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Old 02-09-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
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GVWR. I was wondering how the varying state and provincial laws were enforced with regard to long trips. I know if you have a commercial vehicle registration here you are more likely to get stopped and vetted but I looked at a link posted elsewhere on the forum and it got me thinking that a lot of small TV and big trailers are fine in some areas and not in others.

Here's the link I mentioned. Trailer Brakes | AAA/CAA Digest of Motor Laws

For example where I live this is an extract ….The weight of a trailer and its load or a combination of trailers and their loads must not exceed the following; in the case of a ball hitch, the GVWR of the towing vehicle…. so what happens if you're stopped towing a mid sized newish trailer with a sedan do you get a ticket or do they require you to get a properly sized TV?

My TV is 2007 Tundra 4x4 dbl cab Limted, TRD regular box, big V8 and it's tow rating is something like 10,900 but it's GVWR is more like 6,900 IIRC. That's quite a difference and guess it would be easy to get caught short in Saskatchewan.

Interestingly in Ontario, Can-Am's province, the rule is performance based and not on weight at all..
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #2
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I gave never heard of an rv being stopped and weighed, but I guess it could happen if the combo looked dangerous. Now in the event of an accident, who knows. Jim
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:53 AM   #3
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The regulation appears to state that the trailer GVW limit is that the trailer can not be more than two times the GVW of the tow vehicle, if a weight distributing hitch is used.

At first glance, you would have a trailer limit of 13,800 lb. That is if you go by the GVWR, and I used your figure of 6900 lbs. However, the Saskatchewan regulations differentiate between GVW (actual) and GVWR (manufacturer's plate) and say that the trailer weight limit (not GVWR) can be no more than twice the vehicle GVW (defined as vehicle plus load, which would include your tongue weight for example). I still don't think you would be caught short.

The full text of the Saskatchewan regulations is here:

http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/documents/En...ns/V2-1R10.pdf

Some other interesting rules in the fine print. If towing with a car then a WDH is required for any trailer over 1600 kg (approx. 3500 lbs). That would appear to give sedans the same headroom as your truck, depending on their actual vehicle weight.

As an interesting side note, in 88 pages of definitions and regulations, the phrase "tow rating" does not show up even once in a search. To put that in context, the regulations do specify hitch ball diameter, hitch protrusion from the rear bumper, safety chain link dimensions, brake lining thickness, and many other details. But no mention of tow ratings.

The regulations also state that they apply to vehicles registered pursuant to the Saskatchewan Vehicle Administration Act. That suggests to me that vehicles registered and legal elsewhere are not covered by the regulations, but I would defer to legal experts on that. I would presume that my BC registered trailer could pass through as long as I complied with traffic regulations and any specific road weight limits. The BC Motor Vehicle Act allows vehicles registered and legal elsewhere to be used in BC without being subject to the motor vehicle act for a period of six months if the operator has not established residency.

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Old 02-10-2014, 06:29 AM   #4
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The regulation appears to state that the trailer GVW limit is that the trailer can not be more than two times the GVW of the tow vehicle, if a weight distributing hitch is used.
This has always been my understanding for Ontario as well.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:47 AM   #5
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Are the regulations enforced anywhere on privately owned vehicles?
Here the regulations are only enforced on commercial motor vehicles.
That having been said, moat tow vehicle/travel trailer combinations are under the CGVWR, albeit just barely-
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:30 AM   #6
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While the truck door label says GVW of 9,600 pounds, the tires and axles are rated 11,510 pounds. The tires and and axles are what DOT looks at for an inspection. I don't worry if I am under 10,500 pounds on the truck. If the trailer were fully loaded, we could push the combination weight of 20,000 pounds.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:53 AM   #7
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Both my Father and if I recall correctly my neighbor have been stopped and measured for possibly being oversized. My dad was just under the max width for the trailer (he built it so he KNEW it was legal). If I recall the details correctly, my neighbor had a quad cab, long bed truck towing a long bumper pull camper and was a few inches short of the max length.

