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Old 01-29-2006, 04:21 PM   #1
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,254
Underrated GVW on SOB's?

I was at an RV show today, and found several smallish travel trailers with very low GVRW's. I thought to myself it was great, they have figured out a way to allow smaller tow vehicles to tow travel trailers.
Trailer #1 was 14' long, plus hitch. It had a posted GVW of 1900 pounds, a believable weight, but with a 300 pound tongue weight. Hmmm... I looked around the inside of the trailer for the official manufacturer's build sheet, the owner of the RV store found it under the sink, behind a bunch of pipes.
GVWR there was listed at 3800 pounds! The trailer weighed over 2800 empty.
Trailer #2 showed a GVWR on the exterior placard as 1400 pounds, with a 900 pound empty weight. This also would be believable, as it was mainly fiberglass, with no air conditioner. Also, it was 13' long, not counting the hitch. Wrong again. I finally found the build sticker, and it weighed 2900 pounds empty, with a maximum allowable weight of 3495 pounds! Less than 600 pounds capacity for evreything you are going to put in it, including an air conditioner.
I am wondering if this is a new way to sell trialers to people that have tow vehicles that have a small towing capacity. They look at the tag on the outsid eof the trialer, and think they are okay, then find out down the road the thing weighs twice what it is supposed to...after an accident, or ruining their tow vehicle.Has anyone else noticed this gross understatement of GVW on SOB's?
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Old 01-29-2006, 04:24 PM   #2
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
OlyPen , Washington
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WOW! That's really alarming.. Most folks buying little trailers are probably first timers and are relying on that info when deciding if/how they can tow. If they are towing a trailer like that with an SUV - the weight difference could be dangerous.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:37 AM   #3
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2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Austin (Hays County) , Texas
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Not surprising!

My old Scamp 5th-wheel (actually a gooseneck, but they call it a fifth-wheel) was grossly mis-labeled. As labelled, it was well within the tow capacity of my Nissan SE-V6, but in reality was well out of the tire specs. I had to trade for a S-10 to pull it successfully. To boot, the tires were overloaded, especially on one side. After a number of disastrous tire failures, I cut away some fiberglass that allowed me to upgrade from 13" to 14" wheels. Letters to Scamp company were completely ignored.

When I had my 22' 2003 International AS, there was a 28' SOB with slideout parked next to me that had smaller tires than my 22' AS. That got me very curious, so I checked the data plate. They claimed quite a high carrying capacity, so I did some math and found that his tires were overloaded at the very best and that the figures just didn't calculate properly. I wish I would have had a chance to talk to the owner, but it wasn't there very long.
John W. Irwin
2018 Interstate GT, "Sabre-Dog V"
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:23 AM   #4
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2004 22' Interstate
Tipton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I have to agree... this is truly a 'caveat emptor' world these days. I refuse to believe anything I'm told regarding RVs and weight unless I can see the printed specs and do the math myself... and even then sometimes you have to wonder about the printed specs...

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