Hi Raya, Joy, and all those following this thread.
We weighed our Scamp
(totally empty, just factory).
And we weighed our tow vehicle (fuel tank full, vehicle totally empty, no people).
was at a Certified Automated Truck "CAT" scale at a Pilot gas station.
Here's the results: Scamp
weighs 1460# (1240# camper axle
Car GVW (3950#) - car weight
(3040#) = 910# available for passengers and cargo.
Now, according to our vehicle owner's manual, our car can pull a trailer weighing
up to 1500#, and they recommend the tongue weight
be 10-15% of the trailer weight
. (trailer weight is defined as trailer axle
plus tongue). (15% x 1460# = 219#) As far as the 910# available for passengers and cargo, the vehicle owner's manual says that the tongue weight (220# in my case) counts toward the cargo. ie, the 910 is reduced by the 220# to 690#.
Sounds simple enough, except here's what's confusing: The tongue weight (220#) is being counted twice (Once as part of the trailer weight that can be pulled, and again as part of the cargo that can be carried). I can't see why this should be. My interpretation is that the 220# should be counted as EITHER cargo or trailer weight.
Why is this important, and isn't this splitting hairs ? When you're on the edge of everything (What the tow vehicle can pull, what the tow vehicle can carry in cargo, and what the hitch tongue load limit is (Category 1 is 200#), then it comes more into play. If I'm within specs, even near the limit, things should be OK (but great caution should be used). If I'm over spec, then I need to assess whether a larger tow vecle is needed.
My assessment is the camper should count as 1240# (leaving 260# towards the 1500# limit), and the tongue weight should count towards the cargo, leaving 609# for passengers and cargo.
Now, back to the bike rack. If the bike rack and 2 bikes weight 125-150#, then the camper will be around 1390#, leaving room for about 110# more weight I could add to the camper. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, the bikes and rack will reduce the tongue weight, which is already a little over the 200# spec (of course I'll measure the tongue weight and keep it over 10% of the trailer weight).
Whew !!! I hope this makes some sense. Please give me your feedback.