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Old 05-14-2021, 04:50 PM   #1
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Thinking about Towing

I have been on this forum for several years and generally, just lurk and learn, or try to…

We have a 2003 Bounder 35R. GVWR: 22K. GCVR: 26K
So in theory, I have 4,000 pounds that I can tow.

First question, does the 22,000lbs represent the vehicle as it was built…furniture, appliances etc? Did they include the weights of the fluids ie gas and water?
Or maybe a general weight of an average user…

We made some changes to the RV and I assume it may have changed that 22k

1. We removed the combo W/D - replaced with a wire cart (great pantry now)
2. Removed the dinette booth - repl/with 2 chairs and small table
3. Out with the Jackknife and in with Flex Steel air mattress sleeper sofa
4. Removed both CRT TV’s for one 32”Flatscreen, up front. The empty
Cabinet in rear makes a nice little linen storage.
5. Removed Lounge Chair by entry with IKEA Pong chair
6. Removed useless base drawers in hall closet and added 3 ventilated shelves
7. Removed doors to that closet and put up curtain.
8. Removed the sliding doors to bedroom (they would not stay on track anyway)

I have no idea how much weight I saved…any suggestions are welcome.

We would like to get a 2dr Jeep. Nothing fancy or bulky but assume we are talking in the 3,200 to 3,600 pound range.

I welcome any suggestions you have, estimates of how much weight we lost with the changes we made or if we are aiming too high.

Big Bertha has only 53,000 miles and we have had no issues, even though she has to climb some pretty good grades to get home to Lookout Mountain, west of Denver.

Thanks in Advance.

Bernie
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:57 PM   #2
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Jeep will be more than 3,600 even for a 2 dr. Mine is heavy at 4,600 (that's factory weight with almost no liquids). Mine is a 4 dr Rubicon diesel so heavier than some
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:42 PM   #3
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Thanks…I see our model towing, but will have to pay more attention to what they are towing. Our gasser is a lot smaller and less MH than your rig…
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Old 05-14-2021, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mttop View Post
...First question, does the 22,000lbs represent the vehicle as it was built…furniture, appliances etc? Did they include the weights of the fluids ie gas and water?
Or maybe a general weight of an average user…

We made some changes to the RV and I assume it may have changed that 22k
...
I have no idea how much weight I saved…any suggestions are welcome.
...
The 22k lb. weight is a rating not a weight (GVWR-Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). At some point they started including a CCC amount that indicated how much weight you can put into the rv to the max weight rating (GVWR).
There should be a yellow Federal Certification Tag in the RV. That should include the weight the rv was as it left the manufacturer with any manufacturer installed options.
What is included on the tag has changed over the years. Mine include a full tank of fuel and propane. Everything else is part of the CCC including passengers.
My guess is removing all those items you lowered the weight of the RV.
Take it to a track scale and get it weighed and you'll see what it weighs now is my suggestion if you want to know for sure. That's like $11 at a Cat Scale.
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Old 05-14-2021, 06:09 PM   #5
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I was going to make a similar suggestion...take the RV ready for travel with the liquid levels you usually have and drive to your states or nearby state's nearest weigh station. On a weekend when it's closed. As a courtesy, most states leave the weighing equipment ON, any your taxes paid for the place too. If you want to check that in your state, just drive your jeep to the nearest station and drive onto the platform...there will be a red LED readout on a pole near the exit that will show your weight.

Then, take your RV there and park the front axle on the platform middle, record the readout, move the rear axle up onto the platform middle and record that weight. Add them together and you got your typical traveling weight for your RV.

It's FREE, uncrowded, not a mystery, and no having to use a CB channel to call in and explain yourself. I do it when I please on weekends as I full time travel around the country. I only remember one state where the equipment was Off and that might have been by accident.
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:30 AM   #6
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Thinking about Towing

Thanks for the replies gentlemen.

I’m going to check into the weigh stations, would a truck stop also have scales?
I don’t mind paying if it gives me information.

I am already thinking of “Plan B”… a much lighter vehicle..
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Old 05-15-2021, 10:49 AM   #7
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Many truck stops do have scales, usually Cat, sometime they have ramps you need to negotiate. Best to park in the truckers section, walk in, tell them what you're doing and ask for their procedure. Likely they'll have you pay then so you don't have to go in again.

Many will have a call box at the entrance to the Cat scale where you push the button, some will have a CB channel listed (that's become rare) and you'd need to park and walk inside if that's the case, that is if you don't have a CB. Be sure you approach the scale in the right direction (not all are marked)...the end with the buzzer, call box, or video setup is the entrance.

Also, many of the Cat scales only give you the total weight, not axle weights (which is important to an RV'er but not a trucker). They often don't have any way to do 4 corner weights either, like most platform freeway state scales can. If the state scale does NOT have a cement barrier along the roadside edge of the scale, you can do a 4 corner weighing there.

I've been full timing for 17 years, and I've weighed the RV and towed 2-4 times per year and as a result, I've found many differences in commercial weigh stations when I've checked and/or used them. I have come to favor the state's setups as the most consistent, easiest to use when towing a car. Sometimes though, they can be crowded with RV'ers. Which just means I head on down the road and try the next weigh station.
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Old 05-18-2021, 01:33 AM   #8
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Thinking about Towing

Thanks Jim
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mttop View Post
We have a 2003 Bounder 35R. GVWR: 22K. GCVR: 26K
So in theory, I have 4,000 pounds that I can tow.
My 2017 Bounder 33C also has a 22K lb GVWR chassis and a combined GVWR of 26K lbs. That being said... We travel pretty heavy and tow a 2016 Wrangler JKU that weighs well over 4K lbs without any issues at all. There are times that I have to check the rearview camera to make sure that the Jeep is still back there. Am I over weight? Who knows but I am not sweating it. Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 05-18-2021, 12:03 PM   #10
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My Bounder (similar era as yours) had a GVWR 22k / GCWR 26k. If I'm not mistaken, you should have a CCC sticker in your coach that details what is/is not included in the weight numbers (below is a pic of mine, which was found in my wardrobe closet). Loaded for travel, we were just shy of 19k. We drug a Jeep Liberty around for 10 years & later a Honda CRV. I want to say the JL was 4.2k with a full tank of gas, our e-bikes & some gear in it. The CRV much less.

Your GCWR won't change & the only way you'll know what your Bounder weighs after all your exclusions is to load it up for travel, including a full tank of gas & at least some water in the fresh tank (we traveled with 1/4-1/2 tank), then weigh it at a truck scale.
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Old 05-19-2021, 08:18 AM   #11
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More than likely you have a 5,000 hitch which is common on gas A MH's. That is what you can tow, but you want the combined weight to be at or below the 26K you pointed out.

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Old 05-19-2021, 05:48 PM   #12
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Thinking about Towing

NLOVNIT

Thanks for that. I took a look at the spec sheet on the wall behind the drivers seat. It did not have CCC info. Just GVWR with a breakdown of front and rear axel weights. The sheet in the bedroom closet was all the decor in the coach.

But looking at your sheet, I think we are lighter. The 36Z was a diesel, right? Ours is 35’9”, Gasser w/2 slides.

We have decided to look for a Nissan Versa or similar, that runs around 2,600 #’s.
We should be able to do that…

Thanks to all for taking the time to answer….
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Old 05-19-2021, 08:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mttop View Post
...
But looking at your sheet, I think we are lighter. The 36Z was a diesel, right? Ours is 35’9”, Gasser w/2 slides....
Nope. Gas. 37'3", 2 slides. 5k hitch rating.
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:25 PM   #14
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Yep…I looked it up after I sent that…

Wish us luck!
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