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Old 07-18-2006, 04:51 AM   #41
David and Jo-Anna
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Dave--I look forward with enthusiasm to your efforts to ply me with "truth serum" at the Fall Rally in order to find out what I do. But rest assured--when I referred to the "dark side," I did not mean .... JAYCO.
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:54 AM   #42
David and Jo-Anna
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Colleen--the fact that your sticker also reads 11,900# despite your having selected different options than did others with that reading makes me think they really have picked a number representing what they think is the "typical" 3400 rather than weighing each unit as it comes off the assembly line.

By the way, have you had your unit weighed to see what it actually weighs with those options?
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:43 AM   #43
David and Jo-Anna
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A thought occurs to me as a way of persuading Keystone to significantly increase the posted GVWR for their 3400s. If Dave is able to verify during his PDI on Thursday that the larger Montanas now have 7,000# axles, and if the Mission tires are in fact now 3,500# tires, then the axles on the 3400s are capable of handling 14,000#, rather than the 12,000# in earlier models. It seems clear that Montana has determined its GVWRs by adding together the old 12,000# axle loading figure and the pin weight that they have developed (for marketing reasons) to show that 3/4 ton trucks could handle the Montanas. With the higher axle load capabilities, Montana technically could keep the same pin weight for the 3400 but up the GVWR all the way to 15,975# just by adding the 1975# pin weight to the current axle load rating of 14,000#.

Now I wouldn't expect Montana to make that big of a change, but they should be more willing to consider bumping up the GVWR by perhaps 1,000# to 14,975#, which would split the difference between where they are now at and where their higher axle load capability would allow them to jump. For marketing purposes, they could still keep the listed pin weight at 1975# and just increase the carrying capacity by 1,000#.

Moreover, it would be financially smart for them to do so. It sounds like it would be fair to say to them that they are certainly losing the sale of some heavier options (like hi-gloss gel coat and dual pane windows) and may even be losing some sales of Montanas to competitors just because of the low carrying capacity of the 3400s. So since their vehicles are in fact capable of handling heavier loads, why not raise the carrying capacity by 1,000# rather than lose those sales? Does that sound like a worthwhile argument to make to them, and are they likely to listen?
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Old 07-18-2006, 11:04 AM   #44
dsprik
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David, Keystone has made many changes after reading posts/topics on this forum. Some here could give you specifics items that were changed, and Keystone/Montana has specifically cited this forum as the reason for these structural changes. I know they montor this site constantly. I do know that the remote thermostat was changed after some "vigorous" discussion on here (a search will give you an idea on this one), however, it is not the only thing that was changed due to MOC input.

So maybe they will consider your logic stated above, which seems reasonable to me.
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:52 PM   #45
David and Jo-Anna
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Dave:

I suspect that Montana managers focus mostly on postings that indicate problems with their units, but maybe my reference to "liability risks" will get some attention. If not, maybe Rich and I can team up to make some calls and/or bug them at the fall rally.

After my last posting, my DW joked that, if Montana does read the postings, they may either offer me a job or refuse to sell me a Montana. Taking any bets?
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Old 07-18-2006, 01:18 PM   #46
Driftwoodgal
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Dave,

We have not weighed our Monty yet. We have just barely had the time to get it out for three nights to test it out. I am not sure where the closest weigh station is but hopefully we will get it done before he leaves for hurricane season.

If I am not around to add more things to the Monty he will never be over weight . I am the one that seems to buy more stuff for it, last purchase was a cute table. He will be full timing it for months at a time when he is working.

We have checked our 2005 2500HD LB Diesel Duramax for pull ratings. The 3/4 ton pulls the same as the 1 ton. If we didn't have the long bed we wouldn't be pulling this long of a rig. The Dually is out as he has to drive into places that the dually might not fit, as well as the difference in diesel mileage. When we pulled two weekends ago the truck didn't have any problems and we were pulling up some steep hill country hills. He did have to change the brake control from our setting for the 31.5 New Vision, but not by much. The trailer brakes work fine and he feels comfortable about the set up.

Bob is a very cautious person and if he feels that I am putting to many things into the Monty he just might leave me at a roadside park if he thinks I have over loaded it. Just kidding... I would find him.

