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Old 02-12-2013, 10:46 PM   #1
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Help me understand GVWR, GCWR and hitch rating

1998 Fleetwood Discovery
GVWR: 24,850
GCWR: 29,850
Hitch rating: 5,000

I bought a Kar Kaddy SS and want to tow our 2013 Explorer V6 2wd. As far as I can tell the weight of the Explorer is:
Gross vehicle weight: 6,180
Curb weight: 4,697

How much does the coach alone weigh?

I want to make sure I understand what I am doing and tow correctly.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:07 AM   #2
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First, I'd recommend having the coach 4-corner weighed. Weigh it fully loaded, with water in the tanks, passengers, etc. That will be your starting point to determine how much additional weight you can safely tow. Also, with a 5,000 lb hitch, the Explorer and dolly will probably exceed that 5k limit.

Here are some definitions...

1. GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the maximum permissible weight of
this fully loaded motor home. The GVWR is equal to or greater than the sum
of the (UVW) unloaded vehicle weight plus the (OCCC) occupant cargo carrying
capacity. UVW and OCCC are found on the label containing the federal certification
tag in each RV.
2. GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) is the maximum permissible loaded
weight a specific axle is designed to carry.
3. GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is the value specified by the motor
home manufacturer as the maximum allowable loaded weight of this motor
home with its towed vehicle.
Towing and braking capacities may be different.
Refer to Fleetwood and chassis manufacturer’s manuals for complete
information.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:17 AM   #3
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The Explorer is right at the max for the Demco KK-460 dolly. It's rated for 4,700#'s max and that would include anything that's loaded on the Explorer.
If you're getting the curb weight from the manufacturers specs you need to add fuel, oil and any accessories to the curb weight as well as anything in it.
That said: we have towed our Honda Odyssey for many, many miles fully loaded with our cat show goods. The Ody weighs 4,400 and the goods added far more than 300#'s. No problems ever.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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According to your chart you would weigh over 31,000 pounds GCWR, or 1190 pounds over the limit of 29,850. Your hitch is rated at 5000 lbs and you want to tow a vehcile rated at 6180 pounds loaded.

I'd seriously think of purchasing a lighter used vehcile for your touring needs, but that is just my personal opinion.

That doesn't answer your question of "how much does the coach weigh?" You can look at the manufacturer's data sheet for that informtion, the bill of sale, or the Federal cerification tag as Sara pointed out.

As stated you need to know the axle rating for loading all the times you want to take with you. You also need to know what tire inflation you will need for the load bearing of the coach on the tires.

Happy trails.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SarahW View Post
First, I'd recommend having the coach 4-corner weighed. Weigh it fully loaded, with water in the tanks, passengers, etc. That will be your starting point to determine how much additional weight you can safely tow. Also, with a 5,000 lb hitch, the Explorer and dolly will probably exceed that 5k limit.

Here are some definitions...

1. GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the maximum permissible weight of
this fully loaded motor home. The GVWR is equal to or greater than the sum
of the (UVW) unloaded vehicle weight plus the (OCCC) occupant cargo carrying
capacity. UVW and OCCC are found on the label containing the federal certification
tag in each RV.
2. GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) is the maximum permissible loaded
weight a specific axle is designed to carry.
3. GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is the value specified by the motor
home manufacturer as the maximum allowable loaded weight of this motor
home with its towed vehicle. Towing and braking capacities may be different.
Refer to Fleetwood and chassis manufacturer’s manuals for complete
information.
Can I go to a truck stop to get it weighed? Where does one usually take their coach to get weighed?

As far as the dollyand Explorer I didn't plan on towing it with anything in the explorer and not a full tank of gas and figured I'd be right below the max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
The Explorer is right at the max for the Demco KK-460 dolly. It's rated for 4,700#'s max and that would include anything that's loaded on the Explorer.
If you're getting the curb weight from the manufacturers specs you need to add fuel, oil and any accessories to the curb weight as well as anything in it.
That said: we have towed our Honda Odyssey for many, many miles fully loaded with our cat show goods. The Ody weighs 4,400 and the goods added far more than 300#'s. No problems ever.
Good information thanks. I do plan on giving Demco today to get their opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
According to your chart you would weigh over 31,000 pounds GCWR, or 1190 pounds over the limit of 29,850. Your hitch is rated at 5000 lbs and you want to tow a vehcile rated at 6180 pounds loaded.

I'd seriously think of purchasing a lighter used vehcile for your touring needs, but that is just my personal opinion.

That doesn't answer your question of "how much does the coach weigh?" You can look at the manufacturer's data sheet for that informtion, the bill of sale, or the Federal cerification tag as Sara pointed out.

As stated you need to know the axle rating for loading all the times you want to take with you. You also need to know what tire inflation you will need for the load bearing of the coach on the tires.

Happy trails.
The weight of the Explorer isn't 6,180 it's 4,697. I wouldn't load anything in the Explorer as we have plenty of storage in the storage compartments.

