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Old 09-07-2006, 07:37 PM   #1
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Question '98 30' Excella 1000 Weight Limits - Walt & Lyn

Hi, to ALL,
We're new to this, so please bear with us until we get to know how things work.

OK, on Saturday we take delivery on a '98 AS 30' Excella 1000. From What we can tell, our GVWR is 8300# and our 'Dry Weight" is 7205. Now, it has a 60Gal. water tank (501# full) and 2 30# Propane Tanks and 2 Batteries weighing about 40# each. Is it true that our allowance for gear will be 8300 less 7205 less 501 less 60 (Propane) less 80 (Batteries) or a net of 454#? That's pretty tight. We'd like to know how others deal with this. And, also we'd like to know if we've done something wrong in the math.

Any comments & feedback will be appreciated.

We've held off on buying the tow vehicle (A Long Bed, Extended Cab pickup of some sort) until we're sure we understand what's needed.

Thanks,
Walt
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:22 PM   #2
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30' Excella

Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1
Hi, to ALL,
We're new to this, so please bear with us until we get to know how things work.

OK, on Saturday we take delivery on a '98 AS 30' Excella 1000. From What we can tell, our GVWR is 8300# and our 'Dry Weight" is 7205. Now, it has a 60Gal. water tank (501# full) and 2 30# Propane Tanks and 2 Batteries weighing about 40# each. Is it true that our allowance for gear will be 8300 less 7205 less 501 less 60 (Propane) less 80 (Batteries) or a net of 454#? That's pretty tight. We'd like to know how others deal with this. And, also we'd like to know if we've done something wrong in the math.

Any comments & feedback will be appreciated.

We've held off on buying the tow vehicle (A Long Bed, Extended Cab pickup of some sort) until we're sure we understand what's needed.

Thanks,
Walt
It's not a bleak as you think. I have the same trailer (97 30' Excella). My typical road weight runs about 73-7400 lbs on the tandems with slightly less than 1000 lbs of tongue weight. It's true that Airstream raised the GVWR on these trailers in later years (it's 10,000 lbs now). I'm not saying that you should ignore the GVWR, I just wouldn't worry that much about it as long as you don't overpack.

A sidebar concerning these trailers. This model Airstream has the lowest percentage of tongue weight of any of the wide-body Airstreams. Hitch setup is CRITICAL! The trailer must be either absolutely level or even slightly nose down when attached to the tow vehicle. The hitch MUST transfer some of the tongue weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle.
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:44 PM   #3
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hi driver1 and welcome to the forums...

congrats on owning an airstream...

looks like you've got the math right.

there have been models and years,

where the carrying capacity for 30/31/34s is less than 1000lbs

and half that with water on board.

buyers of used trailers really need to consider these issues...

as steve suggests there are ways to deal with this...

carry less water, always empty the waste tanks, and so on.

also with an adequate 3/4 ton tv, put more stuff in the truck.

keep an eye on the tires. pressure and age are the issues.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-07-2006, 09:53 PM   #4
2006 F350 V10 Ext. Cab LB
 
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Hi Steve,

When you say "It's true that Airstream raised the GVWR on these trailers in later years (it's 10,000 lbs now).", does that mean they just recalculated with different safety margins, or did they actually change something in the suspension?

I've read that 10 to 15% of the trailer weight should be on the hitch and I was planning on 12%. This seems to fit with your obsservations (ie. about 1000#).

How much Linens, cookware, clothing, Blenders, fishing rods, etc. weight do you load? Your 7400# indicates 195# over the dry weight. Do you travel with an empty water tank?

I really want to know! Please respond.

By the way, I tried http://airstreaminca.blogspot.com/ and got nothing -- maybe it's my browser (AOL).

Thanks for the reply - I know than I did,
Walt
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:20 PM   #5
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Hi 2air',

That prior response to Steve should have said "I know more than I did".

I hope that name means you have 2. You have a lot of posts -- I appreciate that since I do Excel VBA postings (Backed off lately)!

Thanks for the response. I wish I didn't have the math right! That really is tight. We're OK with more in the truck, but need to know -- how much if we want to have 2000# ceiling on gear? Looks like ~1500# is real. The truck buy is critical.

