RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: Tongue weight planning

RV Blog

  |  

RV Sales

  |  

Campgrounds

  |  

RV Parks

  |  

RV Club

  |  

RV Buyers Guide

  |  

Roadside Assistance

  |  

Extended Service Plan

  |  

RV Travel Assistance

  |  

RV Credit Card

  |  

RV Loans

Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Help and Support  |  Contact

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Towing

Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Tongue weight planning

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next
Sponsored By:
APT

SE Michigan

Senior Member

Joined: 06/09/2010

View Profile



Posted: 02/28/12 06:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mrgeezer2u wrote:

So if TW is the limiting factor on my TV, should I be looking at trailers that have less than 10% TW dry?


Yes. It is what I did with my current TT because for my last TV and may end up doing with my next TT because my 1000 pound hitch rating is much lower than the capabilities of the my current TV.

Assume the front outside storage will be full of stuff. Under the front queen bed is not very convenient to put things, but it is large usable storage. Otherwise, look at where the cabinets are inside the TT relative to the axles.


A & A parents of DD 2005, DS1 2007, DS2 2009
2011 Suburban 2500 6.0L 3.73 pulling 2011 Heartland North Trail 28BRS
2012 VW Passat TDI

Supreme Oppressor

Grande Prairie, Alberta

Senior Member

Joined: 01/25/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/28/12 07:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ignore dry weight. Nobody tows dry - even the delivery guy has to throw a battery on it for the emergency brakes. Make sure your vehicle & hitch can handle 15% of GROSS weight. Weight distribution wet and dry can vary a lot depending on water tank location and junk storage.

As long as your vehicle can handle it, too much TW is better than too little.


2006 F350 6.0 diesel cc lb srw
2004 Jayco Jayflight 30.5BHS

goducks10

There

Senior Member

Joined: 02/22/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/28/12 08:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mrgeezer2u wrote:

Thanks everyone.

Here is one that got me thinking about the lighter TW:

http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?location=rv&unittype=&page=floorviewertt&model=2703SS&choice=rk&nav=rec&name=2948&series=UltraLite

Notice the light TW ratio
6048 DW
474 TW

It longer than I'd like, but like i said, it just surprised me how light the TW was.

Still trying to find that "ideal" trailer.


The problem with that logic is ultimately in the end the numbers have to meet. Your tongue weight has to be somewhere between 10-15%. If your TT has an inherently low TW then you will need to do whatever possible to reach the goal of 10-15%. Same with an inherently high TW, you won't be able to put as much in the front of the TT as you normaly would. I see that TT has a DW of 6048lb, and a GVW of 7474lbs. That TT will be close to maxed out figuring you'll add 1000-1200lbs to it. Now take 13% of that 7474lbs and you'll have a TW of 971 lbs. No way around it, for a TT to tow right you need to try and have a 13% TW. Physics. Even if that TT only had a 5 Lb dry TW you still have to load it up to reach 13%. FWIW 10% or 15% may work, but using 13% puts you in the optimun range. If you only raise the dry TW by 13% you'll have 616lb TW. 13% of the loaded TT is 971 lbs. Your 355 lbs short of the needed TW.

Just out of curiosity , what your TV?

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

Senior Member

Joined: 04/09/2004

View Profile



Posted: 02/28/12 11:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mrgeezer2u wrote:

Thanks, but I understand all that. I guess I wasn't clear. Let's say I find two trailers with dry weights of of 5,000 lbs. We are looking a front bedroom models so storage will be in the forward compartment and under the bed. One has a dry TW of 450 lbs, the other a TW of 650 lbs. If I add 500 lbs of stuff, most of it will be forward in the trailers so the 1st one will now have a loaded TW of maybe 600 lbs while the 2nd one might be around 800 lbs. Each will have a loaded weight of 5,500 lbs.

Or am i wrong to assume that most of the "stuff" will disproportionally be added to the tongue?


I think what you'll find is the tongue-light trailers have a lot of storage up front. The tongue-heavy trailers will tend to have storage more toward the rear.

Either way, you REALLY need to plan for worst-case scenario, or 15% of the GVWR. If you do that it really doesn't matter.

Don't depend on "consumable" weight (i.e. water) to balance your trailer. If you travel with full water to get enough weight on the tongue, what happens when you use up all that water?


2002 Chevy 3500 DRW/8.1/Allison & 2000 Palomino B1500 popup TC

-Yes, I haul a popup with a dually. No, I don't think I need a dually to haul a popup.

