Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum When will the weight scams stop?

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    • #21285
      ardvark
      Participant

      In my opinion one of the most frustrating things about truck camper ownership is the fiasco about weights. This nonsense manufacturers post about dry weights without options leaving it to the buyer to calculate actual weights after the purchase really gets old.

      Truck manufacturers are just as bad posting spec sheets online that are all but worthless. Here is a quick example. My F350 (2012 SRW, LB, gasser) has a 6,000 pound front axle, a 7,000 rear axle, and a spec sheet number of a 4,200 pounds payload. Go to the door sticker and I have a payload of 3,820, a front axle of 5,000 pounds, and a rear axle of 6,000 for a gross weight of 11,000 (all from the actual sticker). Now try to make sense out of that. So if you want to know the actual payload, you either buy the truck or at least find its twin on a dealer lot.

      My Hallmark Ute supposedly has a dry weight of 1,643 before options. What is so darn sacred about this “dry weight”? I don’t want to know dry weight, I want to know wet weight with water, propane, and batteries, along with any other options installed at the factory. Then put it on the scale and post that number on the plate.

      The manufacturers goal is simply is make trucks look like they can haul more and campers to look as though they can be hauled on anything with four wheels. Its a shell game with the end-users being the suckers. No end user should have to hold their breath until they run across a CAT scale or at the very least should have a pretty good idea what they are getting. Maybe its time we end users and truck camper websites start calling out the manufacturers for more realistic information on their websites and in their brochures.

      End of rant!

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #21289
      Dirk Keeler
      Participant

      I agree! I ended up buying a Cirrus 820. It had very few options that added up to less than 200lbs. I was in the camper at the dealership so I could read the weight sheet. But even on that, I had to add up the options listed to get the total wet weight. It came out to be 2997 lbs.
      Other campers I looked at had a dry weight and then “mandatory options” so the dry weight wouldn’t be so high. Downright deceitful!
      As for the truck, the tires are really what determine the GVWR. If you notice the sticker on the door frame has tire info along with the weights. When I wear out the original tires I’m going to go to a higher capacity tire. Problem is, in the US that doesn’t change the legal weight capacity of the truck. In Canada it does, or so I’m told. but I’m good on my F350.

    • #21290
      ardvark
      Participant

      You know, on every camper manufacturer’s website there is always a disclaimer stating being overweight is the owner’s fault. I would disagree. Manufacturers are bending backwards to mislead buyers so in my opinion the onus rests with them. And some of the forums are not taking the time to even read the manufacturers put out or overlook critical weight factors like considering people when making statements about how much a truck can carry, so there is some blame there too.

      I think we all know how many TC owners are running over their ratings. Some don’t care, but others do and they are the ones who are deceived.

      So you’re right, in the U.S. there is nothing you can do to raise your trucks payload once it carries a factory seal, which in essence means there is nothing you can do to decrease your civil liability, if running overweight and involved in an accident.

      And while tires may be the limiting factor on some trucks, the tires on my F350 are rated at 3,540 pounds each so there is no way to overload them without being over on everything in truck.

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #22048
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Beware, Some manufacturers even exclude the weight of electric jacks and batteries, often considered to be ‘options’…It’s just a fact that lighter ‘posted weights’ sell more campers – As par for the course of life, one must always perform their own due diligence…

    • #22333
      s.e. charles
      Participant

      I think we need to be educated consumers and pro-active for our own interests. depending on manufacturers who have proprietary interests at heart, is bad practice.

    • #22496
      Finaddict
      Participant

      Interesting. My old Alpenlite (2000) actually has a “wet” weight that has the propane and fresh water tanks filled and displays that weight (2346 lbs.). Of course this still does not include all the weight of the second battery, 2nd bottle of propane, 2 kayaks, 200 watts of solar power, dozens of modifications, chainsaw and gas, case of bottled water, several cases of “refreshments, food, pots & pans, clothing, easy up canopy, lawn chairs, out door table, and dog. Its a good thing I pack light…………. 😉

    • #22784
      Mello Mike
      Keymaster

      I agree with Ardvark’s sentiments on this topic. I addressed this topic at length in my latest Musings and Rants article.

