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RE: I've almost got this towing thing down. One more ?

Note: We're never going to travel with water in the tanks. We're not using a generator. And, we're only going to need, maybe, one propane tank. That seems to be a big chunk of what begins to add up for many campers. Other than clothes, food, blankets, pillows, and, maybe, bicycles, we don't expect to add much else in the way of weight. Never might be a little unrealistic. You may find it much more convenient to carry water in your fresh tank, just for using your own bathroom while on the road. That would also involve putting weight in grey, and black tanks. You may be out camping in a campground during a time when they have issues with their sewer systems (backups, broken pipes, etc), and won't let you dump your tanks (been there, done that). That leaves you no choice but to tow with tanks full. Maybe you'd like to go camping in cooler weather. That time of year, there are campgrounds who won't offer water or sewer hook ups. You'd also need multiple propane tanks. The weight adds up really fast. Average load of dishes, pots and pans, flatware, bedding, camp chairs, BBQ supplies / equipment, spare parts, tools, groceries, water, etc, is 800 to 1000 lbs. Depending on location (in relation to the trailer axles), holding tanks can have a significant impact on your tongue weight. My trailer, for example, has fresh tank behind the axles, black and grey tank above the axles, and a galley (grey) tank, all the way up front. My tongue weight is lowest (975 lbs) when my fresh tank is full, and it is highest (1225 lbs) with no fresh water and a full galley tank. This kind of fluctuation in tongue weight would not be good if you are already on the edge of your payload.
handye9 08/16/20 02:42pm Travel Trailers
RE: Dodge RAM payload

Have you looked at Nissan's Titan XD ? They are bigger than the 1/2 ton regular Titan, but smaller than 3/4 tons, from the big 3. I don't know if they are still offering it, but, my 2018 came with 5 year, 100 thousand miles bumper to bumper, and lifetime power train warranty. I have an SV, crewcab, 4X4, 5.6 gas, with utility, towing, and convenience packages. The payload listed on my tire / loading sticker is 2098. A 2 wheel drive model would have about two hundred pounds more. Note: Whatever make /model you choose, the payloads go up, as the number of installed options go down. I have talked with Titan XD owners who have the diesel engine (heavier than gas engine) along with same options as I do. Their payloads are 250 lbs less than mine.
handye9 08/16/20 07:03am Travel Trailers
RE: weight distribution bar

Ace hardware usually has a good selection of pins, also.
handye9 07/02/20 04:10pm Travel Trailers
RE: sway

