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Old 04-10-2013, 12:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by wnytaxman View Post
Many of us have a concern with the low numbers on our carrying capacity of our rigs. I was wondering if there is any way to improve that. I know that the capacity is a function of tires, suspension, frame, etc. I know I can add a few hundred pounds of capacity by just switching to aluminum wheels, but what else can be done?
It depends on what you are trying to do. If you want to increase the GVW you can change the front air bags to increase the front axel to 12000 lbs it us currently 10500 on the Berkshire. That does not give you more GCVW. That would be limited to 33000 on the 340hp and that is limited by the 2500 transmission as per Allison. You would also need to replace all 6 tires to 275/80R22.5. The brake and all other components are the same for a 10500 lb axel or a 12000 lb. There is not a cost effective way to increase the rear axel as this would be pointless because of the limit of the transmission. If you are due for tires anyway it is a good and cost effective upgrade. A Freightliner shop would need to flash the computer to take the larger tires. Be aware that the larger tires do fill up the wheel well. When the air is dumped there is no room in the well. I put the tire covers on before I level as it is that close. The Shift points change also and for the better. The ride is much better and much more stable. I do not know what the cost is of the airbags but they are easy to replace and not that expensive. If you are not towing it increase your load carrying ability by 1500lbs and more important lets you be under weight on the front axel which lets you carry less air in the tires all the way around.If you are towing you are still limited to 33000. I am going with a jeep at 3800 instead of my Buick which is 4800.this should give me a very capable MH. The 255 must be at 110lbs. My 275 I have 95 in the front and 90 rear and that gives a much softer ride. PM if you want more info.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:24 AM   #12
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wnytaxman; You might check into it but I keep hearing others talk about a retro fit that FR is doing on the Berkshires and replacing the front axle and suspension to increase the weight allowance on the front axles. They're doing it at the Freightliner ship in S.C.
The front axel casting is the same from 10000 lb.- 12000 lbs. all components except the air bag are the same brakes, bearings everything. I had this from the axel manufacture as well as from FL.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:33 AM   #13
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Brakes are the weakest link and the most overlooked!
Brakes are the same for all 33000 GCVW Freightliner chassis. GCVW can not be changed. You can only increase the GVW. I may not have the terms correct. On the 340hp we are limited to 27900lb and that can be increased by 1500lb by changing air bags on the steer axel and new 275 tires. But still limited to 33000 by the drivetrain. This is worth doing as the front axel is to close on most MH to max weight.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:13 AM   #14
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Earl's just trying to get me to buy a tag axle so he can check it out when we tailgate at Penn State this fall!

There's only two things standing between me and a bigger rig and one of them is my wife and the other is the pile of dollars a bigger one would cost.

Not true Ed... Just trying to stimulate the economy for the better. :-)
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:16 AM   #15
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Not true Ed... Just trying to stimulate the economy for the better. :-)


Aww heck Earl, what do you say we both upgrade? That would really stimulate the economy.

Ed
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:44 AM   #16
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If what you have is not big enough-trade it in and get something that is...if you just change a component or a few of them, the rest that you don t change bears the burden. Everything that bears weight, rotates or moves has to be changed to balance out the load it carries....ie bigger tire, then bigger rim, then bearings, then axles/springs...then frame and all components attached to it....then hitch or pin weight....then components on TV....the list is endless....good luck.....
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:12 AM   #17
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If what you have is not big enough-trade it in and get something that is...if you just change a component or a few of them, the rest that you don t change bears the burden. Everything that bears weight, rotates or moves has to be changed to balance out the load it carries....ie bigger tire, then bigger rim, then bearings, then axles/springs...then frame and all components attached to it....then hitch or pin weight....then components on TV....the list is endless....good luck.....
I see that I didn't explain myself as well as I should have. If any one wants info for a Motorhome and increasing the GAW on the steer axel only and not increasing the GCVW send me a PM. This is safe and was done by the engineers at Freightliner. This is not something I dreamed up in my backyard. I would not recommend changing anything that would cause a unsafe condition. The above comment makes it seem that Freightliner uses a new part for every chassis they build. That is simply not true. They build a class of chassis and put the components that make it the custom chassis that FR ordered. Parts can be changed as long as you do not exceed the gross weight that the chassis was designed for. If you read my post I do not recommend doing that. But if you are to close to gross axel weight on the steer axel it can be fixed and should be fixed.
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:18 PM   #18
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I'm staying out of this one.......

Except to say that Phil57 has been through the "wars" on this one and knows of what he speaks.

I can verify (having talked to FL) that everything he says is pretty much "spot on".

Boowho??
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:04 PM   #19
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I talked to Buffalo RV about the weight issue and the question about what can be done, if anything, to increase the carrying capacity of the unit. They contacted Forest River and I was told someone would be getting to me in a day or two. That was Monday and still no contact from Forest River. I have always been a big booster of Forest River and Berkshire, in particular, but I am getting more than a little perturbed by their lack of customer service on this matter. We are talking a safety issue here and not something that I really want to take a chance on.

In case you are curious, I'm reasonably sure that Buffalo RV did contact FR because I got a follow up e-mail from Buffalo RV to see if anyone had contacted me yet.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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I talked to Buffalo RV about the weight issue and the question about what can be done, if anything, to increase the carrying capacity of the unit. They contacted Forest River and I was told someone would be getting to me in a day or two. That was Monday and still no contact from Forest River. I have always been a big booster of Forest River and Berkshire, in particular, but I am getting more than a little perturbed by their lack of customer service on this matter. We are talking a safety issue here and not something that I really want to take a chance on.

In case you are curious, I'm reasonably sure that Buffalo RV did contact FR because I got a follow up e-mail from Buffalo RV to see if anyone had contacted me yet.
Have you weighed your coach to see if you are over??

Almost every truck stop has a scale and the cost will be $8-10.

Boowho??
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