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...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?
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.