Maximum allowed axle loads

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Tom

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We got a earful from one couple around the campfire at Camp Monaco last night. They have been here for four weeks while Monaco addresses some pre-Monaco design issues with their Beaver. One of the stated issues is axle weight. Apparently, they can't make themselves legal. The techs can adjust the load on the tag axle to redistribute weight but, whatever they do, it either puts the front axle over weight or the drive axle is overloaded.

In the discussion I heard that there was a 20,000 lbs per axle weight limit on interstates. Is this correct and does this get checked/enforced? The guy mentioned that their coach was weighed while they transited through Ohio. He also said that that axle loading is an issue with the whole line, although I couldn't figure out if that meant all Patriots or all pre-Monaco Beavers. Anyone heard about this?

Most others here, like us, had nothing but praise - and lots of it - for the way that Monaco has treated them and even taken care of issues that are out of warranty.
 

Ron

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First question regarding the couple with the Beaver is what are the empty weights ratings of the axles and GVWR.  Has the guy just overloaded it?  There have been coaches sold that had less than 900 LBS usefull load just as there have been some rigs sold that were overweight as delivered.  The Newell that was featured in an article in the FMCA magazine a while back comes to mind.


20,000 lbs per axle is the maximum allowable in all but 9 states and in those 9 states the allowable weight is between 24000 and 26000 depending which one as I recall.  However, I understand that even in some of those 9 states 20,000 is the maximum allowable weight on any one axle on interstate highways.

A few years ago some RV manufacturers rated the rear axle on their coaches at 26,000 and even 27,000 lbs.  Nothing says the manufacturer can't rate them this way.  However just because the axle is rated for 26,000 lbs doesn't mean it can be legally operated at that weight.  If you recall some of the 98-99-2000 country coaches and Monacos rear axles were rated at 26,000 or more  lbs.  Basically the series that didn't have then tag axles and do on the more recent years.

No matter what the manufacturer has rated the axles at it is the operator  the responsibility to operate the vehicle both within the manufacturers weight rating AND within the legal weight limits set by the state in which the vehicle is being operated.

A couple years ago I talked to an individual that had been caught in this situation.  While driving on an undivided highway in Mich a gal pulled out of a strip mall right in front of him.  She was at fault.  However during the investigation the investigating officer ask him if he was withing the legal weight limits. He replied yes and the officer ask if he he was sure and the guy replied yes I had it weighed.  The guy then volunteered information that maybe he shouldn't have as he informed the officer he had the weight ticket.  On examination of the weight ticket the coach rear axles were 25,000 LBS.  5000 lbs over the 20,000 per axle allowed in Mich.  The situation now changed from the person entering the highway from being  at fault to a shared fault situation because he was overweight.  The guy was upset because he thought he was legal since per the weight sticker in the coach he was ok since the axle was rated at 26,000 lbs.  When I talked to this individual he was to go to court the next week.  Seems once there was shared fault the gal started having neck pains.

 

Tom

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Thanks for that info Ron. It didn't sound like they'd overloaded it. In one part of the conversation it was stated that they had 3,000 lbs of headroom in total weight, although it wasn't clear if they were talking GVW of GCVW. However, when I asked if it was a weight distribution issue vs total weight, the answer was yes. With several conversations going on concurrently, other issues they're unhappy about and clearly a lot of emotion, it was difficult for me to be sure of everything I thought I heard.

Apparently they were offered a new (2006) Beaver Patriot, but they either didn't like the floorplan or it didn't have the options they like.

Meanwhile, the coach is on jacks and they're in a hotel on Monaco's dime. Since they're fulltimers, they would prefer to be in their coach, or at least have better access to it. One thing is for sure - they're not happy campers.
 

caltex

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Tom, what year is the Beaver?  I've been looking at Beaver for my next RV, so any data you can gleam from this guy would be useful, although he sounds like a very hard to please guy.
 