Learning is a GOOD thing - tell me more please,
Walt
If it's good stuff others should find, please post to the forum. If it's very specific (And not relevant to others), please write me at:
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:00 PM   #6
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hi driver1

airsteam did change things...
they used axles with higher ratings and wheels and tires with higher ratings...

i'm not sure if they modified the frames in any way or spec'd different frames...from the vendor.

for example the 34s were uprated in 05 by a 1000lbs or so just by doing axles, wheels and tires...i've got one....

so IF i owned a unit with more limited carrying capacity...
and IF i wanted to upgrade it...

if and when the brakes need work or tires are toast...
i'd consider going to wheels/tires with higher limits,
then add rubber torsen axles with higher ratings...

this would cost 3-5 grand....and i'd call the factory service center for expert opinions on IF this would work....

but it might just be easier to enjoy the trailer 'as is' for a few years and then trade for one with higher ratings...

the same issues exist for the 3/4 ton truck...some years have higher payloads because of bigger axles, tires, wheels...

so you will need to do the math of the tv too.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:13 AM   #7
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Walt -

I have a 2004 30' Classic, with an 8700# GVWR and a 600# carying capacity, per the trailer's specs.

However, I believe the published weights are theoretical, and do not reflect any options that may have been included (or perhaps deleted) from the standard "base" trailer. It's probably best to go to a CAT scale and have your trailer weighed when it is fully loaded as you'd normally expect to travel.

The problem I have is that when I've loaded everything in my truck and trailer (F250 4x4 PSD) my truck is slightly overweight, and I'm approaching the theoretical total weight limits of the truck and trailer combined. However, having made several cross country trips, including driving up and down the Rocky Mountains in the western US and Canada, I've not yet incurred an actual problem.

I ordinarily do not carry water in any of my holding tanks - the fresh water tank alone holds just over 500#.

John
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Old 09-08-2006, 07:53 AM   #8
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Hi to ALL,

Thanks for the elaborate responses.

Do the 8300# GVWR and the fact that about 1000# is on the tongue/hitch mean that the axles/wheels/tires are really only rated at about 7300#?

Thanks,
Walt
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Old 09-08-2006, 09:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1
Hi Steve,

When you say "It's true that Airstream raised the GVWR on these trailers in later years (it's 10,000 lbs now).", does that mean they just recalculated with different safety margins, or did they actually change something in the suspension?

I've read that 10 to 15% of the trailer weight should be on the hitch and I was planning on 12%. This seems to fit with your obsservations (ie. about 1000#).

How much Linens, cookware, clothing, Blenders, fishing rods, etc. weight do you load? Your 7400# indicates 195# over the dry weight. Do you travel with an empty water tank?

I really want to know! Please respond.

By the way, I tried http://airstreaminca.blogspot.com/ and got nothing -- maybe it's my browser (AOL).

Thanks for the reply - I know than I did,
Walt
Walt,

According to Airstream (I got these figures from the AS factory website) both the 97 & 98 30' Excellas weigh 6810 lbs dry with a 610 lb tongue weight. The tongue weight is included in the dry weight.

When I said 73-7400 lbs on my tandems AND nearly 1000 lbs of tongue weight you need to add the two together to get my trailer total road weight. I'm pushing 81-8300 lbs TOTAL when I'm loaded. As long as I'm well under my axle ratings I don't worry too much about my total weight. My tongue weight observations are a "SWAG", in other words I've never dropped the trailer and gotten an exact tongue weight. I know that it's less than 1000 lbs, just not sure how much less.
My trailer has 225/75-15 load range D Marathons (just like the 06 Classics). Airstream specs 50 PSI cold, I run a minimum of 55 PSI.

I know from experience (used to own a slide-in camper) that we carry about 800 lbs of "stuff" inside the trailer plus water and LPG. I travel with a full or nearly full water tank as we dry-camp every chance we get.

