Scamp 13' tongue weight and water tank - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2012, 11:47 AM   #15
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...Um, what is a reefer?
Sorry, it's slang for refrigerator.

The fridge moves amonia/water solution along a sloped ramp. Pitching the fridge too much out of level (mostly fore and aft) can disturb the flow and hurt the effectiveness of the heating/cooling cycle. Assuming you have a Dometic refrig...

From the fridge's point of view, level is most important while parked. While towing, everything's sloshing around anyhow.

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Old 10-29-2012, 12:04 PM   #16
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The best towing attitude is for the trailer to be level under tow on level ground. If the tongue is an a inch or so low that will tow better than an in or 2 high. The point is if you're going to error on level make with the tongue a bit low.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
The best towing attitude is for the trailer to be level under tow on level ground. If the tongue is an a inch or so low that will tow better than an in or 2 high. The point is if you're going to error on level make with the tongue a bit low.
Times two...towing tongue-high can produce the symptoms you describe.

As to the difference when the water tank's full: on a trailer this light, I s'pose the symptoms are more noticeable with the water in the tank.

My advice is to get the trailer level when hitched, or next best if you can't find the right drawbar, a bit low as Byron suggests.

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Old 10-29-2012, 03:50 PM   #18
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I see! Yes, I had not thought about leveling it before checking the tongue weight. It could have been up quite high when I checked the first time. And I also had not known about the trailer needing to be level or slightly tongue down when pulling. I think this is my problem. Also now I wonder if the water shoshing back and forth in the partially full water tank is contributing to the weird feeling when I head out for a weekend? Will investigate more thoroughly. Thank you everyone! p.s. Steve, it's got an icebox - no reefer. (and isn't that another name for marijuana from the '80's?)
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #19
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"Reefer Madness," campy old anti-dew film from (1981? 1962? 1950? 1936?). Pick one. Answer below in invisible ink. Also a railroad refrigeration car. Actually, most RVrs and RV suppliers refer to the fridge as a refer--sort of an objective correlative of reference.

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Old 10-29-2012, 04:14 PM   #20
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Also now I wonder if the water shoshing back and forth in the partially full water tank is contributing to the weird feeling when I head out for a weekend?
Could be... I left camp last year with an unwanted-guest field mouse, and I'm so attentive to my trailer's motion that I'd swear that I could tell when the mouse turned over in bed!

All kidding aside...side-to-side balance does matter, too.
You might take a look at the trailer with the tank full and see if it "lists" to that side. I had that happen when I put a pretty heavy camp grill on the street side of the back bumper.

Good luck!

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Old 10-29-2012, 04:28 PM   #21
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Hi, I have been experiencing that on my way out for a weekend of camping, when my freshwater tank is partially full, my vehicle (AWD Honda Element) and Scamp doesn't handle as well as it does when I am coming home with the freshwater tank empty and black water tank partially full. I weighed the tongue last time before heading out and it was only 70 lbs. I think it is supposed to be 150? I tried putting as much heavy gear as I could in the front bathroom to change the balance, but I really don't bring much heavy stuff with me and it didn't make a difference in the handling. That freshwater tank is at the very rear of the camper, and I only put around 8 gallons in it, which is only about 50 lbs., would that be enough to affect the handling? What I mean by handling is just a sort of vague sense of the camper not pulling that easily. It's not swerving or swaying or anything, it just feels like a lot of dead weight is behind me slowing me down. When I'm heading home and the freshwater tank is empty I zip along and barely even notice that the camper is behind me. I was just wondering if anyone else had noticed this or if anyone knows what might be going on?
If it's not swaying things are OK. The Honda element is about the minimum you can tow your Scamp with. Any two will feel it a bit, even my Dakota 4.7l V8 is slowed down a bit.
Is this your first time towing?
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:45 PM   #22
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Heidi,

I live in NH and tow a Scamp 16 with a Honda CRV, a vehicle very similar to your Element. We towed it for 315 days this year all over the USA without any issues.