Smoky

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Tom:

A variation on this issue is a current "hot" debate on the Newmar email list.  Here the discrepancy is between the chassis manufacturer, the coach manufacturer, and the tire manufacturer (Spartan, Michelin, Newmar).  It is obvious the three companies are not coordinating.  I generated the debate several weeks ago when I asked for help on my own loading situation.  I am long gone from the thread now because it is way over my head.

In my own case I know I have overloaded the rear axle in an attempt to get our "stuff" out to Montana.  I can find no way to shift weight to the front axle other than stacking some things from the rear bays into the coach aisle just behind the driver seat.  This is MOST unsatisfactory to the Admiral.  All the forward bays are behind the front axle, so there is no subterranean arrangement that will solve the problem.  In m effort to address this thread, much debate ensued and eventually the lack of cooperation between the three parties involved became evident.

Argh!
 

Tom

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caltex said:
Tom, what year is the Beaver?

I'm not exactly sure, but Chris thinks he said 2005, which probably means 2004 manufacture. They're staying at a hotel, not here at Monaco, but I'll ask if he comes by for cocktails as he did last evening.

The 2006 models we looked at have clear signs of Monaco's stamp on them e.g. the slidouts no longer recess into the coach to give you a flush side; They stick out a little, like ours, and overlap the body all around the slideout, with a seal between the inside of the outer wall of the slideout and the outside of the coach.

I suspect that, if there's a design issue, Monaco will redesign it if they haven't already. We were also betting that Monaco might switch to Cummins instead of the CATs being used by Beaver.
 

Ron

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I haven't heard any comments about the Beavers having a low carying capacity but is is possible.  We walked through a Country Coach Concept a few years ago that had a whole 900 LBS carrying capacity. 

Personally I feel it is the buyers responsibility to research these things to determine if the coach will fit their needs.  If the coach is as built per spec with weight capbilitys advertised then those folks have nobody to blame but themselves and anything Monaco does for them is strickly good will.  However if the coach is not as advertised or per spec then they have a real gripe

Unfortunatley too many folks do not have a understanding of weight capacities and their responsibilities to comply.  I don't know but it almost sounds to me like this couple only becamne aware when the y tried to go on the Ohio turnpke which does have inmotions weighing and if your overweight you don't get on. Now they are trying to get somebody else to correct the error of their ways.


Would nbe interesting to ask four questions of this couple.

1. What is the GVWR and GCWR of their coach?

2. What is the unloaded weight of their coach?

3. What is the total weight of their coach as loaded?

4. What are the axle weight ratings?

I would just about bet they cannot answer two of the four questions correctly and if not Monaco is doing them a big favor.
 

Tom

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He seemed knowledgeable. I was talking with someone else when he rattled some of the numbers off. He's also knowledgeable of the law and has a real desire to stay legal.

Understand your comments re folks being knowledgeable before purchase, but I must admit I knew nothing about this stuff when we bought our first motorhome and wasn't an expert when we bought the second one 19 years later. Seems to me that manufacturers have a responsibilty to build/sell a legal product and to help educate the buyers. We all do what we can here to help with education, but we and all the other forums combined are only scratching the surface.
 

Ron

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Seems to me that manufacturers have a responsibility to build/sell a legal product and to help educate the buyers.

It is the manufacturers responsibility to build and market a leagal product but that product should have a certain measure of expected useability.I.E sufficient carrying capacity for the purpose it is intended.  On the other hand I can't see any responsibility the manufacture has to educate the buyers on what is leagal and what isn't.  That responsibility is the buyers.  Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.  If anybody else should share in part of the responsibility to educate the buyer/operator it would be each state through licensing.    IMHO Most states are very negligent in this respect.  But bottom line the operator has the sole responsibility to insure they are knowledgable enough to operate what ever they are driving legally.

 

Tom

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Here's the rest of the story. I just talked with my neighbor who heard the beginning of the story before I got to the campfire.

This is a 2005 coach with the CAT C13, 525hp engine. The coach has no power and slows to 35mph on a hill. The guy has been to CAT and they've told him there's nothing wrong with the engine and it must be something the coach builder did. That's what started all the weighing and the discovery of the weight issues.

So his concern is to be able to carry his stuff, get up the hills and do it all legally.

