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Old 04-23-2016, 07:29 AM   #1
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Tires and RV weight

Many RVs are manufactured and shipped that weigh just under the weight capability of the tires, especially trailers. I think it would be a good requirement that RV manufacturers weigh each axle before delivery and provide that documentation to the buyer. Further, the tires should be able to carry that weight, at the full GVW plus a 10 percent safety overload factor. Make sense?
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:37 AM   #2
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Who would make it a "requirement?" If it's some government agency, no thanks. However, I agree that YOU making it a requirement before you purchase an RV from your dealer is great. It should be part of your due diligence.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:43 AM   #3
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Yeah, that would be the right, and common sense policy. BUT, as many buyers are finding out, the manufacturers and frame suppliers install just the bare minimum to meet the weight ratings. Just their way of saving a few $$$.
Motor home rigs come a bit better equipped, but many trailer and 5th wheels come out of the factory with tires that are right at being overloaded, and on an empty unit, before any fluids, food, personal items are added.
Very sad state that the manufacturers put a few $$$ before safety.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:42 AM   #4
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There already is a federal (FMVSS) safety reg that requires actual weights and GAWRs to be dislayed, and requires that the tires & axles be rated sufficient for those. Does not provide for any safety margin, though, and RV makers are notorious for skimping there so as to be able to spend a few extra dollars on the "bling" that customers like to see. Sadly, a bigger tv screen sells more rigs than bigger tires.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mriderLeon View Post
Who would make it a "requirement?" If it's some government agency, no thanks. However, I agree that YOU making it a requirement before you purchase an RV from your dealer is great. It should be part of your due diligence.
Exactly.
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:42 PM   #6
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Many RVs are manufactured and shipped that weigh just under the weight capability of the tires, especially trailers. I think it would be a good requirement that RV manufacturers weigh each axle before delivery and provide that documentation to the buyer. Further, the tires should be able to carry that weight, at the full GVW plus a 10 percent safety overload factor. Make sense?
Worth noting that on my new TT the labeled weight capacity of my tires is about 10% less than the full GVWR of the trailer. But wait: About 10-15% of the trailer's weight should be carried on the hitch. So in my case, at least, it looks like a perfect match. Frankly, I don't see the problem.

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Old 04-23-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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Exactly.
Sure, inexperienced folks should suffer losses of any kind, that'll learn 'em!

Sad.
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:08 PM   #8
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a legislative mandate under Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety, to issue Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Regulations to which manufacturers of motor vehicle and equipment items must conform and certify compliance.

These Federal safety standards are regulations written in terms of minimum safety performance requirements for motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment. These requirements are specified in such a manner "that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur."

The following link will take you to a PDF file that lists all safety standards that must be followed by trailer manufacturers when building tour trailers.
 
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&ved =0ahUKEwiM4seI4aXMAhVJOyYKHYBTC2wQFggjMAE&url=http %3A%2F%2Fwww.nhtsa.gov%2Fcars%2Frules%2Fmaninfo%2F trailer002.pdf&usg=AFQjCNHa2kbzwqaY9Kzf68lXU1VJh72 i7w&sig2=FDL7yQZVx1VVF7iAXoFKNg
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:12 PM   #9
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Sure, inexperienced folks should suffer losses of any kind, that'll learn 'em!

Sad.
So, there should be government money available to make up for peoples mistakes when buying an RV?
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:54 AM   #10
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So, there should be government money available to make up for peoples mistakes when buying an RV?

No, but there should be money available to correct the mental health issues of those that don't care about their fellow man.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:59 AM   #11
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Methinks that a middle road (between due diligence and government regulation) would be to encourage the RVIA or similar industry certification bod(ies) to add this to their requirements. Perhaps the RVIA is already looking at doing so. Can anyone here speak to that?
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:33 AM   #12
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I usually recommend up-sizing and at least an E rating.

Some say that's overkill, but it works for me
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:35 AM   #13
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The FMVSS weight placard regs allow the trailer maker to assume 10% of the GVWR is carried on the hitch ball rather than the axles. For a 5W, it is 20%. Most RV makers take full advantage of that and size the axles accordingly.

The problem with that is that it the axles and tires are always operating at 100% of their maximum capability and so are stressed out all the time. As a comparison, assume that you are capable of carrying a 100 lb weight. What would it be like if a 100# weight was strapped onto you and never removed, so that you had to tote it with you 24/7? That's what most RV trailers are doing.

The brakes are also sized to match, so the trailer has less braking capacity than ideal. It's not exactly wrong, but it's only marginally adequate.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:07 AM   #14
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What’s wrong with regulations, especially safety regulations? Have you watched the news lately or read the morning news papers? Millions and billions of dollars are being spent by numerous vehicle and equipment manufacturers because they failed to follow outlined regulations and then lied about it or just made a mistake. Without checks and balances safety regulations could just leave the safety out of it.

Vehicle manufacturers are just playing with the cards dealt to them. Building close to a requirement is not a bad thing as long as the materials used have also been built close to their requirement.

Lets take a look at the weights for a typical TT. SW = 6248#. Cargo capacity = 1352#. Hitch weight + 700#. The axles are 3500# GAWR. The tires are ST205/75R14C which nave a maximum load capacity of 1760# @ 50 PSI, marginal for the axles but still in the ball park. All that information is available to any prospective consumer.

Here is an excerpt from a NHTSA Q&A PDF.

The FMVSS have requirements for the manufacturer to use proper tires and rims for the gross axle weight rating (GAWR). The manufacturer may determine the GVWR by adding cargo capacity (if any) to the curb weight of the vehicle as manufactured. The wise consumer, before purchase, will determine if the vehicle has sufficient cargo capacity to carry the weight of water, additional equipment (such as televisions, and microwave ovens), and luggage.

The manufacturer’s certification label must show the GVWR. The GVWR must not be exceeded by overloading the vehicle. There is little the government can do to assist a consumer who has purchased a vehicle that has insufficient cargo capacity for its intended use.

The RV trailer manufacturer cannot be held accountable for the cargo weight or the hitch weight once the consumer has taken control of the trailer.

Pointing fingers at vehicle manufacturers and the regulations they have to abide is a pass the buck gesture.
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