Just wondering, if the Plateau TS is rated at 5,000 lbs/ towing capacity, does(n't) that include the weight
of the towed vehicle under braking by the van? I see you've both got some sort of additional toad
braking systems. Are they functionally necessary, legally required, or just sensible?
As I said, just curious.
Did a bit of googling and found this statement on another RV related site. http://www.rversonline.org/ArtWtandBal.html
"Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is another design capacity of a towing vehicle. It means the maximum weight rating of a towing vehicle and a towed unit in combination. GCWR takes into consideration such things as the drive train capacity (i.e. engine, transmission, drive shaft and differential), gearing, braking capacity, suspension, and axle loading. When integrating a tow vehicle with a trailer, either a fiver or travel trailer, add the GVWR of the trailer with the GVWR of the tow vehicle. If they add up to more than the GCWR of the tow vehicle it a bad match. The only solution is to pick a lighter trailer or a bigger tow vehicle. The same applies to a self contained unit and a towed unit, either four wheels down or on a dolly. Each of the big three pickup truck manufacturers (Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford) state in their literature a "Trailer Towing Capacity" as well as an alternate method for determining maximum allowable trailer weight. The published towing capacity is maximum allowable trailer GVWR, but usually requires extra optional features - called a towing package, and other options such as a particular engine or rear axle ratio. In addition,
State Laws require that any towed vehicle exceeding a specified weight, usually about 1,000 to 1,500 lb.., must have it's own braking system. The alternate method for determining allowable trailer weight requires that you know the loaded weight of the tow vehicle and the loaded weight of the trailer (something we don't know when we are on the dealer's lot). The sum of these loaded weights must not exceed the tow vehicles GCWR. If you use the alternate method for computing allowable trailer weight, you risk not being able to load the tow vehicle more than the weight you used when you calculated the allowable trailer weight. There are also limits placed on the tongue or "hitch weight" when towing a travel trailer. Plan on 12% of the trailer's GVWR as hitch weight; actual hitch weight when connected should fall between 9% and 12% of the trailer's loaded weight. Fifth-wheel pin weight comes out of the trucks payload capacity, and you should plan on 18% of the fiver's GVWR. With the fiver hitched-up the pin weight should be between 15% and 18% of the trailer's loaded weight. No combination should ever exceed the tow vehicle's Gross Axle Weight Ratings, front or rear."
Seems like para 1 is in conflict with para 2, or State Laws require additional vehicle braking systems for anything heavier than a motorcycle. Unless it's a loophole requirement, with the towed vehicle "having to have it's own braking system"
which most motorized vehicles do anyway. Whether they're in use while being towed or not? My RT has a GCWR of 13,500 lbs. with the 5.7L V8 engine, so I should be able to safely pull and stop a total weight of 13,500 lbs. with the Chev 3500 extended van model, as indicated in the owner's manual.