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How much weight do you carry?


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Hi,

 

We are looking for a motorhome to start full timing. We are looking at CCC and they vary so much. I do understand that some people carry heavy tools and other just carry clothes. We are average, with some tools, some kitchen appliances, some clothes...

 

How much do you carry?

 

Thank you

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I don't know for sure as I didn't weigh the coach empty when I got it 13 years ago. The label states that I have a 3,300 Lb CCC and I must be close My coach weighs 25,650 and has a GVWR of 26,850 so it seems that I have about 2,100 Lbs of stuff on board.

 

The CCC really does vary a lot and it's good that you are paying attention to that. One couple that we weighed a couple of years ago didn't when they bought a new 40' DP and transferred their stuff from their trade in gas Bounder. They were overweight quite a bit and were unhappy, to say the least. They didn't want to believe the numbers until they looked at the CCC listed on the coach and found out they didn't have much carry capacity at all.

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Our Open Road 337RLS weighs about 8400# dry and around 12500# max. This apparent 4000# or so carrying capacity includes propane, fresh water (81 gallons), black/grey water etc.

 

We saw "The Long, long trailer" before we got an RV. So we believe that it is important to weigh your rig at a truck stop's CAT scales and keep the receipts as records so that you know where you are and how you got there in increasing/decreasing load. We are currently about 1000# under the axle rating of the 5th wheel and around 800# under the rear axle rating of the pickup (dualie 3500 diesel), and hugely under the ratings for the tires. We weigh the rig with full fresh water (81 gallons), 35 gallons of diesel in the main tank, 45 gallons of diesel in the auxiliary tank; and two extra 20# propane canister and 4 x 6 gallon Jerrycans of water in the pickup bed.

 

We looked at motor home that had a great layout a few years ago but it had a carrying capacity of only around 1500#. 80 gallons of fresh water would have left a carrying capacity of 900#.

 

Reed and Elaine

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We (wife and I) had a CCC of 2800 pounds and used about 3100 lbs. Yep we were a little over. Put 55,000 miles on the rig at that weight with no blowouts or problems. I only carried about 10 gallons of water.

I think about 3600 lbs of CCC would have been enough.

A lot of people say you need at the very least 1000 lbs per person but that was not enough for us. I did carry over 150 pounds of tools.

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I guess I'll weigh in on the issue. :rolleyes:

 

I think the average for a FTing couple hovers around 3,000 lbs. Though there are those who do it with less and those who need lots more. It all depends on how you will use your RV, what your hobbies are, etc..

 

Are you planning on boondocking much? then you will need to carry much more weight than those who only stay in FHU RV parks. Consider that water weighs 8.33 lbs per gallon. So a hundred gallons of water is 833 lbs by itself. Then there's extra propane, and extra heavy batteries. Most boondockers carry at least 4, GC-2 size golf cart batteries weighing around 268 lbs. - some carry more. Then you've got the weight of solar panels, cables and mounting, inverter (heavy) solar controller, meter and thick, heavy wiring, switches, extra fuel for your generator, etc. Don't forget the extra food and beverages on board for living a couple weeks in the boonies too.

 

Do you have hobbies which require heavy items, like weight lifting, skeet shooting where you reload a lot and carry lead shot? Are you a rock hound (Lucy put down that rock! Aw, Ricky!)? Do you have heavy stereo/home theatre/computer equipment? We plan on taking a couple small motorbikes with us. Some folks like to ride ATVs, bicycles, kayak and such, with all their supporting gear. Perhaps you're a Scottish fellow who participates in highland games, tossing the caber, the heavy ball, the hammer and such? Do you do any gardening, taking plants (the legal kind) with you? Do you play any musical instruments? If so, let's hope it's a piccolo and not a piano or a harp (though I won't harp on this subject). Do you travel with pets so need cages, pet food, etc. We only have a small bird, but I know one rodeo lady who travels the circuit with her horse, tack and feed!

