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Old 03-06-2015, 12:18 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 34E
State: Texas
Posts: 185
THOR #1599
Anyone go to craft fairs or events as a vendor in your MH?

Posted this over on IRV2 also:

My wife and I just joined this forum, (Posted hello on forum) and are the proud owners of a Thor Hurricane 34E. My wife has been an on again, off again crafter over the years, but we have not been to any for a few years though. I was wondering if there is anyone else here that travels around as a vendor to craft fairs or other events? Just curious how you combine the travel and setup with the MH...meaning, most events we have been to, you can't exactly pull up the MH, and set up up your booth right outside your door?
Would be glad to hear tips and advice for attending some events to sell!!


Tom
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Old 03-06-2015, 11:27 AM   #2
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Brand: Entegra
Model: Accolade 37TS
State: Virginia
Posts: 4,823
THOR #1469
Tom,

From research done in the past one of the first things you should determine is whether your endeavor into the buying and selling of crafts through the use of the RV will result in the rig being classified as a commercial vehicle. That designation alone could result in unwanted hassles such as vehicle registration, taxes and the requirement to stop at all commercial vehicle weight and inspection stations.

With that said most posts I have seen in the past have folks keeping the craft items separate from the RV when travelling. They generally use a truck or van to tow a trailer for the business end of things and keep the RV as a personal vehicle.

Last fall I talked to some rolling event planners at a campground in Nashville, TN and they informed me their rig (a diesel pusher with trailer) was classified commercial and the registration fees, taxes and upkeep of their rig ate a good portion of their annual revenue. They also had to travel with a second vehicle to get in and around after arriving at the job location because most places they worked were not RV friendly.

Sorry it was long but that is some insight based on research and discussions with others.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:04 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
Posts: 1,273
THOR #531
Specs say the 34E is on a 22,000lb chassis with a CGWR of 26,000lb. Not sure how much your crafts weigh, but you might want to consider weights.

I would probably put the stuff in a trailer and tow it with your rig. When you get to your location, cart it back and forth to your sales booth.

If you get a trailer big enough, and if the weight your pulling allows it, you could carry your stuff, along with a golf cart for local transportation, and small trailer behind the golf cart.
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Old 03-06-2015, 01:52 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 34E
State: Texas
Posts: 185
THOR #1599
Thanks so much for the input....these are all issues I need to research and learn about. Never thought about it becoming a commercial vehicle....I guess i thought that it would be the same as having a home based business from your personal residence.

Weight is not a big issue, but not being really smart about the weight, does that mean if I tow a 3000 lbs car, I only have 1000 lbs of useful load of things I can put in the coach?
Thanks all
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Old 03-06-2015, 02:52 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
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THOR #531
Towing and Vehicle weights can be a complicated issue.

Generally, there are two weights that are important, the vehicle's GVWR and CGWR. The GVWR, which is Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum the vehicle itself can weigh, which includes the vehicle's actual weight, and the added weight; people, cargo, fuels, trailer tongue weight, etc.

The vehicle's actual weight will be less than the vehicle's GVWR. The best way to determine the cargo capability is to have your vehicle weighed, then subtract that weight from the published GVWR (in your case, 22,000lbs).

A rough estimate can be had from the yellow sticker in the vehicle's cab, titled "Motorhome Occupant and Cargo Carrying Capability". This is a placard required in motorhomes by the Federal safety standards since 2009, and is basically the GVWR minus the actual weight. However, the standard may not apply to extremely high weight vehicles.

It is determined by actually weighing the coach at the RV factory before shipment to the dealer. But if you have added any accessories to the coach, it can vary. It should be close enough though unless you are close to the max, which at that time, I'd suggest weighing your vehicle to find out for sure. I am not sure when this regulation took effect, but I have one on my 2011 coach.

The CGWR is the Combined Gross Weight Rating, which is the maximum weight for the RV, it's occupants and cargo, and trailer. Basically, the maximum weight of everything traveling down the road.

The rule of thumb here is the maximum trailer weight is generally determined by the CGWR minus the vehicle's GVWR. In your case, 26,000lbs - 22,000lbs. This gives you a 4,000lb towing capacity, in addition to the "X" lbs of cargo and people capacity from the yellow sticker in your cab.

Some people "borrow" excess unused cargo carrying capacity and add it to their trailer tow capacity, but this is a controversial issue, and I'd advise to do a bit of research before doing so. In some cases it might be possible, and in other cases it might not.

Another often overlooked rating is the GAWR, or Gross Axle Weight Rating, which is the maximum weight each axle can support. There is a GAWR for both front and rear axle. However, if you are within the cargo capacity, you probably are OK with the GAWR, unless you overload the front vs. back. And again, if you are close to the maximum, actual weight measurements is recommended.

Finally, the tow ratings should be considered MAXIMUM. Many vehicle manufacturers base these ratings on "moderate climate and flat terrain". So if you are chugging up a mountain or across Death Valley, you may have to reduce your tow weight.

Personally, I keep at least a 25% margin of safety, in that I never tow or load more than 75% of the weight ratings. This provides a safer environment should you have to execute an evasive maneuver or abruptly stop in an emergency condition.

But that is just me, we all have different levels of comfort.

As I said, this can be a complicated issue.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 5
THOR #1615
We do and you are right it is impossible to get up to the building or area to set up. Since we are new to the Coach life we are still doing as we did with our fifth wheel. We normally do shows with in a couple of hours from home and utilize two vehicles. My wife makes and sells wreaths and wood décor designs for home décor, so we have to utilize a 16 foot trailer to transport the wreaths in as they have to hang. Some shows have areas where you can camp nearby or on the grounds but not many.
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:28 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 34E
State: California
Posts: 524
THOR #937
I stayed at a KOA in Chula Vista, California while a converted motorhome was setup right next door. They sold everything from dreamcatchers to homemade jewelry and dog collars. At check-in the lady asked if I would mind, due to all the traffic and noise that they might generate. I was there from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, and only some pre-teen kids on bicycles stopped there! No more traffic or noise than a normal stay!


I spoke to the owner and he and his wife were retired and did this as they traveled the country for extra cash. His coach was painted with the business name, and the passenger side was heavily modified into a counter and display case. It did require a Class-A commercial driver's license, business permits for every city they conducted business in, and insurance.


On the other side of the coin, I used to be involved with racing air-cooled Volkswagens, (don't laugh too hard, it's a thing). I had a friend to who traveled the country to all the various VW car shows and races, (stop laughing so hard, it really happens). He specialized in amber taillights for old bugs, microbuses, Karmann Ghias, and he also sold gages, switches, and repair manuals. He towed everything in a trailer, and would pull it with his Class-C. The trailer was unmarked but painted nicely on the exterior, with nothing indicating it wasn't just towing ATVs.


At the shows he would put up professional banners, tables, lighting. He combined fulltiming with car shows, but was very careful NOT to incur any commercial vehicle regulations.
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