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Old 07-02-2019, 09:19 PM   #1
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CAT Scale says my AI is overweight

CAT Scale says my AI is overweight

On our trip to Grand Junction CO this week, we filled up our propane & diesel prior to checking in at Palisade Basecamp. I noticed a CAT Scale (Certified Automatic Truck Scale) in the commercial trucks area. It was open, empty, and no line. I have only heard of these scales but never used it. Drove onto the scale, followed posted sign/procedure, front axle on 1st pad & rear axle on 2nd pad. Pressed attendant button, got weighed within seconds, cost = $11.50

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Here's my cargo during weigh-in:
1. Full tank of diesel
2. Full propane (85% on monitor display)
3. Fresh tank at 54%
4. Grey tank at 5%
5. Black tank at 0%
6. Adults x4 (avg. 150 lbs, except pregnant daughter)
7. Child x1 (4 yr. old)
8. Soft supplies - 5x duffel bags of clothes, beddings, pillows, sleeping bags, blankets, towels,
9. Hard supplies - full hookups items (cords, hoses, connectors), 4 lawn chairs, Igloo ice maker, child stroller, folding stick ladder, beach umbrella, child seat, 55-qt. cooler (no ice), fridge (full of drinks), Progressive Surge Protector, Dyson V7 car vac
10. Very minimum amount of tools, almost ZERO spare parts, no hitch carrier, not pulling
trailer

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The results -

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Steer axle = 4,000 lbs. (GAWR = 4,410 lbs.)
Drive axle = 7,120 lbs. (GAWR = 7,720 lbs.)
Gross Weight = 11,120 lbs. (GVWR= 11,030 lbs.)

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So while I am below the axle ratings, I am 90 lbs. overweight.

My AI has 9 seatbelts and an enormous amount of storage capacity that is not even 75% full. I don't even have the 4x AGM that newer MY have. But I do have VB Air and E&P Hydraulic Levelers - so I realize I have some massive built-in added weight by virtue of these options.

So what's the point of my thread? This is not about complaining or ranting. It is about reminding everyone how close our rigs are to being overweight. Those who have hitch carriers, roof racks, extra batts, tons of spare parts, and towing a trailer on top of all that - I would recommend periodic weigh-ins. I like to use my equipment within it's ALLOWABLE and SAFEST parameters. Not only for personal preference, but the obvious liability, insurance, warranty, & long term reliability issues.

So, I am putting my AI through the weight reduction process. To start, right off the bat, I have removed many un-needed and/or un-used items. Some of these items will be replaced with much lighter devices, while others will stay off.
1. OEM Corian hex table (we rarely eat inside van)
2. Wooden round tables x2 (DIY) (we rarely eat inside van)
3. Metal serving trays x4
4. Aluminum table posts x2
5. Bulky, heavy lawn chairs x4 (replaced with lighter, slimmer hiking chairs)
6. Child folding chairs X3
7. Redundant power cords, connectors, adapters, hoses, portable inverter
8. Bigger, redundant fire extinguisher
9. Paper User Manuals (all manuals downloaded in multiple phones)
10. Rifle case (used for tent & umbrella poles & misc. other extension poles)
11. Hitch step (36" removed, replaced by 12")
12. Larger TV's front & rear replaced with smaller units
13. Telesteps 14ES replaced with smaller SLD-D5 Stick ladder
14. Tire jacks

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More weight reduction to come later.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:32 PM   #2
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ALEX - you have discovered the dirty little secret of RVs. Most are overweight going down the road. The new Sprinters now come in a 4500 model that has a GVWR of 12,125 lbs.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:37 PM   #3
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Was it loaded with all persons on board. I think we sometimes forget people weight
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:48 PM   #4
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Good luck on your problem. There are a lot if different opinions. I am impressed, you pack a lot of fun in the trailer from the pictures.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
ALEX - you have discovered the dirty little secret of RVs. Most are overweight going down the road. The new Sprinters now come in a 4500 model that has a GVWR of 12,125 lbs.
MIKE - I knew lots of rv's are going down the road overweight. I just did not realize (as conscientious as I was about being in spec, and not trying to shove everything in every nook & cranny, but that I too am just as guilty of being g overweight as that guy my wife & I were making fun of as we passed them (TV rear axle totally bogged down, rear bumper dragging and T.T. swerving about dangerously. Commented to her about it being an accident waiting to happen, then hours later I find myself in same boat (just a difference in amount/degree of overweightness, but still guilty nonetheless)

Would be nice to have that 4500 sometime.

