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Kirk W

Proper Towing Weights?

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A thread that is in the fifth wheel forum got me to wondering about several weight related issues and I am bringing it to the general forums because manufacturer's specified weight limits apply to all of us. From time to time stories go around about someone being stopped on the highway for overweight issues but I am wondering if anyone on these forums has had that experience? 

The thread that brought this to mind is the one in this link. I do not know anyone who was involved in this and the person involved hasn't posted either, so that leaves me with a great number of questions. 

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The person was NOT stopped for being overweight.  They were stopped for faulty equipment.  The LEO must have been coming from the opposite direction since the OP said the cop mentioned headlights pointing to the sky.  Maybe the LEO noticed the SRW squatting and figured it was overweight.  A DRW may have eliminated that issue.  Maybe not.

I've been across the US several times in the past 8 yrs.  Never had an issue with LEOs.

Edited by remoandiris

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I get tired of people who breaks laws whining when they get caught.  Seriously, maybe take the safety of others on the roads that will be traveled into consideration.  Once stopped for an infraction of the law, one is opening themselves up to scrutiny, so maybe just check everything and make sure laws are not being broken from the get-go.  The things I have seen on the road...........

Good website for understanding weights:  http://changingears.com/rv-sec-tow-vehicles-understand.shtml

I googled to read some articles on this, and what I found was lists of RV forums where people were asking if they would have issues towing overweight.  They seem to want reassurance that it will be OK from others doing it.  What else I saw was attorneys advertising reference being in an accident with an RV and it turning out to be overweight, so that comes into play.  There are a number of accidents that RVs are involved in.

I hope they catch and ticket every last person that is towing overweight!  As more RVs are on the road, more accidents taking place involving them, others will be demanding that something be done.  That is the way it works when people cheat, everyone pays in the end!

People seeking reassurance that they can break the law without consequences?  I have nothing positive to say about that.

Edited by SnowGypsy

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I have not traveled as extensively as Kirk and others have but I have seen a number of rigs obviously overweight.  Never have I seen or talked with anyone who has been stopped or ticketed for being overweight with an RV.  Commercial truckers is another thing though.  I know of a few that have had problems for overweight and it is expensive.

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A friend just had their 40 ft DRV totaled by a farmer hauling a large tractor on a goose neck trailer.  The farmer was ticketed for no trailer brakes, excessive speed, and over weight.

Whether the police can pull you over and ticket you for weight should not be your concern.  Your concern should be that you are operating within the design limits of your tow vehicle not only for your safety, but the safety of others.

Ken

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I am very conscientious about my towing weight.  Every time we started on a trip I make a point of hitting a CAT scale to ensure my numbers were all within manufacturer specs, as well as where my optimal numbers were.  My family’s safety is too important to ignore that.

Edited by Jim1521

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I've never seen or talked to anyone that has been pulled over for overweight but I will have to admit that there's been a few times that I wished some were just to make it safer for everyone else. 

The only time I thought maybe I was going to get pulled over for over length not over weight because I was double hitching my boat on the interstate and a HP car pulled up along side of the boat and I could see one of the officers taking a close look at my setup, after looking at it he keep on going around me and gave me the now not politically correct OK sign. So if your going down the road and things like your cord is not connected and your tow vehicle is squatting more than normal you deseved to get pulled over and be checked for everything, the old saying You Can't Fix Stupid applies here.

Denny 

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I very much agree that weight limits and weight distribution should be a major safety concern for everyone and I also believe that it plays a part in the reliability of the vehicles involved. At the same time, the weight limits that I am aware of are design limits set by the vehicle manufacturers and I do not know of any state or federal laws that enforce those limits. There are laws that set weight limits but those are not the same as the designed limits in any jurisdiction that I am familiar with. 

I do know of at least one case of a civil suit against the owner of an RV that was traveling in a seriously over design weight condition which lead to the jury awarding large damages against the RV owner, but that is a civil liability and could happen to any of us, if proven guilty. In that case the RV driver was not ticketed for being overweight but was ticketed for failure to stop. The suit alleged that he could have stopped in time if the RV had not been loaded beyond the design limits of the manufacturer.  

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Some Canadian provinces have made mfgrs weight ratings law, if one is proven to be exceeding one or more those ratings, the consequences are much greater than what this guy experienced.

