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Post Info TOPIC: Weight variances side to side of RVs?


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Weight variances side to side of RVs?


We're seriously considering downsizing our current 5th wheel to a smaller 5th wheel and have found one that meets much of our criteria, knowing we'll never find a perfect RV that gives us 100% of what we want.

However, we are concerned with the one side of the RV is definitely going to be the "heavy side" with the kitchen, entertainment center, bed and bath all on the same side. We have a similar issue on our current RV , but we are thinking this new one we're considering might even be a bit more unevenly weighted on the heavy side.

Are there any guidelines we should consider regarding how to determine if an RV too heavy on one side to be safe or is going to cause issues with tires or suspension systems? We've had 3 wheel bearing failures with our current rig and it's always the same wheel leaving us to really be concerned that poor weight distribution could be causing some of the problems we've experienced.

Thanks for any advice!



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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Short answer, yes. There are side to side limitations and that "number" is one-half the axle's rating.  The "side rating" is actually the limiting factor, not the total axle load.

 If the unit has 7,000 lb axles then the max weight on one side is 3,500 lbs at each wheel.  Same is true regardless of the axle rating.   If the axles are 5,000 lb axle then the load limit is 2,500 per wheel.

It is really easy to get one side (wheel) overloaded and the only way to know is wheel-by-wheel weighing.  Your concerns are justified.  Be careful, especially as you are full-timers and we all know that means a lot of cargo and kitchen weight by necessity.

All that said, obviously one can put higher capacity axles and tires on a trailer after market (such as at MORryde) but that takes some careful consideration and I'm not recommending it as such as one still needs to consider the frame.  It can be done but get some expert help if you should choose that route.  It's all a numbers game, not just opinions.



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Bill & Linda



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Dale,

Just curious... Does your MS have MOR/ryde independent suspension? If so, does it have the Nev-R-Lube bearings? I ask the first question because the rubber shear springs on the IS can be tailored to the weight on each wheel position (ours were during installation). Of course, that doesn't impact the bearing issue. I asked the second question because, while we were at MOR/ryde, there were two or three rigs there for the express purpose of having the Nev-R-Lube bearings replaced with Timkens due to repeated bearing failures. All this said, side-to-side weight differences don't usually impact one of two wheels on the same side differently unless the trailer is running particularly nose high or something. Just all things to think about.

Rob

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2012 F350 DRW Lariat 6.7

PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows

Full-time as of 8/2015

 

 



Host

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Bill nailed it.

It's your Gross Axle Weight Rating divided by 2 to get the maximum the wheel/tire on that end of the axle should carry. So, if you have two 6,000 lb axles, the maximum for each side would be 6,000 X 0.5. = 3,000 X 2 axles or a total weight on the tires on each side of 6,000 lbs. With that said, if the weight is close to that maximum, you could be asking for trouble long-term. I would want a nice margin below the max on the heaviest wheel position.

And, as he said, the only way to know is to get wheel-by-wheel weighing. When we were weighing RVs, 15% were overloaded on one side even if the total axle weight was under the Gross Axle Weight Rating. Using the 6,000 lb axle example, that means we sometimes found one wheel at 3,200 lbs and the other at 2,600 for a total of 5,800 - under on the total, but overloaded on one end. And, unfortunately, fifth wheels are rather notorious for being heavy on one side.

If you can get the fifth wheel weighed empty, start there. If it's not too bad, you may be able to load it in a way to have the weight somewhat evenly distributed. Also, pay attention to where the holding tanks are. Hopefully, the fresh water and wastewater tanks are on the opposite side of the kitchen, but that's often just wishful thinking. However, we have seen some rigs that had enough Gross Vehicle Weight Rating that they could carry a half or full tank of fresh water to offset weight on the opposite side - rare, but possible.

If the rig is just too "lopsided" empty, I'm afraid I'd choose something else - especially given all your issues up to this point.

 

 

 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Second Chance wrote:

Dale,

Just curious... Does your MS have MOR/ryde independent suspension? If so, does it have the Nev-R-Lube bearings? I ask the first question because the rubber shear springs on the IS can be tailored to the weight on each wheel position (ours were during installation). Of course, that doesn't impact the bearing issue. I asked the second question because, while we were at MOR/ryde, there were two or three rigs there for the express purpose of having the Nev-R-Lube bearings replaced with Timkens due to repeated bearing failures. All this said, side-to-side weight differences don't usually impact one of two wheels on the same side differently unless the trailer is running particularly nose high or something. Just all things to think about.

