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Old 05-21-2022, 04:38 PM   #1
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Question Toad weight, capacity, etc. newbie help

Hi all! I am very soon to become an owner of a FR Georgetown 36D7.My first ever RV. Before i do something stupid, am I correct that GCWR - GVWR = weight of toad + all the food and clothes , etc. I will load in the RV?

With that in mind… do any of you have anything to help me decide what might be the best or very good options for the toad?

Appreciate any comments!
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Old 05-22-2022, 01:32 PM   #2
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No, not correct.

GCWR - GVWR = weight of toad unrestricted but only if you replace the 5,000 lb stock hitch with a 7,500 lb hitch and just remember that you can only tow 6,000 lbs unrestricted.

"Unrestricted" means you always can tow that amount of weight as long as you have an adequate supplemental braking system on whatever is being towed.

The weight difference between GVWR and GCWR can only be used to tow something, never to load extra weight in the motorhome. That's because the thing you're towing is "horizontal weight".

What you put in the motorhome, including water, is "vertical weight" and must be supported by the axles, frame, etc. "Vertical weight" also includes any tongue weight of what you're towing.

On your door frame you have an OCCC sticker. That federally-mandated sticker tells you what you can load in the motorhome. That weight assumes full propane and full fuel but nothing else. It lists the weight of fresh water solely for your reference.

That sticker is accurate of when yours was weighed at the factory right before it was delivered. I attached the one from our 2020 GT5 34H5 which is on the smaller 22,000 GVWR chassis. You have the 24,000 GVWR chassis.

Hope this helps,

Ray
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Old 05-22-2022, 04:42 PM   #3
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Big thank you!

Thanks very much!

As a follow up… without replacing the hitch I can only tow 5000 - because of the hitch. But technically I”could” tow 6000 with a stronger hitch?

I’ve not yet taken delivery, but will this week or early next…I’ll pay close attention to the sticker you showed.

Again, thanks.
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamills6377 View Post
Hi all! I am very soon to become an owner of a FR Georgetown 36D7.My first ever RV. Before i do something stupid, am I correct that GCWR - GVWR = weight of toad + all the food and clothes , etc. I will load in the RV?

With that in mind… do any of you have anything to help me decide what might be the best or very good options for the toad?

Appreciate any comments!
Probably a 5000lb hitch on Georgetown units. That should do you.

Now…..how much of a toad do you really need? not want, really need?
The lighter the better, and flat towing is way easier than dolly or trailer for so many reasons.
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamills6377
As a follow up… without replacing the hitch I can only tow 5000 - because of the hitch. But technically I”could” tow 6000 with a stronger hitch?
It depends on how much you believe in safety margins. I believe in them a lot.

I would never tow 5,000 lbs on a 5,000 lb rated hitch. I prefer 15% to 20% as a safety margin. My Equinox weighs just under 4,000 lbs so I'm OK with pulling that on a 5,000 lb hitch.

If you upgraded to a 7,500 lb hitch you could pull the full 6,000 lbs since that's a 20% safety margin.

You actually can pull more than 6,000 lbs as long as you stay below GVWR. For example, if your fully-loaded-up-for-a-trip weight is 23,000 lbs, 1,000 lbs below GVWR, you can add that 1,000 lbs to the (GCWR minus GVWR) calculation and tow 7,000 lbs but with only a 6.5% safety margin.

Also, the best way to determine the toad's weight is to fill the tank, put whatever junk in it that you might carry, drive to a CAT Scale and weigh the toad with no one in it.

If you can't do that then you can start with the published "Curb weight" but remember that that figure often is the lowest stripped-down version.

Quote:
I’ve not yet taken delivery, but will this week or early next…I’ll pay close attention to the sticker you showed.
It's amazing how much the multitude of "stuff" adds up.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 05-22-2022, 06:38 PM   #6
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Since this is your first RV, you might find the info below of value, even though it has nothing to do with towing.

Ray

My canned thoughts on PDI's (pre-delivery inspection) and dealer responsiveness:

YOU MUST take control of the PDI process. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, RELY SOLELY ON THE DEALER PDI!

You must do your own. Dealer PDIs usually are cursory and maybe a few hours long because they have other things their people need to do.

What we did on our motorhome:

We took three full days to do our PDI. Our dealer was very accommodating because we told them in advance what we were going to do. My wife started at the back while I started at the front and we each worked to the other end.

The first day was on shore power and city water at the dealer. A major issue we found was that the bed slide was binding a bit. It would stick on one side briefly and then jump to catch up. The more we ran it, the more it bound up. That's unacceptable, even though the dealer said it was "normal". We later found where multiple screws and staples were sticking up too far from the bed platform's carpeting and causing the binding.

The second day was on generator, propane, and tank water at the dealer. Your first generator oil change is at 20 hours and yes, running it for six to eight hours during this day of the PDI will get you close to your first generator oil and filter change.  

The third day was to scrutinize the exterior, from the undercarriage to the roof, very, very closely. Remember, any dings, scratches, cracks, etc. that you report after you drive off the lot may be deemed to have occurred after you took delivery. Don't go there.

I probably spent a half-hour underneath and found wires hanging loose, a broken screw on a propane bracket, and hydraulic lines rubbing. Take a lot of pictures so you'll know how things looked when new. Climbing up the ladder I saw a large jagged gouge in the rear cap. It appeared someone had come down the ladder with a tool in their pocket or something.

Yes, we found many things the dealer missed and they were OK with that because we did their job for them.

- DO NOT ACCEPT DELIVERY AND THE TITLE UNTIL every problem is either fixed or until you know when and how a problem will be repaired. We left ours at the dealer for a full month until most things were repaired.

Remember, once you make the final payment to the dealer the warranty starts.