To bad we will miss the fall rally, I would love to see this coming out of dark side party. The rallies just have to wait until we sell the business.
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Old 07-18-2006, 02:03 PM   #47
David and Jo-Anna
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Colleen--Understand about not having weighed your 3400 yet--I likewise have no idea where to find a weigh station. Besides which, Dave is doing his PDI Thursday, and he should get weight numbers to share with everyone shortly thereafter.

As for loading up the RV weight wise, I suspect I'll be adding the biggest loading initially as I look to buy the equipment and accessories we need for full-timing, but that Jo-Anna thereafter will be the one who finds some "really nice" items that "we" need to make the RV feel more like home.

Sorry we won't have a chance to meet at the fall rally. Really looking forward to meeting in person people that we are currently just communicating with thru the forum. As for the coming out from the dark side party, ....
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:12 PM   #48
Dean A Van Peursem
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FYI: In order to get a feel for 3400RL loaded weights, we weighed on the way home from a weeks trip. Due to the length of the scale platform there were some measurements that were not possible w/o unhooking. All tanks in the 3400RL were empty except maybe 5 gallons in the black tank. Here are the particulars of the truck & RV:

2003 F250, SC, LB, Lariat, 4WD, 7.3L Diesel, Firestone airbags, no tailgate, fuel tank half full, driver and passenger included.

Front Axle weight on truck = 4730 lbs
Both axles on truck = 10130 lbs
Rear truck axle = 5400 lbs
Both axles on 3400RL = 10,630 lbs

I would estimate pin weight between 2400 and 2600 lbs + -.

I think having 5,000 + - 300 lbs on each axle is fairly balanced. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:18 PM   #49
rickfox
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Good Evening Folks,

I agree with Rich in that your Monty weighs what it weighs. But you won't known unless you get it weighed! And you won't know what it will weigh 6 months from now - after you load all that stuff - unless you get it weighed again.

Again I mention that JD Gallant has been associated with the RV industry for many years, and RV.ORG has published rating figures on RV's for many years. It makes sense to learn from those more experienced than us.

We all have been told to check the torgue on the wheel bolts and check the tire pressure. Why should we not also check our weights to make sure we are not overloading our 5vrs? Like I said in an earlier post, we should be carrying in our glove boxes, certified CAT scale weights that indicate what our rigs weigh. It provides peace of mind that we have not lost control of the "stuff" we carry, and provides solid evidence on our behalf if something bad happens.

You can eat too much and then complain "about" your pants because they are too tight! Or, you can control you intake so your perfectly good pants will continue to fit!
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:47 PM   #50
Cat320
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David: I'm retired Army, so I know the big bucks you make as a retired Naval officer...take some of that money and order that Montana 3400RL and a big dually to haul it...that's what we did! Then go sit back, smile and have a beer. You know you're going to do it, so just get it over with.

Everybody towing with a 3/4: Based on what I've read so far in this thread, do not weight your truck...it'll scare you..."pin weight of 2400 - 2600" and "hitch pin right at 2800." A pw if 2800 in a 3/4 D/A 4x4 cc is about 500 over GVWR before adding passengers, cargo, hitch weight, tools, etc. You may not like it, but as Sgt Joe Friday said..."just the facts ma'am." Might not like them, but they are what they are.

Driftwoodgal: I think we have established that any diesel pick up will pull any Montana with ease...but see the preceding paragraph...pulling is not the problem, it's pw.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:49 PM   #51
David and Jo-Anna
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Dean--thanks for the weight info--looks like you've done a good job of staying below max GVWR limits. Also seems to confirm that the axles see less than 12,000#, and that more of the weight shows up as pin weight than the pin weights Montana lists in their literature.

