Tongue Weight - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1992 Kustom Koach 17 FT
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I just did Tongue weight on my 13 ft Trll.Its 320 to 330 lbs.This unit ready for road including water tank full.On the hitch are 2 batteries --2 propane tanks (20lb type)--Honda Gen set (1000).Inside trailer at tow/hitch end is TV--Microwave--Bathroom/toilet and water tank.

I don,t know what total unit weights.

How much is too much?
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
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"Too little" would be related to the total trailer weight, but I don't think "too much" has anything to do with it. A semi-trailer has half its weight on the hitch, and that works out well.

In my opinion,
You know you have too much tongue weight when...
  • it's more than the trailer frame is designed to handle
  • it's more than the rating of the coupler
  • it's more than the tow vehicle is rated to carry
  • it's so much that the tow vehicle's rear suspension and tires cannot control it properly
  • it's so much that the tow vehicle's rear suspension can't support it at an appropriate height, even with air springs added
  • you need to add a hundred pounds of springs and bars and linkages to a "lightweight" trailer to tow it with a reasonable tug
Yes, I know the last one will be controversial.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:00 PM   #3
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I don't know if any of the above cases apply to this rig.... so my questions:
  1. Does the manufacturer of the trailer set a tongue load upper limit?
  2. What is the coupler hitch weight rating?
  3. What is the tow vehicle?
  4. What is the hitch load capacity of the tug?
  5. Without a weight-distribution system, is the tug rear axle within GAWR?
  6. Without a weight-distribution system, how is the tug rear ride height?
  7. How does the rig behave?
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:14 PM   #4
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Some good questions Brian.The trailer hitch is designed to carry 2 tanks and 2 batteries.I will make a assumption that it is also designed for front bath and fresh water tanks full as thats the way it is built.The added items from stock are TV and micro wave and a 29lb gen set.I have no manuals at present time or any info on this 2004 unit but they are coming soon.
On the hitch i cant read what it says but is same Size as the one on a 17 ft Boler.Tow vehical at this point in time is rated at 4900lbs.The bumper says 350 lbs max tongue weight BUT i am using a class 3 hitch on truck not the bumper.
Some questions i can't answere till i get some manuals on unit.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:37 PM   #5
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Ches,

When your tongue starts to loll out of your mouth, you drool a lot, and you suffer slurred speech, it's undoubtedly too heavy. I'd get rid of some of that tongue piercing jewelry.



Roger
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Ches,

When your tongue starts to loll out of your mouth, you drool a lot, and you suffer slurred speech, it's undoubtedly too heavy. I'd get rid of some of that tongue piercing jewelry.



Roger
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:40 PM   #7
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There have been so many frame issues on eggs over the years that I would want some confirmation from the manufacturer that this combination is okay, and would want some independent opinion as well. I would have a good look at it and try to assess the load at the most stressed point and see if I am comfortable with it. The 2"x4" box tongue frame on the B1700 doesn't concern me, but this is a much smaller structure with a higher load.

The coupler on my B1700 is a 2" Atwood. I assume that this Trillium thus has a 2" coupler... but they vary in capacity. My Atwood has a 5000 lb trailer capacity and 700 lb (I think) tongue weight limit. I didn't really expect the coupler to be a limitation, but it might with some cheaper or smaller (1-7/8") couplers.

A typical Class 3 hitch receiver on a full-sized (what is the truck?...) pickup has a 500 lb weight-carrying limit. Doesn't appear to be a problem in this case.

Maybe axle load (for trailer and truck) and handling assessments will have to wait until a scale visit is possible?
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
When your tongue starts to loll out of your mouth, you drool a lot, and you suffer slurred speech, it's undoubtedly too heavy. I'd get rid of some of that tongue piercing jewelry.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:57 PM   #9
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WOW!!
I did a bathroom scale weight of our tongue weight on our 13ft. Trillium and was ASTONISHED to see 240lbs!!!!

We had 2 10lb tanks on front (now down to two 5 lb'ers but only one filed) and one heavy duty batt. The rest was related 'STUFF' of which we have sorted through and decided to repack the trailer depending on where/what type of campng we are doing!!!
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Old 06-28-2007, 11:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
WOW!!
I did a bathroom scale weight of our tongue weight on our 13ft. Trillium and was ASTONISHED to see 240lbs!!!!

We had 2 10lb tanks on front (now down to two 5 lb'ers but only one filed) and one heavy duty batt. The rest was related 'STUFF' of which we have sorted through and decided to repack the trailer depending on where/what type of campng we are doing!!!
Thats how i felt also.
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:50 AM   #11
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Last week I pulled brought out my bathroom scale for a check of my tongue weight also and also was surprised at what I found. My 13' Scamp, with a empty tank of water tank, and furnace, fridge, and half filled 20# propane tank has an axle weight of 1420 pounds. With a half filled water tank behind the axle and in front of the axle a nearly empty propane tank, a freshly filled Thetford 135 and 3 solar panels resting on the front gaucho, the tongue weight pegged out my scale at 240 pounds -- higher than expected. Of course the fridge and ac are in front of the axle also, but little else was in the trailer.

The good news is that the Scamp trails beautifully, even being towed in a tongue up position, and my hitch has never been ripped off, even when traveling on some pretty rough roads.

And I thought my inability to easily reposition the tongue by lifting was just another sign of advancing age.

John C.
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:14 PM   #12
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Chester, the books are not likely to tell you much except what someone else thinks, not what you have done. The real world requires that you actually weigh everything (every axle) to find out what you really have. All else is guesswork upon which you are risking your equipment and perhaps lives.

It's fun to make calculations to see how close you can come, but you have to measure it!
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:50 PM   #13
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I've always gone by thge rule of thumb of 10-15% of total weight on the hitch. Seems to work pretty well for me as Otra always seems to be a balanced pull.
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Old 07-02-2007, 09:58 PM   #14
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Well i finally found out what is too much.If i had of read my vehical manual it says so,I am allowed 350lbs.
I guess if you want to know some details one should read manual for what ever you doing.
I really did appreciate all the good ideas presented here.Thanks
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