I have a 2022 F-150 with a front axle weight rate of 3,525 lbs. and a rear axle rate of 3,800 lbs. I am pulling a dual axle trailer that weighs 7,000 lbs. loaded. The truck’s actual weight with a full tank of gas and ready to roll (without my wife and me) is front 3,200 lbs. and rear 2,250 lbs. Weighing the truck with the load leveler hitch hooked up and adjusted level by my dealer, the weights are 2,850 lbs. front and 3,800 lbs. rear. This makes the truck feel very light in the steering and somewhat difficult to control in windy conditions. What would you recommend? —Dennis
After having worked with the RV Safety & Education Foundation for the past 20+ years and seeing the data compiled by truck and tire manufacturers, I am a firm believer in not putting weights at maximum capacity, but rather taking at least 10% off.
Let’s break down your weight ratings and actual weights and how that looks.
Weight ratings vs. actual weight
Truck with no trailer
Front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) – 3,525 lbs. – less 10% (352) leaves 3,173 lbs. You are at 3,200 lbs. without you and your wife, which you do need to add going down the road.
Rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) – 3,800 lbs. – less 10% (380) leaves 3,420 lbs. You are at 2,250 lbs.
Truck with trailer and equalizing hitch connected
Front GAWR With 10% – 3,173 lbs.; Actual weight – 2,850 lbs. Is this with or without passengers?
Rear GAWR With 10% – 3,420 lbs.; Actual weight – 3,800 lbs.
As you can see, adding the trailer put 1,550 lbs. on the back end, which lightened the front of the truck.
Shift some weight around
One weight you did not provide is the towing capacity of your truck. I would assume that it is able to handle 7,000 lbs., but you’d need to verify that. Since you have a tandem trailer, I would suggest finding a way to shift some of the weight in the trailer to the back for a more even distribution. Typically, you see most RVers put about 10-15% tongue weight on their tow vehicle, and you are about 25%. If you are carrying water, keep in mind that water weighs 8.25 lbs per gallon, so don’t go with full water.
One more consideration is tire pressure and condition. Make sure you verify the proper pressure and check them every time you hit the road. Roger Marble has some good articles pertaining to that.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
Read more from Dave here.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR DAVE?
We have started a new forum link for Ask Dave. Please be as brief as possible. Attach a photo or two if it might help Dave with his response. Click to visit Dave’s forum. Or send your inquiries to him using the form below.