Scamp 13 Hitch Height - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-25-2013, 11:31 AM   #1
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Scamp 13 Hitch Height

When hooked up, and putting a level inside the Scamp on the floor and kitchen counter top, the level's bubble is 3/4 inside the lines, pretty close. The height of the hitch is 16". A visual inspection looks a hair raised up at the tongue. Is this going to be ok? Thanks
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Depends on the size of the hair. A quarter bubble out is a 1/4" rise in 2' run so for 13' OA length of trailer about 1-5/8" out of level. I'd probably place the level on the tongue or up against the underside of the frame and see how that compares. Is the trailer loaded as it will be when you roll? If so, a drawbar with an additional 2" of drop might yield a better attitude. Most recommendations are level or slightly down at the head.

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. When I put the level on the hitch it is even closer to level.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. When I put the level on the hitch it is even closer to level.

Measure it with a micrometer.

Mark it with chalk.

Cut it with an axe.
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:31 PM   #5
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Is closer close enuf to prevent sway in the case of your trailer? I don't know. I do know there are adjustable drawbars which allow ball hgt. adjustment by 1" increments. There are extended shank balls with the extension by 1" increments. I conclude that manufacturers anticipate that a pitch greater than 1" out of level requires adjustment.

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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My experience, at least with older trailers, is that the inside level reading will seldom exactly match hitch level readings.

I don't know the size of the bubble in the level, but if it's three quarters inside the level mark I wouldn't worry about it, especially if it indicates higher-at-the-back.

And this is for Jack:

Wouldn't an extra two inches of drop at the ball result in a drastic increase in height at the rear of the trailer, perhaps due to the same multiplier effect you describe in your post????

Francesca
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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Returned it for a 2 inch drop down and it made it perfectly level! Thought it might be too much but with rise over run like you said, it makes a difference. Thanks for the motivation!
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #8
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I stand by my answer to the PO's query.

and for Francesca: The coupler will be 2" lower than is the case at present. The rear bumper will be 2" higher. The trailer coupler will be 3/8" below the level plane; the rear bumper 3/8" above. Your first question in the next round should be whether any of the above applies if the trailer and tug are parked on an incline. To cut to the chase, application of the level in that case is meaningless. Seek a level surface OR measure frame hgt. at axle and at rear bumper and coupler or on frame immediately behind coupler. If the ground surface is a flat plane (even if inclined) and the measurements are all the same, the trailer will be "level" when on level ground.

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Old 03-25-2013, 01:11 PM   #9
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Another mystery of physics explained- thanks!

Francesca
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:20 PM   #10
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Francesca, you're welcome but I can't believe you're going to let me off that easy!

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Old 03-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #11
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Francesca, you're welcome but I can't believe you're going to let me off that easy!

jack
Not without checking it out first, I assure you...I ran your explanation through the below High Tech Device I recently acquired for the purpose of verifying explanations I get from my Engineer Husband.

Saves wear-and-tear on both sides!

Francesca
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:14 PM   #12
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I had one of those balls and I asked it if I was going to be rich? and it said "it will be decidedly so". Boy was it wrong. Now you can get them balls online. Am getting quite an education from all the forum members on the Trailering 101. Have learned a heck of a lot this last month.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:21 PM   #13
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I had one of those balls and I asked it if I was going to be rich? and it said "it will be decidedly so". Boy was it wrong.

As I always tell my grandkids: "The Magic Eightball never lies".

After all, Mike: it didn't say when you're going to get rich, did it?

Well, DID IT?????

I rest my case....

Francesca
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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DECIDEDLY SO - it didnt
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:56 PM   #15
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A visual inspection looks a hair raised up at the tongue. Is this going to be ok?
Okay for what?
  • The refrigerator cares if it is level, but you might not run that while driving and even if you do that sounds level enough to me. When you camp you unhitch and level it out so how it sits when hitched doesn't matter to camping.
  • Fundamental dynamic stability doesn't care about the angle of the frame, as long as the mass is still sufficiently ahead of the axle line, which means as long as the tongue weight is reasonable.
  • Leaf-spring suspensions become unstable if tilted back too far, but a Scamp doesn't have that kind of suspension.
  • Tandem-axle trailers suffer from various problems due to uneven load distribution between the axles if tilted too much, but again a stock Scamp doesn't have tandem axles.

Level is generally good, and very useful as a reference point, but not necessarily important for towing. Since people often don't check tongue weight, and tongue weight goes down when the trailer is tilted nose-up, the generally recommendation is to avoid tilting it that way. Since this trailer has been tilted nose-down a bit since the original post, it looks like there is no problem at all.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #16
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is this true?

Rabbit, I don't understand the statement quoted from you in a reply to francesca. It seems that changing the height of the couple would result in the same height difference as the bumper only if the center of rotation (i.e. the wheels) is midway between them, which is not the case, is it? I believe the wheels are well behind the geometric center of the trailer.

the coupler
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I stand by my answer to the PO's query.

and for Francesca: The coupler will be 2" lower than is the case at present. The rear bumper will be 2" higher. The trailer coupler will be 3/8" below the level plane; the rear bumper 3/8" above. Your first question in the next round should be whether any of the above applies if the trailer and tug are parked on an incline. To cut to the chase, application of the level in that case is meaningless. Seek a level surface OR measure frame hgt. at axle and at rear bumper and coupler or on frame immediately behind coupler. If the ground surface is a flat plane (even if inclined) and the measurements are all the same, the trailer will be "level" when on level ground.

jack
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:54 PM   #17
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You understand the statement well enuf to know that it is deficient to accurately describe a situation in which the center of rotation (axle) is offset from the center of a beam (frame). In the case of the usual trailer with axle aft of longitudinal center of the frame in side elevation, you are correct that for any given vertical movement "X" of the coupler, the extreme end of the frame at bumper moves <X. Is there anything in the statement that you find useful or not? Be gentle; I'm probably old enuf to be your grandad.

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Old 05-14-2013, 03:45 PM   #18
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Thanks gramps! ( Rabbit)

I was just trying to figure out if I was missing something, which I usually am. Francesca was concerned that a small change in ball height would amplify at the bumper but I believe because the wheels are aft of center, the opposite would be true such that it would take a very large change in ball height and a very unleveled trailer to cause an issue with bumper height.

BTW, I am 58 so you must really be getting up there, Congratulaions!
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:37 PM   #19
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Missed that call also as I'm 66. Thought I'd play the AARP card and hope I could weasel out. The shorter the trailer, the less chance of the bumper bottoming out in a leveling attempt but for 13-16' lengths, you'd need a pretty steep pitch to the site and a considerable stack of blocking under the foot of the tongue jack.

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:18 PM   #20
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Haha, lol, we'll have to get together and swig some prune juice some time!

Totally agree that the short trailers take care of a lot of the clearance issues. I think the question was how level is level enough to not affect a propane frig. I have that same question because I have no experience with trailer frigs and we are in line for a new Scamp, which we're very excited about.

So, how sensitive are propane units to being off level and does it matter whether it's front-to-back or side-to-side leveling?
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