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Old 08-08-2014, 09:24 PM   #1
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Overweight trucks and accidents

I was going to post this on another thread but thought it would just muddy things up over there. All this talk about if your overweight and in an accident you could be in trouble has got me to thinking. Outside of the legal and moral dilemma's around travelling overweight, how exactly would a LEO be able to weigh your setup if you were in an accident? I'm assuming we're not talking minor fender benders here? I would assume our belongings would be all over the place and thus no accurate way to weigh.

Really just thinking out loud and wondered what other peoples thoughts were on this subject.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:29 PM   #2
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I think the only time that would ever happen is if the other insurance company demanded it, and they would probably hire someone to figure out the weight by paperwork by including contents found, water capacity, etc. I don't think they would ever try to physically weigh it.

Other than that, I believe you take a chance on a routine check.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:34 PM   #3
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I think the only time that would ever happen is if the other insurance company demanded it, and they would probably hire someone to figure out the weight by paperwork by including contents found, water capacity, etc. I don't think they would ever try to physically weigh it.

Other than that, I believe you take a chance on a routine check.
You're probably right. I just don't see logistically how it can be done at the scene of an accident. If you were obviously overweight that's a different story. I would imagine an F-150 pulling a Redwood would be pretty obvious to most folks, but when you start talking 250, 350, etc the water is pretty muddy. As we're learning some F-250's could conceivably, legally tow a Redwood in the right circumstances. Whether or not you should is obviously a hot topic all together and not one I intend to debate.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:40 PM   #4
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I honestly think that if there was a death, and a sharp lawyer, all he would have to do is read the Gross weight rating of the trailer compared to the trailer rating specs for the truck, and if you are over, his work is done.

It would then become the trailer owners burden to start proving he traveled with no water and limited equipment to keep the trailer within the trucks GCWR. It would not be a fun task.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:48 PM   #5
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I honestly think that if there was a death, and a sharp lawyer, all he would have to do is read the Gross weight rating of the trailer compared to the trailer rating specs for the truck, and if you are over, his work is done.

It would then become the trailer owners burden to start proving he traveled with no water and limited equipment to keep the trailer within the trucks GCWR. It would not be a fun task.
I would think the lawyer would have just as much responsibility proving your weight was at the GVWR especially if you show what the weight from the factory was as shown inside the fifth wheel.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:37 PM   #6
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Agree that there are two viewpoints (maybe more )
but like Rick said, the weight sticker from the factory is good,
but a certified cat scale weight is the smart thing to do...
I keep a copy in the truck and scanned/emailed a copy to myself 'just in case'...
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:02 PM   #7
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I carry Cat scale certificate & while at a KOA park they offered a weighing at each wheel of TV & RW, so I have 2 forms of proof. I am under gross of vehicle with trailer, but just right at gross on the trailer.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:04 PM   #8
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Agree that there are two viewpoints (maybe more )
but like Rick said, the weight sticker from the factory is good,
but a certified cat scale weight is the smart thing to do...
I keep a copy in the truck and scanned/emailed a copy to myself 'just in case'...
Understood but easily 95% of RV'ers don't have this. Think about what percentage of RV'ers are actually on the boards, then think about the percentage of that who actually weigh their vehicles.

As for proving your innocent, seriously doubt that'll be the case. The stickers on all Redwoods would show a weight that is less than any F250 of virtually any era is capable of towing. Only facts would matter in court, not speculation.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:52 AM   #9
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They are kept plenty busy by the "obvious" over-weights, by this I mean: stickers. If the trailer is too big for the truck by specification. Plenty of people doing this, unfortunately. The dept of licensing has your vehicles GVWR in the system. They don't have to look at anything on the truck or trailer.
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Old 08-09-2014, 02:27 AM   #10
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Very true Todd
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:50 AM   #11
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The last few days with all the talk of SRWs and DRWs, weights and the such, got me thinking about my SRW and my weights. I am actually under by the scales, but not by much. No gennie, no washer dryer and we travel light. Looking at dualies, specifically a 2008 or 2011 Ram 3500. Both appear to not be able to tow as much as my SRW by sticker. Talking strictly fifth wheel. So my thought to go dually and be safer, on paper, do not appear to hold water. So those using F350 dually or 3500 dually, what would be the advantage of moving to a dually?
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:53 AM   #12
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Just an FYI - asked a good buddy of mine who is a accident reconstruction expert and police officer. If there is a serious accident with a fatality involved and weight is suspect, they will absolutely weigh the rig. They have portable scales. Or they might look to the tire information. As far as a not-so-serious, say no on-the-scene investigation, expect an accident reconstruction expert to play a role if there's litigation.

