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Old 07-18-2007, 10:41 AM   #1
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Tow Vehicle and Trailer Measured Weight Results

We stopped and had our Sunline weighed at a CAT scale this past week-end and I thought I would share the information, with the thought it might help others understand the weights if and when you have your TV & TT weighed. Plus everyone can let me know if my calculations and assumptions are correct.

Our Tow Vehicle is a 2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab w/ Durmax Diesel Engine, 3.73 gears
and our trailer is 2005 Sunline Solaris T-280SR.

This was the 2nd time we had the unit weighed, the first time was on the way home from picking up the trailer new at the dealership. I’ll share both weights, because from comparing the two weights I came up with the weight of cargo loaded in the trailer. Unfortunately we had two different tow vehicles, so I am unable to make a similar cargo comparison on the tow vehicle.

The 2 times we weighed the trailer each weighing we using 3 scales and configuring the TV & TT by:

1st weighing:
  • Configuration: Hitched
    Scale 1: TV Front Axle
    Scale 2: TV Rear Axle
    Scale 3: TT Axles (both)
2nd weighing:
  • Configuration: Unhitched
    Scale 1: TV Front & Rear Axle
    Scale 2: TT Tongue
    Scale 3: TT Axles (both)


Here are the results from the second time we weighed the trailer (i.e., this past week-end):
Trailer Loading: Full cargo, Hensley hitch (on Tongue), Battery, Full LP, Full HW Tank, Fresh Water Tank ~¾ full, Black & Gray Tanks ~1-2 gallons.
TV Loading: Full tank of fuel, 3 passengers, typical cargo in truck’s bed for camping.

1st weighing:
  • Configuration: Hitched
    Scale 1: TV Front Axle – 4,420 lbs
    Scale 2: TV Rear Axle – 4,280 lbs
    Scale 3: TT Axles (both) – 7,420 lbs
    Total – 16,120 lbs
2nd weighing:
  • Configuration: Unhitched
    Scale 1: TV Front & Rear Axle – 7,860 lbs
    Scale 2: TT Tongue – 1,140 lbs
    Scale 3: TT Axles (both) – 7,140 lbs
    Total – 16,140 lbs

Comparing the hitch and unhitched TT Axles weights shows that 280 lbs of tongue weight is transferred to the TT axles and the remaining tongue weight of 860 lbs is transferred to the TV.

Here are the results from the first time we weighed the trailer (i.e., new from dealer):
Trailer Loading: No Cargo, Hensley hitch (on Tongue), Battery, Full LP, Full HW Tank, Fresh Water Tank ~ ¾ full, Black & Gray Tanks ~1-2 gallons.

1st weighing:
  • Configuration: Hitched
    Scale 1: TV Front Axle – n/a (old TV)
    Scale 2: TV Rear Axle – n/a (old TV)
    Scale 3: TT Axles (both) – 6,400 lbs
    Total – n/a
2nd weighing:
  • Configuration: Unhitched
    Scale 1: TV Front & Rear Axle – n/a
    Scale 2: TT Tongue – 1,140 lbs
    Scale 3: TT Axles (both) – 6,060 lbs
    Total – n/a
    Total Trailer - 7,200 lbs (tongue + axle weights)

Sunline Specifications:
Base Tongue Weight - 950 lbs
Base Dry Weight - 6,600 lbs.

Trailer's Weight Sheet (from inside cabinet)
GCWR - 8,600 lbs
UVW - 6,717 lbs
Fresh Water - 374 lbs (45 gal @ 8.3 lbs/gal)
LP - 63 lbs (15 gal @ 4.2 lbs/gal)
Cargo Limit - 1,441 lbs.


Here’s how I used the weights:

Compare the measured weights against the manufacturer’s specifications
This is done to see if we are within specifications.
All measured weights used here are from the 2nd time weighing the TV & TT (i.e., this past week-end)

1. Compare measured weight to TV’s Gross Capacity Weight Rating (GCWR):
TV’s GCWR = 22,000 lbs
Total TV & TT Weight = 16,140 lbs (used total weight from 2nd weighing because it was the heavier one)
Difference: 5,860 lbs
Results: Loaded at ~73% of GCWR well within limits.

