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Old 09-11-2020, 05:07 PM   #1
Fourbtgait
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Trailer loading information

Long time lurker, been towing various types of trailers for years. When younger and decades ago information was rare to find.
Reading the forum here and others, it is obvious many still do not understand. Especially when they read manufacturers literature and see empty weights. Trailer is a 2018 Passport RBWE, yours will vary. Tow vehicle is 2016 F150, 1872 pound load capacity. I basically empty the truck to tow, 2 people and a dog only.
So I thought to show as an example what I put together for our current trailer so I basically always know about where I am. I wish they had put the fresh water tank 4 farther to the rear. Note how the upgraded mattress and 2 Trojan T-145 batteries raise the tongue weight. We carry nothing under the bed, very little now in the pass through.
My wife thought I was nuts weighing the items always carried in the trailer, shown on page two. Weighed more than I thought.
Axles are pretty balanced though.
Also note how fresh or waste water interacts with the tongue weight. I move items in the trailer as needed to counter balance the loads. When leaving the woods, a lot of items are shifted to the pass through or onto the bed because the waste tanks are behind the axle.

Maybe it will help others understand what a trailer can or cannot do.

Comments?
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:33 PM   #2
Fourbtgait
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As a side note:
Though gvwr of the trailer is 6,500 lbs, the axles are rated at 3,500 each and it has 4 leaf spring packs which I believe from seeing on a site are rated over 3,000 pound capacity.Another item, when I was reading the trailer manufacturers handbook, the gvwr of 6,500 lbs ALSO includes the tongue weight. Totally surprised me, as I figured 6,000 on the axles PLUS the tongue weight. That makes more sense. But, no.
Thoughts are frame design?
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:28 AM   #3
notanlines
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If you give more thought to your gvwr of 6,000 lbs you'll realize that because the tongue weight can vary greatly, as does yours, the gvwr must be the stand-alone, very maximum weight for which the RV was designed. If left off the gvwr, the tongue weight could simply be loaded way, way beyond design spec's by loading up the pass-through and the bed with your wife's 'junk' and your travel necessities. (Ladies, be kind, please. That was just a little Wednesday morning humor.)
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:57 AM   #4
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It looks like you spent to a lot of time & energy in your chart but without actually weighing it it's not truly representative of what you have. Without weighing the rig you have no idea how the axles, springs, suspension and frame are distributing the weight.

I use a Sherline trailer tongue scale so I KNOW how much weight is on the tongue before hitching up. If you take the rig to a scale loaded for a typical trip then you have a baseline. Longer trip with more "stuff" then add to your baseline. The tongue scale will then tell you if you need to "adjust" the load to maintain the tongue weight ratio.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:38 AM   #5
Fourbtgait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notanlines View Post
If you give more thought to your gvwr of 6,000 lbs you'll realize that because the tongue weight can vary greatly, as does yours, the gvwr must be the stand-alone, very maximum weight for which the RV was designed. If left off the gvwr, the tongue weight could simply be loaded way, way beyond design spec's by loading up the pass-through and the bed with your wife's 'junk' and your travel necessities. (Ladies, be kind, please. That was just a little Wednesday morning humor.)
Good point although comment of wifes junk is uncalled for as most photos I have seen of pass throughs is guys crap.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
It looks like you spent to a lot of time & energy in your chart but without actually weighing it it's not truly representative of what you have. Without weighing the rig you have no idea how the axles, springs, suspension and frame are distributing the weight.

I use a Sherline trailer tongue scale so I KNOW how much weight is on the tongue before hitching up. If you take the rig to a scale loaded for a typical trip then you have a baseline. Longer trip with more "stuff" then add to your baseline. The tongue scale will then tell you if you need to "adjust" the load to maintain the tongue weight ratio.
Ummm, exactly why do you think I never actually weighed any of the trailer? Do you think I just guessed at what the tongue weights are for each scenario? That I just guessed at axle weights?
I also have a Sherline scale, 2,0000 I keep calibrated. Also have a cat scale 3 miles from the house.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fourbtgait View Post
Ummm, exactly why do you think I never actually weighed any of the trailer? Do you think I just guessed at what the tongue weights are for each scenario? That I just guessed at axle weights?
I also have a Sherline scale, 2,0000 I keep calibrated. Also have a cat scale 3 miles from the house.
Ummmmm, here's exactly why, you list them as "estimates" in your attachments. Your comment "so I basically always know about where I am. " would lead to the conclusion that you "actually" haven't weighed it.

