on that? I could do a full re-measure and tighten it, but then I feel it will be too hitch-high if I were to do that? I included some pics of the hitch and how the truck currently sits - for whatever you can tell me from that?!

Last eye-opener - after seeing this - I'm positive 80%+ of the trucks I see going down the road pulling a travel trailer are over a limit somewhere lol. Sure, my trailer is WAY under 'tow rating' but different story with the truck.. would had never DREAMED I was over somewhere with an empty bed only towing a ~7k trailer! The truck tows it great and feels fully confident going down the road.

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Nice write up.
 

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2013 Ford F150 XLT 3.5 EgoBeast SuperCrew 4X4, 3.55 axles, 9.75" w/elocker
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IDK. I do know the spring bars should be level when the hitch is set up correctly. I have some work to do on mine as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I think I just might have to go out there and do a full re-measure and re-setup. Was hoping someone here would have a magical answer as I didn't feel like unbolting the hitch to adjust it. Part of me feels that it's not adjusted properly due to the rear axle weight reported by the scale, but the other part of me says, it sure looks like it's sitting level. But I suppose the fact that it's level might be deceiving/not a real indicator of where the weight is being placed.
 

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Hi. You really needed to do a 3rd weigh with the trailer hitched up, but no WD bars (actually weighing with the WD bars attached is fine, as that really is how you are going down the road). That would give you a closer estimate of the trailers actual tongue weight.

The WD hitch will transfer the trailers actual tongue to the the front axle and the trailers axles, so the #740 that it is with HD will be a little bit lower than actual. But, it's really splitting hairs considering your weights as you reported them.

You could try tilting the hitch head to it's max and that will put more pressure on the bars. Might take some more weight off the rear axle and some to the front and trailer axles.

My Trailer weighs around #7000 all loaded up. I have not been to any scales with this setup, but I pack heavy in both the trailer and the truck bed, so even with my MaxTow equipped Eco, I'm sure I'm pushing the weights too.

But, it tows solid, and seems to be a good match for the truck with the setup I have.

Good luck! Mitch
 
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Yeah these trucks don't have a lot of FAWR left. Here is my cat scale with the truck completely empty(nobody in it but some cell phone chargers and misc crap in the console) and a full tank of fuel. The only mods I had at this point was a tune, wrangler duratracs and a catch can.

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My FAWR is 3900 lbs so I am within 460 lbs of it without anyone even in the truck. Now that I have a CVF intercooler and oil cooler hanging way out in front I bet I am within about 400 lbs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for posting yours mass-hole! I think if my vehicle was truly empty of people, car seats and skid plates it would have come in pretty close to yours. Just crazy (and a bit depressing) how close they cut it.

Even though I've done the 'max tow' upgrades I'm still not a true max tow like you, so my front axle rating is lower than yours at 3750. Yay for me.

Mitchf150 - I was going to do that but didn't think about it until later. My thought was by subtracting total loaded vs total unloaded, that would tell me the true amount that my truck is trying to carry from the trailer, which was ultimately what I was after. I suppose if I did a 3rd one without the bars, that would at least tell me exactly what the distribution hitch was doing. For instance, if my front end was even LIGHTER without the bars, then at least I know they're helping, and by exactly how much. I suppose that will be a subject for my next trip to the scale :) But yeah like you said the thing tows just fine, so I think at this point it's more about me just being bummed overall.. I had plans to throw a small ATV in the bed.. so much for THAT idea!! Though.. I know it would do it fine... I had about 300-400lbs of firewood in the bed on the way up the mountain (it did just fine.. poor axle..).. that was all gone on the way home when I got it weighed. But now I'll probably never do that again because I'm going to be paranoid about the axle. What I'm likely going to do now is take the trailer to a welder so they can beef up the rear bumper and add a carry-hitch back there and that's where I'll put things. I have plenty of carry capacity left on the trailer itself.
 

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It’s easy to go over in these trucks as you have seen. Sure, they have the power wheelbase and even brakes to make a good tow vehicle. But the parts durability just isn’t there. I pull a 5k airstream and it pulls great. But I only pull a few times a year. Any more and I would go 3/4 ton for anything 5 k regularly. Having used a 3/4 ton, it’s a night and day difference.

In my opinion half ton towing is 100% marketing pissing contest and not very applicable. The 12k plus max is impossibly to achieve with anything but a wagon trailer because payloads are so small!
 

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Thanks for posting yours mass-hole! I think if my vehicle was truly empty of people, car seats and skid plates it would have come in pretty close to yours. Just crazy (and a bit depressing) how close they cut it.

Even though I've done the 'max tow' upgrades I'm still not a true max tow like you, so my front axle rating is lower than yours at 3750. Yay for me.