Only reason wanting to tow the Explorer is that we have a 1 year child and after you put the stroller and all the other things in a car you really only have room for 2 people.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #6
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If you go to a truck stop, the ones I have seen and used will only weigh the entire axle and not corner weights. However, you would get the weight of your coach. I have not had the opportunity to weigh all four corners so my tire pressures afre based on the higher rating of the axle and for hte rear I run the max as I am close to that. The front are only 10 pounds less inflation, but that is for me.

I totally understand your need for the baby's space. I also understand that what you have is what you have. The Explorer is a very nice vehicle, with the understanding that many past models have had transmission problems but that is not from being RV related. There are other SUV's that are not only less expensive but provide the capability that you need for the baby. I have a 2007 Vue. I purchased it with 33,000 miles on it. It now has 76,000+ miles and many of those are towed behind the MH. It would also serve your needs and leave the explorer in pristine use for when you are home. Of course, finances need to be considered especially raising a young 'un. JMHO.

You can roll across the scales with the TOAD attached and get all the weights for the combined weight. With a tow dolly there may be a some weight on the hitch. I did not notice any hitch weight with the 4 down except for what the tow bar weighed.

Happy trails.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne M View Post
If you go to a truck stop, the ones I have seen and used will only weigh the entire axle and not corner weights. However, you would get the weight of your coach. I have not had the opportunity to weigh all four corners so my tire pressures afre based on the higher rating of the axle and for hte rear I run the max as I am close to that. The front are only 10 pounds less inflation, but that is for me.

I totally understand your need for the baby's space. I also understand that what you have is what you have. The Explorer is a very nice vehicle, with the understanding that many past models have had transmission problems but that is not from being RV related. There are other SUV's that are not only less expensive but provide the capability that you need for the baby. I have a 2007 Vue. I purchased it with 33,000 miles on it. It now has 76,000+ miles and many of those are towed behind the MH. It would also serve your needs and leave the explorer in pristine use for when you are home. Of course, finances need to be considered especially raising a young 'un. JMHO.

You can roll across the scales with the TOAD attached and get all the weights for the combined weight. With a tow dolly there may be a some weight on the hitch. I did not notice any hitch weight with the 4 down except for what the tow bar weighed.

Happy trails.
We tossed around the idea of buying a car just to be towed but then the problem of storing it comes up. We already have 3 cars and could tow them but then we are in the boat we were in before we bought the Explorer and that is space.

We are at a local campground right now doing our first 'test' of the RV so when we pack up and leave tomorrow I am going to get everything hooked up and drive over to a local truck stop and get a base reading on weight.

Regarding the tire inflation, do you want more air for heavier loads? For example lets say my max PSI is 80 and I am towing so I want to keep it higher than if I wasn't towing?
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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No, absolutely do not put more than the max recommended by the tire manufacturer.

If you do not know what your corner weights are, go with the max tire inflation on the sidewall of the tire. Even knowing the axle weight does not mean that the weight is evenly distributed. The only way to know that is corner weights. And when corner weights are known, the heaviest load for tire inflation is for both tires on the same axle. So if you run 80 psi on one side, you would run 80 psi on the other. The only additional weight you will have towing with a dolly is the tongue weight. It most ilikely is no more than a few hundred pounds, if that.

Some RV'ers do not tow a car. When the get to a place they rent a car. Some have stated that after all the mechanical wear and tear on a vehicle that the cost of renting a car is almost near maintenance costs. Someone else can chime in on that, but a car in hand is more than a car in the bush. LOL

Happy trails.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:20 PM   #9
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Zoafan, have you consider towing 4 down?
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:09 PM   #10
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Got the RV weighed today

Front: 7,380
Rear: 14,100
Coach total alone: 21,270
Dolly: 5,240
Total: 26,720

According to the specs for the coach I can do:
Front: 9,350
Rear: 15,500
Hitch: 5,000
Total GCWR: 29,850
Total GVWR: 24,850

Fuel tank was 3/4 full but water tank was more than half empty but the RV was loaded with passengers and equipment.

Take it I'm good to go?
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Zoafan, have you consider towing 4 down?
I'll be towing 3 different cars so a dolly was a better choice.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:29 AM   #12
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OK everybody, let me try to throw just one more wrench into the mix! The Mrs. and I recently purchased our first MH ('03 Monaco LaPalma 36DBD / WH 22) with a 77TEB Tow Master tow dolly included. We fully understand all of the maximum limitations and are shopping for new (2012 -2013) toads because the 2011 Ford F-150 4X4 (taking offers!) just won't fit the bill! So...with all our research nearly complete it has been determined that the Mrs. wants a small hatchback (i.e. Spark, Sonic, Yaris, Fit, Fiesta, Accent) for our toad. This is all good, but poses a few questions in my mind: 1. Are "ALL" front wheel drive vehicles dolly towable regardless of what the manufacturer says? 2. Is there a minimum weight and wheel base I should be concerned about?
This may sound like over analysis, but we would like to start our MH experience by erroring on the safe side. Therefore, all and any responses would be appreciated and we thank you in advance.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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I believed all FWD cars were towable on a dolly also but I tried to tow my Lexus IS250 ont he dolly and the rear wheels do not spin!

Yes it is a FWD car.
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