A bit heavier than I thought. - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 11-04-2018, 01:29 PM   #1
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A bit heavier than I thought.

So I picked up this trailer in the spring. I have 3 kids that play travel soccer, so we spend a lot of time at weekend tournaments. We usually get to park on site, so it also saves time and hotel bills.....not to mention having AC,heat and a nice place to nap or chill out. The door tag said it was somewhere in the 5000lb range. I assumed it was a little more, so I was thinking I would gross somewhere between 12k-13k lbs. I finally stopped by the local scrap yard scale on my way out last weekend. Can in as 14,125lbs gross. My van is 6200lbs with a full tank of fuel and me in it. I had the whole family with me and a full water tank. Van is a 7.3 NA with 3.54s and a c6. Overall it handles the load well around here. I can usually stay in the 60-65mph range, but not much more. I think my vans owners manual says I am a bit overweight for my combination. Says 14k with 4.10s and something like 12.5k with 3.54s. Hoping to get the turbo kit that is sitting in my garage installed for next season.....then it will be time to go attack some real mountains to see how the setup does.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:53 PM   #2
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You sound so overloaded and underpowered you are putting your family and others on the road in extreme danger. In the trailer polate telling you GVWR see what the max weight should be. Look st van plate for sane info. Go online and see what the GCWR is (what is legal for van and load). You are in danger and so is your family if that trailer really weighs 14000+ pounds.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kensherripesce View Post
You sound so overloaded and underpowered you are putting your family and others on the road in extreme danger. In the trailer polate telling you GVWR see what the max weight should be. Look st van plate for sane info. Go online and see what the GCWR is (what is legal for van and load). You are in danger and so is your family if that trailer really weighs 14000+ pounds.
I assume itís 14,000# WITH the ban. Trailer canít weigh seven tons! Right?
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:45 PM   #4
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That makes more sense GCW of 14000+. Thank goodness, I misunderstood. Yeah as I re-read it makes more sense. Still look at the data plates and online for Van limits just to be sure. My 5th wheel trailer weighs 10 tons, 19700#s with a F350 dually gross veh at 7 tons 14000#s but F350 is good to 35000#s. I an at 31000 on the road.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:57 PM   #5
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I assume itís 14,000# WITH the ban. Trailer canít weigh seven tons! Right?


You are correct. I was at 14,000 lbs gross for the setup. So that is the trailer, van, people and everything.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:12 AM   #6
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That makes more sense GCW of 14000+. Thank goodness, I misunderstood. Yeah as I re-read it makes more sense. Still look at the data plates and online for Van limits just to be sure. My 5th wheel trailer weighs 10 tons, 19700#s with a F350 dually gross veh at 7 tons 14000#s but F350 is good to 35000#s. I an at 31000 on the road.


The GCWR for the van, according to the users manual, varies a little depending mostly on gearing. With 4.10s it is rated for 14k or 14.5k (I donít remember the exact number off the top of my head). With 3.54s a little less. Since it is gearing related it means that the frame/brakes/axles/etc (basically the stuff that are the big safety points) are fine with the load. If I was in an area with large elevation changes 4.10s would be needed. In my relatively flat area 3.54s handle it fine.

It checks all the safety boxes, but it would be under powered to hit any mountains or anything.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:34 AM   #7
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The ford manual rates the GCWR up to 26k with 5.13s. So the frame is up for it.

My GVWR for my van is over 8k lbs. The van weighs 6200 lbs. Figuring 10-15% tongue weight means van weight of about 7000-7400lbs.....still 600-800 lbs under the rating.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:07 AM   #8
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Good enough I was thrown when I misread the first oart thinking the trailer was 14000. Travel safely and often, have fun. When we went to so many soccer tournaments, I wish we had a RV.
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Old 11-11-2018, 12:30 PM   #9
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I would recommend you go to a CAT scale and weigh again to see how balanced your weight is and how much you really weigh.


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Old 11-25-2018, 07:16 PM   #10
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I would recommend you go to a CAT scale and weigh again to see how balanced your weight is and how much you really weigh.


Happy Camping!!!


I have plans to do this, I just need to figure out where the closest one is. The closest one that I am aware of is about 40 minutes away.

I am thinking that on our next trip I am going to look for ones along the way.

I figured the scale at the scrap yard would be pretty accurate at far as total weight for me, but I would need to visit a CAT scale to get all the details of axle weights etc.

Overall everything is level and the load feels very stable and under control, but getting exact number could assist in setting it up even better. I am also kind of a numbers geek, so I just want the information.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:39 PM   #11
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I have plans to do this, I just need to figure out where the closest one is. The closest one that I am aware of is about 40 minutes away.

I am thinking that on our next trip I am going to look for ones along the way.

I figured the scale at the scrap yard would be pretty accurate at far as total weight for me, but I would need to visit a CAT scale to get all the details of axle weights etc.

Overall everything is level and the load feels very stable and under control, but getting exact number could assist in setting it up even better. I am also kind of a numbers geek, so I just want the information.

