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Author Topic: The Right Truck?  (Read 11272 times)

Strikenmike

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  • MaggieMay
The Right Truck?
« on: February 21, 2008, 09:40:47 PM »
Greetings:
Let's start a new string on the issue of matching a truck to your camper.

The issue...Lance 992 Truck Camper.
Question...What truck will handle it safely and "comfortably"?
With options, the 992 should have a dry weight of about 3,700 pounds.  With full tanks and provisions it will probably be more like 4,700 pounds.
A 2500HD Silverado, without modifications, will carry about 3,500 pounds, a 3500HD about 4130 and a 3500HD-Dulley 4x4 about 4700 pounds.
Problem...I do not really want to buy a dulley simply because I don't particularily like the way they look, especially when they are not loaded with the TC.
Must I buy a dulley to get the safety and comfort that I seek, or can I buy a SWD 2500HD or 3500HD and simply add rear sway bar, super springs, and 19.5" tires? 

I need some advice.  I do not want to be fighting this rig all around this country and be so fatigued at the end of the day that I can not enjoy myself.

I will appreciate any input.

Alaskansnowbirds

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 10:32:15 PM »
I'm a Ford guy so I don't know the Chevy equivalent, but have you considered the equivalent of a F450 or F550 with SRW?
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 10:42:27 AM »
Buy a truck that has adequate GVWR, GCVWR to legaly and safely pull the trailer you are considering.  No after market modifications will increase the GVWR and GCVWR.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Strikenmike

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  • MaggieMay
Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 11:03:27 AM »
Thank you Don & Ron:

Ford would be my second choice.  They are actually offering good deals right know on the 350 series.  Since 70-80 percent of my driving will probably be without the TC, had hoped to avoid buying a one-ton truck.

Ron can you tell me in plain english the best way to calculate the GVWR and the GCVW?  Since I do not have the truck or the TC yet, I can not take anything to my local scales to weigh anything.  At this point I need to rely on published weights, etc.

Thanks again,

Confused in Danville, IL

Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 11:10:59 AM »
weight ratings are normally found on a sticker or placard on the door frame or in the glove box of the truck.  Published weight capacities are also available on the manufacturers web sites and in the brochures.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Strikenmike

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  • MaggieMay
Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2008, 11:35:58 AM »
Ron, or Other Contributors:

You indicated that the Payload for a truck can not be increased with "add-ons".  What about tires?
I had planned to put 19.5" Michelins which have a load rating of between 3,800 & 5,000 pounds vs a standard factory tire with a rating of around 3,000 pounds.  Does this effectively increase the payload capacity or not?

Thanks,
Mike


Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2008, 12:04:21 PM »
When a vehicle is manufactured the weight capacities are included in the design criteria.  The manufacturer is required to install a dot sticker showing the weight capacities for that vehicle.  The ONLY legal way the GVWR for any particular given weight can be changed is by the manufacturer and a letter and new DOT weight sticker  provided by the manufacturer  installed.  If you could afford to get a manufacturer to up the GVWR they would have to review the design and confirm all components affecting the weight capacity are within spec for the higher G weight rating. 

We had all this explained to me when the rear axle on our coach was upped from 19,000 lbs to 20,000 lbs.  Our coach a 99 American Eagle had the same rear axle and drive train as the 2000 models.  I ask American Coach why ours was only 19,00 and the told me that everything was the same but they would have to go to the Chassis manufacturer to get it upgraded.  Fortunately American did get the upgrade for us at no cost to us.  I was told that Spartan had to get the required documentation from the axle manufacturer then they had to provide a letter and DOT sticker to American Coach and the letter was given to us and the new sticker showing the increased weight capacities installed.

Bottom line it is my understanding that the published weight limits for a given vehicle cannot be increased by any modifications without getting the documentation and sticker from the manufacturer.  From what I have been told even replacing or upgrading all affected components of a vehicle, including tires, will not increase the rated weight ratings without the manufacturer approval and reissuing a new weight limit sticker.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Dan Walters

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2008, 01:02:28 PM »
Mike,

Everything Ron said.  Let me just add about the increased tire weight capacity.  A higher tire weight rating will NOT increase the legal carying capacity of the truck.  That capacity is calculated by the manufacturer using certain springs, axles, brakes, gears, tires, etc.  Increasing the tire capacity still doesn't change the other components capacity for carrying or pulling the rated weight.  As Ron said, that can only be changed by the manufacturer.

