Tongue Weights - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-18-2012, 11:46 AM   #15
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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Tongue weight. Specifically not enough. A couple of years ago a young woman towing a flat bed trailer overturned in our driveway. Cause was a partial load of goods for a nursery...potted trees, plants, etc. The load was toward the rear of the trailer with too low a tongue weight. Neibors said when she got to about 40 mph the sway started big time and she was unable to recover. No human injuries but that's pure luck under the circumstances.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:45 PM   #16
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I"ve done what Norm and other have suggested . Put water in the fresh water tank ,leave some water in the grey water tank and drain the black water tank completely. I also have only one battery and one propane tank. The front closet is used for storing light weight things like toilet paper , paper towels ,dried food , and towels. Heavier objects are stored in tubs which travel on the rear bed and I built a clothes drawer beneath the rear bed for storage. When I started I could not lift the tongue by hand now I can slide it over or lift it if my trailer ball is slightly off when hooking up. It's possible to lower your tongue weight by stowing your gear properly and still not have sway problems
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:09 PM   #17
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Your tongue weight should be 12-15% of your total weight. Each trip it will change, that is why it is important to weigh before each trip. Tank weight can be effective, but I was told never to keep my black tank empty, once it dries, you will never get it clean.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wklose99 View Post
Is sway a result of tongue weight or is sway a result of the angle at which it connects to your ball?
Let's simplify this to the point that it needs to be "correct". Generally speaking, when you are loaded ready for towing the trailer should be level. If it's not exactly level, I would prefer it to be very slightly nose down, rather than tail down, but still, strive for level.
Second, you should have a tongue weight that is somewhere in the range of 10% to maybe 15% of the total gross weight of the trailer. As a general rule, "more tongue weight" ( staying within the range ) can make for a more stable tow, although it also loads more weight onto the back of the tow vehicle, which may approach overloading the rear axle of the TV.

My bet is with your rig, a level trailer, and let's just throw a number out there: 12% tongue weight will likely give you a good overall towing experience.

Inadequate tongue weight can make for a dangerous towing rig, as in sway. Seriously inadequate tongue weight, such as where the tongue is actually "negative" weight, can also make the trailer do a fast cyclic "tugging-pushing" action on the TV, which is very damaging to the driveline of the TV.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:12 PM   #19
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Black tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Your tongue weight should be 12-15% of your total weight. Each trip it will change, that is why it is important to weigh before each trip. Tank weight can be effective, but I was told never to keep my black tank empty, once it dries, you will never get it clean.
Jim
I was unaware of that problem with the black water tank . I always drain the tank of waste . rinse it out with fresh water , drain the tank again and then add about a 1/2 gallon of water with a little Pinesol . My choice of "completely" was probably a poor choice of words . I've had no problems so far and the tank appears to be clean . If you know a better method please let me know. I do know that if I leave the black tank full it adds considerably to my tongue weight
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Jim
I was unaware of that problem with the black water tank . I always drain the tank of waste . rinse it out with fresh water , drain the tank again and then add about a 1/2 gallon of water with a little Pinesol . My choice of "completely" was probably a poor choice of words . I've had no problems so far and the tank appears to be clean . If you know a better method please let me know. I do know that if I leave the black tank full it adds considerably to my tongue weight
Thanks
Steve D
In other words the waste is completely removed but you leave some residual liquid.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:50 PM   #21
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Tongue Weighing

The following is a picture of our set up for weighing the trailer that I described earlier in the thread.

I think there are a number of factors that contribute to sway such as trailer tire pressure, distance to the tow vehicle's rear axle, tow vehicle tire pressure, weight distribution in the trailer and tongue weight.

All recommendations in publications in the United States refer to 10-15% tongue weight number. This, 10-15%, would be considered on the high side in Europe.

As you can calculate, we are typically in the 8% tongue range. We have never experienced sway.

Though no one wants sway and every effort should be made to set up your trailer to prevent sway, applying 'just' the trailer brakes can stop sway before it gets out of control. I think this is another reason to have trailer brakes.

I know most worry about sway, but the biggest cause of trailer accidents seems to be the trailer coming off the ball, an easy situation to prevent. Now after locking the ball, we use to the trailer's front jack to try and jack the receiver off the ball, a quick test.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:41 PM   #22
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Tongue weight and black tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
In other words the waste is completely removed but you leave some residual liquid.
Yes ,about 1/2 to 1 gallon of clean water plus a couple of ounces of Pinesol . I left the tank almost full one time and found I couldn't shift or lift the tongue by hand , but I can when the tank has only a little water and Pinesol.
in it. I did read that when your hooked to a sewer you should not leave the valve open all the time because the solids build up. I think you and and I are doing the same thing only expressed differently.
Thanks Jim
Steve D
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:03 AM   #23
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The scientific evidence, whilst in fairly short supply, says that a certain tongue weight percentage on its own is not necessarily enough for safety - the distribution of weight must also be sensible.

In particular, a trailer loaded with heavy weights on the front and back will be much less stable than the same trailer loaded to the same tongue weight with the heavy weights in the middle near the axle.

I've posted a link to this European study before but it is so well presented that it bears repeating: Caravan Stability Study

The 'Stability Studies Game' may be called a game, but is actually a proper simulation program in which you can alter the loading and tow speed to see what effect it has. I think everyone can learn from this - and they don't have to risk rolling their trailer over to do so.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:39 PM   #24
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Stability Study

Andrew,
Thanks for posting the Stability Study. Well worth reading with clear suggestions: keep the weight over the axle, drive at reasonable speeds, and even a mention of 7% tongue weight.

Bailey Caravans has a competition each year, 2011 was their 28th year, forbest tow vehicle of the year. Very impressive. You can see the results at the top of the page of the Stability Study.

Thanks
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:17 PM   #25
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Sorry

The neatest aspect of Andrew's post is the fact that here's a trailer company that actually tests and publishes the results of towing their trailer's with various tow vehicles, openly providing information.

This is smart and impressive. The only other company I know that does this is Can-Am RV.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wklose99 View Post
Is sway a result of tongue weight or is sway a result of the angle at which it connects to your ball?
You missed Jim's answer:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Both, too light and the tail starts wagging and if not level more chance of sway, if both exists, then it becomes un towable.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:50 PM   #27
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Each of these Escapes has done well towing with a 29 battery, a full propane tank and two Trek 820s on the tongue of our Scamp13D front bath.
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:09 PM   #28
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Floyd,

What is your tongue weight with bikes?

Thank you
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