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Old 12-15-2012, 01:34 PM   #1
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New Tow Ratings

I noticed in the current issue of Trailer Life that with the new Big Three tow ratings there is a greater allowance for fifth wheels then "conventional trailers". Had never noticed this before, not sure when they started doing that. Here is an example in this Chevy link, the fifth wheel towrating for the 2500 HD with 6.0/4.10 is 1200 more lbs then the conventional trailer. With the diesel the difference is even more. Have they been doing it this way awhile or is this something new? One has to wonder if the previous years vehicles also would tow a larger fifth wheel then the ratings of the time.

http://www.chevrolet.com/silverado-2...ndard_box.html
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:18 PM   #2
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Could it be that with a 5er the "tongue" (pin) weight is more or less directly above the axle whereas with a conventional "bumper" pull situation the weight is 3 or 4 feet aft of the axle. This distance is a force multiplying lever arm that would apply more downward force on the axle for a given tongue weight.

For example, if a 500lb downward force on the hitch ball makes your bumper drop 2", the same 500lb downward force directly above the axle might only drop the bumper 1.5"
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #3
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Interesting thought, mcfarmall. That sounds plausible, considering that the farther you are away from the pivot, the more leverage you have. Would really like to know if this is indeed something that they suddenly realized, and would therefore apply to older trucks and 5ers. Thanks for the heads up, Lee. Believe I will contact Ford on this and see what they say. If I get a reply, I'll post it.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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Yeah I would think it would have to have something to do with the distribution of the weight over the axle, never saw this before in tow ratings.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Been that way for a at least 10 years. Having the weight over the axle is the reason. Keeps the front end on the ground better. Plus the hitches themselves are usually only rated to 12k max with WDH.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
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Those ratings are not in my owners manual, only one trailer tow rating, with no mention of a separate fifth wheels rating.

BUT I found this little side note on the CampingLife tow ratings database page. "A higher tow rating is listed for pickups that tow fifth-wheel trailers. See your dealer for more information." When I typed in my vehicle the 5th wheel rating was not included in the results, so maybe there is a higher rating for fifth wheels even on older vehicles, its just was not in the manuals or tow rating info sites.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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Hmmm.... My owners manual lists two ratings (5er and Bumper Pull).
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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There are a lot of people out there that will see the higher of the "tow ratings", and not see the " 5th wheel heading" and try to pull the highest rating with thier tv. Larry
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #9
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I think it is more related to the factory bumper mount hitch. If you look at the numbers in the example above, you see that the 6.0 gasser is rated at 9700 with the 3.73 axle on both TT and 5er. The 4.10 axle bumps it up to 13000 TT and 14200 on the 5er. The 13000 is the same for the 6.6 diesel on the bumper pull, and the 17400 on the 5er. I have not seen the actual hitch rating on a 2013 Chevy, but I bet if you look at the stickers on the hitch it will say 13000 max. I would not be afraid to pull a heavier TT, but I would get a heavier class v rated hitch.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:00 AM   #10
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My 2003 F-250 also has two "ratings" in the owners manual for travel trailer and 5'er.
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