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Old 02-15-2011, 12:56 PM   #81
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog225
I enjoy the spirited discussion.

All other arguements aside, operating your SMB over the GVWR (or any other weight specification) puts you in danger of receiving a notice of denial of coverage letter from your insurance carrier. This will be important to you if someone is seeking a large amount of money from you. Even if you don't tell someone, I suspect weight of a modified van is one of the first 3 things your insurance carrier will check when they are faced with a $10 million lawsuit to pay for someone's lifetime medical care. Remember, they are businesses looking for valid reasons to deny your claim.

Tom

They cannot deny coverage, unless your policy has written exclusion which excludes coverage if running over GVWR. I have never seen a policy with such and exclusion. That said Check your exclusions! Some bargain policies have exclusions which very well could result in non-coverage for an SMB or like van. Many policies will not cover collision damage if you voluntarily travel off maintained roadway. I see this one a lot.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:28 AM   #82
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

There are some complexities involved that may not be apparent to the layman from reading the policy and exclusions. E.g.: denial of coverage for illegal acts.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:44 AM   #83
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

Have thread under Sportsmobile Lean in Sprinter area and will spare you the details, but with the ESP computer, the Mercedes Sprinter Engineering and Compliance group say it is dangerous to exceed a 4% side to side weight because it confuses the computer. The computer brakes individual wheels, and limits throttle based on yaw and a bunch of other stuff.. There is no way to turn it off. I asked Engineery and Compliance if I could use air bags to level the vehicle and they said ABSOULUTELY NOT.

The Escapees Club, Smart Weigh will give you corner weights, for both your primary vehicle and trailer/toad. They also look at the tires and check weight ratings and suggest tire pressure. http://www.escapees.com/SmartWeigh/ I drover over Friday (about a 600 mile roundtrip).

I had a significant weight issue with my Sprinter based Sportsmobile as delivered and still have a problem. I have an odd design to accommodate a canoe INSIDE. When I first talked to Paul I said this is what I want, but don't think gravity will allow it. He said not to worry.... They delivered the Leaning Sportsmobile of Texas.
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:42 PM   #84
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkinnyRV
I asked Engineery and Compliance if I could use air bags
to level the vehicle and they said ABSOULUTELY NOT.
Could you imagine going around a corner and one of the bags gives out!
You might be in big trouble. Sounds like you need to move some equipment
around. Possibly a real suspension upgrade if that's even possible in a sprinter.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:18 PM   #85
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

Great topic. I called Quigley today to get part numbers for my front end. SOmehow the woman on the phone got talking about GAWR #s. She looked up my serial number and said the front GAWR on my E-350 is 3900 and when it left their shop post-conversion as a new empty 4x4 van, the actual weight on the front was 3700 lbs. Doesn't seem like a realistic amount of remaining capacity considering 2 adults might want to sit in the front seats. I was thinking I might have to take out the front passenger seat and make my wife ride in the back. After re-reading this topic made me feel a little better (and a little worse)to see that the GAWRs and GVWR's are often exceeded in these vehicles. The same must be true for even the 2wd camper conversions that are out on the road? Seems odd. The woman from Quigley said that in PA you might get pulled over and weighed by the DOT. Not sure if that would ever happen in Maine, but I don't think so. The registered weight however must not be exceeded, so I registered mine well above 10k (I cant remember the options now). I'll try to get weighed this weekend to see where I currently stand.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:17 PM   #86
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

If the bare van goes to SMB at 3700, it's going to come back way over 3900.
But I worry more about weight placement - center of gravity - issues. The extended
body, 15 passenger version is notorious for roll overs if over-steered at higher speeds.

I hate to think how much worse a lifted 4x4 with full SMB outfitting might be.

I'd love to be able to go out the the track with a set of those 'big training wheel' braces on
and see how hard I could steer it before it rolled. Barring that, I just drive it slow & easy
like it's a class A motorhome.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:21 PM   #87
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

With the brakes we have, driving slow makes alot of sense.

Mike
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:13 PM   #88
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

Even a lifted (4-5") 4wd SMB is more stable than a stock 15 passenger van full of people.

Sportsmobile:

- Most of the weight of an SMB is down near the floor or below - Water, propane, fuel, batteries, etc

- Penthouse means not much storage up high

- Sofa, gaucho and storage are close to the floor

- Most SMBs have wider wheels/tires and spacers

- Center of gravity about the same as an empty stock van

15 Passenger van:

- Three passengers are the rear of a 15 pass van have 4-500# well behind the axle

- The center of gravity of human passengers is centered about 26" above the floor

- No additional weight down low

- Center of gravity much higher than empty van

That is why I don't believe our vans are less safe than a stock 15 passenger van.

Mike
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:32 PM   #89
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

Flawed theory Mike, IMO.
You are comparing with a full 15 passenger van. OK.
Which is not over GVWR (I'm sure they have an average weight per passenger x 15 to figure the payload).
Put people in the SMB, and gear (winch, bumpers, including the tall and heavily loaded rear box many do) to boot then compare. With the already over GVWR rating.

A lower vehicle will slide sideways easier than a tall vehicle without tipping or rolling.
Neither will slide sideways well - I have pictures to prove the results of my accident in a GMC van.
A slightly wider track will not make up for it fully (but surely help).
My 2x GMC had a wider track than stock - only got me so far...
The SMB center of gravity is not the same as a stock van! No way.

A 4x4 vs the same vehicle in 2x or otherwise stock will always have a higher CG.

I can't believe the denial on this site on over loading and over weighting your (lifted) vehicles.
Its not common sense fellas.

I don't give a shit what carringb says.
CDL drivers more than anyone know the importance of running up to your weight limits.
We are not talking 105,500 here, we are talking one ton vans.
...Vehicle weight plus one ton carrying capacity from a manufacturer designed and approved vehicle.
Carrying capacity is already reduced by the addition of your 4x4 gear to the empty van.
Up rate it, overload it, whatever, its not approved by anyone worth their weight more than a sticker on your door.

Regarding brakes, weight aside, the F450 brake upgrade makes for powerful brakes without the warping associated withe F350/E350 brakes. 17" wheels are needed.
My van brakes powerfully, and controllably (yes F450 brakes). Still, a loaded van (add a trailer?) and you should slow down like a semi.
Brake early and slow down easy (er)!
Semis have a # gage to see how much effort you are putting into your brakes on each stop.

Cheap wheels blow off at the lugs... Don't cheap out on wheels!


Not overloaded! Apprx 8000K + 5000K= 13K +-
Overloading is personal choice.
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:06 PM   #90
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Re: How much does your van weigh?

I thought your van was hit from the side. Not sure if stock height or lifted would have much effect in that case. Depends on who's hitting you.

You're right, I was talking about loaded 15 passenger vans, because they have the biggest risk of rollover. Compared to them our SMB's are safer and have less risk of rollover. Not as stable or safe as my VW Jetta, but not the same as a loaded 15 passenger van - expecially one that has all the luggage in a roof rack.

Overloaded is another issue. My van is under its GVWR and it is still HEAVY!

Mike
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