My wife and I went through this same discussion. We almost bought the FR Solera. It came fully equipped with the autolevelers and everything. Then, I looked at the GVWR and its unloaded weight and determined that we would be overweight everytime we went on a trip. We'd be limited to less than 150 pounds of gear with our grey and black tanks empty!
I know there are those that ignore this rating, some fluff is certainly built in, but when the safety of my family is at risk I don't skimp.
There a several good threads on this topic on FR Forums. I pasted one below.
To assume you can drive without anything in the grey or black water tanks (as the author assumed) is unrealistic. There have been many times I could not dump at a campground and was driving with all tanks at least half full. In the end, we found a sprinter would not work from a safety standpoint.
Good luck with your choice.
I have a new 2013 Solera 24R. Before I loaded it I weighed it.
fresh water tank empty
grey waste tank empty
black waste tank empty
24 inch TV
Backup camera with monitor
Extra coach battery
Bigfoot rear stabilizer jacks
Carbon monoxide detector
front axle 3640
rear axle 6300
We always boondock or dry camp. We arrive very clsoe to dark, so I do not want to waste time getting water on the way. So we leave home full of water. That is 292 pounds.
Max of 11,030-10232 = 798 for people and cargo
400 for two people
200 tongue weight
198 pounds left for all the dishes and food.
This is not going to work. Looks like I will have to transfer some cargo and perhaps even some of the water to the ATV trailer.
It sure would be nice to have another 600 pounds of cargo capacity.
Technically, the only weight on the axle is the sprung weight. The unsprung weight never counts towards axle capacity because it does not contribute to weight on the axle (tires, wheels, axle housing, the axle, etc.
Or am I confusing total weight rating with the sum of the axle ratings?
Jay & Jane (Jazzy and Jewel, too)
2014 FR3 30DS
Twin Cities, MN