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Post Info TOPIC: Weight - Toy Haulers and 5th wheels


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Weight - Toy Haulers and 5th wheels


Does anyone really pay attention to GVRW? We have a toy hauler and no heavy toys, a couple of bicycles. With constant monitoring and weighing we are able to stay just under the units GVRW. This is not a situation I like. Imagine where we would be if we were trying to haul a couple of Harley's or an ATV/UTV.

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Colan Arnold


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I hesitate to answer your question. If you mean "the authorities", then no, they are interested in Commercial Vehicles, but pay little attention to RVs. Each owner should always know what they weigh (pin wt and each individual wheel weight plus each axle weight. As to staying under the gvwR ... you always should, but that is a personal decision. Overweight means increased risk.

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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If I read between the lines of your question, here's my input.

In 1994 we purchased a 38ft 5th wheel with a weight capacity of 13,500 lbs. My DW loves appliances, crafts and just about everything else women love. Although we've never weighed it I'm sure we are well over the 13,500 limit.

After trying to tow it with a 2500 chevy SRW 4X4 for a year, I came across a good deal on a 1986 chevy 3500 dually crewcab. The crewcab was rated to handle a 10,000lb 5th wheel.

We towed our 5th wheel with this truck until 2007 when I bought our current Chevy c4500 dually crewcab.

The 1986 3500 handled the 5th wheel great until we started down a 6% grade. I had to stay in first gear, 22MPH and use the brakes often to prevent over revving. On one grade we traveled at least 3 times per year the brakes on the truck & trailer would fade by the time we reached the bottom. Very little stopping power. Luckily I never had to stop quickly until the brakes had time to cool.

It is possible to tow overloaded and if you are lucky you will be OK doing so. However, if an accident occurs and whether it's you fault or not, if a determination is made that you were towing overloaded and it may have been a contributing factor in the accident; you my be held liable in part for the accident.

With my C4500 (rated for 21,000lb trailer) towing is a dream...It is a much safer driving experience. No more white knuckle driving.

It's much better and safer to have a truck with more towing capacity than the loaded weight of the trailer.

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Bear - I think the OP is referring to the RV itself rather than the tow vehicle.

OP - regarding the GVWR and actual weight(s) of the RV, I'm with Ron (as I usually am). Most of us - especially full-timers - pay very close attention to ratings and actual weights. In terms of the combined rig (tow vehicle and RV), it's a safety thing. For the RV itself, if you significantly overload the unit you can end up with structural failures of the suspension or frame (such as Howard and Linda recently experienced). You don't mention (or have in your signature) what toy hauler you have, but most are pretty hefty and designed to carry a pretty good load in the garage. If your situation is as you described, you have underestimated the "stuff" you have on board or your toy hauler has a low cargo carrying capacity.

Rob

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Here is a very useful reference to add to your files. Chapter 4 is all about RVs and will answer a lot of your questions about how to balance your loads and it also has numerous charts for use at a set of scales.

www.mcgeecompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/complete-manual.pdf



-- Edited by FastEagle on Friday 18th of August 2017 12:39:38 PM

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FastEagle ... awesome link. Thanks!

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Welcome to the forum, Colan. You will get lots of advice here, most good, some not so much. All of it, though, is given to be helpful.

You don't say if you are full-timing or not, but do you know the actual empty weight of your toyhauler? If not, that might be a good place to start. You wouldn't be the first to find out that your rig weighs a lot more than what you thought it did. Also, how much fresh water are you carrying?

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I have found that I need to carry our Yamaha Rhino 1200# or so to balance the load. Without it the back AC is 13'7" high, with it, it is 13'5" the same as the front AC. We also travel 500# to 1000# lighter than the GVWR of the trailer.

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Red makes a good point. I don't have a Toy Hauler, but I am a pilot and this has "weight and balance" and "CG (center of gravity)" written all over it. A Toy Hauler, (I think) by design, is biased nose heavy, so that when the "toys" are added, the CG moves aft and the pin weight gets lighter. None of this impacts the trailer's GVW in the way the OP described, but an empty Toy Hauler "should" have a heavy pin and the CG a bit forward. This could cause the tow vehicle to be too heavy as the heavy pin weight pushes up the weight on the rear axle.

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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A little clarification of my question/comment. My question about does anyone pay attention to GVWR was primarily aimed at owners and to a lesser extent at manufacturers. It looks like a wink-wink situation. Manufacturer builds units with barely adequate capacity to hold down costs, knowing full well that the unit used as intended will be overweight. However able to disavow responsibility based on GVWR. Owners except for a few paranoid people like myself load up and to the hell with GVWR.

