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Author Topic: Pickup Truck overloaded?  (Read 11840 times)

Justlookingon

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Pickup Truck overloaded?
« on: November 02, 2007, 07:34:53 PM »
Maybe I should send this question to a pickup truck site, but I figure someone must have dealt with this question at some time.  I have a 2002 Chevy 1500 shortbed with the Z71 package.  I just bought a SunLite 850SE camper for it which weighs in at 1585 dry and about 1825 or less wet.  The truck body is level with the camper on it;  no rear end sags.  But I did notice that the rubber bumpers which are attached to the frame are touching the axle in the rear.  The unit goes great down the road;  no side sway and it's not light in the front end.  We've taken it on the interstate at 65 mph or secondary roads 45-50.  It handles really well.

Question is..........am I overloaded?  Should the bumpers be touching the axle?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2007, 08:16:48 AM »
No, the bumpers should not be touching the axle and normally that makes for a very harsh ride when they do so, because there is no flex left in the springs and the slightest ripple in the road is transmitted to the frame. Are you sure you are looking at the suspension travel stops and not some other rubber mount? I find it hard to believe it handles OK if the rear end is bottomed out. Also that it is level in that condition.

1800+ lbs is very likely at or beyond the max payload for your Chevy. Payload varies from as little as 1200 lbs to as much as 2000 on that model, depending on cab style, box size, 2x4 vs 4x4, etc. Most configurations are around 1500-1800 lbs.  So Yes, you are probably overloaded.  You will know for sure when you can least afford it - when you have to make an emergency road maneuver and you go out of control.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2007, 09:12:52 AM »
I agree with Roamer, and further wonder how come you are getting a good ride (Soft tires perhaps)

Frankly, I look at many pick-up/5er combinations and they are scary,   There are many big 5-ers being pulled by way too little truck. Though I have not researched YOUR truck, so I do not know if you are overloaded or just need new springs, I can tell you there are a lot of overloaded tow-vehicles out there.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Ron

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2007, 09:35:14 AM »
I recommend going to a scale with the rig loaded as you would be using it and get it weighed including weighing the front and rear axles separately.  If it exceeds the DOT weight ratings get a bigger truck or lighter camper.   Overweight vehicles are dangerous and it just isn't worth putting your and anybody with you or around you safety at risk or exposing yourself to serious liability issues should an accident occur.  Besides without actually weighing the rig proper tire inflation pressures cannot be determined.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Justlookingon

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2007, 01:08:45 PM »
Here's a pic of the overload bumper.  It doesn't look like the one on my '68 Chevy.  We've put on over 400 miles with this truck & camper on all sorts of roads from the interstate to dirt road.  You can tell you have a load but it really handles well.

The tires are not the best suited.  They are a bit squishy even though I run 44 lbs in them which is the max according to the sidewall.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 03:14:44 PM by Tom »

Shayne

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2007, 01:10:29 PM »
Sounds like a disaster trying to happen/.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Justlookingon

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2007, 03:21:02 PM »
Finally, here's a better shot of the rubber.  It was too big to download so I had to shrink it. 

Is an aftermarket or stock?

Ray D

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2007, 05:35:02 PM »
Voice of ancient knowledge and test of aged memory follows.  ::)

That looks like something I had on several of my trucks, when I owned a small trucking company in Los Angeles, in the 70s. Never seen that on a pickup, but then, never looked either. Didn't own pickups.  ::)

Don't know if they are stock or after market. Bought all my trucks used. Never added them. Trucks that didn't have them had a second set of springs that came into play with maximum loads. Don't know their real name, but we called them "overload springs." Note: We did not load heavier than the maximum limit! (We'd get really close, on a regular basis.)

If it's the same thing, it's the same as we called "overload Springs." Just looks different. They were meant to be in contact, when approaching a maximum legal load on the axel. They had an internal steel spring that softened bumps and saved the leaf springs with heavy loads. So, they are springy, but you don't have the strength to feel that, with your hand. They would appear to be solid and inflexible, to the feel of your hand.  ;D

One other use. If we thought we were getting close to the weight limit, we would go back and look at the overloads. If they were in contact, it meant we could load no more, or very little more. We were at or near maximum. This was regardless of whether the "overoads" were an additional set of springs or these bumpers. Touching meant the same thing. "You are maxed out. Drive carefully!"

Oh, forgot to mention! If the main springs were "reflexed," that meant you had to unload some of the load, immediately, if not sooner, and keep an eye on the tires, while you do it! Why? Because if one blows, they all blow! Very expensive!  :(  Did that once, and I hate to admit it!  :o

It was a pretty reliable system, as our loads under those circumstances, usually had to go over government scales. Almost always passed. Very embarrassing to have to send another truck to take the overload portion!  :-[ Never had a citation with any of my trucks, not one!  ;D

Get your truck weighed! Find out where you stand - or ride, in this case. You need to know!

If you are legal, loaded like that, drive carefully. You are on the razor's edge, safety wise.  You are "pushing it!"  :-\

Ray D  ;D

Disclaimer: this is very old information, if it is information, at all.  ::)
Boise, Idaho. U.S.A.F. Vet. Damon Challenger, Workhorse/Vortec, 2005 towing a Suzuki XL-7, 2003.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2007, 06:58:21 PM »
Yeap, those are the suspension stops and if they are touching you are at max load - or maybe a over max.

