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Old 09-08-2016, 11:08 AM   #41
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Okay, I got our Vegas weighed with all fluids full, gas topped off, both dogs present (large lab laying between front seats), fully loaded with food, drinks and camping goodies heading out for Labor Day. Front Axle was 5000lbs, Drive Axle 7,840 for a total of 12,840 lbs. According to the sticker next to the driverseat max is 12,500 lbs.
Technically the Front axle is at Max and the total is at 340 lbs over.
The Load and Inflation Table Standards for the LT225/75R16 puts front tire pressure at between 70-75 lbs and rear pressure at just under 60 lbs.
My rookie questions: is the 340 over the limit safe? Is it "ticket worthy"? Prior to starting to tow; anyone have an estimate of weight added when a flat tow is added? Can the GVWR be increased with aftermarket suspension mods?

Doc
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:37 AM   #42
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If you tow 4-down then there is basically nothing added to your GVWR as there is no tongue weight (even with a dolly you are adding very little).

I've been camping for 17+ years and have never been pulled over or ticketed for being over GVWR or GCWR (and haven't heard of anyone having been either). Presumably to be ticketed the cops would have to make you weigh it..not an easy thing to do. Thus I think you'll be just fine being "some change" over GVWR legally. I would suspect you'd get the ticket as a secondary offense somehow, or if you were waived into a truck weigh station but I've never seen that either.

Physically: I bet the E350 and E450 chassis are so similar that the extra few lbs won't make much of a difference either. The only thing I'd be worried about is the axle weight ratings.

No: You can't add to GVWR with any modifications period.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:54 PM   #43
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Jamie, thanks for the input.

For the rear axle I can shave a hundred lbs or so by emptying the gray and black water prior to leaving the house for any roadtrip.
As far as the front axle...looks like another reason to go on a diet

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Old 09-08-2016, 01:06 PM   #44
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Well usually you'll travel with full fresh and waste empty, or empty fresh and waste full.

I can't think of a time when I've traveled with full fresh and full waste tanks.

When I'm going somewhere I know will have full hook-up I'll even travel with about 1/3 fresh and empty waste tanks. This past weekend was electric only so we drove there with full fresh and empty waste and drove home with empty fresh and empty waste (dump station on the park exit).

The only time we weighed our 24.1 was about two weeks after we picked it up. Had it loaded with all our stuff, all 3 of us, and full fresh water. It came in at 11,400 lbs. Since then I've figured I had about 1,000 lbs to play with so I'm ok. Now that I've added jacks and some other stuff, though, I bet I'm inching up there...might even be at 12,000 lbs now LOL. (Note that the jacks I'm mentioning are just BAL scissor jacks--not power leveling jacks which would probably put us over.)
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:33 PM   #45
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Jamie,

Thanks for the info.

Last year either you or maybe Ed posted where you repaired leaky rear turn signal lights using the black spray rubber "AS SEEN ON TV" stuff. Was that you and/or do remember where it was posted?
When packing up after the Labor Day roadtrip I noted a musty smell in the back and the floor covering directly behind the turn signals looked a little puffy. Looks like I have a project for the weekend.

Doc
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Old 09-08-2016, 01:44 PM   #46
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That was me in this thread:
http://www.thorforums.com/forums/f27...axis-1433.html
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:41 PM   #47
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Jamie,

I appreciate the thread info. Are you still satisfied with the result and current seal?

Doc
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:01 PM   #48
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So far, so good. I haven't noticed any moisture getting into the lights and I haven't disassembled them to check.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:57 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMike View Post

....cut....

Can the GVWR be increased with aftermarket suspension mods?

Doc
Most suspension modifications actually add to the "Gross Vehicle Weight", and since legally you keep same maximum "Rating", the useful load carrying capacity is reduced.

Whether it's a steering "stabilizer" or heavier sway bars, these add weight to motorhome (albeit not much) that reduce load carrying capacity.



There must be a way to legally re-certify a chassis to a higher GVWR, but I don't know how complicated and expensive that would get. I expect it's not practical for us as owners. I know large businesses do it though.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:43 PM   #50
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Chance, just hoping maybe there was a Cheap Fix to upgrade a E350 chassis to the limits of an E450. Had to ask.

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Old 09-08-2016, 07:06 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
....cut...

Physically: I bet the E350 and E450 chassis are so similar that the extra few lbs won't make much of a difference either. The only thing I'd be worried about is the axle weight ratings.

