Towing Weight Reduction - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-30-2006, 07:01 AM   #1
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1) We carry much of the heavy stuff in the back of our Blazer or Pickup, such as tools, extra water, clothes, sporting gear, etc. I know this is cheating the subject a little, but it gives us more room in the Scamp.

2) Use a packing list instead of keeping the trailer always fully stocked.

3) When in-route go with empty water tanks. Use a couple of milk bottles for water when in-route.

4) Mag wheels.

5) Aluminum propane tank.

6) Pete Dumpleton tarp vs installed awning.

7) Fan vs air conditioner.

8) Air bed vs foam mattress.
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Old 03-30-2006, 08:58 AM   #2
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I changed my 2200# axle for a 3500# so I could take more stuff.

Sorry ... I am so bad.

I'll go to my room, now.
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Old 03-30-2006, 09:41 AM   #3
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Suz........me too : 3500#axle, came with a 5th wheel attached...Mike b
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Old 03-30-2006, 10:30 AM   #4
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I too am guilty of adding more weight rather then trying to lighten up. Extended hitch 28" so I could carry a 375lb motor scooter. Added roof air to stay cool on hot days. Got a weight distrabution hitch to help with the extra baggage. Also got heavy duty 6 ply tires. Oh, did I mention put a heavy duty truck bumper on the back with a rear mount spair tire rack. I think the best mod I made was get a bigger truck. Room in the back of the truck for even more stuff.
I'm a member of the "He who has the most toys when he dies club"

I too, will go to my room now
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:10 AM   #5
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I'm guilty too, but when I try to add things to the load I'm compelled to lower the weight to compensate:
1) When I switched from the marginal 13" wheels/tires to 14" I "neglected" to switch out the spare hanging out the back. Figure the Burro could look lopsided until I could get the tire fixed.
2) When adding the AC setup I kept track of the component weights and had a plan for compensating by lightening other things.
3) The AirMaxx hood over the FanTastic fan must create quite a drag, but the benefits "outweigh" the penalties.
4) I'd like to add wooden components to the interior but until I can find ways to compensate I probably won't do it.

As has been suggested, running with tanks empty or partially empty would save quite a bit of weight; I'll try it.

In light of fuel consumption issues, cost, life-span of the towing vehicle, suspension well-being, as well as the ethical and logical implications on our personal response to the fuel crisis, over-consumption, and consumerism this subject is not one we should take "lightly," in my opinion. It may require a further readjustment of my mindset (reminding myself at least as much as directing it to anyone else.)
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Old 03-30-2006, 11:34 AM   #6
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You guys are bad, but in a good way. I think Loren has a great topic here. The whole reason we bought an egg was to go smaller/lighter, with a smaller tow vehicle. The less is more theory, getting back to basics so to speak. I think I am probably the ultimate example of RV downsizing having owned a 34ft Airstream Excella and a large motorhome in the recent past. We found out that the smaller unit was much easier and conducive to having fun camping instead of worrying about a huge white elephant. Lightness is a huge part of this. I totally understand about packing as much convenience and features as possible into these little trailers. The trick is doing so while keeping things as light as possible, so I always look at making my modifications as light as practical. As it stands I have added about 100lbs total of permanent weight so far offset by some weight savings. A few things I have done are:

Aluminum propane tank -3lbs, lightweight LCD TV instead of heavy tube TV +5lbs, closet shelves made from aluminum and very thin plywood +10lbs, as mentioned by Loren we pack by list and try to limit to just what we need for the specific trip. We took about 50lbs of things out of our trailer that we where just hauling around so -50lbs.

A few things that I am planning to do to save weight:
Replacing all doors and dinette table with plywood (that pressed wood material weighs a ton) save about 30lbs, a closet mounted AC as apposed to the roof mount unit saving 80lbs, aluminum wheels to save 10lbs.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:10 PM   #7
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Some friends of mine removed their bathroom door (from their Casita). They felt like it was in the way and the shower curtain is an adequate substitute.

I think they also took off one of their (two) propane bottles.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:43 AM   #8
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The single most significant thing you can do to save weight while towing a trailer is to have empty tanks. Water weighs 8.3 lbs/gal. Depending on the size of your tanks, carrying full tanks can be up to 500 additional pounds of weight. Even carrying 5 gallons in a partially filled fresh water tank adds over 40 lbs! (That's about what I carry so I can use the toilet or wash hands or make coffee or do dishes on the road.) Pretty much everything else you pack, load, or leave home is inconsequential compared to the weight of the water in the tanks.

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Old 04-04-2006, 07:53 AM   #9
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That's a very good point, Roger. For those that have them, don't foget about the nearly 50 lbs hiding in your water heater. I know it's not always practical to try and drain it every night, especially on a long trip, but it IS almost 50 extra pounds.

I used to carry my drinking water in the trailer, but now carry it up front with me.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:00 AM   #10
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Umm, I guess we should buy the beer when we get near our destination, too...
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:26 AM   #11
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You guys are total lightweights - I mean, heavyweights, about this weight reduction thing.

I made plexiglass cabinet doors to replace all the wood doors. I painted the back of the plexi with house paint and it looks almost professional. The benefits were looks more than weight, and believe it or not, the paper thin cabinet doors made the inside feel bigger.

The best and most obvious weight reduction is NOT TO ADD ANYTHING.

I took out the water tank, have no ac, no fridge, no awning, no water heater.

Now if you really wanted to lighten things up, you could cut out selected parts of the frame and weld in some thin, light, tubular steel.

You should run dry for sure.

Other than that, doing stuff like using thinner material for the curtains isn't going to do much.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:25 PM   #12
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Going from a 9" brick of a TV to an LCD helped. The dog is 2 lbs overweight. We'll be testing various types of cheese to check for which is the heavier. I'm on a diet. Are those gravel shields really necessary? Certainly DVDs are a lot lighter than those old VHS tapes. Books on tapes are a possibility.

Details matter (and add up).
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:33 PM   #13
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NO no no!!! never would I give up foam cushions for air mattresses!!

I love foam so much- I ditched my innerspring mattress for a foam one! Foam is worth carting around.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Books on tapes are a possibility.

Details matter (and add up).
I carry my books on my Palm. I suppose I could make the Palm lighter by removing some of the 1's in the software.
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