Hitch help! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-14-2007, 04:14 PM   #15
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I think your brochure may have had a slight typo in it.
If I can't rely on the owner's manual and the certification sticker, then I ought not be driving the car at all. And, if a major car maufacturer can't be relied on to publish correct information about a car with a 5 star safety rating, then maybe we better all stay home.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but a person has to begin some place with thier assumptions.
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:22 PM   #16
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Laura, I think you're ok with the assumptions on the car (other than the frame type ); but, like Steve, I fear you'll have a tough time finding a Scamp 16 that weighs 2k lbs and I fear your Forester just isn't up for the tongue weight. Most of the 13s come in close to 2k lbs when loaded for travel and would come close to maxing out your Forester's tongue weight. All our fears for you is that you're pushing a the envelope with a 16' trailer and your Forester. A 13' would be fine, even one with a front bath, more than likely. According to the Scamp factory, my '02 side dinette 16' Custom Deluxe weighed about 2800 lbs dry, and the custom wood interior doesn't all all that much weight. Even if your "ideal" Scamp 16' "only" runs 2500 lbs loaded, you're looking at an ideal 10-15% tongue weight of between 250 and 375 lbs. I understand your desire to have a 16' as I loved mine, but without the availability of a weight distribution hitch, and with a unibody, I just don't think your Forester is up to it.

Perhaps Jack Maloney can weigh in here. He towed his UHaul 13 with a Forester for a couple of years...

Roger
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:52 PM   #17
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Personally, I doubt the Scamp 16' weighs 2000 lb in any kind of travel configuration. Closer to 2900-3000 pounds unless it's a stripped Scamp.

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=13488&hl=
You guys are scaring me but that may be good, so long as we have fear based on facts.

The url helped a lot. If you follow the discussion in detail, you'll see that the main theme was that there was great variablity based on how the load was distributed and what was carted around inside the trailer. What seemed consistent, was that tongue weight was about 8-14% of total weight, no matter what you did to it.

Manny says with full water tanks and propane tanks, the tongue weight is 225lbs. He says if he takes the battery off the tongue (with full water tanks), it drops to 185. If the battery is assumed to weigh ~ 50lbs, then 225 - 50 = 175 lbs. That makes sense to me.

If we assume the trailer weighs 2000lbs, then:

a tongue weight of 14% would be 280 lbs
a tongue weight of 12% would be 240 lbs
a tongue weight of 10% would be 200 lbs
a tongue weight of 8% would be 160 lbs.


If the trailer weighed 3000 lbs, the tongue weight would be at least 240 lbs. It's possible that the Scamp manufacturer fudged on the estimated 1500lbs and the trailer is actually 2000lbs. It doesn't make sense to me in terms of liability or math that the trailer would weight 3000 lbs, and still have a loaded tongue weight of 225 lbs.

Am I crazy?
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:09 PM   #18
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You guys are scaring me but that may be good, so long as we have fear based on facts.


It's possible that the Scamp manufacturer fudged on the estimated 1500lbs and the trailer is actually 2000lbs. It doesn't make sense to me in terms of liability or math that the trailer would weight 3000 lbs, and still have a loaded tongue weight of 225 lbs.

Am I crazy?
Laura,

I weighed my 13' no bath/shower. Mostly loaded for camping. The truck scales came in at 1,500 lbs. Water tank and gray water were empty. At the time I bought it Scamp was claiming 1,000 lbs. But that was without options. I checked my tongue weight too, it came in at 170 lbs.

Just a bit more imperical information.
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:15 PM   #19
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Laura,

Your discussion made me curious about Manny's trailer, so I just took a look at his listing, and it has been sold on eBay for the BIN...

Jeanne
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:29 PM   #20
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Laura,

Your discussion made me curious about Manny's trailer, so I just took a look at his listing, and it has been sold on eBay for the BIN...

Jeanne
I know. I bought it.

The problem is that the tongue weight is greater than what Manny advertised, by about 50lbs (almost 30% difference). The trailer weight may be higher than what he advertised as well. We can't be sure until we can find a scale in his neck of the woods. I'm sure the error was unintentional. He relied on the manufacturer's estimates and I relied on his ebay description. Two reasonable assumptions that were both wrong.

