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Old 07-29-2015, 10:00 AM   #101
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U-Haul used to pit stickers on everything they renters saying:
"Max Speed 45 MPH".
They even had reverse reading ones that would right read in your rear view mirror.
When asked, one U-Haul employee even claimed that the police could give you a ticket for towing over the speed limit set by the rental agency.... Right?


I once went to pick up a truck that I had rented for a Saturday telling them that I needed it for about 4 hours. The contract charged for a full day and I was told if I didn't have it back in 4 hours I would be charged extra because that's what I had reserved it for and they already had it rented for the afternoon (for another full days rental)


After several run-arounds when renting from U-Haul, I now limit my business with them to buying packing boxes, but they also cut the quality and raised the prices on those as well.



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Old 07-29-2015, 03:11 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Perhaps my math is poor but I can not see how transferring 300 or so lbs of 650lbs total off the rear of a tug to the front of the tug "reduces the tongue weight once it is attached". My math suggest the trailers tongue weight is still 650 lbs & the tug is still having to take all 650lbs of it on.
Now, of course I'm new at this. But the first thought that comes to mind with tongue weight is that the trailer is too heavy in front. Why not just add weight to the rear? (provided, of course you don't exceed the trailer's maximum axle weight)

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Old 07-29-2015, 03:18 PM   #103
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NOOO...tell me I just didnt read this!!

Ok ok....just picking. Some may do that but I will warn you that some loaded Scamps are close to borderlines anyway on axles, tires etc. So I would NEVER add weight to the rear of ANY trailer to compensate for a heavy tongue weight-- unless it was an ABSOLUTE emergency and I had NO choice!

NOW, keep in mind when you're packing, IF there's "stuff" that HAS to go in the trailer, that would be the time to pack it towards the rear... but we pack VERY little in our Scamp when traveling. I pack the most that I can in my truck. On shorter (100 miles or so) I'm more lenient. But on LONG trips...500 miles or so...My Scamp probably doesnt have over 100 lbs added to it MAX!

That's just me .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Now, of course I'm new at this. But the first thought that comes to mind with tongue weight is that the trailer is too heavy in front. Why not just add weight to the rear? (provided, of course you don't exceed the trailer's maximum axle weight)

LP
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:25 PM   #104
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rear trailer weight/tongue weight

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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
NOOO...tell me I just didnt read this!!

Ok ok....just picking. Some may do that but I will warn you that some loaded Scamps are close to borderlines anyway on axles, tires etc. So I would NEVER add weight to the rear of ANY trailer to compensate for a heavy tongue weight-- unless it was an ABSOLUTE emergency and I had NO choice!

NOW, keep in mind when you're packing, IF there's "stuff" that HAS to go in the trailer, that would be the time to pack it towards the rear... but we pack VERY little in our Scamp when traveling. I pack the most that I can in my truck. On shorter (100 miles or so) I'm more lenient. But on LONG trips...500 miles or so...My Scamp probably doesnt have over 100 lbs added to it MAX!

That's just me .
Well, of course I'm not advocating adding bricks in there or anything! I DO just mean the items we normally pack. If it seems heavy in the front, move some of your junk farther back. But again (ask I clearly stated up front) I'm NEW at this, and was asking for info!
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:34 PM   #105
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And I said I was "just picking".

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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
Well, of course I'm not advocating adding bricks in there or anything! I DO just mean the items we normally pack. If it seems heavy in the front, move some of your junk farther back. But again (ask I clearly stated up front) I'm NEW at this, and was asking for info!
LP
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:47 PM   #106
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Hi Ellpea
There is a basic guideline to provide for good tracking and minimize/prevent sway that you have to have about 10+% of the trailers weight on the tongue. If it gets much below that the weight in the back will take over and you will have what is, technically, called "The tail wagging the Dog". If you look at the youtube video that was posted today in the thread titles "Not a Happy Camper..." you will see what the extreme condition can quickly become.


I mentioned just yesterday when I was very new at towing and tried to do just that with a utility trailer. Fortunately I was able to stop before an accident happened.



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Old 07-29-2015, 05:18 PM   #107
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The whole tail wagging the dog can come into play if the weight is extreme at either end. Just much more likely with the trailer lite on the hitch.

Know where your wheel wells are in your trailer and as much as possible try to keep weight near the imaginary line between them with about 10% more in front of it.

