Minivan seats - Fiberglass RV

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Old 01-20-2006, 04:36 PM   #1
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Ok, I'm about ready to go pick up my Scamp. I've got a Class II hitch and a transmissin cooler installed in my Nissan Quest. Right now the Quest only has the front seats in it because I have removed the rear and middle seats to make an open back end for storage, moving things, etc. Kind of like an enclosed pickup truck. Anyway, the seats that I have removed weigh about 175 or so pounds comined (reducing the weight of my van this much and also lightening the back and middle a small amount). My question is do you think I should put these seats back in when I tow the Scamp? The Scamp doesn't have brakes right now btw. Also, since this is a front wheel drive van the lighter weight of the rear end might give me little more weight up on my front tires for traction. What do you think-put the seats back in, leave them out, or it doesn't matter?

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Old 01-20-2006, 04:45 PM   #2
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I checked the minivan curb weight. It's 4066lbs. with the seats in.

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Old 01-20-2006, 04:54 PM   #3
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Don't sweat it. I tow a lot with the seats out of my Mazda MPV. Actually, the tongue weight of your Scamp will probably put about the same weight back on your rear axle. These FGRVs are easy to tow, your Nissan is more than sufficient for the job. Relax and enjoy the trip!
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:11 PM   #4
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Don't sweat it... Relax and enjoy the trip!
I agree with Jack.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:36 PM   #5
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Only the second-row seats come out of my Sienna (the third row folds into the floor), and I do generally leave those seats out. As Jack mentioned, without a weight-distributing hitch the trailer adds load to the van; the rear axle gets all of that load, plus more pried off of the front axle by the lever effect of the hitch being behind the rear axle. I am generally more concerned about excessive load on the rear axle than inadequate load.

With my Sienna, I measured the almost-empty axle weights (one occupant, no second-row seats) at 1130 kg (2486 lb) front and 870 kg (1914 lb) rear. My Boler is a 17-foot B1700RGH (about twice the weight of a typical 13-foot egg) and even dry and nearly empty it had 100 kg (220 lb) of hitch weight.

The distance from the rear axle to the hitch ball in my case is about 40% of the wheelbase, so the trailer pushing down of the hitch like one end of a see-saw (with the rear axle as the pivot point) lifts 40 kg off of the front axle. Hooking up my B1700 to the Sienna added the 100 kg of hitch weight plus 40 kg of transferred load (140 kg or 308 lb total) to the rear axle.

  • front axle goes from 1130 kg (2486 lb) without trailer to 1090 kg (2398 lb) with
  • rear axle goes from 870 kg (1914 lb) without trailer to 1010 (2222 lb) with
The van balance is fine with or without the trailer, and more cargo in the rear is not needed. When the cargo we want to carry is considered, we are certainly better off without the seats. I have even considered removing the third row set for heavily loaded trips.
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
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Old 01-20-2006, 09:01 PM   #6
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Name: Gina D.
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I removed my seats to get more cargo room. I noticed no difference when towing without them.

I'd say your OK to put them back in.

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