I checked this morning and my blog page is working fine. AOL won't let you access outside pages by clicking on them. Open a seperate browser and you can access it without problems. This was one of the many reasons I gave up AOL so many years ago.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1
Do the 8300# GVWR and the fact that about 1000# is on the tongue/hitch mean that the axles/wheels/tires are really only rated at about 7300#?Thanks,Walt
well the brain wheels are turning now...thinking is good.

short answer no.

your trailer axles and oem tires were rated to carry the full gvwr...
and the fact that 10-15% of that load
should be near the front for ideal towing characteristics,
doesn't mean you're allowed to add more stuff beyond the gvwr...

it is important to think in terms of the weakest link...
tires, wheels and axles are rated for the fully loaded figure...
trailer brakes are expected to slow/stop the fully loaded trailer...
packing that load properly gives good handling
w/d systems help redistribute tongue mass to the steering wheels/axles and the trialer axles...
receiver and hitch and safety chains also must be properly rated..
w/d must be at or near tongue weight..
and many try to stay 10-20% under all the limits...
others are right at them and still safe...
and so on...

flyfisher advice to visit a scale and measure weights is very important...
steer axle, drive axle, trailer axles, tongue, trailer, truck and total rig.
and some measures with various w/d systems....

while he mentions being near/over on the truck...
understanding the truck rating and how they evolve is important...
the 2000 superduty psd and the 2005 sd psd have basically the same frame...so why a higher rating on the newer model?
well, a little more power/torque, bigger brakes, higher rated axles and springs to match.

so my view is that means the 2000 may have a longer brake distance or accelerate slower
or wheel bearings may wear a little quicker or truck brake pads ....over the long term...
but springs, axles, brakes and tires could be uprated as aftermarket mods,
and exhaust, timing and air intake changes could bring power up...

no one wants to blindly violate the ratings...but understanding them is useful just like getting on the scales.

there is lots of good info in the archives here...search or browse the towing threads...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:45 PM   #11
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Weights!

FWIW-My rig loaded:

Truck front Axle: 4200 lbs
Truck rear axle: 3940 lbs
Trailer tandems: 7320
Total: 15460 lbs

My truck weighs 6800 lbs wet but otherwise empty, my wife, 4 year old son, and 1 small dog were in the truck. About 300 lbs of stuff in the bed of the truck. I was not in the truck when it was weighed.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:47 PM   #12
2006 F350 V10 Ext. Cab LB
 
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Hi,

Hi,

The rig configuration I'm working toward is a bit unusual. The boat and it's trailer are hauled up into the pickup bed by a winch and rail system, then the Airstream hooks on normally. Below are the calcs I'm working with so far (Copied in from an Excel sheet - the graphic of the rig wouldn't load here).

I hope this works.

Walt


Ford F250 5.4 Gas SCab LB 4.1 Axle 4x2 / 1998 Airstream Classic Excella 1000 30'9/8/2006 14:41Unused
Capacity
VehicleGCWR (Combined Wt)18,0001,496
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:50 PM   #13
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Well that's chopped & reshuffled.

Is there a way to insert or attach PDF or Excel files?

Walt
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:51 PM   #14
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well steve

those measurements look pretty good,

to this rookie truck guy.

and still way under the limits for gvwr and gawr...

thanks for sharing...

also i hadn't had enough coffee in my last post.

how could i forget the 05s dropped the front leaf springs

going back to coils and big radius arms...giving us a smaller turning circle

and ford did stiffen the frames along with these changes

adding to the increased gvwr and gcwr...

and axles rated above 6k front and rear....

so the 05s differ more from the 00s than my last post implied...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:56 PM   #15
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500# is a lot of stuff...

Many of the members here prefer to travel with empty holding tanks, and fresh water tank less than half full, for a variety of reasons.. It is usually easy to find place to empty holding tanks when leaving campground (if no full hookups..) and it is also usually possible to find fresh water supply when needed if you are going to be "dry camping" somewhere without easy hose access for fresh water...

That said, 500 pounds or so is a lot for typical stuff in the trailer, including clothing, food, linens, books and utensils/cookware.. You may be forced to go with flat screen TV for weight purposes ( ) and keep other things like firewood and barbecue in the back of the truck.. What you do take in the trailer might benefit from balancing, to assure heavy items in front, and not in rear-most storage compartments, to keep weight on front hitch...

As for the truck, one of the reasons for trying to keep GVWR of trailer at 80-85% or so of truck's towing capacity is so extras like passengers and luggage and generators and other stuff in truck (which counts against its total towing capacity) doesn't contibute to overload when you drive away... The two groups of people whose oral assurances should be tested carefully are truck salespersons and RV salespersons... SOME of them might be tempted to dismiss proper concerns in the interest of making a sale.... Look at the manufacturer's materials and window stickers and other documentation, and rely on that more than on glowing claims from salespersons...

