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Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Looking for any answers or suggestions regarding GVWR questions.

Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby WesleySilverado [OP] » Feb 09 2020, 6:34am

Good Evening Folks,

I have a 2015 Silverado 1500 4x4 crew cab standard bed with 3.42 rear end.

I have two things I would tow....... as smaller single axle trailered bass boat less than 5000 lbs and a double axle travel trailer approx 22 feet that weighs in bw 6000 and 7000 tops depending on how configured and/or what it is loaded with etc...etc....

First time family and I towed it we stopped at scale house. I got weights for the truck and also the trailer but did not get an axle specific weight or tongue weight.

Truck was approx 800 pounds over the GVWR. But the combined figure was well below the GCWR rating of 15000. Truck is rated to tow 9100. GVWR for truck is 7200.

So.....here is the question: How much of a fudge factor if any is built into these ratings because they have to assume that many folks will push things to or over the limit?

For what it's worth, the truck towed fine up and down the highways of the east coast including the Appalachian mountains. I have a WD hitch and after the first year towing I did put on airbags on the rear end that did seem to take away the sensation of being light on the front tires my first year.

Truck is a daily driver with a short commute. Odds of taking trips with whole family, all dogs, and the travel trailer would be less than 5 times a year. More likely just wife and I and/or dogs so would not be above GVWR unless bed is full of firewood.

So..........most folks who tow tell me that there is a fudge factor but not sure how much, or that I am fine so long as I don't drive like a douchebag. Probably don't have enough heavy stuff nor tow often enough to justify a 2500.

What are y'alls thoughts on this topic?

Thanks for any feedback and/or suggestions.
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby MacQ » Feb 09 2020, 7:51am

I don't know about any "fudge factor." In driving class 8 trucks for 46 years, all I know is that if you exceed the vehicle's weight ratings/certifications, you're screwed.

You say that your GCWR was well below your 15,000 lbs rating. That's good. Now go to a truck stop (with trailer in tow) and get a weight for your front axle and rear axle. So long as the gross axle weights ratings (GAWR) are within specs for the front and rear axles, you're golden.
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby DrPepper » Feb 09 2020, 2:27pm

Yeah, not sure what kind of fudge factor you're looking for. I 'think' the GVWR factor would be about 20%. That's just a 'think'.
You say you can tow the TT w/ no problems. My question is can you stop it safely??
Here is what I think your truck needs in addition to the bags and WD hitch. You need LT rated tires, load range E. And your trailer brake controller should be a proportional controller. The tires will help w/ the sway and the controller will help w/ a smooth stop.
I towed a 8.8K TT w/ a Sierra 1500 w/ the tow package and 3.42 gears. And P rated tires. I didn't care for the effect 18 wheelers had on me when they passed. The wife was scared the entire time we were on the road.
I upgraded to a 3500 dually and will never go back. The dually gives me a better comfort factor. As opposed to a fudge factor. LOL
Don't know if that helps. Just my opinion.
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby roorancher » Feb 09 2020, 2:32pm

First, if you take the time to do a search on the site, this topic has been discussed "ad nauseam."

Second, THERE IS NO "FUDGE FACTOR!" Whatever is on the sticker on the "B" pillar, that's it. If you're in an accident, and you're over the limit, you're indeed, screwed. It doesn't matter that the truck tows "fine."
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby DrPepper » Feb 09 2020, 2:40pm

Roorancher is spot on. There is no fudge factor when it comes to the law and the factory GVWR.
The factor I was referring to is what the truck 'could' handle. The truck was designed w/ the capability to exceed the GVWR to take into account those of us who will push the limits and hope for a good outcome.
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby 660catman » Feb 09 2020, 2:51pm

I don’t know about any fudge factor either. My truck is very similar to yours. One thing you should do is weigh just the truck empty of cargo but full of gas. Any aftermarket accessories you add to your truck affects the payload you can carry in the truck. My payload is stated as 1531 lbs but after weighing truck, it’s actually 1333 lbs. Largest weight gain is when I went to LT rated 10 ply tires. That added 48 lbs of weight. Now add bed rails, step bars, bedliner, and HD rubber floors mats and mud flaps. It adds up. So anyways I tow a 6400 lb camper with a 858 lb hitch weight without issues. Remember, tongue weight decreases payload on truck. On a trip last year to Yellowstone, we weighed in at 13546 which put me at 7146 on truck. Axle weights unhitched/hitched were F 3217/3234 R 2450/3388. Both max is 3950.


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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby letitsnow » Feb 09 2020, 3:27pm

If he is in an accident, will they pick up all of the pieces, put them back on, then weigh his set up?

Being only a bit over, I can't see that happening.

I bought a 3/4 ton because I don't like towing with a 1/2 ton, but I can't see the OP's set up to be a big problem.
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby roorancher » Feb 09 2020, 3:54pm

letitsnow wrote:If he is in an accident, will they pick up all of the pieces, put them back on, then weigh his set up?

Being only a bit over, I can't see that happening.

I bought a 3/4 ton because I don't like towing with a 1/2 ton, but I can't see the OP's set up to be a big problem.


The cops won't, but the insurance company might, depending on the severity of the injuries, and how big the payout might be....
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby GBSierraSLE » Feb 09 2020, 6:02pm

^^^^ and then your insurance policy can be voided and you're out the damages and injuries to everybody involved. Could lose your house, your life savings, etc., in a lawsuit. (My son is a fraud investigator for a large, nation-wide auto insurance company. He sees stuff like this every day.)
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Re: Fudge factor in GVWR? Yes or no and how much?

Postby jjs405 » Feb 09 2020, 10:41pm

roorancher wrote:...THERE IS NO "FUDGE FACTOR!" Whatever is on the sticker on the "B" pillar, that's it. If you're in an accident, and you're over the limit, you're indeed, screwed. It doesn't matter that the truck tows "fine."


I agree 100%
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