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Old 12-12-2015, 05:29 PM   #29
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Difficult

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Originally Posted by ficodek View Post
I respect your opinion, but I feel the owner liability for weight ratings argument is overblown. Litigation may very well happen after a collision, but trying to prove guilt because the vehicle was overloaded would be very, very difficult, again in my opinion. Any accident involving a motor home would likely result in substantial displacement of the contents of the vehicle, such that it would be impossible know to know with certainty what those weights were at the time of the incident. I am not aware that law enforcement officers are equipped to weigh damaged vehicles at an accident scene, nor would a weight taken after towing be considered an accurate measure unless it was very egregiously overloaded.

I would be very interested to know of any successful case law where overloading of a motor home was proven to have caused or even contributed to an accident.

Rather than worry about litigation, I am most interested in knowing that my family is riding in a safe vehicle performing within its rated limits. That's why I am waiting for Newmar to provide information on how they will deal with the small available loading on the 2016 Dutch Star front axle. Until then, I am continuing to use (and love every minute) of my motor home prudently.

Note that this situation is not like the often-cited fear of litigation where the driver does not have the proper licensing for the vehicle. That is a very objective test -- either the driver has the right license or they don't. I still am not aware of any successful cases where even this led to a judgment against a motor home-driving defendant. If anyone has an example, I'd love to see it.

And yes, I *do* have the proper license for driving my vehicle.
With all due respect to your opinion. It would not be difficult at all if the motorhome is one mentioned on this website. And there may be a first time for litigation if manufacturers continue to overload axles. Public safety is a serious topic. Owners, operators and manufacturers are responsible. Anyone that knowingly, or maybe unknowingly, operates a vehicle outside of what that vehicle is designed to do is do is liable. And there is one example I witnessed when a motorhome pulling a trailer too heavy for the hitch cause a serious wreck. The rest is a horror story of litigation. Different circumstances but do you really want to hire a lawyer? Prudent is good but still a risk if you know the axle is overweight.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:23 PM   #30
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Okay-will someone that thinks it is okay to drive around in their motorhome and know any or all axles are overloaded, please proceed to the local highway scale and see what the state troopers do after you roll over the scale.
I look forward to your report.
BTW all you guys that haven't weighed their vehicles, you too can take advantage of the highway scales. And they are NO CHARGE.
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Old 12-12-2015, 06:28 PM   #31
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All of the talk about legal action and litigation are well and good.

But what about our moral responsibility to not only our family but those who are around us. Those who knowingly ignore, bend or rationalize the manufacturers specifications are self absorbed. They likely will cry the loudest when something goes wrong and they are affected.

The transport folks are becoming aware of the issue. We recently traveled through Nebraska. Their weigh scales have signs that "All trucks and pickups towing trailers must report". May not be long before MH are included.
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Old 12-12-2015, 10:29 PM   #32
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This thread has sure brought all the arm chair attorneys and legal experts out of the wood work. I happen to have all of the axles weights on our coach a minimum of 1000# below their ratings. The tag is actually 7500# under. When I mentioned that some worry too much about their axle weights, I did not mean to implying that 2,000# over on a 17,000# axle was ok. I wouldn't do that, nor should anyone. I am of the opinion that up to a 5% overload, as long as the tires are below their rating, will not affect the reliability of the axle components. I am certain that much more than that is built into the safety factor. I'm not saying it is right, but if I had a 2016 DS, until Newmar comes up with their solution, I wouldn't let a 5% overload stop me from using it. As far as braking goes, our coach weighs close to 40,000# and has a GVW of 50,600#. I'm pretty sure the brakes are rated higher than the axles, so even if I had an axle over weight, I have a braking capacity 25% greater than my weight. As far as going over a State scale, they don't know the axle capacity and are mainly concerned that any single axle does not exceed the lawful limit. 20,000# for a single axle and 34,000# for a tandem is the general rule. I think motor homes are higher in some states. They also do a quick check of the lights, license plates, etc. So when you drive across a state scale in your 2016 DS with the front axle weighing 17,600#, you are 2400# below the legal limit and they wave you on.

