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Old 10-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #1
2011 Berkshire 390bh
 
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Weight Limits

I'm curious about one thing with our weight limits of the Berkshires. My 340HP engine rig has a carrying limit of less than 2,000 pounds. I'm told that the only difference between the 340 and the 360 is a chip in the engine. Yet, the carrying limit of the 360 is more than the 340. What else is different? Are the tires different or is there some other difference?
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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Ed,
Good question. I see in the Forest River brochure that the tires on the 340hp are the same as on the 360hp so that is not a factor. Must be the fact that the horse power is greater. Not sure why but that's the way it seems and not sure if anything else is different.
Tom
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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Tom,

That's the thing I don't understand. Horsepower should not have an effect on weight limits. Usually that would be a function of suspension, axles, and tires. I'm trying to figure out why the weights are different. If anyone has a 360 horse unit, I would be curious as to what the carrying capacity is.

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Old 10-26-2012, 07:07 PM   #4
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Ed,
You're right about the fact that horsepower should not have an effect on weight limits. Don't know what the difference could be that makes the weights different. Maybe someone at Forest River can give us a clue.
Tom
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #5
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The only difference I have been able to find is the transmission, which would probably result in different gear ratios, which would lessen available power to carry additional weight as evidenced on the rear axle and GVWR ratings.. I can find no difference in the axle suspension or drive train other than the trans and components.

Engine Cummins ISB 340HP Cummins ISB-XT 360HP
Torque (Ft. lb.) 660 800
Transmission Allison 2500MH Allison 3000MH
Hitch Rating (LBS.) 5,000 10,0000
Wheels Stainless Steel Simulators Aluminum
Front GAWR (LBS.) 10,410 10,410
Rear GAWR (LBS.) 17,500 19,000
GVWR (LBS.) 27,910 29,410
GCWR (LBS.) 32,910 39,410
Fuel Ta nk (GAL) 100 100
DEF Ta nk (GAL) 13 13
Tires 255/80R22.5 XRV LRG 255/80R22.5 XRV LRG
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:27 AM   #6
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I have a 360 in my 390bh. I think the only difference obviously more power, 10k hitch weight and the wheels are aluminum. With that said this past summer we took our rig in the Rockies towing a toad with no issue. More than enough power. We also always travel with full water tank as we do the laundry while driving. I have 3 kids so laundry in a daily thing. We also had the bay filled with food items. We traveled 6000 miles with no issue and averaged 9.5 mpg.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:23 AM   #7
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Klucas,

What concerns me is the posted weight limits. If I'm listed as being able to carry less than 2000 pounds and a full tank of diesel and a full tank of water put me at close to 1600 pounds then I don't have the available weight to do more than carry my wife and myself with no food or even the kids. It's just a concern that I may be driving a severely overloaded motor home which would be a safety issue.

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Old 10-27-2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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In my humble opinion- the frame-brakes-suspension are the same. I wouldn't worry to much about it. I would assume you will have underpowered issues on steep climbs ect.
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:07 PM   #9
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Weight Question

Hi,
It looks like this site might give some insight to the weight question.
http://changingears.com/rv-sec-tow-vehicles-understand.shtml#_gcwr
The specification sheets for the Berkshire give the GVAR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) and the difference is 5000 lbs. in my case a 2008 360QS.

According to this site;
GCWR: Gross Combination Weight Rating
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum number that the tow vehicle GVW plus towed vehicle GVW (or GTW) should never exceed”
This site also treats tongue weight as a number to be added to the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight).
This is a good reason to justify weighing the whole assembly to be sure you do not exceed the GCWR as indicated in the Berkshire Specification Sheet.

Good Luck,
AREA51
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:01 PM   #10
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Interesting topic. The hitch on a 390rb 340 hp is rated at 5000# but is the same hitch you would get if you wanted to tow 10000#. I'm not saying you can exceed the tow capacity listed for the MH but the hitch is not the limiting factor. The tires are rated at 5205 which gives you a front GAW of 10410. The Axel that is used on the front is rated at 10500 so changing to a 275 tire would only increase your GAR to 10500 a 90# increase.
As far as I can tell and I'm not a expert and am also a very new newbie the limiting factor is the transmission used on the 340hp. The 2500 is a good transmission but its not a 3000 that is used on the 360hp.
I would study the yellow sticker on the door and weigh your MH. I believe that using you MH as it was designed and not overloading is in everyone's best interest.
I also wish that RV sales people would ask more questions and do a better job of matching your needs to the right equipment. My next MH I buy the test drive will be a trip to the scale and a study of the yellow sticker to make sure it fits my needs. I think some sales people do that.
I also think that most sales people tell you it's a DP tow and carry anything you want.
I may have some numbers wrong here I'm suggesting you check yours before you find yourself in a overloaded situation.
As a pilot I was trained to not enter into a path that would contribute to a accident. One thing leads to another. If you weren't overweight you would have been able to stop when the brakes partially failed on a steep grade. The chain of events that lead to a accident.
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