BowHnter

Wisconsin

Full Member

Joined: 08/24/2010

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/28/12 11:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rarely do I see someone concerned with the GVWR. Many would be supprized how close to that rating they realy are when trailered. I'll give my current 08 F250.

GVWR 10K
BaseCurb wgt ~ 7635 from Book
Added weight Me, wife, teenage boys ~ 600 lbs
Truck Cap ~200 lbs
Hitch ~ 60 lbs
Diesel ~ 245 35gal
Stuff in the bed ~ 200 lbs
total ~ 1300 lbs This puts the curb wgt to 8940 lbs or
10k - 8940 = 1060 lbs to play with for hitched up weight.

This is the only rating that comes close. GCWR is 23.5 K and my axle ratings have plenty of reserve.

JK


To Ignore the Facts Doesn't Change the Facts


hawkeye-08

Northwest

Senior Member

Joined: 01/25/2008

View Profile


Online
Posted: 02/28/12 01:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

the short answer is it depends.

but you are on the right track, ask questions before buying and use your judgement.

I wanted a toyhauler at one time (not that we have toys to haul) for the large open space near the back... I might even have bought one if I had not asked questions and studied things first. Gnerally, Toyhaulers are very heavy on tongue until the toys are loaded, since I was not planning on hauling toys, it did not work out for us (too much tongue weight). My Dad has a TT with the wheels more towards the back (works well for him since he goes out in the woods and does not like trailers with wheels in the middle(previous trailers had issues with dragging the rear some of the places he likes. Having the wheels towards the back gives him more tongue weight and he has storage under bed in front, etc so he eventually upgraded to 2500HD truck to handle the tongue weight properly...

Ron Gratz

full time RVer

Senior Member

Joined: 12/27/2003

View Profile



Posted: 02/28/12 03:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mrgeezer2u wrote:

Thanks, but I understand all that. I guess I wasn't clear. Let's say I find two trailers with dry weights of of 5,000 lbs. We are looking a front bedroom models so storage will be in the forward compartment and under the bed. One has a dry TW of 450 lbs, the other a TW of 650 lbs. If I add 500 lbs of stuff, most of it will be forward in the trailers so the 1st one will now have a loaded TW of maybe 600 lbs while the 2nd one might be around 800 lbs. Each will have a loaded weight of 5,500 lbs.

Or am i wrong to assume that most of the "stuff" will disproportionally be added to the tongue?
It depends on where the "stuff" is placed.

If we assume the following:
Distance from midpoint between TT axles to ball = 20'
Distance from midpoint between TT axles to center of front storage area = 15'
Distance from midpoint between TT axles to rear storage cabinets = 12'

A load of 100# placed in the front storage will add about 100#x15'/20' = 75# to the TW.
A load of 100# placed in the rear storage cabinets will deduct about 100#x12'/20' = 60# from the TW.
Let's also assume weight placed in the kitchen cabinets will not significantly affect the TW.

Just as an example, if your 500# of stuff is distributed:
200# in the front storage areas,
200# in the kitchen cabinets, and
100# in the rear storage cabinets,
then the effect on TW would be +150+0-60 = +90#.

So, adding 90# to the "dry TW" of 450# would give a loaded TW of 540#, and adding 90# to the "dry TW" of 650# would give a loaded TW of 740#.
Assuming a loaded GVW of 5500#, the former would have TW% = 540/5500 = 9.8%,
and the latter would be 740/5500 = 13.5%.

Note: these estimates do not include the weight of propane. I think it would be a mistake to assume the brochure "dry weight" and "dry tongue weight" includes propane or battery.

Ron

JBarca

Dublin, Ohio, USA

Senior Member

Joined: 12/16/2004

View Profile





Offline
Posted: 02/28/12 06:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mrgeezer2u wrote:


Here is one that got me thinking about the lighter TW:

http://www.forestriverinc.com/nd/default22.asp?location=rv&unittype=&page=floorviewertt&model=2703SS&choice=rk&nav=rec&name=2948&series=UltraLite

Notice the light TW ratio
6048 DW
474 TW

It longer than I'd like, but like i said, it just surprised me how light the TW was.


Hi MrG

Thanks for the link, this helps. Now we can see what you are up against. That is a 32 foot long camper, dual slides in the back rear living area. And it comes with a dry TW of 7.8%.

