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GVWR>GAWR and Stabilizer Issues

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Vikingr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vikingr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: GVWR>GAWR and Stabilizer Issues
    Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 8:53am
Hi, Recently purchased new r-pod (172) and I wanted to ask about 2 issues.

The first concern I have is around the cargo capacity due to low axle rating.  I neglected to notice the low axle rating at dealer/assumed it was 3500lb but in actuality:

GAWR/Axle rating is only 3000

GVWR is still listed as 3243

The dry weight (from door tag) is 2459

Cargo Capacity listed as NTE 767, or 468 after subtracting fresh water weight.

Although remaining 468 is limiting enough, with GAWR it appears I should actually be limited to 225.

The only way I can make sense of GVWR exceeding GAWR is if they somehow deducted the tongue weight from the GVWR and considered that to be within the 3000 rating-- but from what I have read around DOT regs, the GVWR should never exceed the GAWR (indeed will often be lower based on other factors).

Are these ratings reasonable/do the listed ratings (GVWR>GAWR) make sense to anyone?

The second, more amusing issue is that my trailer appears to be shedding the stabilizers, particularly at the rear.  The first time I used them, I found half the bolts connecting them to the plate under the frame on the ground the next morning/sheared off at the point they connect to the mounting plate.  I was very conscious of not raising the trailer too much, only made a few turns beyond what could be done by hand.  Is it possible I did not raise it enough and the additional movement allowed by the trailer being “inadequately” stabilized caused them to break?  The stabilizers where set on an uneven asphalt driveway, perhaps combination of poor quality bolts, angle/stress? (Do stabilizers need to be set on "perfectly" flat surface?)

Any advice on these issues would be appreciated.

v/r, Andrew

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Billy Bob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Billy Bob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 10:13am
I will check my stabilizer bolts, but bolts I've lost are the ones holding the steps up.  replaced them with stainless steel and blue locktite.

I'm not the brain you want for your other issue.
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GlueGuy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 10:20am
If you load the trailer to 100% of the GVWR (3243), you should have at least ~~ 324 lbs (10%) on the tongue, or as much as 486 lbs(15%). I would try to put weight "forward" of the axle to increase the tongue weight. All of the weight on the tongue is weight that is relieved from the axle. Therefore, your axle weight should be in the range of 2756-2919 lbs.

Now if you have a WDH, some of that tongue weight (usually about 1/3 of the tongue weight) will get transferred back to the trailer axle. In that case, I would try to shift to a little heavier tongue to get some more margin. It will be close.

As for the stabilizers, they have been known to get scraped off when you go through short dips, like when going into a driveway or something like that. The typical way people deal with this is with a Save-a-Jack (https://www.amazon.com/SAVEAJACK-scissor-jack-quick-release/dp/B005CJOR1M)
bp
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Vikingr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vikingr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 1:00pm
Thanks Glue Guy-- So I agree that with the tongue weight it technically brings it under GAWR but it still seems at least a little playing shenanigans/wasn't sure if this is typical (or within regs) for calculating GVWR. My limited research on this indicates it's atypical, and I am having trouble finding the authoritative regs (assuming they exist).

Do any of the other models list GVWR as greater than the GAWR? (or put a 3,000 axle on for that matter, from the posts I've read on this site it seemed 3500 was the norm...)

Just to clarify on the stabilizers-- I had them in the down position/wasn't moving the vehicle when they snapped-- but thank you for the link, I'll certainly consider a quick removal system for the future/to gain clearance.

Billy Bob-- Thanks for the note on the steps-- I'll check those next. (blue locktite was also one of my first purchases-- went to immediate use on the faucet...)
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GlueGuy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 1:28pm
Originally posted by Vikingr

Thanks Glue Guy-- So I agree that with the tongue weight it technically brings it under GAWR but it still seems at least a little playing shenanigans/wasn't sure if this is typical (or within regs) for calculating GVWR. My limited research on this indicates it's atypical, and I am having trouble finding the authoritative regs (assuming they exist).
The heavier R-pods (177+) have GVWR around 3800 lbs, yet the axle is only rated at 3500 lbs, so I think this is pretty typical on R-pods.

bp
2017 R-Pod 179 Hood River
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Vikingr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vikingr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 1:37pm
Cool-- knowing that others are near, at or over their axle rating somehow makes me feel better (although I know it probably shouldn't...)  Thanks again.
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Tars Tarkas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tars Tarkas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2019 at 6:02pm
It's hard to imagine why your stabilzer bolts would break while extended.  I'm not sure what you mean by tightening them just beyond hand tight or if this is relevant, but the stabilizers are only that; they aren't meant for lifting the Pod at all.  Extend them to the ground firmly but certainly don't try to use them for leveling the Pod.

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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2019 at 8:03am
The DOT regs limit the manufacturers to a trailer GVWR no higher than the GAWR plus the manufacturer's lowest listed figure for tongue weight. For my 179 that is exactly what is on my sticker. 

Manufacturer's listed tongue weight numbers are often unrealistically low. In reality depending on which trailer and how you load it tongue weight can be significantly higher, in my case its almost double. Also, empty weights are stated for a 'standard" trailer with no fluids (water in tanks or water heater, propane) and no batteries. At the other extreme, low tongue weights can be very dangerous, there have been cases of rPods exhibiting sway at tongue weights around 10% or lower. 

For all the above reasons, I highly recommend that you actually weigh your fully loaded trailer axle and tongue so you know what you really have. If you don't have a tongue scale you can use a public scale to do this. Weigh your tow vehicle separately, then the whole rig (no weight distribution hitch) axle by axle. The tongue weight will be the difference between the tow vehicle weight with and without the trailer.  I was surprised the first time I weighed mine, you might be too.

There have been some (a few?) cases of bent axles reported on the heavier rPods, so being near or over the axle rating can indeed be a issue. Also be aware that the OEM tires and wheels typically aren't rated as high as the axle. A system is only as good as its weakest link, and while I haven't heard of any catastrophic axle failures, tire blowouts can be pretty ugly events. 
'
 
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GlueGuy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GlueGuy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2019 at 9:53am
Back to the original question about the stabilizers. So your stabilizers are coming apart, or are they separating from the trailer?

What we do with our stabilizers after we've leveled the trailer: I use my Milwaukee drill set to "2" on a 15 scale, and walk around the trailer twice and run it until the clutch slips. The first time gets it close; the second time adjusts for any shifting. Bottom line it is snug, but not tight.
bp
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Happy Tripping Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2019 at 10:14am
Originally posted by offgrid


There have been some (a few?) cases of bent axles reported on the heavier rPods, so being near or over the axle rating can indeed be a issue.

Actually, this has been a chronic and significant issue for years, including with lighter r-pods. I am not aware that the axle rating is actually as low as 3000 lbs, 3500 seems to be 'industry standard', but that still leaves an inadequate margin, as seen in the many axle problems that Forest River and other manufacturers conveniently dismiss as 'you actually hit...' - you fill in the blank, rut, tree, mountain, whatever.

I would love to see a class action lawsuit about this, but in reality, most people just accept that they will have to go thru a set of tires annually due to the increased wear from the bent axle, or do as some and replace it with a heavier rated axle. This is not FR alone, but as I say, it appears to be  'Industry Standard'.
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