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RE: Towing wreck - overloaded hitch

Please keep in mind that the sticker has the ratings for a certain size/type of tire and stock springs. Many of us throw the P rated tires from our half ton pickups away and replace them with LT Load Range C, D, or even E tires. Some of us also install "overload" springs of one kind or another. The ratings on the sticker are no longer valid, because the truck is not equipped as shown. Therefore, the REGISTERED GVW limitation applies. Maybe I'm misunderstanding this, but how do you register vehicle with a higher GVWR than what's on the doorjamb? Well, for example, when I transferred my old Ram 3500 from the CA plates to MT plates, the clerk at the DMV asked me what GVW (not GVWR) I wanted on it. I said I wanted it high enough that I would never have to worry about exceeding it. She said "How about 14 thousand? It HAS to be in multiples of 2000 lbs." I said "That oughta work!", and that was the GVW the truck was registered for. Here in Montana they just don't care what the door sticker says. The truck or trailer can be registered for just about any GVW. If I want to pay the fee and register my Ram 1500 for 10,000 lbs. GVW I can do that (IIRC, I registered it for 8000). One thing to remember, though, is that if one registers a light duty trailer for 3000 lbs. GVW or more, it must have brakes on all wheels, and a breakaway system that will hold the brakes applied for 15 minutes. Also keep in mind that the registered gross weight is GVW not GCW. The weight of any trailer is not included. EDIT: Curiosity got the best of me, so I had to go look. The door sticker on the 1500 says the GVWR with P rated tires is 6600 lbs. The registration says the declared GVW is 10,000 lbs. The truck now has LT Load Range D M&S tires.
mowermech 10/31/14 09:19am Towing
RE: Cured My Double Towing State Law Issues, Pics Inside

:B Look out, weight cops- O.P. came to the party loaded for bear! "Loaded for bear" and over weight. Another "engineer" who thinks that they can somehow increase hitch capacity ratings with a welder and knows better than the manufacturer. Just want to make sure that I am not behind or along side this guy (or others) when the equipment failure happens. Safe travels. Please, do yourself a favor and do not come to Montana. There are a LOT of rigs here that are "farmered" to enhance weight capacity, usually by "backyard engineers". That guy in front of you hauling firewood? Yep, he probably increased the Load Range of his tires and installed overload springs so he can haul nearly a full cord of wood on his half ton truck. the same applies to the guy with the 10 foot camper, the hitch extension, and the trailer with 4 four wheelers on it. Or the guy with the short bed truck with a four wheeler in the bed, towing a 20 foot travel trailer with a boat trailer as a second tow. I know a guy in Northwestern Montana who needed a long truck, so he got 2 1946 Ford pickups, cut them in two, and built a truck with a 12 foot box. It worked just fine for many years. Remember, Henry Ford was a backyard mechanic! One really should look up the list of famous people who never finished school. I did, and it is very informative!
mowermech 10/31/14 06:42am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Northwest rain!

I lived and worked in Seattle in the late 1960s. That liquid sunshine was normal back then. One good thing, though; you don't have to dress warm and go out and shovel it!
mowermech 10/31/14 06:25am Around the Campfire
RE: DST ends on Nov 2nd

You tell em mowermech. I could never understand why twice a year folks start wailing and whining over such a non event. What REAL difference and strife does it cause in your life? Of course I can't find it now, but some recent studies have suggested that the constant clock changing throws off circadian rhythms in some people and increases physical and psychological illness in some. Some pilots have issues related to constantly changing time zones. I just think the whole thing is stupid. You might gain the hour of daylight in the a.m. but you lose it in the p.m. and still have to burn the candles or lights! Psychological or psychosomatic? Or both? I imagine those who have real physical problems with the time change comprise a very small minority of people. I don't know whether DST is "stupid" or not (it may well be), but I do know I enjoy having that extra hour of daylight. I also know that the 10 minutes or so that I spend twice a year changing clocks is no great imposition. If it was, I would ensure that every clock I owned was tied to the radio signal from The Naval Observatory so it would automatically reset itself just like a cell phone does! I once knew a guy who insisted he lost an hour of sleep every night all summer long due to the time change. THAT meets the definition of "stupid"!
mowermech 10/31/14 06:22am Around the Campfire
RE: Towing wreck - overloaded hitch

Please keep in mind that the sticker has the ratings for a certain size/type of tire and stock springs. Many of us throw the P rated tires from our half ton pickups away and replace them with LT Load Range C, D, or even E tires. Some of us also install "overload" springs of one kind or another. The ratings on the sticker are no longer valid, because the truck is not equipped as shown. Therefore, the REGISTERED GVW limitation applies. Only to the AXLE manufactures axle weight rating, or tire rating what ever is lower. Every time I have looked up an axle manufacturer's rating, it has been MUCH higher than the VEHICLE manufacturer's GAWR, and usually much higher than Load Range E tires! So, yes, the rig can only be loaded to the rating of the tires installed. In the case of my old 1994 Dodge 3500, the load rating of four Load Range E M&S tires was quite close to the licensed 14K GVW. IIRC, Dana/Spicer rated the axle at 13K. So, no problem.
mowermech 10/30/14 08:06pm Towing
RE: Towing wreck - overloaded hitch

