Scamp 13' tongue weight and water tank - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-28-2013, 11:45 AM   #29
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Don't cut the chains, just twist to shorten them.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:50 AM   #30
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The adjustable drawbars are only useful with a larger truck. In most cases on SUV's, cross-overs, small trucks and sedans the lowest part of the drawbar will be forever bottoming out and dragging on driveways. Been there.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:25 PM   #31
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Question

I think I figured it out. I'm uploading three photos:
First is the trailer standing level, not hitched up, on a concrete pad that may not be exactly level but I think is ok to do this experiment on. It looks worse in the photo than it really is. Measured with a tape measure to top of the tongue, on top of where the ball would be: 15"
Second is the way I have been towing using 2.25" rise: 17.5" to top of tongue (not good!)
Third is what I think I will start doing, use a 2" drop: 13.5" to top of tongue.
I'll install this properly and drive it out to a really level spot and measure again.
Am I on the right track?
Attached Thumbnails
101_0061.jpg   101_0063.jpg  

101_0064.jpg  
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:31 PM   #32
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Half a bubble off to the nose-down side should tow great.

Won't bother the fridge, either, assuming level's the same inside the trailer. If you're curious about that, you can check it by putting a level inside the fridge itself once hooked up.

Francesca
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:47 PM   #33
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Thank you Francesca!
(no fridge - icebox!)
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #34
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I would avoid any adjustable height ball mount, because it means one more connection to rattle, and because they are usually long, forcing the ball (and thus the trailer weight) further back unnecessarily. They also add a bit of weight in the last place I would want it. They usually don't adjust in much finer steps than the choices of fixed ball mount, anyway.

For a single axle trailer, I agree that you only need to be close, and a bit low is better than any amount high.

For the truly obsessive, extra-tall balls are available to add one more inch. I wouldn't bother.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:12 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
The adjustable drawbars are only useful with a larger truck. In most cases on SUV's, cross-overs, small trucks and sedans the lowest part of the drawbar will be forever bottoming out and dragging on driveways. Been there.
they can be reversed, if need be...
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:29 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
... the lowest part of the drawbar will be forever bottoming out and dragging on driveways.
That's true of the typical design with a vertical column and a head that moves along it, when used in the drop position. There are some designs in which the column is the moveable part, with the ball platform at the bottom, so the extra length doesn't hang down when used for drop. Some examples from eTrailer:
Convert-A-Ball
MaxxTow
Reese
There is (or was) also a Master Lock version which steplessly adjusts with a screw, so you can reach any desired height, not just fixed increments.

The situation is reversed in the rise position. Most adjustable mounts can probably be used either way, but that is something to check.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:31 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Don't cut the chains, just twist to shorten them.
I don't think there's any situation in which twisting a chain is appropriate, but I suppose if it is much stronger than required it could be compromised without harm.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:52 PM   #38
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I've always thought twisting chains to shorten them was a bad idea, but it turns out that's actually a recommended practice.

Here's one set of instructions, from Trailer Safety
Quote:
SAFETY CHAINS CAN PREVENT RUNAWAY
TRAILER in case hitch/coupler fails.
1. Always use safety chains when towing.
2. Cross safety chains under coupling to prevent tongue from
dropping to ground.
3. Allow only enough slack for tight turns.
4. Do not let safety chains drag on ground.
5. Twist safety chains equally from hook ends to take up slack.
6. Use safety chains rated equal to or greater than twice the
maximum gross trailer weight rating.
And here's what U-Haul says:
Quote:
Control slack by hooking the chain back to itself or by twisting the links to shorten chain.
Francesca
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #39
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I put zero faith in advice from U-Haul, the company which advises customers to vastly exceed their vehicles' rated limits.

I won't be taking towing advice from Miller Electric Mfg, the apparent publisher of the PDF doument, or Generator Joe who posted it, but I would be interested in more authoritative sources of this chain-twisting information.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:07 PM   #40
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Point of Order!

Usual practice when disputing the authority of a posted source is to post a source considered to be more authoritative, and supportive of the opposing view.

Whatcha got, Brian?

Francesca
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:18 PM   #41
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AussieMom,

We tow with a vehicle virtually identical to your Honda Element.

I agree with the importance of being level. I would also ask what your Honda's tire pressures are and what your trailer's tire pressures are.

We also tow a Scamp, the larger Scamp 16, and have a tongue weight between 185 to 200 lbs depending on our loading. Our loading always includes at least a 1/2 tank of water.

Our tongue weight is between 8 and 9% of trailer weight, generally considered low by most on this sight but probably normal or high in Europe. All I can say is that we've had no trouble with this level of tongue weight.

We keep our trailer tires near maximum pressure, about 48 lbs (50 max rating). We boost our rear Honda tires to 39 lbs (44 max rating) and the front tires to 36 lbs.

I saw one comment about the ability to tow a Scamp 13. We have had no problem in 6 years of towing with our 2004, 4 cylinder, manual transmission Honda CRV. We have been all across North America numerous times. I will say we rarely go over 60 mph and never exceed the tire's 65 mph rating.

We will be in NH until May 15th when we're heading off to Newfoundland.. We'll be back in early July. Glad to assist in any way.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:12 PM   #42
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On twisting chains: I have seen references to this from multiple trailer manufacturers. I do this on my cargo trailer. To be clear: do not twist the two chains together! Twist up each chain on its own and cross cross them when connecting to the vehicle.

On a tangent: my cargo trailer has eyes mounted to the tongue about a foot and a half behind the hitch. You are supposed to hook the chains to these when not connected to the vehicle. This keeps the chains off the ground and uncluttered. Why can't all trailer manufacturers do this?
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