CAT Scales and GVWR

My west coast overlanding buddies are sticklers for standards. They hammered home the significance of Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). That’s the most your Jeep should weigh, including all your passengers, cargo, fuel, etc. Every modification you made factors into the GVWR. Like replacing bumpers, adding a winch, installing skid plates, getting larger wheels/tires, swapping axles, etc. Jeep doesn’t offer a lot of wiggle room, so this is something you should probably pay attention to.

A 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport S two door has a GVWR of 5000 pounds, and a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon two door has a GVWR of 5350 pounds. Since we installed Rubicon take-off axles and an AEV DualSport suspension lift designed for overlanding, I decided to call Jeep to see if those two mods affect GVWR. I had high hopes on the call, and was happy to learn that the axles raise my GVWR to 5350 (same as the Rubicon model), and the beefy lift gives it another 100 or so pounds (they actually said 100-200 but I’m being conservative).

So based on that, my new estimated GVWR is 5450. This is of course an estimate, and not a Jeep recommendation. Of course Jeep legal needs to make sure they’ve got their diaper on. 🙂 Apparently if someone was inclined and had money/time to burn, a documented adjusted GVWR is possible. Guessing only rich companies would bother to go down that road.

So to be totally honest, I did all the mods mentioned in the first paragraph. For my June trip I installed twin storage drawers, a fridge and slider. I had no idea if I was under or over the GVWR. I guess if I knew in the beginning this was going to be the direction I was taking, I would have been more careful with my purchase choices. Where weight would be one of the highest priorities. Oh well, live and learn.

A Jeeping/Trucking buddy told me I could get my Jeep weighed at a local CAT Scale location. I just needed to install their Weigh My Truck app on my iPhone, and configure it for payments. The nearest one is 20 miles, and they’re open 24 hours. I went there after work. I parked in the front most yellow square, where trucks’ front axles are positioned. I used the app to pay the $12.50, and I crossed my fingers.

I wasn’t as far off as I thought I’d be. I weighed in at 5400, that’s 50 pounds over the adjusted GVWR. Not too shabby. Well, my gas tank was almost empty. Figure 15 gallons would fill it, so 15 gallons at 6.3 pounds per gallon is 95 pounds. The fridge was empty, that’s another 20 or so pounds of food. Add 5 gallons of fresh water in a container, that’s another 31.5 pounds. All together that’s another 146.5 pounds.

So now we’re talking 5400 + 146.5 = 5546.5, fully loaded. That’s over my 5450 adjusted GVWR. I need to come up with creative ways to reduce total weight between now and June. I know I can shave off 50-75 pounds by removing the tools that I know I won’t need in June. #famousLastWords