Lightening a trailer... - Page 4 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #43
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In Ontario the MTO requires that if the trailer is 50% or more of the weight of the towing vehicle you need tailer brakes. Electric bakes require a breakaway switch. The car and trailer have to be level not sagged in the middle that is why some would need a WD system to level the load or cargo coils.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:50 PM   #44
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Sure would be better to be lightening a trailer to be lightning it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:56 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanKilian View Post
A long time ago I wanted to modify a car for electric use. (Before Prius etc.)

I took some NHTSA and DOT information and built a table of horsepower vs. vehicle here

The number in the second column is the horsepower required to push the vehicle down the road at 50 MPH.

From the all vehicles list, you can see that it takes between 4.6 HP and 29.4 HP just to push the vehicle down the road at 55 MPH.

So that's going to come into your equation also.
Agree with you, hp and gearing are important, you have to be able to pull the load at speed and not just on the flat but also up hill as well. We have some steep hills in our area. Just did a 3 hour drive back on Tuesday.

A car with higher gearing or less hp could not pull our trailer uphill or at speed (I do not go over 90/95 kph)
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by rgrugg View Post
Sure would be better to be lightening a trailer to be lightning it.
Agree with you on this count but it is hard to do; every time we lighten one item is seems we add something else.

The back upper bunky is so heavy it is going to go, we do not use it as a bed so will make it much lighter and still fold down for storage.

We are adding a new hot water tank and it is heaver than what was offered when the trailer was built; so the bunky savings will be lost but other areas are much heaver than needed so room to work. Will have a drain on the hot water tank to drain it before we travel.

Have the last of the parts needed so this winter it will happen.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:28 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by orangeboar View Post
...maybe I should also clarify my "need" to lighten the trailer.

I noticed on another thread that actual weights for some of the trailers can be closer to 1500 lbs, instead of the advertised 1000 lbs weight (with the 13" scamp trailer). My wife and I currently have two cars, a. Scion xb and a matrix, so lighter weight would help reduce strain on the car (probably the matrix) and help with gas mileage - I'm kind of a mileage junkie too (I'm always trying to see what I can do to improve the gas mileage on my car.

So a few specific questions: (answers for our setup)
- what are the heaviest components in the trailer?
(ours is the seats and cupboards they will be lightened as possible)
- what have other users done to reduce weight?
(travel without water at start and empty tanks often, load light)
- what have other users done to improve gas mileage (wheels, drag/aero dynamics?)
(boler is aerodynamic in design and thinner fiberglass than newer units, and we have new radial trailer tires)
- is it better to carry weight (water, gear, etc) in the car or the trailer?
(pull the weight in the car or trailer same total, so travel light with water tank empty and get food as needed) note: cars have a max weight
- what is the smallest car you have pulled with?
(Echo small tent trailer) Current trailer required a larger car.
- what's the lowest mpg that you have achieved?
(28 mpg best no head wind and flat road) not exactly the question "uphill against the wind would be the worst possible"
- what toll does it put on the car when climbing hills (speed, strain, etc.)?
(we have as transaxle cooler part of tow package) Note: you can add after market but it adds to the car weight total.
I hope this makes some sense?!
(hope this is of some help; remember keep it legal)

Thanks for the help!
Tried to answer your questions as best possible
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:37 PM   #48
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P.S. matrix is smaller than our car in wheel base and may have a higher center of gravity but no problems with a 13' trailer. We have found a sway-bar to be good to have even with the smaller old trailer behind our Echo in the past.

Personally from towing experience needed or not by law (50% rule and over 3500 lb rule) feel any load over 500 lbs it is good to have some sort of brakes on the trailer.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:30 PM   #49
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Car rules are a bit different than truck rules the car has a max gross weight.
No difference - both cars and trucks have
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating - Front (GAWR-F)
  • Gross Axle Weight Rating - Rear (GAWR-R)
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)
  • maximum payload
  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR)
The first three are shown on the vehicle's placard. All but the GCWR also apply to the trailer (with its own numbers, of course). A travel trailer's payload may be even less than that of a compact car, although some are very high.

