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-   -   Tongue Weights (http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f72/tongue-weights-53865.html)

wklose99 08-17-2012 07:49 PM

Tongue Weights
 
I am pulling an '81 burro, 13ft that weights 1250#'s total (weight it at a salvage yard).

I am towing it with a 2003 2x4 front wheel drive ford escape, max towing 3500#.

I have a class II hitch, rated up to 3500# with a 350# max tongue weight, 500# max tongue weight with WDH (which i dont have).

I weighed the tongue weight tonight and came up with about 240. This is with a almost-empty propane tank on the tongue.

Problem is, I want to take bikes on my next road trip. I have a 11# bike rack that goes on the hitch (the Heininger 1011 Advantage SportsRack V-Rack 2-Bike Carrier everyone on here likes) and the bikes weight about 30#'s each, for a total of 60#s. I figured I would add in another 20#s for miscellaneous, like bike locks that will be on the bikes during travel, as well as a full propane tank.

That puts my tongue weight at about 340#, which is really close to the max rating. The burro axle is fairly far back, so I am worried that it will be hard to put some weight in the back and lighten up the tongue weight. Is it safe to travel this close to the max? I am thinking of ditching the bikes, or maybe taking the wheels off during travel.

Thoughts?

cpaharley2008 08-17-2012 08:09 PM

put them inside trailer

honda03842 08-17-2012 09:20 PM

Lightening the Tongue Weight
 
Harley's idea is a good one, moving the bikes to an area over the axles. If you have a rear table lowering the table and moving them even further back would also lighten the tongue.

In our 2400 lb Scamp we try to keep the tongue weight below 200 lbs. We do this by keeping the tongue items few and having a bit of rearward weight.

We keep the tongue light with only one battery and one propane tank. Next year we plan to replace our steel propane tank with a fiberglass tank to further lighten the tongue.

We keep also have a fair amount of rearward weight. We do this three ways.

First we carry about 60 lbs of water. We carry the water because we feel it's comforting and necessary when boondocking.

Second we have 5 "beneath the floor" storage containers all mounted behind the axle. I doubt their contents are more than 15-20 pounds, but again in the correct direction.

Third we have about a 4 cubic foot bumper bon that attaches directly to our bumper. It probably contains 15-20 lbs and is as rearward as it gets. The bumper box contains, hoses, power cords, wooden blocks and a few tools.

All in all this balances the tongue and keeps from overloading the rear of the Honda allowing us to ride level. Though our hitch is rated for 350 lbs the highest rating I've seen for a CRV's ball is 220lbs. Next year we plan to move the ball about 3-4 inches closer to the axle to further reduce the load on the rear of the Honda, really just because it's easy to do.

Deb & Chuck 08-17-2012 09:36 PM

Bikes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (Post 328279)
put them inside trailer

CP lets see you put bikes in your new Escape. Maybe they could put the bikes on a rack behind the trailer.
Chuck

RogerDat 08-17-2012 10:29 PM

That 240# tongue weight you already have seems sort of high. Is it possible you have items inside at the front that as Norm suggests you can move to the rear storage?


Check out these real world weights collected at a FG rally. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f51/trailer-weights-in-the-real-world-43010.html


I'm not sure the stock rear bumper is really sturdy enough for the weight and leverage of a bike rack. I know some people do it and it works but looking at my scamp I would be trying to find a way to reinforce the bumper to the rest of the frame first.

cpaharley2008 08-18-2012 07:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deb & Chuck (Post 328291)
CP lets see you put bikes in your new Escape. Maybe they could put the bikes on a rack behind the trailer.
Chuck

There is a big difference between a 31 year old trailer and a 6 month old one, ask me the same question 31 years from now and you may get a different answer. In the interim, I have 2 folding bikes which fit inside a custom bag which I can place on top of the bed in the 19" or on the floor.

wklose99 08-18-2012 08:50 AM

What about as an alternative, I flip the hitch upside down so that the Ball is higher. Wouldn't this lower my tongue weight considerably because the trailer is not tilting down as far?

wklose99 08-18-2012 08:52 AM

Also maybe i measured the tongue incorrectly. I used a bathroom scale and some planks of wood and tried to approximate the height of my Tow ball. I might try this again today and see what I come up with.

cpaharley2008 08-18-2012 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wklose99 (Post 328329)
What about as an alternative, I flip the hitch upside down so that the Ball is higher. Wouldn't this lower my tongue weight considerably because the trailer is not tilting down as far?

Then you may have sway...

cpaharley2008 08-18-2012 09:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wklose99 (Post 328330)
Also maybe i measured the tongue incorrectly. I used a bathroom scale and some planks of wood and tried to approximate the height of my Tow ball. I might try this again today and see what I come up with.

get one of these
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scales

wklose99 08-18-2012 09:32 AM

Is sway a result of tongue weight or is sway a result of the angle at which it connects to your ball?

cpaharley2008 08-18-2012 09:37 AM

Both, too light and the tail starts wagging and if not level more chance of sway, if both exists, then it becomes un towable.

honda03842 08-18-2012 10:14 AM

Bathroom Scale Tongue Weighing
 
Weighing the tongue.

I use a $10 Walmart's bathroom spring scale with a mechanical dial.

I begin by chocking the wheels and making sure the rear jacks are up and the trailer level.

I place the scale under the ball. I put a protective board on the scale but not covering the scale's dial.

I place our bottle jack on the scale/board and unscrew the top of the jack so it almost touches the receiver where the ball goes in. I place a small board on top of the bottle jack. I jack up the jack until the scale stop's moving and/or until the trailer's front jack is off the ground.

I then read the scale. Let's say 212 lbs.

I than lower the jack and read the scale again. This will be the weight of the boards and jack, say the scale now reads 15 lbs. Subtract this from the 212 and get the tongue weight 197 lbs in this pretend case.

Later in the day I'll post a picture of our setup.

I use a 6 ton bottle jack because it's easy. One could use a small sissors jack as well.

Don't hesitate to ask if this is not clear.

If you want the to spend the money, the device Harley recommends is excellent. Since we carry a scale to weigh ourselves, it allows us to weigh our tongue as we travel, handy since we're now in our 277th day of this loop of the USA.

wklose99 08-18-2012 10:42 AM

Is sway a result of tongue weight or is sway a result of the angle at which it connects to your ball?


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