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Old 04-15-2007, 09:33 PM   #1
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GVWR Mysteries

Does anyone know why for some airstreams the GVWR is the sum of their GAWRs (e.g. US 16' Bambi - 3500lbs, 20' Safari - 5000lbs, 34' Classic - 11,500lbs) and on other airstreams allowance is made for tongue weight (e.g. 19' CCD GVWR is 4500 and GAWR is 4300, 25' safari GVWR is 7300 and GAWR is 7000lbs)?

Perhaps the GVWR = GAWR models are close to their tire rating limits? Or brake power vs weight limits?

It doesn't seem to be frame strength - my impression is that the difference between the US 16' Bambi (3500lb) and the Canadian 16' Bambi (4300lbs) is the axle/wheel/tires.

thanks in advance,
leo
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Old 04-15-2007, 11:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
GVWR is the sum of their GAWRs and on other airstreams allowance is made for tongue weight...leo
my understanding of gvwr suggests...

this is 2 incorrect assumptions.

of course my understanding...

may be incorrect too, but

i do love mysteries!

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:28 AM   #3
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Hi, OK I'm lost. I E-mailed Airstream Tech Support and asked them, "Why is my 2005 Safari rated at 6300 lbs GVWR, 4920 lbs UBW, and tongue weight 680 lbs and the same exact model 2006 Safari is rated at 7000 lbs GVWR, 5060 lbs UBW, and 860 lbs tongue weight?" "Is mine incorrect or is there a missprint on the newer one?"
And their answer was: "Check your ID tag on your trailer and that is what you have." Does this sound like my question was answered? I have E-mailed Airstream Tech Support twice and the quality of their answers were, well, I really don't know so I'll just ask the young man who washes the trailers and write what he would say.
My other question to Airstream Tech Support was: "Why is there a 3" gap between my queen bed and the night stand, exposeing the water heater?" Is something missing from my trailer?" "And if so, what is supposed to fill that gap?" Answer: I think the newer trailers have something there. Duh!!!!!!!!! Anyone else get the same quality answers from Airstream Tech Support as I did? Or were my questions just too complicated?
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Old 04-16-2007, 08:20 AM   #4
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Reminds me of of intentional performance errors during unwanted chores by a five-year-old...
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:30 AM   #5
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Bob -- The 2006 number is higher probably due to the change to Dexter axles early in that production year and Dexters had a higher GAWR than Henschens. This also explains Airstream telling you to check your ID tag for the #'s -- something like the first couple months of '06 production still had the Henschens. IIRC 2air' has cited that Dexters are still in use to meet Canada regs? That right 2air'??

Leo -- per your and others' inputs on the subject (here and here) I think only the 16' Bambi specs are pared so close that GVWR minus tongue weight = GAWR. Not the best insight on the part of the mothership...
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:33 AM   #6
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In general GVWR takes in account the frame, springs, wheel bearings, axle(s), brakes, and tires. All of the running gear that supports the load. Any one of those will be the weakest link in determining the total weight that the vehicle is rated for. The other items can and usually will have a higher rating.

IE: the axles could be rated for 5500 #'s in total and yet the frame has a designed rating of 5000 #'s. In this case the GVWR would be 5000 #'s.

Since different components come from different vendors that have a rating, the individual pieces may have a higher rating than what the package was designed and rated for. Based on the manufacturer the weight ratings will be given for the individual axles and the total vehicle. The tire rating will be stamped on the tire sidewall. Never exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. And never use replacement parts that are rated for less than the GVWR.

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Old 04-18-2007, 04:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action
In general GVWR takes in account the frame, springs, wheel bearings, axle(s), brakes, and tires. All of the running gear that supports the load. Any one of those will be the weakest link in determining the total weight that the vehicle is rated for. The other items can and usually will have a higher rating.
When I started to look into the issue of dealing with my 51 pound NCC, I emailed airstream and received the following reply. Basically, the axle/wheels/tires seem to be the limiting factor with the 16' Bambi (at least up to 4300 lbs).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream
The Canadian units do have a larger axle as well as 15Ē tires. It is something that Canadian standards require. The Canadian axle with the 15Ē tires would give you 800 additional pounds.
The reason I asked the thread's original question is that someone asked for my advice about what to do about their 16' Bambi's woeful NCC. And I think that now, knowing more than when I started, I would be inclined to just upgrade the wheels and tires to the ST225/75R15s (raising the max tire load from a nominal 3740lbs to 5080lbs) and not bother with the axle upgrade.

Even after weight distribution, a minimum of 200lbs of the Bambi's weight will be carried by the tow vehicle axles. This would make the Bambi's 'real' GVWR 3700lbs even with the 3500lb GAWR axles - thus giving approx 250lbs of NCC (or 450lbs of NCC if you don't fill the freshwater tank).
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
The reason I asked the thread's original question is that someone asked for my advice about what to do about their 16' Bambi's woeful NCC. And I think that now, knowing more than when I started, I would be inclined to just upgrade the wheels and tires to the ST225/75R15s (raising the max tire load from a nominal 3740lbs to 5080lbs) and not bother with the axle upgrade.
Someone else asked about doing the wheels/tire upgrade described above and I had to track down the following information:

The standard wheel on a US 16' Bambi is 14" x 6" on 4.5" centers, 5 lug with no offset.

So, if you want to upgrade the tires on your 16' Bambi from 215/75R14 LR Cs to 225/75R15 LR Ds without upgrading your axle you need a 15" wheel that matches the pattern above and has sufficient PSI and rim weight ratings.

I found one in aluminum at Eastern Marine - for details see below.

thanks and enjoy,
leo

Utility & Boat Trailer Tires / Aluminum, Galvanized & Painted Trailer Wheels
15" 5 on 4.5 Lug Aluminum Trailer Wheel
STOCK #: 1350116
Rim Pattern: Modular
Tire Diameter: 15"
Rim Width: 6"
Rim Finish: Polished Aluminum
Rim Weight Rating: 2150 lbs. @ 65 psi
5 lug on 4.5" Bolt Circle, 3-1/8" Center Hole
Price: $99.00
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