I guess my ESP is failing me. How am I or anyone else supposed to know this if you don't share that information. What I do now know is your attitude. Sorry I tried to help.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:05 AM   #8
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I believe P.T.Barnum said it, although incorrectly. Like Marshall, I'm gone.
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Old 09-16-2020, 05:27 AM   #9
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To funny.
They can lock the thread now
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:25 AM   #10
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Marshall indicated he was joking when he made his "junk" remark. So the guys took your facts and figures wrong. Try and lighten up or you will not find the forum nearly as helpful and the folks not nearly as friendly. Welcome and I honestly don't care a lot about numbers but there are quite a few new folks who should as they are grossly overloaded and hence unsafe. Have a good one and stay out of the smoke best you can!
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:58 AM   #11
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Swap out that F150 for an F350 dualy diesel and you can carry anything in your camper in that pass-through and under the bed! OK, that isn't going to happen, I understand.

How about.... um ... traveling with empty tanks, fresh water and waste holding tanks. I've had 3 different travel trailers and now a fifth wheel, and when traveling with full tanks, YOU KNOW IT! As a general rule, we always travel with empty tanks, at the most, 10-15 gallons of fresh water in the tank for roadside bathroom stops. But, if you boomdock, well, that isn't practical either. You need to travel with full tanks. ... again the F350 will solve that problem too? Oppos, I did it again!

Just an assumption? You are using a weight distribution hitch? right? If not, that in itself will help distribute all the weight of the trailer more even, and then traveling with fluid in those tanks is not so noticeable. But even though I've towed with nothing but 3500 dualy's (chevy), (OK, I did it again), I still used weight distribution hitches (Equal-i-zer 4-point).

Now that I have a behemoth fifth wheel, I don't need a weight distribution hitch any more, but I still travel with empty tanks. As big and bulky as my rig is now, (hint, hint)... when my tanks are full, I can feel the difference towing.

There is much to be said about weights of both the trailer and the tow vehicle. 10% - 15% of the total trailer weight (completely loaded) should be on the tongue for a safe, no sway tow (of any trailer). Then the tow vehicle has to be able to safely handle that weight hanging from the back end and not cause an overload in the vehicle's total weight it can carry.

Meanwhile ... if you had an F350 dualy diesel .... well ....
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Old 09-16-2020, 07:34 AM   #12
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I think if you have to be so obsessed with the weight of every item you haul in, regardless of abuse junk it is, & where to place it for best load management that it's time for a truck to handle it & quit trying to make do with the one that ain't enough. It's kind of like me trying to fit in that 20 year old suit in the closet, it ain't happenin'!
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Old 09-16-2020, 07:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
I think if you have to be so obsessed with the weight of every item you haul in, regardless of abuse junk it is, & where to place it for best load management that it's time for a truck to handle it & quit trying to make do with the one that ain't enough. It's kind of like me trying to fit in that 20 year old suit in the closet, it ain't happenin'!
What I was thinking.. too damned much work
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:41 AM   #14
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I think if you have to be so obsessed with the weight of every item you haul in, regardless of abuse junk it is, & where to place it for best load management that it's time for a truck to handle it & quit trying to make do with the one that ain't enough. It's kind of like me trying to fit in that 20 year old suit in the closet, it ain't happenin'!
Watching the latest Hurricane news reminds me of people that tow overweight and then proclaim "they are fine, no problems. How did a hurricane coverage correlate to towing? Well those folks that live on the edge of the ocean are "just fine", except when disaster strikes and flattens their home. The person towing grossly over their trucks capability are "just fine" until they get into a situation when they're not.

Although both are preventable the difference is the folks living on the beach only endanger themselves and put their property at risk. The person towing can potentially endanger others.

JMHO
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Old 09-16-2020, 09:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dutchmensport View Post
Swap out that F150 for an F350 dualy diesel and you can carry anything in your camper in that pass-through and under the bed! OK, that isn't going to happen, I understand.

How about.... um ... traveling with empty tanks, fresh water and waste holding tanks. I've had 3 different travel trailers and now a fifth wheel, and when traveling with full tanks, YOU KNOW IT! As a general rule, we always travel with empty tanks, at the most, 10-15 gallons of fresh water in the tank for roadside bathroom stops. But, if you boomdock, well, that isn't practical either. You need to travel with full tanks. ... again the F350 will solve that problem too? Oppos, I did it again!

Just an assumption? You are using a weight distribution hitch? right? If not, that in itself will help distribute all the weight of the trailer more even, and then traveling with fluid in those tanks is not so noticeable. But even though I've towed with nothing but 3500 dualy's (chevy), (OK, I did it again), I still used weight distribution hitches (Equal-i-zer 4-point).

Now that I have a behemoth fifth wheel, I don't need a weight distribution hitch any more, but I still travel with empty tanks. As big and bulky as my rig is now, (hint, hint)... when my tanks are full, I can feel the difference towing.