....cut.....
I recently found the 2017 MY Ford specs for cutaway and stripped E-Series chassis, and nothing much has changed yet (they may make some spec revisions later with V8 engine because of weight differences, etc.).

Anyway, as before, the chassis frame is described identically for both E-350 and E-450 stripped chassis. The section modulus is 5.73 cu. in. for both, and both have 36,000 PSI steel.

The front axle is the same at 5,000 pounds, although some E-350 get lighter front springs which derate capacity. As can be seen on picture posted previously above, some if not all Axis come with optional 5,000-pound front capacity (heavier springs). Sway bar is the same for both.

The main difference remains the rear axle assembly and rear springs. E-350s get the 8,500-pound axle while E-450s get the heavier duty 9,600-pound axle. In theory there is an 1,100-pound difference, yet GVWR difference is 2,000 pounds (12,500 vs 14,500).

Wheels and tires remain the same for DRW E-350s and E-450s. Only the SRW E-350s get larger wheels and tires.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:15 PM   #52
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Chance, just hoping maybe there was a Cheap Fix to upgrade a E350 chassis to the limits of an E450. Had to ask.

Doc
Doc, I think there is. Read my reply above to Jamie.

"Cheap" is relative, but I think replacing the rear axle and springs may do it -- although it would not address the legal certification.

Personally, I don't think it would be worth it. Unless you are pushing the rear axle's 8,500-pound rating, what would you really gain?

Plus these truck chassis are designed to be driven far more miles than what they will likely see as motorhomes.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:47 PM   #53
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Chance,

Nope, just 7,840 on the rear axle. So,I'll stay with what I have for now. If we upgrade later I will be sure to get the E450.

Thanks.

Doc
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:35 PM   #54
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I'd prefer manufacturers give us more load carrying capacity by making motorhomes lighter.

I want more efficiency, not less.
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:50 PM   #55
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The E-350 may only be at 12,500 pounds GVWR, but the rear axle is rated at 8,500 pounds according to Ford specs. That leaves a lot of capacity compared to Jamie's 6,700 pound load. Almost a ton to spare.

Granted if you loaded the rear axle to full rated 8,500-pound capacity you may exceed the 12,500-pound GVWR, but what would that really mean in practical terms? Specs on E-350 and E-450 are essentially the same except for heavier rear axle (9,600-pounds) and springs. Even tires are the same.

It seems some of these ratings are driven by need to meet government regulations more than actual equipment limitations.
I think you are on the correct track. The California EPA specs allow less severe SMOG restrictions on the larger E450 chassis that the lower weight E350 Ford. The 2017 Vegas 25.2 appears to be a 50 state EPA vehicle.
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Old 06-09-2018, 06:00 PM   #56
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I agree that government regulations affect a lot of things, and in ways we are not entirely aware of. In some cases they seem counterproductive.

One that gets me is that Ford doesn’t offer the E-Series chassis in E-350 with the 55-gallon fuel tank except in 158” wheelbase with DRW. So you can’t buy an E-350 Cutaway or Stripped chassis with 55-gallon fuel tank with the 176” wheelbase. But if you go to E-450, then you can buy the 176” wheelbase with 55-gallon fuel tank as standard.

Since 40-gallon tank is small for motorhomes getting 8 MPG, it seems to me that it forces an upgrade to E-450 when it may not be needed for load carrying. And if chassis and engine/transmission are the same, what’s gained?

I’m just speculating, but I’d bet that many of the 24- ~ 26-ft motorhomes that are light enough for an E-350 end up on the 158” wheelbase instead of 176” because of government well-intended regulations, or else on 158” that have been stretched.
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:48 PM   #57
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I tow a 5500 lb open racecar trailer, went to cat scale local and weighed with trailer and full load. Then dumped trailer and went back no charge. Went a 3rd time after adjusting tongue weight on trailer by moving car back.

The 2000 extra GVWR of e450 chassis makes a big difference for us. I actually stuff everything heavy in back compartment to lighten front axle. Tongue weight on trailer also helps.

The e350 would not have worked for us.

I am planning on adding a 2nd A/C unit as the extra weight helps lighten front axle. Rear axle, even with almost 800 lbs, the rear axle was in no danger of overload.

I always run with full fresh water, fuel etc,
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Old 06-09-2018, 08:50 PM   #58
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Based on weight, I run 75/76 PSI in all tires and it handles fine. Tried 80 in front and it was a little twitchy.
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