If you go with that camper, heads up, you are going to need to load it up in the front to get the tongue weight up.

I stand by my prior comment that floor plan is a big part of where the loaded tongue weight will end up. You can only put so much stuff in certain places. And how the camper is balanced dry sets the stage.

I have a 32 foot rear living camper, just larger weight class then that camper and it is balanced totally different. The floor plan of the rear living camper has a large qty of storage forward of the axles with very little in the rear. That TT floor plan naturally loads more weight towards the tongue.

FR figured that out and they placed the axles forward further then normal. They are counting on you to load the front heavy. A TT that big and they only give you 1,388# cargo capacity. It is one way to make a "light" camper. Odds are high you will fill it real close to the GVWR. So on a GVWR of 7,474# and target of at least 13% TW that comes out to needing to end up with 972# TW or more ideally. And starting with a dry weight of 474# you will need to add at least 498# say 500# to the TW.

On my last camper, it too was a rear living layout. Only 26 foot and it started with a 14.5% dry tongue. See the floor plan here along with weight calculations on where you can put gear. I had the opposite problem. A lot of TW.... But the camper towed great, just I needed to trade my 1500 truck for a 2500 to hold it up.

You multiple the weight of the object by the factor shown to get the TW add or subtract.



I managed to put 300# of "stuff" in my front pass through cargo hole. And on that axle plan it added 213# to the tongue. Since your camper is longer, yours will add some more to the tongue for the same 300# of stuff. In your case if go with that camper you still need to get close to 280 to pushing 300# more on the tongue. Loading up under the bed helps and the cabinets next to the bed. The bath area and under the sink helps but not as much. The fridge and pantry weight goes to the axles. And battery and LP gas helps too.

You are going to have to "work" to load the camper to get the TW up where it will tow better.

You have not mentioned what your TV is. In the case of that floor plan, 32 feet and very light dry tongue weight you will need a good TW with a stable truck. You can add a Hensley or Propride hitch to offer some towing stability for lower TW in case you cannot put your "stuff" in the right places. They do add weight to the tongue due to the method they work on so your TV is still back to needing to potentially handle a 1,000# loaded TW.

Proper balance of a TT is a must for stable towing. If your truck cannot hold up the TW, now is the time to get a smaller camper or a bigger truck.

Good luck and hope this helps

John


John & Cindy

2005 Ford F350 Super Duty, 4x4; 6.8L V10 with 4.10
CC, SB, Lariat & FX4 package
21,000 GCWR, 11,000 GVWR
Ford Tow Command
1,700# Reese HP hitch & HP Dual Cam
2 1/2" Towbeast Receiver

2004 Sunline Solaris T310SR
(I wish we were camping!)


Gunpilot77

Killeen, Tx

Senior Member

Joined: 10/06/2000

View Profile


Offline
Posted: 02/28/12 06:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mrgeezer2u wrote:

........ should I be looking at trailers that have less than 10% TW dry? There are a few...not many.


Maybe in the brochures, but not in real life. Unless the trailer is really small, like a pop-up or those tear drop ones you can tow behind a Honda, it was towed to the dealer. If the tongue weight is too low when the trailer is empty it will sway. Transporters won't pull trailers that sway.

You are overthinking and/or obsessing about this too much. For the most part, RVs are designed for the proper weight distribution needed for towing. Think about this. There are thousands of RVs on the road being pulled by drivers who have never belonged to an RV forum or read an RV thread. They buy a trailer, load it up with their stuff, hit the road and enjoy the outing. RV wrecks are few and far between, and mostly happen when the driver is doing something stupid.

Pick out the floor plan you like. Look at the GVWR of the trailer and decide if you are comfortable towing that weight. Buy the trailer and have fun. If it turns out the tongue weight is too heavy or light, make the adjustment. This isn't rocket science.


Fifth wheel pulled with a pick-up

RCMAN46

NorthWest

Senior Member

Joined: 02/24/2008

View Profile



Good Sam RV Club Member


Posted: 02/28/12 01:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the end it does not matter what the unloaded trailer weighs. What is important if you want a trailer that will tow well is your tongue weight is about 15% or more when in tow configuration. More tongue weight is good if you want a trailer that will tow good. If in the end the TV can not handle the tongue weight then you need a bigger TV or a smaller trailer.

This Topic Is Closed  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 3  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Tongue weight planning
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Towing


New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2014 RV.Net | Terms & Conditions | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS