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Old 10-06-2021, 02:10 PM   #1
Bruce in DFW
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Solar Weight

We have a 2017 Montana - 41' and are pushing the limit of the 2 x 7K axles. I want to add solar and at least 4 x battleborn batteries - but we are already over the GVWR by 500lbs. Trying to decide whether to upgrade to the Morryde IS with 2 x 8K axles and disc brakes - or if we need to upgrade to a toy hauler or something with higher GVWR. I don't know how anyone is adding solar and batteries and staying anywhere near the GVWR.
 
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Old 10-06-2021, 03:13 PM   #2
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Solar shouldn’t add weight- if you replace your batteries with Li-ion they are about 1/2 the weight of led acid. Plus you could ditch or downsize your generator
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Old 10-06-2021, 03:40 PM   #3
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I agree....
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Old 10-06-2021, 06:11 PM   #4
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We only have 2 x AGM now - and the weight of one - maybe 2 Victron 3000W inverter chargers with charge controllers - panels and 4-6 lifepo4 batteries - I'm guessing that is going to add at least 500 lbs. Haven't added it all up yet - just trying to get a feel for what people are doing and if I have to spend the $8K or whatever it is for the Morryde IS and disc brakes.
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Old 10-06-2021, 10:08 PM   #5
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Sounds like a new trailer is in order. The IS won't add to the gvwr.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce in DFW View Post
We only have 2 x AGM now - and the weight of one - maybe 2 Victron 3000W inverter chargers with charge controllers - panels and 4-6 lifepo4 batteries - I'm guessing that is going to add at least 500 lbs. Haven't added it all up yet - just trying to get a feel for what people are doing and if I have to spend the $8K or whatever it is for the Morryde IS and disc brakes.
Replacing two AGM's with four Battleborn batteries will be a wash; same weight. Have not weighed them, but my solar panels can't be more than 10-15 pounds each; I have four. The inverter is probably 20-30 pounds; look it up. The charger controller is just a couple pounds. I see a net gain of less than 100 pounds. Don't worry about it, or reduce weight elsewhere.
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Old 10-07-2021, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce in DFW View Post
We have a 2017 Montana - 41' and are pushing the limit of the 2 x 7K axles. I want to add solar and at least 4 x battleborn batteries - but we are already over the GVWR by 500lbs. Trying to decide whether to upgrade to the Morryde IS with 2 x 8K axles and disc brakes - or if we need to upgrade to a toy hauler or something with higher GVWR. I don't know how anyone is adding solar and batteries and staying anywhere near the GVWR.
What is your GVWR vs your actual weight at a scale?

Don't forget, your axles do not carry the entire weight of the 5th wheel. Probably 3500 pounds is pin weight on the truck.
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Old 10-08-2021, 06:47 AM   #8
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I replaced my LA battery that weighed 72 pounds with a lithium that weighed 23 pounds.
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Old 10-08-2021, 11:03 AM   #9
Bruce in DFW
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Thanks for all the replies guys. When I weighed at CAT Scales with and without the trailer in June 2021 on our outgoing trip, I had a pin weight of 3950 and trailer axle weight of 13600 with total trailer weight of about 17500 - which is about 600-700 over my trailer GVWR. Even if I can shed some weight, I don't see how I'm going to shed enough for the weight of a 3000W inverter (preferably dual inverters) with 2000+W of solar and related lifepo4 battery bank. I'm wondering how so many people are doing all of these upgrades and staying within their GVWR - or maybe they are not staying within their GVWR.
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Old 10-08-2021, 11:28 AM   #10
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Bruce,

