Homemade Tongue Storage - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-06-2014, 09:22 PM   #1
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Name: John Michael
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Homemade Tongue Storage

I made this storage compartment for my Scamp 13. It's mostly inch baltic birch plywood painted white. I suspect I will clad it in aluminum eventually. I drilled a couple of 1 inch vent holes in the bottom for propane fumes, if any. Its fastened to the frame with large U bolts. I also added a plastic rain gutter to hold the stinky slinky. The lid is hinged at the back with a full length piano hinge that is completely covered with "rubber" roofing. After the first trip I am satisfied, it worked well.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:30 PM   #2
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I like the idea John.
Wood first, metal clad later.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:29 PM   #3
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I built one almost identical. 1/2 ply covered with sheet aluminum. Mine is hinged on the side as I have a 2" received bolted on top for a bicycle rack.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:03 AM   #4
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Nice looking box John. I really like Baltic birch too because of the multiple layers of plys over standard plywood, 7 to 9 over 3 or 5 plys. Built many projects with it and it takes a good stain too. I'd like to put a box up front too but my SD 17 already has a 370 lb TW, thats enough for me and my tug.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:56 AM   #5
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Name: John Michael
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My tongue weight is a bit high at 230, even after moving the battery to the rear. Our Subaru Outback wants only 200. I feel OK with that in that there are no rear seat passengers and only light weigh cargo like lawn chairs, etc. Still it tows nicely, but I want to get it down to 200 pounds. I am considering adding a shallow "basement" aft of the fresh water tank. There is clearance since I lifted the whole trailer 3 inches. More storage is always nice. It will likely be made from inch ply too and I will clad it from the start with aluminum or galvanized steel. Got to install some proper jacks first and see how much room I have.

John
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:48 AM   #6
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Nice job. I saw a plastic box like that at Tractor Supply last week I am considering for my 16' Scamp. I have removed the double propane bottles from the tongue and will not be reinstalling them (no propane in a trailer for me) but would like room for more batteries/solar charger someday. I can use it for storage in the meantime. TW is not an issue (especially with two full propane bottles, rack, & hardware gone). I am pulling with a Ford F150 that hardly knows the Scamp is back there, even with the smaller V-8 and stock springs.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:05 PM   #7
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Tim, just be sure if you remove the propane bottles you still maintain a proper tongue weight. You don't want the tail wagging the dog.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Linck View Post
...There is clearance since I lifted the whole trailer 3 inches......
John

John,

How is that 3" lift working for you?
Cheers,

Jim
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:09 PM   #9
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Name: John Michael
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I used a kit made for my Scamp 13 by Perfect Casita. It was straight forward and worked well. The extra 3 inches really helps with clearance and it now rides more like a 16 footer. Just home from an 8000 mile trip thru the Rockies and back and towing went very well with my 4 cyl Outback. Mileage sucked, but towing was great.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
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Nice work John! I like the way you put a radius on the side panels. I use one of the plastic boxes that Timber Wolf mentioned - not nearly as elegant.

I see a 12v and a 110v outlet in the box. I'm curious - what do you use them for? (Maybe I can pick up some ideas from you!)

Thanks, Steve
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:52 AM   #11
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Tim, just be sure if you remove the propane bottles you still maintain a proper tongue weight. You don't want the tail wagging the dog.

True that. I don't think I will have a problem packing the tongue box with enough crap, er I mean essential camping supplies.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:43 PM   #12
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Homemade Tongue Storage

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Originally Posted by Steve_N_Janna View Post

I see a 12v and a 110v outlet in the box. I'm curious - what do you use them for? (Maybe I can pick up some ideas from you!)

Thanks, Steve

Only 12 volt Steve. I had the old battery wires hanging there available and I have a cheapo but effective 12 volt impact wrench. Hope I never need it on the road. There must be other 12 volt gadgets out there. Any suggestions? I have some reservations about anything plugged it when the box is closed with a possible propane leak.

Best Spring. John

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Old 04-10-2014, 05:56 PM   #13
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John
I was towing a S-13 FB with a 2011 Outback with CVT and was getting 22 MPG mostly towing on flat land. Might be you roof box plus the 3" lift hurting your mileage.
Eddie
BTW nice box.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:58 PM   #14
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John
I was towing a S-13 FB with a 2011 Outback with CVT and was getting 22 MPG mostly towing on flat land. Might be you roof box plus the 3" lift hurting your mileage.
Eddie
My Outback is a 4 cylinder. Was yours Eddie? I wonder if I would have better mileage with a six cylinder with its higher torque at lower rpms. I towed a heavier 16 foot Scamp with a 4 cyl Saturn View and got 16-20 mpg. I thought the Outback/Scamp 13 would do as well, hopefully better. Not so. 8000 miles, 65 mph, 14 mpg. It was cold weather and lots of headwinds, but still. The rocket box was tested sans trailer and seemed to have no effect on mileage. That said aerodynamics is complex and I will test the trailer without the rocket box and see. Lifting would make a difference in theory, but my 16 was even higher, go figure.

During most of our trip I wish we had a 5 speed. The Outback couldn't quite maintain speed in sixth, but when I downshifted to fifth mpg dropped by 10. The specs say Continuous Variable Transmisson, but it seems to have 6 very distinct speeds. True the shifts are smooth, but really don't seem continuous, where is my 5 speed?

I need to hang out on some Subaru boards to see how good a tow vehicle the Outback is. It really was quite wonderful in handling the Scamp. I just didn't realize I needed stock in Exxon.
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