Trillium Trailer Weight - well, I weighed it! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-20-2016, 07:21 PM   #1
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Name: Randy J.
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Trillium Trailer Weight - well, I weighed it!

I started a thread on this some time ago but it got very long. I said I'd weigh my 76 Trillium in the spring. So it's spring and today I put it on the commercial scale at the local scrap metal yard, which must by law be accurate. So here's what I found:

The trailer with basic cargo (no food, no drinks) came out to 1440 lbs.
When I got home I pulled everything out of it, including the half-full propane bottle and subtracted freight weight. The resulting dry weight works out to 1260 lbs. That's about 60 pounds more than I was expecting. The trailer is mostly original, no frills. I've added some cupboards but they replaced the furnace and fridge I took out, so it should be about quid pro quo.

The "GVW (gross vehicle weight)" marked on the original info sheet inside the closet says 1500 lbs. Yikes! If GVW means the same as GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating), that wouldn't leave anyone much room for cargo!

But the good news, according to this website, Hitching Up - Trailer - Understanding Weights seems to be that GVR is NOT the same as GVWR, but something less. The bad news is I'm left not knowing what my 76 Trillium's actual GVWR might be. Besides safety, I understand that's the figure MOT uses in the unlikely event I was pulled into a weigh station.

Question: For now to be safe I'm going to treat the GVW as if it actually were the GVWR. But does anybody know for sure what the GVWR of a 76 Trillium might be? Have you seen anything documented?

Conclusion: Regardless of how much I CAN carry in the trailer, my goal is to reduce my total trailer weight, cargo included, to no more than 1400 lbs. That should allow some wiggle room. But in any case, controlling weight and fuel economy seems a responsible idea in any case.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:20 PM   #2
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Wouldn't the gvwr be based on the axles weight rating which on the 1300 is 2000LBs and on the 1500 is 2200LBs?
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:33 PM   #3
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Does that weight include the tongue weight?

You have discovered the reason for the Real World Weight thread... most peoples trailers weigh more than what they believe they do and the stickers regarding dry weight do not mean much - as on older trailers they do not include items such as a awning, rock guards, fridge, stove, furnace, propane tanks and or water tanks it they were optional.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabnfevr View Post
Wouldn't the gvwr be based on the axles weight rating which on the 1300 is 2000LBs and on the 1500 is 2200LBs?
Not if the trailers frame wasn't built to withstand that amount.
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:36 AM   #5
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That is true if the frame wasn't built for the weight.

Regarding tongue weight. That is included but has nothing to do with the gvwr. Tongue weight is the weight put on your vehicle at the hitch. So if your vehicle/hitch is only rated for 250lbs(I believe is a class II) max tongue weight and your trailers tongue weight is over 250lbs you should not be towing that trailer but if it is under 250lbs you would be fine. You should also factor in propane tank(s) and batteries etc that weight would be extra.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:00 AM   #6
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GVW is not the same as GVWR.
Gross Weight is supposed the be the actual weight (wether loaded or not) and the Gross Weight Rating is the maximum the trailer can weight.

My 5500 has a GVW of 3000 lbs as per the info sheet inside the closet. Most 5500 with the 'Deluxe' options (shower, hot water heater, oven, etc) also have a 3000 lbs GVW on their info sheet. I wouldn't trust much the weights on these info sheets. In the real world, Deluxe owners have reported empty weights in the 2800-3000 lbs range, and loaded weights around 3300-3500. If the GVW is meant to be the GVWR, then pretty much everybody is close to being overweight with their trailers empty! Doesn't make sense. The Trillium literature of the era reads a very optimistic 1700 lbs (empty weight I guess), and at least one 5500 'Deluxe' owner on this board has a GVW of 2000 on his info sheet (Probably a typo, these sheets look like they were manually filled by typewriter) while his trailer weighted over 2700 lbs empty!

Non-Deluxe 5500 are around 2200-2400 empty (their spec sheet reads 2400 GVW) and 2600-2800 loaded.

So what would be the GVWR on these trailers? No idea!! Sometimes the frame is not the limiting factor and manufacturers base the GVWR on the axle capacity + coupler capacity.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:45 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your replies. Carl, 1700 strikes me as a more realistic figure. I'd just like to find some documentation in case I was ever stopped. For me right now though, 1500 has to be my limit - maybe even a little less.

I weighed trailer and car together, so whatever weight was on the tongue would have been included. My understanding of this is that the portion of your trailer's loaded weight that is on the tongue is most important for safe handling.

