Are you overloaded

No one would overload their vehicle like this, right?

Well before you answer that question, let’s examine what you need to know about loading your RV or Mobile Clinic and how overloading can affect your SAFE operation.

  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM permissible weight of your vehicle, FULLY LOADED and includes liquids, passengers and cargo. (GVWR=NCC) Important because you are unsafe operating near or above this weight.
  • GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM allowable combined weight of the motorhome and the attached tow vehicle. Important because exceeding this weight places stress on the vehicle’s engine, cooling system and transmission, that exceeds the designed and engineered limits. GCWR assumes the towed vehicle has its own braking system.
  • GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) is the MAXIMUM permissible weight each axle assembly is designed to carry, as measured at the tires (including tires, wheels, springs and axle). The GAWR assumes that the load is equal on each side of the vehicle. Important because you want your vehicle to be weight-balanced.
  • UVW (Unloaded/Unladen Vehicle Weight) is the weight of the RV AS BUILT at the factory with full fuel, engine oil and coolant, but otherwise empty. (GVWR=UVW+NCC). Important because this number is needed to calculate what you may safely store aboard the vehicle.
  • NCC (Net Carrying Capacity) is ALL YOUR STUFF; including all occupants, food, tools, LP gas, fresh water, personal belonging, after-factory installed accessories and the tongue weight of any towed vehicle. Weight Distribution also plays a role in safely loading your vehicle. (GVWR=UVW+NCC)
  • CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) is the GVWR MINUS each of the following: UVW, full water tank (including not water tank), full LP Gas weight and the SCWR.
  • SCWR (Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating) is the manufacturer’s designated number of sleeping positions multiplied by 154 pounds.

It’s easy to have your vehicle weighted and this will give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your vehicle is balanced and properly loaded.

For more information, visit RVweigh.

Did you know water weighs 8.3 lbs per US Gallon, Gasoline weighs 5.6 lbs per US Gallon, Diesel Fuel weighs 6.8 lbs per US Gallon and Propane weighs 4.2 lbs per US Gallon?

If you’re like me and thousands of others, we all have one thing in common; we wear glasses to make our vision better. Not only that, many of us have dual-vision glasses with reading lenses at the bottom. This is what I have had for many years and thanks to an Optometrist who had experience with commercial drivers, he had recommended that I have the “focal-point” for the reading glasses set so it was at the end of my arm’s length.

What this did was to allow me to sit in the driver’s seat and see the instruments perfectly clear through the bi-focal lenses without moving my head forward; all I had to do was to look down.

Why do I bring this up? Well I recently purchased new glasses and forgot to mention to the Optometrist that I drive large vehicles and need the bi-focal distance to be set out about 36 inches so I can see the dash instruments. It was when I put on the new glasses and could NOT see the dash instruments that I realized what a great tip this is for any large vehicle driver. My new glasses will be here soon.

RVTC Inspection

Once again, I was reminded yesterday of the importance of doing a Pre-Trip Inspection. To review, the Pre-Trip always begins in the engine compartment, checking fluids, belts, hoses and underneath the engine for signs of leaks. Next is the light check, clearance lights, turn signals, hazards, brake lights, backup lights and horn. All was good.

Last but never least, the Safety Check [Free Download]. Starting at the entrance door, making sure the steps retracted, I worked my way around the coach, counter-clockwise, so I was facing possible on-coming traffic. I checked the windshield wipers, made sure the mirrors were secure, the compartment doors were secure and tires had proper inflation.

Guess what I found when I checked the outside dually on the drivers side? The tire had only 22 lbs of pressure! Further examination revealed there were two nails in the tire and there was no way I would have made the 231 mile trip without having the tire go totally flat or even worse, come apart. Never assume everything is OK, always do your checks to make sure that everything REALLY is OK!

What you find may delay you for a few minutes but it’s better to fix a possible problem BEFORE you begin your journey rather than trying to do it on the side of the freeway.

One problem many new RV drivers have is making right-hand turns without hitting the curb. There are a couple of real easy tricks professional drivers use to make sure they DO NOT hit a corner.

One is to make sure the vehicle is close to the lane line on the left side of your vehicle when setting up for the turn, which should leave your RV about 3.5 feet from the curb on your right. The other is to keep your vehicle moving straight until your shoulder is just beyond the curb, at which time you will start your turn.

In addition to making sure you are at the correct starting position for your turn, any safe driver is going to be checking their convex mirror in the direction they are turning to make sure they are clear of the curb or any other possible objects in their turning path.

This past week one of my students, Sue P. found out how easy it is to make perfect right-hand turns and I was fortunate enough to have my camera rolling when the “light-bulb” came on. Great job Sue, I couldn’t have done better!

To get comfortable behind the wheel and learn ALL the tricks you need to know to be a safe driver, give us a call and register for RV Boot Camp.

RV Basic Driver Training Course Manual

rv motor home driving manual j
$30 USD

Trailer Towing Training Manual

trailer towing manual
$30 USD