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I'm familiar with British Columbia's laws. Not only a fine, but the rig will be split to a legal weight. Come back with a legal truck to retrieve the load later. Very common with the sled crowd, as they'll run with 2 sleds on the truck, and as many as 4 more in a trailer. Add the passenger load, fuel for the machines, lunches, sledding gear, etc. and you're well into 450/550 territory. Sure brought out a sudden decrease in the popularity of car-pooling.

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2 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Very common with the sled crowd, as they'll run with 2 sleds on the truck, and as many as 4 more in a trailer.

Educate me, please. What sort of sleds are we talking about?

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4 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Educate me, please. What sort of sleds are we talking about?

Snowmobiles.  Many in northern climates, whether Colorado or New Hamsphire, call them "sleds".

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20 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

He also posted that on irv2.com Hey weight police!  We still do not know absolutely, as he wrote, this is second-hand information.

My Neighbor come over to chat and discuss RV's etc. He is staying in the park 2 sites over. He came right over to chat etc and ask questions when he returned from being caught.  He was in fact headed east on 40 to the scales at the truck stop. He had been on 40 for just a few miles when he seen flashing lights behind him. Walking up to discuss the tail light and brake light matter and asking for license etc.  Is when the officer seen the truck squatting excessively and brought up the weighing matter. Excessive squatting in his case the headlights would have been pointed to the sky at night. This all occured about 1pm in the afternoon.

The officer did warn him to remedy this problem as the next officer if hes pulled over can make him drop the trailer until he gets compliant. Also he was told that yes they can pull you over. As he argued it was only commercial vehicles that get weighed.  Any vehicle any road according to the law if a vehicle appears to be overweight in OK. No other infraction needed. But he got pulled over for faulty equip and weighed after the fact. Below is the link specifically on this law In Oklahoma

 

https://law.justia.com/codes/oklahoma/2014/title-47/section-47-14-111/

Edited by Consolenut

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Consolenut, that is the exact reason I refer people to this 5th wheel towing calculator. It saddens me when I see something like this happen. The truck or 5er salesmen did not lie about their product. They simply said "it will pull that just fine", which is true, but not the complete facts.

I'm glad you are mentoring him about safe RVing.

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4 minutes ago, Ray,IN said:

Consolenut, that is the exact reason I refer people to this 5th wheel towing calculator. It saddens me when I see something like this happen. The truck or 5er salesmen did not lie about their product. They simply said "it will pull that just fine", which is true, but not the complete facts.

I'm glad you are mentoring him about safe RVing.

I do what I can when those that ask will listen. I simply posted this info to let the RV community know they seem to be cracking down on those that are overweight and its noticeable specifically here in Oklahoma. A word to the wise...be careful. It would stink have to drop the 5ver and go buy a truck or call a towing company to get compliant. If the officer wants to push it that far.

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Quote

Universal Citation: 47 OK Stat § 47-14-111 (2014)

 In the event that any axle weight or the gross weight of any such vehicle be found to exceed the maximum weight authorized by law, or by permit issued therefor, the officer may require, in the case of separable loads, the driver, operator or owner thereof to unload at the site such portion of the load as may be necessary to decrease the weight of such vehicle to the maximum weight authorized by law. 

I don't see any reference to the stated weights of the vehicle manufacturer, which still makes me wonder???

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9 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

I don't see any reference to the stated weights of the vehicle manufacturer, which still makes me wonder???

I was told that is specifically what the officer looked at. The sticker in the door jam. Front and rear axle weight ratings as well as trailer weight ratings as well. And based his findings on that. This is what I was told I don't believe my neighbor would tell a story as I seen the ticket as well. I was suspect at first and started digging into the law.

Edited by Consolenut

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2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I don't see any reference to the stated weights of the vehicle manufacturer, which still makes me wonder???

It is possible, even likely, that somewhere in the vehicle code the manufacturer's sticker is referenced.  Maybe something along the lines of "...weights are not to exceed manufacturer vehicle specifications as defined by the certificate of origin, vehicle placard, etc." or something like that.  That kind of phraseology would eliminate the need to reference the manufacturer's sticker in every statute.

Or not.

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