Btw, this good friend also weighed my rig for me early on with the portable scales.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:55 AM   #13
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If you tow with a Dually you'll never go back to single wheel.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:57 AM   #14
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Had an F450 towing my Montana. The recalls and radiator problems chased me away. It was a stable tow. With my air bags and Hellwig sway bar, I have no issues with sway or sag. That's why I am asking.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:25 AM   #15
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SRW vs. DRW #1 difference is tire carrying capacity, 2 tires vs 4 tires read the side wall on your tire and see the difference in weight rating/ all light truck tires will show both inflation and weight ratings- these may vary with manufacturer. If the tire rating is not heavy enough it will not matter what the axel is rated for. #2 you can't compare 08 to 11 or such as every year the rated towing capacity changes as do the HP and Tourque ratings, so if using those numbers newer should be better than older. #3 SAFETY- ever blow a tire on your tow vehicle with a 16000 pound trailer attached
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by piper guy View Post
Just an FYI - asked a good buddy of mine who is a accident reconstruction expert and police officer. If there is a serious accident with a fatality involved and weight is suspect, they will absolutely weigh the rig. They have portable scales. Or they might look to the tire information.
So my scientific mind is trying to figure out how they are going to weigh parts in a serious accident? Do they gather everything up and put it in a bucket on scales? Serious question. I'm just having trouble with the logistics of this.

As for the DMV having your GVW, that's not entirely accurate as well. In many states, Oregon included, you can more or less name your GVW and pay accordingly at time of registration.
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:19 PM   #17
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If you tow with a Dually you'll never go back to single wheel.
I agree, love our DRW.

I am not nearly as tired or sore at the end of a long day when pulling with our DRW as I was with our SRW.

Much better / smoother ride (especially on rough roads or in construction zones), no more white knuckles in storms, high wind and rain.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:10 PM   #18
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Understood but easily 95% of RV'ers don't have this. Think about what percentage of RV'ers are actually on the boards, then think about the percentage of that who actually weigh their vehicles.

As for proving your innocent, seriously doubt that'll be the case. The stickers on all Redwoods would show a weight that is less than any F250 of virtually any era is capable of towing. Only facts would matter in court, not speculation.
Not wanting to be argumentative, but our 2003 F-350 SRW had a GCWR of 20,000 lb., I was over by about 1,000 lb. hauling a 30/35 Titanium 5th wheel. It also had a GVWR of 9,900 lb. to fit under the 10,000 lb. limit that separates heavy trucks from light trucks in some licensing states/provinces. More than about 1,500 lb. on the pin would put it over GVWR. If my memory serves, the F-350 DRW in 2003 also had the same GCWR. The newer F-250's and 350's had their GCWR's bumped up.

I figure if I know what the GCWR is (although it isn't on the door post sticker) I'm sure a lawyer could get it as well.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by TNTBaker View Post
They are kept plenty busy by the "obvious" over-weights, by this I mean: stickers. If the trailer is too big for the truck by specification. Plenty of people doing this, unfortunately. The dept of licensing has your vehicles GVWR in the system. They don't have to look at anything on the truck or trailer.
True and it can be re-registered by paying more - so is it legal ? My gooberment says so
according to the scan attached of my registration...


Not trying to 'justify' anything at all, and
if I'm doing it because something 'could' happen - I'm wasting a lot of the few moments I have left .

How many times have you had a blowout on the truck towing ? I've never in 30 years..

How many times have you been in an accident while towing? I've never...

How many times have you been stopped and weighed ? I've never ...

How many times have you been tire and sore at the end of the day? Well, been that many times, but it was more trying to do things like keep up with the grandgirls at the waterpark or something ! not towing - heck - we do that with two fingers .

just saying
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:34 PM   #20
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The last few days with all the talk of SRWs and DRWs, weights and the such, got me thinking about my SRW and my weights. I am actually under by the scales, but not by much. No gennie, no washer dryer and we travel light. Looking at dualies, specifically a 2008 or 2011 Ram 3500. Both appear to not be able to tow as much as my SRW by sticker. Talking strictly fifth wheel. So my thought to go dually and be safer, on paper, do not appear to hold water. So those using F350 dually or 3500 dually, what would be the advantage of moving to a dually?
To me, the acute safety factor is the tire capacity. I maxed out my 7,200 lb tire capacity on the SRW, so I went to the dually. If you are under, then you have different options.
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