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Old 06-14-2010, 01:04 PM   #1
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Weight math

Hi All,

Just curious, my stock 2006 Ford E350 RB 2WD weighs about 5900lbs (at least that's what the specs say). Its a passenger version not the cargo version so it has a finished interior with 3 rows of bench seats. I'm scheduled to have a PH top installed next month. A manual PH top weighs (I think) about 320lbs.

I've been noticing that 4WD versions with the usual/popular exterior goodies, larger wheels & tires, a top, a rack, a fully outfitted SMB interior and diesel motor weigh 9000 to 10000lbs.

Is my weight math correct in that all these aforementioned items all contribute to add about 3000+lbs? 3000+lbs is the weight of a small car.

Ray + my lovely wife + my 3 kids

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Old 06-14-2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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Re: Weight math

You've got to factor in the weight of the 4x4 components, cabinets, ref, micro, food, and other accessories. Also most of the 10,000# club SMB's are EB's, usually means extra space = extra gear.


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Old 06-14-2010, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Weight math

I have a 2005 SMB 6.0 4x4 RB 50 with the PH top. With me, a full tank of fuel (46 gallons), full tank of propane (8 gallons?) full tank of fresh water (? gallons) food for a week, 6 bottles of wine (that's why I can only be gone a week) several fly rods, books, and whatever else, The Van tips the scales at 9,230 lbs. It's pretty heavy, and something to consider when you need to stop in a hurry, or change direction quickly.

2005 SMB RB 50 4X4 w/ a 6.0 PSD
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:52 PM   #4
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Re: Weight math

You need to weigh your van, Ford specs are for an empty, dry van with no options. Yours probably weighs more than you think.

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Old 06-14-2010, 04:57 PM   #5
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Re: Weight math

With a few kids and a reasonable amount of gear, many SMBs are going to be at or above 10k rolling down the highway. Never been weighted, but with a full load of family, gas, water and camping gear I'm probably close to 11k. That is why I went with the dynatrac full float rear axle and always E rated tires. Even then, it is a bit sketchy and I drive very cautiously.
2006 SMB 4x4, EB-51, 6.0psd
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: Weight math

This might be a good time to repost information I posted to the Yahoo groups a long time ago. I have a friend who was the tech editor for a couple of RV and trailer magazines. I e-mailed him back in 2003 after weighing our van. It was fully loaded with gas, water, LP, etc. Since we were headed out for a trip, the refrigerator was loaded and we had some clothes, fly fishing gear, etc. However, I was completely surprised to find that, without people, it came in at 9760 lbs. My post to him stated:

"If you add two people, that puts it at about 10,060 lbs, compared to a GVWR of only 9400 lbs., 600 lbs. overweight. This surprised me since I figured that we were well under the GVWR. When we picked up our van, Sportsmobile included a form in which they filled in the GVWR, subtracted the weight of gasoline, LP, 4 passengers, water, and the van itself to get the CCC or cargo carrying capacity which was about 1100 lbs. We figured that, even with lots of things (lounge chairs, warm clothes, etc.), we wouldn't have that much stuff. However, I now suspect that the van weight listed in the form was the weight of the stripped van and not the completed conversion. I can't see how we can eliminate 600 lbs of stuff from the van and, in fact, suspect that the van, with the winch, custom bumpers, cabinets, water heater, etc., etc., etc., was very close or maybe even over the GVWR when we picked it up even without the clothes and food and things that we packed when we got it home.

My question then, is, what is the consequence of exceeding the GVWR? I have larger, BGF tires and recognize that the van takes a mile or so to brake from 60 mph to 0 (<g>). I also realize that additional strain is put on the frame when going off-road. Anything else to worry about?"

His answer was:

"This is the kind of question we hear all the time. In your case, you aren't overloaded enough to seriously worry. This isn't a Monty Python movie where one pound over GVWR gets added to a rig and it bursts into flames. You're right about how Sportsmobile calculates its weights, in that no matter how responsible the manufacturer is, they all tend to fudge when it comes to the weight question.

Truck manufacturers don't add in a "safety factor" per se, in that they establish a gvwr and figure people will exceed it by XX amount, so they cut it back for safety's sake. The GVWR is based on all the load or power-bearing capacities of the parts, including brakes, steering, bearings, transmission, engine cooling ability, springs -- all these details -- and it's usually the weak link in the chain that establishes the GVWR. In many cases, the GVWR is based on adding up both front and rear axle GAWRs (gross axle weight rating), and the GAWR is based on tire capacity. A typical E range tire is rated at 3,042 lbs capacity at XX pressure, so two tires equals 6,084 lbs capacity, and that's a very common axle rating on 3/4 and 1-ton vehicles. Check your doorjamb sticker for your GAWR figures.

GVWR is also established based on durability, or service life, and warranty work. For example, Ford could give it a higher GVWR, but that could mean 10% more warranty work in the first three years and that's a big $$$$$ for Ford. They strike a balance between usability, competition with the other brands, and cost.

As long as your replacement tires are rated as high or higher than the tires you removed, you have no worries in the tire-rating area. Compare your total tire carrying capacity to your weight figure."

As for the rest of the rig, the potential long-term problems would be accelerated wear and tear on the parts listed above, or possible overheating. Again, your setup is only overloaded a little bit, relatively speaking, so you shouldn't see any real-world effects for a very long time. For example, the engine and tranny you have are the same ones used in the much-larger F-series pickups rated to tow huge trailers, so powertrain durability isn't an issue. My suspicion is that you're a far more savvy driver than the average user, so you can probably "get away with more" than the average guy."

Food for thought...
'01 Ford EB50p Quigley 4WD
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:56 AM   #7
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Re: Weight math

Jack, thanks for reposting this. It has been one of the most useful descriptions of our heavy vehicles that I have ever read.

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