There was a bit of an issue with the 2016 Newmar Dutch Star weight limits. Specifically on the front axle. You can download the pdf of the Product Information Bulletin here. The relevant section for us was the following:
A new front axle configuration with a 15,400 lb. rating will be made available for 2016 model year 40′ Dutch Star motor homes.
The Castaway came off the line with the 15,400 lb. rating. When we weighed the coach on June 18, 2016, she had 14,160 pounds on the steer axle. And we were pretty much fully loaded. Not sure that we could add another 1,200 or so pounds to the steer axle.
Imagine my surprise then when I came across this post on the iRV2 forum:
I have the 2017 Rand McNally motor carriers road atlas. It has 6 of the Canadian provinces with steering axle weight limits of 5500kg or 12,125 pounds.
What? That seems way too low.
And it is.
I did some digging to find the national standards for Canada which you can look at here.
There it is. A maximum of 7,250kg on the steer axle. But, there is a bit of a key point in the national standards:
It should be recognized that each jurisdiction retains the authority to allow more liberal weights and dimensions, or different types of vehicle configurations, within their jurisdiction.
I decided to check out Ontario here. Schedule 17.
So far so good.
And now the Ontario weights for the same designated bus or recreational vehicle.
Well, this takes a little bit of work doesn’t it? The Castaway would be fine in Ontario. Our GAWR rates the steer axle at 6,985 kg. Our combined tire widths in mm is 624 which would allow 6,864 kg and the single axle would be 9,000 kg. The lowest measure would be the combined tire widths on the steer axle at 6,864 kg or 15,132 pounds. A tad under our 15,400 pound rating for the steer axle.
And yet, it is not a more liberal standard as stated in the Canadian national standards. According to those standards, the steer axle limit is 7,250 kg which means we should be fine with the GAWR of 6,985 kg.
Confused? Me too.
But honestly, how weird are the rules and regulations here in Canada? We have national standards but they vary by province. I took the time to review the Ontario standards but I am not going to go into each provincial standard to see whether the coach is technically legal or not. The rules and regulations are very dense and getting at the weight limits is definitely not straightforward.
I would have expected that our coach met all Canadian regulations to be on the road. And it probably does.
I’ll let you know if we ever get pulled over for being too heavy on the steer axle. Somehow, I doubt that this will ever happen.