Ideal tow would be all the weight near the center with just a bit forward of axles, all very low. Worst tow would be massive weight on front tongue and bunch of stuff piled on back bumper. With AC on roof and cast iron in the upper cabinets on one side. If you watch the not happy camper video you might notice the large amount of stuff on the back bumper.

Loading, hitches, weight limits and all that goes into it tend to be the most contentious issue on the forum. Followed by tires. Just looking at the sheer number of posts for this thread in such a short time!

Bottom line is folks make choices and are responsible for their own decisions. It boils down to an individual assessment and decision on risks and solutions not a committee. An informed assessment beats a wild guess generally. If you need CPR who do you want? Trained and certified by the red cross or read a brochure about it online once.

Less experience you have under your belt, less first hand knowledge the more reluctant you should be to push the limits. People both do crazy things and get lucky and do what seems crazy but they have the skills and knowledge to make it work and work well. All three the noob, the crazy and the opposite points of view are just about as certain as death and taxes to show up in any thread on this subject.

Can't argue politics on this forum so we have to make do with what we have
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:35 PM   #108
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I'm assuming that the tongue weight is measured before anything heavy is added anyway.
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:39 PM   #109
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Manufacturers tongue weight is often a W.A.G. and, at the very best, is for a bare and empty trailer.
Your tongue weight is when it's loaded and ready to go, which is also why you need to know how much the entire rig weighs when it is loaded so you will know how much your tongue weight has to be. But, after you do it a few times it tends to work out OK.



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Old 07-29-2015, 07:38 PM   #110
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Know where your wheel wells are in your trailer and as much as possible try to keep weight near the imaginary line between them with about 10% more in front of it.

Ideal tow would be all the weight near the center with just a bit forward of axles, all very low.
Such important information and it is rarely mentioned.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:26 PM   #111
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Dry hitch weights listed by trailer mfrs can be off by quite a bit. For one thing, they may not include LP tanks and/or battery. And they often don't include optional equipment. They are somewhat of a starting point, but it's really advisable to weigh that hitch (usually you can use a bathroom scale for FG eggs' hitch weight) before you plunk down the money to buy, and again when you are loaded for camping.

It would be very dangerous to have, say, a 2300 lb 16' Scamp loaded so as to obtain a 165 lb hitch weight. A 2300 lb Scamp should have 230 lbs or more on the hitch (some folks get away with 200 lbs, but some of those same people get some rear end wiggles). But a 13' Scamp weighing, say, 1600 lbs with a 165 lb hitch weight would be good.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:15 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Hi Ellpea
There is a basic guideline to provide for good tracking and minimize/prevent sway that you have to have about 10+% of the trailers weight on the tongue. If it gets much below that the weight in the back will take over and you will have what is, technically, called "The tail wagging the Dog". If you look at the youtube video that was posted today in the thread titles "Not a Happy Camper..." you will see what the extreme condition can quickly become.
Hi Bob,
Thanks, I do understand this part, and definitely wouldn't suggest (or try) too much weight in the back. My question just concerned excessive tongue weight, and all of the WDH stuff. If some TV's can't take a WDH, and they also have a limit on tongue weight, my question was "could the problem of excess tongue weight be resolved by shifting some of the trailer's contents farther back." Not to reduce the tongue weight to less than 10%, but possibly to reduce it to the acceptable 10%.

I did see the Not Happy Camper (very sad) and also the Youtube video demo using a toy truck and trailer on a treadmill-type surface... demonstrating weight distribution and sway. Very informative and helpful!

Best,
LP
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:27 PM   #113
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Dry hitch weights listed by trailer mfrs can be off by quite a bit. For one thing, they may not include LP tanks and/or battery. And they often don't include optional equipment. They are somewhat of a starting point, but it's really advisable to weigh that hitch (usually you can use a bathroom scale for FG eggs' hitch weight) before you plunk down the money to buy, and again when you are loaded for camping.

It would be very dangerous to have, say, a 2300 lb 16' Scamp loaded so as to obtain a 165 lb hitch weight. A 2300 lb Scamp should have 230 lbs or more on the hitch (some folks get away with 200 lbs, but some of those same people get some rear end wiggles). But a 13' Scamp weighing, say, 1600 lbs with a 165 lb hitch weight would be good.
I was wondering about using a bathroom scale. I have the LilBea parked perfectly level. If I lift her up and put the scale under her front wheel (what's that called?) we should get an accurate tongue weight, right?