John McG
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1
Well that's chopped & reshuffled.Is there a way to insert or attach PDF or Excel files?Walt
sure walt....scroll down to the 'manage attachments' button...
text, pdf and the other options...just check your size and byte limits and reduce them as needed.

i think excel files would need to be converted to text documents

so you are planning to load a boat IN the truck bed before hooking up the trailer....cool.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:35 PM   #17
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Duh!

Shoudda seen that scrollbar!

I'll try the PDF of the sheet.

Walt
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File Type: pdf RigCapacities.pdf (61.9 KB, 100 views)
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:56 PM   #18
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My '89 Excella is slightly better but not much allowing a
1000-1200lb load in the trailer and combined with my
Nissan Titan I often run right at the combined limit and even over as I full-time and have to carry more stuff. In
spite of that it works.

Steve
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Driver1
Hi,

The rig configuration I'm working toward is a bit unusual. The boat and it's trailer are hauled up into the pickup bed by a winch and rail system, then the Airstream hooks on normally. Below are the calcs I'm working with so far (Copied in from an Excel sheet - the graphic of the rig wouldn't load here).

I hope this works.

Walt


Ford F250 5.4 Gas SCab LB 4.1 Axle 4x2 / 1998 Airstream Classic Excella 1000 30'9/8/2006 14:41Unused
Capacity
VehicleGCWR (Combined Wt)18,0001,496
Walt,

Here's my take on your proposed combination. Unless you have already found this combination (5.4 V8/4.10 gears) on a dealer's lot you will have to order it. 18 months ago when I was shopping for a truck I attempted to find this combination and came up dry. If you have to order it you will pay closer to MSRP than if you take a truck already on the dealer's lot. Just because Ford says that you can move 18,000 lbs with the 5.4/4.10 combination doesn't means it's a good idea.

Based on my experience with my rig I'm REALLY GLAD I bought a diesel. With a combined weight of over 15,000 lbs my rig moves SMARTLY but I never forget that I have an 8,000 lb + trailer behind me. My truck produces 570 lb ft of torque at only 2000 RPM, 205 lb ft MORE than the 5.4 makes @ 3750 RPM. Besides the quantity of power available from the diesel it's the quality. When my engine upshifts at 3300 RPM (a RPM level a gas is just starting to wake up at) it comes down ABOVE it's torque peak and keeps accellerating. When traffic forces me to slow when climbing a 6% grade I have enough power on tap to get back to speed, with a 5.4 if you loose speed in the mountains YOU'LL NEVER GET IT BACK!

If you absolutely do not want a diesel then save your sanity and buy the V10 with at least 4.10 gears.
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Old 09-08-2006, 08:41 PM   #20
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well driver1....

i sure hope others glance at this thread,
and your proposal...
if for no other reason than,
it may be the single most organized i've yet 2 see here....

here are a few quick thoughts...
more this weekend when i can look again.

--don't see where you included the weight of a w/d hitch...
this will be 100-250lbs more on the tv...

--ford's curb weight doesn't include options...
like the receiver or step-in bars or bed liners and so on...
so unless and until you get a real user weight for the truck...expect it 2 b more.

--besides towing ratings for mass, frontal area is an issue...a/s are sleek but the boat sticking up does add resistance beyond it's weight....not as much as a big 5th wheel, but more than just the airstream and a payload. and this issue does affect towing, mpg, control and so on... on the + side, your photo appears to be a short bed. the long bed you suggest will allow the boat to ride a bit lower...

--your boat mass isn't just IN the bed. some is over the cab....so this arrangement may be the one time ford's optional 'camper package' may be usefull....higher rated springs, rear antisway bar and a certificate to pinpoint center of gravity over the cab....of course IF this option is added the truck will weight a little more

--i agree completly with steve the 5.4/4.1 combo is hard to find and likely will need to be ordered. i like the diesel option here too, but if you are really opposed 2diesel...get the v10.

what year truck? if 05 or newer you can get 10k+ gvwr...more than the 9.2 in your calculations...so more payload capacity.

2x4 is a wise choice.
a bigger engine will pull this mass better.
but none of this expands the carrying capacity of the trailer....
a higher gvwr for the truck will provide more carrying capacity...

more later...

and again you should be commended for working hard on these details and giving us so many of the figures...

common folks give the man some experienced opinions!

cheers
2air'
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