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Old 09-21-2016, 11:20 AM   #15
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That was a typo, which I corrected.

GVWR stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. It's a "recommended" rating by the manufacture,

How a rating is derived I can only guess. Perhaps a combination of scientific method(s) used by automotive engineers and field testing? Stress related data in relation to blueprint designs? etc.

Once again , to the OP , sorry your post has go so far off the original topic.


Funny that if it's only a " recommended " rating that Freightliner and Dodge state " Never " to exceed it , and that governments are willing to fine people who exceed their vehicles " Ratings ".
The ratings are determined by design and testing by the manufacturers, the engineers and then the " legal team " gets involved too. If for example; you have an accident with your vehicle , that can be traced to loss of control , in-adequate braking capacity, or other manufacturing shortfalls the manufacturer can be held liable. Once the vehicle is modified from stock, in areas of steering , suspension or braking for example, or the ratings exceeded, the manufacturer can be absolved of any legal responsibility. As stated in a previous post exceeding ratings can give your insurance company an "out " too and leave you as a driver/owner holding the bag.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:30 AM   #16
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If you read the manuals or material provided by the manufacturer they will also state that altering the truck will not change the rating.

It would be cheaper IMO to buy a vehicle that is rated for what you want to carry/pull than changing all of the components to rejig your existing vehicle. It seems to be very unclear exactly what the engineers have considered the limiting component to be or if it is a combination of components.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:50 PM   #17
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If you read the manuals or material provided by the manufacturer they will also state that altering the truck will not change the rating.

It would be cheaper IMO to buy a vehicle that is rated for what you want to carry/pull than changing all of the components to rejig your existing vehicle. It seems to be very unclear exactly what the engineers have considered the limiting component to be or if it is a combination of components.
Yes I think your correct it's better to find a towing vehicle that is able to perform the job at hand.

I know of people with trucks to haul 5th wheels that are constantly upgrading. The 350, 450 and in some cases a 550 can't do the job, have upgraded to a 650.

Another acquaintance I know from Alaska hauls his 5th wheel using a semi truck. Appears quite nice as the truck's cab shell has the same design and colour as the 5th wheel.

I sometimes tow a Toad with a motorhome and sometimes haul a cargo trailer with the toad. The toad is rated to tow up to 5000 lbs. with a ~1200 lbs payload. However IMO really can only handle up to ~2,000 - ~2,500 lbs adequately. So I gave it some heavy duty shocks, springs and hd steering stabilizer.

I think add-on equipment that properly installed and improves a vehicles towing capabilities shouldn't be digressed and create a liability.

Perhaps if your adding add-on equipment and mods to increase a manufacturer's ratings may not be a good idea or may take some additional knowledge and skill about auto-mobiles to do so. It's possibly to unofficially improve a vehicles towing capacity and safety.

Most vehicles are designed for passengers and not primarily designed for towing. May require towing related add-ons to create a better towing vehicle or in some cases a towing vehicle that's adequate for towing. Automobile manufactures aren't creating vehicles whose primary design is for towing, mainly to haul passengers and possibly some sort of payload.
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Old 09-21-2016, 05:03 PM   #18
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It may be possible to increase a manufactures towing and payload capacity ratings through mods and add-on to it's steering, suspension and possibly tires.
The only one that can legally change the towing or weight ratings on a vehicle is the original vehicle manufacturer. Nothing you add or change can change the OEM specifications unless the manufacturer will certify the change.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:31 AM   #19
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The only one that can legally change the towing or weight ratings on a vehicle is the original vehicle manufacturer. Nothing you add or change can change the OEM specifications unless the manufacturer will certify the change.
I'm not certain what you mean by legally. Many vehicles are legally modified, have legally installed towing add-ons, etc.

If an insurance company says that a towing vehicle is somehow unsafe they would need to prove that in court.

Towing add-ons aren't designed to change any numbers produced by the automanufacture. their designed to improve the towing experience and make the towing vehicle safer than from the factory. As I stated automobile manufacturer's primary design is to haul passengers and not a trailer. That's an afterthought.

Many modern vehicle are not only considered unsafe as a towing vehicle they're also considered to be unsafe to transport passengers.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:06 AM   #20
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I'm not certain what you mean by legally. Many vehicles are legally modified, have legally installed towing add-ons, etc.

If an insurance company says that a towing vehicle is somehow unsafe they would need to prove that in court.

Towing add-ons aren't designed to change any numbers produced by the automanufacture. their designed to improve the towing experience and make the towing vehicle safer than from the factory. As I stated automobile manufacturer's primary design is to haul passengers and not a trailer. That's an afterthought.

Many modern vehicle are not only considered unsafe as a towing vehicle they're also considered to be unsafe to transport passengers.
This topic is a slippery slope and at the risk of being labeled with weight police or "sky is falling guy" I would like to say that it is actually quite simple to work the numbers after an accident to see whether the tow vehicle was working within its specifications or not. "Legally" installed add-on installed by any shop or yourself to improve handling will not change the manufacturers specifications.

