Technical Tips #11
By Bob Lowe
Paxinos Technical Seminar Overview (#4)
The Fall BOA Rally in Paxinos covered many seminars about our Bounders. The following is some additional hints and notes.
A'Weigh We Go: One of the most popular sessions at the rally was this one. John Anderson led us through the labyrinth of definitions, regulations, tire ratings and ultimately how to deal with overweight situations. Everyone had the opportunity to have their rig weighed upon departure and many invested the $25.00US to find out the exact weight of their Bounder as it is loaded for travel, including passengers. John used slides projected on an overhead projector to graphically make his points. He said that 2/3rd of the rigs that he has weighed (motorhomes, travel trailers and 5th Wheel trailers) exceed one of their capacities. Usually the excess weight is in the form of an overloaded tire or side on an axle and often the overweight condition is not over the capacity for the whole axle. Reflect on that statement for a moment. All axle ratings and tire ratings assume that the load is evenly distributed, yet in the real world that is not the case. He reminded us that he see the larger RV's and probably a greater number of rigs where there may be an overload concern thus the statistic is not necessarily
He has advocated weighing a completed rig at the end of assembly line, however manufacturers are reluctant to install the equipment citing cost, delays, and (realistically) better knowledge that might put them at a competitive disadvantage if some their competitors choose not to do so. Since September 1996 all manufacturers that are members of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) have agreed to post estimated weights of their production units as they are built. The weight of dealer installed items must be added and John recommends that a purchase be conditional upon the vehicle being taken to a certified scale and weighed so that the load on each tire position is determined. This will tell you how much "room" (carrying capacity) you have and where it is.