 

I'm planning on adding a rather heavy solar set-up as we will often be staying off-grid. We're planning on needing nearly 4,000 lbs of CCC, but this is more than most (still less than some). Your needs will certainly be different than mine, just be sure to weigh your rig on all tires when done to make sure that even if you are within your RVs limits the weight is distributed evenly and safely.

 

Chip

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Thank you all for the great input. We were out looking at used DP again today. I had a sales person tell me about 1600# for us to fulltime was more than enough and I could carry anything. I laughed at him. We will keep looking. Thanks again.

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On the topic of weight, - We removed the big old heavy color TV that came with our 2006 RV & installed a thin flat screen in it's place. I bet we saved 75 lbs. there. Also we took out a sofa that was a couple hundred pounds due to it's metal fold out bed frame. (It was a very uncomfortable sofa anyhow). We put in a desk that is much lighter weight. With every improvement we always look at the weight issue as part of our decision.

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We've found that over the ten years we've been full timing that we get lighter each year. We started out with 3K lbs, and each year found something else we hadn't used for a year or so and gave it to Goodwill. Over time, you'll find that things you thought you'd need sit unused, and for us, we spend a lot of time exploring and so don't have many hobby items. But do have your MH weighed and use the tire manufactures inflation tables.

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Hi All, just wondering who actually weighs everything before they load?

BobQ :rolleyes:

In my case New Horizons provides a scaled empty weight when you pick up. I actually took my trailer to the scales to weigh it, so I know it is accurate.

 

Also, I ALWAYS carry at least 75% water, since I run a whole house RO system. That is counted in my weights.

 

We also find that we have less stuff as we fulltime longer. But I will warn you, it is difficult not to fill the available space. We have some excess space, but it seems to collect "stuff". I also still carry some of the solar/electrical supplies that I used when I did installations. Heavy stuff, but at least I sold my reels of cable, and spare inverters.

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As Jack noted, empty space collects objects.

 

Doubt anyone actually takes things out and weighs them. Do as Jack did, weigh the rig when empty and find out how much it weight varies over time. Take it to a CAT scale at a truck stop (or equivalent) and keep the receipts to see how it may vary over time.

 

As Keith K notes, weight goes down as you do travel if you dump what you don't use each year (not emergency equipment and necessary tools). Of course if you have hobbies that weigh a lot (as Sushidog wrote "Lucy put down that rock! Aw, Ricky!") you have to keep a closer watch on weight. Like Sushidogs comment on cabers. Googled cabers and the accepted weight is 175# (always take along a few spares)

 

A lot of folks do not weigh with full fresh water. This is fine if you only stay at RV parks with hookups. A lot of us do primarily boondock and this entails hauling 81 gallons in tanks and up to 36 more gallons in Jerrycans up and over passes that rise 5000' vertically.

Reed and Elaine

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Same here, we had our empty weight just as it left the factory floor, no fluids but two full propane tanks and got weights after we loaded it. We usually got a new weight every year (under $10) so we had something fairly current to go along with the weight tag on the truck.

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just wondering who actually weighs everything before they load?

When we were preparing to go fulltime, we weighed the motorhome as it was when we took delivery, and we did weigh most everything as we were planning what to take with us. Not scientific, but we used a bathroom scale and got pretty close. For somethings we just zeroed the scale with a container on them and then used that container to hold what we weighed. We spent several months getting things sorted and placed in the motorhome before we actually drove away from the house in it. We also then took it to a scale for an actual weight as we headed out. We found that we were overweight by several hundred pounds when the gas tank was full, so did some more weeding out.

 

As others have said, we decreased in total weight over our years of travel to where we had some excess that was not used by the time we stopped and returned to part time.

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Hi All, just wondering who actually weighs everything before they load?

BobQ :rolleyes:

We did. We weighed the rig at a truck scale then weighed everything we loaded using a bathroom scale. Our first RV was a class B for two people with not nearly enough CCC. I even gave up jeans for cotton slacks to reduce the weight of clothing. We even removed the TV since we could watch movies on a laptop. It's amazing how little you can get by with if you want to go badly enough.