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Colan Arnold


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carnolddsm wrote:

A little clarification of my question/comment. My question about does anyone pay attention to GVWR was primarily aimed at owners and to a lesser extent at manufacturers. It looks like a wink-wink situation. Manufacturer builds units with barely adequate capacity to hold down costs, knowing full well that the unit used as intended will be overweight. However able to disavow responsibility based on GVWR. Owners except for a few paranoid people like myself load up and to the hell with GVWR.


No matter what an individual owner thinks about their vehicle's certification is not going to negate the fact that the GVWR  is the limiting maximum load that the vehicle is certified to weigh. NHTSA has done everything they can do to make sure new owners know the limits of their vehicles. Because many do not take the number seriously to manage their cargo capacity to stay within the published limits is not NHTSAs fault.  

With the size and cargo capacities of newer RVs being so heavy it wont be long and the government will step-in and require all of them to stop at weigh stations throughout the country. When it get's so serious that it looks like owners cannot take care of themselves Uncle is always ready to oversee their actions, in the name of SAFETY. They already know more than 50% of RVs are overweight. It's widely published in numerous publications.

 



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RVs are also quite a bit different than trucks in terms of weight ratings. With trucks there is a certain "wink, wink - nod, nod" (to plagiarize Monty Python) when it comes to de-rating rear axles on 3/4-ton trucks to avoid the higher - or even sometimes commercial - registration fees for a 1-ton truck in some states. Over the years, some manufacturers even put the same axles in their 3/4- and 1-ton trucks... just with lighter springs in the 3/4-ton for a better ride. In these cases, there is/was some fudge factor for carrying capacity.

In RV world, frames and suspension systems are speced to the minimum. This is for both weight at cost reasons. Regularly exceeding the GVWR of an RV can lead (and has) to serious structural failures. There are those who knowingly run overweight and, within that group, those who have taken measures to mitigate the risk. Many will get by with it... some won't. There is a saying among pilots: There are old pilots and bold pilots. There are no old, bold pilots.

Rob

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PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

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This GVWR subject is both black and white and murky at the same time. The textbook answer to the question of "how much can I carry?" is always, correctly, answered "as much as you want, just don't exceed the GVWR". That said, there are nuances. I will take a hypothetical 17,000 GVWR 5th wheel to illustrate. Most engineers will tell you that there is something called the "Safety Factor" designed into structures. Buildings have a SF of 5 or 6 (meaning that the steel will fail at 5 or 6 times it's rating). Other structures are less, but all are greater than their rating. If our 17,000 GVWR trailer was loaded exactly to 17,000 lbs, by design, it should carry that weight with no structural failures ... because the point at which it will fail is some number higher than 17,000 ... by design. The lowest SF I have heard of was 1.1 which shows up in the aviation world because of the premium placed on light weight. The lowest practical SF that an engineer would use is 1.3. Any lower and you risk structural failure at the rated load and liability as a manufacturer. So 1.3 X 17,000 equals 22,100 lbs. At that point (in theory), failure is assured. So people "borrow" a bit of the SF when they overload the rig. How much they borrow and how safe that is, remains the point of contention. 10% wouldn't be a crazy number and would still leave a 20% SF. Not advocating for that, but just using the logic that "overloaders" use. But wait ... there's more. I just had my undercarriage replaced with the morRyde 8K Independent Suspension and disc brakes along with new 17.5" high spec wheels and Goodyear G114 H rated tires. All that is very heavy duty stuff which added 880 lbs to my GVW, but here's the catch ... none of that 880 lbs is carried by the frame, it is all "unsprung" weight. So even though it added 880 lbs to my GVW it didn't subtract from the designed CCC of my rig. If this was added to our hypothetical 17,000 GVWR trailer that was previously loaded to 17,000 lbs ... it would now have a GVW of 17,880 lbs and be "overweight" by 880 lbs. The GVWR doesn't change just the GVW did and no encroachment into the SF occurred. Thus the "murky" part of the GVWR. The disclaimer is when you begin to borrow from the SF ... you are on your own and you assume the risks that go with it. Not really a "wink - wink", but it does happen a lot. Know your weights on your pin and at each wheel position. It won't make you weigh less or be more legal, but at least you'll understand how hard you are leaning on the SF ... which is not recommended.



-- Edited by RonC on Monday 21st of August 2017 03:10:32 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Everybody needs to be real careful here, please make sure you pay attention to max weight and individual wheel weight. They are not numbers to take lightly
It is not what will happen under normal conditions but what happens under emergency conditions.
Most trucks today can pull almost anything down the road, what really matters is how it will handle that hairpin turns at the bottom of a 7% grade, how well it will make a panic stop or how that frame will handle that overloaded trailer when it hits all the pot holes on the roads we travel. For some of us these are our home we are dragging down the road and the life of our family members at risk, don't take is lightly.

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The fulltime Dream begins, class of 2016

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