      Mello Mike’s Musings and Rants III

      2021 Bundutec Roadrunner
      2013 Ram 3500 4x4
      2015 Toyota 4Runner

    • #22948
      Grant Furness
      Participant

      This is a big gripe of mine, too. I have an old 90s something Northland camper. The mfr listed weight is 1800 pounds, but when I took it to the scale, it weighs 3,000 empty

    • #23545
      canyonman
      Participant

      This is unsettling to read – i am in the market for a pop up camper and my vehicle (2006 GMC Canyon 3.5L,z71) doesn’t have the capacity to haul a hard side, but it might be able to do a lightly optioned pop up like a FWC shell model. I am calculating this based on on FWC’s published weights for the unit and each accessory. But if I can’t trust published numbers I am taking a big chance.

      To help with capacity, I do plan to upgrade my tires in a few months, but have so far been unable to find an E rated traction tire in my size. Still looking …

    • #24657
      Grant Furness
      Participant

      This is a big gripe of mine, too. I have an old 90s something Northland camper. The mfr listed weight is 1800 pounds, but when I took it to the scale, it weighs 3,000 empty

      You & I must have the same camper. I have a @ 96 northland camper with 8’ floor & the title says 1800 pounds. I was shocked when I went to the scale & learned that tiny thing weighs 3,000 empty

    • #27743
      Travels with Yoly
      Participant

      We purchased a Travel Lite 770R based on the advertised “dry weight” of 1,385 lbs. We had a Ram 1500, 2WD with the 3.6L V-6 engine so payload was better than most at 1600 lbs. I figured that if we loaded to a minimum and added air springs, we would have a manageable rig right at our maximum limits. On the way home from the dealership I stopped at a Cat scale and weighed the camper just as it came from the dealer. It turned out to be more than 600 lbs heavier than advertised. I called the dealer who in turn called the manufacturer who defended their claim saying that was the weight of the “base unit” without any options. The only options on this camper were an 8,500 BTU A/C unit and the stereo …. hardly 600 lbs worth. The end result was an empty rig that was over 400 lbs heavier than the GVWR and rear axle rating. Needless to say, we returned it to the dealer and got our money back. Thankfully the dealer cooperated fully. Our only other downside was the expense and time covering 760 miles round trip two times. We later bought a Travel Lite Razyr based on advertised weight of 895 lbs which was also weighed on the way home coming back from the dealer and proved to actually weigh 1,395 lbs. We decided to keep it since our truck wasn’t overloaded with it but ended up trading it in (at a loss) before ever using it due to design flaws and other issues. There are a couple manufacturers who actually do weight their units as they go out the door for shipping. Our Adventurer 80RB had a sticker on the outside showing the “dry weight” and then another sticker inside one of the cabinets showing the actual shipping weight. Again I stopped at the Cat scale on the way home and found the cabinet sticker weight to be spot on 🙂

      Neil & Yoly
      2016 Ram 2500HD Tradesman, 2WD Crew Cab, 6.4L Hemi
      2018 Travel Lite 840 SBRX
      Honda EU2000i

    • #28892
      Joe Monstermaker
      Participant

      Maybe Canada is different, but truck manufacturer GVWRs are not legal limits, nor are they engineering limits. They’re artificial numbers the truck makers hang on them to fit certain license classes.
      Brochure-reading camper guys are the only ones who stress so much over them.

      I’ve been waiting 20 years for someone to cite an example of someone being denied an insurance claim because their camper weighed more than the glovebox sticker spec.

      A truck’s capacity absolutely can be increased. It’s done all the time in the real-truck world. Its like saying if you put an addition on your house, you don’t really have more square footage because the original builder didn’t add the addition.
      I once bought a rolled-over F250 4×4 and swapped the whole chassis to an F150 I had. You’re not gonna tell me I didn’t increase its capacity.