 

Linda Sand

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Last time we weighed the coach it was 36,500 lb. That as it travels full water, empty waste, fuel full everybody on board. That left about 1200 lb from GVW. Since then we have removed some stuff. How much stuff do we have onboard? My guess is about 3500 to 4000 lb.

 

Bill

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Hi All, just wondering who actually weighs everything before they load?

BobQ :rolleyes:

I needed to make a list of everything I wanted to take because I didn't want to later discover I forgot something dumb that I really needed (wanted) to take when I downsized from a house. So I put it in a spread sheet and it was so easy to enter an estimated weight for each item that was a no-brainer.

 

Initial result was 748 pounds. I parked the trailer next to the house and moved into it for a couple of weeks to test the choices of stuff. Took a few things back into the house and added a few back to the trailer. End result was 900# actual measured weight. Since I had plenty of room and capacity I added several things just because I could although it went a little against my move toward minimalism.

 

After nearly a year, I have added a few things like a 100' 20A extension cord, a few small hand tools like grass clippers, swimming suit, etc. I imagine I am at about 1,000# average now. That will vary up some when I stock up on groceries and hit a low when it's time for another trip to WalMart.

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Wow Legendsk, you are certainly a minimalist. I take it you don't boondock so have no need to carry water, generator, genny fuel, heavy batteries, solar panels, controller, inverter, etc.?

 

Also do you travel alone or with a significant other? A couple will almost double the weight a single RVer needs.

 

Though I've listed my exhaustive checklist before, I think it bears repeating to consider some of the things that you might want to take with you.

 

First start with water at 8.33 lbs/gallon. Only 50 gallons worth (40 gallon tank and 10 gallon heater) is over 400 lbs. Don't forget the contents of your freezer/fridge and pantry, clothes (4 seasons worth), shoes, linens, foam topper for bed, pillows, window coverings/decorations, dual pane windows, kitchen appliances (toaster ovens, blender, mixer, rice pot, coffee pot, slow cooker, ice maker, dishwasher, etc.) kitchen utensils, pots and pans, misc. household items like lamps, chairs, washer/drier, etc., toiletries, make-up, medical supplies, cleaning supplies (vacuum, mop and broom) and chemicals, folding chairs, recliners, floor/door mats, tarps, rope and chains, screen rooms/tentage, toys (bikes, hobby and sporting equipment, fishing gear, hunting gear, guns and ammo, bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, helmets and riding gear), TV/DVD/satellite equipment, stereo/music gear, a second roof mounted AC, stand alone propane heater and tanks, like a Mr. Buddy, portable electric heater, cooling fans, game systems/computers, printers, family heirlooms/treasures, camera gear, safe, important papers, certificates, records, military decorations, awards, etc., locks and security system, portable heaters, generator/spare fuel (a Honda EU3000 is 150lbs + another 30lbs for can of gas), solar panels (controller, inverter, cabling, battery monitor, fuse blocks, breaker box and extra heavy batteries - I'm planning on an extensive solar setup that will allow me complete grid independence - of course that will weigh about 1,000lbs, so let's just say 500 lbs for an average, medium sized system), sewage hoses, fittings and sewer hose holder (a legal requirement in some states), fresh water hoses and fittings, electrical cords, surge protector, leveling gear, water filters, macerator pump, portable dump tanks, water bladder, patio/camping lights, awning, lanterns, flashlights, tables, BBQ grill/fuel, tools (very heavy), spare parts, spare tire, coolant, oil and filters (fuel, air and oil), air compressor, ladder, pet supplies, cages, etc. I'm sure given a little thought much more could be added. This is my list just to get you thinking about you unique needs, like a CPAP machine, unique medical devices, unique RV mods like a computer desk, bathroom fixtures, etc.

