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Old 08-15-2009, 03:10 PM   #1
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Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

This issue has come up before but I think it deserves it's own thread. Has anyone approached SMB about their empty van weighing equal to or greater than the gross vehicle weight rating as stated on the driver's door jamb?

This seems like a fundamental issue. Strictly speaking, this would allow no water, gear, food, etc.

I'd appreciate hearing about any conversations with SMB about this.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:55 PM   #2
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

While you can only find the spec from Land Rover and on some 70 series Land Cruisers it is generally accepted that stronger springs, shocks, axles and drive line will raise the GVW some.
It would take a mountain of work by SMB, ARB, Dynatrac and Ford to figure out the new GVW of a 4x4 SMB but I am willing to bet with 4 people, food, fuel and water you would be ok.

I think the most important thing is to realize you are at max wgt and make sure to do all your preventative maint & greasing on or ahead of normal service schedules.

I have been running my FJ Cruiser over GVW for 2 yrs and it has causes some extra wear but only when I was pushing things to the limit offroad.
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Old 08-15-2009, 05:56 PM   #3
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

When S-K did my 4wd conversion, the front WR and GVWR were both raised. GVWR now is 9999# - my choice since over 10,000# GVWR can cause other issues - including AAA may not tow vehicles over 10,000 GVWR.

Mike
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog225
This seems like a fundamental issue.
It is a fundamental issue. Especially when ubber reliability under high stress situations is required.

The Dana 60 axle is used in the F450 and F550, so it should handle the weight if the springs and frame are up to it. The van frames were strengthened for the 08 model year.

A free floating rear axle becomes much more appealing under these conditions too.

Forget about D rated tires.

Towing a 10,000lb trailer with an extended van would be much improved if it was a dually.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:47 AM   #5
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

Quote:
Originally Posted by j.whitbread
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog225
This seems like a fundamental issue.
It is a fundamental issue. Especially when ubber reliability under high stress situations is required.

The Dana 60 axle is used in the F450 and F550, so it should handle the weight if the springs and frame are up to it. The van frames were strengthened for the 08 model year.

A free floating rear axle becomes much more appealing under these conditions too.

Forget about D rated tires.

Towing a 10,000lb trailer with an extended van would be much improved if it was a dually.
That is why I'm 'upgrading' to the dynatrac full floater rear axle next week. I switched to E rated tires a few years ago.

I should have done this when SMB built the van, but at the time I didn't know squat about GVWRs nor which axle or piece of equipment might be a better choice for load bearing. So I just went with the 'stock' setup. It would have been helpful if SMB had explained these issues in more detail for newbs like myself.

No question I'm always above the max GVWR of 10k with my family and a full load of fuel/gear in the van.

Rob
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

There has got be more to the story.

I don't think SMB could keep their membership in the recreational vehicle industry association or maintain insurance for the business if they were producing vehicles that were at the GVWR when and empty. Plus, it's just wrong.

I wonder what the big red windsurfing van is rated at verses what it would weigh empty at an independent scale? e.g. Custom Stone in South Austin.

Or am I taking the GVWR too seriously?
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I don't worry about it and would be less concerned with the new vans. With my 06, the rear spring pack is not as beefed up like the newer rigs are but was more heavy duty than stock. I added air bags for a few reasons, one was that I planned to tow, and second, I had heard stories about rear end sag with the EB's back then. I also added the full floating rear axle. Again, I knew the van was heavy and wanted the extra strength. Still the van was well over built compared to a stock van with large spring packs and upgraded front and rear Axle's. The door sticker is about a standard E-350 van and I don't think SMB changed that. Unloaded (But full of fuel, 18 gal of water and 4 jerry cans of fuel) I barely met the GVWR and I sit at just over 11,000 when typically loaded. I felt brakes were the weak point on my build, something new owners shouldn't have to worry about.

I tell the tow companies to bring a flat bed tow to handle 10,000lbs. Who knows, maybe I lost some weight.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I don't think that the computation of GVWR or CGVW is a science. And like many engineering limits my guess is that there is a healthy fudge factor built into the limits. Unlike aircraft the vehicle manufacturers are not required to demonstrate the limits of their load carrying capacity.

With that said I am intrigued about the reference to the fully floating axles, about which I have never hear mention on this forum. What are they and what do they do? Are they available for all models of the E-series or are these a post 2005 modification?

I too agree that E series tires are a "must" and SMB did warn me about that. I have also added a booster springs set, air bags and HD shocks. My trailer has a 1200 # hitch weight so combined with a Hensley Hitch, I am comfortably towing a 10,000 # trailer. However I am speed limited by the trailer tires which are rated at 65 mph. From what I see on the interstates, that limit is also considered by most to be purely theoretical and completely inapplicable to RVs.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:38 PM   #9
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

This is a good article.

http://www.off-roadweb.com/tech/0112or_ ... index.html
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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Re: Empty SMB weighs same as GVWR

I'd like for all of us to find a way to stay within the vehicles' rated capacity.

This is not really possible if GVWR is maxed out empty. This brings up a host of issues we ought to think about and address (although we may not want to).

The second link is a couple of years old but worth looking at again.

http://www.salvagedirect.com/asp/viewit ... mid=700193

http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/newpo ... ico_10471/

Tom
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