I thought mine was balanced out until I went to the cat scales. I keep the RV in Georgia and there is one just a few miles away. I'm going to make a few more adjustments then re-weigh it. I have it pretty close on weight but now it's off because the nose of the RV is up a few inches. I figure I can reduce the tilt of the hitch maybe or drop down to the next hole on the hitch and leave the chains where they are. It's just a guessing game to fine tune these things.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:15 PM   #12
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Go to a scale at a truck stop and weigh the van and the TT at the same time. Then drop the trailer and weigh just the van (FYI they usually don't charge for the 2nd reweigh). This gives you axle weights so you can determine how much weight is on your rear axle of the van. Because the weight is all on the rear, I'm sure weigh is actually removed from the front axle. Look at your truck front axle weight with and without the trailer connected. Just because your with in the GVWR doesn't mean it's distributed properly.

Safest and most accurate way to measure and dial in your rig:
Weigh it as discussed above, loaded and ready to use.
When connected on level ground measure the hitch height to the ground.
Disconnect the trailer, borrow a tongue weight scale, with the hitch at the previously measured height, record the weight.
Add the tongue weight to the van rear axle weight from the scale.
Check rear axle weight rating and tire load rating. (strongly suggest Load E)
If your over, you can adjust your tongue weight by moving your trailer contents around, but don't get less then 10% of your total trailer weight on the tongue.
If your barely in range I highly recommend a set of air bags to help with the weight distribution. or a weight distribution hitch, or both will move some of the weight to the front axle.

The simplified method is to just compare the weight sheets to tell the rear axle weight with and without the trailer but this will not tell you if your trailer is loaded properly.

I have been pulling the same size trailer with my diesel 7.3 ford van for years. If you do install a turbo also install an intercooler, a turbo won't be able to really work for you without it. Ford diesel vans did not get an intercooler until 2003 when the 6.0 engine came out.

I hope this helps you and your fam to have safe travels.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lilnuts View Post
Go to a scale at a truck stop and weigh the van and the TT at the same time. Then drop the trailer and weigh just the van (FYI they usually don't charge for the 2nd reweigh). This gives you axle weights so you can determine how much weight is on your rear axle of the van. Because the weight is all on the rear, I'm sure weigh is actually removed from the front axle. Look at your truck front axle weight with and without the trailer connected. Just because your with in the GVWR doesn't mean it's distributed properly.

Safest and most accurate way to measure and dial in your rig:
Weigh it as discussed above, loaded and ready to use.
When connected on level ground measure the hitch height to the ground.
Disconnect the trailer, borrow a tongue weight scale, with the hitch at the previously measured height, record the weight.
Add the tongue weight to the van rear axle weight from the scale.
Check rear axle weight rating and tire load rating. (strongly suggest Load E)
If your over, you can adjust your tongue weight by moving your trailer contents around, but don't get less then 10% of your total trailer weight on the tongue.
If your barely in range I highly recommend a set of air bags to help with the weight distribution. or a weight distribution hitch, or both will move some of the weight to the front axle.

The simplified method is to just compare the weight sheets to tell the rear axle weight with and without the trailer but this will not tell you if your trailer is loaded properly.

I have been pulling the same size trailer with my diesel 7.3 ford van for years. If you do install a turbo also install an intercooler, a turbo won't be able to really work for you without it. Ford diesel vans did not get an intercooler until 2003 when the 6.0 engine came out.

I hope this helps you and your fam to have safe travels.


Thanks for all the pointers. I will get it to the CAT scales to see what my individual weights are.

I am currently using a weight distribution hitch and measured from the wheel well to the ground on both the front and rear tires. Then set the hitch so the change in the measurements were the same front and back.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:30 PM   #14
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If possible weight it with and without the weight distribution aspect connected, just more info. Info=safety
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lilnuts View Post
If possible weight it with and without the weight distribution aspect connected, just more info. Info=safety


I agree. Having all the numbers can make sure it is setup in the best possible way.

What year diesel van did you tow with? I agree that an intercooler would be the best, unfortunately none of the turbo kits offer one and space is very tight. It makes it very difficult to run piping or find a mounting spot.
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:09 AM   #16
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Mine is an 2002 7.3 I added an aftermarket intercooler. The intercooler from a 6.0 will fit (the later body style). It's the aircooled style, while I went with a water cooled model, which is more flexible on location. The pick-ups had an intercooler so the plumbing parts do exist.
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Old 11-27-2018, 01:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lilnuts View Post
Mine is an 2002 7.3 I added an aftermarket intercooler. The intercooler from a 6.0 will fit (the later body style). It's the aircooled style, while I went with a water cooled model, which is more flexible on location. The pick-ups had an intercooler so the plumbing parts do exist.

Interesting. Mine is an Ď88 with the IDI 7.3 NA.....the diesel motor before the Powerstroke. Ford never made an IDI turbo in the van body, just the trucks. The lot I have is a aftermarket Banks one.

I have toyed with the idea of relocating both the batteries to try and free up room for an intercooler.
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