Please keep in mind that the sticker has the ratings for a certain size/type of tire and stock springs. Many of us throw the P rated tires from our half ton pickups away and replace them with LT Load Range C, D, or even E tires. Some of us also install "overload" springs of one kind or another. The ratings on the sticker are no longer valid, because the truck is not equipped as shown. Therefore, the REGISTERED GVW limitation applies.
mowermech 10/30/14 01:07pm Towing
RE: Are tow Dolly's a Hassle?

"Are tow Dolly's a Hassle?" they are if YOU think they are. If YOU don't think it is all that inconvenient, then it isn't. I have a dolly for the PT Cruiser. I drug that thing from Montana to Tennessee and back, no problem at all. For moving it, I went to Harbor Freight and bought the "trailer dolly" gadget. This old 70+ COPD afflicted guy can move that dolly no trouble with it (it works great for my ATV trailer, too!)! I have it put together so that I can easily take it apart and carry it in the basement of the coach. A dolly is just like the fixed arm towbar I used to have. "They" say such towbars are just terribly inconvenient, and impossible to hook up by oneself. I never found it all that inconvenient, and I hooked it up by myself many times. Towbar or dolly, it is all purely personal opinion! Some swear by them, some swear at them! I do however, agree with the statement that SUVs usually can not be towed on a dolly, whether 4X4 or AWD or RWD. I have never seen a 4X4 or AWD that can be dolly towed.
mowermech 10/30/14 08:11am Class A Motorhomes
RE: I'm confused about propane.

This all got started because the portable cylinders had no guage. It's dangerous to overfill, so the workaround was to figure out how much a full cylinder should weigh and measure it on a scale while filling. Ah, but what you do not know is that the portable cylinders have always had a gauge/indicator called a Visual overfill indicator Valve on them. People yammer how you got to open the valve to let the air out because air can not be compressed... I have no desire to tell you just exactly how many things are wrong with that, but I read it all the time from "Experts" who prove EX = Has Been and Spurt = Drip under pressure. 2 of the things wrong: ONE: there is no air in the tank to let out, only propane gas and liquid and some contaminates, 2: Air (And gaseous propane) can be compressed, I mean what do you fill your tires with? COMPRESSED AIR!! ALL gases can be compressed. When the valve starts shooting out a white cloud (Water vapor condensed out of the air when the -40 degree liquid propane sprays out the jet) the tank is full. Ya done good until that parenthetical statement! It is not water vapor, it is a cloud of liquid propane. Yes, when liquid propane appears at the "spitter valve", or when the OPD valve stops the flow, (whichever occurs first) the cylinder is full. Ideally, they both should occur at the same time. There are very few "ideal" cylinders out there!
mowermech 10/30/14 07:56am General RVing Issues
RE: DST ends on Nov 2nd

I have never understood all the crying, wailing, and gnashing of teeth over DST. I just don't find it all that inconvenient. Twice a year, I reset the clocks in the house and in the vehicles. I always reset them before I go to bed, so I never lose or gain any sleep. I only have one clock, the wind-up wall clock that chimes, that can not be turned backwards. I just stop it, and when I remember it, set it to standard time. No problem. My Timex wrist watch can't be turned backwards ONLY when the day/date is changing. So, I reset it before that time. No problem. Many digital clocks will reset themselves. No problem. The ones that won't reset themselves, I have to hold a button down until it is once again at the correct time. Oh, horrors, to have to hold a button for a minute or two! I worked rotating shift work for about 12 years. The time change never bothered me. If I was on the "graveyard" shift in the spring, I worked 7 hours for 8 hours pay. If I was on "graveyard" in the fall, I worked 9 hours for 9 hours pay. Again, no problem. So, twice a year I spend less than 10 minutes resetting clocks. I just don't see it as that great of an inconvenience. I really REALLY like that extra hour of daylight in the summer!
mowermech 10/30/14 07:39am Around the Campfire
RE: Do all Class A gas MHs have generators in the back?

