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Old 11-29-2016, 04:44 PM   #1
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Weight / Balance

Hey Everyone,
I'm in the process of laying out my floorplan, and am curious about weight distribution.

When does the difference in weight start to matter?

Right now, (on a 13 window bus) my passenger side is looking like it contains the majority of my build (couch, woodstove, kitchen, bathroom, and small washing machine), PLUS a 100gal disel tank below, which could amount to anywhere from 3,000-6,000 pounds in total on the passeneger side when fully loaded.

The driver's side would have very SOME counterweight, but maybe only 1,500-3,000lbs, which is not all that much compared to the other side.

Is this a major problem? I'm a bit nervous.

Don't want to roll my future home


As always, thanks for your help. You guys are great.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:19 PM   #2
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you are probably close to the limit of it mattering. i'd guess that you are overestimating weights a bit. my finished conversion is about 4000 lbs total. my bus is quite a bit heavier on the driver's side but it doesn't care.

On my bus's driver side i have the water tank, water heater, battery bank, furnace while the passenger side only has the waste tank(which is empty most of the time). my bus doesn't care.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:42 PM   #3
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"...3000 to 6000 pounds".

Not. Diesel only weighs about a pound more than gasoline per gallon At 7.108 pounds per gallon, that is only 720 ponds.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:02 PM   #4
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Yup, I realized that was a bad choice of words, and now the thread won't let me edit it!

By fully loaded, What I meant is about 3-6k in TOTAL on the passenger side (fully loaded with all of my belongings).

On that note, I'm definitely overestimating to be on the safe side. I put the fuel tank at about 1,000lbs (when the tank is full)- considering the extra weight of the actual tank and its steel cage.. Which is probably more than 280lbs.

Any thoughts on the overall balance?
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:59 PM   #5
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The good news is that Skoolies are probably less subject to imbalance than most vehicles. That is one reason the suspension is so darned stiff. It had to be designed to handle 70+ overweight kids constantly moving around.

That said...do try to equalize the big loads. Fuel, water, claw foot bathtub, mother-in-law...

Having both your fresh water & waste on the same side will keep some constancy since most of it will simply go from one tank to the other(s).

Fuel, on the other hand is a continuously changing factor that, in theory, would be best amidship where the change would have the least affect.
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Old 11-30-2016, 12:01 AM   #6
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Don't forget road crown. So given convenient choice, I would put heavy stuff on the left.
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:23 AM   #7
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I agree with Elliot--if you are going to have a heavy side it would be better if it were the driver's side because of road crown issues.

You also need to be aware of weight balancing front to rear. It is particularly important with Type 'D' FE buses since almost the total weight of the engine and transmission is ahead of the front axle. It isn't hard to overload the front axle if you have too much weight forward. On the other hand, with a set of duals in the rear it would be nearly impossible to overload a rear axle. Even on a Type 'D' RE that has all of the weight of the engine and transmission behind the rear axle it would be hard to overload the rear axle with appliances, tankage, and cabinetry.

A friend on here who hasn't posted in a long time was converting a Blue Bird All American FE. I mentioned in passing the problem of overloading the front axle when I saw where he had installed some built ins. Just for kicks and giggles he decided to go and get it weighed at a Cat Scale. As I surmised, while the completed RV was way under the total GVWR, it was overweight on the front axle by several hundred pounds. It took some major surgery and floor plan changes to get the weight off of the front axle and onto the rear axle. He actually had more weight on the steer axle than he had on the drive axle.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:44 AM   #8
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Front to Rear Balancing for 40'RE

I hope somone will reply to this post, even though I know it's a couple years later. We are doing a RE conversion and I am worried that adding a 100Gal fresh water tank behind the rear axel on my 40'RE will imbalance the bus front to rear. Is this a valid worry if the grey tank, fridge, firestove, bathroom bunks etc will all be in front of the rear axel by quite a bit? Also the Diesel tank is more toward the front. The bus was just weighed empty with just the floor foam and subfloor is in and it was 17600lbs with a GVWR or 35000.

Anything helps, thanks!
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronTSchultz View Post
I hope somone will reply to this post, even though I know it's a couple years later. We are doing a RE conversion and I am worried that adding a 100Gal fresh water tank behind the rear axel on my 40'RE will imbalance the bus front to rear. Is this a valid worry if the grey tank, fridge, firestove, bathroom bunks etc will all be in front of the rear axel by quite a bit? Also the Diesel tank is more toward the front. The bus was just weighed empty with just the floor foam and subfloor is in and it was 17600lbs with a GVWR or 35000.

Anything helps, thanks!
100 US gal weighs 834 lbs - not likely enough to upset a vehicle as heavy duty as yours if there isn't already a lot behind the back wheels - a quick calculation can be made by estimating weight of add-ons in your bus and try to keep the weight balanced front to rear
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:29 AM   #10
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Besides the engine the only thing that's going to be behind the back wheels is the queen size bed. And the water tank
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:33 AM   #11
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shouldn't be a problem then
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:15 PM   #12
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Six foot ball players in the rear seats could be more than that.
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:08 PM   #13
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I agree; not a problem.
(Next time you weigh a bus, you might want to weigh each axle separately, to give you that much more information. Modern truck-stop scales, such as Cat Scale, do this automatically with three separate platforms (the third is for a trailer) -- you just make sure each axle is on a separate platform.)
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:22 PM   #14
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Yeah I just figured when you have ball players in the back you usually have 7 more up front balancing that one out.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:26 PM   #15
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Elliot,. Thanks for the advice I will try and do that when we title to an r.v. and have to reweigh. I am not perticularly concerned with over loading the axel as much as creating a light front end because of more weight in the rear thus affecting steering. . But with all your advice, I think I'll be fine.

Lastly can anybody recommend a thread for loose steering?
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronTSchultz View Post
I hope somone will reply to this post, even though I know it's a couple years later. We are doing a RE conversion and I am worried that adding a 100Gal fresh water tank behind the rear axel on my 40'RE will imbalance the bus front to rear. Is this a valid worry if the grey tank, fridge, firestove, bathroom bunks etc will all be in front of the rear axel by quite a bit? Also the Diesel tank is more toward the front. The bus was just weighed empty with just the floor foam and subfloor is in and it was 17600lbs with a GVWR or 35000.

Anything helps, thanks!

Front to rear weight isn't nearly as much of a problem on an RE bus as it is with an FE bus. Remember, on an RE bus the heavy stuff (the power package) is on the rear axle that has dual wheels. On an FE bus the heavy stuff is on the front axle which doesn't have dual wheels.



At a guess I would say you have about 10K-12K lbs. on the rear axle. Putting a 1,000 lbs tank behind the rear axle isn't going to make that much of a difference on an RE bus, especially one with a GVWR of 35,000. You most likely have a rear axle rated at 24,000 and a front axle rated at 11,000. With only 10K to 12K on the rear axle adding an additional 1,000 isn't going to make that much difference.
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