2. Compare measured weight to TV’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) when hitched:
TV’s GVWR = 9,200 lbs
TV’s hitched weight = 8,700 lbs (Frt Axle + Rr Axle (scales 1 & 2) weight from 1st weighing)
Difference: 500 lbs
Results: Within TV’s GVWR, a little more room for cargo/passengers if needed, but need to be cautious.

3. Compare measured weight to TV’s Front Axle Weight Rating (FAWR) when hitched:
TV’s FAWR = 4,800 lbs
TV’s hitched weight = 4,480 lbs (Scale 1 weight from 1st weighing)
Difference: 320 lbs
Results: Not overloading Front Axle. I set the Hensley jacks at their 2nd mark wrt WD.

4. Compare measured weight to TV’s Rear Axle Weight Rating (RAWR) when hitched:
TV’s RAWR = 6,900 lbs
TV’s hitched weight = 4,280 lbs (Scale 2 weight from 1st weighing)
Difference: 2,620 lbs
Results: Well within Rear Axle rating, however, GVWR is the limiting factor when hitched.

5. Compare measured weight to TV’s Tow Rating (TR) when hitched:
TV’s Tow Rating = 12,000 lbs
TT’s Axle weight = 7,420 lbs (Scale 3 weight from 1st weighing)
Difference: 3,880 lbs
Results: Well within tow rating.
Room to grow (i.e., larger trailer) as long as tongue weight doesn’t increase, but I don’t think that will happen, not interested in a new trailer, very happy with our current Sunline.

6. Compare measured weight to TT’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) when unhitched:
TT’s GVWR = 8,600 lbs
TT’s total weight = 8,280 lbs (Tongue + Axle (scales 2 & 3) weight from 2nd weighing)
Difference: 320 lbs
Results: Close, but within TT’s GVWR, again need to be cautious of added extra cargo if water weight is not reduced.
Extra water weight carried ~300 lbs of water, which could be easily reduced if needed.
(i.e., 6 gallons HW tank + ~30 gallons tanks (F/B/G) = total 36 gallons @ 8.3 lbs / gallon = 298.8 lbs)

7. Compare measured TT’s Tongue weight to TT’s Total Weight:
TT’s total weight = 8,280 lbs (Tongue + Axle (scales 2 & 3) weight from 2nd weighing)
TT’s Tongue weight = 1,140 lbs (Scale 2 weight from 2nd weighing)
% of Total Weight: 13.77%
Results: Good tongue weight, not exceeding the 15% rule of thumb.

Overall results / summary:
All measured weights are within manufacturer’s specified limits.
However, the measurements indicated 2 areas of concern and cautions including:
1. TV’s hitched weight is getting close to its GVWR (only 500 lbs spare for additional passangers/cargo in TV).
2. TT’s total weight is getting close to its GVWR (320 lbs spare for additional cargo in TT)


Weight of Cargo Loaded in Trailer
Next I compared the most recent measured weights with the measured weights when the trailer was new to determine the weight of cargo we loaded in the trailer.
Note, I made the assumptions that the water weight was approximately the same between the two weighings

1. Compare measured TT’s total weight:
Loaded TT’s total weight = 8,280 lbs (Tongue + Axle (scales 2 & 3) weight from 2nd weighing from 2nd time)
New TT’s total weight = 7,200 lbs (Tongue + Axle (scales 2 & 3) weight from 2nd weighing from 1st time)
Difference: 1,080 lbs
Results: I guess we carry a lot of stuff.
I guessing the water weight was about the same between the 2 different times the trailer was weighed.

2. Compare measured TT’s Tongue weight:
Loaded TT’s Tongue weight = 1,140 lbs (Scale 2 weight from 2nd weighing from 2nd time)
New TT’s Tongue weight = 1,140 lbs (Scale 2 weight from 2nd weighing from 1st time)
Difference: 0 lbs
Results: No change in tongue weight.

I guess that this indicates that the weight of the cargo in the back of the TT equaled out the weight of cargo in the front of the trailer. So at least we did a decent job of balancing and distributing the weight of all that stuff.


I hope you found this information interesting and that it helps some of you better understand the weights of your TV & TT and how to use them. I would encourage everyone to get the TV & TT weighed when loaded for a trip so you know where you stand wrt the manufacturer’s specifications.

