17 Ft Casita tongue weight.....should I be concerned??? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-10-2012, 04:05 PM   #1
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17 Ft Casita tongue weight.....should I be concerned???

am I right in thinking the 17 ft Casita deluxe tongue weight of 365 is high for a trailer dry weight weighing in at only 2480 lb?
Does anyone know why the difference in tongue rating of 365 on the 17 ft versus the 16 ft tongue rating of 295, That seems a huge difference.
Can I tow this 17 ft trailer with my Envoy V6 rated to tow 5700 lb without a weight distribution hitch?
This 365 tongue weight is the highest tongue weight I have seen for a small camper.
I am concerned I may have to rethink my thinking on a 17 ft. What do you all think??? Do I need to rethink and do a 16 ft Casita?
Anyone here towing a 17 ft with an Envoy?
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Actually many of the Casita 17s have tongue weights well above 365. If it weren't for their surprisingly high weights I probably would have bought one.

We had a Casita 16 and it's tongue weight was 240 pounds versus our Scamp 16s 192 pounds measured last week.


I really don't understand how adding a foot increases the weight so much.
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #3
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I am soon to be joining the ranks of egg owners, so I don't claim to be an expert on this matter. But having just completed my trailer shopping (we just pinned down the pick-up date for our new 17' Casita SD this morning!!!), I have been doing the same kind of research that you are. The tongue weight was definitely one of the specs that caught my attention since I will be hauling with a V6 Toyota 4Runner, not some beefed up pickup. After talking with the Casita folks, other trailer owners, and reviewing many, many comments from this and other forums, I became convinced that my vehicle will work just fine as a towing vehicle on the 17' Casita using a sway bar (but without a weight distribution hitch). Worse comes to worse, I can add a WDH later on.

I suggest that you talk directly to the Casita folks. They will give you honest advice -- their reputation is on the line. Note that your vehicle owner's manual should give you the info you need to know. Trailer towing capacity is certainly one item, but it should also give you the maximum hitch load (i.e., tongue weight) that your vehicle supports. Confirm this with the Casita folks, but I'm sure they recommend a vehicle with minimum 5000# towing capacity and 400-500# hitch capacity for use with their 17' trailers. My philosophy is to not "stretch" things by barely meeting the minimum specs, but I would assume if you have a hitch capacity of 500# or close to it you should be in good shape with your Envoy.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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We tow ours with my wife's 2006 Trail Blazer.(Terrable on gas even when not towing.) It does squat it down some but not enough for me to add distribution bars. This is temporary, until we get a new truck. I prefer a truck to camp with though. Bikes, Wet stuff, firewood, and so on. They just beat these glorified station wagons.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Craig, I don't know how much towing experience you've had. You may take my free advice for what it's worth.
A sway bar is a Band Aid that masks a serious, possibly dangerous, problem.
You should be able to tow at any highway speed without the assistance of a sway bar.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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Could I add a question to this topic? I have a 17' Casita that I tow with a 2004 Chevrolet 1500 with a trailering package. I have a sway bar that Casita installed. Do I need a WDH? My wife is concerned.

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Old 02-11-2012, 01:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Childs in Texas View Post
Could I add a question to this topic? I have a 17' Casita that I tow with a 2004 Chevrolet 1500 with a trailering package. I have a sway bar that Casita installed. Do I need a WDH? My wife is concerned.

George
George, we tow our Casita with a 2007 Chevy 1500. I was afraid that we would need a WDH, but our truck does great without it.

It might do better with one, but we've decided not to bother.
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:59 AM   #8
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If you look at the 17 vs the 16 casita it is clear that the axle is further back giving the high tongue weight.

Not sure why?

I pulled mine just fine with a v6 first gen Tundra all over the place with no equalized hitch or sway control.

Having said that I now pull it much more fine with both sway and wd hitch gear!

I imagine you will have no trouble at all with the Envoy but a longer wheelbase heavy duty pu will also likely be better too.

Everything is a trade off. I am in Florida with over 60 Eggs right now and there are many combinations of vehicles and trailers and each ofmus seems to reach a different level of comfort in our choices.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:54 AM   #9
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Craig, I don't know how much towing experience you've had. You may take my free advice for what it's worth.
A sway bar is a Band Aid that masks a serious, possibly dangerous, problem.
You should be able to tow at any highway speed without the assistance of a sway bar.
John
I've done a lot of towing (mostly boats and utility trailers) but only a few times with trailers as heavy as a travel trailer. I admit that I have no experience with sway bars -- my perceived need was based on advice from the factory, a lot of forum users, and several friends who use them. Your point is well taken, John... I will reassess my needs.

