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Old 02-02-2015, 02:19 PM   #1
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800-pound Bumper

I have recently purchased a 2008 Fleetwood Jamboree 26J.

According to the salesman and the sticker attached to the rear bumper (see picture), the bumper is filled with 800 pounds of lead weight. This is intended, I assume, to keep weight off the front axle. In this case it is a 2007 E450 before Ford beefed up the front axle.

My question is this:
Does anyone on this forum have specific, actual experience with this particular bumper or at least something similar? I am wondering if the lead is in one big piece or perhaps it is in plates that can be removed incrementally.

My intention is to removed some, if not all of the additional lead weight and replace it with a similarly-placed and weighted cargo package. We'd probably get a custom-made bumper box. I appreciate that the engineers at Fleetwood addressed the need to balance the vehicle but I really hate the idea of carrying around so much weight that could be cargo.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:33 PM   #2
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Have the RV weighed before you start. You can make your calculations of what weight should go where based on the axle weights. Its not really much different that pickup trucks with snow plows adding rear weight to not exceed the front GAWR.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
Have the RV weighed before you start. You can make your calculations of what weight should go where based on the axle weights. Its not really much different that pickup trucks with snow plows adding rear weight to not exceed the front GAWR.
But you don't know if the bumper's lead weight is in one piece or in several pieces that can be removed incrementally?
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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That just sounds so bizarre. That's a complete waste of the probably fairly limited OCCC for that vehicle. On the bright side your frame extension must be pretty well beefed up from the norm. for motor homes.

I think your best bet would be to contact Fleetwood and ask them your question.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:32 PM   #5
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On the bright side your frame extension must be pretty well beefed up from the norm. for motor homes.
Well, now I never thought of that. The optimist's approach. I like it.

Quote:
I think your best bet would be to contact Fleetwood and ask them your question.
- Done. I doubt my inquiry has a high priority, but we'll see what they have to say.

Quote:
That's a complete waste of the probably fairly limited OCCC for that vehicle.
- I know!! As you can see by the weight sticker on the inside of the wardrobe, trading 800 pounds of ballast for cargo would just about double my CCC.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:44 PM   #6
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I think it's bad engineering. The coach should be engineered for the specific chasis. Fleetwood was, and I emphasis was, know to build boxes (coaches) and put them on different chassis as the wheelbase fit. This was a problem as chassis manufacturers came and went from the RV market,Ford, Chevy, Workhorse, Oshkosh, even good old John Deere.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:46 PM   #7
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I wish I had an answer for you. I am interested in the solution. Ford parts are plentiful and inexpensive. Beefing-up the front end could eliminate the need for this foolishness.

Unrelated, but interesting: Porsche added lead weights to the front bumpers of some of their cars (late 1960s, I think) to make them steer better.
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Old 02-04-2015, 04:53 PM   #8
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Ford added sprung lead weight inside the front fenders on the Lincoln in the early 60's.
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Old 02-04-2015, 05:12 PM   #9
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How does that MH handle on the highway ? It just seems so wrong to have all that extra weight back there. I'd be curious to know what the weights are on each axle, as it sits now. I also noticed on your OCCC certificate, they allow for a 500# tongue weight. That would be 1,300# back there, between just the bumper and tongue weight.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:41 AM   #10
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How does that MH handle on the highway ?
I've only driven it unloaded, so I can only speak to it in those terms, but it handles surprisingly well.

It is the first big MH I've ever driven and I was really worried about it mostly because of the many posts here (and elsewhere) where Ford E-series drivers are unhappy with the way the rig handles. So I was definitely pleased that it was decent in crosswinds, semi-wakes and uneven pavement.

Fully loaded will no doubt be a different matter!
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:20 PM   #11
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What is amazing about this story is that most Class C'a have the opposite problem of too much weight over the rear wheels, not the front.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:54 PM   #12
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I have finally opened a dialogue with the good people at Fleetwood,in particular a very nice man named Dennis Rumschlag.

His explanation of the additional weight was brief:

"the weight is used for weight distribution
purposes"

I had always assumed this was the case. If my math is right, 800 pounds of weight set 90 inches away from the fulcrum (rear wheels) would require about 340 pounds to balance the load at the front wheels set 210 inches from the rear wheels. So the weight is there to take roughly 340 pound off the front wheels.

I plan on replacing the front axle with a newer post-2007 setup ,which as an extra 500 pounds of capacity. Assuming my math is even remotely correct, I could remove the dead weight and still have a comfortable margin on my upgraded front axle capacity and add a few hundred pounds to my limited CCC.

To be continued...
;-)
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Unrelated, but interesting: Porsche added lead weights to the front bumpers of some of their cars (late 1960s, I think) to make them steer better.
Ahhh, a man of good memory! That back end swinging around was brutal, and Porsche tried several things to modify it; even agricultural ways like lead weights.

...and then they decided, "what the heck?", and added a Turbo
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:34 PM   #14
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Did you get it weighed yet ?
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