Most common causes of trailer sway (list not in any particular order). Trailer sway can be caused by any one, or a combination of two or more. Many are a simple check / fix. 1. Insufficient tongue weight. Must be minimum of ten percent of total trailer weight. 2. Towing trailer with nose up attitude. Trailer nose should be level to slightly down attitude. Maybe your hitch ball is too high. 3. Insufficient weight loss restoration on truck's front axle. When you hang the tongue weight on the hitch, the effects on the truck are like a see-saw, it adds weight to rear axle, takes weight off the front axle, and magnifies the pivot point at the hitch ball. Causes - weight distribution hitch is not rated for your tongue weight, or it is not adjusted correctly. If there is too much weight missing from front truck axles, even subconscious hand movement (could be simple as breathing) causes the trailer to wiggle on that magnified pivot point. 4. Truck is loaded beyond it's payload / GVWR. Look at your tire / loading sticker (on drivers door jamb). It will have a number for "max occupant / cargo weight". That is your truck's capacity to carry the combined weight of everything (including aftermarket accessories (bed cover / caps, bed liners, step bars, etc), added hitch / sway equipment and trailer tongue weight) and everybody that was not in it, when it left the factory. 5. Bad roads. 6. Tire sidewall flexing. If you've got (P) passenger rated tires, they are known for having softer sidewalls than a (LT) light truck tire. 7. Unbalanced / under inflated tires on truck, trailer, or both. 8. Wind. 9. Bent / misaligned trailer axles. This one is rare. Looking at your numbers (tow rating and trailer's dry weight), I suspect a weight issue. That "max tow weight rating" was calculated without passengers and cargo. They're calculation included a driver, weight distribution hitch, and the estimated tongue weight from a 7600 lb trailer, would use up all the truck's payload. If you add passengers and cargo, the truck no longer has payload to carry the tongue weight of a 7600 lb trailer and the towing capacity is reduced. Save your money, air bags won't fix that. If you've got cargo in the truck, it may help to move that to the trailer, preferably above or slightly forward of the axles. Average trailer load (dishes, pots and pans, camp chairs, clothes, bedding, BBQ equipment, groceries, water, etc) weighs 800 to 1000 lbs. Your trailer weighed 6300 when it left the factory, probably 6500 when it left the dealers lot, and fully loaded, it could weigh 75 - 7600 lbs. Tongue weight is NOT a constant number, it goes up and down during every trip. It averages 12 - 13 percent of loaded trailer weight, but can be higher. Depending on location (in relation to trailer axles), holding tanks can have a significant impact on tongue weight. I have a trailer (8300 loaded) with black / grey tanks above the axles, fresh tank behind the axles, and galley tank up front. My tongue weight can be anywhere between 975 and 1225 lbs. All depends on fluid levels in the tanks. Percentage wise I run 11.5 to 14.5 during any particular trip. True towing capacity is limited to the weakest link in the truck's overall ratings (GVWR, GCVWR, Payload, Tow Rating, axle weight, tire weight, and hitch weight). Most often the weak link is payload. Note: Your uncomfortable feeling could just be caused by being on the edge of the truck's capabilities. I've been there. I watched the weather very closely. Windy days were unpleasant, and if the weather report said breezy, I stayed off the road.
handye9 07/02/20 04:05pm Travel Trailers
RE: What is included in the tow package on 2019 infinity qx80.

Looking at an 2019 infinity qx80. Do both versions (standard and tow) have the same towing capacity and payload? Matt True towing capacity is limited to the weakest link in the tow vehicle's overall ratings. In most cases, the weak link is payload. Manufacturers advertised tow ratings and payloads are both generic "up to" numbers, and the owners manuals will often say no more than "when properly equipped". You can calculate an approximate loaded trailer weight that puts the vehicle at it's max capacity by first, look at the tire / loading sticker (on driver door jamb). There will be a number for "max occupant / cargo weight" (AKA payload). Take that number and subtract the combined weight of passengers and cargo (everything you're going to stuff into the car) and 80 lbs for added hitch equipment. The remaining payload is available for carrying tongue weight from a trailer. Divide that remaining payload by .13. That will be a ball park number of what loaded trailer weight will put that tow vehicle at it's max capacity. Depending on what options are installed on the vehicle, every one of them will have a unique payload number. Note: Tongue weight is NOT a constant number. Depending on what gets loaded, where it gets loaded, grocery levels, and on board fluid levels, it goes up and down during every trip. Give yourself some wiggle room. Here's a calculator that may help. http://www.towingplanner.com/Calculators/TowingPayloadEstimate
handye9 06/28/20 08:50pm Tow Vehicles
RE: Help choosing something like Cougar