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Ours is 825 this must include the driver, passengers, cargo in car and trunk, hitch weight, draw bar or WD system and tongue weight.
That's the payload, not the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (or "max gross weight").
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:52 PM   #50
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Toyota Matrix and Corolla facts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Borden View Post
matrix is smaller than our car in wheel base...
The Matrix hatchback is built on the same platform as the Corolla sedan (Borden's car), and has the same wheelbase; in some markets the hatchback is apparently sold as the "Corolla Matrix".

See Wikipedia: Corolla and Matrix, or check a more authoritative source (such as the references quoted in the Wikipedia pages), but for this sort of detail I believe that Wikipedia is usually accurate.

The Matrix is shorter overall (4394 mm versus 4540 mm in the current generation), and the difference is primarily in rear overhang. That should make the Matrix better for towing, as the forces on the tow ball (due to trailer tongue weight and inertia) have less leverage on the tow vehicle.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:04 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeboar View Post
...maybe I should also clarify my "need" to lighten the trailer.

I'm kind of a mileage junkie too (I'm always trying to see what I can do to improve the gas mileage on my car.
You're a Hypermiler?
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:21 AM   #52
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Wow, that website makes me twitch just reading it. Park at the high point of a parking lot so you can roll out of it? Shut your car off at stop lights? Purposely drive slow to make people pass you and trip red light sensors so you don't stop? Good grief.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:58 AM   #53
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Shut your car off at stop lights?
You probably want to learn to accept that idea - it's becoming common in Europe for cars to have stop/start fitted and if/when the EPA includes the effect in the official fuel consumption tests, you will probably get it too.

I'm on my second car with this feature and after a little acclimatisation, you get used to it and start to wonder why others have their engines running when they're not moving. The car is fitted with a stronger starter motor and has a sort of regenerative braking (normally the alternator only charges the battery when the brakes are being applied - so electrical power is 'free'). It's good for something like 1-2mpg in urban use of European cars, so maybe -1 mpg on North American-sized vehicles.

If I come to a stop, put the manual gearbox in neutral and let up the clutch, the ECU decides that I don't want the engine temporarily and, if a long list of conditions are met, it switches the engine off. As soon as I touch the clutch pedal, the engine restarts itself - with a small petrol/gas engine, it is just about possible to stall the engine by letting the clutch up too soon, but now I've switched to a diesel, I can't 'beat the system'.

Many people believe that this is bad for engines, because they know cold starts cause lots of wear, but one of the conditions for the ECU to operate the stop/start is that the engine is up to temperature. There are many, many other conditions - which are fun to try to 'reverse engineer' from the car's behaviour.

Apparently some manufacturers have worked out how to apply this to automatic gearboxes, but as yet it's only fitted to cars with manual gearboxes.

From your alien correspondent
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:06 AM   #54
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For me there are other factors affecting my MPG that have recently come into play. Having Vegas as my home base I spend a lot of time driving long stretches of desolate desert with temps ranging over 110 F. I notice a huge decrease in MPG when my truck's operating temperature increases even modestly (never in the red or dangerous range). I purchased and installed an electric helper fan which helped considerably but the truck still runs hotter than average in extreme conditions. My next project will be a transmission oil cooler which I've been told by many experts should have been my first purchase.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:20 PM   #55
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...but, after that... What can be done to make it lighter??

Any obsessive weight weenies out there?
Any fan of Colin Chapman (designer of the first Lotus cars) would fall into that catagory. His design rationale was "add lightness".

I followed that principle building a replica of one of his cars. Every piece that went into the car was lightened to remove unneeded material. My on the road weight is 1260# I don't have a lot of horsepower but the performance is awesome.

If I had bought an older trailer needing a major rehab it's fair to say that, as a starting point to lighten it, there would be no OSB or MDF.

Ron
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:48 PM   #56
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Any fan of Colin Chapman (designer of the first Lotus cars) would fall into that catagory. His design rationale was "add lightness".
I think the full quote is "simplicate, and add lightness" - on the grounds that engineers have an awful tendency to complicate and add weight. I believe he 'borrowed' the phrase from common use at the time in the US aero industry.
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