Hutch
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Sunlines: 2005 Solaris T-280SR; 1999 Solaris T-2670; 1998 Saturn T-24A
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:24 PM   #2
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emam
After reading through this 3 times, I now feel as though I am a Certified Scale Operator

From this post, I am now certain that you are an Engineer!!

Thanks for all the info!!

Pat
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Old 07-22-2007, 01:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emam
From this post, I am now certain that you are an Engineer!!
Ditto!

This is a terrific primer to everyone not just w/ Sunlines but those looking at buying any travel trailer!

Kudos once again to our resident Engineer here, Hutch.

Definitely something all should do a copy and paste for a keeper.

Even helps me who yea of lousy math skills. I become easily confused!

Thanks again for all you do for us Hutch!

Another Pat
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Old 07-22-2007, 03:41 AM   #4
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Hey Hutch too new too?

>>2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4x4 CC D/A<<

Reading your sig. line Hutch and rereading over and over your wt. breakdown and knowing you are like us close to retirement. Great new vehicle you can't justify giving up right now.

Time to weed out some stuff you bring. Then think 1 Ton for total confidence when you retire.

You can jolly well pull just about whatver you want except the very longest that require a 1 Ton Dually for wheelbase length. Load it not so carefully on wt. but always thinking careful distribution too.

Here's where we would have been on Pam's. About what you breakdown above. Basically in your shape but your tow vehicle much better than ours for towing. Tundras (way soft rear end and frame) don't get it like GMs and Dodges 1/2 Ton amd but a better tow vehicle of the 1/2 Tons the F-150s that have more saving safety grace with their stoutest of all frames.

It's a 1950 or nuttin for us AND NO cargo under our Snug Top whatsoever. Which is a shame in itself plus verrry careful total wt. of stuff distributed just so-so in the trailer.

2007 Solaris T-1950

Model Year: 2007
Line: Solaris
Sleeps: 4
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight): 3770 lbs.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): 5500 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 420 lbs.
Hitch Ball Height (approx): 17.5''
Hitch Ball Size: 2-5/16"
Exterior Length: 20' 6"
Exterior Width: 8'
Interior Height: 6' 6"
Fresh Water System (approx. gals.): 40
Gray Water System (approx. gals.): 25
Septic System (approx. gals.): 25

I hope that when people join CONTEMPLATING buying a Sunline yall point them to this thread. We can save them some money and keep them safe for themselves, family, and others with an easy tow. Emergency stops with the wrong match critical. We have all seen horrific wrecks of TTs.

Explain they need a quality brake controller and a good wt. distributing hitch be it an expense Hensley or the more reasonable in price Reese Dual Cams or the Equal-i-zers and a HD tow package w/ 2 add-a-leaves in the rear of their TV. And a beefed up towing package conplete w/ proper wiring and a transmission cooler of course.

Here's why we couldn't go a Sunline T-2075 which seems perfect for our island bed and sofa needs.

2007 Solaris T-2075

Specifications
Model Year: 2007
Line: Solaris
Sleeps: 4
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight): 3910 lbs.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): 5500 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 570 lbs.
Hitch Ball Height (approx): 17.5''
Hitch Ball Size: 2-5/16"
Exterior Length: 22'
Exterior Width: 8'
Interior Height: 6' 6"
Fresh Water System (approx. gals.): 40
Gray Water System (approx. gals.): 35
Septic System (approx. gals.): 25

---

Analyzing the above what do you see that could have given us a careful tow with a good wt. distributing hitch... knocks us out of an easy, safe tow on the 2075?

No peeking (think) and yall post then scrolldown for the answer below.

----

Did you guess???

Hitch Weight: 570 lbs.

Yep that eliminates a seemingly good safe match!

I want to express once again my thanks to all here at the Sunline Family that have taught this newbie TT wanter thus far. I have MUCH MORE I need to learn from this superior Sunline group.

I shall go into read only mode but I just had to comment on this one. Thank you so much Hutch for your primer that will help newbies and even those here on our breakpoints on a good match for TV/TT. Something to really study before going heavier and longer.

Sunline wanna' be durn it!
Waaaaa!

BB

P.S. anyone wanting a Sunline for a 1/2 ton given knowing the above certainly would be one lucky duck buying Pam's 1950!
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