Rick--I agree that "your Monty weighs what it weighs" and that it makes sense to get your unit weighed from time to time and have copies of the CAT results in the glove box just in case. I suspect most such weighings will be done when the water tanks are less than full since full water tanks are going to put a lot of rigs over their GVWR limits. Since I haven't yet ordered my rig, what I'm still working on is trying to get a firm handle on how much weight--in the form of options--I can reasonably handle so that I better know what options to order and which to take a pass on. Of course, if Montana would "see the light" and agree to up their GVWR numbers to reflect what the rigs can really handle, that would ease, or remove altogether, the cloud that "legal liability" casts on the decisionmaking process.
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Old 07-18-2006, 03:59 PM   #52
David and Jo-Anna
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Cat320--sorry for the confusion in my earlier post--I'm not retired Navy. I was only in the Navy for four years--during Vietnam. After I got out, I bought a VW camper and spent 6 months camping all over Europe. Then moved to San Francisco and worked a year as a telecommunications engineer before going over to the dark side.
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:08 PM   #53
richfaa
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There is always a conflict between design and engineering and marketing. Design & engineering wants to build a safe and reliable product..marketing wants to sell the product and will say about anything to do so.Those weight numbers are marketing numbers as some have indicated but there are folks at Keystone that have the answers we seek. David I went through this with the'what does the High Gloss gell coat and the dual pane windows really weigh." Call customer service then search for the person that knows the answers. By the way one of the reasons I did not order the High Gloss and dual pane was because of the weight issue(not the only reason) Why is it that we retired Feds always are asking questions that no one wants to hear????
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:17 PM   #54
Wrenchtraveller
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Please let us not think this is a Keystone issue. It is an RV industry wide issue and Cat320 and Richfaa both did the right thing. They bought a TV that can handle a 3400. I bought a TV that can handle a 2955RL. It is an 11200 GVWR Single Rear Wheel Ford F350. It is too light a truck for a 3400. Period.

I love the 3400 and if I decide to get one some day, I will get a dually so I can load it up and relax.Too many folks on this site are in denial. I am not mean spirited, just don't want to see people I like get hurt.
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:56 PM   #55
richfaa
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Yes it is a industry issue just as the poor workmanship is.. We question Keystone/ Montana because we have the product. My 3400 is operating perfectly.Just parked it after a 1200 mile trip.Except for those pesky Hinge screws coming loose, a little thing and Keystone is hearing about it, all systems performed perfectly.I have to tell you it draws attention everywhere. 18 wheeler drivers at rest stops and truck stops..had one today under the camper checking out the Mor-Ryde suspension. The folks at the tpk toll booths, The most common comment.."That's a big camper" I will attempt to weigh it tomorrow but a thought occured to me..The only scale around here is one at a landscape company and it may not be long enough for the 3400???? I will run over and step it off first.
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Old 07-18-2006, 05:24 PM   #56
Dean A Van Peursem
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David:

I think what the weight shows is that the pin weight shown in the brochures is dry weight with nothing in the tanks and nothing in the garages. The garages are so big on a 3400RL that the temptation is to fill them up with all kinds of goodies. We have two big lounge chairs, two director chairs, a Weber baby Q BBQ, a BBQ stand, a step ladder, tools, wheel blocks and levelers, satellite dish, 25' coax cable and two 20' water hoses plus all the cords in the front garage. The 50 AMP cable is quite heavy plus all the adapters to 30 AMP and 15 Amp plus I had a 25' 30 AMP cord as well. I would not consider adding another 200 lb generator in the front garage. If I had my druthers I would like to see more outside storage in the back to balance things out a bit.

When one looks at weighed axle weights for my truck compared to Ford factory Gross Axle Weight Ratings for the front and rear axles.

Front Axle GAWR = 5200 lbs vs actual in use is 4730 lbs
Rear Axle GAWR = 6030 lbs vs actual in use is 5400 lbs

Therefore, I'm well within the guidlines on each axle with quite similar weights on each axle for both the truck and 3400RL axles. Seems to me to be quite balanced. The truck handles it very nicely and on our last trip we averaged 12.8 MPG which I thought was quite acceptable. The 7.3L Diesel engine hasn't had to work very hard yet but we haven't gone over any 6% grades at 7,000 feet either. :-) I did have to add the Firestone airbags to level out the bed but I am finding out I don't need much air in the bags to do so. At this point in time I don't feel the need to go to a F350 dually. If I did in the future I might go with a 350 but with single rear wheels. Not sure I want to park or manuever a dually. I have enough difficulty with this one. I have not experienced any real side sway at all even in fairly windy conditions. I do have very HD Factory tires on the truck and have them inflated well.

