Trailer Weights...What are They Really? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-25-2008, 06:18 PM   #15
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Wow! What is it with those Casita 17s -- do they have swimming pools in them now? Over 3000lbs and 440 lbs on the tongue? You gotta be -- well -- kidding me. How can something so compact be so gargatuan on the scales? Is this really typical? A friend of mine was considering a 17' Custom Deluxe with a 08 RAV4 V6 with 3500 lb tow capacity.
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:02 PM   #16
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So much for the 1500lb tow rating of the Element!
I wouldn't overly worry about it, as I doubt the Element even gives it a second thought!
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:30 PM   #17
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When we bought our '78 Trillium a few years back, we wanted to be sure of the exact weight because of our limited towing capacity at the time. As I recall, we took it to a weigh scale and with only a battery and a full propane tank (as well as a stove and fridge) but completely empty, it came in a couple of pounds over 1,000. We thought that was pretty good and we travelled light until our purchase of a minivan.

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Old 07-27-2008, 12:21 AM   #18
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I wouldn't overly worry about it, as I doubt the Element even gives it a second thought!
True. The Element handles the weight pretty well including taking off and stopping, even though the trailer brakes aren't working very well. I do plan to repair/ replace the trailer brakes (probably with a new axle) and upgrade the Element brakes with EBC pads and slotted/ cross drilled rotors.
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
The average of the weights of those 6 Casita 17' trailers is:

Axle = 2800 pounds
Hitch = 440 pounds
Total = 3240 pounds
Quote:
Hi: Frederick... Did any campers require "Slim Fast"???
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie

If you focus only on the Hitch/Tongue weight, I gave an [b]average of the weights determined. While some were significantly under that average, a couple were equally significantly [b]OVER the average. I conferred privately with those whom I was concerned about.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:47 PM   #20
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If you focus only on the Hitch/Tongue weight, I gave an [b]average of the weights determined. While some were significantly under that average, a couple were equally significantly [b]OVER the average. I conferred privately with those whom I was concerned about.
I was wondering if the person with the 1989 Bigfoot 17.5 could please post their weight?

We just bought a 1986 Bigfoot. The NADA guestimated the weight at 1850, which is about the same as our Apache Popup was, but it has significantly more storage space! I am trying to pack it with light things (for example plastic plates instead of china ones, light fleecy blankets instead of the heavier, furry types, etc.) but I am still worried about the weight. While our Dodge Dakota has a towing capacity of about 3300 lbs., we have a bumper hitch which is rated at 2000 lbs. (according to the guy my husband bought it from, which I can't look up anywhere on the Internet). I am a little worried that even the base weight of our trailer could be over the 2000 lbs., never mind the gear!
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:51 AM   #21
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The NADA weights are nearly worthless for this -- They will be dimly based on the manufacturer's published dry weight for some model with an unknown mix of options. Frederick's field weights, of trailers loaded for the road, are much more useful.

Published dry weights are useful for initial planning but soon become nothing but a paper exercise, esp in the world of fiberglass trailers where the numbers have been consistently lower than the real world.

I strongly advise installing a receiver hitch on the truck -- The factory bumper hitch is just not up to the task.

You also want to be sure that the tow capacity for your truck is from the owner's manual for YOUR truck with all the details taken into consideration, like rear end ratios, engine, transmission, tow package, etc.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:55 PM   #22
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I was wondering if the person with the 1989 Bigfoot 17.5 could please post their weight?

We just bought a 1986 Bigfoot. The NADA guestimated the weight at 1850, which is about the same as our Apache Popup was, but it has significantly more storage space! I am trying to pack it with light things (for example plastic plates instead of china ones, light fleecy blankets instead of the heavier, furry types, etc.) but I am still worried about the weight. While our Dodge Dakota has a towing capacity of about 3300 lbs., we have a bumper hitch which is rated at 2000 lbs. (according to the guy my husband bought it from, which I can't look up anywhere on the Internet). I am a little worried that even the base weight of our trailer could be over the 2000 lbs., never mind the gear!
That was my trailer. The trailer was fully loaded for camping, although I don't think I travel with that much excess 'stuff'. There were 2- 20lb propane tanks mostly full and the battery on the tongue. Empty tanks, no fresh water. The tongue weight might be a little high, but with water I think it would level off closer to 10%.

Trailer: 2980 lbs.
Tongue weight: 380 lbs.

BTW - I tow with an '05 Nissan frontier Crew Cab 4x4 with a 6100lb towing capacity with a Class III hitch.

Quote:
I strongly advise installing a receiver hitch on the truck -- The factory bumper hitch is just not up to the task. You also want to be sure that the tow capacity for your truck is from the owner's manual for YOUR truck with all the details taken into consideration, like rear end ratios, engine, transmission, tow package, etc.
Ditto what Pete said.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:18 PM   #23
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Ed, I weighed our loaded Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe this afternoon: total weight of the trailer (axle and tongue, combined) is 2770.