No, it is not true. Just like most general statements, there is always an exception.
mowermech 10/29/14 12:08pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Towing wreck - overloaded hitch

BUT, the lawyers for the plaintiff will only go through all that if they see deep pockets on the other side. All that investigation costs a lot of money, and the lawyers are not going to front the expense unless they see a good ROI, preferably two fold or more. The plaintiffs (the family members) are thinking of "justice". The lawyers who agree to represent them are thinking of profits (just like any other business). The lawyers wind up with hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of dollars, the family(s) wind up with a few thousand (if they are lucky), and the knowledge that "Well, we taught HIM (THEM) a lesson!" They tend to forget (or not admit to themselves) that their successful lawsuit hurts their friends and neighbors, and, to a certain extent, themselves! The lawyers win, and the insurance company(s) raise their rates to cover their losses. Insurance companies, like lawyers, always make a profit. ALWAYS!
mowermech 10/29/14 12:04pm Towing
RE: Towing wreck - overloaded hitch

Manufactures ratings (door sticker) has no legal ramifications. It is strictly for warrantee. And did you get this from an attorney or is it your opinion? Ken I can only relate personal experience! My Carry-On light utility trailer is rated by the manufacturer at, IIRC, 2900 lbs (brakes are not legally required). GVWR. I think the State licensed it for 4000 GVW. My old Dodge CTD 3500 was licensed by the State for 14K GVW. I don't remember what Dodge said the GVWR was. My Dodge 1500 is licensed by the state for 8000 GVW. The flatbed car hauler I used to have was rated by the manufacturer at 7000 GVWR, but the State registered it at 8K GVW. I have no idea what kind of ratings are used where YOU live, but here the REGISTERED GVW is the only number that is legally important! The fact remains, at any given time there are literally thousands of vehicles on the roads around the world that are TECHNICALLY overloaded, but LEGALLY under the REGISTERED GVW, and, as I often say, "Nothing bent, nothing broke, nobody was injured or died!" Over the past 10 years, I have heard of two trailer breakaways involving a fatality. BOTH of them were related to improper hitching AND improper safety chains AND improper braking (as in NO breakaway system as required by law!)
mowermech 10/29/14 07:59am Towing
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

thanks for the reminder, Jim, I'll have to look for the stuff the next time I get to a store where they sell such things.
mowermech 10/28/14 07:51pm Around the Campfire
RE: How to tow our Wrangler?

Do yourself a favor, and get the Ready-Brake with the Breakaway feature, if you want auxiliary braking. It will work with ANY towbar. It is simple. It is mechanical (no electronics to go crazy). I have never seen a report of the towed vehicle's brakes being burnt up by a Ready-brake. I have seen such reports from users of electronic braking units. I have never seen a report of a Ready-Brake failing in the middle of a trip. Once a Ready-Brake is installed, you don't have to lift a box into the vehicle to use it, and you don't have to lift a box out of the vehicle before you can drive it. All you have to do is hook up a cable when you connect the towbar, and disconnect it when you remo0ve the towbar.
mowermech 10/28/14 04:13pm Dinghy Towing
RE: Friends from the "OOP'S" thread.

24 degrees this morning. I need to see if they still make the spray cans of windshield de-icer. I really detest scraping windows. Waited until it warmed up a little, and finished putting the sheetrock up. One of these days I will think about mud and tape, and maybe even paint it! that's enough for today, though. I still have to get a ladder in there and hook up the light switch. later, though.
mowermech 10/28/14 04:02pm Around the Campfire
RE: Murphy's Law is winning!

A couple of Corollarys to Murphy's Law: Anything that CAN go wrong, already has, you just haven't noticed it yet! Anything that CAN go wrong, WILL, at the worst possible time. Mother Nature is NOT a nice person! I once did a google search for "Murphy's Law", and found a list: "Murphy's Law and Corollaries" I made the mistake of printing it. I now have a stack of paper that is .304 inch thick (measured with an Etalon Swiss made dial caliper). It is fun to sit down and read a few pages now and then.
mowermech 10/28/14 07:32am Around the Campfire
RE: Towing wreck - overloaded hitch

"overloaded" was a relatively minor item in this fiasco. In fact, the rated hitch load was only exceeded by 450 lbs. ANY hitch should be able to handle at least a 30% overload, IMO. The main problem was the lack of proper safety chains or cables, and the lack of a breakaway system for the brakes. THOSE were the direct causes of the death and injuries!
mowermech 10/27/14 06:37pm Towing
RE: Harvesting tails from road kill critters

The traditional thing to do with fox, racoon, and squirrel tails is to tie them to the radio antenna on your car. There are very few people still alive who remember that, though.
mowermech 10/27/14 06:29pm Around the Campfire
RE: Ball Life

Just for grins, I did a google search for "interchangeable hitch balls", and the first listing showed 5 different balls sets of 4 different types (Reese and Tow Ready were the same configuration). ALL of them stated they met V-5 specifications. One is rated for a maximum trailer weight of 10,000 lbs., another is rated for MTW of 8,000 lbs., and I did not see a rating for the others. Only one has a hole in the shank. The others have different means of retaining the ball on the shank. I imagine they are just like anything else; don't over load, inspect regularly, and they will last.
mowermech 10/27/14 07:03am Towing
RE: Froggie went a-courtin’

I found one of their cousins in my garage when I was sweeping up to install a wall. It was mummified...
mowermech 10/26/14 07:46pm Around the Campfire
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