Your initial goal is to get as much as possible resolved before the warranty clock starts. That gives more time for other things to break while under warranty. 🙂

- DO NOT schedule a trip immediately, before PDI defect repairs are completed, thinking you'll check more things over on your first trip and the dealer will have a more comprehensive list. That. Never. Works.

"GetItHome-itis" WILL cause you a LOT of grief as things go unresolved. It also can leave you stranded somewhere.

But once you have a post-repair delivery date, schedule a few days on the road because there is a lot that can only fail once you've actually used it a few times. We went to a local state park for three days. And then did it again.

- DO NOT LEAVE THE DEALER WITH ANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ON HOW A SYSTEM WORKS. You will regret it.

- During your PDI, turn EVERY screw gently and write up every one that will not fully tighten. We found several. Open every cabinet. Look behind the drawers with a flashlight to see if anything looks wrong. We had a drawer that needed pushed harder than the others to latch and it turned out the drawer was hitting on some wiring behind it. Literally, go through everything with the proverbial fine-toothed comb. And then do it again.

- Build your tool bag during your PDI and leave it in the motorhome. You'll need some S-tip screwdrivers for all of the square-headed screws on these things. I bought this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

- Read voraciously on various forums to learn about problems others have had and specifically look for them on yours, especially on this Georgetown forum: https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f16/ I found a lot of things common to others once I knew to look for them and I refused delivery until they were corrected.

- If the dealer tells you something like "They all work that way" and you think it's wrong, DO NOT ACCEPT THAT. Get it made right. Write it up repeatedly if you need to.

- When, not "if", the dealer says "We're waiting on Forest River to approve the warranty claim" or to send parts, whatever, IMMEDIATELY ask them for the claim number and other details. Tell them you will personally be calling the manufacturer the next day to find out what the delay is. Almost every time I did that the dealer's rep said "There's no need. We'll call them again today" and voila, by magic things moved faster. Once or twice they did tell me to call and said they hoped I had better luck. As the customer, I did.

- Run every appliance for a while when you're doing your PDI, not just on and off a few minutes later. We had an air conditioner that would trip a breaker after a few hours of operation. We found that on the second day of our PDI. We brought along a few clothes to test out the Splendide combo washer/dryer and it was fortunate we did. That thing vibrated so badly it shook the hold-down bracket off the wall.

- ALWAYS WRITE UP EVERYTHING, NO MATTER HOW MINOR. You are establishing a written history to help protect your interests in the future. If you have to repair something, WRITE IT UP and ask the dealer to double-check your work to assure it was done properly.

The goal is to get EVERYTHING, no matter how "minor", listed in the manufacturer's warranty system. Again, no matter how minor. One item I thought was very minor turned out to be major and required that the entire refrigerator be replaced.

- Take a LOT of pictures so there's no question about how something looked when new. Those pics will help you later if nothing else.

- ALWAYS re-report something that is still awaiting repair. DO NOT assume that the dealer is keeping track of those pending items.

- IMMEDIATELY REPORT ANY WATER LEAKS! If you call it in, follow-up with an immediate email so there is a written record of your contact. Many warranties only cover seals and similar for 90 days, not the full year.

If you see even a small dribble of water where it should not be, REPORT IT! Water is very destructive and you have no idea how long the problem has existed, just how long you've seen it.

- Provide the dealer with a good, written description of every issue and include pictures if applicable. Dealers almost always need to submit pictures with their warranty claims. Make them your pictures. Your goal is to enable them to duplicate the problem and to make it easy for them to do so. Step by step instructions on how to make something act up helps them a lot.

Over the first year, I had 98 pages of problems although a few were carryovers (not repaired on a previous service appointment for some reason). There were a lot of pictures in that 98 pages so it's not quite as bad as it seemed.  

I wrote everything up in Microsoft Word and kept every item in its own section with its own title so there was no doubt where one issue ended and another began. I then saved it as a PDF and emailed the PDF to the dealer about a week before our appointment.

Be certain to ask the service department if they passed your original write-up to the techs that will work on your unit. Ours would not so I ended up printing it out and leaving it on the dash when we dropped the unit off.

- Upon leaving a service appointment, ALWAYS schedule the next one so you'll have a slot. There are months-long delays at dealer service centers and your goal is to jump to the head of the line on your timetable.

YOU must be your own advocate. Be persistent but not rude or disrespectful but don't let them ignore you or walk on you. If that happens it's OK to get a bit upset.

Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamills6377 View Post
Hi all! I am very soon to become an owner of a FR Georgetown 36D7.My first ever RV. Before i do something stupid, am I correct that GCWR - GVWR = weight of toad + all the food and clothes , etc. I will load in the RV?

With that in mind… do any of you have anything to help me decide what might be the best or very good options for the toad?

Appreciate any comments!
All good responses.
I'll address the "toad" question. In the 4 years we've had our Georgetown XL 378, with a 5,000 lb. hitch we've towed three different vehicles, all three 4 down. First was a Chevy HHR that was a hold over from our first RV. Second was a Lincoln MKZ 3.7 liter, only one you can flat tow. This year we are towing A Jeep Wrangler.
For ease of set up for towing the Chevy and the Lincoln both needed baseplates and a fair amount of bodywork removal to install. The Jeep only required changing the ends on our towbar to work with the front bumper clevis rings. On the Lincoln and Jeep we use/used magnetic mount wireless tail lights. HHR is all plastic, so it was hardwired.
The Lincoln was the heavyset of the Toads at a little over 4,000 lbs. The Jeep and HHR are both sub 3,000 lbs. We're not sporting a newer Jeep, but a 2005 TJ. Bought it stock a few months ago, (seriously, stock) but have since modified it a bit to suit our needs.
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