As you've noticed, you don't want to base your trailer search on that mythical "max tow weight" rating. Here's a list of various pieces of information that will help in your search. 1. Max tow weight ratings are calculated without passengers or cargo. That's not how we go camping. As you fill your truck with people, pets, and cargo, it's true towing capacity is going down. 2. There's a tire / loading sticker (on your drivers door jamb) that shows your particular trucks capacity to carry everything / everybody you put in it or on it. That number is listed as "max occupant / cargo weight" (AKA payload). Depending on installed options, cab size, power train, drive train, suspension, axles, tires, etc, every truck has it's own payload number. Not all F150's, F250's, Ram 1500's, Ram 2500's, GM 15 and 2500 series, etc are created equal. 3. The weight of added hitch / anti sway equipment and tongue weight from a trailer are counted as cargo weight on the truck. 4. Trailer tongue weight is NOT a constant number. It fluctuates with loading and usage during every trip. Average is 12 - 13 percent of loaded trailer weight, however, it can be higher at times. You never want your tongue weight lower than 10 percent. 5. Trailer sales people talk unloaded and gross weights on the units they sell. Neither of which is likely to be what you'll be towing. The trailer will be heavier than unloaded weight, before it gets off the dealers lot, and it's very rare for an average camper to load up to the gross weight on the trailer. Average loaded trailer weight is 800 - 1000 lbs higher than it's unloaded weight. 6. Take your payload number and subtract weight of your family, weight of your cargo, weight of aftermarket accessories (if any) added to the truck, and 100 lbs for hitch equipment. Whatever is left over is payload available to carry trailer tongue weight. If you divide that available payload by .13, that will give you a ball park figure of what "loaded" trailer weight will put your truck at or near it's max weight. That loaded trailer weight could be considerably lower than your "max tow weight" rating. Note: Closer you get to max weight or over weight, the more unstable / unpleasant you towing will be. Give yourself some cushion.
handye9 03/22/20 10:52am Travel Trailers
RE: Newbie here with a towing question

When manufacturers calculate "max towing capacity", they do it without aftermarket accessories, passengers, or cargo. They also advertised that max tow weight with two key words, often missed by consumers. Those words are "UP TO". RV manufacturers are also guilty of advertising misleading information. They advertise trailers with their unloaded (dry) weights, along with some low hitch / tongue weights. Some of those hitch / tongue weights don't include a battery or propane, both of which add weight directly onto the tongue. They also don't tell you, tongue weight is not a constant number. It goes up and down during every trip. Your estimate of 500 lbs for stuff loaded in the trailer, could be a bit on the low side. Just filling a 30 gallon fresh water tank, adds 240 lbs. If you got in a situation where you had to tow with full black / grey tanks, you would have 500+ lbs right there. The average load (dishes, flatware, pots and pans, bedding, camp chairs, BBQ equipment, flashlights, batteries, groceries, water, etc) is about 1000 lbs. Average tongue weight runs 12 -13 percent of loaded trailer weight. Some trailers, based on their floor plan, or how you load it, can be a little higher. On your tire / loading sticker (on drivers door jamb), there is a number for "max occupant / cargo weight" (AKA payload). That is the truck's capacity to carry everything and everybody you put into, or onto the truck. The weight of added hitch equipment and trailer tongue weight are counted as cargo weight, on the truck. Any aftermarket accessories, you may have added to the truck, are counted as cargo weight. With these numbers and percentages, you can calculate how that trailer matches up with your truck. Take your payload number and subtract 100 lbs for hitch equipment, subtract you family weight, subtract aftermarket accessory weight (if you have any), and subtract any cargo that you would be carrying in the truck. Whatever is left over, is payload available for carrying tongue weight. If you divide that available payload by .13, that will give you a ball park number of what loaded trailer weight would put your truck at it's max capacity. Give yourself some wiggle room. Allow for those tongue weight fluctuations and the possible unexpected guest or cargo. The closer you are to going over weight, the more unpleasant your towing will be. You're looking at a trailer that will be close to 6000 lbs when it is ready to camp. Does it fit with your set up, only you can make that call. Do some of these calculations, and see where it falls.
handye9 02/24/20 08:33am Travel Trailers
RE: Please help me check my capacity math