I wanted to know my dry-weight in addition to the loaded weight because what we carry is most dynamic. It will give me a basis for knowing what to put in and what to leave out. Being an old backpacker, I weighed everything that I removed individually and can see a lot of possibilities for reducing dynamic weight with minimal or no sacrifice of comfort (a principal I learned after a two day hiking trip, carrying a 45 lb. back pack - way beyond my body's GPWR (gross packing weight restriction)
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabnfevr View Post

Regarding tongue weight. That is included but has nothing to do with the gvwr. .
Well aware of that gvwr means, was just wondering if tongue weight was not included which perhaps accounted for your overall light weight based on the actual weights of other 13' trailers loaded.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy J. View Post
I weighed trailer and car together, so whatever weight was on the tongue would have been included. My understanding of this is that the portion of your trailer's loaded weight that is on the tongue is most important for safe handling.
Yes it is important but in order to set it up safely, one needs to know not only what the loaded axle weights of the trailer are BUT also what the loaded weight of the tongue is sitting at the same height it is when attached to the vehicle. Tongue weight should be at about 10-12% of the TOTAL trailer weight (axle and tongue).

So unless you disconnected and weighed the car (& or trailer) on its own and calculated the difference in its weight between when it was connected and not connected the % of weight on the tongue remains unknown as does your total trailer weight.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:10 AM   #10
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Gvw is the trailer weight empty of anything extra you carry or fill. Gvw would include anything fixed onto or inside of the trailer. So if you weighed your trailer at the station in this way that's your Gvw.

Gvwr is the maximum weight your trailer can be fully loaded. Meaning if you add a battery,fill a water tank load your fridge etc it can't go over the gvwr.

Tongue weight is not added to your gwv/gvwr. It is a rating of the weight of the trailer distributed to the ball hitch. An example is my Honda ridgeline. I have a class III hitch which has a maximum weight rating of 500lbs. This means the tongue weight of my trailer can't exceed this weight. So if I put anything on the tongue of my trailer like extra batteries or an extra propane tank etc I would have to add the weight(give or take) to my trailers factory tongue weight rating. So for example if my trailers factory tongue weight I rated at 200lbs that does not include the propane tank or battery and I would have to add the weight which would now be approx 280lbs.

That extra weight should also be factored into the gvwr
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Yes it is important but in order to set it up safely, one needs to know not only what the loaded axle weights of the trailer are BUT also what the loaded weight of the tongue is sitting at the same height it is when attached to the vehicle. Tongue weight should be at about 10-12% of the TOTAL trailer weight (axle and tongue).

So unless you disconnected and weighed the car (& or trailer) on its own and calculated the difference in its weight between when it was connected and not connected the % of weight on the tongue remains unknown as does your total trailer weight.
So DH and I have been wrestling with this issue. According to the above, if we weighed the car and camper together at 7,280. Then disconnected and weighed the car alone at 4,320. The difference in those two gives you 2,960 lbs for your camper weight. Where do you get tongue weight from just those figures??? We thought you had to actually weigh the tongue. Confusing!
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail H View Post
So DH and I have been wrestling with this issue. According to the above, if we weighed the car and camper together at 7,280. Then disconnected and weighed the car alone at 4,320. The difference in those two gives you 2,960 lbs for your camper weight. Where do you get tongue weight from just those figures??? We thought you had to actually weigh the tongue. Confusing!
Gail in order to figure out the actual tongue weight you would have had to have weighed just the trailers axles while connected as well.

You can still figure it out. You know the total weight of the trailer is 2960lbs. You can weighing just the tongue using a home scale - just make sure that prior to doing it you measure the height of the hitch when connected to the car. Then make sure you set the tongue at the same height when weighing it on the scale - changing the height of the tongue by an inch or two will result in a different weight.
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:14 PM   #13
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Name: Randy J.
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Great complications Batman! Seems to me this should be pretty straight forward. Tongue weight isn't some phantom 'extra weight'. It's whatever portion of the trailer weight is currently resting on the tongue and being transferred to the car when connected. I measured the weight of my trailer and car together. That would have included the weight of the car plus the weight on the trailer wheels plus whatever weight the trailer was transferring to the car via the tongue. Then I weighed just the car.

I like the bathroom scale solution to checking tongue weight. If I understand recommendations, 150 lbs would be about right for me, although I must say it is seldom that much. There just doesn't seem to be enough load to transfer to the front!
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:10 PM   #14
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Randy is the 150lb with or without the propane. Just wondering as I have never checked my tongue weight.
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