We were carrying 2 full propane tanks and all our gear except the books, clothes, and fresh food that I took out after our last weekend away. I would expect that those items would add up to an additional 50 pounds at most. So our total weight when we're using the Casita is 2820, give or take 20 lbs.

Trailer experts recommend that for towing safety (braking in particular) one not exceed 75% of the tow vehicle's maximum tow rating. For a car rated to tow 3500 lbs. maximum, that 75% is only 2625 lbs, about 200 lbs. less that we weigh.

And we don't have a television, or microwave, or electrical appliances; we don't carry tools apart from a screwdriver, and we have a very limited supply of cooking and eating gear. We've replaced the particleboard table tops with plywood, and carry canned goods and wine in our car. It's hard to imagine what could be eliminated from the 17' SD to reduce the functional weight by 200 lbs.

HOWEVER... we are always looking for ways to reduce what we weigh! Suggestions are welcome.

Elisabeth
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:06 PM   #24
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Elisabeth, my suggestion is to forget worrying about the 200#. If Toyota automotive engineers say your car will tow 3,500# safely, it will. I believe many use the 75% rule of thumb to apply to an empty trailer, with the 25% reserved for gear. But there are some who use the 75% rule because, I guess, they don't trust the engineers! Some people wear belts and suspenders too! (Actually, elevation can impact towing capacity so there's some method to the rule!)
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:35 PM   #25
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Elisabeth, my suggestion is to forget worrying about the 200#. If Toyota automotive engineers say your car will tow 3,500# safely, it will. I believe many use the 75% rule of thumb to apply to an empty trailer, with the 25% reserved for gear. But there are some who use the 75% rule because, I guess, they don't trust the engineers! Some people wear belts and suspenders too! (Actually, elevation can impact towing capacity so there's some method to the rule!)
Patrick, thank you but we've miscommunicated! It's not my tow vehicle I was referring to --- it's Ed Felker's friends (earlier post in the thread: Wow! What is it with those Casita 17s -- do they have swimming pools in them now? Over 3000lbs and 440 lbs on the tongue? You gotta be -- well -- kidding me. How can something so compact be so gargatuan on the scales? Is this really typical? A friend of mine was considering a 17' Custom Deluxe with a 08 RAV4 V6 with 3500 lb tow capacity. ). I was responding to clarify that 17' SD Casitas don't all weigh over 3200 pounds.

We can tow 5000 pounds with our 4Runner but we try to reduce weight because we're so much more nimble that way, and we save a lot on gas.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:06 AM   #26
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I was recently asked what my Fiber Stream weighed. I did not weigh it at Bandon.

What seems like a LONG time ago, I weighed it at a 70' Truck Scale here in San Diego, and came up with:
2620 LBS total
200 LBS on the tongue
2420 LBS on the axles

This was before I added the 5000 btu Air Conditioner that rides in a box on the floor all the way up front most of the time when it's not in the front window. It was also before I added the Solar Panels that ride in a Guitar Case, or the 2nd group 27 Battery. I have 2 ceramic pots; each with an awning anchor embedded in plaster-of-paris. I've also started towing with the fresh water tank partly full. I figured it was a little heavier...

So I weighed the Fiber Stream with the wheel weighers at the shop, just like I did with the others at the weigh-in at Bandon.


TRAILER AXLE WEIGHT 2760 LBS
TRAILER HITCH WEIGHT 500 LBS
TOTAL TRAILER WEIGHT 3260 LBS

I was surprised.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:52 PM   #27
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Wow! What is it with those Casita 17s -- do they have swimming pools in them now? Over 3000lbs and 440 lbs on the tongue? You gotta be -- well -- kidding me. How can something so compact be so gargatuan on the scales? Is this really typical? A friend of mine was considering a 17' Custom Deluxe with a 08 RAV4 V6 with 3500 lb tow capacity.
Well, it probably cannot be considered typical but our 17' Liberty has a tongue wt of 440 lbs. Quite a surprise considering that our previous 17' Liberty (same options) had a tongue wt of 340 lbs. We travel pretty light and the trailer weight (hitched) does not exceed 3,000 lbs. While some people have suggested that it may just be Liberty model that has the heavy tongue, I don't agree. Especially since I've seen Frederick's list contains only 1 Liberty, the rest were Spirits. We tow with a 4 Runner rated for 5,000.

In the last few years the Casita brochure has listed the 17' deluxe with an approximate tongue wt of 365 lbs, which should alert those with a capacity of 3,500 lbs that this may be a problem for them.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:46 PM   #28
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I was surprised.
Wow, that IS quite a difference. Amazing how things can add up!
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