Looking at specs for your rig dry weight is about 13,500 - what are you carrying to add 4,000 lbs? Most of us don't carry more than about 1,500.
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Old 10-08-2021, 01:04 PM   #11
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At 3950 on the pin and possibly adding more, the gvwr of the truck should be checked as well.
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Old 10-08-2021, 02:44 PM   #12
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AZ Traveler and Montana Man - Yes, I agree to both of your replies. The spec dry weight is 13400 with 3305 payload. Truck payload is 4450. We purchased the trailer used in 2019 and don't know the original actual dry weight and have never totally emptied it out to check dry weight with current mods. I'm sure we can do better at not over packing - but not 1000 lbs less. Here are some of the items attributing to the weight - Splendide washer/dryer, 2 x Rad e-bikes (~200 lbs with carrier), large portable generator (215 lbs), residential fridge, Purple 4 King mattress (205 lbs), 3 x recpro recliners (instead of factory recliners), toolboxes, 2 x extra 20 lb. propane tanks and luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout the entire trailer - no more linoleum or carpet).

I'm not sure what the unloaded weight of the trailer is - but I plan to check that when we get back to TX from WA in a few weeks. The whole purpose of this post is try help me determine if we can keep this trailer, which we really like, and do solar and other upgrades - or if we need to find a toy hauler instead. My truck's 5th wheel towing capacity is 20700 - so I have some room there. We really don't want to spend more money on another trailer, but I don't want to waste money on upgrades that make the weight unsafe for this trailer. I thought I could upgrade to 8K axles to provide a little more unofficial capacity, but again - that's more money that might be spent on a losing weight battle.
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Old 10-09-2021, 07:30 AM   #13
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With that truck's payload it sounds like a dually and should be ok. You are doing the right thing in considering weights and safety prior to taking action. Informed decisions make better decisions.
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:56 AM   #14
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Actually, it's a 2019 F-350 Crew Cab Long Bed 4x4 Single Rear Wheel (SRW) 6.7 PowerStroke Diesel. It pulls the 17.5K very well even though the nose of the trailer rides just a little high.
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:29 PM   #15
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No doubt the truck pulls nicely. In my experience I've not seen a srw have that much actual payload. Manufacturers advertise best case scenarios but fall short with trucks with options. The only way to be sure is to check the sticker gvwr against actual loaded and unloaded weights. In this case adding weight to the trailer will impact the trucks loaded weight. Not to stir up the weight police but I think it should be given consideration.
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Old 10-13-2021, 04:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce in DFW View Post
We have a 2017 Montana - 41' and are pushing the limit of the 2 x 7K axles. I want to add solar and at least 4 x battleborn batteries - but we are already over the GVWR by 500lbs. Trying to decide whether to upgrade to the Morryde IS with 2 x 8K axles and disc brakes - or if we need to upgrade to a toy hauler or something with higher GVWR. I don't know how anyone is adding solar and batteries and staying anywhere near the GVWR.
In case this is helpful... we have a 2021 3790RD with Legacy and Super Solar. The empty weight is 14,820lbs. I think that is about 700lbs heavier than the weight that was listed on the website for a base model.
I can't say how much weight the legacy options might add, but I suspect not a lot. (disc brakes, furrion cameras, electric power reel... maybe 100lbs??) So, best guess, the solar stuff added about 600lbs. However, keep in mind that the empty weight does not include a battery at all, so the actual extra weight would be less in practical terms.

HtH!
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Old 10-13-2021, 07:20 PM   #17
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Thanks for that info on the 2021.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:11 PM   #18
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That 215 pound generator doesn't sound very portable. We have a Champion 3400 that weighs in at 95 pounds and runs one ac, the microwave, and other small watt devices. Downsizing the generator would be a good swap out for the solar upgrade.
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Old 10-13-2021, 08:20 PM   #19
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Definitely not very portable - but there is a story behind that gen. It was purchased this summer when we got caught in an unusual heat wave in the Olympic Peninsula of WA. After the RV park's main service breaker fried - we had to resort to our 3400. It was Texas HOT! While I have 2 x Champion 3400 (great inverter gen), I only brought one with us - just in case of an emergency. With only the Champion 3400 running one AC - even with Soft Starts both ACs, it heated up to 90+ inside - so I had to buy a larger 50a gen - whatever was available locally - which turned out to be a Firman 7500W at Costco for $699. So, it will stay home for the next trip - and I will bring my other 3400 along next time - with my parallel kit.
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