That being said, I don't want to divert the direction of this thread away from the topic of Karalyn's original question: tongue weights. Although the 17' Casita has a heavier tongue weight than some similar trailers, it doesn't seem to be out-of-line with the guidelines I've seen that tongue weights should be 10-15% of the trailer weight. The Casita is right at the 15% mark. And of course, all listed specs are dry weights. As you can see on forum threads which list scale weights at egg rallys, actual trailer weights and tongue weights are all over the place... even for the same make and model of trailer. Obviously proper loading of any trailer is key.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:26 AM   #10
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I use the fresh water tank to balance trailer tongue weight since it on the other side of the axle, works great.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rdearing
I use the fresh water tank to balance trailer tongue weight since it on the other side of the axle, works great.
I also do this.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #12
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YOu add water to the fresh water tank just to get more weight in the back??
I am assuming that takes weight off the tongue??
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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YOu add water to the fresh water tank just to get more weight in the back??
I am assuming that takes weight off the tongue??
Yes it does. And it's one of the things people need to learn about packing a trailer. Items placed behind the axle remove tongue weight. Items packed in front of the axle add tongue weight. Think of the axle like a fulcrum... or teeter totter if you prefer.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I really don't understand how adding a foot increases the weight so much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
If you look at the 17 vs the 16 Casita it is clear that the axle is further back giving the high tongue weight.

Not sure why?
It all depends on where you add that foot.

It's not exactly that the axle is "further back" although the result does look like that. From my point of reference they didn't realign the design to keep all of the component relationships the same between the 16' and 17' trailers. I speculate they just added the foot forward of the axle to make more room for the 4 cu. ft. refrigerator at floor level. Isn't the 1.9 cu.ft. fridge in the 16' up off the floor to fit over the wheel well?
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:02 PM   #15
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Sway comes about as a consequence of a too-light hitch weight. A trailer with little or no weight on the tongue is asking for sway trouble, because the back end (that's about as heavy as, or heavier than, the front end) will want to come around on you. I found this out when I mis-loaded a little 4'x8' utility trailer one day long ago, and it gave me quite a scare.

So the question is, what about unusually heavy tongue weights? Well, a 400 or 500 lb. tongue on a vehicle rated to take that much tongue weight should be no problem. That is way better than a 100 lb or 50 lb tongue, or even a negative weight (like I did with the utility trailer!). Of course, if you were loading a Subaru up with that much on the hitch, you would be overloading the rear suspension and taking too much steering ability out of the front. But with an Envoy or a pickup or some other large vehicle, you should not need to worry. A sway bar or anti-sway hitch should not be necessary, either; but if it makes you feel better, by all means go ahead and use whatever gives you peace of mind and added margin of safety. It can't hurt!
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:07 PM   #16
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On the Casita, the axle is 3500 lbs which means that with the weight of the empty trailer plus options plus fluids and stuff, you should not be exceeding the 3500 lbs so I am not understanding why it would be necessary to have a vehicle rated to tow 5000 lbs. unless it is to support the high hitch weight. Once loaded though, the weight goes up so there is the possibility with the axle far to the rear that the hitch weight will go up, right? So you are looking at a Class 3 hitch in order to handle over 350 lb tongue weight versus the Class 2 which would normally handle a 3500 lb GVWR?
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:39 PM   #17
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Once loaded though, the weight goes up so there is the possibility with the axle far to the rear that the hitch weight will go up, right?
Yes you are right. Pretty well anything you put in the trailer that is stowed ahead of the axle will add to the hitch/tongue weight - the closer to the front the more weight added to the tongue..... the opposite happens if you put things behind the axle -the further back the more weight comes off the tongue.

I suspect that the main reasons a Casita 17' is heavier on the hitch when dry than a number of other 16' & 17' trailers is that the Casita's have the bathroom right at the front of the trailer along with a large storage closest. Now fill up that storage closest with your stuff and add a little water to the black water tank and before you know it you have a tongue weight of over 500lbs as a number of them do on the real world weight list - dang one of them weighed in at 680lbs...... suspect the closest need cleaning out on that one
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:17 PM   #18
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...on the real world weight list - dang one of them weighed in at 680lbs...... suspect the closest need cleaning out on that one
If I remember correctly the two 17' Casita Libertys at 660 and 680 pounds on the tongue had mounted generators permanently on the tongue in addition to propane.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:46 AM   #19
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If I remember correctly the two 17' Casita Libertys at 660 and 680 pounds on the tongue had mounted generators permanently on the tongue in addition to propane.
Glad to hear it. Was worried they might be hoarders
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:28 PM   #20
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I talked to someone at Casita today and yes, the fridge is part of the reason for the longer 17 ft model. I asked about putting a larger fridge in the 16 ft model and the salesman said it would not fit in the 16 ft model.
As for tongue weight he said my Envoy should pull it fine as they say to figure about 10% of weight of what my car can haul to be on the tongue. Being as I can haul 5700 lb, my tongue weight can be up to 570 lb. I should have a couple hundred lbs to play with here if I calulate right.
Does this make sense to all of you??
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