There is much to be said about weights of both the trailer and the tow vehicle. 10% - 15% of the total trailer weight (completely loaded) should be on the tongue for a safe, no sway tow (of any trailer). Then the tow vehicle has to be able to safely handle that weight hanging from the back end and not cause an overload in the vehicle's total weight it can carry.

Meanwhile ... if you had an F350 dualy diesel .... well ....

I am impressed! EIGHT (8) emoticons in one post! : cool: (sorry, I get competitive...)
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:37 PM   #16
Fourbtgait
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Originally Posted by dutchmensport View Post
Swap out that F150 for an F350 dualy diesel and you can carry anything in your camper in that pass-through and under the bed! OK, that isn't going to happen, I understand.

How about.... um ... traveling with empty tanks, fresh water and waste holding tanks. I've had 3 different travel trailers and now a fifth wheel, and when traveling with full tanks, YOU KNOW IT! As a general rule, we always travel with empty tanks, at the most, 10-15 gallons of fresh water in the tank for roadside bathroom stops. But, if you boomdock, well, that isn't practical either. You need to travel with full tanks. ... again the F350 will solve that problem too? Oppos, I did it again!

Just an assumption? You are using a weight distribution hitch? right? If not, that in itself will help distribute all the weight of the trailer more even, and then traveling with fluid in those tanks is not so noticeable. But even though I've towed with nothing but 3500 dualy's (chevy), (OK, I did it again), I still used weight distribution hitches (Equal-i-zer 4-point).

Now that I have a behemoth fifth wheel, I don't need a weight distribution hitch any more, but I still travel with empty tanks. As big and bulky as my rig is now, (hint, hint)... when my tanks are full, I can feel the difference towing.

There is much to be said about weights of both the trailer and the tow vehicle. 10% - 15% of the total trailer weight (completely loaded) should be on the tongue for a safe, no sway tow (of any trailer). Then the tow vehicle has to be able to safely handle that weight hanging from the back end and not cause an overload in the vehicle's total weight it can carry.

Meanwhile ... if you had an F350 dualy diesel .... well ....
Again, this post and as are the ones that follow it are to funny. Buy bigger. Pity I paid cash for the truck and trailer I guess.
The truck has no issues pulling it, handles with perfect manners and yes, a WDH, 1200 lb capacity bars. Tanks always full out bound because of boondocking, no resorts for us to sit around a fire and listen to neighbors next door and no issues pulling over passes.
Ive had diesels before, ive had one tons so I know what they do and I know what this one can or cannot do. I have also had 5th wheel and 4-5 gooseneck horse or flatbed trailers.
Weight obsessed? To an extent, but it only took 4 hours to do all of the weighing, for the tongue weights, dumb bells work wonderfully and I get the exercise. The original intent was so that I automatically know approximately what the tongue weight is in a situation and can adjust, easy peazy. Sure, I can buy a new truck, but why spend the money they ask even for used trucks? This trailer won’t wear out the truck and as stated, pulls fine in the mountains.
Yes, the paper said weight estimates, some construed it to mean I guessed. But even Sherline scales tell you if the weight is not in midrange will be off. Sherline says if not perfectly aligned will be off. Do I trust the numbers for TW? Close enough, within 5% I figure, which makes it an estimate in my world. Even hand weighing items on a bath scale can be an estimate. 15.6? Go with 16? Oops, drank a bottle of water but didn’t pee? Weight could be off a pound.
I do have on a computer a spreadsheet for calculating trailer design weights, axle and tongue. Takes a lot of measurements and still need certain weights to operate properly so much quicker to just weigh several scenarios. I got hold of that to build some trailers.
I believe in original post I stated I had not seen where anyone had done such and I felt it could help the people new to trailers to realize what the real world is like. They “assume” it’s a perfect world, I thought it would help them to understand reality. Those people are always getting bashed on this site for using empty tongue weight. This gives them a chance to see reality. Heck, with mine, advertised tongue weight from factory was listed 452 or so. I pulled it home, weighed tongue, propane and 2 cheap batteries it was over 600, nothing in the trailer Thats reality.
And yes, I have a thick skin, go play on jeep forum or pirate 4x4 if you want to see harsh forums.
Take care
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:39 PM   #17
Fourbtgait
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Originally Posted by flybouy View Post
Watching the latest Hurricane news reminds me of people that tow overweight and then proclaim "they are fine, no problems. How did a hurricane coverage correlate to towing? Well those folks that live on the edge of the ocean are "just fine", except when disaster strikes and flattens their home. The person towing grossly over their trucks capability are "just fine" until they get into a situation when they're not.

Although both are preventable the difference is the folks living on the beach only endanger themselves and put their property at risk. The person towing can potentially endanger others.

JMHO
I totally agree.
They load both truck and trailer to max then have to buy a bigger truck.
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