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Old 11-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
Kon
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GVWR confusion

I have a 2000 Ram 3500 dually with a 5.9L cummins with 2 wheel drive and a 6 speed manual transmission. The GVWR rating for the truck is 10,500 lb. The GAWR for the front is 4,500 lb and the rear is 7,500 lb. which adds up to be 12,000 lb. Can anyone explain this difference. I have looked at other campers and have found that the combined max. weight of the front and rear have been the same as the max weight for the unit.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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The higher GAWRs merely give you leeway to move a given payload between axles, but do not (as far as the truck manufacturer is concerned) give you leeway to exceed the GVWR. You'll find the front axle actual GAW is very close to the 4,500 lbs with no payload, just a driver and passenger - that was the case on my 2002 2WD Cummins HO/NV5600 dually. That means you have very little latitude to move heavy payloads to the very front of the bed to get some of the weight on the front axle - your payload CG really needs to be at the rear axle centerline to stay within the front axle GAWR, but you won't be able to use all of the rear axle GAWR without significantly exceeding the truck's GVWR.

GVWRs that are the sum of the GAWRs are commonplace for larger trucks - not so much for pickups (even 1-ton duallies).

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Old 11-28-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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I don't think I've ever seen any truck where the axle weights add up to the GVWR. It would be extremely difficult, actually impossible, to use all of your GVWR if you had to have it distributed exactly right between the axles.
Given that this is in the truck camper section I assume you're trying to figure out how heavy a camper you can haul. Most people hauling TCs are over their GVWR and pay more attention to axle and tire limits. It's just the reality of how heavy TCs are and how little payload most heavily optioned pick-ups have left. My own rig has a GVWR of 11,400 but with the camper on it weighs about 13,100. I'm not over my axle or tire ratings.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:50 AM   #4
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My own rig has a GVWR of 11,400 but with the camper on it weighs about 13,100. I'm not over my axle or tire ratings.
BINGO! We have a winner. Exactly the same here.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:16 AM   #5
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BINGO! We have a winner. Exactly the same here.
How does exceeding the manufacturers GVWR make you have a winner. If you read the fine print under the rating information, you will see a statement that says something like that NONE of the ratings are to be exceeded. It does not give you a choice of following one or two of the ratings and exceeding one at your choice.

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Old 11-29-2013, 12:12 PM   #6
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How does exceeding the manufacturers GVWR make you have a winner. If you read the fine print under the rating information, you will see a statement that says something like that NONE of the ratings are to be exceeded. It does not give you a choice of following one or two of the ratings and exceeding one at your choice.

Ken
Because Ken, the vast majority of TC owners take ALL the WR figures with a grain of salt. For instance I've determined through research that the GAWR for both my front and rear axles are less than the actual weakest component in either suspension system. So can you tell me for certain just exactly what the GAWR figures are based on? I think not. One thing I AM certain about regarding these GAWR figures is that they have a certain amount of engineering facts (such as structural strength) built in and a certain amount of legal facts (liability issues) built in to them. They are always going to be less than the actual components - ALWAYS. And I have NEVER seen a GVWR that equaled exactly the total of the 2 GAWRs.


Now if it makes you feel better and allows you to sleep peacefully at night, then by all means, stick to the figures posted on your truck. And I'll stick to the ratings of the actual components in my system. I have weighed every thing in my system and while I DO exceed the GVWR listed on my truck, I DO NOT exceed the weakest link in either axle system. I'm very comfortable with doing that and firmly believe that I am not alone in this respect.


So yes, Ken, like KD4UPL and hundreds more just like him, its BINGO, we have a winner (referring to the fact that he told it like it is, not like its supposed to be).


And as far as choice goes Ken, you are absolutely wrong about that. The last time I checked, we still live in America and we still have the right to make up our own minds about how much weight we put on our trucks. We may exceed the mfg.'s limits and may even void a warranty by doing so, but we STILL have the right to make that decision. Statements like what you referred to are nothing more than CYA by the Mfg. to limit their liability.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:59 PM   #7
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dubob, I get it,....Safety in numbers.

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Old 11-29-2013, 07:19 PM   #8
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Since frame material and cross-sectional strength, span between the axles, deflection rate under load, cyclic fatigue resistance and other similar factors are also determinants of a given truck's GVWR, I'm just curious how those who choose to exceed the manufacturer's GVWR rating determine the ability of the frame to function under these conditions without premature failure. I sincerely doubt that they have the test rigs, instrumentation, engineering data such as material composition and properties, heat treat, etc. that's available to the manufacturer's engineers who determine this rating.

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Old 11-30-2013, 07:47 AM   #9
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Since frame material and cross-sectional strength, span between the axles, deflection rate under load, cyclic fatigue resistance and other similar factors are also determinants of a given truck's GVWR, I'm just curious how those who choose to exceed the manufacturer's GVWR rating determine the ability of the frame to function under these conditions without premature failure. I sincerely doubt that they have the test rigs, instrumentation, engineering data such as material composition and properties, heat treat, etc. that's available to the manufacturer's engineers who determine this rating.

