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Thread: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

  1. Print this Post   #1
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    Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    I'm aware that the Bighorn website identifies the dry and GVWR of the 5th wheel trailers, and it also identifies the dry pin weight. I'm told the dry weights don't really mean alot, because one is to be concerned with "loaded"weights. Therefore I would like to know what percentage does Heartland work with in order to determine the GVWR pin weight. Is it something like 10%, 15%, or 20%. I have a good idea on the amount of weight I'll be adding to the dry unloaded weight, and would like to calculate what my loaded pin weight might be. Should I be multiplying the dry pin weight by X%, or multiplying my estimated loaded weight by X%. I'm considering buying a Bighorn 5th wheel, but would like to ensure that I'm not going to severely overloading my truck.

    Please advise.

    Regards,

    David

  2. Print this Post   #2
    Kevin_Finn
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    David,

    What a tricky question to answer. The typical 5th wheel manufacturer sets the pin weights between 15-25%. The tricky part of this is how you are loading your unit? The pin weights loaded could vary significantly based on how you load your vehicle.

  3. Print this Post   #3
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    David, I am not from the factory, but I think that this question should be asked of the people that are towing.
    Pin weights are like Kevin said, they vary significantly based on how you load it.
    I would say that most people have a pin weight around 3,000#. That is a number based on my pin weight and others I have talked to.
    Some full timers are higher. They carry more stuff.
    Mine is 2,950. There is no real way to know what it will be till you load it and weigh it.

    Peace
    Dae
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    Senior Member ihsolutions's Avatar
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    While at the factory a few weeks ago I pressed this issue and was not really given an answer that made me feel warm and fuzzy. I was assured that the "dry weights" as published are very accurate. I realize these weights do not include battery, propane, or my contents, or any additional options ordered. None of the options I ordered will add to the pin weight more than just a couple pounds.

    I weigh everything that goes into my basement storage and front bedroom. The rest of the items are either over the axles or in the rear. So in my case the answer "there is no way to know" is not valid because, for me, the only wildcard is the real delivered dry weight.

    I will be weighing my rig immediately upon leaving the Elkhart area, with full battery and propane next week. If the weights are not close to what are published plus the battery/propane, Heartland is going to have one very upset customer to deal with! I made my decision in large part based on pin weight and am really pushing the limits of my TV, but I'll be OK as long as Heartland is publishing accurate weights.
    Jeff, Laurie + 2
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  5. Print this Post   #5
    Kevin_Finn
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    Our weights are based on random units pulled off line and actually weighed.

  6. Print this Post   #6
    Kevin_Finn
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    "I weigh everything that goes into my basement storage and front bedroom. The rest of the items are either over the axles or in the rear. So in my case the answer "there is no way to know" is not valid because, for me, the only wildcard is the real delivered dry weight."


    Based on this comment I have to disagree with what you said. If you add more or less weight to the rear of your unit behind or at the rear axel it will change the pin weight (even when you weighed your items that went into the front). So to answer your statement it is very difficult to know for sure what your pin weight will be while loaded.

  7. Print this Post   #7
    Senior Member ihsolutions's Avatar
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    "Based on this comment I have to disagree with what you said. If you add more or less weight to the rear of your unit behind or at the rear axel it will change the pin weight (even when you weighed your items that went into the front). So to answer your statement it is very difficult to know for sure what your pin weight will be while loaded."

    Kevin, you are of course absolutely correct. I should have clarified that, since I know the weight of any items placed forward of the axles, I know what my maximum loaded pin weight will be for a given trip. Anything stored rear of the axles should theoretically decrease pin weight, but that's just a bonus in my mind.

    Reading my original comments I see they are somewhat antagonistic, which was not my intent. Since ordering my unit, I've been doing a LOT of reading on this forum and others, and am growing concerned with the common belief that one's pin weight will usually be around 20-25% of the GVWR of the trailer, regardless of what the published dry weight is. So on a 16k GVWR Big Horn I'm looking at between 3200lb and 4000lb of pin weight... which scares me to death. Upgrading my truck is not an option. As long as Heartland is directionally correct on their pin weight figures I'll be just fine. I typically have no more than 300lbs loaded forward of the axles. Although with that huge basement storage, it's goiing to be very tough to refrain from adding more stuff! =0
    Jeff, Laurie + 2
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  8. Print this Post   #8
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    I guess I'm similar to Jeff. I know the weights of what I put in the fiver. I would like to order a unit, but, I like to see what I'm getting before I pay for it. Therefore we'll most likely buy a unit off a dealers lot. That way I can weigh the unit and eventhough it will be an unloaded weight I will be sure I will not severely exceed my trucks pin wt capability and GCVWR.

    Thank you for the input to my question, as the responses were helpful.

    Thank you

    David

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    Founders of SoCal Chapter Bob&Patty's Avatar
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    Jeff, I hate to hijack Davids thread. If I read your sig correctly. Your pulling a 3670 with a 2500HD. You might want to check your GCVW rating on your truck. It's 22K. I'm not the weight police but you have to be way over your limit with that BH. The 3670 has a 16K max loaded weight. Your truck probably weighs in at about 7K+ I would suggest that you check your local laws on weights. I know what would happen in Calif. if I were pulled over and checked. Just a word to the wise. Bob
    Bob (Old cranky), Great wife Patty, 5 great kids, 11 grandkids

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  10. Print this Post   #10
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    Re: Determining loaded 5th wheel pin weight

    I don't mean to drag this pin weight issue out, but over the last few days I've had conversations with a couple of RV Dealers, and they have indicated that an average family of 4 loads a trailer with 800 lbs of stuff. One of the guys said this is like loading 50 lbs of stuff in a laundry basket and carrying it 16 times to the trailer, which would equate to 800#s. That seems to be alot of stuff. So, I'm thinking that it is very doubtful that all 800#s is placed in the front end of the trailer, so I'm getting very confused in trying to understand how a dry pin weight of lets say of 2100 lbs grows to 3,000lbs. I guess one way this could happen is by hauling full fresh and grey water tanks in the fifth wheel. If I buy a 3055RL with a dry pin weight of 1965 lbs and an unloaded weight of 11, 075 lbs and and a gross weight of 14,000lbs, and say I put 800lbs of stuff in the trailer with 50% going into the front storage I assume my loaded pin weight should be 2365 lbs. Or an I suppose to be adding 20 - 25% of the gross weight of the trailer which would be a pin weight of 2800 - 3500 lbs? The reason I'm feeling frustrated is because if I add 800 lbs to the unloaded weight of 11,075 lbs I would have 11,875 lbs. So, do I multiply the 11,875 lbs by 20 - 25% in order to get a loaded pin weight? Your thoughts please.

    Regards,

    David

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