Tell me why this won't work, and how to make it better - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-06-2009, 10:02 PM   #1
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I have a 1971 Compact Jr. which I acquired last summer. We traveled 9,611 miles in it on our maiden voyage (yea, we're not to bright, but it all worked out grand). During that trip, the most annoying thing about the trailer was the spare tire. There WASN'T one when we bought it, and there wasn't any designated spot for stashing one once I did buy a spare.

Now that we're home, I'd like to put the spare on the tongue. I'd also like to move the battery outside since we newbies also experienced the result of charging a battery that is located under a stove. (NOT a good idea!)

This is my plan. I don't know why the batter and spare can't each hang out a bit from the "triangle" of the tongue. Anyone else know why they can't hang out 5" at most? Even in a very sharp back-up, I don't think they'd be in the way.

I'm planning to put a sheet of metal (call it a base plate) to enclose the tongue triangle. Then bolt a battery box (with associated battery tie downs) on the passenger side. The spare, on the driver's side, would be held on by a bolt through one of the lug holes (to a post welded to the base plate). I'd have to move the existing propane tank forward to accommodate the additions.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:08 PM   #2
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As far as the spare goes, consider just U-bolting it to the outside of the frame -- You could even put it *under* the frame if need be (Consider the bottom-side aerodynamics if you do that).

Likely, your tongue may have been a little light to begin with, not having the battery there, but that may have been the reason the previous owner didn't have a spare mounted on the rear.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:56 PM   #3
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I have the gas cylinder inside the spare tire on the tongue- then you can put the battery in front of it, I think. (Not the most convenient if I actually need the spare but other than that it works well.)
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:14 PM   #4
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Jen--- here's what I did on the rebuild. Notice, tho, no battery as it becomes a moot point on hunting trips.... We make do with the propane light and a few puck LED lights. Also, I reinforced the tongue and did add about 6 inches of length to it, mainly to keep from hitting the tank (7 1/2 gal- lasts about 2 weeks running the heater full time) on the pick up rear bumper in tight quarters. I can take more pictures tomorrow if you want. Larry
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:11 AM   #5
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We moved our spare tire from the back to the tongue when we decided to put the AC through the back wall. Here's a pic of the arrangement:
We have since moved it again. We never used the propane so we had it removed. We added a tongue storage box (battery & miscellaneous items go inside it) and moved the spare tire to the center of the tongue. Works for us!
Sandra
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:44 AM   #6
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That, Larry, is EXACTLY how I want the spare to stand. But with little girls who like to be read to every night, the battery for the lights is a treat. Sure, we could go with lanterns, but the less we have to carry with four of us in here, the better.

How is your spare held down?
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:46 AM   #7
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Sandra - that angled approach might work, too. Then perhaps I wouldn't have to move the tank at all. But how is the spare attached?
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:32 AM   #8
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What is the tongue weight limit of your tug? You don't say what your tug is. Place the tongue on a bathroom scale and try adding the things you propose and see if you exceed that weight. Find your tug on this website:

http://www.trailerlife.com/output.cfm?id=42175
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:53 AM   #9
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That, Larry, is EXACTLY how I want the spare to stand. But with little girls who like to be read to every night, the battery for the lights is a treat. Sure, we could go with lanterns, but the less we have to carry with four of us in here, the better.

How is your spare held down?
Jen- the spare sits down between the tonque rails, leans against the square tubing support and then is secured with the redneck's cure-all, a rubber tarp strap (bungee cord).... Doing this made it necessary to extend the hitch a skosh to give the propane bottle room , tho. Larry
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:37 PM   #10
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Jen,
I think it will work. Just a matter of placement, but I don't think weight on the tongue will be a problem. Your Sienna should tow up to 300 lbs. on the tongue and this will not approach that number. I've seen a photo of someone's Compact Jr. with a shelf across the tongue near the trailer body and the spare and battery were side-by-side. I've also seen photos of the spare under the tongue (see "Albums") and under the rear of the trailer. Like Larry, I have the spare low on the tongue with a smaller propane tank to make room. I have no battery, so I'm no help there.

Tom Trostel

http://s293.photobucket.com/albums/mm41/to...sonphotos18.jpg
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:59 PM   #11
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you could put a shelf on the tounge to hold battery and/or LP tank. Have it braced on three corners. (two rear legs and one front leg) Shelf height just heigh enough for tire to slide in layed down. Missing leg is to allow you to slide tire into place.

Slide tire under it. Have a large bolt with a rubber foot on the shelf that you can then screw down tightly agaist the tire to act as the fourth leg for the shelf and to help hold tire down. Two ratchet straps around tire (one on port on on starboard side) thru center hole and around tire and tounge frame or simular would be a good final secure of the tire.

(top view without shelf)

.^.
/O\

(Side view)

LPTank/Battery
Shelf bottom
Tire under shelf
[[[[[[frame]]]]]]]]
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:53 PM   #12
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Sandra - that angled approach might work, too. Then perhaps I wouldn't have to move the tank at all. But how is the spare attached?
I'll take pics & post them. It would be better than trying to write it down!
Sandra
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:27 PM   #13
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then is secured with the redneck's cure-all, a rubber tarp strap (bungee cord)....
If you mean the black rubber bungees, I would never rely on them -- I see too many pieces of them as road debris -- I would find a way to bolt it both for strength and to prevent it from being adopted by someone else
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:19 PM   #14
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I don't think you have to worry about tongue weight; my sister had her Compact Jr. weighed at the NOG one year, and she had a 1600 lb trailer with 60 lb on the tongue. Her spare and propane tank are on the tongue; her battery is at the front end of the passenger-side under-bench locker.

Her spare stands up right in front of the body between the tongue rails, with the propane tank sitting on a little platform (marine plywood) forward of that. A webbing tie-down strap keeps the tire from bouncing, and a short cable with a padlock keeps it from walking off. The propane tank sits in a circular recess in the tongue platform, and is secured with another webbing strap.
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