Overland Explorer Expedition Cabin on 2020 Ford F350

Trail Talk

Active member
I wonder how close to GVWR you want to be? Does getting close to the GVWR result in increased probability of component failures, reduced component life, etc., when you do a lot of off highway use?
Interesting questions, please share any research you have found. It does seem a more common question is how far over GVWR can one get away with. We are pleased to have 900+ pounds of cargo capacity, but I'm sure that can get eaten away quickly; a canoe and a couple of e-bikes...

One thing I can't find a consistent answer to is if GVWR includes one occupant (driver), or all seat-belt positions, or something else? Also, what is the standard weight allocated to this generic occupant? Would appreciate a reference source if anyone knows, Canada or USA.
 

gregmchugh

Observer
Interesting questions, please share any research you have found. It does seem a more common question is how far over GVWR can one get away with. We are pleased to have 900+ pounds of cargo capacity, but I'm sure that can get eaten away quickly; a canoe and a couple of e-bikes...

One thing I can't find a consistent answer to is if GVWR includes one occupant (driver), or all seat-belt positions, or something else? Also, what is the standard weight allocated to this generic occupant? Would appreciate a reference source if anyone knows, Canada or USA.
GVWR is the maximum vehicle weight as specified by the manufacturer for the vehicle and it does not have any specific reference to number of occupants. Less occupants, more cargo, fuel, etc. can be carried. Just weigh the vehicle at the front axle and rear axle. Total weight should not exceed GVWR and the individual axle weights should not exceed the specified axle weight limits. Better to have close to even weight distribution on each side of the axle.
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Does getting close to the GVWR result in increased probability of component failures, reduced component life, etc., when you do a lot of off highway use?
Yes. GVWR is based on asphalt usage.

Add the stresses of offroad use and the bouncing around of everything, and wear and tear is multiplied.

Although you may not find this written anywhere, its simple physics. :)
 

RAM5500 CAMPERTHING

OG Portal Member #183
Interesting questions, please share any research you have found. It does seem a more common question is how far over GVWR can one get away with. We are pleased to have 900+ pounds of cargo capacity, but I'm sure that can get eaten away quickly; a canoe and a couple of e-bikes...
Yes, it is more common people trying to see how far over they can go. Its dumb/flawed logic really.

People seem to think building their setup on the smallest truck possible is the best answer.

For numbers sake, if most folks have a GVWR of 10k, they will build their setup to 10k or slightly over, thinking its fine. Not realizing the added stress of offroad use multiples those numbers.

Those folks quickly realize that is not the case when they start replacing balljoints, wheel bearings, and the like on a fairly regular basis.

One thing I can't find a consistent answer to is if GVWR includes one occupant (driver), or all seat-belt positions, or something else? Also, what is the standard weight allocated to this generic occupant? Would appreciate a reference source if anyone knows, Canada or USA.
Any occupants in vehicle are contributing to the GVWR total!

I am always baffled when people suggest or state the vehicle has to be weighed without the occupants.

Why would a vehicle weight even be needed without occupants? Without occupants, its just some expensive driveway art. :)
 

sg1

Adventurer
I have driven a Transit AWD at full GVWR in Africa and Latin America from 2010 to 2019 for a total of almost 100,000 miles. Obviously we drove on a lot of bad roads, washboard and sometimes offroad. Apart from at least 10 flats and 2 blown tires we replaced the rear shocks after about 20,000 miles and the wheel bearings after about 100,000 miles. The shocks were stock and we replaced them with South African aftermarket shocks for offroad use and never had problems with them. In Canada I drive a F 150 with an Overland Explorer pop up camper. Fully equipped and wet I am about 300 lbs. over GVWR. I always have the camper on the truck. The truck now has about 80,000 miles and we drive a lot of gravel including Yukon, NWT and Dempster Highway. No repairs on suspension or drive train so far. This is just my personal experience and a lot depends on your style of driving. I tend to be cautious especially if I am in the middle of nowhere.
 

Trail Talk

Active member
No repairs on suspension or drive train so far.
Sounds like you've had some great adventures! It was our travels in the Yukon/Alaska/NWT that convinced us to upgrade our rig so we could stay out longer. Did any of your vehicles have lifted suspension? I wonder if that would aggravate any issues for vehicles above their GVWR?
 

sg1

Adventurer
The F 150 has Timbrens on the rear axle and e-rated AT tires, otherwise stock.The Transit had slightly larger tires (225/75R16 instead of 215/75) and stronger coil springs in the front resulting in a total lift of a little over 2 inches. On the rear axle I had airbags, which was a mistake. I prefer Timbrens.
 

Trail Talk

Active member
I prefer Timbrens.
Thanks, very interesting. What benefit did you realize with the Timbrens? I ask because yesterday I drove our new rig briefly for the first time while visiting the builder. Aside from all the positive attributes, there was a noticeable jiggling or stuttering motion from the rear suspension as we travelled down the smooth paved road. Its only a guess but I’m wondering if this is caused by intermittent engagement of the overload springs, which were barely 1/4” off the frame at rest. If so, would Timbrens or Sumos be a remedy? I realize there are many other variables to eliminate for a proper diagnosis, such as tire pressures.
 
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sg1

Adventurer
I don't know if Timbrens would help with your problem. My F 150 doesn't have overload springs. In my case the Timbren act a bit like overload springs. They engage when the rear starts sagging and stiffens the rear suspension. The ride gets more stable.
 

Trail Talk

Active member
One thing I can adjust is tire pressures. Found charts published by the Tire and Rim Association which recommend, for our LT275/65R18 tires and actual loaded weights per tire, pressures of 45psi front and 65 psi rear. I'll have to check when we next visit OEV but, if the truck was at factory label pressures of 60psi front/80 psi rear, I can soften them a bit. That compensates for but doesn't address the actual cause, however.
 

DGOlc100

New member
This is definitely at the top of my wish list. What had you choose the supercab vs crew cab? Shorter wheelbase? Thinking with 2 dogs, the crew cab is in our future.
 

Trail Talk

Active member
This chassis cab has a 168" WB so not particularly short, but overall length suits our available parking space and the SCab still allows us to carry occasional passengers or extra gear. It will probably shelter our bikes most of the time.
 
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