I guess I'll sit back now for more flaming.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:15 PM   #33
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Weight

Just as an example. I own a 2006 Winnebago view 23H. I bought it used a year ago. GVWR is 10200, GAWR front is 3859, GAWR rear is 7056. Before I left for Marietta GA. for Thanksgiving I took it to my local MUA to get it weighed for the first time. It had full fuel, water and propane, my two eight year old grand daughters, me and my wife and all the stuff you would take for a one week trip. My actual weights were: GVW was 10700, front was 3440, rear was 7160. So there was a 100lb that went some where. but the point is I was at least 500lbs over weight. The rig handled good 17+ mpg avg for the trip. If it was just me and the wife I think we could have left a few things behind repacked the pantry and came in at or below the weight we need to be at.

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Old 12-12-2015, 11:34 PM   #34
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I would be very interested to know of any successful case law where overloading of a motor home was proven to have caused or even contributed to an accident.

Rather than worry about litigation, I am most interested in knowing that my family is riding in a safe vehicle performing within its rated limits.
************************************************** ******

If you Google "BlueBird Blown Front Tire lawsuit" you will find plenty of good reading on their multimillion $ suit when the front tire blew and it killed the driver and passenger. They knew it was overloaded with a 20K axle and tire combination.

The chassis manufacturer like Freightliner is not the problem (Bluebird was because they built their own chassis) They can sell 12k axles, 14K, 16K 17K or even 20K axles. They just cost more and Newman or CC or Winnabago decides what weight axle they want to purchase based on their plans for loading it up. Once they buy a cheaper 14K axle and then load it to 13.5K, there the problem begins. No,they do not want to go back in and change out that axle to a heavier one because that would cost $20K or more so their answer is for you to reduce weight or tow a heavy trailer or don't fuel up to capacity or dump air in the tag, etc. All of that is a bandage for their decision in ordering to light an axle.

In the case of Bluebird, they had the heaviest axle/ tire combination that could be put on the road but the bus was still loaded to heavy. Did it cause the blowout, who knows but because it was overloaded and it was known to be overloaded, there lies a win-win case.

Your right, most road scales do not require private m.h. to cross. Some toll roads (they are private) do check all vehicles for axle weights because they have a vested interest in NOT allowing overloaded axle on
their private roadways.

Your also right that overloaded an axle and tire a "little bit" is probably harmless. Many of us prefer not to live our lives with that excuse. A little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit fast, a slow roll through the stop sign. Where does it end?

Buy the m.h. that has enough axle capacity to meet a minimum standard of safety and don't allow the manuf. to tell you that, "it's Ok, it is just a little bit overloaded, besides they won't check you, your private, and even if they do, just have the wife, dog and kids sit on the back bed as you go across the scale." It is all so stupid IMO.
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Old 12-12-2015, 11:41 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
This thread has sure brought all the arm chair attorneys and legal experts out of the wood work. I happen to have all of the axles weights on our coach a minimum of 1000# below their ratings. The tag is actually 7500# under. When I mentioned that some worry too much about their axle weights, I did not mean to implying that 2,000# over on a 17,000# axle was ok. I wouldn't do that, nor should anyone. I am of the opinion that up to a 5% overload, as long as the tires are below their rating, will not affect the reliability of the axle components. I am certain that much more than that is built into the safety factor. I'm not saying it is right, but if I had a 2016 DS, until Newmar comes up with their solution, I wouldn't let a 5% overload stop me from using it. As far as braking goes, our coach weighs close to 40,000# and has a GVW of 50,600#. I'm pretty sure the brakes are rated higher than the axles, so even if I had an axle over weight, I have a braking capacity 25% greater than my weight. As far as going over a State scale, they don't know the axle capacity and are mainly concerned that any single axle does not exceed the lawful limit. 20,000# for a single axle and 34,000# for a tandem is the general rule. I think motor homes are higher in some states. They also do a quick check of the lights, license plates, etc. So when you drive across a state scale in your 2016 DS with the front axle weighing 17,600#, you are 2400# below the legal limit and they wave you on.

I guess I'll sit back now for more flaming.
Don't take it personally just exchanging information. I am new to the motorhome world having been in commercial trucking. I am amazed the big time manufacturers put over weight axles on public roads. It's not a good thing. Correct on 34,000# duals but all my otr 3x tractors had 12,000# steer axles. There are larger capacities for other applications. I am amazed at the front axle weights of some motor homes. Incidentally I'm not a lawyer and don't sit in an arm chair. No flaming just information based on experience. Happy motoring.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:58 AM   #36
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For me, the problem lies in what the brochure says. In this case, Newmar built it, they published a NCC. As a consumer, you probably factored that into the purchase decision. Once published or stated, it is implied. End of story.
I am no lawyer but Newmar owns this. I think they build a fine coach, but some one some where signed off on something that was not true.
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Old 12-13-2015, 08:33 AM   #37
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Glad I don't run my life by worrying if I will be sued.
More weight on the rear axle will only reduce the load on the front axle if the additional weight is place behind the rear axle.
Ron D

