Highway Control Rating for MotorhomesThe Highway Control Rating for Motorhomes is generated with data received from the RV's manufacturer, often supplemented by information furnished by consumer users. Because most handling characteristics have been proven to be a result of good or bad engineering and assembly, it is relatively easy to show that driver control can be easily lost when the RV is overloaded, out of balance or designed with an inadequate wheelbase for the vehicle's length.
Getting a good Highway Control Rating is both delicate and complicated. Although we use other factors in addition to those discussed here, weights and wheelbase are of extreme importance.
The Highway Control Rating is based on a 1-to-100 scale that gives a representation of the ability of the motorhome to be controlled by the driver — especially under adverse road and weather conditions. Specifically, this is the rating of the RV's ability to respond to your commands and be reasonably safe.
Manufacturers often change the specifications after initial production of new models and brochures. This, of course, upsets the apple cart. If we get this new information, we enter it as a midyear change, indicated by “myc” in the model field. If we do not get the change but the dealer does, you might think that our information is inaccurate and accept the dealer's data as accurate. The danger here is that the manufacturer has produced later models with earlier specifications — which in some cases are models you might not want. It never hurts to check the ID tags on the vehicle for correct specifications.
RVCG has full confidence in the ability of the formulas to arrive at the final number, but we acknowledge that the manufacturer must provide accurate information for this system to work. After many years of working with manufacturers, we know that most manufacturers provide reasonably accurate data. However, there are those few who appear to have little inclination to give the consumer complete data even though it is the standard in the industry to do so. In our rating system we inform the consumer when it appears that a manufacturer provides incomplete or questionable data.
Highway Control: Wheelbase for Motorhomes
Because it is easier for motor home manufacturers to build and sell short-wheelbase motor homes, this is an area of controversy for the RVCG ratings. Manufacturers know that overloading and being out of balance are both dangerous situations which are easily reflected by chassis capacities, total weights, and at-wheel weights. They are aware that their customers will know if the motor home is severely out-of-balance. There is no argument here. What they won't acknowledge is something the rest of the world knows — a short-wheelbase vehicle is difficult to control when driving on slippery, gravelly, or wet roads and that they have a propensity to wander. RVCG uses long-established empirical data to reflect wheelbase into the Highway Control Rating. There is no guesswork here.
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