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Old 07-30-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Information

In view of the diatribe going on in another thread, I thought it would be interesting to add a post that was published on another forum by an attorney. He has some very interesting comments. It is NOT my publication, and I do not recall the author...I just saved his document:

My professional career has spanned a great number of years in the legal field...I offer the following comments as suggestions as to what I believe to be the best course of action regarding tow vehicles. This information is not to be considered a "legal opinion," and, please do not send me emails or PMs requesting more information or technical questions.



I have read a number of threads and posts regarding members asking questions about tow vehicles and various weight issues, and believe some guidance/suggestions might be appreciated. Many of the responses are incorrect, misleading and, whether or not intended, quite deceiving. The good people asking these questions are seeking answers to what they perceive to be very confusing and complex issues. One of the problems is that many members posting have no knowledge of the subject matter, and are regurgitating what an RV or truck salesman has told them regarding TVs. Although their intentions are good, and they might have been using a particular TV without problems for a while, these members should not offer information on a subject in which they have virtually no knowledge. Much of this information is totally incorrect.


If you should have the misfortune of being in a court of law as a result of a motor vehicle accident involving a truck/RV combination, and the weight of your TV and/or RV comes into question...both vehicles should be within ALL the manufacturer's specifications as noted on the appropriate stickers attached to the vehicles and/or located on the equipment. These include combined weight, gross weight, tire capacity, axle capacity, hitch capacity, pin capacity (MorRyde), etc. You can add any thing you desire in the form of big tires, larger axles, air bags, extra springs, bigger shocks, none of which will affect the stickers on the vehicles upon which they are mounted. Should any part of any of your vehicles exceed the manufacturer's ratings, you will have a very difficult time convincing the court that it is okay to be over those ratings. A great number of posters like to say that their vehicle "pulls fine"...which is okay, but (excuse the pun) that reasoning will not carry much weight in a court of law.


If you have added something to a truck or RV that you believe truly increases capacity...such as axles, not air bags...get some type of documentation from the manufacturer that states your GVWR has been increased. Be advised that some type of written documentation is necessary in order for it to be valid. Keep in mind, however, that just because you have gone from 6k axles to 7k axles (or bigger tires, etc) your GVWR may not be increased due to frame, body or other limitations, that might be known only to the manufacturer.


In summary, it has gone around the Internet that gross weight and combined weight ratings are just suggestions, and can be ignored, whereas tire and axle ratings must be followed. This is totally incorrect information and should not be followed. If you elect to exceed published maximum ratings of any item on either of your vehicles, be prepared to suffer the consequences of that action.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
If you have added something to a truck or RV that you believe truly increases capacity...such as axles, not air bags...get some type of documentation from the manufacturer that states your GVWR has been increased. Be advised that some type of written documentation is necessary in order for it to be valid. Keep in mind, however, that just because you have gone from 6k axles to 7k axles (or bigger tires, etc) your GVWR may not be increased due to frame, body or other limitations, that might be known only to the manufacturer.
When Newmar had Spartan change the front axle on our rig from the 12,000# to 14,600# unit they issued us a modified weight sticker that was placed above the original one.

But to muddy the water some, Spartan also looked over the rig while on their rack and noted that Newmar had derated the rear axle to 19,000#'s. The Spartan people said the axle was a 20,000# unit and there was nothing done by Newmar that would have changed that rating. So, the sticker says 19,000#'s but the chassis manufacturer says it's a 20,000# rating. And yes, I know the total vehicle manufacturer has the final say. At that point it would be up to the court to decided if 1,000#'s would have made a difference in the axle function. Newmar also added bracing to the rear axle supports that added to the weight capacity.
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