I want to agree with you, Bryan, but you seem to be moving the bar. You say you are not aware of any laws. I cite a law
Sorry. My intent was to avoid unnecessary conflict and quibbling. To me, bringing in one section of a law without any context and without the definitions of terms that go with it does not "cite" a law. You should see how Nevada defines vehicle "gross weight" in statutes for example. But I'll take the absolute I used as an error on my part and change it to a generality based on your assertion. The lesson for me is that you gotta' be really really careful in threads like this about how you spout generalities as it can get worse than a lawyer picking apart a contract if somebody doesn't like it.
The citation of statute and case law in discussions like this is problematic. In order to interpret them properly takes a significant amount of care. I find that even the LEO giving me a traffic citation and the assistant DA prosecuting the ticket are not often aware of what the law actually says. Like everyone else, they see what they want to and not much more if they can help it.
As noted, the law can be "whatever the judge wants it to be on any given day" which is why case law and enforcement behavior are indeed relevant as they help define the importance of what is in the statutes relative to everything else of concern.
re " I don't see where a cordial discussion on towing capacity has anything to do with "fear mongering."" - My point is that we should stick to facts and reality on issues like this and avoid beliefs and imaginings. That is why I listed a number of common facts that I think illustrate the normal circumstances as a contrast to 'what if' or 'what might be' or the attempt to use a single data point to refute a generality.
I agree that insurance policies and warranties are contracts. That is why they should be read carefully. I agree that we live in a litigious society which is why it is ever more important to pay attention to the words in contracts and agreements. Where the messy part comes in is when someone tries to assert that something is written when it really isn't, when they believe something that isn't really so. The legal process, thankfully, does tend to go by the words written down most of the time.
I think it only reasonable to encourage more prudence, caution and diligence
I mean, how can anyone disagree with this?
The fact of the matter, though, is that you take a risk in everything you do. You balance the risk with the benefits and make a decision. The choice to drive an RV is often more expensive and much more of a safety risk than taking an airplane flight, for instance. But we do it anyway. The evidence points towards the fact that exceeding a GCWR or even a GVWR is usually a negligible risk for the typical RVer.
IMHO, we shouldn't be making a mountain out of a molehill but rather keep our attention on issues that do involve significant risk. As the title of the thread indicates, towing numbers are not always what they seem. We shouldn't put too much weight in them at the expense of issues that will have more impact on how we can enjoy our RV safely. Your best defensible position is to take care of the most important factors first and not let the little stuff hobble you.