You have been driving it this way for HOW LONG? I take it there have been no problems?
BUT since you put it on the scale, and it is a few (yes, just a FEW) pounds overweight, you are suddenly worried?
In some ways, you remind me of myself. After over two years of full-timing in a fifth wheel, towed by the truck in my sig., I decided I should weigh it (based on the rants on these forums, of course). So, in the middle of my final trip back to Montana with the rig, I took it across the J-Scales in McCammon, Idaho. I discovered I was UNDER GAWR on all axles, UNDER GVWR truck and trailer, WAY under the registered GVW, but 3,180 lbs OVER GCWR!
I decided that since I had made several trips over the Rockies, The Cascades, and the Sierras, with no trouble, I just wouldn't worry about it.
IMO, you should do the same. Forget it, and enjoy. Of course, if you add anything to the mix, be careful about where you put it, but other than that I really don't see any problem with your rig.
CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad: 2006 Jeep Rubicon LJ
Other toad: '06 PT Cruiser, Kar Kaddy dolly
Toy: 1977 Dodge W100 CC SWB, 3/4 ton axles & springs
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"
Our 2006 Outlook WF324V is 24' no slidout on a E350 Chassis. The GVWR is 11,500 LBS GCVW 18,500 LBS. GAWR Front 4,600 LBS REAR 7,800 LBS
(according to the Weight sticker Winnebago placed in the MH & Ford Truck Body Builder information
FWIW just as a reference point, our Itasca 324V 24' non-slide is on an E450 chassis and it's weights from a California CHP weigh-scale are:
Steer Axle: 3,260 lbs.
Drive Axle: 8,540 lbs.
I had probably a 1/2 or more tank of FW, a 3/4 or more tank of gasoline, and a nearly full propane tank ... for this weighing. Of course these are well under maximums for an E450. Wanting an E450 over an E350 was a main consideration when were shopping for a 24 foot Class C.
BTW, even though you are near maximum weight on the rear axle, your rear/front weight distribution ratio is WAY better (based on Ford's completed chassis recommendations) than that for our Class C. I expected our handling to suffer for this, but it so far it has had no noticeably negative affects. I run 80 lbs. rear and 65 lbs. front tire pressures to minimize sidewall heating from flexing. We just (so far) put up with the highway-crack pounding coming from the rear. Our ride in the front is very good and not harsh at all.
One thing have considered to add more weight in the front is: Carry a scooter in a front hitch rack mount for alternate transportation - as we do not use a TOAD.
* This post was
edited 07/04/12 10:57am by pnichols *
The 2% over on the rear axle is actually less critical to me (and your RV handling) than the underloaded front axle.
The closer to the same percent of GAWR that the axles are, the better handling.
As an example, if the front axle is loaded to 85% and rear axle to 85% that would be better than to have the front axle at, say, 75% and the rear at 102%.
Easy to prove to yourself. If your potable water tank as well as fuel tank are behind the rear axle, pay real close attention and compare ride and handling with potable water and fuel tank full vs close to empty. That is not to suggest that you do anything other than use that information to move your easily movable heavy stuff forward and perhaps drive with less potable water, but the closer to ideal you get weight balance, the better.
Welcome to the club!! When I ordered my Outlook, I was told I would have about 2000# of OCCC - great! - I thought. Once we got it home, I discovered (see my posts from 2 yrs ago if you want the gory details) through many trips to the scales, that our Outlook's empty weight should have been 300 lbs. lighter on the rear axle - should have had 1,000 lbs. to work with, only have 700 - (according to Ford's recommendations).
Needless to say, I am a very unhappy camper - we threw out a bunch of stuff, moved as much forward as we could - I only travel with 5 gallons of fresh water - when we leave, we are 900-1,000 lbs under gross - 2,000+ under gross combined, but our rear axle is still always around 150 lbs overweight. We have no where else to move the weight forward.
While I realize Winnebago is not the only manufacturer that apparently can't properly design a motorhome, this will be the only one I ever buy from them. I have since found several that actually paid attention to weight distribution when they designed their units. With today's CAD/CAM processes, there is no excuse for designs like this.
2010 Winnebago Outlook 29B
2010 Ford Escape (1 blown tranny at 4876 towing miles)
I wouldn't sweat the rear axle too much. Biggest issues with running overweight on your Dana 70 is shorter bearing life (assuming you have Load Range E tires).
FWIW - I have put on 10's of thousands of miles with my rear axle over 8,000 pounds, and even a few thousand over 10,000 pounds. My original bearings stayed in place until about 320,000 miles, when I started getting some noise (which turned out to be a broken carrier, and not my wheel bearings, but I tried the bearings first). My axle is the same one you have.
But.... being too light on the front end can cause worse handling. My advise is to simply try to get more weight up front. A BuckStop bumper would look nice
2000 Ford E350 DRW Wagon (14-pass all captains chairs)
V10 w/ Banks PowerPack, Diablo Predator, 4.56 LS, ~350,000 miles
New Desert Fox in the works!
I'm not worried about the rear weight, but just a bit surprised that we are at that weight as light as we travel. Yes all the holding tanks are behind the rear axle, but we travel with the black/gtrey empty and the fresh 1/3 or less. 55 gallons of fuel burns off down the road.
The stress on the rear axle bearings / carrier etc. was the first thing to pop in my head (yeah I'm not a big fan of Dana with the number of failures in Jeep vehicles I once had). with only 26K miles on the rig I expect many miles of trouble free camping. It might be worth it to change the Diff fluid and put a finned cover on for cooling. Next trip I need to remember to hit the axle with my hand held Temp gun to get a few readings (I wish I would have done it this last trip in 100 degree F. ambient temps in Mid state Georgia).
I know CAT scales state about their accuracy, but I found it odd that the front axle was EXACTLY 3600 LBS on the scale/ticket. I want to run it across another scale empty (except typical camping gear in lower storage compartments) to see what the weight / balance is.
The handling is not a issue (even with a lite front axle), I was hoping for a lighter rear axle weight to adjust the tire pressure down slightly for a smoother ride. The front can be adjusted and I will see if that alone helps.