[edit]Corrected typo[/edit]
 

blueblood

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Tom said:
We got a earful from one couple around the campfire at Camp Monaco last night. They have been here for four weeks while Monaco addresses some pre-Monaco design issues with their Beaver. One of the stated issues is axle weight. Apparently, they can't make themselves legal. The techs can adjust the load on the tag axle to redistribute weight but, whatever they do, it either puts the front axle over weight or the drive axle is overloaded.

In the discussion I heard that there was a 20,000 lbs per axle weight limit on interstates. Is this correct and does this get checked/enforced? The guy mentioned that their coach was weighed while they transited through Ohio. He also said that that axle loading is an issue with the whole line, although I couldn't figure out if that meant all Patriots or all pre-Monaco Beavers. Anyone heard about this?

Most others here, like us, had nothing but praise - and lots of it - for the way that Monaco has treated them and even taken care of issues that are out of warranty.


On Ohio Turnpike, the toll booths weigh axles and a number of surprised folks are sent off to the side to reload and try one more time.
 

Ron

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Interesti. I don't understand how, without unloading the owners stuff, thay can determine if the weight issues are the result of the manufacturer or if they are self inflected. 
 

Tom

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Thanks Leo. I didn't know about the weighing in the OH pike until this thread.
 

Jeff

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Tom said:
Here's the rest of the story. I just talked with my nieighbor who heard the beginning of the story before I got to the campfire.

This is a 2005 coach with the CAT C13, 525hp engine. The coach has no power and slows to 35mph on a slight hill. The guy has been to CAT and they've told him there's nothing wrong with the engine and it must be something the coach builder did. That's what started all the weighing and the discovery of the weight issues.

So his concern is to be able to carry his stuff, get up the hills and do it all legally.

Tom:

I find it hard to beleive you could put enough bricks in a 40' coach to slow a 525hp diesel engine down to 35mph IF the engine is operating properly. Cat has had programming issues with the the C series engines and it sure sounds like this guy needs to be at a Cat facility - but of course Cat wouldn't trade him coaches......

Ron said:
It is the manufacturers responsibility to build and market a leagal product but that product should have a certain measure of expected useability.I.E sufficient carrying capacity for the purpose it is intended. On the other hand I can't see any responsibility the manufacture has to educate the buyers on what is leagal and what isn't. That responsibility is the buyers. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If anybody else should share in part of the responsibility to educate the buyer/operator it would be each state through licensing. IMHO Most states are very negligent in this respect. But bottom line the operator has the sole responsibility to insure they are knowledgable enough to operate what ever they are driving legally.

Ron:

Anybody who sells a $500,000 coach without any useful load has a good part of the responsabilty, moral if not legal.
 

Ron

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Anybody who sells a $500,000 coach without any useful load has a good part of the responsabilty, moral if not legal.

I agree they have a responsibility to provide a product that will provide reasonble capabilities for its intended purpose.  I can't see where a manufacture has the responsibility to educate the operator as to regulations using that product.
 

Tom

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Jeff /Washington said:
I find it hard to beleive you could put enough bricks in a 40' coach

I have no idea what length the coach is, but we saw the same engine in 40, 42 and 45 feet Beaver coaches.

like this guy needs to be at a Cat facility

Aa I sais Jeff, he reportedly has been to a CAT facility.
 

blueblood

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Smoky said:
Blueblood:

Wonder how they reload if they are thousands of miles from home? :eek:

Hopefully, they can shift items to redistribute the weight either inside the coach or unload to the taod.
 

blueblood

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Tom said:
In the discussion I heard that there was a 20,000 lbs per axle weight limit on interstates. Is this correct and does this get checked/enforced?

I just went and read the Federal Regs on this subject. There was an interesting twist to the law. It actually prohibits the states from enforcing LESS than 20,000 lbs on the Interstates with a couple of grandfathered exceptions. I went to several sources and checked and found only one state that allowed more and it was GA at 20, 350 if I remember correctly. There may be aothers. It was GA being over the 20,000 lbs that actually got me interested in reading the Fed Regs.
 
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