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Old 11-18-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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Coach weighing issues

I have a 2005 Allegro Bay 34 which we've only used for short trips so never really loaded it up, but have some trips planned so I decided to go and weigh it and am now totally puzzled.

I weighed at a moving company scale and did the front axle, then full coach, then rear axle. The front and back combined matched the full coach within 50lbs.

Before I weighed I filled the water tank slowly until it overflowed, filled the LP tank same day, filled the fuel tank and dumped the black/grey tanks completely.

My chassis is a W22 and my total weight was 21,540 lbs. vs. 22,000 lbs allowed. Front axle was 7,760 lbs (8,000 capacity)

I then came home and removed and weighed EVERYTHING in the motorhome with a 400 lb. capacity postage scale & I've checked its accuracy with calibrated weights.

When I got done I then took the actual weight and subtracted the full water, LP, weighed cargo, driver, and even threw in 50lb for possible water in black/gray that might not have drained and ended up with 19,649 lbs.

The Tiffin label says my coach's UVW is 18,323 lbs. That a difference of 1,323 lbs!! I went through the equipment list on the label and the only thing that might not have been original, although I'm pretty sure it was, was the street side canopy. Other than that everything is on the list or I weighed it.

Anybody out there been through this exercise or have any ideas??

The moving company I used has been in business for years and very reputable so I would think their scale is accurate.

I wonder if Tiffin actually weighs each coach (I thought so with the odd number 18,323 lbs.) but I wonder if they might just use some average.

My coach has never been wrecked/damaged so I'm really puzzled. Only other idea I have is to go to another scale and compare. It's so far off I can't come up with proper tire pressures or plan what I can carry.

Thanks for any input you can offer.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:05 AM   #2
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I have heard that Tiffin does actually weigh the motorhomes before they ship them and that you can call the factory with your VIN to get the actual weight. The UVW in the closet may be a calculated or an average weight, and it may or may not include all the options that are on your individual coach.

I would also repeat the first weighing you did at the moving company except I would do it at a certified CAT scale at a truck stop.

I did a weighing and similar calculations when we first bought our motorhome, and I was only off by about 300 lbs.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:04 PM   #3
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I have heard that Tiffin does actually weigh the motorhomes before they ship them and that you can call the factory with your VIN to get the actual weight. The UVW in the closet may be a calculated or an average weight, and it may or may not include all the options that are on your individual coach.

I would also repeat the first weighing you did at the moving company except I would do it at a certified CAT scale at a truck stop.
The more I do, the stranger this gets! I went today to a truck stop 18 miles south of town with the same exact loading. When I account for the fuel burned since the last weighing @ 7mpg the weight today on the certified CAT scale matches the moving company within 15 lbs.! That's closer than I expected, so I now KNOW that the weight listed is totally bogus.

What is very interesting to me is that the 2005 sales brochure for the Allegro Bay I just got off their website lists the UVW for the Bay as 18,320 lbs.

My RVIA weight label says 18,323 lbs. One would assume that the weight shown in the brochure would be for all standard equipment. My Bay has nearly all the options including double windows yet shows only 3 lbs. more on it's RVIA weight label. Mine is actually closer to 19,649 for a difference of 1,327 lbs!! Might be even more off due to water capacity issue noted below.

Now for a quote from the factory manual for my Bay (page 1-6) regarding the contents of the RVIA required weight label "Tiffin Motorhomes, a manufacturer-member of RVIA, has the OBLIGATION to disclose the following information, at minimum, to the purchaser of the motorhome:"
It lists several items and then "Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) - This is the weight of the motor home, AS BUILT AT THE FACTORY, with full fuel, engine oil, and coolants. The UVW does not include cargo, fresh water, LP gas, or any DEALER-INSTALLED accessories." (CAPS added by me)

When I got home I figured I would drain the fresh water just in case it held more than it said and that was part of the problem. I calibrated a bucket and spent 2 hours draining the tank and all lines. I got 60 gallons plus a pint! and all that is left is the HWH which is a 10 gallon one so unless the tank has a huge dip in it the tanks plus HWH hold about 70 gallons total. The RVIA label says 90 gallons! So, with 20 gallons less water than I've been calculating with, if I don't carry any water I'm even heavier than I thought since I can only deduct 70 times 8.3 lb/gal instead of 90 times 8.3 lb/gal.