The real question is whether or not the insurance companies or police really want to get into the fray.

Insurance companies are an unknown when it comes to how they work. I know they seem to deny a lot of claims but when it comes down to the end they can simply raise rates to cover any of their obligations.

Police may or may not want to pursue an additional charge of operating an vehicle in an unsafe manner or whatever the charge would be but they may be trying to charge a person who perished in the accident. They may prefer to leave it to the. . . . . .

Civil Lawsuit. I suspect that as a victim of an incident with an overloaded vehicle I can easily find a lawyer who will pursue the owner of said overloaded vehicle to the ends of the earth at no cost to myself.

Regardless of the pros and cons my attitude is to take all reasonable care to be well within the manufacturers specifications in order to give my family and myself any edge that will help keep us a bit safer given the varying conditions we encounter when travelling.

When riding our motorcycles we operate with a mindset that it is not if we will have an accident but when. So we ride with all of the personal safety gear.

Just hedging our bets.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:28 AM   #21
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As stated in a previous post exceeding ratings can give your insurance company an "out " too and leave you as a driver/owner holding the bag.
I not suggesting that one should exceed the ratings of the TV and in fact I wholeheartedly support staying within the ratings but I see this comment all the time and frankly I'm calling BS. Has anyone ever seen a documented case where the insurance co denied coverage because the weight ratings were exceeded? They may cancel you after the claim but I doubt they are going to deny coverage. Me thinks this is just more internet lore.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:35 PM   #22
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I not suggesting that one should exceed the ratings of the TV and in fact I wholeheartedly support staying within the ratings but I see this comment all the time and frankly I'm calling BS. Has anyone ever seen a documented case where the insurance co denied coverage because the weight ratings were exceeded? They may cancel you after the claim but I doubt they are going to deny coverage. Me thinks this is just more internet lore.
Asked that exact question of our neighbor. She is an attorney for an insurance company. They will not deny coverage for the other person but may refuse to pay your claim and cancel your insurance.
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:40 AM   #23
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Asked that exact question of our neighbor. She is an attorney for an insurance company. They will not deny coverage for the other person but may refuse to pay your claim and cancel your insurance.
Not to mention that you are opening yourself up for being sued above and beyond insurance if it is proven you were towing outside of specs of your vehicle. Ask your neighbor about some of those lawsuits.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:26 AM   #24
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How does one actually determine tow ratings for a vehicle? What is written in an owner's manual or what is written on it's tow hitch?

I have an older late 90's 4x4 SUV that has a tow ratings label, of what appears to be an OE hitch. I no longer have it's owner manual.

I'm unable to find anything from the manufacture website for older vehicle lines. Does one write or e-mail a manufacture trying to authenticate a vehicles tow rating?

_____

Another question: What if I replace , the axles, suspension and steering from another automobile manufacture and/or other vehicles lines from the same manufacture. To heavier duty versions?

(original axle) The Dana 30 has a GAWR up to 2,770 lbs
(original axle) The Dana 35 has a GAWR up to 2,900 lbs
(replacement axle) The Dana 60 has a GAWR up to 6,500 lbs
(replacement axle) The Dana 80 has a GAWR up to 11,000 lbs.
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:24 AM   #25
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How does one actually determine tow ratings for a vehicle? What is written in an owner's manual or what is written on it's tow hitch?
The numbers on the hitch receiver apply only to the receiver, not to the tow vehicle. Some receivers are rated for more than the vehicle can tow without exceeding he GVWR of the tow vehicle. And some for less.



Quote:
I have an older late 90's 4x4 SUV that has a tow ratings label, of what appears to be an OE hitch. I no longer have it's owner manual.

I'm unable to find anything from the manufacture website for older vehicle lines. Does one write or e-mail a manufacture trying to authenticate a vehicles tow rating?

Your SUV has a door sticker that includes the GVWR of the SUV. That is your limiter as to how heavy a trailer you can tow without being overloaded. So load the SUV with everything and everybody that will be in it when towing - including the hitch. Fill up with gas and weigh the wwet and loaded SUV. Subtract that weight from the GVWR of the SUV and the answer is the max hitch weight you can tow without being overloaded. That max hitch weight applies regardless of what kind of hitch you have - receiver, fifth wheel, or gooseneck.

There are several other weight ratings that apply to your SUV, but if you don't exceed the GVWR then you probably won't exceed any of the other weight ratings such as GCWR, rGAWR, fGAWR, etc.. That assumes your hitch and all hitch components are rated for at least as much as the hitch weight of any trailer you could tow without exceeding he GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Quote:
Another question: What if I replace , the axles, suspension and steering from another automobile manufacture and/or other vehicles lines from the same manufacture. To heavier duty versions?

(original axle) The Dana 30 has a GAWR up to 2,770 lbs
(original axle) The Dana 35 has a GAWR up to 2,900 lbs
(replacement axle) The Dana 60 has a GAWR up to 6,500 lbs
(replacement axle) The Dana 80 has a GAWR up to 11,000 lbs.
That's an exercise in futility. GVWR is determined by a lot more than axle strength. Frame strength and braking performance are also involved.