My first RV was a truck camper.  I had it on a single rear wheel heavy duty 1-Ton Chevy Crew Cab truck that had a GVWR that was enough to carry the GVWR of the camper and the six of us in the cab.  It handelled the load just fine.  I don't know if the dual rear wheels would have made it more stable or not, but I never had a problem with the single rear wheels.  Hope this helps.

Dan
Dan
Southeast Texas
2000 Fleetwood American Dream
Towing a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Marsha/CA

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2008, 04:15:07 PM »
Mike,

We had a truck camper when we first started out.  It was about the size you are contemplating, a Fleetwood Caribou that was 9'3" on the floor and weighted 3500#.  We put it on a 1 Ton Chevy Dually.  The reason we chose the dually was because I was worried at what would happen if I had a flat on the rear and truck dropped down. Would the camper tilt?  We were also towing a horse trailer, so the last thing I wanted was to try to keep the truck steady with a load of horses behind me.  At that time, I traveled a lot by myself going horsecamping with lady friends, so not having a problem was important to me.  Also that dually was extremely stable side to side.  Now that I think of it, I did have a flat on the inside dually and never really knew I had a problem, except that I heard it go.

Our son now has the truck camper on a Ford 250 single axle and when we follow him down the road it looks like he has a lot of movement side to side.

Marsha~
2017 Heartland Mallard IDM231 Travel Trailer....Small but mighty.

John From Detroit

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2008, 05:08:36 PM »
This E-bay link is just a sales flyer but the truck pictured should tow it

I don't care what it is the truck pictured on the cover should tow it

Kenwood Flyer on E-bay
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2008, 05:32:25 PM »
StrikenMike,
With a truck camper you are carrying ALL the weight directly on the truck, and mostly on the rear axle at that. You really need as much GVWR as you can get to support a 3700-4700 lb truck camper.

You don't get to calculate the GVWR - the truck manufacturer's engineers do that. You can probably get a "Camper package" or maybe an enhanced Payload package to beef up the truck's carrying capacity over standard suspension - check with a dealer for the truck you are interested in. The Camper package usually has stiffer anti-sway bars, heavier duty tires, etc. as well as max suspension.

Folks with truck campers often end up towing a trailer too, e.g. a boat or ATV trailer. Be sure to figure that in your load calculations.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

kcabpilot

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2008, 12:41:55 PM »
As has been stated, if you upgrade the wheels and tires and add air springs you certainly have increased the capabilities of your truck but none of that will change the sticker on the doorpost. Now, is this a 'legality' issue for you? Well, not expressly - I mean you aren't going to get pulled over, escorted to a weigh station and cited for exceeding your vehicles GVWR but if you have trouble you most likely will have voided your warranty or any litigation rights against the manufacturer. I believe those are the real issues behind the number on the door post.

Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2008, 07:56:12 PM »
As has been stated, if you upgrade the wheels and tires and add air springs you certainly have increased the capabilities of your truck but none of that will change the sticker on the doorpost. Now, is this a 'legality' issue for you? Well, not expressly - I mean you aren't going to get pulled over, escorted to a weigh station and cited for exceeding your vehicles GVWR but if you have trouble you most likely will have voided your warranty or any litigation rights against the manufacturer. I believe those are the real issues behind the number on the door post.

You are correct that all the mods does not change the GVWR as determined by the manufacturer.  Exceeding these limits not only jeopardizes ones own safety but also anybody that happens to be around.  Additionally exceeding the weight ratings can also expose one to serious liability issues should one get in an accident no matter who's fault since exceeding weight ratings make one a contributer.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

kcabpilot

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2008, 01:51:26 AM »
You are correct that all the mods does not change the GVWR as determined by the manufacturer.  Exceeding these limits not only jeopardizes ones own safety but also anybody that happens to be around.  Additionally exceeding the weight ratings can also expose one to serious liability issues should one get in an accident no matter who's fault since exceeding weight ratings make one a contributer.

