Newb question: Hitched trailer attitude? - Fiberglass RV



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Old 04-20-2019, 03:44 PM   #1
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Name: Whit
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
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Question Newb question: Hitched trailer attitude?

Hi folks,

First time poster and newbie trailer owner here. My wife and I picked up a 16-foot ’81 Scamp last weekend. Very exciting! We’re working on various modifications, but among the first things that we need to do is get the right hitch hardware for our tow vehicle, and I'm a bit confused on that front.

Scamp's website calls for a 21" tongue height: "The ball hitch height on the tow vehicle should be about ... 21 inches high for the 16 foot trailer."

But that seems oddly high for our trailer, the tongue of which is maybe 14" (correction: top of tongue is 12" high) off the ground at best when level, see attached photo. I did a bit of research on towing stability and did see some mention of attitude being relevant, but it certainly didn't suggest that the trailer should be pointing up significantly.

Any idea what I'm supposed to do here? Is there any chance that our trailer's suspension is just shot and it's sagging super low?

Thanks!

EDIT: I just measured it, I was shooting high in the guess above - the top of the tongue receiver is just above 12' when level.
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:11 PM   #2
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Name: Gary
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I keep my trailers as level as possible. Too high and the rear bumper can drag on uneven driveways, too low and the hitch can drag
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:13 PM   #3
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Name: JD
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Florida
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The '91 Scamp might be a bit lower than a trailer with a newer non sagged suspension
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:15 PM   #4
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For Escapes the ball height is 19" and I believe a Scamp would be lower. That 21" number has to be incorrect.
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:26 PM   #5
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Name: Whit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
1. Ball height, not tongue height (ball is higher than bottom of tongue).

2. 16? 13? Modern? Older? Modern 16 seems like 21 is about right.
16-foot '81 Scamp. Thanks for the tip re: ball height, but that would still have my tongue pointing up. (see edit above)
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:27 PM   #6
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Name: Whit
Trailer: Scamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
For Escapes the ball height is 19" and I believe a Scamp would be lower. That 21" number has to be incorrect.
Well, it's from the very well-organized Scamp website, I assume they know their products very well.
https://www.scamptrailers.com/ask-sc...re-you-go.html
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:28 PM   #7
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Name: Whit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ514 View Post
I keep my trailers as level as possible. Too high and the rear bumper can drag on uneven driveways, too low and the hitch can drag
Good feedback, that would have been my guess about what to do here (and we do have an elevated driveway, so that is an issue). Anybody else suggest otherwise, letting it pitch upward?
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:30 PM   #8
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Name: Whit
Trailer: Scamp
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Originally Posted by redbarron55 View Post
The '91 Scamp might be a bit lower than a trailer with a newer non sagged suspension
I'm not totally sure I understand your point. Ours is '81.
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:32 PM   #9
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Name: Whit
Trailer: Scamp
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Ah! Thanks to Brian B-P for a very helpful, authoritative answer via PM (TLDR: it should pitch level or slightly *down*, never up). I think that wraps this question up! Thanks for everyone's thoughts/feedback!
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:48 PM   #10
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
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The rubber torsion suspension will sag with time and the level point might (read probably) be lower than when new.
My (reaxled with a Flexiride) is set to 19" to the top of the ball. (adjustable trailing arms)
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Old 04-20-2019, 05:07 PM   #11
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Name: Sergey
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16 layout 4, 2018 Winnebago Revel 4x4
SW Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitfield View Post
Hi folks,

First time poster and newbie trailer owner here. My wife and I picked up a 16-foot ’81 Scamp last weekend. Very exciting! We’re working on various modifications, but among the first things that we need to do is get the right hitch hardware for our tow vehicle, and I'm a bit confused on that front.

Scamp's website calls for a 21" tongue height: "The ball hitch height on the tow vehicle should be about ... 21 inches high for the 16 foot trailer."

But that seems oddly high for our trailer, the tongue of which is maybe 14" (correction: top of tongue is 12" high) off the ground at best when level, see attached photo. I did a bit of research on towing stability and did see some mention of attitude being relevant, but it certainly didn't suggest that the trailer should be pointing up significantly.

Any idea what I'm supposed to do here? Is there any chance that our trailer's suspension is just shot and it's sagging super low?

Thanks!

EDIT: I just measured it, I was shooting high in the guess above - the top of the tongue receiver is just above 12' when level.

The coupler location on your trailer is strange, it is very low. Here is the factory coupler:


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Old 04-21-2019, 11:59 AM   #12
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Iowa
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The trailer should be level to slightly low in front.
If yourA-frame/hitch was modified for some reason, like for a TV with a low hitch, you may be able the have it restored to a higher ball.
Otherwise, you will need a ball mount with a deep drop. But then you may have issues with dragging over humps.
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:31 PM   #13
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Name: Hal
Trailer: looking
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It looks like someone may have replaced the coupler, thus the lower stance.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:21 PM   #14
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitfield View Post
Hi folks,

First time poster and newbie trailer owner here. My wife and I picked up a 16-foot ’81 Scamp last weekend. Very exciting! We’re working on various modifications, but among the first things that we need to do is get the right hitch hardware for our tow vehicle, and I'm a bit confused on that front.

Scamp's website calls for a 21" tongue height: "The ball hitch height on the tow vehicle should be about ... 21 inches high for the 16 foot trailer."

But that seems oddly high for our trailer, the tongue of which is maybe 14" (correction: top of tongue is 12" high) off the ground at best when level, see attached photo. I did a bit of research on towing stability and did see some mention of attitude being relevant, but it certainly didn't suggest that the trailer should be pointing up significantly.

Any idea what I'm supposed to do here? Is there any chance that our trailer's suspension is just shot and it's sagging super low?

Thanks!

EDIT: I just measured it, I was shooting high in the guess above - the top of the tongue receiver is just above 12' when level.
I would have the axle and suspension checked. Replace or fix if needed. Then fix whatever it takes to make it sit to specs.
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