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Old 08-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ken90004 View Post
I respectively disagree. There is a certain liability by overstating numbers.

I also know a lot of engineers, and they all like to over engineer their designs.

So, I feel the opposite is true.

I would tell you a truck tows 5000 when i know my design stress levels show 6000. This way you are less likely to break it and sue me for negligence.

Truth is subjective, based on prospective.
So true Ken,
I worked as a engineer for John Deere and I can't begin to tell how over built some components are. For the exact reason you stated, liability, because we knew full well our customers would overload the best and finest tractors in the world.
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Old 08-05-2013, 09:56 PM   #16
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You can take every precaution forseen, and never negate all the risks. You can wait for every green light in town and still get in a fatal accident.
Its really up to each individual person on how much risk is acceptable.
Part of towing heavy is simply money. Camping is an expensive hobby, but one we all share. If TV were cheap and easy to come by, i don't think we'd have as much of any issue as towing heavy. But many of us want to make our camp dollars stretch until we can collect more of them.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:04 PM   #17
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Its all fun and games as long as nothing happens. Many people go for years (decades) without need for a panic stop, or encountering 50mph crosswind, etc. The OP will 'probably' be fine if nothing happens. It'll all be OK under normal circumstances.

My suggestion for those who think overloading is OK, reduce some weight by throwing away your fire extinguisher and smoke alarms. You'll 'probably' be OK without them.
It is funny that you mentioned this. I have went for years towing and driving my older class A without any issues. This year with my newer class A I have had cars cut me off in toll areas. One time the ABS actually kicked in (slightly wet out). There seems to be more and more stupid on the roads now. Really thinking of a dash cam now.
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:24 PM   #18
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As a retired professional mechanical engineer, you do not have to tell me about design margins and safety factors. Anything we design is required by various codes and standards to have a specified over design. Some as little as 15% and some 300%.

The truck and RV industry do over design, but to what standards? What they state in their over-inflated ratings is 100% true, provided you rear the small print and foot notes. The problem is the inexperienced will see the maximum TOW RATING is x,xxx pounds and never notice the maximum and the footnotes. So they are being truthful in a backhanded way and are assuming that the consumer can read and comprehend the notes.

Thus the truck manufacturer will use a stripped base model (which very few people buy) and subtract this low curb weight from the GCWR and get a BIG number. Now the consumer has to be smart enough to read the footnote.

But, You do not knowingly operate a piece of equipment in the safety factor on a normal basis. The safety factor is there to cover off design conditions and unknown weaknesses in the material.

In any case it is not a fair assessment that a 5er has to have a Peterbuilt to pull it. But yes, the larger 5ers will require an F350 dually or larger. The smaller 5ers can get the job done with a SRW truck or a 3/4 ton truck.

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Old 08-05-2013, 11:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ken90004 View Post
I respectively disagree. There is a certain liability by overstating numbers.

I also know a lot of engineers, and they all like to over engineer their designs.

So, I feel the opposite is true.
I doubt Ken meant what you thought he meant. The engineered numbers such as GVWR and GCWR are not overstated. They are as good as the engineers can come up with. When they finish number crunching, they then test the vehicles under real-world conditions to be certain the GVWR and GCWR are accurate.

For example, to test the GCWR, they tie on a trailer that weighs enough that the weight of the rig when wet and loaded for the road is right on the GCWR. Then they take it to somewhere with extreme conditions and test it to be sure it doesn't overheat anything in the drivetrain at a reasonable speed when climbing out of Death Valley at 120 F, or when climbing out of the lower Grand Canyon on the 10% grade east of Laughlin NV on the road to Kingman AZ.

But what is overstated is the derived numbers such as tow rating and payload rating.

The manufacturer's tow rating is the GCWR minus the shipping weight of the unloaded tuck, with no options, plus a skinny driver. No passengers, no cargo of any kind, no options such as spray-in bedliner or grill guard. So the tow ratings are overstated for 99+ percent of us.

The payload rating is similar in that they start with the GVWR of the truck, then subtract the shipping weight of the unloaded truck with no options and no cargo of any kind. So the payload ratings are overstated for 99+ percent of us.

The engineers didn't come up with the tow ratings and payload ratings - marketing types did that with the full encouragement of management.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:42 AM   #20
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The engineers didn't come up with the tow ratings and payload ratings -
marketing types did that with the full encouragement of management.
Now while I understand vehicles manual is written so that you are towing with minimal added vehicle cargo (and persons). And that it is difficult to tow at maximum and stay under the maximum vehicle weight. It is a bit of a numbers game and they leave it to the consumer to determine.

I cannot believe that the marketing and sale departments created the tow weights. If a TV says it can tow 5000 lbs, that a team in the marketing department sat around a table, and agreed to put 5000 lbs in the manual. If so, they'd be overstated by 50% to 100% and purely an arbitrary number.