If you like I would be willing to weigh your tongue once the storm calms down. I don't know where you live in NH but we live in Hampton, near the beach where the winds right now are pretty high.

I use a bathroom scale and it is easy to get an accurate reading.

As to towing loading, the amount of water you carry can effect your trailer's front to rear balance but really does not have much effect on your towing ability. Most of the load on your tow vehicle is the result of air resistance and not weight unless you are doing a lot of big hill climbing and there are not many of those around here.

I did not notice what your typical tow speeds are. In our case we do not tow at higher than 60 mph.

Hope this helps. If you want to meet or chat don't hesitate to PM me.

We'd be glad to share what we know.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:47 AM   #23
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Scamp 13' and Honda Element hitch height continued

Hello spring! So I got the Scamp out yesterday and brought it to a very level parking lot - even brought my 4' level along to make sure - and checked levelness of the camper. It is definitely nose high with the 2-3/4" rise tow bar I have been using for the past two seasons! yikes.
So tried a 3/4" rise bar that I happened to have, and it was still slightly nose high.
I turned that bar over to make it a 2" drop and the nose of the trailer was now lower than level.
I don't think I can achieve "level" with these options and I could not find another option for a bar that has less than a 2" drop at the store yesterday. Do I just go with the 2" drop? How much is too much?
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #24
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If it's not swaying things are OK. The Honda element is about the minimum you can tow your Scamp with. Any two will feel it a bit, even my Dakota 4.7l V8 is slowed down a bit.
Is this your first time towing?
Really? I towed mine with a Scion xD. This is basically a Toyota Yaris (subcompact) with a 1.8 liter engine. Towed just fine.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:24 AM   #25
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Hello spring! So I got the Scamp out yesterday and brought it to a very level parking lot - even brought my 4' level along to make sure - and checked levelness of the camper. It is definitely nose high with the 2-3/4" rise tow bar I have been using for the past two seasons! yikes.
So tried a 3/4" rise bar that I happened to have, and it was still slightly nose high.
I turned that bar over to make it a 2" drop and the nose of the trailer was now lower than level.
I don't think I can achieve "level" with these options and I could not find another option for a bar that has less than a 2" drop at the store yesterday. Do I just go with the 2" drop? How much is too much?
You can get different tow bars. Check etrailer.com.

Other than to help balance your trailer, try to keep most weight over the axle. Even if you are balanced well, a lot of weight out at the ends will handle worse because of the outboard mass. Imagine it this way: if you have a see saw, you could put a 50 pound kid on either side and it would be balanced. You could pretty easily move the see saw up and down. Now imagine if you had an elephant of either side. It may be balanced, but there is a lot of mass on either side to move. It isn't going to want to get moving as easily, and it isn't going to want to stop moving or change directions as easily, either.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Doghaus View Post
Hello spring! So I got the Scamp out yesterday and brought it to a very level parking lot - even brought my 4' level along to make sure - and checked levelness of the camper. It is definitely nose high with the 2-3/4" rise tow bar I have been using for the past two seasons! yikes.
So tried a 3/4" rise bar that I happened to have, and it was still slightly nose high.
I turned that bar over to make it a 2" drop and the nose of the trailer was now lower than level.
I don't think I can achieve "level" with these options and I could not find another option for a bar that has less than a 2" drop at the store yesterday. Do I just go with the 2" drop? How much is too much?
Slightly nose down is more stable than nose up, don't forget that if your TV was loaded for a trip it might come down a little as well.
In this case close really is good enough.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:16 AM   #27
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:21 AM   #28
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Thanks! I saw those adjustable ones, but want to keep it minimal down there. I have only so much vertical clearance between the tailgait when it is open, and the ground. I think I'll go with the 2" drop and see how my next trip goes.
Need to shorten the safety chains now. They ARE touching the ground.
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