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Old 03-30-2019, 09:20 AM   #1
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Weight distribution for FE American

I have noticed with the BB American, if it is a FE version, there looks like 12-15 feet of bus behind the rear wheels. Does anyone have an idea of how much weight can safely be put behind the rear wheels?
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by pengyou View Post
I have noticed with the BB American, if it is a FE version, there looks like 12-15 feet of bus behind the rear wheels. Does anyone have an idea of how much weight can safely be put behind the rear wheels?
a balanced load is important, as is loading with most of the weight as low as possible and not be top heavy
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Old 03-30-2019, 12:08 PM   #3
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The distance between the rear wheels and rear bumper vary due to length of bus.
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Old 03-30-2019, 11:26 PM   #4
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My FE American is a heavy dog, GVW of 32,000 and weighs 24,000 before I load it with bikes or coolers full of beer which puts it over 26,000. I can put 2000# of motorcycles in the rear and never feel rear heavy or out of balance. I think of it as how many humans can fit back there and what will they weigh? Mine is about 10 feet from CL of wheels to rear and is a 14 window unit at 38 feet. They did make a 15 window bus, a 40 footer with a little more overhang. Seems like mine can handle anything I can throw at it. What I have noticed is it's a little slower getting started and it takes a little longer to stop when loaded.
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Old 03-31-2019, 12:29 AM   #5
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The biggest issue on any Type 'D' front engine bus isn't overloading the rear axle but overloading the front.



Most Type 'D' FE buses have front axles with 10,000-14,000 lbs front axles. Empty I would venture a guess that there is at least 8,000 lbs on the front axle.


If any tanks or heavy permanent fixtures like a gen set are located in front of the rear axle you could be getting close to overloading the front axle.


Weigh your bus before you start adding weight back into it so you know how much load your front axle can handle.


There is one person who used to lurk around this forum who had a BB AA FE. After building it I saw some photos and commented it looked a little heavy up front and light in back. He took it to a scale and discovered he was more than 2,000 lbs overweight on the front axle and had barely as much weight on the rear. He ended up having to rip a lot of stuff out and reposition it in the bus to get the weights balanced better.


Ideally you will want twice as much weight on the back axle than on the front axle because there are twice as many tires to carry the load back there.
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:18 PM   #6
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I agree and didn't even think about that my mind was on the rear, yes keep the heavier things to the rear and lighter things up front like a bed. My bed is up front then my kitchen, shower and generator are across from each other right in front of the rear wheels, then the garage is aft of the wheels and we can put about anything back there. I now have a 3000# lift gate mounted at the rear to load whatever, it probably weighs close to 1000#. So loading the garage offsets the weight on the front axle so that is a good thing. I believe my front axle is close to max.
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:29 PM   #7
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remember that weight behind the back wheels acts as a lever to lift the front wheels - balancing the load in a skoolie is as important as balancing a load in a trailer or any truck
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