But (just because I wonder about EVERYTHING) does the angle of the trailer affect the tongue weight? It seems like it would... say I'm a noob (which I am) and I parked her with that wheel cranked way down and she was way lower in the back. Would that make the tongue weight lighter?

Again, not planning to ever do this under any circumstances, especially when towing, but would just like to get a handle on the physics of the thing.

LP
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:39 PM   #114
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Actually, you should do it on occasion as you change your loads. In the beginning this all means that you will want to find someplace local where you can get it weighed. Truck stops, gravel yards and scrap yards are good choices/


As long as it is fairly level the angle won't have any real effect on the reading. What I do with a home scale is to make a little bridge out of two small pieces of wood that press where the people feet go, and a piece of wood across that to rest the bottom of the jack on to get a weight (That wheel will come off, it's usually just a pin holding it on.


But Again, load it up first and get a total weight, then find out what the tongue weighs.



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Old 07-29-2015, 11:50 PM   #115
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How exacting are we-- usually ---with these numbers?
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:21 AM   #116
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I can't speak for "WE", but I keep my tongue weight a little on the heavy side just in case my total weight creeps up. I check tongue weight before trips, it takes 5 minutes when I hook up. My total weight is under 1500 lbs so I verify that my tongue is over 150 lbs.


For starters you don't want tongue weight under 10% of total weight. With some experience a few have allowed this to fall to 8%, but that's not considered a good starting point for the newbie.



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Old 07-30-2015, 07:11 AM   #117
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The ONLY way to be "exact" is to take your rv to a local (for me) Co-op store or similar that sells feed etc. I think someone mentioned some truck stops may have scales as well. For $5, they weighed everything I wanted: the tongue, each wheel and total. They even gave me the print-outs and I still have them. They may not have been 100% accurate (as I'm sure there's a tolerance) but it was close enough to me and it also let me know which side of my Scamp was the heaviest... handy to know when loading it.

Just a suggestion....

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How exacting are we-- usually ---with these numbers?
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:23 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Ellpea in CA View Post
I was wondering about using a bathroom scale. I have the LilBea parked perfectly level. If I lift her up and put the scale under her front wheel (what's that called?) we should get an accurate tongue weight, right?

But (just because I wonder about EVERYTHING) does the angle of the trailer affect the tongue weight? It seems like it would... say I'm a noob (which I am) and I parked her with that wheel cranked way down and she was way lower in the back. Would that make the tongue weight lighter?

Again, not planning to ever do this under any circumstances, especially when towing, but would just like to get a handle on the physics of the thing.

LP
I believe the trailer angle can affect your weight reading somewhat, so a level trailer is best when checking hitch weight. Ideally you weigh right below the ball socket; weighing at the jack can also throw the reading off a bit; imagine your friend holds one end of a sofa and you compare how heavy it feels for you to pick up the other end, versus if you pick it up near the middle.

Did you ever measure that hitch receiver opening to see if it's 2" across or if it's smaller than that?
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:16 AM   #119
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The ONLY way to be "exact" is to take your rv to a local (for me) Co-op store or similar that sells feed etc. I think someone mentioned some truck stops may have scales as well.
Just a suggestion....
This worked for me too. I used a truck scale for a while and then a CAT scale.

It is really nice to know exactly how the rig is sitting weight wise.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:16 PM   #120
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I ran across a very good article on a UK website about the dynamics of caravan (travel trailer) towing.

A point mentioned there that I'd sort of intuitively understood but never really thought through was the importance of minimizing the trailer's polar moment of inertia. The closer the heavy masses in the trailer (tanks, heavy appliances, tool boxes) are to the axle, the less it's going to have a mind of its own when towing. You still have to maintain proper tongue weight for stability, but you get more stability with more mass concentrated around the axle.

If you have a 31 foot Holiday Rambler you might as well give up now, but for those of us with small FGRVs it's pretty easy to make significant changes with relatively small changes in packing. One thing I've been looking at is that the fresh water tank could easily go four inches forward closer to the axle. Not only would this gain me some tongue weight with a full tank, but it would also reduce the variability of tongue weight with water tank full or empty and would reduce the polar moment of the trailer.

Likewise, shifting the battery from the back corner up near the axle seems a logical thing to do. If you can go from two propane tanks to one, so much the better. Shifting the spare off the back on a Casita seems a reasonable move as well, and would make the trailer better looking too.

Anyway, it's another point worth thinking about as you do your packing and planning.
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