Here is my TT: https://www.rvusa.com/rv-guide/2017-keystone-bullet-travel-trailer-floorplan-243bhs-tr29959 My truck: 2020 Toyota Tundra SR5 CrewMax w/5.7 V8 5.5ft bed https://www.toyota.com/tundra/features/weights_capacities/8261/8272/8275 CAT scale weight - 5860lbs total or 3320lb steer and 2540lb drive Tire loading sticker - max occupant + cargo 1270lb GVWR - 7200lb Hitch: Equalizer anti sway and weight distribution hitch I looked at specs on that trailer. 555 lbs is "dry" hitch weight. 4685 is unloaded trailer weight. 6500 is GVWR of the trailer. Here are some things you're missing: Average load of dishes, pots and pans, bedding, camp chairs, BBQ equipment, groceries , water, etc is 800 to 1000 lbs. That would make the trailer's loaded weight about 5685 lbs. More, if you're carrying bikes and toys. You should plan for trailers GVWR of 6500. Average tongue weight is 12 to 13 percent of loaded trailer weight, and it is not a constant number. Tongue weight fluctuates during every trip. A weight distributing hitch weight 80 to 110 lbs. The weight of your weight distributing hitch and loaded tongue weight are counted as cargo weight in the truck. Thirteen percent of 6500 (trailer's GVWR) is 845 lbs. Plus a WDH, would mean the trailer needs to use at lest 945 lbs of your payload. 1270 payload minus 945 tongue / hitch weight = 325 lbs available to carry passengers, luggage, car seats, cargo, etc. The closer you get to going over max weight, the more unstable / unpleasant your towing will be.
handye9 02/18/20 02:47pm Travel Trailers
RE: New to Towing what is safe to tow with 2012 Tahoe

Forget about towing capacity of 8200 lbs. That was calculated without passengers and cargo. That's not how we go camping. As you load up the tow vehicle, it's "true" towing capacity is going down. Your Tahoe has multiple (inter-related) ratings that dictate what the vehicle can carry or tow. It has a payload rating (what is can carry) that, if exceeded, it also exceeds GVWR and very likely exceeds GCVWR, even though the loaded weight of your trailer is lower than that mythical "max tow weight rating". The reason payload is very important in towing a travel trailer is, the tow vehicle is actually carrying (not towing) on average 12 - 13 percent of the trailer's weight. At times it is higher. On your drivers door post, there is a tire / loading sticker. It has a number for your particular Tahoe's capacity to carry the combined weight of people, pets, cargo, weight distributing hitch / equipment, and trailer tongue weight. That number will be listed as "max occupant / cargo weight capacity". Take that number and subtract your families weight, subtract 100 lbs for hitch equipment, subtract the weight of any aftermarket accessories added to the Tahoe, and subtract weight of car seats, luggage or anything else you would carry in the Tahoe. Whatever you have left is payload capacity available for carrying tongue weight. Once you know what your capacity is to carry tongue weight, divide that number by .13, and that will be a ball park number for loaded trailer weight that puts you Tahoe at, or near, it's payload capacity and it's GVWR. Say for example, you have 700 lbs payload available ---(700 divided by .13) comes out to 5385 lbs of loaded trailer weight. An 8200 lb trailer would need 1066 lbs available. When you go trailer shopping, keep in mind, sales people will be talking unloaded (UVW / dry) and gross (GVWR) trailer weights, neither of which are you likely to be towing. They do that because they have no idea what you're going to carry in the trailer. Only time you'll be close to UVW is when you pick up the trailer from the dealer. The average load is 800 to 1000 lbs, and that is usually below what the trailer could carry. Give yourself some cushion because (1) the closer you get to max weight, the more unpleasant towing will be, and (2) tongue weight is not a constant number. It fluctuates up and back down, during every trip. You're looking at trailers that are in the right weight class and should be good to go, unless you've underestimated your cargo / passenger weight, or, unless your Tahoe has a low payload capacity. Good luck
handye9 01/24/20 02:23pm Tow Vehicles
RE: RV Parks in or near Fargo, ND