Stay tuned for more - I'm going to inspect the water tank with a TV camera to be sure bone dry.

I really like my coach and think Tiffin is a quality product, but this weight deal is unacceptable in my opinion. I bought the Bay instead of several Allegro Buses that we looked at because this Bay listed over 1,000 lbs. more CCC than most of the Buses. Maybe I'm just braindead, but the manual and label seem pretty clear to me. I'm going to call the factory on Monday and see if they can give me a real "birth weight" for my Bay and see what they say regarding the RVIA label.

Makes me begin to wonder about all these "zipper blowouts". Are the tires really to blame or are there just a lot of people like me thinking they are underweight based on an RVIA label that isn't telling them what they think it is telling them and they are actually considerably overweight.

Inquiring minds want to know
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:51 AM   #4
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Let us know what you find out from Tiffin about your weights. Ask if they have individual weights for all 4 corners. If they don't, you may want to try to get those weights for yourself. It's not uncommon for an RV to be heavier on one side.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:08 AM   #5
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Dog, sounds like you got it right by weighing it. I have an 08 32BA FRED and fully stocked for trips she is at just under 22,000 . The only two numbers I worry about is what is my actual, and what is my max. I don't know what you gross weight is but, mine comes in at 24,000 and 26,000 when towing. As long as you are below yours ( total and each axle ) you should be all set. Just set your tire pressure to what your axles need. Many happy miles and smiles. Dan
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:41 AM   #6
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I believe Newmar is the only manufacturer that weighs each coach as it comes off the line and supplies an accurate weight sticker.
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Old 11-21-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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Dog, sounds like you got it right by weighing it. I have an 08 32BA FRED and fully stocked for trips she is at just under 22,000 . The only two numbers I worry about is what is my actual, and what is my max. I don't know what you gross weight is but, mine comes in at 24,000 and 26,000 when towing. As long as you are below yours ( total and each axle ) you should be all set. Just set your tire pressure to what your axles need. Many happy miles and smiles. Dan
Wow what a difference from the gas powered 32ba, fully loaded for travel mine weighs in at 18500 with a 20500 gvwr I don't now where I'd put another 2000lbs of "stuff".
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:43 PM   #8
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Wow what a difference from the gas powered 32ba, fully loaded for travel mine weighs in at 18500 with a 20500 gvwr I don't now where I'd put another 2000lbs of "stuff".
One of the reasons why I went with the Fred instead of a gasser. Better towing and more CCC. Many happy miles and smiles.

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Old 11-22-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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I've come to the conclkusion that "factory" UVW numbers are a con job to get you to think you've got more loading capability than you really have. The only way to be sure is to take it to a scale before you sign on the dotted line.

I decided, after doing that on one rig we really liked, that there was absolutely no way I'd consider a 31-foot Class C on an E450 chassis. They're downright bloody dangerous! The one I checked was already over the rear axle load limit with no owner gear on board or anything in the potable, grey or black tanks.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:24 PM   #10
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I believe Newmar is the only manufacturer that weighs each coach as it comes off the line and supplies an accurate weight sticker.
Well, I called Tiffin today. They told me that they do indeed weigh each coach during manufacturing, but that it would take a day or so to look it up. Apparently only the last 2 or 3 years are readily available on their computer.

When I told him what I had found, he said "that is certainly possible". How it's possible if they weigh them is beyond me, but I'll refrain from comment until I get the weight from them.

