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Old 07-31-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
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Dry weight or GVWR

I'm new to the forum and would appreciate advice on finding the right TT for my TV. I noticed most refer to GVWR, not Dry Weight, when discussing towing capacity. Is this because the Dry Weights posted on the TT spec sheets are not accurate? The dealers I've talked to always refer to the dry weight on the door sticker.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:07 PM   #2
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Yes,factory dry weights aren't terribly accurate but, other than dragging it home from the dealer, it'll never empty.

The camper's GVWR number is the best number to use to determine if it fits within your TV's capacity. You'll probably never load it to capacity, but that'll give you some cushion.

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Old 08-01-2012, 12:13 AM   #3
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Actually, the GVWR numbers can be misleading. I have seen two very similar fifth wheels, with very similar dry weights, but with vastly different GVWRs. The reason? The axles. The "lighter" trailer had 4000 lb axles, the other 5000 lbs.
As it would be almost impossible to pack an extra 2000 lbs of gear into the camper, the GVWR on the "heavier" trailer is misleading.
The dry weights are not that far off, so is a good starting point. If you are going to carry a full tank of water, add that weight, plus about 1000 lbs for gear, and maybe 500 lbs for stuff in the truck box. That should get you in the ballpark, but everyone's situation is different.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Actually, the GVWR numbers can be misleading. I have seen two very similar fifth wheels, with very similar dry weights, but with vastly different GVWRs. The reason? The axles. The "lighter" trailer had 4000 lb axles, the other 5000 lbs.
As it would be almost impossible to pack an extra 2000 lbs of gear into the camper, the GVWR on the "heavier" trailer is misleading.
The dry weights are not that far off, so is a good starting point. If you are going to carry a full tank of water, add that weight, plus about 1000 lbs for gear, and maybe 500 lbs for stuff in the truck box. That should get you in the ballpark, but everyone's situation is different.
Not sure if I am following your example. To me the GVWR is a weight limit, regardless if I stock it to the max or not. Are you thinking with reasonable stocking the GVWR will not come into play?
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:39 AM   #5
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the term "dry" weight has two meanings. one is the "dry" weight posted on websites and in brochures. this is, generally, the weight of a stripped-down version of the RV.

then there's the factory "dry" weight, also referred to as UVW or unloaded vehicle weight. this is the actual weight of the RV when it leaves the factory for the dealer. this is the weight on the outside yellow sticker. on older RVs, it's on a white sticker inside the RV, usually on the inside of a cabinet door.
this UVW is the best number to work with. it gives you the weight, with options included and factors in the weight of propane.

GVWR is usually a good rule of thumb to use, except for some RVs that have tremendous cargo capacities, that no one would ever reach.
GVWR is the best to go by if you don't have the ability to actually look at the yellow sticker.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:50 AM   #6
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In my opinion, if you plan for worst case you will never be "unsafe."

If you find yourself with a few hundred pounds of excess capacity you will find your camper and tow vehicle will last longer.

If you plan for a minimalist camping experience you will be kicking yourself for doing so; you will reduce the useful life of your camper and tow vehicle; and you won't be able to take your friends and their gear along when you want to.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:59 AM   #7
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Dry weight on brochure often means TT will be 1000 lbs extra when you pack it and weight it for the first time. Even when you pack really light. A lot nicer just packing TT not having to worry about every item you add also add extra weight.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:18 AM   #8
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My fifth has a GVWR that is 2000 lbs above my sticker dry weight, so I doubt I will ever overload it. I have seen a similar fifth with a GVWR that is almost 4000 lbs above its dry weight. How on earth could one ever load 4000 lbs of stuff into their camper, even if every tank was right full?
That is why GVWR can be misleading.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
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My fifth has a GVWR that is 2000 lbs above my sticker dry weight, so I doubt I will ever overload it. I have seen a similar fifth with a GVWR that is almost 4000 lbs above its dry weight. How on earth could one ever load 4000 lbs of stuff into their camper, even if every tank was right full?
That is why GVWR can be misleading.
The only campers I am familiar with that have that kind of spread are toy haulers. That allows you to put your Quad or several motorcycles in the back.

Perhaps you can be more specific.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:49 AM   #10
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I was looking at Sabres, and the 281RLDS is a good example, 8005 lb dry weight but a GVWR of 12,204 lbs. And it ain't no toy hauler.
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