In our last update we mentioned having our motorhome and pickup 4 corner weighed before leaving North Ranch so I thought we would go into that a little deeper. We know for a lot of you this will be old hat but for those just getting into RV’s it might be interesting. And even for you old timers you might be interested in what we came up with for our weights.
Like most RVers we have ran our coach across scales you find along roadways to at least get our axle weights and total weights to compare to the (GAWR) Gross Axle Weight Rating, our (GVWR) Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and (GCWR) Gross Combined Weight Rating. Doing that is certainly better than doing nothing at all BUT even by doing that and finding that our weights are within the parameters of our coach there can still be problems.
What problems you ask? Well it is possible to be within your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and your Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWR), and still be overloaded on an individual wheel position and unless you know the load being carried by each wheel position, you have no way of knowing the proper inflation of your tires. Improper inflation leads to improper wear, reduced life of the tire, and greater potential for a blowout. An overloaded tire (which usually means an underinflated tire) is the number one cause of a blowout.
Plus being overweight can cause premature wear and tear on the vehicle’s components and therefore create unnecessary repair costs and worse yet safety hazards.
The ONLY way to properly weigh your RV is by wheel position. Your tires and wheels are the foundation of your RV, and each has a maximum weight rating.
And if the things mentioned above are not enough, keep in mind that if you ever have an accident and it is discovered that you exceeded the GCWR it could lead to legal consequences and your insurance could have grounds to deny a claim.
Last but not least having a properly balanced couch with properly inflated tires should create a betting handling RV with a better and more comfortable ride.
We opted to use “Smart Weigh” through the Escapee’s Club for this weighing but there are other’s out there that also do great jobs, just do a google search and a few will pop up.
The cost to have our motorhome and toad weighed was $55 PLUS they measure the actual height of your RV. It so happens that Tiffin shows our coach to be 12’ 7” tall but during our weigh and measure we found that we are actually 12’ 8”. Only an inch difference but that inch could make a difference some time in the future.
OK, a few notes about our coach at the time of the weigh, we probably had 85 gallons of fuel onboard (we have a 100 gallon tank) and the DEF tank was full, The black tank had maybe 5 gallons of water and the grey was basically empty other than what I used washing my hands after getting ready to roll and we had roughly ¼ tank of fresh water. The cupboards and refer are about as full as they can be and the freezer was ¾ full. That’s pretty much the way things are when we travel. Oh I was in the driver’s seat and Diane was in the passenger seat (that’s the way it should be during the weigh).
Side note, we have 8 solar panels on the roof and we upgraded our 6 house batteries to Lifeline 6CT AGM’s that are certainly heavy compared to the stock batteries so I’m really happy with the results on the front axle.
Here are our results:
Front right = 6525lbs,,, Front left = 6550lbs,,, total front axle 13075lbs. Front GAWR is 14320 so we are 1245lbs under.
Right rear dual = 7925lbs,, Left rear dual = 8350, total drive axle 16275lbs. Drive axle GAWR is 20,000lbs so we are 3725lbs under.
Right rear tag = 3450lbs,, Left rear tag = 4000, total tag axle = 7450lbs. Tag axle GAWR is 10,000lbs so we are 2550lbs under.
Our actual GVWR is 36,800lbs and our sticker shows we can be 44,320lbs so we are 7520lbs under.
Our toad weighed in at 5450lbs making our total weight with motorhome and toad 42,250lbs. The GCWR for our coach & toad is 54,320 according to the sticker so we are 12,070lbs under.
So unless I made a mistake that’s where we stand and I will say that I’m pretty happy with that. The rear is 975lbs heavy on the left rear but that’s where the washer/dryer are located and knowing how little we have stowed on that side in the back I don’t think I will be able to completely offset that but we are so far underweight that to be honest I’m not going to worry about it that much.
Our coach has Michelin 275/80R22.5 XZA3 tires and I have been running 115PSI in the front and 100PSI in the rear. I think I will be leaving the fronts alone but will be dropping the pressure in the rears a bit, not much but maybe 5 PSI.
It looks like mama can get some new shoes and I need to find a new toy or two LOL!!
So, in case you now have the juices flowing in your head about tires I thought we would share a few links to what I consider some of the major tire brands you might find on motorhomes that provide information about load limits and proper air pressures.
Hey, while you are checking the PSI in your tires you may as well check how old they are. A tire’s age is determined by its birth date, not the date on which it was installed. Its birth date is stamped right on the sidewall, and it’s called a DOT code. The first two digits are the week, and the second two are the year the tire was produced. I borrowed this picture from the internet but it shows how to read the date code.
Normally RV tires age out before they wear out in most cases due to limited miles traveled each year by most RVer’s. The typical “life” of a tire is between five and seven years, regardless of tread wear. And believe it or not tires deteriorate more quickly when used less frequently, such as long storage periods or in a spare tire position. I read that it has to do with the chemical reaction caused by a tire rolling down the road that helps keep it healthy. Sort of like our bodies, use it or lose it.
And while we are talking about tires I will mention that one of the best purchases we have made since hitting the road was our tire monitoring system. Here is a link to that write-up in case you are interested. (Oh we did upgrade the compressor that I showed in that update to a 150PSI Porter-Cable Pancake that does a very nice job). https://daveanddiane.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/our-new-tpms-tire-pressure-minitoring-system/
And a second item that also goes along with this tire related update that should be considered by all rvers is some sort of tire covers. One of the most harmful things to tires are ultraviolet rays.
We opted for the snap on tire covers, I find them easy to put on and take off and I like that they also allow for good air flow around the tires. Oh, and I think they look pretty darn sharp LOL!! We had the same type on our last coach as well. Any time we are going to be setting for at least a week I put them on.
I guess that does it for our little blurb on having our coach weighed and tire safety. Of course there is tons of information online that’s goes much further into detail than we have but at least it might get you thinking.
After getting weighed we were off to our next stop in Gold Canyon. The plan was to only spend 4 days there so we (well mainly I) could attend a 3 day RC airplane event in Mesa. But more on that in our next update.