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Old 09-20-2015, 06:16 PM   #1
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Pin weights

I am looking to upgrade to a 5th wheel. Everyone says that the pin weight should be estimated at 20% of trailer weight but the listed dry pin weights are less than 20% of the listed dry weight of the trailer. Why? Also I know here that if you load equipment in certain areas of the trailer it can actually subtract from the pin weight. How does that work? I'm a little confused because there is a lot of conflicting info out there. I have a f250 gasser as you can see from my signature.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:56 AM   #2
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What model 5'er, year TV? Most of the Jayco's range from 1500-2800 loaded under real conditions. Being gas you will probably want to stay in the 9-12K GVWR range IMHO.

More details will help with more specific answers as there are many owners in this forum with varrying arrays of setups who can share knowledge.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:33 AM   #3
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I'm looking at an Eagle 317 RLOK. It's a brand new design that we saw at the Hershey show this weekend. No spec info on the website yet but the yellow door sticker had its weight at 10545. When I did look at the pin weights of the units listed on line they were all 17% - 19% of the listed dry weights. I never load with water or a lot of food, et. As most of our trips are weekends and always full hook ups. So I will be within my limits, I believe, but I want to be sure of the pin weight. That's why I don't understand everyone saying 20% when they don't list as 20% or how much loading the trailer can subtract from the pin weight by placement of the load.
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:19 AM   #4
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The 20% is just a rough number for ball park estimates. Arrived at by historical information from many fifths from many manufacturers over the years. It's what is recommended to be used if you don't know anything more specific, as it is fairly conservative.

The trailer can only pivot up or down based on where the axles are. So if you put weight behind the axles, it tips the front up a bit, lowering the percent of weight on the pin. And if the weight is in front, more is carried by the pin, and the % goes up. It's all proportional to how far in front or back of the pivot point (axles) the weight is placed.

It is possible to do the math to figure out exactly how much and where a given weight will change the pin % by how much. In actual practice, unless you are loading in really, really heavy things (anvils, horses, etc.) very far forward or very far back, the change is pretty small. Total weight goes up, but the % doesn't change much. So you are fine at guessing the potential pin weight based on Jayco's percents and your guess as to how much additional stuff you will be adding. Just don't cut it too close if you are concerned about whether you are approaching your limits or not - use the 19% rather than hoping for the 17%.

The only real way to find out is to buy it, load it, and then go to a scale to weigh it and the truck, then the truck by itself. So play it pretty conservative, as it would be a bummer to buy it, and then discover that in the real world you are exceeding your trucks limits. Don't forget to factor in the stuff in the truck that will also weigh it down -hitch weight, passengers, dogs, etc., etc.!
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:03 AM   #5
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All 5ths that I've seen have the "Basement" storage where most of the "stuff" goes. Since the basement is between the wheels and pin a portion of the weight winds up on the pin and the remainder on the wheels. The result is the 5th weight goes up on both the wheels and pin.
Loaded our pin is at 24%.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mets721 View Post
I am looking to upgrade to a 5th wheel. Everyone says that the pin weight should be estimated at 20% of trailer weight but the listed dry pin weights are less than 20% of the listed dry weight of the trailer. Why? Also I know here that if you load equipment in certain areas of the trailer it can actually subtract from the pin weight. How does that work? I'm a little confused because there is a lot of conflicting info out there. I have a f250 gasser as you can see from my signature.
Do you tow empty? If not, then the "dry" weights are just what the trailer weighs with nothing in it. Jayco does a better job in that they do list weights with full water, 1 battery and full propane; most other mfrs don't. The =only= way to know what your true pin weight is, unfortunately, to buy the durn thing, pack it for a trip, then hit the CAT scales. Another way to estimate pin weight is to take the dry pin, divide by total dry weight, then multiply by the GVW. Depending on where tanks are and how you load, this % can change =significantly=. Yes, you can use the teeter-totter effect to change your pin weight, but storage compartments are almost all in front of the axles. Putting a cargo rack on the back end will affect pin wt to a certain extent, but not as much as you might think.

Personally, I tow with empty tanks, and fill up as close to my boondock site as I can (better water anyway). Otherwise, I just carry a few gallons of fresh for potty stops and hand washing along the way and hit the hose at the campground. :-)

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Old 10-12-2015, 01:49 PM   #7
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Is this true? "Jayco does a better job in that they do list weights with full water, 1 battery and full propane; most other mfrs don't. "

Are we talking about the dry weights and pin weights? I didn't think the dry weight included a full tank of water, propane, etc...


Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citgodan View Post
Is this true? "Jayco does a better job in that they do list weights with full water, 1 battery and full propane; most other mfrs don't. "

Are we talking about the dry weights and pin weights? I didn't think the dry weight included a full tank of water, propane, etc...


Can anyone confirm this?
Doesn't include water or battery. They do give what a full tank of water would weigh however. Propane, geny and geny fuel is included if so equipped.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citgodan View Post
Is this true? "Jayco does a better job in that they do list weights with full water, 1 battery and full propane; most other mfrs don't. "

Are we talking about the dry weights and pin weights? I didn't think the dry weight included a full tank of water, propane, etc...


Can anyone confirm this?
Jayco only lists a "dry weight" base model pin weight. All options, propane, water, fuel and cargo must be added to this weight. Battery is not listed either as this is a dealer installed option and not shipped from the factory with one.

The OP orginally questioned whether this weight would change from year to year and it may, based on standard base model installed options.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:13 PM   #10
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As I said, they include propane and geny fuel and they give you the weight of a full tank of water for that unit.

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