Loading your Trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2008, 06:15 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 13 ft
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Hi All,

We are loading up for a 2 week trip through BC. Everything has it's place in the trailer with the exception of our folding chairs and coolers. These we could place in the car or in the trailer. Together they probably weight 100-150lbs and in a small configuration like ours that's quite a bit.

In general would it better to place it in the rear of the car (which will already have the extra weight of the trailer) or above the axle inside the trailer.

Thanks for your knowledge.
Booker
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:50 PM   #2
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Well Booker, enjoy that expen$ive ferry ride along with the new Car-Bone tax.
As for ourselves, we are in the very same dilema, having to over pack the rod AND the trailer. We tend to overload the trailer (centering the weight) and compressing even MORE air into the rear air shocks on the hot rod to help keep things 'on the level'.

Have a fantastic and SAFE CanadaDay, 08!!!
P.S: I commence 8 weeks holiday (Tuesday) ending with my re tyre ment after 35 years !!!! Can you see the GRIN on my face from there ???????
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Old 06-30-2008, 06:58 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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I think I would try to put the coolers in front of the tow vehicle rear axle. If not there over the trailer axle or in trailer in front of the axle as close to the trailer axle as possible. Behind the trailer axle is probably the worst place.

The chairs probably don't weigh enough to matter. I like to put mine in the back of the truck so that easy to get and put away.

I noticed you said coolers, plural, therefore another option is to change your eating habits to reduce cooler space requirements. We have the smallest fridge that Scamp puts in. Much of what's in the fridge doesn't require cooling, but it's nice to have a beverage or two that's cool. Pre Scamp we carried a small cooler that would hold a 6 pack of beverages, then only when we were going to camp near the car.

One of things we've done and still do once in awhile is cruse the grocery store isles and look for food that doesn't require refrigeration and think of ways to make tasty meals by combining non perishable stuff.

Just a thought.


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Old 06-30-2008, 08:44 PM   #4
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I don't know if I would use a cooler at all but I haven't even had a chance to fire up the fridge since we got the trailer (sad but true). I have been focusing more on the safety concerns - new ST tires, bearing repack, frame inspection, trailer brakes etc.. before moving into the living space. We have been car camping the last 3 years so living out of a cooler is something we know =). This is a road trip so we will be able to pick up supplies as we go along

On the topic of minimalist packing the one thing I am having trouble with is what to take for tools. Right now I am packing a socket set, multi screwdriver, some electrical tools (linemans, strippers) and connectors, crescent wrench. Is this going overboard?
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:45 PM   #5
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We are loading up for a 2 week trip through BC. Everything has it's place in the trailer with the exception of our folding chairs and coolers. These we could place in the car or in the trailer. Together they probably weight 100-150lbs and in a small configuration like ours that's quite a bit.

In general would it better to place it in the rear of the car (which will already have the extra weight of the trailer) or above the axle inside the trailer.
I'm learning this stuff too. My recent strategy has been to pack things primarily to minimize the relocation of stuff back and forth between the car and the trailer. Food, cooler, pottie, clothes, sleeping bags, etc. go inside the trailer (i.e. the "house"), and everything that ultimately goes outside or needs to be easily accessible or stored away (chairs, stove, leveler, hoses, tools) goes in the vehicle (i.e. the "shed"). From that point on, you can hook up the trailer, and move things around within each to balance the weight so you get just the right amount of weight in the right spots based on number of passengers, stability, etc.

Also, I would definitely test the fridge before leaving, and leave a thermometer in there. We try to fit everything that needs to be cold in the fridge. I pre-cool and load it the day before, and I always make sure to bring at least one empty cooler that can be used in case the fridge poops out, and use it for storing other items.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:49 AM   #6
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Booker, it depends on the weight limits of your trailer and your trailer's tires and whether you're in danger of exceeding them by carrying more stuff in the trailer. In fact, you might exceed your tow vehicle's GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating is the maximum allowable total weight of a vehicle, including the weight of the vehicle itself plus fuel, passengers, cargo, and trailer tongue weight) regardless of where you store the stuff.

