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Old 01-10-2011, 09:35 AM   #15
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re: "I see no logic in heading out on the way to my destination with a full fresh water tank and full waste tanks. Why waste fuel to carry water or worse waste!" -- in my experience, a few hundred pounds makes no detectable difference in fuel mileage. A full water tank in my rig tends to enhance stability due to its location. Waste tanks are another matter but sometimes I have to deal with it as there isn't a proper dump facility handy. (In a big rig, I find that the milage dropped from 10 mpg empty about 1 mpg per 10,000 pounds of load, but that is not the kind of weight change typically encountered in an RV).

As for the challenges and questions: I use the term 'nominal' because these 'discussions' often devolve to expressions of logical fallacies, especially the 'reduce to the absurd'.

As for the the FUD Mongering, the reasons for my caveats are clear to anyone who is looking for evidence, that is, real and objective evidence in a proper context (e.g. I see the 'commercial' has creeped in again).

I very seldom see an RV with a broken axle and have yet to see one because of an overload condition. I do note that, a while back, some RV's were sold with an empty weight in excess of chassis manufacturer's ratings. I do note that I occasionally see severely overloaded vehicles on the roads and they don't fall apart, they are able to stop, and they are usually squirrelly as all get out. (ever read Steinbeck? Grapes of Wrath?)

The closest I have seen to any 'legal' implications is a lawyer's brag sheet about where he was able to con insurance companies. Check your insurance policy to see what it says - not likely anything on this from any I have seen. Check the crash book - in NV in 2006 there were very few that involved RV's and I didn't see exceeding weight ratings listed as a factor in any of them.

The fact is that there are many who drive with loads that push the weight ratings - and they are "ratings" and not "limits" - on their vehicles. They do so safely and their rigs do not suffer excess crash rates, excess mechanical failures, enhanced liabilities, or deficits that cannot be easily accommodated. The absence of data like this doesn't "prove" anything but it does indicate that those trying to make a point about these issues have nothing supporting their point of view.

As for license and fees - in RV's those are typically based on vehicle value and type. Driver's licenses often have a 26,000 pound classification (and that influences some motorhome GVWRs). But RV's are generally not welcome in roadside weigh stations and not subject to ticketing by weight as a usual thing (when is the last time you were pulled over and your rig was weighed by an LEO?).

I understand that this topic really gets some riled. That is sad. It leads to unwarranted fears and concerns and that is a distraction.

I do not recommend abusing any rating in your equipment but I don't think that an obsessive or compulsive concern about them is healthy, either.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
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re:


I understand that this topic really gets some riled. That is sad. It leads to unwarranted fears and concerns and that is a distraction.

I do not recommend abusing any rating in your equipment but I don't think that an obsessive or compulsive concern about them is healthy, either.
I think I understand your point and don't disagree. The truth is that I don't believe there is objective data available to support either side of the argument on ramifications of overloading.

Cummins specs my 400ISL at 2200 rpm so I don't exceed that.
Michelin specs my tires to be inflated at 95lbs of pressure for my weight so I maintain that pressure. My manual says to turn off the LP in the coach while refueling, so I do that. Freightliner specs how much weight I can carry so I comply with that spec. I don't consider my compliance with any of these as obsessive or compulsive but rather just a part of my responsibility. Sure I could probably ignore any or all of the above and my coach wouldn't blow up or fall apart... at least immediately... but I just don't think it's wise.

Many newbies read these posts and I would hate for someone to take away that, so long as you're careful, you can ignore the weight ratings.

Rick
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:13 AM   #17
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As for the challenges and questions: I use the term 'nominal' because these 'discussions' often devolve to expressions of logical fallacies, especially the 'reduce to the absurd'.
What do you define as the maximum "nominal" overload that you consider acceptable? 10%? 20%? Higher?

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Old 01-10-2011, 11:36 AM   #18
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As far as liability issues, who in there right mind today would want to chance a lawsuit because you were involved in an accident and injured or killed someone? I'm sure one of the first things that a lawyer would want checked is the weight of the RV to determine negligence.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #19
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re: "The truth is that I don't believe there is objective data available to support either side of the argument on ramifications of overloading." -- this is exactly the reason why strong assertions need to be considered with a high degree of skepticism. That is why an obsession about the issue is not warranted as there is no clear data to make it empirical rather than irrational - and irrational is not a good thing as a basis for driving decisions IMHO.

re: "who in there right mind today would want to chance a lawsuit because you were involved in an accident and injured or killed someone?" -- The fact is that you can be sued for anything for any reason and there is quite an industry whose purpose is to invent such lawsuits for fun and profit. In regards to the anticipation about what a lawyer might do, the best guide is what lawyers have done. By that criterion, the fear mongering in this context is out of place. It is also why insurance policies exist as that is the buffer between you and lawsuits.

re: "What do you define as the maximum "nominal" overload that you consider acceptable?" -- This is a matter of judgment and is a major responsibility of the driver. What I have observed is that most drivers do a very good job in this area most of the time as indicated by such things as insurance costs and crash statistics.

These last two plaints illustrate the problem that exists in a rational perspective of this issue. In one case it is an anticipation of something that has no historical precedent of any significance. In the other it is the desire to substitute artificial and discrete boundaries on matters of a judgment that is highly dependent upon circumstances. Both stand in contrast to the original point about the lack of measure and data.