If I wanted out of the deal, the description error would let me off the hook with a full return of my deposit. Ebay is great that way. But, I actually want the trailer. Still, I can't pick it up until I can be sure I can pull it safely.
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:32 PM   #21
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Then congratulations! I hope everything works out well for you!
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:00 PM   #22
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Please re-read everything Roger and Paul H. said, and pretend that I was smart and fast enough to say it...

... then please seriously reconsider this plan (the 1.25" to 2" extension plus WDH).
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:07 PM   #23
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Extending the hitch ball further back lowers actual hitch weight load on your TV (although not by much), but has nothing to do with the effect of a WDH.
I don't understand how this could possibly be true. Extending the tongue of the trailer would reduce the load carried by hitch; however, no change to the position of the ball relative to the tow vehicle matters. Charles, were you thinking that this is a tongue extension?

On the other hand, I agree that the position of the ball matters little to the WDH operation, although the slight extension of the total distance from trailer axle to the tug's rear axle will slightly change the distribution of load transferred to the trailer and tug front axles, as Paul explained.

"The guy" was sort of on the right track: the WDH exists to overcome rear axle overloading, and the extension will exacerbate that problem. The WDH will still work, but the extension will make it more necessary... which seems to me to be going the wrong direction.

Note: I strongly believe that the proposed extension device is a bad idea, regardless of the above issues.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:09 PM   #24
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...Experiance tell me that the car engine has plenty of power and the trailer has electric brakes. I suspect that the suspension and steering control are the key issues. Would a weight limiting hitch address BOTH of these safely?
No. It could address the rear axle load issue, but the portion of the trailer mass carried by the hitch is still excessive, and still too far back, from a steering perspective... in my opinion.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:26 PM   #25
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First, please allow me to apologize for the "flood" of posts... but I wanted to concisely address each issue in what I personally consider a serious matter...

People (in this forum and others) commonly quote the European (or Australian) towing capacity of vehicles, note that they are higher than here, and conclude that they can disregard the limit in their manual. I urge anyone considering this approach to do it thoroughly.

When someone in Europe hooks up a 4000 kg trailer to a Forester, are they using the 1.25" North American hitch? Do they have 225 lb of tongue weight? Does the car have the same suspension, right down to spring rates and damping characteristics? Does the trailer have the same braking system, polar moment of inertia (mass distribution), and coupler type as the trailer being considered here? My guess is "no" to all of these issues.

Does a listing of a towbar with a 2000 kg limit mean that the vehicle can tow 2000 kg? Not a chance. Most hitch receivers here are built to class limits, and ones with 2" receiver boxes are built and rated to the Class 3 limit (5000 lb trailer)... but bolting them on does not magically make vehicles with 3500 lb towing capacity (such as my van) able to handle 5000 lb.

By the way, I really doubt that European configuration would use a WD system... so why would a WD system be the way to tow Euro-specs loads here?
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:38 PM   #26
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First, please allow me to apologize for the "flood" of posts...
I like your posts. You're a good poster. Post away...
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:40 PM   #27
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If I can't rely on the owner's manual and the certification sticker, then I ought not be driving the car at all. And, if a major car maufacturer can't be relied on to publish correct information about a car with a 5 star safety rating, then maybe we better all stay home.
Sorry, maybe I missed something...
An accessory brochure lists a trailer hitch for Europe with a limit for the hitch which is higher than the vehicle's limits. Hey, that's better than lower!
What is incorrect in the manual or certification sticker?

Quote:
I'm not saying you're wrong, but a person has to begin some place with thier assumptions.
I agree. That place is the owner's manual, which apparently says nothing to allow exceeding 200 lb tongue weight or 2400 lb trailer weight. Again, did I miss something?
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:42 PM   #28
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I did a little research myself and found a site that sold hitches for the '05 Subaru Forester, they say that it will handle 300lbs Tounge weight.... the link is below... Hope it helps!

I am excited for you!

Have FUN!

Trailer Hitch
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