      This site’s own Mello Mike wrote an article about setting a proper example and trading in his older dually for a newer single rear wheel truck because it supposedly has more safe capacity and he would be “within his numbers” when in fact the opposite is true.
      His old Dodge had a Dana 80 rear axle rated by Dana at 11,000 pounds and he had way more tire capacity. No stock SRW is more capable if you look at the actual hardware not artificial numbers on a sticker. He had 10,800 pounds of tire capacity on the rear of his dually, and an axle that could take it.
      There’s no way his new SRW has the hardware to actually have more capacity than the old dually did. But, it’s got a bigger STICKER on the glovebox door…

      Northern Lite does actually drop each of their campers on a scale after building them and gives them a real weight sticker. Maybe there are others who do and they should be applauded.
      But other than that, at least 1000 pounds should be added to so-called dry weights for real, on the truck and loaded to go figures. I’d say usually more than 1000 over the dry number.

    • #28911
      John Perz
      Participant

      From the Escapees SmartWeigh program:

      Click to access 182-smartweighpamphlet-web-0415.pdf

      “Most of the weight limits on your RV are legally enforceable. Even if RVs do not (currently) have to go through the highway weight scales, law enforcement agencies could choose at any time to enforce the limits. Consider also that any overweight conditions in your RV could result in a negative verdict in the event of an accident in which you are involved. Even if you did not cause the incident or were not cited for being overweight, it still may be viewed as a contributing factor in any lawsuit resulting from the incident.”

      “Note that while it may be possible to beef up or bolster the suspension and tires on your RV to carry a greater load, those changes will not change the legally enforceable weight limits on your vehicle. Only the vehicle manufacturer can change the dataplates, which dictate those legally enforceable limitations.”

      Notice the fact that the phrase Legally Enforceable is used three times in this pdf.

      Personally, I’m going to believe an organization like Escapees instead of some guy on the Internet that I don’t know from Adam.

      Regards
      John
      I don't like to make plans. They cause the word "PREMEDITATED" to get used in court!
      DON'T FEED THE VULTURES!
      My Body is a Temple! Ancient, Crumbling, Probably Cursed . . .

    • #28932
      Mello Mike
      Keymaster

      Joe Monstermaker,
      Just noticed this from your post…

      “This site’s own Mello Mike wrote an article about setting a proper example and trading in his older dually for a newer single rear wheel truck because it supposedly has more safe capacity and he would be “within his numbers” when in fact the opposite is true.
      His old Dodge had a Dana 80 rear axle rated by Dana at 11,000 pounds and he had way more tire capacity. No stock SRW is more capable if you look at the actual hardware not artificial numbers on a sticker. He had 10,800 pounds of tire capacity on the rear of his dually, and an axle that could take it.
      There’s no way his new SRW has the hardware to actually have more capacity than the old dually did. But, it’s got a bigger STICKER on the glovebox door…”

      I don’t know where you got the idea that I had an old Dodge dually. The truck I traded in was NOT an old Dodge dually, it was a 2011 Ford F-250 SRW. I traded this in for a Ram 3500 SRW with 800 pounds more payload.

      Just wanted to set the record straight.

      2021 Bundutec Roadrunner
      2013 Ram 3500 4x4
      2015 Toyota 4Runner

    • #29139
      ardvark
      Participant

      Surely a throwing gasoline on a fire topic all over the Internet.

      Couple of additional thoughts.

      Weight ratings are not limited to just tires, wheels, and axles, but to any component on the truck, brakes, etc. And no matter what you do, the door sticker stays the same.

      However, I have spent literally hours trying to track down examples where someone was ticketed or charged based on the manufacturer’s ratings. Read state regs, looked up accident data, etc. When folks posted somewhere about traffic stops I tried to follow up. Never could come up with a solid find.

      Which leads me to the phrase “Legally Enforceable” i.e. enforced because there is a legal standard or law the can be applied. So are there states the had a law on their books that uses the door sticker or manufacturer’s ratings for non-commercial haulers? That is a challenge I have tossed out any number of times on the Internet and I toss it out here again. So far in digging through state regs, I did find it specifically referenced in Montana law. And it took a lot of digging, but it was there. Maybe there are others, I am not sure. However, even if there are, enforcement seems largely absent unless you are involved in an accident.

