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Old 11-22-2009, 07:09 PM   #1
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Carrying capacity

In shopping over the Internet for a used Class A, how do I sort out carrying capacity issues. I'm looking at 40' models, primarily, because it's going to be a FT vehicle for us. The thing is, I'm reading that a single rear axle carries 20K lbs. and that the vehicles, fully loaded, are at or above that load without any stuff underneath. Should I just avoid all the issues here and simply opt only for tag axle models?
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:04 PM   #2
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I own a 40 ft. 2002 Monaco Windsor PBT with a semi-monocoque chassis. The official posted sheet in our closet has the following weights:

GVWR = 36,000 lbs. (Front Axle 13,000, Rear Axle 23,000)
UVR = 30,300 lbs. (includes full fuel, fluids and coolants as it came from the factory)


CCC = 3,902 lbs.

How they computed the 3,902 lbs. of cargo weight was this method.

100 gallons of fresh water = 830 lbs.
44 gallons of LP Gas = 198 lbs.
5 people on board @ 154 lbs. each = 770 lbs.

Add the 3,902 + 830 + 198 + 770 and that = 5700 lbs., the difference between the GVWR and the UVR.

Now for me, I seldom carry 5 people, however one of us is well over the 154 lbs. and it isn't my wife. I also added a second sliding storage tray that has added additional weight. On long trips I seldom carry 100 gallons of fresh water. So if I stick to about an extra 4,000 lbs. of cargo or less I am fine. Both of my sliding storage trays are full and every cupbaord and cubby hole inside is full, closet is jammed. I have not gone to a scale to weigh the rig, but will be doing that next March or April, just before our Alaska trip. I want to make sure that I am not over weight and also for adjusting the tire pressure making sure they are correct for the weight. When we leave, I will be hauling a cargo trailer also that will be close to 10,000 lbs. or somewhat less. So I will have that with me when I do the scale, both with it attached and without. I want to make sure I know how much weight I have in case I get stopped for any reason.

By the way, when I was looking, I specifically wanted a 2002 Monaco Windsor with a PBT floorplan. It was mostly for the
semi-monocoque chassis which are the best. The following model year, you had to go up one level to the Dynasty to get the same chassis and another $150,000 too. Never did like the Dynasty's but I saw a 2010 Dynasty at the local RV show and they are really awesome, but of course @ $500,000 they better be.

Not sure about tag axle's other than if you decide on one, make sure you can lift it when needed so you can make some tight turns when necessary.

I have included some photos of the rating sheet in the closet however they are not from my specific coach but one very similar from the Internet.
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Old 11-23-2009, 04:06 AM   #3
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As explained above the net carrying capacity can be figured and there are non tag axle coaches with sufficient capacity for full timing. Our had 5500 lbs according to the data plate. After loading it up I weighed it to find I was under the limit on the front axle by 5o lbs and under the rear by 100 lbs.
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Old 11-23-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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Thanks, Dr4 for that GREAT post. Another question, if I may: how did you find out about that chassis change? I'm well down the road in understanding chassis, but don't know where to find the kind of info you just listed above for year models. Any advice?

Marcia
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
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For Monaco products do the following:
1. Go to Monaco Coach website
2. Click on products
3. Click on archives
4. This will bring up a page with years & models
5. On a particular model, find the weights & measures chart and you will see if a tag axle.
6. All tag axle coaches were series s until some time after '06 when they started building a RR10 chassis. I don't know if they were rear or side radiator.

CC may have archives also.
Happy hunting,

Steve O
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Old 11-23-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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Hi Turbo Turtle,
If it was me, I'd default to coaches only with a 20K drive and at least a 10K tag. The real expensive coaches have a 15K tag. The reason is as you progress with the coach, "stuff" will be added. Don't get me wrong. All this "stuff" is really needed. I started out with about 2K available on each axle (after all fluids and personal "stuff") was loaded. About 5 years later we are at 1K on the front and nothing left on the rear axle. I have looked throughout the coach and the basement to determine what we don't need. The wife refuses all suggestions.

