Tuesday, January 31, 2023


Quick RV Tech Tip: A new twist on why GVWR does not match GAWR

I received an email from Jesse regarding my answer posted last week about the truck combined gross axle weight rating (GAWR) being higher than the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) posted. His response is interesting and could possibly have some merit.

I wanted to share it with you.

Dear Dave,
This isn’t a question but a response to your answer for Rob about the 10,000 lb. rating of his truck.

The answer is much simpler and doesn’t require any math at all. Most 3/4 ton trucks sold as personal vehicles have the 10,000 lb. GVWR option installed. This is nothing more than a fake rating applied at the factory. In many states, 10,000 is the line that separates personal vehicles from commercial vehicles. For example, I’m in Virginia and the semi-annual taxes on my truck would double if it didn’t have the fake sticker. My insurance would also increase and I’d have to use commercial plates. When I was researching this I found at least one state that may require a CDL for a personal vehicle that heavy.

So, sometimes the answer doesn’t require engineering, just a desire to avoid taxes and fees. If you want to know the real number just find the same truck without the fake sticker option installed. —Jesse


More on weight ratings



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1 month ago

This answer is spot on. I bought an F350 SRW recently in CA. The Ford window sticker stated under options, “10000 GVWR Package ” I asked about it and the staff at the Ford deslership said they order SWR trucks this way to avoid CA tax and licensing regulations. They said they only get full GVWR rating at the request of mainly commercial customers.

The Service manager heard the conversation and said that other than the sticker, all the springs, axles and running gear are identical and share the same part numbers.

I haven’t bought a new Ford truck since 1980 and I for one, appreciate Ford offering the no cost option. It was the first I had heard of this also.

Lil John
1 month ago

California (here we go again) considers any truck over 10,000 GVW to be a “common carrier” and requires several things. You have to put stickers for weight on both sides of the truck, put the sticker license plate on the front (for scales), keep a logbook for trips over 100 miles and carry $750,000 worth of insurance. Most of the new 1 ton trucks are rated at 14,000 GVW. The dealer does not state the law when you buy it. How many are running around without registering as a “common carrier”? Most of them. Ridiculous law.

1 month ago

Jesse is spot on. When I built my F350 SRW in April, there was an option for a 10000 pound GVWR on the build sheet. Bear in mind that the actual GVWR was not listed. I asked the dealer about this and was told that being in TX, I didn’t want that. The reason was exactly what Jesse explained. When I took delivery, the sticker stated 11500#.

Dave Engstrand
1 month ago

The same is true for a lot of utility trailers. 3000# is the cutoff for need of brakes in a lot of states so they are rated at 2990# so brakes are not needed even though they can handle more. However, if you’re caught weighing more, you are subject to a fine and may have to unload some before being allowed to move it.

Scott R. Ellis
1 month ago

But it’s a fake number, officer! Just like the fake speed limit and that fake badge you’re wearing! Can I go now?

1 month ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis


Bob p
1 month ago

That’s one take on the issue, it does make sense, but I’m sure a person would be in for a ticket if your truck is licensed for a certain weight and you get into an accident and an ambulance chasing lawyer got a court order to scale your truck and found it was overloaded per the tag. Sort of like a CDL, as long as you’re under 26,001 lbs and not driving commercial you don’t need one, at 26,002 lbs driving a commercial vehicle you need one.

Donald N Wright
1 month ago

I have learned that RV manufacturers have no idea how much their products weigh.

1 month ago

I was under the impression that the RVIA required every unit to be weighted. That actual weight is what is on the yellow sticker on each unit. If I am wrong, please let me know.

Thomas D
1 month ago
Reply to  RallyAce

My truck camper listed weight at 1840 # plus options. Like microwave ac tv toilet and tanks shower enclosure etc. Total was around 2600# , cat weighted. Not even close to true. My truck was very close to overweight

1 month ago
Reply to  RallyAce

That’s actually a federal requirement as of 2008 or 2009 but only for RV’s that have their own axles and tires. It’s the CCC sticker for a trailer and the OCCC sticker for a motorhome.

1 month ago

If you own a Newmar they do. Every unit is weighed after production. The owner can receive an extensive report for their VIN/SN down to individual wheel positions (of course duals are per pair in a position, not per tire).

1 month ago
Reply to  Spike

Same with my gulfstream BT. But my Lance camper was a different story, similar to Thomas D

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