“I’m sorry sir, that truck can’t tow this trailer.”
From my personal experience and the comments of others I’ve read on several forums I wonder if you’ll hear those words come from a salesperson - unless you pointed over to a Toyota Tacoma like I did. Of course, I was joking.
Any salesperson’s job is to sell. As a buyer, I believe that it is important to have as much information in-hand as possible before purchasing. In some instances, NOT ALL, a salesperson may say whatever is needed to get you to buy without regard to what tow vehicle you have. After informing the salesman I had a 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel, he perked up and assured me my truck was big enough for the 41 foot toy hauler I had my eyes on. “We tow these trailers all the time with 2500s,” the salesman said. To keep a long story short, I’ll tell you this; his untruthful sales pitch was revealed when I saw the bed of my 2500 nearly drop to the axle after raising the landing gear for the first time.
This was my first purchase of any RV. Although I had done some research on towing RVs, I learned quickly how little I knew. I’ve learned a lot since then. Now, I hope to pass along some helpful information to you.
One of the most common questions for RV buyers is something like this, “How much can I tow?” For some time I've avoided creating a calculator. During my research I continued to hear or read stories of how a buyer learned too late that they had purchased the wrong towing combination. It was either revealed when the truck bed lowered close to the axle, or when the vehicle's powertrain struggled towing uphill.
Not long ago, I completed a survey asking this question:
"Would you benefit from having a handy free calculator that provides peace of mind when purchasing a new tow vehicle or RV that’s readable on all smart devices and answers, 'Can I tow that?'”
A brief app history
An overwhelming 86% of the participants said yes. After reading these results I developed the first-of-its-kind web-based app and called it, Before You Buy RV. This original app was the most used app provided by Fifth Wheel St. The Before You Buy app required two individual steps to complete. The user's goal was to achieve a GO status in each step in order for the purchase to be considered a safe towing combination. Step 1 assisted the user in the calculation of obtaining Maximum Tow Capacity. Step 2 verified that the rear axle of the tow vehicle would not be overloaded. And step 2 was further complicated by having to select either a fifth wheel or conventional tow.
Never read a towing guide again!
Practically all towing guides give RVers just enough information that may cause them to purchase a trailer too heavy for their tow vehicle's capabilities. Towing guides listing Maximum Tow Capacity fail to take into consideration the different towing requirements between 5th wheel and conventional trailers. These common guides do not consider the additional payload weight created by the fifth wheel trailer pin weight. Even the creators of the most well known towing guide published by Trailer Life devotes four pages of instructions, entitled "Choose Wisely," that spells out the details required for selecting the correct towing combination. With the RV Tow Check app, you'll never need to read a towing guide again.
Out with the old - In with the new!
One of my personal lifelong mottoes has been: "There's always room for improvement." With that in mind, I took it as a personal challenge to simplify the process of the two step process required by the Before You Buy RV app, and develop something new into a simple one page app. The research and determination to succeed paid off.
Without further ado, I present to you...
The minimum requirement for RV Tow Check requires three inputs by the buyer or dealer. They are: Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR), Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). The user has the option to select a fifth wheel hitch if it's not already installed in the truck. They may include any additional unscaled weight for cargo and additional passenger weight. The app does not assume everyone weights 150 pounds, like the manufacturers do.
The RV Tow Check app may look simple on the outside, but the engine on the inside is strong, and the sophisticated math formulas performs multiple calculations. The processed results will give you the best and safest maximum trailer towing weight based on mid-range tongue and pin weights. With these three minimally required user inputs, buyers and dealers can be confident that the RV purchase or sale will not exceed the vehicle's GCWR, GVWR and GAWR. There are two outputs shown, one for the fifth wheel towing combination and the other for the conventional towing combination. RV Tow Check is the first app that displays both fifth wheel and conventional RV classifications simultaneously.
I'm confident that the RV Tow Check app will aid thousands of RV buyers and dealers in making the right RV purchase or sale. Additionally, I anticipate that the RV Tow Check app will become the industry standard for consumers and dealers.
RV Tow Check is accessible on all devices with a web browser. Bookmark http://RVtowCheck.com on you computer or mobile device right now.
Be sure to tell all your RVing friends about RV Tow Check today.
©2013, David W. Gray, all rights reserved. No portion of this article shall be reprinted without the permission of the author.
Q: What about axle air springs (bags) like the Firestone Ride-Rite - Want they incresase my load capacity?
A: No. Here is a direct quote from Firestone/Ride-Rite: "Please remember that air springs do not increase the load carrying capacity of your vehicle. *DO NOT EXCEED THE VEHICLE'S RECOMMENDED GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (GVWR)"
That on any RV forum you'll read statements similar to the following?
"You cannot change the manufactures tow rating or carrying capacity."
"You may be able to change the capabilities of the truck, if you address all weak links in the chain, but you cannot change the manufacturer's rating."
The big question is, is there any part of this assertion true?
After an informative conversation with a representative at NHTSA, we have an answer. Read the following article to learn more.