Adding weight to tongue - Fiberglass RV



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Old 05-24-2019, 08:06 PM   #1
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Name: Lyndaleen
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr
California
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Adding weight to tongue

I have a 1972 Hunter Compact Jr, the whole kitchen has been removed, so I'm guessing it's around 700 lbs. My car can handle a 200 lb tongue weight. If I mounted a 90 lb generator to the tongue, will I ruin everything?

Would it be better to mount it on the back bumper? The only thing in the trailer is a king bed with fairly think boards for bed support.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:29 PM   #2
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Probably fine, but you can be sure by checking your tongue weight with a bathroom scale. Use a board to distribute the weight of the jack, and have the tongue sitting at the same height as when hitched. Note that weight at the tongue jack will be a little higher than at the coupler.

Many similar trailers have a battery and LP tank on the tongue, which together weigh close to 90#. Guessing yours probably doesn’t have those things? If not, the tongue would be the better place for the generator.

Check again when you have the trailer loaded for camping. Wouldn’t hurt to weigh the whole trailer, just so you’ll know where you stand. Tongue weight should be 10-15% of total trailer weight, with about 12% a good target.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:33 AM   #3
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Name: Lyndaleen
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This is very good information. I will strap the propane tank in the trailer; hefting it in and out for use is tough on my spine injury, but doable. I haven't had any luck finding a propane generator with a minimum of 1200W that weighs under 50 lbs. I found a small portable AC that needs 1062W.
I don't want to compromise the integrity of the fiberglass, so I'm going to have to figure out a decent way to lead the AC hose to the outside.

I am so happy with this Hunter Compact. I've learned so much about generators, ACs, etc., and trailers. Thank you so very much for your wisdom!!

I do have one other question: I'm 58 yrs, female, and will be traveling alone; should I look into a conceal and carry permit for a handgun, shotgun, knife, or some sort of serious protection? I'm not scared of animals so much, I respect their abilities to harm me, but I am scared of people who might approached me. I'd be an easy target - they could easily see I was traveling alone and might want to kill me and steal my car and trailer.
Any advice?
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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I have 3 different carry permits, (WA, OR and UT,) and they are good pretty much everywhere west of the Mississippi, except California.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:22 AM   #5
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I'm a 63 year old woman and travel alone. I have always carried a gun for self defense but since you are in CA you will find it nearly impossible to get a gun permit. Your best option for self defense will be bear spray I guess.
When you set up your camp site, put out 2 chairs and a pair of men's shoes or boots so it looks like there are two people camping.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:55 AM   #6
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I wouldn't want a propane tank inside the trailer, even for transport. A slow leak cold turn your trailer into a bomb. Could be illegal in some places.

When you said 90 pounds, did you mean generator and LP tank combined? A 5 gal. LP tank weighs 35-40# full and a c.2000W inverter generator around 50#.

Having both on the tongue might be possible, but it depends on where you're at now in terms of tongue weight. It would simplify connecting propane to the generator without having to move either. There are racks that let you mount the generator over the tank, keeping them closer to the trailer and impacting tongue weight somewhat less.

You'd be better off storing your gear, ice chest, water in the back of the trailer to counter the tongue weight.

Consider noise and restrictions on use. You won't make many friends in a campground with a noisy generator, and use is typically restricted to certain hours.
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:10 AM   #7
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Jon in AZ: sensible as ever...Paul and I, also, do NOT want a propane tank inside our trailer. Talk about explosive possibilities and legalities! We went further and don't use propane at all (we do carry a couple of small butane cylinders for our outdoor 1-burner cooktop), but that means pretty much no boondocking unless we go barefoot entirely.


Without a kitchen, this trailer may be butt-light. But weighing what one puts back in is always a good idea. I can't see adding more weight anywhere without finding out exactly what one has already, and loading up for a trip. For us, food and clothing for a 28-day trip added something like 600 pounds to our non-loaded but complete weight. My reaction was--600 pounds--for THAT? As is said, it is what it is.


The other advice above to get the trailer weighed makes a lot of sense.


We used our bathroom scale to weigh our tongue as described above, but in the end we paid to have it all weighed officially at a nearby certification weigh site for our license...and we broke our scale. It was really something to get on it the next time and realize I had lost 290 pounds...when I had only weighed 275 to start with.


So I hope any scale used was more durable than MY $5 special!


BEST

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Old 05-25-2019, 11:25 AM   #8
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think of the trailer as a playground see-saw toy. The wheels are the fulcrum point of balance. The heaviest stuff in the interior such as an AGM or Lithium battery, electric fridge, etc can be placed very close to or over the axle on top of the wheel well area.



Then according to what you must put outside on the tongue you can see what it weighs and balance things according to the best practices for percentage of weight on the tongue while not exceeding the overall weight limits. You can even do a line drawing on paper or a white board of the see-saw and have scraps of paper representing the things you are going to travel with that have weight numbers on them that you arrange on the line drawing. For some people that visual aide is useful in keeping it clear in their head.


Of course start with figuring out the tongue weight before you start adding in the objects.
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
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k corbin: yes, yes, excellent, practical advice! I, too, would diagram it out if I had any concerns...we definitely tried to put the heaviest things over the axles...as much as possible.

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Old 05-25-2019, 11:40 AM   #10
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Name: Lyndaleen
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr
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Wow, all of this is excellent information!

Generator: I know I would way rather mount the propane tank on the rear outside of the trailer on one side of the door and a water tank (or something similar) of equal weight on the other side, in hopes of countering the weight of the generator on the front.

Luckily, I'm in farm country and there are a lot of commercial scales, and highly experienced welders who can help me understand the chassis (or undercarriage) so as to not damage the trailer at the axel.

Gun permit: I agree!! CA has the most ridiculous laws made by people who have never set foot in rural areas. Bear spray is an excellent option; I'll look into it. I'll look into a shot gun. Two chairs and men's boots: wow, another excellent idea!!! I've learned to always make reference to my husband showing up any minute, even though he died 38 years ago when I was 20. I buried him on his 27th birthday.

Noise: I super respect the needs of others. In a campground, I'd just plug into their elec if they have it. My use for a generator would only be for running the AC in remote areas where I plan to do most of my camping. I'm fine eating out of a can and drinking warm water (again, traits from being a farmer's daughter, lol), and I can cover-up from cold, but in the heat, I suffer. I plan mostly to camp in very remote, unpopulated areas, and notify my daughter of my status by email.

You all have given such super advice, are there other things I should be aware of?
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:50 AM   #11
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Name: Anne
Trailer: Casita
Virginia
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I got a BASU keychain alarm that attaches to my backpack or belt. It is super quick and easy to set it off-faster that pulling out a knife or can of bear spray. I am hoping it would scare off humans as well as bears. I would get bear spray as a backup. Most campsites are full of friendly people so I have never felt threatened while other people are around. If there was no one else there besides a single man I might be uneasy.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:27 AM   #12
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Name: Lyndaleen
Trailer: Hunter Compact Jr
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I'll check out the BASU. Yes, a campground with one man or even a small group of men would not be a place I'd stay. I'm mostly looking for desert areas where I can put up my hammock and watch shooting stars all night. I became addicted to that when I lived in Tucson where the skies are so clear.
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Old 05-26-2019, 12:07 PM   #13
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Many cars and trucks have an alarm button on the key fob. If someone was trying to open the camper door, you can press the alarm. The loud honking horn would probably run them off.
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Old 05-26-2019, 02:17 PM   #14
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Name: Lyndaleen
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I don't know why this is cracking me up, lol, but I am soooo going to get this!
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