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Old 10-20-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
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How overweight (if at all) can one be with cargo carrying capacity on E450?

I took a look at a 2004 Holiday Rambler Atlantis 29. Bedroom and main living area slides. Nice rig. Quality cabinetry and the like. Excellent basement storage as well as storage under the bed, in the wardrobe, in the kitchen, etc. The catch? With a tank full of water and 2 people @150 LBS each, it nets to only 300 pounds of Cargo Carrying Capacity!

I'm amazed that it left the factory in this scenario and expect that unless the prior owner was single, they were likely running it overweight regularly.

Assuming that drive with the water tank 1/4 full, I can eek out another 200 lbs, but adding my two kids into the mix and I'm back to 300 lbs net.

Seems that all I could fill the basement and passthrough storage is with paper towels, tarps and toilet paper. Forget the wood for the campfire and plan lightweight meals (pasta).

I've always kept my current RV well underweight at all 4 corners. Of course I also have 2,100 lbs of cargo capacity to go with even after 5 passengers @ 150 lbs each and a full tank of water, fuel and propane are on board.

Seems that exceeding capacity increases the chance of tire failure or other challenges (suspension failure, etc).

Are others running their rigs overweight? Other suggestions for packing extra light? Consider loading up items in my toad instead? Or just buy a different rig?
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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Oh - and this is from the sticker inside the rig; unfortunately I don't have an opportunity to take it to a truck scale yet if I was to purchase to see if the "real" number is any different, although no user-added accessories are on the rig (is identical to leaving the showroom floor in 2004). I see that newer E450's have slightly higher ratings for HR:
2004: 14,050 (9,450 rear)
2012+ 14,500 (9,500 rear). Good luck getting that extra weight capacity over the front axle.

Last year of Atlantis was 2009; still had the same restrictions. Materials on 2010+ became much less upscale.
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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The larger and nicer C's tend to be up against the limits when loaded for travel. We had a Minnie Winnie DL, 31A, no slides, and loaded for a week or two trip, the RV weighed within 100# of the GVWR. Full fuel, empty wast tanks and 1/4 tank of fresh water.

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Old 10-21-2013, 10:43 AM   #4
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There are several answers to your question but only one that we can give: DO NOT OVERLOAD..

I personally feel there is some "Wiggle room" but.... If, heaven forbid, something bad happens, LIke you rear end a Smart car.... And some sharp cop calls the weighmasters and finds you are say 100 pounds over the max weight rating of the E-450..... You could have some issues you;'d nbot have if you were say 1 pound UNDER.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
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I had the same sort of discovery after we purchased our 2000 Jayco 32' (used). Our weight margins are somewhat better than yours, but it still surprised me. Tons of storage, but a good chunk of it is in the basement overhang past the rear axle. Did a lot of research & self-education before buying, however the weight issue didn't cross my radar. Now I know that's the disadvantage of buying the maximum length "C".

My solution? I don't carry any water or waste in my tanks (we usually camp with full hookups anyway) and I'm careful to keep gear to a minimum. Any firewood or other heavy-ish objects are kept as far forward as possible to maintain good weight distribution. We're not full-timing in it, so it's not too hard to minimize stuff.

If I had it to do over again, I'd probably have either gotten a smaller "C" or found an "A" with a floorplan I could live with.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:14 PM   #6
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The "problem" is not limited to any one type of RV! Our 2002 DSDP had a NCC of 5,300#'s so I wasn't worried. I should have been as it only had 663#'s of CCC at delivery and all of that was on the rear axle. To cure it Newmar had Spartan install a new (14,600# vs 12,000#) front axle. Then I went to larger tires on the front too. Another nice thing was that while at Spartan they told me that the rear axle was a 20,000# unit and there was no reason for Newmar to have derated it to 19,000#'s as on the sticker. We bought the rig to full time in, had it not been for Newmars stepping up to the plate we would have been way over the weights.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:26 PM   #7
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Good points on the legal angle. I indeed keep well under the limit on my current rig. Seems a bit irresponsible for the manufacturers to have so much basement storage with no way to address the space given. Just asking for trouble. Perhaps some C's will soon need an air tag axle.