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Was it loaded with all persons on board. I think we sometimes forget people weight
MANSDERM161 - Yes, the AI was weighed in with all of us inside. Definite eye-opener.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:08 PM   #6
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Alex, that is a bit surprising considering you're not even near your full passenger capacity. Your tanks weren't too bad (kinda average or slightly below). Maybe a bit much on gear to keep your passengers happy.

But you're barely over so you should be fine. Now that you know your weight, you'll be able to manage it.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
Good luck on your problem. There are a lot if different opinions. I am impressed, you pack a lot of fun in the trailer from the pictures.
BWEYBRIGHT - Thanks. We do have 2 grandkids, soon to be 3, so we try to bring as much fun stuff in. With our precious little ones, things like beach stuff (umbrellas, beach balls, inflatable water toys), ice maker, and strollers are much needed. So having to sacrifice other non-essentials
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
Alex, that is a bit surprising considering you're not even near your full passenger capacity. Your tanks weren't too bad (kinda average or slightly below). Maybe a bit much on gear to keep your passengers happy.

But you're barely over so you should be fine. Now that you know your weight, you'll be able to manage it.
ROWIEBOWIE - I know, shocked me. I thought maybe close but not over. And the 4 adults are all small people (though was afraid to ask pregnant daughter her weight for fear of a tantrum) And you would be surprised how much storage space still had, if I really crammed it in. I always believed the AI had a lot more storage volume than it's weight capacities, so I never used 100% of all that space.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:20 PM   #9
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Who thinks that the 90 pounds actually makes a real difference?

The real dirty secret is that it doesn't.

Yeah, some of you will disagree, but still, in the end it still doesn't make any difference.

#JustSayin
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
BWEYBRIGHT - Thanks. We do have 2 grandkids, soon to be 3, so we try to bring as much fun stuff in. With our precious little ones, things like beach stuff (umbrellas, beach balls, inflatable water toys), ice maker, and strollers are much needed. So having to sacrifice other non-essentials
Or follow the words of my 25 year old son (who drives an 80,000 concrete mixer truck these days and said" Dude - get your class A like I did or figure out what you want to haul and makes you happy in your life, that is what I did".

From your list of hauling stuff I think you are good.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
ALEX - you have discovered the dirty little secret of RVs. Most are overweight going down the road. The new Sprinters now come in a 4500 model that has a GVWR of 12,125 lbs.
What amazes me AI peeps, is when you get into a discussion with "trailers" and towing, that some believe weight distribution hitching erases weight! Nah, the weight is still there, you are just redistributing it. "No, my hitch is rated to remove 1400 lbs!
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Old 07-03-2019, 04:56 AM   #12
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I thought that Airstream had fixed this problem in the NCV3s? I thought that was the whole point of going dually? Apparently I was mistaken.

The T1N Interstate runs an even greater risk of exceeding its GVWR of 8,550 pounds - Airstream even said so (somewhat snarkily) in its own user's manual. Quoth:

"Do you really want to carry 300 pounds of water to a RV park 1,000 miles away and then hook up to a city water supply? Even if you’re going to the “boondocks”, you can usually fill your water tank shortly before entering the area. Just reducing your load by 10 gallons of water lets you carry an awful lot of fishing and camping gear." (page B-1)

Which leaves the reader with the obvious question, "Seriously? Y'all cut the design parameters so close that I have to drop water just to carry my danged fishing poles?"

And which leaves the reader with the obvious annoyance, "Seriously? YOU under-design and then chastise ME for putting water in my tank? Like it's MY fault that you did this?"

Moral of both stories (T1N and NCV3): Weigh your vans. We have - I know to within 100 pounds what it weighs in any given scenario. We are able to maintain ourselves below GVWR. A lot of our compliance is achieved by almost never carrying more than 2 fairly thin people (even though we have 6 seatbelts).
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Old 07-03-2019, 05:08 AM   #13
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This affects us Classic motorhome guys as well. Not many realize how close to the GVWR rating the motorhome weighs empty and dry. You're lucky to have 1100 lbs to play with; and that includes passengers and payload.

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Old 07-03-2019, 05:22 AM   #14
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ALEX - you have discovered the dirty little secret of RVs. Most are overweight going down the road.
. . .
Bingo!