Lindenwood Park is in town, right off I-94. It does not have full hookups (dump site separate from campsites) and is not open during cold weather. It is also located right on the Red River (between Fargo and Moorhead, MN) and it's normally underwater in the spring. Pretty much, all the campgrounds around there, are closed November to May. Full hookup are difficult to find. Weather permitting, Lindenwood opens May 1st. I grew up in Fargo, left there in 1974, have family in the area. Here's a link https://www.fargoparks.com/facilities-recreation/lindenwood-campground.html
handye9 01/21/20 06:10pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: RV sway

Here are some of the most common causes of trailer sway. They are in order as they came to mind, not as which is most common or not. Some are pretty much self explanatory, some would require you to do some research. 1. Weight distribution hitch (WDH) issues. (a) You're not using a WDH. (b) WDH is under sized for your tongue weight. (c) WDH is not set up correctly. When you hang your tongue weight on rear of the tow vehicle, the vehicle acts like a see-saw, adding weight to the rear axle, taking weight off the front axle, and it creates a pivot point at the hitch ball. The primary purpose of WDH is to (using leveraging) restore that lost weight from your front axle. If you are towing with too much weight off your front axle, even subconscious hand movement (on steering wheel) can cause trailer sway. The pivot point is magnified. The more lost weight the more issues with handling and control. Secondary purpose of WDH is to aide in leveling of truck / trailer combination, getting headlights back down where they belong, and reducing the effect on the pivot point. Note: Air bags, Timbren SES, and helper springs can also be used in leveling, BUT, none of them have the leveraging that restores lost weight on your front axle. 2. Overloading. There is a tire / loading sticker on your drivers door post. It has a number for "max occupant / cargo weight capacity" (AKA payload). That is your vehicle's capacity to carry everything / everybody that has been added to the vehicle, including trailer tongue weight and WDH. If you add up the weight of any aftermarket accessories, people, pets, cargo (in the truck), WDH, and tongue weight, and they are more than your vehicle's carrying capacity, you are overloaded. It's not uncommon to see an overloading situation, even when the trailer's gross weight is within the truck's tow rating. 3. Tires. (a) Under inflated, uneven pressure, or under rated for the load can cause sidewall flexing. This gets the truck shifting side to side and causes the trailer to sway (remember that pivot point in item one). Passenger (P) rated tires (designed for comfort) are known to have softer sidewalls than light truck (LT) tires, and they are not rated to carry as much weight. (b) trailer tires could also be an issue, if under inflated or under rated. 4. Insufficient trailer tongue weight. Most likely a loading issue. Too much weight behind the axles. Tongue weight should never go below ten percent of loaded trailer weight. Average is 12 - 13 percent and in the case of toy haulers, it is usually higher. 5. Bent rim or axle on the trailer. Rare, but it has happened. 6. Towing trailer nose high. Hitch ball is set too high. Maybe you need to just lower the ball, maybe you need a longer shank. 7. Bad roads and wind. 8. Bow wave from big rigs. 9. In a very rare instance, I think a controller could cause sway symptoms. However, that could only happen with an intermittent short in the controller, which is very unlikely. More rare than a bent axle or rim. In order to figure out your specific issue, you'll need accurate numbers from truck and trailer, while both are loaded for camping. Scale weights (a) truck and trailer with WDH applied (b) Truck and trailer with weight bars removed (c) Truck with passengers / cargo and without trailer. You'll also need truck payload number and GVWR. The weights add up very fast. First time I went to scales, I was quite surprised to find I was right on the edge of being overloaded, even though the trailer was 2,000 lbs under the truck's max tow rating, and I only had one passenger. Note: Tongue weight IS NOT A CONSTANT NUMBER. It fluctuates during every trip. Example: My trailer had advertised tongue weight of 880 lbs. During any trip, my actual tongue weight can be anywhere between 975 and 1200 lbs. That means my payload has to be high enough to carry that 1200 lbs, plus WDH (about 100 lbs), plus people, plus pets, plus truck cargo, plus aftermarket accessories (I have at least 200 lbs
handye9 12/08/19 12:55pm Towing
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