Both cases were several years ago.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:43 PM   #8
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So-
If you are not obviously too wide or too long you won't have any problems-
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:49 AM   #9
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I figure that the 31' Classic model 30 with a ProPride hitch and the 20' Dodge will be close to 53' long with a combination weight around 18,000 pounds.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:24 AM   #10
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I don't know about other areas...

In the US you have 50+ different jurisdictions. In my state of NC they are not typically going to pull an RV rig over. Here it seems with the lighter trucks (under 26,000 GVW) they are more worried about the taxes, they make sure your license plates are for the correct weight of truck. My idiot company has been caught several times. The plate is supposed to cover the combined weight of the trailer and the truck. For several years I ran 20,000# plates on my F350 because I pulled a goose neck equipment trailer. I was only stopped once and was within the limits of the plates and the truck at that time. Now I only run 10,000# plates on it, saves me over $300 a year in fees.

There was a big enforcement push a few years ago where they were stopping obvious large vehicles (F250. F350, Excursion, etc) that were displaying passenger car/light truck plates. Those are only good up to 5,999#. My F350 weighs in at 7,000#+ empty. The base plate at the time was ~$55usd the weighted plates started at around $200. Follow the money trail...

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Old 02-11-2014, 06:39 AM   #11
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Regardless, travel trailers are privately owned are not DOT regulated.
It is totally different world.
Put some signs on it, use it in s business, put a DOT number on the door, and everything changes.
My company has been running either car or personal pickup tags for over 30 years until now. A couple of DOT violations is an expensive education.
Over the past year I have been replacing license plates with the proper weight tags on our fleet of 300 as they expire.
We have vehicles tagged from 10,000# to 26,000# depending on GVW and CGVW and whether it will tow a trailer.
That is another sticky area. If the tow vehicle has a state issued 16,000# or 26,000# tag, the trailer must have a state issued "semi" tag. If the tow vehicle has a county issued private pickup tag, the trailer must have a county issued private trailer tag. By this law, I can't tow my Airstream with a work truck with DOT numbers on the door and a can't tow a car trailer or cargo trailer with "semi" plate behind my personal pickup. That's just dumb , but it 's the law.
Also, drivers of commercial motor vehicles must use log books and are limited to 11 hours driving time. RV drivers are under no regulation even though their vehicles are just as long and heavy- and the drivers of RVs have had no special training-
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
So-
If you are not obviously too wide or too long you won't have any problems-
From a practical standpoint, I have towed several hundred thousand miles delivering travel trailers. Signs, ICC # etc and hundreds of thousands more privately.
In that time I have never been stopped and on the occasions I did go through a weigh station when running commercially the usual reaction was "why are you in here bothering us?"

I am aware of stories from other drivers but my experience in 49 states and most of Canada has been trouble free.

The odds are that you will never encounter a problem
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:05 PM   #13
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I have experienced that as well.
I go through the weigh station in every state at least once to see their reaction. They may wave me on or tell me not to come through there anymore. That is better than bypassing the scale and having a DOT man in a car chase you down and write you a ticket.
I tell my drivers when in doubt drive through. The person in the booth will tell you if it is necessary to cross scales in that particular state.
In 750,000+ miles I have never been pulled over or inspected.
Some of our drivers have, though.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:41 PM   #14
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We have had driver's in half ton pickups chased down by zealous (bored?) enforcement officers. Happened several times in Kentucky, Alabama, Florida and Ohio for some reason. The heavier trucks get stopped on a regular basis. We have only had one where we really got hit hard, but they deserved it.

They had pulled an old F450 off the back lot, inspections weren't current (tags apparently were) they were under GCVW but over on the rear axle weight. To add insult to injury they had way too much LP and flammable stuff on board and were not placarded. Ooops. The fact that the truck left the shop violates company policy, but when certain parties make decisions...

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