I reground the numbers again just to be sure I didn't miss anything and I come up with UVW (with full fuel) of 19,801 lbs. verses 18,323 shown on the RVIA label! So the bottom line is I have 1,478 less capacity than I thought! A few hundred pounds is not a big deal, but 1,478 lbs. ??? That doesn't make me a very happy camper to say the least!

The difference from my previous calcs. is accounting for my water system holding only about 70 gallons vs. 90 shown on the sticker (another sore point!).

I'm beginning to think frankdamp might be right - it sure fooled me!

I'd love to have a picture of my face when they handed me the CAT weigh ticket. One occupant, full water & LP, empty black & gray tanks and 661 lbs. of cargo and within 660 lbs. of max. weight! Good thing my wife is little or we'd have to eat nothing but potato chips to stay under gross. That just plain sucks!

Hopefully I'll get an answer tomorrow.

Put full new set of Michelin XZE's today. That will give me a bit more comfort vs. the 6 year old XRV's I took off.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:31 PM   #11
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Dog, sounds like you got it right by weighing it. I have an 08 32BA FRED and fully stocked for trips she is at just under 22,000 . The only two numbers I worry about is what is my actual, and what is my max. I don't know what you gross weight is but, mine comes in at 24,000 and 26,000 when towing. As long as you are below yours ( total and each axle ) you should be all set. Just set your tire pressure to what your axles need. Many happy miles and smiles. Dan
Mine is WH 22 chassis - 22,000 lbs GVW - 26,000 CGVW(towing) I agree all is moot except max. and actual loaded weight, but if I use my sticker I'd be nearly 1,500 lbs. overweight! That's my point.

I've read no telling how many posts regarding weighing your coach. Glad I finally did. EVERYBODY SHOULD WEIGHT THEIR COACH. It only cost $9.00 at most CAT scales and takes all of 2 minutes.

I got away with towing my boat (right at 5,000 lbs.) several times - I was using the RVIA stick and was dumb, fat, happy and clueless!
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:37 PM   #12
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I wonder if the weight of the tires, wheels and springs are somehow involved in this?
I saw many years ago where those weights were subtracted from the vehicle weight because they were not part of the chassis.
Don't know if that is accurate or not...just a thought.
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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I wonder if the weight of the tires, wheels and springs are somehow involved in this?
I saw many years ago where those weights were subtracted from the vehicle weight because they were not part of the chassis.
Don't know if that is accurate or not...just a thought.
The weight of tires, wheels and axles is what is referred to as "unsprung weight". In sports cars it makes a big difference in how they manuever. I've never seen them subtracted to come up with GVWR or CGVWR.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:38 PM   #14
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When I got home I figured I would drain the fresh water just in case it held more than it said and that was part of the problem. I calibrated a bucket and spent 2 hours draining the tank and all lines. I got 60 gallons plus a pint! and all that is left is the HWH which is a 10 gallon one so unless the tank has a huge dip in it the tanks plus HWH hold about 70 gallons total. The RVIA label says 90 gallons! So, with 20 gallons less water than I've been calculating with, if I don't carry any water I'm even heavier than I thought since I can only deduct 70 times 8.3 lb/gal instead of 90 times 8.3 lb/gal.

Stay tuned for more - I'm going to inspect the water tank with a TV camera to be sure bone dry.
Well, I figured out most of the water issue. I found 2 water tanks - one large and one small.When you fill the coach to overflowing the small tank only has a little water in it. By my measurements the first overflow happens at 60 gallons. If you let the coach sit for a while you can hear it gurgling as the two tanks equalize. Apparently the connection between the two is small and they aren't both vented the same. After about an hour I was able to add 10 gallons so I suppose with several iterations I could maybe get all 84 gallons in.

My wife called Tiffin again since they have not returned my call in over a week after my request for the factory weight of my coach. Was told Danny is out for a week, so I guess I'll have to wait some more. The answer won't change anything, but I'm sure not seeing the awesome customer support I keep hearing about!
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