Basically, if you are not a PE in chassis engineering, then you don't have enough knowledge to legally increase the GVWR of your tow vehicle.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:29 AM   #26
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The numbers on the hitch receiver apply only to the receiver, not to the tow vehicle. Some receivers are rated for more than the vehicle can tow without exceeding he GVWR of the tow vehicle. And some for less.

Your SUV has a door sticker that includes the GVWR of the SUV. That is your limiter as to how heavy a trailer you can tow without being overloaded. So load the SUV with everything and everybody that will be in it when towing - including the hitch. Fill up with gas and weigh the wwet and loaded SUV. Subtract that weight from the GVWR of the SUV and the answer is the max hitch weight you can tow without being overloaded. That max hitch weight applies regardless of what kind of hitch you have - receiver, fifth wheel, or gooseneck.

There are several other weight ratings that apply to your SUV, but if you don't exceed the GVWR then you probably won't exceed any of the other weight ratings such as GCWR, rGAWR, fGAWR, etc.. That assumes your hitch and all hitch components are rated for at least as much as the hitch weight of any trailer you could tow without exceeding he GVWR of the tow vehicle.

That's an exercise in futility. GVWR is determined by a lot more than axle strength. Frame strength and braking performance are also involved.

Basically, if you are not a PE in chassis engineering, then you don't have enough knowledge to legally increase the GVWR of your tow vehicle.
The door sticker shows the GVWR to be 4900 lbs. There doesn't appear to be any other ratings except for the front and rear axles.

Everyone is saying this SUV is able to tow up to 5000 lbs however if what you say is true I think it's much less to be within the manufactures rating.

The dry weight is somewhere between 3000 and 3300 lbs. At it's dry weight, (less petrol) your saying I would be only to tow up to 1600 to 1900 lbs to be within the manufacturer's safety limit?

If my scale weight is e.g. 3800 lbs then to be within the manufactures GVWR I should only be towing up to 1100 lbs?

____

I'm aware upgrading a vehicle is more than upgrading the axles. The people I know besides upgrading the axles upgrade their suspension, steering, frame, body, driveline and other areas of the vehicle. (Some upgrade their drivetrain & powertrain) However their upgrades aren't really for towing, mainly for non-pavement surfaces and terrains. All their vehicle are also modified and licensed for on-road, unless one is modified solely for off-road and needs to be towed to an off-road destination.

Upgrades often involve what area of the country or world you going to use your on-off road vehicle. Their upgrades and modifications take in account the type of terrain and climate. So I suppose their more specialized upgrades.

These people often travel and go off-road into other countries, so the terrain and climate isn't always predictable.










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Old 09-24-2016, 09:35 AM   #27
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I'm not certain what you mean by legally. Many vehicles are legally modified, have legally installed towing add-ons, etc.
Federal Law only allows changing the GVWR and GCVWR of a vehicle by the manufacturer of the vehicle. No modifications of the vehicle made by the owner or the shop not approved by the manufacturer can change the ratings. Been there, the vehicle was modified AND a new weight certificate was issued by the manufacturer.
That is the law, but we all know laws are broken everyday.
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:08 AM   #28
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Federal Law only allows changing the GVWR and GCVWR of a vehicle by the manufacturer of the vehicle. No modifications of the vehicle made by the owner or the shop not approved by the manufacturer can change the ratings. Been there, the vehicle was modified AND a new weight certificate was issued by the manufacturer.
That is the law, but we all know laws are broken everyday.
Yes I guess so. I don't like towing off-road much over a 1000 lbs perhaps up to 1500. My SUV has a 4.0L engine with an average lifespan of ~300,000+ miles. It now has ~200,000 miles and runs similar when new. I've been thinking about swapping it out with a diesel.

Many of the off-road trailers have a dry weight of around ~1000 lbs and a GVWR of ~3000 to ~3500.

Some of the older World War Two trailers are preferred as off-road trailers as their dry weight is only around ~500 lbs.

I was once was staying in an RV park, where there was a 4x4 convention. A person pulled his diesel pusher into the space next to mine. He was trailering a dieseled Jeep CJ with Dana 80's (perhaps larger) and 40+ inch tires. (may have been ~50 inch didn't take a real close look at it) It was a professional upgrade really nice looking. This person must have had alot of experience and knowledge, the body and frame was completely rebuilt. I'd say it could have been easily rated as 1.5 ton or higher. I'm not certain of the CJ's GVWR and doubt it was ever used for towing.

My towing upgrades are a larger hd radiator, tranny cooler and replaced the suspension with an OME kit that included dual stage rear springs, spring rates are designed for a constant load. Lift is approx. ~2.5 inch, which approx. the maximum height without a SYE, because of the short wheel base.

One thing I learned about external transmission coolers is the manufacture bypasses the radiator oil cooler, which they term as max cooling. The OEM max cooling radiator doesn't have a built in oil cooler, an ext. trans cooler does all the cooling for the transmission.
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