I love the spartan chassis story.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
I love the spartan chassis story.
What's really good about it is that it's all true and wouldn't have happened if Newmar hadn't stepped up to the plate and paid for it all! Another reason we're sold on Newmar.
Our problem is that we ordered this one the way we wanted it and the DW doesn't see any reason to buy another one!
The regional Newmar rep told us that ours was the most heavily optioned Dutch Star ever (up to that point). The options and changes we ordered came to almost $40,000 alone. The next year someone ordered one set up for ham radio and eclipsed our mark.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
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I just drove the Alcan in a 2000 Minnie Winnie 30DL with 22k mileage. I packed all I wanted to take after selling home.

Finally got it weighed after Tok Ak. It was 1300-lbs over weight. Most on the rear tires. I'm in Wa state now and have shipped lots of the gear to final destination to lighten load to SE.

No obvious probs so far. Go figure..Ha!

rr
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderso View Post
Good points on the legal angle. I indeed keep well under the limit on my current rig. Seems a bit irresponsible for the manufacturers to have so much basement storage with no way to address the space given. Just asking for trouble. Perhaps some C's will soon need an air tag axle.

I love the spartan chassis story.
The chassis manufacturers banned tag axles on gas motor homes years ago. I'm sure this caused manufacturers to work with what they got, the end result being not much cargo capacity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketRick View Post
I just drove the Alcan in a 2000 Minnie Winnie 30DL with 22k mileage. I packed all I wanted to take after selling home.

Finally got it weighed after Tok Ak. It was 1300-lbs over weight. Most on the rear tires. I'm in Wa state now and have shipped lots of the gear to final destination to lighten load to SE.

No obvious probs so far. Go figure..Ha!

rr
No offense, but your story scares me. This is a reminder to everyone on here to keep on top of your weights. A blown tire, loss of control and someone could get killed.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:49 PM   #11
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Mitch,

Whelp I am aware that most designs, be it for steel, al, wood, concrete and vehicles have a factor of safety built into the structural design of products.

So many factors involved in driving tho.

Wld be interesting to note how many accidents are caused by overweight and/or structural failure. Prob almost zero caused by structural failure.

Hey.....thousands of people get hammered each yr and it's not bec of overweight vehicle ..just human error.

Best to keep at or below listed Gross as you say.

RR
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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+1 to the advice to stay below GVW (and GCVW if you are towing a supplementary trailer or toad).

We currently have a truck and trailer which compounds the max weight calculation by adding in consideration for tongue weight--but incremental and significant weight savings can be found. For fellow travelers who DO NOT do a lot of dry camping, some of these ideas may prove useful (and some have already been mentioned):

--make sure grey and black tanks are empty before hitting the road
--carry as little fresh water as possible
--leave things like firewood, whole tool sets, and even the spare tire and jack behind (how many folks change their own RV flat tires?)
--use reusable plastic dinnerware and utencils or paper plates
--reduce the amount of canned and/or bottled food/beverages carried
--carry only the amount of food necessary to get to your next destination
--if you have a Class C, remove the over-cab cushions in you can
--if you don't have leveling jacks, use plastic blocks, not lengths of lumber
--if it's just the two of you and you have a sofa and dinette, consider leaving one side of the dinette cushions at home
--remove any steel or chrome wheel liners (unsprung weight, but still counts against GVW)
--if you carry a cooler, don't load it with ice
--if you have twin propane tanks and regularly use campgrounds with electric hookups, consider leaving one tank empty

One further consideration concerns those with a 4-down toad. Try off-loading some of the weight from the RV and into the toad. This will add nothing to the tongue weight (which should be minimal anyway) and may be the only thing necessary to get the RV below GVW (obviously GCVW and tow capacity still apply). BTW--Toads have GVWs also.

Best Wishes--Carl and Margo (Atlanta, GA)
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:14 AM   #13
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A few tips for getting weighed.

Take it to a moving company instead of a truck stop. Moving companies are generally cheaper than truck stops and they can give you the front and rear weights as well for about half the price.

Fill your gas tank make sure you have all of your gear inside (Sheets, blankets, bottled water ect...)

Put around 3 to 5 gallons of water in the fresh tank for flushing while on the road.

Have it weighed without anyone inside to include the family dog.

If you should have to get a crowbar and pull a smart car out of your grill and the officer on the scene wants a weight everyone will be out of the RV anyway for safety sake.

Should your one end be too heavy you can shift the load inside move heavy things from front to back or the other way around and make it more stable.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:39 AM   #14
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This story-line is why we bought a Class A on a real truck chassis (yeah, you can tell by the ride quality!). One "C" we looked at was a 31-ft on a short wheelbase E450. I didn't measure it, but it looked like almost 50% of the house was aft of the rear axle, including the fresh-water and waste tanks.
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