I respect your point Ron but in reality the trucks are quite capable of safely exceeding the GVWR with proper upgrades. Granted, if you install Air Lifts it will tell you right there on page one of the instructions that they DO NOT increase the GVWR of the vehicle and that is true - they don't. The GVWR is a rating designated by the manufacturer and only the manufacturer can alter it. My point is that you can upgrade the vehicle with certain modifications and you can safely carry a load that exceeds the number stamped on the door post and you can do it without jeapordizing your safety or anyone elses. It boils down to an element of common sense and doing such modifications probably isn't the best idea for someone who just dropped 50k on a new truck with a BIG chrome grille that is under full warranty but for most other people it's a sensible and safe route to persue.

Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2008, 01:34:04 PM »
I respect your point Ron but in reality the trucks are quite capable of safely exceeding the GVWR with proper upgrades. Granted, if you install Air Lifts it will tell you right there on page one of the instructions that they DO NOT increase the GVWR of the vehicle and that is true - they don't. The GVWR is a rating designated by the manufacturer and only the manufacturer can alter it. My point is that you can upgrade the vehicle with certain modifications and you can safely carry a load that exceeds the number stamped on the door post and you can do it without jeapordizing your safety or anyone elses. It boils down to an element of common sense and doing such modifications probably isn't the best idea for someone who just dropped 50k on a new truck with a BIG chrome grille that is under full warranty but for most other people it's a sensible and safe route to persue.

Are you saying that your engineering expertise is better than the manufacturers????  Exceeding the GVWR is not a wise thing to do as it can jeopardize your safety and the safety of others that happen to be around you.  How does one know that the brakes or some component of the drive train are capable of handling the extra weight.  Last but not least exceeding the GVWR is illegal and doing so can expose one to serious liability issues should an accident occur.  I would never suggest that exceeding the GVWR is acceptable no matter what mod are accomplished unless you have the proper paperwork from the manufacturer to approve it.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Carl L

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2008, 02:21:39 PM »
Ron, let me add to your point.

The weight limits on the door posts are developed on the basis of frame strength, suspension capacities including compliance; brake capacity both power and cooling; transmission capacity and gearing; cooling system capacity; steering stability; drive train strength; engine capacity and power; and rear end ratio.   With campers, there is also the center of gravity issue.  Pickups have enough cg problems with out going overweight with a camper.

Folks have no damn idea which of these parameters was critical to the GVWR or GAWR of a truck  A person could stiffen up his suspension with an airbag and find out too late that it was the transmission that was critical and he faces a tranny rebuild in West Dogsquat, Wyoming.  Or he could find his brakes burning out halfway down Lookout Pass on I-90 in Idaho.

The Tiltin' Hilton camper plague has been bad enough on our highways, why should one want to add oneself to the mess.
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

PancakeBill

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2008, 05:04:30 PM »
The GVWR as has been noted is created by the mfg for a number of reasons.  One is to keep the vehicle in a certain weight class.  Will the truck go crazy out of control if you exceed it by a certain percentage?  I doubt it.  Could you screw up a warranty if the truck had issues and the fact you were over by 300 pounds was known to the mfg?  Possibly.  That is sure the first thing I would tell them.  (not)

I am likely a little over my GVWR with my TC.  Does the truck run OK?  Yes.  Does it stop OK?  Yes.  Does it lean over on turns?  No.  I added Super Springs. this eliminates the sway.  Sway will occur whether you are underloaded or overloaded, just a different degree.

Tire ratings, Be sure to have appropriate rtated tires for load.  Will it increase GVWR?  No, Will it make you safer package?  Yes. 

I had a flat right rear, the camper did not make us tip over, in fact it helped me change the tire.  When I jacked the truck up, I put down the legs to stabilize against wind from passing semi's. 

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2008, 07:45:06 PM »
One thing about exceeding weight limits exceeding them can expose one to serious liability issues should you get in an accident, especially if someone is injured or worse.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

PancakeBill

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2008, 09:33:43 AM »
From another forum, author states his credentialls.