According to 2003 factory F250 I'm slightly over on the GCVW but that wasn't different than the F350 dually at the time. The real difference between a F250 and F350 is in pin weight capability. As long as I am running under the axle and tire ratings on the F250 I'm not concerned about the Pin weight being over. Time will tell.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:06 PM   #57
David and Jo-Anna
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I see two issues here, and they seem to be getting blended together in some of the posts. One issue revolves around the GVWR for the 3400--what do the rig and its various options really weigh, what axle and pin weights can the rig safely handle, and what if anything can be done to get Montana to raise its GVWR to reflect its true capability so that the risk of legal liability doesn't unnecessarily interfere with decisionmaking regarding the selection of options and the loading of personal cargo. The second issue deals with what kind of tow vehicle is needed to handle the weight of the 3400. My focus was to answer the GVWR question as best it can be answered before going on to the tow vehicle question.

On the GVWR issue, Rich it's encouraging to hear that there are engineering people at Montana who know their product and can be talked to. For the reasons I set forth in an earlier post above, I think there are good reasons why the engineering folks ought to be able to persuade the marketing folks to bump up the GVWR for the 3400 at least another 1000#. If they can do that, then we can make rational decisions on options and cargo rather than having those decisions constricted by concerns about legal liability or loss of insurance coverage in an accident. I look forward to working with you to see what can be done to nudge Montana along in this effort.

For those who have their rigs already, I agree with Rich and Rick that "they weigh what they weigh" and one needs to deal with that in selecting a tow vehicle. I suspect the tow vehicle question is distorted by many factors. One factor I see is that people have different levels of risk they are willing to take. Some are clearly willing to go with a tow vehicle that others feel is inadequate for the job. As I lack personal experience with the safety hazards of hauling a 3400, I'm not going to attempt to offer any opinions on this issue to a group that has much more experience then I have. I'll simply learn what I can from this forum and then make my own decision based on my own comfort level with risks.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:25 PM   #58
David and Jo-Anna
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Dean--I'm amazed, and impressed, that you can fit all that gear in your basement storage and not be even close to the GVWR of the rig. I'd be interested to know what options you have on your rig. I'm still struggling with the question of which of the options I'd like to consider will fit within my GVWR budget for full-timing.

As far as your being over the pin weight listed in the Montana brochure, it sounds like that is a real bogus number, developed by the marketing folks, and everyone knows that many, if not most, 3400 owners are well over that number. I have yet to hear anyone say that high pin weight caused any structural damage to their rig or presented a safety hazard in handling or towing. As for whether the higher pin weight exceeds any ratings on the TV, I'm still trying to educate myself as to what the ratings are for the different TVs and what sort of safety margin exists in those ratings. This is a great forum for learning--just have lots here I'm still trying to absorb. I appreciate your helping me with this by sharing your experience.
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Old 07-18-2006, 06:45 PM   #59
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The Pin weight and the axle weight of a 5th wheel trailer combine to make it's GVWR.
A pin weight of 3500 pounds on a Montana 3400 is normal and in no way hurts anything. It is the way a Fifth wheel works and one of the reasons you need a TV with a large payload.

These people that keep mentioning that the combined weight rating for a 3/4 ton and a 1 ton are the same are quoting statisics that only pertain to pull behind units that only put 10 % on the ball.

IT IS NORMAL FOR A FIFTH WHEEL TO PUT UP TO 25% OF IT'S WEIGHT ON THE PIN. THIS IS WHAT FIFTH WHEELS DO. DO THE MATH A 14000 POUND UNIT CAN PUT UP 3500 POUNDS ON THE PIN.

As far as liabilites Keystone's liabilities for having you overload your Montana are no different than Ford's liabilities for having you overload your TV. Forget the printed pin weights, they mean nothing, go down and weigh a loaded Fiver. I have owned 5 different brands in the last 20 years. The pin get's heavy when you load them up.
If that bothers you get a pull behind TT.
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Old 07-18-2006, 07:23 PM   #60
mobilrvn
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Many truck stops have scales. Look in the yellow pages for a local scale.
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