Ask TundraHQ: How Much Camper Weight Can My Truck Handle?

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We regularly receive questions from readers via our contact form – here’s one that comes up quite a bit about in-bed truck campers and payload ratings.

I have a Toyota Tundra DoubleCab and I’m thinking about buying a 1,482lbs slide-in camper. My question is, What is safest weight I can haul in the bed of my Truck?

Here’s how to calculate your truck’s actual payload rating:

Calculating truck payload rating

1. How To Calculate Actual Payload Capacity

You must subtract the weight of driver, passenger(s), the weight of any luggage or after-market accessories you’ve installed, etc. from the maximum payload rating shown in your vehicle manual. If you are hauling a trailer, you must subtract the trailer tongue weight (typically 10-15% of the total trailer weight) from the payload rating.

NOTE: Click here for 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Toyota Tundra payload rating info.

2. Camper Weight isn’t just what’s listed on the spec sheet. Most campers have both a dry weight and a wet weight listed on the spec sheet – you want to use the “wet” rating for your calculations, because most of the time that’s a more realistic weight estimate.

3. There’s some grey area beyond the actual max, but it’s pretty small. Some truck owners will go beyond their factory max payload rating with a problem, but these people usually invest in some additional load carrying equipment (typically rear air bags) and they drive accordingly.

While this shouldn’t be considered legal advice, you might want to think about the liability ramifications of driving around an overloaded truck…if you were to get in an accident while driving your overloaded pickup, all an attorney would need to prove is that you knew you were over the factory max and they could prove negligence. Then, you might be in a world of hurt (again, not legal advice, just something to think about).

4. Don’t be surprised if the camper you’re being sold is too big for your truck. A lot of trailer and camper salespeople have a nasty habit of selling people trailers or campers that are too big for their current vehicle.

By taking the time to calculate your truck’s actual payload capacity, you ensure that your vehicle will be both safe to drive and last as long as possible.

NOTE: If you have a 2011 Tundra, the factory payload rating reflects the average weight of common accessories as well as passengers…so you don’t have to deduct weight for passengers.

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Filed Under: Tundra Towing

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  1. rich says:

    Jason that’s why the 10K tow capacity is limited by payload. BTW I thought fuel weight should also by incuded in the payload calculation. The best advice I’ve heard is to save yourself the headache and put that in-bed camper on a 3/4 or 1 ton.

  2. Jason (Admin) says:

    rich – LOL – I think it’s a good idea to put a slide-in in the biggest truck you can afford…but I know of quite a few slide-ins that are too big for some 3/4 tons when fully loaded! 🙂

    You are correct that the average fuel weight should be calculated, as should the weight of specific accessories (only this won’t be the case on 2011+ Tundras because they adhere to the new standards for payload and tow ratings). I omitted these numbers mostly because they’re fairly small – 13 gallons of fuel at about 8 lbs per gallon + 30 lbs or so for factory add-ons is 134 lbs…probably not enough to push the math either way.

    However, you are absolutely correct. Good point.

  3. Rich r says:

    I have a 2004 tundra 4×4 4.7 motor and bought a 5th wheel trailer and had a hitch installed the trailer ways 8000 pounds the truck ways 6600 pounds what is to much to pull with my truck

  4. Rich r says:

    Is that trailer to heavy for my truck.

  5. Jason (Admin) says:

    Rich R – Yes. Too much.

  6. AS says:

    Weight of passengers? Plural? At 300lbs? Either I gotta lose weight, or you should boost that up to maybe 400 or 500 is there are two adults in the car.

  7. Dave says:

    I have a 2000 tundra and the sticker says it weighs 6200 pounds

    Can I pull a 6000 fith wheel. I am new to the RV world but wouldn’t the fith wheel have brakes?

  8. I own 2011 tundra doublecab 4×4 w/ tow package. I haul a 30′ 5th wheel that weighs 7900 lbs. I understand the weight restrictions i.e. GVWR. However, towing a 18′ fiberglass boat behind the camper that weighs 3000 plus lbs is probably pushing the envelope. My question is: Would i jeopardize the transmission?
    I’ve already hauled my old 26′ 5th wheel that weighed 6000 lbs with the boat, and there were no problems.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      John,

      Most likely that you could be doing long-term damage. However, I know for a fact that Toyota trucks will pull more than stated, Toyota adds a little bit more breathing room. You should be ok, it is a really reliable, tough truck.

      -Tim

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