Corporate profits would suffer if they supplied RV's with more-than-marginal weight ratings!

Greed eclipses your family's safety, basically.

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Old 07-03-2019, 06:06 AM   #15
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All class B mh have the sameproblem with overweight, it is not just AS. All that comfort stuff inside is heavy. Everything us a compromise.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:09 AM   #16
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It is also consumer greed, we want to take the house with us with all the comforts of home. The only time these are unsafe is when the owner overloads them due to stupidity.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:10 AM   #17
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The only time these are unsafe is when the owner overloads them due to stupidity.
True. While the GVWR is 11,030, and you're "safe" below that weight, that doesn't mean that you're automatically "unsafe" at 11,031. Contrary to what many people think, engineering (even automotive engineering) is not an exact science. There is always as "fudge factor," better and more properly known as a "factor of safety," applied to weight capacity calculations.

But just because the factor of safety gives one a little bit of leeway, that doesn't mean you can flaunt it, in part because we don't know exactly WHAT factor of safety was used. There's a big difference between a 1.1 factor of safety and a 1.5 factor of safety! (And I'm sure it's a lot closer to 1.1 in a Sprinter than not.) A few pounds over GVWR or above a gross axle weight rating may still be functionally safe, but be sure to drive accordingly. Allow extra stopping distance, don't have a lead foot on the accelerator, take turns a little bit slower.

Which brings up another point: we pay attention to GVWR and gross axle weighs, but VERTICAL weight distribution also matters! The lower the weight is carried, the better. For example, a high-roof Sprinter has a maximum roof loading of just 600 pounds. Do you know how much your awning, air conditioner, solar panels, etc. add up to?

By the way, one reason for having a factor of safety is to account for metal fatigue, corrosion, and other symptoms of age. So the older your vehicle, the more important it is to keep the gross weight and axle weights down, because just like with people, age takes its toll (like the saying goes, "If I had known I would live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself!")
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:36 AM   #18
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...a high-roof Sprinter has a maximum roof loading of just 600 pounds. ...
Source?

The only weight reference I have ever found with respect to the T1N is Airstream's published 100-pound limit for its custom installed roof rack (and that information is only published in certain owners manuals, even though every T1N has such a rack regardless of model year (MY)). We put our solar panels on ours, so we had to evaluate that.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:50 AM   #19
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Interesting... I am so grateful for all the recommendations and the thread on compact, tiny, light weight stuff...


Full tank of diesel
Full tank of DEF
Full tank of propane (well...90%)
15% Fresh water tank
Empty gray, black tank
Full of food ARB freezer
Four batteries, 4 solar panels, air compressor
All tools, hoses, grill, 4 chairs, three tables, cooking ware, etc. We never take that out.
Fridge only had a couple of drinks
Backpacks we take, bed sheets, and clothing for the four of us
Just me in the AI when I did the weighting... add approximately 400 lbs for the rest of the crew (wife, daughter and son)...


So this should be our weight going forward minus the kids that no longer travel with us. Oh, I need to do this weight exercise again during a trip when we take the Vespa with us and have the fresh water tank at 60-70% as we are doing lately... humm...


I am looking at replacing the table, I agree, that sucker is unnecessarily heavy.



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Old 07-03-2019, 08:04 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
Interesting... I am so grateful for all the recommendations and the thread on compact, tiny, light weight stuff...


Full tank of diesel
Full tank of DEF
Full tank of propane (well...90%)
15% Fresh water tank
Empty gray, black tank
Full of food ARB freezer
Four batteries, 4 solar panels, air compressor
All tools, hoses, grill, 4 chairs, three tables, cooking ware, etc. We never take that out.
Fridge only had a couple of drinks
Backpacks we take, bed sheets, and clothing for the four of us
Just me in the AI when I did the weighting... add approximately 400 lbs for the rest of the crew (wife, daughter and son)...


So this should be our weight going forward minus the kids that no longer travel with us. Oh, I need to do this weight exercise again during a trip when we take the Vespa with us and have the fresh water tank at 60-70% as we are doing lately... humm...


I am looking at replacing the table, I agree, that sucker is unnecessarily heavy.



Wow, 840 lbs less than Alex. He had more in his tanks plus leveling and air ride but still a big difference.

Maybe it's those 500 switches and outlets he's added. Those little suckers begin to add up after a while.
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