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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Re-Certify GVWR

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rvhippo

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Posted: 08/10/12 06:53am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking at a Lance 1191 truck camper, dry weight of about 3950 pounds (options included). I'm thinking about putting this on a 2012 Dodge 3500 Ram DRW (deisel with the 4.10 axle).

The problem is that the payload capacity on the Ram is only about 4000 lbs. And I want to tow a trailer behind the camper at some later point.

The dealer recommends that I have the truck sent to their spring company and be resprung and recertified at a higher GVWR sufficient to handle the camper and the tongue weight of the trailer (I've been thinking of using something like a Trailer Toad dolly for the trailer if the tongue weight is too much).

The spring company will provide a recertification sticker for the increased GVWR stating that the vehicle complies with FMVSS.

I need advice from you guys because this is out of my experience. Is this legal and safe? I always thought GVWR was set by the factory and couldn't be changed -- all you could do was modify the suspension so that the truck would sit level when heavily loaded.

I've looked at the Ford and GM and they're coming in at only about 4800-4900 lbs payload, so the dealer said that he would recommend respringing those trucks too. I'm leaning towards the Dodge because of the Cummins engine (no DEF) and lower price (and they have one I like sitting on the lot).

Any advice and your opinions would be greatly appreciated (I have a deposit on the camper and am just trying to figure out what truck would make this rig work). Thanks in advance!

donn0128

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Posted: 08/10/12 07:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your talking thousands to have it recertified. Depending on cab configuration the truck will weigh ready to go about 8000 pounds. With a 11500 GVWR that leaves you about 3500 before you exceed mfg numbers. You might consider a 4500 instead?


Don,Lorri,Max (The Rescue Flat Coat Retriever?)
The Other Dallas


donn0128

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Posted: 08/10/12 07:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I don't believe it is a common practice. Just too expensive an undertaking. In all honesty I see no problem with the setup as is as long as you do not exceed GAWR for the truck. Which no amount of springs can change. BTW the bed of a 3500 sits on the frame rails just like a flat bed. The difference is in perceived looks

SkipJ

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Posted: 08/10/12 07:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I believe the Dodge chassis cab Cummins uses DEF.
SkipJ


1992 Airstream B-190 van
1989 Airstream 25' Excella Trailer
Outfitter Apex 9.5 Truck Camper Ford F-350 Diesel 4x4


d3500ram

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Posted: 08/10/12 07:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SkipJ wrote:

I believe the Dodge chassis cab Cummins uses DEF.
SkipJ

Yes, the new ones do


2005 Dodge 3500 SRW, Qcab long bed, NV-6500, diesel, 4WD, Helwig, 9000XL,
Nitto 285/70/17 Terra Grapplers, Honda eu3000Is, custom overload spring perch spacers.
2008 NorthStar Arrow short bed.


rvhippo

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Posted: 08/10/12 07:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the reply. I looked at the 4500, but with a flatbed above the straight frame rails, the camper sits up way too high. I wanted a really low step-in height (it's the main reason I picked the 1191) and the pickup bed on the 3500 sits much lower than a flatbed on a 4500.

Is re-certifying a common practice for commercial trucks? I've just never run across it on consumer/recreational trucks. I just want to make sure it's safe.

donn0128

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Posted: 08/10/12 08:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Buy a 4500 C&C and have one of the custom builders install a bed to your liking. Yes you will get DEF, but you will also get one heck of a capable hauler for your heavy camper. And the bottom line end of the day cost will be about the same as a 3500 dually plus the add ons.

Check out sites like cowboy cadillac for some ideas before you jump into anything

d3500ram

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Posted: 08/10/12 08:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

donn0128 wrote:

...BTW the bed of a 3500 sits on the frame rails just like a flat bed. The difference is in perceived looks
Not exactly.

Yes, both sit on the frames rails, but the stringer/ risers on a flatbed need to be taller to clear the top of the tires at the maximum rise of the rear axle articulation... hence the TC will sit higher on it. The factory bed has wheel wells cut into the flat portion of the pick-up bed to allow for this articulation and the bed itself sits lower compared to the FB counterpart.

I have been on a continuous quest to find a "flat bed" with wheel wells fabricated into it to allow for the lowest possible camper height but have the ability to use the storage on the sides.

I have considered even attempting to use my existing truck bed, but cut the side off and extend the "flat" portion around the tire area to accomplish this... that or fabricate a custom bed with wheel wells. A local steel fabricator estimated about $2,800-ish for the custom flatbed I am envisioning.

rvhippo

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Posted: 08/10/12 08:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The re-certification is going to run a couple of thousand dollars. But that's still cheaper than getting a custom flatbed (what I really need is a 4500 (like you said) but with a pickup bed. Unfortunately, I think the financial crisis killed those off).

I really, really want to avoid this first generation of deisels running DEF. It seems like those first EFI systems back in the late 1970s. You were better off with carbs. I'd like to wait for the second generation of clean deisels rather than be a beta tester for the first generation.

Thanks for your advice!

17oaks

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Posted: 08/10/12 08:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReCertification is not gonna be cheap, in fact would probably be cheaper to buy a new truck.

You are asking a company (SMALL) to CHANGE the GVW certification that was given by the manuf. AND to guarantee the truck is SAFE at that weight while YOU are out doing what ever with that truck.

1) I do not think they would even consider doing a re-cert, cannot imagine the lawyers allow such

2) If by some chance they did the cost would be prohibitive to be able to absorb that kind of legal exposure


Don
17 Oaks Ranch, Texas
US Army (RET)
'11 F350 4x4, CC, LWB, DRW, Lariat
AF 1150, solar, satellite
Vietnam Combat Veteran


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