 

Chip

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Great observations, Chip. It's true, I probably went a little overboard when downsizing. But it felt so good to be rid of my dead wife's 1957 tax records, a room full of Christmas ornaments that hadn't been used in 40 years, boxes from two moves ago that still hadn't been opened and all the other stuff that I realized owned me, instead of me owning it; that I just kept getting rid of it and enjoying the feeling.

 

I have only been full timing for 10 months, so not a lot of experience, but so far I am very pleased with the choices of what to take and leave and am happy and comfortable in my 5th.

 

To answer the questions raised:

The 15,600# trailer weight includes 100 gal of fresh water. I usually don't boondock for more than 2 or 3 days in a row, and I load around #20 gal for each day I plan to boondock. So I rarely have the actual 100 gal of fresh water, but it was full when I weighed the loaded rig.

 

My significant others at this point are a 125# German Shepherd (Taz) and a 12# cat (Bob). They do require 10# of canned dog food, 25# of dry dog food and 15# of dry cat food in the pantry and 15# of kitty litter in the bathroom.

 

The 15,600# also includes a propane generator and 14 gal of propane for stove, fridge, genny and furnace, and 2 12v storage batteries and inverter, but no solar.

 

The trailer came with 35" and 19" CRT TVs. Together they weighed 120# and I swapped them out for a 32" LED TV and a 42" LCD TV, DVD player, Home entertainment system, which together weighed 89#, so I gained about 120# to the payload to stay within 15,600# and used 89# back up with new electronics.

 

Since I really didn't need all the closet space, I built my faceting workbench and machine into the left 1/2 of the bedroom closet. So I can sit on the bed and work quite comfortably. The bench has its own light and there was a convenient power outlet handy.

 

Without going through all the detail, (although I am happy to supply it to anyone who is really interested), here are the broad categories of stuff I loaded and the total weight for that category.

 

Tools {pickup toolbox} 152 Faceting 57 Clothes 127 Kitchen 83 Food 90 Computers / Printer / Paper 112 Records / Manuals / Files 12 Furniture 120 Electronics 89 Cleaning Stuff 33 Bathroom 25

 

This came to a total of 900# (less the 120# old TVs) so by the time this spreadsheet was finished I was at 780#. Other than clothes, and let's assume a significant significant other would perhaps need 250# of clothes, and maybe add 20# to the bathroom stuff and their weight total should add 400# rather than double the 900# I allowed for myself.

 

The total weight for the trailer and truck included me and the dog, but not the cat. However I have lost more weight than the cat added :).

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We try to truck-heavy and trailer light .......and that is a trick when one of our "guests", Dolly weighs NINE HUNDRED FIFTY POUND NAKED (she weighs about 985 lbs "dressed) !!!!

 

Dolly drinks about 20 gallons of water per day and eats about 30 pound of food.......she bathes about three times a day (dust bath) so she does conserve some water.........

 

Dolly-the-paint-horse loads very well in the removable module in the back of our 30 ft toy-Dolly-Hauler and with empty tanks and full propane we are just under 8,000 lbs with a gross of 11,000lbs.

 

We load ALL heavy items in the Freightshaker including 330 gallons of water and a min of 1,000 lbs of horse feed and about a TON of misc gear plus a toad of about 4,000lbs.....in a 4,000 20ft Ryder box so with a 1,100 lb trailer hitch weight we have just about enough weight on the old Freightshaker to make it ride OK. We have a 13.2K front axle but seldom exceed 10K with the small M11 Cummins and the tandems in the rear are at less than 50% load no matter what we load.

 

We find that even with Dolly hitching a ride in the trailer we still hover at only 75% to 80% load and stay well under the trailer load ratings so we seem to have fairly good travels with few problems.

 

It seems that we carry a fair amount of weight but we find that if you do not tax the load carry capacities too much things seem to travel well.

 

Now if Dolly would just cut back to 25 pounds per day of feed.......... just imagine how much we would save...........

 

Drive on..........(adjust the weight properly......)

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