We 1/2 time. For you future mental health and happy RVing, go with the tag.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi Turbo Turtle,
If it was me, I'd default to coaches only with a 20K drive and at least a 10K tag. The real expensive coaches have a 15K tag. The reason is as you progress with the coach, "stuff" will be added. Don't get me wrong. All this "stuff" is really needed. I started out with about 2K available on each axle (after all fluids and personal "stuff") was loaded. About 5 years later we are at 1K on the front and nothing left on the rear axle. I have looked throughout the coach and the basement to determine what we don't need. The wife refuses all suggestions.

We 1/2 time. For you future mental health and happy RVing, go with the tag.
Yep; I hear ya. That's where we're headed. Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbo Turtle View Post
Thanks, Dr4 for that GREAT post. Another question, if I may: how did you find out about that chassis change? I'm well down the road in understanding chassis, but don't know where to find the kind of info you just listed above for year models. Any advice?

Marcia
Hi Marcia,

Well, at the time I spoke with a Monaco sales rep and they told me that the 2003 and above were made with a different chassis. When he told me that, that's when I decided to focus on no newer than a 2002 Windsor. Here is the listing from the current Monaco web site for the 2003 Windsor - Roadmaster RR8S-Series. I believe if you go to the Monaco web site, there is a selection for archived data. Just select the year and model, then look for the Spec's. It should be listed under the chassis section. You will find what exactly each coach has for the chassis. Here is the actual listing for my coach.

Chassis/Engine/Suspension

  • Semi-Monocoque Roadmaster Chassis
  • Cummins® ISC 350 Electronic Engine with Allison® 3000 MH 6-Speed World Transmission and Electronic Shifter
  • Torque: (1050 lbs/ft. Max. Net at 1,424 RPM)
  • Rear Axle Ratio: 4.30: 1 Cubic Inch Displacement: 504.5"/8.3L
  • 160 amp Alternator
  • Tires: 295/80R/22.5 Load Range (H)
  • Cushion Air Glide Suspension with Eight Outboard Mounted Air Bagsand Eight Gas Shock Absorbers
  • Stainless Steel Wheel Simulators
  • Transmission Temperature Gauge
  • Transmission Oil Cooler
  • Dual Fuel Fill
  • Anti-Lock Braking System with Full Air Brakes (Drum)
  • Pac Exhaust Brake
  • Auto Slack Adjusters
  • Fuel/Water Separator
  • Fuel Filter
  • Rear Side Mount Radiator
  • Air Cleaner Restriction Indicator
  • Engine Block Heater with Switch on Dash
  • Hydraulic Leveling System
    10,000 Lb. Hitch Receiver* with Six-Point Connector
  • Undercoating

I hope this has helped you in your selection process.

Happy Holidays! Richard.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:05 PM   #9
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I've got a heavy coach (2004 American tradition) with a single 20k drive axle. I put about 4500 lbs of stuff in it before the rear axle got near its limit and I still have caapcity for a full tank of water when I need it. Part of that is because my water tanks are well amidships, which means the front axle carries a decent share of the weight.

What I'm getting at is that you should not write off single axle coaches strictly for weight reasons. You need to consider each on its merits and do not try to generalize. Heck, I know of a custom 45 foot Newell with a 20k tag that was right up to its 59,580 lb GVWR when it left the factory. The owner loaded it up with features that he wanted and was happy for it.

The moral is that you should check the axle ratings and actual weights before you buy and make sure you have the capacity you think you will need.
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Old 11-24-2009, 05:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
The moral is that you should check the axle ratings and actual weights before you buy and make sure you have the capacity you think you will need.
That is 100% correct.

Just looking at CCC doesn't tell the whole story.

MH's with tag axles can have 10,000# capacity on the rear axles but you can't use it. There's just no room to stow items to take advantage of that capacity.

The front axle can be the same issue. You may have lots of capacity but no way to shift cargo forward.
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