I'm interested enough to do a fact finding mission to see where tow capacities numbers are first decided. Check case law regarding suits filed against towing. I'm willing to accept the fact that I may be wrong, but I would be surprised to find you correct.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:37 AM   #21
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Ken,
You can't convince the above 2 guys of anything, they seem to know all. I too, worked as a engineer for John Deere. When we stated that the drawbar load limit was 21000 lbs and should not be exceeded, we had actually tested and beat it to death at 30000lbs. I do know that, as that is the area of design that I worked.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:04 AM   #22
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So, let me get this straight, the conclusion thus far is that no one needs worry about the tow limits because lawyers understate those limits to avoid liability?
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:11 AM   #23
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Just a difference of opinion. As long as we all learn to respect each others ideas and that there is no single right answer.
I agree with them, in part. Other parts I do not, even though its an axiom across many rv forums.
Im just a fact driven individual
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:15 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ken90004
.....Part of towing heavy is simply money. Camping is an expensive hobby, but one we all share. If TV were cheap and easy to come by, i don't think we'd have as much of any issue as towing heavy. But many of us want to make our camp dollars stretch until we can collect more of them.
On Edit - apologies to OP - response was directed to ken90004 - as he has a couple threads going on towing at or above limits. My bad - but may be something there you can use. Also see Kens threads if you have not already.

And there you have it. Money. You have built all manner of defense around towing heavy due to stretching your dollar. You went long on trailer and short in towing. This was your choice. In my opinion, your rational may suit you but doesn't make for good advice to others. You can find people on the internet to agree with any position. But many very experienced folks have given you their best thinking on the matter. Towing heavy is at a minimum is less than ideal and at worst can be disastrous. Your choice.

For the sake of others, some other choices that were available to you and them included:
1) less trailer and weight
2) saving a little longer and upgrading tow vehicle first

If you had taken option 2 - your trailer choices would have been different and you could have had more TT than you do now. Experience says - if RVing is something you will stay with - you will find yourself upgrading anyway. Upgrading did not get any easier by stretchimg dollars and starting sooner. It got harder in fact. Both your trailer and tow will depreciate faster than your income will rise. RVing over a lifetime is a long game - not a short game. The short game only costs you more money in the long run.

So yes - option 2 would have slowed your getting out there a little, but it would have spared you needless worry. And all your justifications and calculations would be the same only you would have headroom and a safer, more enjoyable, tow / RVing experience for you and your family. And you would be on the winnimg side of the debate. And, you would have a tow vehicle that would support an upgrade.

Some of the above is fact and some my opinion of course. None of it is intemded to insult or offend you.

Happy RVing and I do hope you stick with it. Obviously you are as enthralled and excited about RVing as the rest of us.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:26 AM   #25
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So, let me get this straight, the conclusion thus far is that no one needs worry about the tow limits because lawyers understate those limits to avoid liability?
No. That would be an exaggerated conclusion. If you make claim on a product that is misleading or false, and the result caused injury, i would seek legal advice. If you can prove i misused the product and the injury was a result of my own negligence, when my guess would be i wouldn't have a case.

SO, if the thread's author tows as prescribed by manufacturer, he should be fine, in my opinion. He may increase the required maintenance, but he is using the vehicle as it was designed, Imo
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:51 AM   #26
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No. That would be an exaggerated conclusion. If you make claim on a product that is misleading or false, and the result caused injury, i would seek legal advice. If you can prove i misused the product and the injury was a result of my own negligence, when my guess would be i wouldn't have a case.
I tend to lean not towards 'whose liability will the accident be', but more towards 'what can can be done to avoid an accident'.

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SO, if the thread's author tows as prescribed by manufacturer, he should be fine, in my opinion. He may increase the required maintenance, but he is using the vehicle as it was designed, Imo
I agree 100%. No one here, that I've seen, has suggested anything other than this. You must tow at LEAST as prescribed by the manufacturer of your tow vehicle. For anyone to suggest that its OK to tow 'a little' outside those limits is bad advice, plain and simple. If that makes me a member of the 'weight police', so be it.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:04 AM   #27
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Part of towing heavy is simply money. Camping is an expensive hobby, but one we all share. If TV were cheap and easy to come by, i don't think we'd have as much of any issue as towing heavy. But many of us want to make our camp dollars stretch until we can collect more of them.
A good friend of mine used to say: "Pay up front, or pay as you go, you're still going to pay."

What he meant was, you can buy a brand new vehicle (pay up front), or buy a series of old clunkers (pay as you go), but in the end, you still pay. The difference is, how much risk, hassle, etc, you have to deal with.

In the context of THIS thread, you're not going to save any money RVing overloaded because you're going to crash, or buy a new transmission, or something. You're, of course, free to spin the wheel and hope for the best, and maybe you'll win. But to put OTHERS at risk doing so is irresponsible.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:29 AM   #28
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Except he is not running oveoaded, correct?

We all take risks when we drive. I don't think there is a person here that can say they've never broke a speed limit. We are all guilty at putting others at risk, present company included. But, id like to think that RVers are some of the safer drivers on the road.

I think there is simply a differ of opinion on what the manufacturer says is loaded vs overloaded. I have five inquires out to help satisfy my interests.

I stand that the OP is good, i trust his numbers and would be happy to share the open road with him.
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