      To follow-up on that I polled local LEOs (law enforcement officers) with whom I came in contact. To a person, they advised me they have never considered weight at the site of an accident. Had no idea as to manufacturers’ ratings, etc. So if you run overweight and can’t stop the ticket does not list a weight violation. More like excessive speed or similar perhaps. Ditto loss of control and so forth.

      Which leads me to civil liability and here it is a slam dunk for the person you hit, etc. Because in order to defend yourself in court, if you run overweight you will have to take the position you know more than the truck and camper manufacturer because they have told you in black and white not to do it. Good luck on that! 🙂

      So when I used to speak at RV shows and conferences and discussed weight and accidents I advised everyone to take pictures and get all the information you can about the equipment that was involved. If you are running overweight the odds shift in the other team’s favor.

      So for me personally, not trying to tell anyone else what to do, I have my CAT slips for my truck, camper, and fifth wheel in my center console and I never run over any manufacturers ratings. Probably means I am a wuss, but you never know. 🙂

      Ardvark

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #29143
      John Perz
      Participant

      However, I have spent literally hours trying to track down examples where someone was ticketed or charged based on the manufacturer’s ratings. Read state regs, looked up accident data, etc. When folks posted somewhere about traffic stops I tried to follow up. Never could come up with a solid find.

      God, you must have an awful lot of time on your hands!

      Have you considered doing something more useful, like, I don’t know, knitting or playing solitaire with a deck with several cards missing?

      (Damn. How do you put a smiley in these messages?)

      Regards
      John
      I don't like to make plans. They cause the word "PREMEDITATED" to get used in court!
      DON'T FEED THE VULTURES!
      My Body is a Temple! Ancient, Crumbling, Probably Cursed . . .

    • #29150
      ardvark
      Participant

      John,

      I know, I know. It is dreadful curse being so anal retentive, but what am I do do? 🙂

      I am data driven in all things and there is so much crap on the Internet. I have absolutely zero problem with contrary opinions as long as they are offered as such, but so often something is simply repeated over and over again until folks forget how or where it started.

      Ardvark

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #34367

      Not to beat a horse to death regarding weight scam in all 48 states, I don’t see Alaska and Hawaii, American territories involved.
      There is another variable missing from weight equation. It is called “Consumer information sheet!” It is supposed to be in glove box upon vehicle delivery.
      We bought our 2013 F-350 SRW, 6.2L gas, long bed new.
      Upon referencing the vin when studying the window sticker from the manufacturer.
      Our truck was manufactured in Kentucky
      When we searched vin we were surprised to find a max payload of 4460, maximum gvwr 11500(which is a 1000 lbs more than what is printed on sticker in door panel) sticker says 10,500.

      All this Implies clearly that left hand of Ford factory is not coordinating with right hand. A seed of doubt sticks up its head in determining accuracy of door panel figures as opposed to vin data from Ford. Raises a question regarding cargo weights and vehicle weights. I have supportive documents which clearly show the 1000# variation which is larger than door sticker of 3562# maximum, Fords reference is 4460# a thousand pounds greater in cargo capacity.i could creates a hypotheses that all ford Trucks or even vehicles for that matter might or do have a 1000 # variance which is greater than door sticker info.

    • #34523
      wellsdesigned
      Participant

      I’ve been away from TC forums for 5+ years now. Good to see nothings changed. There’s something about TC guys that makes us proud of the freedoms our RV of choice offers, and almost obsessive about the topic of weights. I see so, so many poorly matched SUV’s and half ton trucks struggling down the freeway with giant trailers in tow. Yet nearly all of the truck campers I see look well matched to the trucks.

      Tom
      Sacramento CA
      2003 Eagle Cap 850 Camper
      2019 Ram 3500 SRW 6.4 L Gasser

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