Mitchf150 - I was going to do that but didn't think about it until later. My thought was by subtracting total loaded vs total unloaded, that would tell me the true amount that my truck is trying to carry from the trailer, which was ultimately what I was after. I suppose if I did a 3rd one without the bars, that would at least tell me exactly what the distribution hitch was doing. For instance, if my front end was even LIGHTER without the bars, then at least I know they're helping, and by exactly how much. I suppose that will be a subject for my next trip to the scale :) But yeah like you said the thing tows just fine, so I think at this point it's more about me just being bummed overall.. I had plans to throw a small ATV in the bed.. so much for THAT idea!! Though.. I know it would do it fine... I had about 300-400lbs of firewood in the bed on the way up the mountain (it did just fine.. poor axle..).. that was all gone on the way home when I got it weighed. But now I'll probably never do that again because I'm going to be paranoid about the axle. What I'm likely going to do now is take the trailer to a welder so they can beef up the rear bumper and add a carry-hitch back there and that's where I'll put things. I have plenty of carry capacity left on the trailer itself.
Whats weird is that there are some truck out there with a 4050 lb fawr. And its not just HDPP trucks. I remember there was a guy on the F150Forum with a truck almost identical to mine(2014, crew, 6.5’ bed) but a 5.0, and he had the 4050 lb fawr. No clue why or what logic there is behind it but i can guarantee that there was no physical difference between our trucks suspensions.

In fact, now that I think about it, I think his rawr was actually lower than his fawr which makes zero sense.
 
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Need to bounce some ideas off you guys. Just for fun, I went to a CAT scale on Sunday. Did a weigh with trailer loaded and my family of 5 in the truck. It was a lighter trip (compared to what we normally do) - we only had a 7lb bag of briquettes, an empty ice chest, a small tackle box, a 20lb tool box and a few fishing poles in the bed of the truck. Trailer was loaded per normal and was well under it's load capacity.

I also topped off the fuel (36 gallons) as I wanted a full "lets go camping" ready weight.

I did two weighs. First was loaded w/trailer and each axle on its own pad. The re-weigh was just the truck. The hitch was still in the receiver and all occupants onboard. Only difference was we had dropped the trailer in the parking lot. Wanted a strict A/B comparison so I could calculate tongue weight.

The results surprised me. So much in fact, that I went to another CAT scale for a 2nd opinion. This time, I put the ENTIRE truck on one pad, and the entire trailer on the 2nd. Well wouldn't you know, the results were identical.

Images of the first two weights will be provided below.

First big eye-opener. Wow, it's easy to go over your GVWR. Look how heavy we were.. even WITHOUT the trailer!!!! Again I didn't believe it at first, but when I got home and started adding things up....larger LT rated tires... upgraded intercooler and radiator.. oil cooler.. rear lift blocks.. front leveling kit.. overload springs.. bed cover.. child seat.. skid plate.. two subs and amps.. recovery straps.. hitch.. wheel spacers.. 36 gallons of fuel.. family. Before you blink you're at payload capacity and you haven't even started putting things in the bed yet. They aren't kidding when they call these 'light duty' trucks.

But onto my question. I was shocked by the rear axle weight. By the numbers, if you do the math comparing before/after, here's what we're looking at:

Loaded:
Total Weight of truck: 7880 (includes tongue weight) (REAR AXLE OVER LIMIT @ 4260) Front Axle @ 3620
Total Weight of Trailer: 6800 (6060 trailer + 740 Tongue weight)
Tongue Weight (original Axle 1 & 2 weight - Reweigh): 740 (10.9% - right on target)
Total Rig: 13,940

Unloaded:

Front Axle: 3820 (OVER FRONT AXLE LIMIT)
Rear Axle: 3320
Total: 7140 (Only 60lbs under gvwr with a basically empty bed.. sad)

A few shocking things here. First, minor mods add up fast. Sure, the heavier tire weight isn't "ON" the axle, but, it all adds up. Sad that unloaded going down the road with basically nothing in the bed, I'm already 'over' a limit. I'm not exactly a 'small' person but my kids are - I would call us the 'average' American family (pic attached for reference.)

My question though is about the loaded limit. As you can see, about 200lbs shifted from the front axle to the rear axle when loaded (front axle weighed 3820 empty, 3620 loaded.) That weight shift + the 740lb tongue weight of the trailer itself put the axle over limit. I'd think, ok, my distribution hitch needs to be tightened, however I feel it's pretty well set already, and this is where I want your advice. Can you guys take a look at my rig and determine adjustments based on that? I could do a full re-measure and tighten it, but then I feel it will be too hitch-high if I were to do that? I included some pics of the hitch and how the truck currently sits - for whatever you can tell me from that?!

Last eye-opener - after seeing this - I'm positive 80%+ of the trucks I see going down the road pulling a travel trailer are over a limit somewhere lol. Sure, my trailer is WAY under 'tow rating' but different story with the truck.. would had never DREAMED I was over somewhere with an empty bed only towing a ~7k trailer! The truck tows it great and feels fully confident going down the road.

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I found that with my tongue-heavy Lance trailer, I'm over GVWR in my F-150. I am under the GAWR both front and rear, so I'm not overly concerned.

I'm adding a 60 lb receiver to the back of the trailer. That should remove 40 lbs from the tongue. When I hang a bike rack and two e-bikes back there, that'l add another 200 lbs at the back. That will take about 150 off the tongue, yet still keep over 12% of the trailer total on the tongue for sway mitigation. That should bring me back under GVWR. Until I throw the popup in the bed anyway.

Sent from my SM-T720 using Tapatalk
 

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I was shocked when I watched some of the "what can I really tow" videos and worked the spreadsheets.
For me to not be "over payload" with my XLT Screw, I can only have a 4000UVW / 5000GVW trailer and basically my family and no bags in the truck.

Ford really pulls the wool over your eyes with 'towing capability' ads
 

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In the photos it looks like it's sitting pretty nicely. If it tows well also, as it sounds like it does, I think I'd leave it alone.

Sent from my moto z4 using Tapatalk
 
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