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Old 11-13-2010, 10:18 AM   #11
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If you are above your truck GVWR, adding helper spring or air bag won't make it legal to pull 5 er if you get stop by the ministry of transportation or police. You can get charged by being overweighted.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:35 AM   #12
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Especially in Arizona, you do not want your rig to be over it's limit because DPS will stop you. I've seen and been through the DPS check points for semi's and RV's.
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Old 11-13-2010, 11:41 AM   #13
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I agree, but not sure about the "legal" comment. Care to source that?
If you are involved in a traffic accident, especially if it involves serious injury or death, your insurance may walk away if the investigation determines you were overloaded at the time of the mishap.

Believe it or not (call YOUR insurance to be sure) this is true even if you are determined to be not at fault but can be shown to have contributed to the accident by even 1 percent. (I.E. could have stopped in time, but could not due to being overloaded.)

I know of no case where a "non-commercial" vehicle has been stopped for being "over weight" in the US, however if a trooper observes what he believes to be an unsafe load combination they WILL stop you and can order you to a weigh station.

If you are then determined to be over weight you can be sited just like a commercial rig. You can check this one yourself as well with a call to your state's DOT.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:06 PM   #14
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dont forget, the total 5th wheel wieght is DRY, common thing to do is ADD 1500 lbs Loaded, unless your wife is like Mine, better add 2500 lbs
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:01 PM   #15
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I appreciated the opinions. Good discussion. Although I am not convinced that there are actual laws associated with this issue. Civil ramifications and insurance issues such as what Herk is referring to are distinct and different from a specific motor vehicle law. So is proper registration if you state requires it be licensed to tow a certain weight.

Again, I see a lot of "opinions", but can someone point to a legal statute? If not that, than how about a few real cases of someone found criminally negligent? There ought to be a ton of them out there considering how much this gets thrown around on the internet.

Understand that I am not trying to make an argument that we should tow more than our TVs will allow. Quite the contrary, I typically fall into the category of "weight police" and believe that each TV has some limitations that should be understood. For example, mine is a 2008 Toyota Sequoia and the big limiter is its payload cap of 1230lbs. That's important to know but is it the law?

Bottom line - I am interested in getting past the sensationalism and/or urban legend, if you will. I am not a lawyer so I won't even pretend to give a definitive answer one way or the other with regards to the law, but I would be interested in something more concrete than opinion if anyone can source it.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:08 PM   #16
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There are NO legal ramifications of towing overloaded, as long as you are not towing commercial. There is NO state in the US that enforces any weight restrictions for non commercial towing. As far as I know BC Canada is the only place in N America where GVWR/GCWR are law. But while there are no laws against it, it is really dumb to put your family at that sort of risk if you were ever in an accident.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:17 PM   #17
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Now that the legal issues have been addressed, did anyone answer jdudd's original question? Which are better? Airbag suspension add-ons or extra helper springs? I've weighed my set-up several times, so I know that I'm "legal", but I'm just trying to get my headlights back on the road in front of me. I've got the duel-cam set-up exactly per spec (and per the forum experts!), but the rear of the truck drops 3 or 4 inches when towing. Not looking to add any weight, just looking to level.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:27 PM   #18
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I agree donn. Its just that its important to understand where we get some of these beliefs we hold so dear. Cheers.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:57 PM   #19
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Now that the legal issues have been addressed, did anyone answer jdudd's original question? Which are better? Airbag suspension add-ons or extra helper springs? I've weighed my set-up several times, so I know that I'm "legal", but I'm just trying to get my headlights back on the road in front of me. I've got the duel-cam set-up exactly per spec (and per the forum experts!), but the rear of the truck drops 3 or 4 inches when towing. Not looking to add any weight, just looking to level.
IMHO air bags are the best choice. Reason is that you can add or subtract air as necessary to maintain a comfortable ride. Can't do that with helper springs or Timbrens.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:05 PM   #20
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Now that the legal issues have been addressed, did anyone answer jdudd's original question? Which are better? Airbag suspension add-ons or extra helper springs? I've weighed my set-up several times, so I know that I'm "legal", but I'm just trying to get my headlights back on the road in front of me. I've got the duel-cam set-up exactly per spec (and per the forum experts!), but the rear of the truck drops 3 or 4 inches when towing. Not looking to add any weight, just looking to level.
I hate to say this but that's more sag in the rear of that truck than I would expect. Did you measure the truck's wheel well distance before and after you hitched up? Typically, you want the truck lower and squatting the same or nearly the same amount front and rear, with the trailer level, and the w/d bars level to the TT frame. If that's done right, there is no headlight problem. If the rear is lower than the front, you can increasing tension on the w/d bars and you may have to tilt the hitch head down.
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