As has already been said, weigh the rig with the camper on board and fully loaded. See if you are exceeding the truck's GVWR or rear axle GAWR. Both numbers should be posted somewhere, usually either on the driver's door post or in the glove box.

If overweight, you can help the springs with air bags or add-on overload springs, but the axle and the brakes will still be overloaded. Not good...
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ron

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2007, 08:27:45 PM »

If overweight, you can help the springs with air bags or add-on overload springs, but the axle and the brakes will still be overloaded. Not good...

Would still be over weight and illegal as well as dangerous.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Justlookingon

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2007, 02:56:49 PM »
Thanks for all the input.  I will get it weighed next weekend and go from there.  Even if not overloaded, I should probably look at some air bags to get the bumpers off of the axle.

Shayne

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2007, 03:37:59 PM »
Doesn't seem to matter what anyone says.  He's determined to overload a unit that isn't capable of doing the job and will therefore endanger lives of others, let alone his family.    Half-assed jobs are  still half-assed trouble to come.  JMO  Just call it as it appears.
Old, Stubborn, Opinionated, Set in my Ways, and Independent,  IMHO

Justlookingon

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2007, 07:16:39 PM »
Comments withdrawn by self.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 07:39:16 PM by Justlookingon »

Ray D

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2007, 08:04:19 PM »
OK, OK, Ok!  ;D

My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a look at the underside of the MH. Haven’t been under a truck in close to 40 years! My goodness, things have changed!  ::)

To start with, no series of leaf springs. Just two leaves, really heavy duty! One of them is attached by a bolt, both front and rear, similar to the old fashioned springs I am used to. But, there is only the one leaf. It’s maybe 5/8 of an inch thick.

The second leaf resembles our old “overload springs.” But, it is attached at the front. Couldn’t see well enough to tell on the rear of the “overload,” if that’s what it is. Couldn’t wrap myself that direction around the duals. (Did get a picture!)

There is a sizeable separation between the two that would bear most of the weight on the main spring. The second would come more into play with heavier weight. It is touching, at both ends

Ah, but there was a third spring. (A bumper?) It looks like a coil, encased in hard rubber. It is mounted above the axle, to the frame. It is also touching, both ends, axle and frame.

So, both “overloads” or whatever they are, are touching all points.

Does that mean I am overloaded? Don’t think so.

Last scaled the unit on June 8, this year. At that time it weighed 19,260. That was loaded for travel, the next day, with food, clothes, people and dogs. Black and gray tanks empty. 75 gal of water, full. Full gas and propane, just topped off, minutes before weighing. My GVWR is 20,700. I had 1,440 lbs of excess capacity.

Today, it is now winterized. Empty holding tanks, including no water. Empty 75 gal water tank, about 600 lbs off of weight slip. Gas and propane just topped off, last week, full. Food and most clothing removed. No people or animals on board.

I have more than a ton of excess capacity left, at this time. And, the coil is touching the axle and the frame. Rides nice. Don’t think I have a problem.

Pictures:
0030 shows the front of the springs, attached. Sorry about the light burnout. Best I could do.
0031 shows the coil/bumper. Sorry, no better angle available. Too tight in there. You can, however, see that it is touching.
0032 shows the rear attachment for the springs. Can’t tell if the second spring is actually attached, or just sitting, touching the mount.

Bottom line, whether that “bumper” is touching, really isn’t definitive. 40 years ago, it was kind of a gauge. No more! Need a weight slip, or two.

I yield the floor.  ;D

Ray D  ;D
Boise, Idaho. U.S.A.F. Vet. Damon Challenger, Workhorse/Vortec, 2005 towing a Suzuki XL-7, 2003.

Ron

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2007, 08:26:06 PM »
Thanks for all the input.  I will get it weighed next weekend and go from there.  Even if not overloaded, I should probably look at some air bags to get the bumpers off of the axle.

Good idea then you know for sure.  We have weighed every motorhome we have owned and feel that is one reason we have not experienced tire failure since we made sure we were never over loaded.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Justlookingon

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2007, 08:42:58 PM »
The amount of truck required for any given pickup camper seems to be a common question here!  Just to let you know, I had my Chevy 1500 (extended cab, shortbed, 4x4) weighed.  With about 400 lbs of passengers and little else, it came in at 5620 lbs.  With a GVW of 6400, I'd guess that would mean I could carry about 780 lbs of camper!  The camper that I was carrying according to the sticker on the back of it weighed 1829 lbs.  Guess I was about 1000 lbs over-no wonder it road so nicely!

Anyway, I just picked up a 2500 HD with a Duramax in it.  With a cargo capacity of over 3300, I should now be about 1000 lbs underweight!  Just thought that someone may be interested in this data if they are planning to make the same mistake that I once did!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Pickup Truck overloaded?
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2007, 11:12:57 AM »
Thanks for the numbers, justlookingon. It is very common for half ton trucks like the 1500 to be overloaded. Folks often move over from a passenger car and think " now I have a TRUCK - I can carry anything I want" but nothing could be further from the truth. Especially these days, when half ton trucks are  used primarily as city haulers and personal vehicles, so the manufacturers have softened the ride and made them much more car like at the expense of decreasing their "truck" capabilities. And that's without even mentioning the half breeds like the Explorer port Trac.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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