Rusty
You make some very valid comments Rusty. There are in fact other parts of the carry vehicle that are used to determine WR. And I have another question; by what percentage is all that under rated by the legal department to avoid any possibility of liability by the company should any component fail under actual use by a consumer? Empirical data suggests to me that there isn't ANY mechanical device built that absolutely will fail if the stress rating is exceeded by any margin at all. When a maximum rating is given, to me it means that the company is telling me the device will function as designed up to and including that rating. Beyond that there are no guaranties by the company. So be it. Beyond that point I'm on my own.

There are absolutely thousands of TC owners out there that are exceeding WR's of their carry vehicle; some by choice and others by error or lack of knowledge. I'm one of those that made a conscious decision to do so. I, and I alone, am responsible for that decision.

I do relate my experiences and decision making process to others and they are free to use that information in any way that they choose. And I do appreciate comments like you offered because they add knowledge to help me in my decision making. Every bit of knowledge gained is helpful in one way or another. And with all that I know, I'm still comfortable with exceeding the GVWR on my truck.

Getting back to Kon's question, I'm not sure any of this has answered it. As far as I know, the combined weight of the 2 GAWRs is going to be more than the GVWR of any given vehicle. I haven't checked the ratings on every vehicle out there but have never seen one where that wasn't the case.

I feel that I have explained my position on this to the best of my ability. You are free to agree or disagree with my position. Either way I hold no ill will towards you or your opinion of my position. Life is way too short to sweat the small stuff and this is definitely small stuff. Enjoy life and enjoy your TC adventures to the best of your ability. Take care y'all!
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:00 AM   #10
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As far as I know, the combined weight of the 2 GAWRs is going to be more than the GVWR of any given vehicle. I haven't checked the ratings on every vehicle out there but have never seen one where that wasn't the case.
Please see topic #6 HERE.

Rusty
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
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I don't mean to extend a healthy discussion longer than necessary. Let me just add this. I've traveled literally thousands of miles in my truck loaded past it's GVWR. I have had pretty much no mechanical failures of any kind. It handles and rides quite well. In fact, I've seen lots of TC hauling trucks on the road and read lots of TC forums but never heard anyone or seen anyone have any sort of broken frame. I think the fact that TC owners have loaded their trucks like this for decades with few if any failures speaks to the ability of the trucks to handle it.
Further, GVWR is not a legal requirement. In fact, some trucks have their numbers artificially low (like 9,900 pounds) to stay under the threshold where certain rules kick in (10,000 pounds.) The F-350 work truck I drive has a GVWR of 9,900. had it loaded to over 10,000 one time and it wasn't even sitting on the overload springs. Obviously Ford designed it to carry more weight but rated it to be under the 10,000 pound mark.
Some pick-ups can be ordered with two optional GVWRs. The truck is identical. The different ratings are to help owners avoid community parking regulations, higher insurance rates, etc.
My rig is completely legal, including the license plates. I have it tagged for 14,000 pounds. That really what might get me ticket: being over my tagged weight. That's the real irony of what the government cares about. A truck with passenger car tags rated for 7,500 pounds and loaded below it's GVWR but over 7,500 is considered overweight and the driver can be ticketed. A truck like mine, loaded over it's GVWR but under it's tagged weight is considered perfectly legal.
If you look at the interstate and see all the "hot shot" truckers hauling commercial loads on big GN flatbeds with duallys you will notice that most of them have to be exceeding the GVWR. They rack up huge miles doing this professionally and get checked by DOT.
If I could afford a 4500 Dodge to carry my camper I'd get one but as it is my 8 year old 3500 does a great job.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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One thing I have a big issue with is the fact that lawyers and politicians write laws concerning weight issues for trucks. They have little to no engineering background and I hope that they have the common sense to get the input from an engineer.

It is not right that someone with a truck rated by the manufacturer for a GVWR of 9,000#, 10,000# or 11,000# can go down to the tag office and buy tags for the truck for 14,000# and then use the truck up to 14,000# and be considered "legal" in the eyes of the lawyers at the tag office...never mind the manufacturers ratings. This is so wrong in so many ways it is not funny.

Why not go ahead and get a truck rated for the load rather than trying to second guess the design engineers.

I'll go with the manufacturers ratings over a lawyers word any day of the week when it comes to design issues. If it is a legal matter, then I'd consider an attorney.

Ken
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:27 PM   #13
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Please see topic #6 HERE.

Rusty
I can't see it; it requires a paid membership to see the document. I'm not a paid member nor do I intend to join just to see that document.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:26 PM   #14
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Unfortunately my truck could not read the door sticker when I put the camper on and it doesn't seem to care anyway
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