Scamp 16' Hitch Ball Height - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-20-2015, 10:22 AM   #21
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Scamp 16' Oak Deluxe Layout A - "Kiwi"
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I just measured and level in the yard now, if the hitch was on the ball the top of the ball would be almost at 24". I understand what I got can be incremented in 2", so I think I should have my ball on the hitch raised from 18 to 20" (at least). That's closer to what official Scamp recommends.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:35 PM   #22
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Hi All,
Here's an update. After traveling around 3,000 miles with the 18" height recommended by Alan, I changed the height to 20-3/4". I had a bar with a 2" drop and found out rotating it would be a 3/4" rise. The Scamp is now completely level. The tongue was way too low before. While it handled well before (this is the first camper trailer I have towed), it's soooooo much better now. I can hardly tell I'm towing it and it is much less bouncy and creaky going over bumps. I don't understand why Alan insisted 18" in spite of the site stating 21". I know it's better to be a little low than high, but it's perfect now.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:49 PM   #23
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Mike the problem is no two trailers are stowed the same - axle weights and tongue weights will differ depending on how they are load. No two tow vehicles are doing to have the same level of drop when the trailer is connected either.

Its really hard for anyone to say that you are going to need to have the hitch set at such and such a height on the tug in order to achieve a nice solid tow. All they can do is give a ball park number that at the end the day may need to go up or down depending on the actual set up... and yes they are better off to tell someone who is new to towing to start off with it slightly lower & have them fine tune it later than to have them pull it away with the tongue riding high &/or tongue weight to low. No one would want someones first tow to include a trailer sway experience.
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Old 02-25-2016, 06:55 PM   #24
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Thanks, Carol. I still wonder why when Scamp site recommends 21", which worked out about right, Alan insisted on 18". That's a big difference. And I left it that way awhile figuring lower was better. I just wanted to post the results of my experience. From what I've seen on the forum, I don't think anyone is running with 18" height for the Scamp 16.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:51 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgellar View Post
Thanks, Carol. I still wonder why when Scamp site recommends 21", which worked out about right, Alan insisted on 18". That's a big difference. And I left it that way awhile figuring lower was better. I just wanted to post the results of my experience. From what I've seen on the forum, I don't think anyone is running with 18" height for the Scamp 16.
That may be true but having attended a lot of fibreglass meets & having seen a heck of a lot of small scamps and bolers being pulled around with the tongue up way higher than I would ever feel comfortable towing, I am not so sure that everyone actually takes the time to set their trailers up correctly.

Perhaps there has been an incident or two involving those new to towing leaving the Scamp plant with empty trailers and to light of a tongue weight .... hard to say... you might have to ask him.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:08 PM   #26
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I know most don't care about the Euro standards, but they have standard specifications for the trailer and ball.
This is why the hitches are not adjustable.
My modified Scamp has the flexiride axles so I can fine tune to the factory hitch on the VW TDI.


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Old 02-26-2016, 08:13 AM   #27
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Scamp 16' Hitch Ball Height

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
That may be true but having attended a lot of fibreglass meets & having seen a heck of a lot of small scamps and bolers being pulled around with the tongue up way higher than I would ever feel comfortable towing, I am not so sure that everyone actually takes the time to set their trailers up correctly...
For what its worth, I can't tell much difference between towing a little nose-high and perfectly level, assuming the trailer is otherwise loaded and balanced correctly.

After we bought our Pilot, I started with the longest drop I could find locally, a 2-3/4" drop. It put the Scamp a little nose-high. We towed for a whole season that way under a variety of conditions: fully loaded, nearly empty, with and without bicycles on the back, headwinds, tailwinds and crosswinds, passing and being passed by busses and semis. It was perfectly stable up to about 65 mph, much above that I could sense the beginning of a tendency to wiggle the rear. Not a lot and not a problem, since I have no business towing over 65 mph, but I would have preferred a little more margin in terms of the speed at which sway begins.

So after reading a lot of posts, I decided to try a longer drop. I paid dearly (about double what the first one cost) for a 4-1/4" drop at a Phoenix RV shop, and it got the Scamp perfectly level. I used the longer drop the next season. No difference, stability-wise. None. Still perfectly stable under all normal conditions up to about 65 and incipient sway over that. I have to be a lot more careful about tongue scrapes with the longer drop, though.

The pictures don't show the difference too clearly because of the angle and road conditions, but I'll post them anyway:
with 2-3/4" drop
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with 4-1/4" drop
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Thoughts? I'm tempted to go back to the 2-3/4" stinger just for the tongue clearance (though it's nice to have everything level inside when we stop in a parking lot without unhitching).
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:47 AM   #28
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I have found that what works best in regards to getting a nice solid towing set up depends a lot on the tow vehicle it is hitched to.

I expect to make changes when pull the same trailer loaded up in all the same ways with two different vehicles. What hitch height worked well with one may not work as well with the other.

Just a few of the factors that will change the stability of the identical trailer based on the tow vehicle is the distrance from the rear axle to the hitch, the distance from the rear wheels of the tow vehicle to the trailers front wheels, center of gravity, tire pressure and aerodynamics - for example the width of the trailer in relationship to the width of the tow vehicle.

Then there is the speed of travel factor. A poorly set up trailer that is towed at speeds of 55mph or less is going to feel far more stable than when it is being towed at 65 mph. Terrain one travels in is going to be another factor. A trailer may feel solid at 65 mph on a flat freeway but pull it down a steep hill at 65 mph may be a game changer.

It would be nice for those who are starting out if there where not so many variables but until we start towing the same trailer, stow our trailers with all the same stuff in the same location and pull with the exactly the same vehicle & travel at the same max speeds, thats not going to happen. ;-)
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Old 02-26-2016, 12:03 PM   #29
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The dynamic coupling between the trailer and tow Vehicle and the relative roll centers, weights, spring rated, types of suspensions etc all make a difference.
The loading of the trailer and then % of the CG between the trailer axle and hitch makes a big difference as well.
The longer the distance from trailer axle to hitch and the shorter distance from the hitch to the tow vehicle rear axle the better.
The dynamics are probably too complex to cover in dozens of posts.
If you start to detect problems at 65 mph I think that you are not setup just right.
Keeping the weight concentrated close to the axle of the trailer is good and conventional wisdom wisdom in the US is 10 - 15% of the trailer weight on the tongue is hard to argue with, but some here think a well setup rig can safety operate at 7%.
I don't recommend it for anyone else, but this is what I shoot for to keep the loading within the limit for my VW.
My trailer has had the tongue extended 18" for a number of reasons and the VW is setup with T-ESP, brakes and airbags.
As a caution I have not towed this new setup yet as I am just finishing a major rebuild and upgrade (I hope) and we will be on the road the the Green Eggs and Ham camp in later in March. We will have some experience with the enhanced setup by then.
I aslo have a scale for the tongue to make certain that the weight is what I think it should be.
VW recommends having the tongue weight at it's maximum limit and I set the rear tires at a higher pressure than normal driving.
It is also important to note that the hitch weight must take into consideration the loading in the vehicle as well and overloading the TV and adding the trailer may very well surpass the rear axle limit so pay attention.
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