If you've weighed your trailer and your tow vehicle and know for certain that you are within the safety limits (no more than 80% of maximum allowable weight), it does not matter whether the weight is in the trailer or in the tow vehicle.

However, if you do carry the stuff in the trailer, it should be loaded so that you continue to have the appropriate weight on the tongue (10% to 15% for many trailers, though it could be higher on some).
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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Assuming that you're within all of the weight limits, tires, axles, GCWR, etc ... then I would prefer to have the weight in the tow vehicle rather than the trailer. That way it would be harder for the trailer to throw the tow vehicle around in a sway or rough road situation. Lower is better, forward is better.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:01 PM   #8
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Booker, load it and try it. If you don't like it, move stuff around.

Regarding the tools, everyone packs differently and it all depends on how much you're comfortable repairing. One thing I find invaluable is a volt-ohm multi meter. I usually carry a full set of mechanic's tools, 3/8 & 1/2 in. drive sockets, and sometimes my 3/4" drive depending on what I'm driving. I've also found my Makita drillset to be handy occasionally. I carry enough stuff that, absent a total breakdown, I can usually fix my car/trailer/moho enough to make it to a garage somewhere.

Roger
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:43 PM   #9
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For breakdowns I carry a piece of plastic that has AAA Plus RV on it. Seems to work pretty good. For minor stuff I carry a screwdriver set, a small socket set, a jack, 4 way lug wrench and 2 pair of parallel jaw pliers.
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:44 PM   #10
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On my first trip I loaded the trailer with almost everything balancing the weight but it felt heavy so I started loading the truck box with heavier stuff and less in the trailer and it felt way better. It seems easier to pack stuff than drag stuff.
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Old 08-03-2008, 10:31 PM   #11
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What tools??? Hmmmm I have gobs under the gaucho---- have loaned them to the dudes camping next door several times.... I have found that the normal pliers, tape, a screwdriver or two, hammer, hatchet, wrench/wrenches for propane fittings, and misc throw away light cord/twine have been all I have needed. I also carry a shovel and axe in the tow rig. Larry
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:23 PM   #12
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After that first trip I dropped the socket set. I still have (and use) a large opening crescent wrench, linemans pliers, some electrical snips, couple of bags of zap ties, white lithium grease, a variety of electrical connectors and a couple of multi-drive screwdrivers, On this past trip decided to install a 12v accessory plug and a bag awning that had come in in the afternoon we left. I could have used a cordless drill, some marretts (scotch locks suck), some additional red/black wire (which I had at home) and a multimeter. Will probably add all that to the rig with the exception of the cordless drill.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:08 AM   #13
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I'm getting in late on this thread, but this is how we pack.

In the UHaul VT:
The folding chairs go on the bed in the rear of the camper (spread evenly across for weight distribution).
The FirstUp screen house goes on the center floor right above the axle.
The extra jacks for leveling go on the front floor (5 small jacks).
The pottie rides in the privacy room, but is always empty for traveling.
Our camping drawers fit under the dinette in the front.
Our "yoga mats" either lay flat over the jacks or upright next to the fridge. (These are used for a floor in the screen house.)
Small Coleman propane grill rides on the floor under the bed, along with a light aluminum roll-up table.
Stuff like wheel chocks, small dust-buster vacuum, dinnerware, etc. ride stored in their compartments in the camper.

In the VW Eurovan:
Two suitcases (for longer trips).
One comprehensive tool kit and one socket set. (We had to replace a hub in Wyoming last year, so I'm glad I had the socket set along!) All sizes of screwdrivers, hex tools, hammer, electrical connectors, replacement bulbs, tape, JB Weld, scissors, locking pliers, extra electrical wire, screws, nuts and bolts, etc. - In effect, everything that has been shown to fit the camper somewhere! This fits in a medium sized plastic tool box and the socket set has its own box.
Coolers for drinks and camping food (2 coolers for trips of more than 3 days).
Travel-size golf bags and reduced number of clubs (2 of these).
Travel chest for extra blankets, rain gear, etc.
Hoses and lights for the camping hook-up.
Two laptops (one for each of us).
Two small plastic tubs for miscellaneous items.

We may not use everything on every trip, but we have used everything at sometime during each year of camping.
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