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Old 01-13-2015, 11:27 PM   #1
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How are dry weight and GVWR determined?

I have a 2015 Forest River Rockwood Premier 2516G. It has a GVWR of 3292, and and "unloaded weight" of 2473, with an axle weight (per specs) of 2181, with a cargo capacity of 800 pounds.

Then there's the yellow sticker:



Per the yellow sticker the dry weight as it shipped from the factory was 2717 pounds, leaving a margin of 515 pounds for cargo.

First question: What does that 2717 include? Is that including empty propane tanks? Does it include the factory-installed optional fridge? Furnace? Single battery?

Second question: What is the basis the manufacturer uses to arrive at 3292 as the GVWR? Is this based on what the axle can handle, assuming 10-15% tongue weight? What the tires can handle? What the trailer's frame can handle?


My reason for digging deeper: As it shipped from the factory it has a cargo capacity of 515 pounds. Whether or not that includes the empty propane tanks, I don't know. What I do know is that I've added an air conditioner (85 pounds), a second battery (55 pounds), and possible a first battery (55 pounds, assuming batteries don't count in that 2717 dry weight figure).

It's difficult enough to drain the water heater of its six gallons that there's a good chance when I tow I'll be carrying the weight of the water heater's six gallons: 49 pounds. The cassette toilet's freshwater tank holds around 5 gallons: 42 pounds. If I tow with water in the main freshwater tank (such as for boondocking), that's another 167 pounds. Let's start doing the math:

515 - 85 (air cond) - 55 (2nd battery) - 55 (1st battery) - 49 (hot water) - 42 (toilet water supply) - 167 (freshwater tank) = 62 pounds remaining cargo capacity. That's 62 pounds for bedding, pots/pans, a stocked fridge, chocks, leveling blocks, empty graywater jugs, etc. And that assumes I don't have to count the 76 pounds that two full propane tanks weigh. If I count those, I'm actually over the GVWR without putting any other supplies on the trailer.

So of course the first solution is to not tow with water in the tanks. Stop at the CG spigot before backing into the slip, and carry some empty jugs to refill with. Also be sure to purge both the water heater and the toilet's freshwater. Now if we're counting propane and batteries, the math works out like this:
515 - 85 (ac) - 110 (two batteries) - 76 (two propane tanks) = 244 pounds for cargo.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:37 PM   #2
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The way I understand it is dry weight is the weight of a base model trailer without dealer options, propane and battery. Yellow sticker weight is as it rolls of the factory line. I've been told if a dealership adds weight in options then they are supposed to reweigh a trailer and put a new yellow sticker on it. Not sure if that is gospel truth or not. Gvwr is the most a trailer can weigh loaded. This is usually determined by the weakest link in the trailer whether it is tires, axles,frame etc. Please someone correct me if I misunderstand how this works.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:49 PM   #3
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I've heard different stories on the yellow sticker. What I have heard is that it is "as built" with factory options included (A/C) and includes full propane since that is a known weight at X pounds. But it does *not* include batteries since they vary in weight based on what the person wants.

I can say that my 42' fifth wheel measured at about 200 lbs. heavier when I emptied it and weighed it from its yellow sticker. That was 600 pounds heavier than the advertised dry weight. BUT- there's a huge difference between a heavy 12k fifth wheel and a sub-3,000 pound TT. Just trying to say they're different from one another.

I've never heard of a dealer reissuing a yellow sticker, but have seen and heard of dealers writing in grease paint on the frame what the actual unit weighs.

The "dry weight"'is typically without options, propane, or batteries.

Davido_, you're right- carrying water will quickly eat up cargo carrying capacity.

The GVWR is typically calculated at the axles plus X% for tongue weight. Unless the tire load capacity isn't higher than the axles (rare, but it happens). Then it is theirs plus tongue weight. Another member; one of the moderators, got talking to an engineer at a rally. The moderator (Herk) wanted to swap out his axles with higher capacity ones to increase his GVWR. The engineer said that it's not always just the axles that are the problem; it can be walls or frame or any number of things. You can't just change one thing and boom- get higher capacity. That said/on the flip side, there are fifth wheels like mine that they did go from 6k to 7k axles and that was enough to increase their capacity by 2,000 lbs. Just saying that there are a lot of variables there.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:37 AM   #4
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As you have discovered, smaller trailers, especially single axle ones usually have very CCC numbers.
this is usually because they are marketed for smaller tow vehicles with towing capacities of 3500lbs. or lower.
batteries are not factory, so not included in yellow sticker number.
empty propane tanks are and are included in that number.
brochure/website "dry" weights are for a stripped-down version of the trailer.
Yellow sticker weight is the weight leaving the factory, with the "options" most trailers have.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:07 AM   #5
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So my propane tanks are included in the yellow sticker weight (but there are conflicting estimates as to whether they are counted as full, at 38 pounds each, or empty at 18 pounds each).

My batteries are not included in the yellow sticker weight (2xGroup 24 @ 55# each).

My AC (85#) is not included in the yellow sticker weight because I had it installed by the dealership a month after taking delivery of the trailer.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:32 AM   #6
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The older white weight stickers did include the propane tank weights, in the UVW, but not the weight of the propane.
So, yes, those three things come out of the 518lbs. amount.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:45 AM   #7
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Just a note: read all your stickers on your trailer carefully. my trailers listed dry weight was 7120lbs from the mfg website. it came with a sticker saying dry weight of 7580lbs. when looking closer at it the sticker on the trailer said it was weighed with the trailers fresh and and hot water tanks full. 46 gal for me. so that's huge amount of weight. every mfg is different so just be careful. I know mine is going to the scales the same day I pick it up to confirm numbers
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Old 01-14-2015, 06:08 AM   #8
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That's the best thing to do. Go to scales with everything full and see where your at and check your tires load range.


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Old 01-14-2015, 06:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daverobenolt View Post
That's the best thing to do. Go to scales with everything full and see where your at and check your tires load range.


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X2 Take it to the scales it's the only way to know for sure what your unit weighs. Also a small amount of weigh is transferred to the tow vehicle / through the tongue. Cat Scales are best to weigh by axle / trailer & tow vehicle.

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Old 01-14-2015, 08:11 AM   #10
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I agree with the above. Hard to do before you buy, though. I expect very few dealers would be willing to weigh them before the sale but maybe I'm wrong.

Oaklevel, I thought the tongue weight was included in the camper's GVWR which is why you should weigh the truck and compare connected and then just the truck alone so you can math to get the camper's actual weight.
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