Rob


 Rob, agree with your point about the MORryde "springs" but just to be clear, that doesn't change any of he weight limitations as to max per side.  Even with the "heavier" rubber springs, the limitation is one-half the axle rating, or hub rating, which ever is lower.

A comment on the Nev-R-Lub bearings: Timken or not, we had 3 Nev-R-Lubs fail and all three were Timken.  Like Dale's rig, the heavier trailers seem to have issues with the Nev-R-Lub - trailer brand aside.  Most that I know of who are having their bearings replaced are replacing the Nev-R-Lubs with grease-able "split bearings" which can be inspected and lubricated regularly.  That's expensive but being done nonetheless.  We did that on our other rig.  Ordered the NH without Nev-R-Lub.  Zero problems in over 80,000 miles after the change.  YMMV naturally.

Many threads and words on the forum about this problem.

From what MORryde has told me, people who have worked there a long time and we've know for right at 15 years, the Nev-R-Lub problem is mostly with the heavier trailers.  I'm defining that as those 15,000 and heavier.  Not so much with the lighter rigs.  Just info.

 

 

 



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Bill & Linda



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks everyone for the comments and advice.

Our current DRV did have the Never lube bearings, one failed in 2015 and we replaced both axles. Since then we've had 2 more wheel bearing failures, so 3 total with this rig and each time is was the heavy side, back tire of the 5th wheel which is making us look really closely at how any RV we're considering as a replacement is balanced and so far we're just not liking what we see at all.

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FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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So one more question on this, one RV we really liked has the fridge close to the back, behind the wheels. We pretty much took that off our list just due to the fact that having one of the heaviest appliances behind the axles seemed like a design flaw that would just lead to trouble, especially since in 5th wheels, the fridge is almost always on the "heavy side" of the RV. Again, we can take a look at where the tanks are, and like in our current RV, we choose to put more solar panels and the new batteries on the "light side" of the RV to try to obtain better balance.
Just trying to make sure we're safe as possible going down the road.

__________________

FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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NWescapee wrote:

So one more question on this, one RV we really liked has the fridge close to the back, behind the wheels. We pretty much took that off our list just due to the fact that having one of the heaviest appliances behind the axles seemed like a design flaw that would just lead to trouble, especially since in 5th wheels, the fridge is almost always on the "heavy side" of the RV. 


 My concern of having "things" - like the fridge or the kitchen - behind the rear axles is what is sometime referred to as the teeter totter effect.  That is, they are at the end of a long fulcrum and if the trailer "rocks" - fore to aft - then things can get catapulted up - and then they come down.  If the fridge is at or in front of the trailer axles this up and down range of motion is reduced - just like sitting in the middle of the teeter totter. This is true with any suspension system but is dependent on the suspension not only of the trailer but the truck.  "It depends" and I don't think anyone can predict how bad, or good, a particular setup is ahead of time as to impact.  That's my take based on experience.

As to the "design" of the RV:  Honestly, IMO, few are really "engineered" as such as pertains to the layouts and side-to-side loads with the exception of the tanks - and that's only sometimes.  Layouts are manufactured that will sell.  You are correct, the load should be balanced left-to-right - side-to-side.  But most buyers don't ever think about a balanced load. They simply look at the interior, what I sometimes call - "colors and curtains" - and that is their criteria.  Not a balanced load.  They just don't have the information required to evaluate a rig as first time buyers.

FWIW, I commend you for looking at these issues.  That's smart.  But most don't.

My 2 cents.

Bill



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Bill & Linda



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks Bill

And yes, we are looking at these issues, after 6 years of full time we have learned a few lessons. We don't really want to buy the same problem again.



__________________

FT - July 2013

 

2010 38TKSB3 DRV Mobile Suites

2012 Ford F450

 

Dale and Ruth Travelling with Tazzy Kat!

 

IMAG0142_zps070d30d8.jpg

 

 

 

 

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