Wadcutter wrote:

I am a retired state police commander. I commanded a district which had the highest fine producing fixed scales in the state. In addition I was one of 2 of the first Troops in the state to be certified as motor carrier safety inspectors. By IL statute only the ISP has the authority to conduct MCS inspections. I taught truck weight and MCS law at our academy. Over the years I weighed a lot of trucks. I also weighed a lot of RVs of various styles, not because of the law but because the RVers asked to be weighed to have their loading checked. Never ever saw any of them even come close to approaching max legal weights.

Simple answer to your question. The sticker on your truck is placed there by the manufacturer. It's like the tag on your mattress. It's required by law to tell the consumer what is in that product. After sales that sticker doesn't have to remain on the vehicle and there are a lot of vehicles legally on the road today which no longer has the sticker because of body repair, etc. The manufacturers do not make the laws. Think about this too. Do you think every Troop or weigh master out there has memorized what all the manufacturers stickers say on every style of truck made? Then toss into the mix 4X4 v 4X2, same model trucks but with different engines, same model trucks but with different axle ratings, or same model trucks but just different years. We don't care what the sticker says or even if there is a sticker. What the manufacturers put on that sticker is not law, it's just a to let the consumer know what that particular vehicle's design specs are.

The max weight laws are generally 20K on a single axle, 34K on a tandem axle and gross is 80K. These are federally mandated limits. I say "generally" because gross depends on the bridge length of your vehicle (distance between the front and rear axle) and the number of axles. The 34K can also vary depending the distance between the tandem axles. It could be more. Weight limits may also be posted less than the max on certain roads.

As an RVer you don't have to worry about exceeding the 20K single axle, 34K tandem axle, and 80K gross. There's no way you are going to be anywhere close to any of those numbers. Think about it. On your 5er you put 16" E range tires on a 5K or 6K rated axle. Your suspension and tires wouldn't handle 20K or 34K loads. And no way are you getting anywhere close to 20K on the steer or drive axle on your pickup. Your Big Country doesn't even come close to approaching 34K on the tandems. Your entire rig is likely to be about 20K total. You could not load your 5er and 2500 with enough toys to get close to exceeding the weight limits.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2008, 10:02:28 AM »
Well Bill I think the guy is blowing a lot of smoke since RVers to have to comply with the state laws and can be exposed to serious liability issues if in an accident while driving a rig that exceeds the manufacturers weight limits. I know of such a case where the individual was going to court for being 2000 lbs over on the rear axle.  Aweigh we Go found many RVs were over weight.  Over weight limits is a serious issue that affects the safety of us all.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

BernieD

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2008, 06:30:37 AM »
Well Bill I think the guy is blowing a lot of smoke since RVers to have to comply with the state laws and can be exposed to serious liability issues if in an accident while driving a rig that exceeds the manufacturers weight limits. I know of such a case where the individual was going to court for being 2000 lbs over on the rear axle.  Aweigh we Go found many RVs were over weight.  Over weight limits is a serious issue that affects the safety of us all.

Ron

I only found one comment to quibble with, "As an RVer you don't have to worry about exceeding the 20K single axle, 34K tandem axle, and 80K gross." We got weighed yesterday (a nice truck rest stop at a Kentucky weigh station and our rear axle was just under 20K#s. If the coach keeps putting on weight like it has (up 2K#s since it was last weighed) I could be over in a couple of years. I can't figure out how it gained so much weight :-\ :'(

But really, the issue is that you are confusing legal limits and structural limits. The commander was addressing legal limits, those for which you could receive a citation. We have all been concerned with structural limits, how heavy a load you can carry without exceeding the engineered limits of the components of your rig. You can have an overloaded rig without being legally overweight.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Ron

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Re: The Right Truck?
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2008, 10:02:35 AM »
Ron

I only found one comment to quibble with, "As an RVer you don't have to worry about exceeding the 20K single axle, 34K tandem axle, and 80K gross."

I know of at least one RVer that wishes that was correct.  In the case I am refering to the sticker on his coach indicated the rear axle was rated for 27000lbs  All but nine states the single axle limit is 20K.  When he was in an accident and he offered his weight ticket to show he was within his weight limits (he was 24000 LBS) this was recorded on the report and he became a contributer to the accident instead of the guy that just happened to be there when the other care falled to stop.

I have talked to a few state DMVs and researching this and all indicated that all vehicles on the road are subject to the states weight limits.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

 

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