Tongue weight - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-26-2006, 08:07 AM   #1
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I have a question. I looked at a picture of an Escape (trailer) and it looked like the tongue weight might be heavier in proportion to some of the other trailer brands because of how far the wheels are from the tongue. Has anyone checked this or have the specs on that weight?
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:26 AM   #2
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Per the manufacturer's websites, the following is the tongue weight (without options) for a standard Escape, Casita, 17 ft Spirit Deluxe, and Scamp 16 ft.

Escape - 250 pounds
Casita - 365 pounds
Scamp - 135 pounds

I tow with a Ford Explorer and found a rental 16 ft Casita Standard to be prone to sway; perhaps it was due to poor tire balance and abuse as a rental. My 17 ft Escape with a weight distribution hitch is very stable. I got almost every option so it is pretty close to being a maximum weight variant. The Escape axle is placed a little far aft to improve stability, it appears to be working.

I am going to weigh my tow vehicle and trailer in mid-May. I'll post the weights then.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:52 AM   #3
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That comparison is a little unnecc. harsh on the Casita.

The 17' Casita is being compared to the 16' Scamp and the Casita is the deluxe with a heavy bath in the front compared to a lighter couch.

The 16' Casita Standard (no couch, just a bath) has a tounge weight of 215lbs. (as per manufacturer's site)

Given that, it's hard for me to understand why it's all THAT different. Scamp's is specifically "before options" - so it depends on what they call an option.

Course it all changes radically as soon as you start loading up the trailer.

mkw
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Mike is right: the correct answer is, "it all depends." Next time you load up to go camping, try weighing the tongue on a good bathroom scale - you might be surprised at the difference between mfrs. specs and the actual tongue weight.
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:43 AM   #5
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I weighed my Scamp's tongue weight recently (13'). It weighed 168 lbs without the water tank filled. Probably a bit less with the water in.
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Old 04-26-2006, 11:56 AM   #6
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I don't think the proportions are very different from other trailers, but it might be interesting to compare actual dimensions. Remember that the tongue weight will be determined by the relative axle-to-tongue length and the distance between the axle and the centre of mass (weight), so if between two sizes of trailer all the dimensions change in proportion, so will the tongue weight.

I think one factor which might make the axle-to-tongue distance look long is simply the size of the trailer: at 17' feet, it's relatively long for an egg. Also, Escapes with factory dual propane tanks which are mounted one ahead of the other (not the more common side-by-side) place the battery in an box on the bumper (rather than the tongue), which would make a significant difference to tongue weight.

The 17' Casita does seem to distribute it's weight more towards the front than (for instance) the Boler 1700. That's not a criticism, just and observation. It would not be a good match for my preferred towing configuration, but it suits others well.
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Old 04-27-2006, 06:04 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone.

I hadn't thought of the weight placement. That makes sense.
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:56 AM   #8
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Mike is right: the correct answer is, "it all depends." Next time you load up to go camping, try weighing the tongue on a good bathroom scale - you might be surprised at the difference between mfrs. specs and the actual tongue weight.
I found the tongue weight of our 16' Scamp to be approx. 350 lb. using a bath scale. We have the front bath and two propane tanks in the front. This seems to be right on target with the 10-15% recommended tongue weight per our Durango's owners manual. We havn't had any problems towing without any anti-sway attachments.
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Old 04-29-2006, 12:16 PM   #9
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Hmmm

The manufacturer's specified tongue weight for the Fiber Stream is 250 pounds. Its about the same dimensions and specs as the Casita 16ft deluxe. But, there are dual axles placed more rearward.
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:00 PM   #10
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I had my TV/RV weighed at the Bluebonnet Casita Rally and was amazed when told that the "pin weight" was 450 pounds. Dry black water tank, dry grey water tank, and full water tank.

I was confused about "pin weight" until I discovered that the "pin weight" is not the same as "hitch weight". The "pin weight" is the net sum of the weight transfered forward to the two axles of the TV.

The "hitch weight" is the weight at the ball socket of the RV when it is not connected to the TV.

I have never had the "hitch weight" weighed. I don't think it is 450 pounds.
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:10 PM   #11
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...I was confused about "pin weight" until I discovered that the "pin weight" is not the same as "hitch weight". The "pin weight" is the net sum of the weight transfered forward to the two axles of the TV.

The "hitch weight" is the weight at the ball socket of the RV when it is not connected to the TV.
That sounds strange to me. In everything I've read "pin weight" is used only for 5th wheel hitches, and is simply the weight at the hitch (pin-and-plate, not ball, because of the hitch type), which means the same thing as hitch weight.
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:16 PM   #12
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...The manufacturer's specified tongue weight for the Fiber Stream is 250 pounds. Its about the same dimensions and specs as the Casita 16ft deluxe. But, there are dual axles placed more rearward.
Are the axles really more rearward? The effective centre of the axle system in a tandem setup is midway between the two axles, and in the Fiber Stream this is far enough forward that even after a whole tire diameter, there's still enough space behind the wheels for a door and closet.

My 17' Boler has the axle about 122 inches (10' 2") behind the coupler (hitch ball centre); how far back from the ball are the Fiber Stream axles?
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Old 05-26-2006, 12:05 AM   #13
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Per the manufacturer's websites, the following is the tongue weight (without options) for a standard Escape, Casita, 17 ft Spirit Deluxe, and Scamp 16 ft.

Escape - 250 pounds
Casita - 365 pounds
Scamp - 135 pounds

I tow with a Ford Explorer and found a rental 16 ft Casita Standard to be prone to sway; perhaps it was due to poor tire balance and abuse as a rental. My 17 ft Escape with a weight distribution hitch is very stable. I got almost every option so it is pretty close to being a maximum weight variant. The Escape axle is placed a little far aft to improve stability, it appears to be working.

I am going to weigh my tow vehicle and trailer in mid-May. I'll post the weights then.
[b]

We have towed our escape over 40,000 km's (24,000 miles) using both a Toyota Tacoma and a Toyota Tundra. We do use an equalizer hitch and with both vehicles we could not detect any bounce or sway. Our Escape "Rubea" is loaded and for a three month trip it is realy loaded. On the truck scales we determined our tongue weight to be just over 300 lbs dead weight but when the equalizer hitch is hooked up we see the back of the truck rise at least 1" and therefore distribute much of the tongue weight to the front of the truck.

We do tow with empty water and sewer tanks when possible only because we have experienced some very rough roads, the I-5 north of LA being the worst, and all excess weight adds to "impacting' or "jarring" of the entire trailer. Also, we purchased an egg because it was light and it seems we are defeating that purpose if we carry unecessary weight.

Happy trails, Ian and Paddy
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:26 PM   #14
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I recently returned from a trip to Custer SD, and than on to WY and MT before returning to MN. I pulled my Scamp 13' onto a certified scale at a truck stop and found out that the way I was loaded, the trailer weighed 1440 #.

Prior to leaving home I slipped the bathroom scale under the tongue and I had a tongue weight of 190 #.

Somewhere on this site I remember folks saaying that your tongue weight should be about 10%-15% of the trailers weight. In my case it worked out to 13% and I had no problems with sway or anything during the trip that I just took, covering 1850 miles.

Just another opinion

Jim Paskett
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