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Old 11-26-2015, 10:21 PM   #43
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2015 27' Flying Cloud
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SeaLevel has decided to go with a larger truck, and that's good. Unfortunately, when you start out in this game, you immediately look at rated towing capacity and think, if you've got that covered, you're good to go (or maybe you're never planning to leave Kansas). However, the relationship between cargo capacity (a more elusive number) and actual tongue weight (another elusive number) is the more important one because it affects the distribution of weight on the TV's axles. Too much weight on the rear axle unloads the front axle causing steering and handling problems in marginal conditions like rain or snow. A weight distribution hitch mitigates this but does not eliminate it. Compounding the problem is that some of the medium-sized modern Airstreams have the highest tongue weights of the line.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:40 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
I'd be interested to see which section of the PA code the people were charged under. I had a trawl through their code and couldn't find anything relating to door stickers, although I may well have been looking in the wrong places. It it did occur to me that in order to establish actual weights, you'd have to have all the questionable vehicles weighed using properly calibrated equipment by suitably authorized personnel; was this done in this case? I don't doubt that the people concerned were fined but it would be good to highlight the written laws they were breaking. For what it's worth, my tow vehicle doesn't have a Gross Combined Weight mentioned on the sticker.
Pennsylvania title 75 (Vehicles) is here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI.../PDF/75/75.PDF

There are three references to GCWR. It states that trucks must be registered with a legal GVWR, and GCWR as applicable. It states that RVs are excluded from the qualified vehicle definition, which refers to taxes by registered weight. And it seems to be heavily focused on commercial carriers, and vehicles over 26,000 lb GCWR.

All that aside, there is also reciprocity so your home state/prov laws apply if you are not resident in PA.

I am sure that an overloaded vehicle (one that is obviously dangerous) could be charged in any case. It says portable scales will be used for roadside checks, further linking to the commercial vehicle regulations.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:43 AM   #45
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There is always confusion about laws that apply to commercial towing vehicles and recreational towing vehicles. It's different, even the licensing for drivers is different. I've read through some of these laws and it's clearly different. When I pass an open state weight inspection station, with commercial vehicles pulling in and we driving by I realize the towing weight laws are different.

So we try to make good, safe decisions about our tow rig based on good towing characteristics of all three important factors, the truck, trailer, and hitch properly selected, set up, and adjusted. To simply look at weight stickers, decide you are legal and therefore good-to-go is where the unsafe towing practice lies (for example, a weight distribution/sway control hitch is not required by law).

More simply, choosing a tow vehicle based only on the weight stickers may or may not be the ideal path to a safer towing experience. At best, it is only a start.
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