tongue weight - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-05-2008, 09:07 PM   #1
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Another question!!
This trailer 17' SD Casita that I am looking at buying does not have the load level hitch bars with it, are they special ones for it from Casita or can they be purchased at any hitch shop?
The weight of the tongue is about 350lb. + so does everyone use them because that it too heavy for my SUV ('06 Grand Cherokee) it would sag the back out (I assume).

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Old 01-05-2008, 09:23 PM   #2
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I had a 17' Freedom Deluxe Casita that I pulled with my Jeep Grand Cherokee with NO equalizer hitch. It pulled great and never gave me any trouble.

When I bought my second Casita 17' Liberty, I did not use or need an equalizer hitch on that one also.


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Old 01-05-2008, 10:00 PM   #3
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Mike....
Been towing with a dodge ram but the wife has a grand cherokee with tow package and would be nice to use hers sometimes. Your post makes me feel a lot better now about doing it .
thanx,
Joe
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:38 PM   #4
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By the way, we did not use, or feel the need, a sway bar either. The 17' Casita has been extremely stable in my view. Your mileage may very. I believe the 16 Casita benefits from a sway bar.

(ALSO - I should mention: I feel, everyone should do what they feel they need in order to feel safe.)
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:08 AM   #5
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Hi Mike, so you are saying that your GC handled the weight of the tongue without any help what so ever? how much does everyones tow vehicle drop when the Casita gets hooked up?
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
By the way, we did not use, or feel the need, a sway bar either. The 17' Casita has been extremely stable in my view. Your mileage may very. I believe the 16 Casita benefits from a sway bar.

(ALSO - I should mention: I feel, everyone should do what they feel they need in order to feel safe.)
I always use my sway bar (my personal preference) but i did drive from michigan to PA with no sway bar and it rode really good behind the dodge ram..... will have to try out the GC....By the way Mike....Would you know the height to the top of the ball on your hitch when the trailer is not hooked to it (tryin to get a rough idea of what i need)?_________
that GC of yours looks really nice and the scenery in the background really has me missing the west.
thanx,
Joe
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:56 AM   #7
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Rob, you can add a Weight Distributing Hitch at any time. They are either welded on or bolt on. A very popular one-arm one can be bolted on. http://www.etrailer.com/pc-WD~3205.htm

Check your owners manual to see if they recommend or require (like my Odyssey) a WDH. If they are silent on the issue, I would just wait and hook it up and measure the hitch drop, and the front end (fender at wheel) rise. I think 1" is acceptable (research this) and more may require a WDH.
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:15 PM   #8
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The drop will depend in part on the actual tongue weight (hopefully set correctly from actual scale weight of trailer), what springs the GC was equipped with (might be different sets for different models, esp with factory tow package) and how old the GC springs are.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:47 AM   #9
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The drop will depend in part on the actual tongue weight (hopefully set correctly from actual scale weight of trailer), what springs the GC was equipped with (might be different sets for different models, esp with factory tow package) and how old the GC springs are.
My Toyota Tacoma came without the towing package, and after wiring the lights etc, up I added a set of air bags, about $400, in cost, self installed, but they are adjustable for the loads.

Our Scamp only has about 200# tongue weight, but with all of our other gear or in the case of sucessful hunting trips, the weight on the rear of the vehicle varies. Once we had two cow elk at about 550 to 600 pounds each and a 200 pound mule deer stuffed in the camper shell when pulling the scamp back. Without the air bags, when I got back and deflated them, the rear dropped about four inches.

We were certainly on the upper side of the vehicle load with 1300 pounds of critters in the back, but a load leveling hitch would do the same thing. However we do go to some really gnarly places where load levling hitches and sway bars would have definite impact on traction due to being so stiff. So I opted for the air bags, which come in handy for hauling heavy loads without the trailer as well.

Garo
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:50 PM   #10
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Just to be clear, a load-leveling hitch, aka WDH, is very different from air bags, springs, adjustable shocks and frame lifters. The latter merely raise the rear end of the truck. The WDH actually takes weight off the rear of the truck and shifts some of it to the front axle and some of it to the trailer axle (depends on the various axle to hitch distances).

We sometimes refer to the Olds Toronado advertisement that showed the front wheel auto, with a trailer hitched with an overadjusted WDH and no tires on the rear wheels. The WDH forms a bridge and ALL the weight was on either the front axle and the trailer axle. I don't care how many springs or bags one adds to the rear axle, the tires would still need to be there because the weight would still be there, just further off the ground...
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:26 AM   #11
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Rob M,

I tow with a 2005 Jeep GC (4.7L V-8, 545 RFE auto tranny and factory tow package), so here's my 2 cents. You didn't say which engine and the suspension may vary, particularly if you have a LAREDO WITH A V-6. Take a look at your rear axle rating on the driver door frame. Mine is 3200# and seems adequate. The owners manual says to use a WDH if your tongue weight is over 350#. While Jeep does not give a reason for this, I think it is to avoid overloading the rear axle and suspension. I will say that my Jeep handles a 350# tongue load pretty well without any help, but I do have Air Lift helper bags on it.

The height of the hitch receiver is another consideration. You may find you need a drawbar with a serious drop. The regular Casita 17 coupler is about 19" off the ground. You want to tow level or slightly tongue down to avoid damage to the stabilizer jacks, etc in the rear. Casita recently started offering a high lift axle, which is about 1.5-2" more clearance. This option would also allow you to use 15" wheels and tires with a higher load rating. Something to think about if you haven't bought a trailer yet.

Good luck with your purchase.

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