Ron D, If your automobile, home, or RV insurance coverage is even $1.00 more than the LEGAL, REQUIRED amounts of coverage, then I submit that you ARE worried about being sued! Perhaps not enough to lose sleep over, and perhaps "worried" is not the correct word, but perhaps "concerned", or "prepared" are better words!
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:20 AM   #38
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IMHO it would be of help on this issue for everyone contributing to this thread and others like it to read the same book my great- grandson reads 'Chicken Little'.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:26 AM   #39
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Don't take it personally just exchanging information. I am new to the motorhome world having been in commercial trucking. I am amazed the big time manufacturers put over weight axles on public roads. It's not a good thing. Correct on 34,000# duals but all my otr 3x tractors had 12,000# steer axles. There are larger capacities for other applications. I am amazed at the front axle weights of some motor homes. Incidentally I'm not a lawyer and don't sit in an arm chair. No flaming just information based on experience. Happy motoring.
No worries. I don't take anything posted on forums personally. It's just good discussion and exchange of info and opinions. Much of the front axle overloading is brought on by we the consumer wanting more storage. With a DP, all of the basement storage is between the steer and drive axles. The manufacturers want to get the most storage possible, so they choose a chassis that stretches the wheel base and they go to a heavier axle up front. Our 43QGP Bus weighs 40,000# loaded. I am able to control the steer axle weight because of a mod that I wanted and Tiffin paid for it. I'm ok with 1000# under the tire/axle rating. Newmar could have chosen a slightly shorter wheelbase for the DS that would have put more weight on the drive and tag, which would have reduced the steer axle by 1500# or more. However, that would have shortened the basement storage area and that wouldn't sell well. Of course, the other option is the 20,000# steer axle. My son's 2016 Mountain Aire has the 20K front with the 365 tires. His drive and tag are 20K and 10K. My Bus is 22 and 13K on the rear. He is very close on the drive, but I have all kinds of reserve capacity.
I often wonder if we owners and users couldn't come up with a design of a MH that was never overloaded, all of the features worked, the cabinets were installed properly, and the first time you had to go back to a dealer was for the five year checkup when the warranty expired. I wonder what it would cost above what we pay now.
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:37 AM   #40
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From time to time I read a post that implys motor homes are sometimes at there max weight or close to it while it is still at the dealer. I recently read somewhere that dutch stars for example are at their max weight on the front axle before you even load it up. Im just wondering do the dealers have the actual weight on the front axle or rear axle (s) that they can furnish upon request? Can you test drive one to a weight station if they dont? Seems to me that would be something you would want to know before shelling out a quarter mil.
Even the Bluebird Wanderlodge and a tank of a MotorHome had that problem with it's M450 model and there was a ton of lawsuits surrounding that fiasco.
Who wants to get in the middle of that and best to do your homework first.
Demand the certified scale weight if you'd like or walk and don't forget to add a bunch of lbs. for your junk and people.
Having said that, all the figures including factory weights, GVWR and GCWR, should be posted inside the coach and don't think they would put a lie in print. The problem is, most people don't even bother to look.
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:43 AM   #41
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They knew it was overloaded with a 20K axle and tire combination.
Hookum:

Would you please provide the source for the 20K comment.

Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:43 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
When buying something from a dealer, you automatically know if their lips are moving or if their printer is printing, they're lying.

I'd not worry about it, if they can legally sell a vehicle that's overweight driving it off the lot, then you have legal recourse and grounds for a lawsuit...but only if you're harmed by that in some way.

But I would weigh it asap after purchase.
I almost bought a 2013 Winnebago Tour...but the deal was going to be contingent on a CAT Scale weigh. (Provides front axle, rear+tag weights).
Then I found out that the Tour is already overweight leaving the factory, largely due to the floor plan which puts the refrigerator behind the co-pilot's seat.
I refused to go any further with the deal.
Seriously, I would advise anyone considering such a major purchase to get it weighed as part of the deal.
Some dealers will tell you (as did Liberty) to never fully fill the fuel and water tanks. And keep the grey & black tanks no more than half-full. (dumb response)
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