It is one thing to have an opinion such as it not being a good idea to ignore weight ratings. It is another to assert as fact that ignoring such ratings is dangerous or will create liability issues when there is no clear data to support such assertions. As seen here, the two, fact and opinion, are being conflated and that is not helpful when it comes to helping others create informed and rational decisions.

My opinion is that one should not ignore weight ratings but one should not obsess over them either. The facts of the matter include such things as that there are no court cases I have found to date putting liability on an RV driver for exceeding a weight rating, that different weight ratings have different priorities, that drivers adjust adjust for vehicle weight and loading, that brakes will stop vehicles adequately that weigh in excess of their GVWR, etc.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:28 PM   #20
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This is a timely discussion for me as I've been looking at this on a new coach. I'd like to ask how much fresh water you'd normally carry with my. My current tiny rig only has a 20 gallon fresh tank. The new rig will have a 75 gallon tank. Thanks for your comments.
Susanne and the pups
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:26 PM   #21
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In your case I'd have to ask did you wish you could carry more when you could only carry 20 gallons, if you did now's your chance. If 20 gallons was good enough back then why change?

Different strokes for different folks!
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Old 03-22-2011, 02:11 AM   #22
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if you're gonna keep that new rig's water tank full at 75 gal be prepared for crappy gas mileage! I always keep mine at half while on the road or en route to a campground, so my gas mileage doesn't suffer. once I'm at a campsite, THEN I fill it.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:30 AM   #23
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Lightbulb Water ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgintyrch View Post
This is a timely discussion for me as I've been looking at this on a new coach. I'd like to ask how much fresh water you'd normally carry with my. My current tiny rig only has a 20 gallon fresh tank. The new rig will have a 75 gallon tank. Thanks for your comments.
Susanne and the pups
Future Newmar Baystar owner

We fill up between 1/4 and 1/2.
Grey and Black Tanks are empty
Fridge FULL
Fuel Tank: alway enough to get to theDestination.
Right now it is FULL, because we have it loaded as an emergency run away vehicle from the West Coast. Just in case radiation gets toooooooooo High.

TW
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:49 AM   #24
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Last summer I traveled 9000 miles to Alaska and back. On the way up I only carried enough water to last a few days. I have an 80 gallon fresh water tank. I averaged 6.9 mpg. On the way back I started with a full fresh water tank and kept it that way all the way back to CA. I averaged 7 mpg.

I for one will always carry a full water tank simply for convenience and for places where I don't have accessibility to water. I am sure on smaller rigs, the extra weight will change your mpg but with most large diesel rigs, it doesn't make any difference at all.

Take the water, it won't make a hill of beans difference in your mpg but will definitely make your life easier.

Dr4Film ----- Richard.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:29 AM   #25
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The first aspect of an rv we look at is the rating sticker and what we are seeing is disturbing indeed. Generally speaking this is what we have found;

The most fortunate are the 'A' people, 95% of the coaches we have seen are LEAST 100% legal 100% of the time as are the 'Super C's' and the E450 chasis (and similar) UP TO 28' with one slide or no slides, ditto the 'B' vans, single rears on the Sprinter chasis ONLY and this is where everthing changes.

ALL (when loaded to be used as intended) 'B+', 'C' on dual rear Sprinters are over by about 20% as are: all 'C's on smaller than E450 or equivalent, and the vast majority of slide in's, regardless of chasis and fivers.

These observations are for older units, I don't think we have looked at anything newer than '07.

To say that weights are not important is bizarre, knowingly operating an overloaded vehicle is criminal, in every State.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #26
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Weight is an issue in several ways, however I tend to agree abut obsessing. There is some "Wiggle Room" built into the weight specs,, If you are say 10 pounds over That is not likely to cause any problems.. 10% over however that might be another matter (On my coach, 22,000 pounds GVW, that would be 2,200 pounds)

First: Tire inflation needs to be adjusted to match the coach's REAL weight, not what it was when it left the factory (That's the sticker pressure) and not, usually, what's molded into the side wall fo the tire (The maximum pressure is only needed if you have maximum load) but the proper pressure RV Safety, Merritt Island, Florida

Next, Suspension will slowly "Sink" over time if you are over loaded, lowering your ground clearance, possibly tilting the coach if it's one side more than the other, And finally jacks may not be up to lifting the coach to level

However you can supplement there..

As you get heavier and heavier there comes a point where brakes and such are over loaded and THEN you have a serious problem.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:20 AM   #27
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re: "To say that weights are not important is bizarre, knowingly operating an overloaded vehicle is criminal, in every State."

I think the "legal" and "criminal' overstate things a bit as there are few (if any) laws that makes carrying around a bit more than manufacturers ratings for non-commercial vehicles illegal. -- that may be why they are called "ratings" and not "limits" ...
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:23 PM   #28
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Scott:

Are you in Europe someplace or US/Canada? European weight limits for towing with automobiles are much more lenient than they are in the US. As an example, my Kia Sedona minivan is limited to 3300 pounds in the US. The identical vehilce in the UK is rated for 3000 Kg.

I don't have a feel for whether US RV manufacturers have different ratings for Europe. Before we sttled on our signature rig, we looked at a couple of E450-based 31' Class C's. In both cases, the rear axle weight rating was exceeded just By filling the gas tank!

Be very cautious - the weight police and the lawyers will eat you alive if you have an accident and they find you're rig is overweight. Also, if you have component failures during the warranty period, the manufacturer will deny coverage if the rig can be shown to have been overloaded.
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