Real Tongue Weights on a 21' - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-30-2018, 10:44 AM   #1
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Real Tongue Weights on a 21'

We're about to order a new 21' Escape. In the past we've had a 16' Scamp, 17' Casita, 25' Bigfoot and now a 1995 Lance. The Bigfoot had too much tongue weight and we always have to empty the grey/black and fill the fresh tank on the Lance to get to 10% and decent towing. We carry a Sherline scale with us.

We will be purchasing a pretty well decked out 21' . For those who have a 21', what is your measured tongue weight?

Thanks,

Perry
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Old 06-30-2018, 10:56 AM   #2
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For those who have a 21', what is your measured tongue weight?
Tongue weight on our 2016 (classic) 21 is right at 500 lbs. We have most of the options on ours (including front storage box), except for solar and electric tongue jack. Storage box just has hoses, leveling legos and chocks.
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:14 AM   #3
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Mine (classic) was at 500 lbs, but you can lighten that somewhat with filling the fresh water tank in the rear.
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:16 AM   #4
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Mine (classic) was at 500 lbs, but you can lighten that somewhat with filling the fresh water tank in the rear.
I don't know what the magic is about 500 lbs, but that is also the tongue weight when fully loaded of my 2017 (new generation) 21. Trailer weight is 4600 lbs.

There are 11 Escape 21's listed on my spreadsheet with an average tongue weight of 452 lbs.
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Old 06-30-2018, 02:47 PM   #5
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My 2018 Escape 21 tongue weight is 440 lbs (using a Sherline scale). That is unloaded with the tanks almost empty. We don't have the roof top AC or Solar, but we do have the front storage box. The weight of our built trailer empty is 3295 lbs, which I realize is lighter than most.
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Old 07-04-2018, 01:49 PM   #6
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I am building a mount for my Honda generator for the rear carrier of my Escape 19. I was thinking about the impact on tongue weight so I got a Sherline scale to check. I first weighed the tongue and noted the weight at 420 pounds. Then I got to thinking (always dangerous) and realized that I had the equalizer bars and the tow vehicle stinger in the front storage box, so I took them out and re-weighed, and the weight was now 405 pounds. Is tongue weight defined as the weight not including hitch parts or should the equalizer bars and/or stinger be included since they connect to the trailer and weigh down the tow vehicle?
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Old 07-04-2018, 02:17 PM   #7
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I think you may have to hook up the trailer without the bars, have the trailer weighed and then do the same with the w/d set up. You will then see the impact of the w/d redistributing some of your tongue weight forward to your tow and rearward to your trailer. Then do the same with the generator on the rear. This should give you you answer.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:39 AM   #8
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Just before Osoyoos we weighed our 21 tongue. It was 715 lbs. We have a Honda 2000i and an additional 2 gallons gas on top of a metal box around the propane tanks. The black, tank was about 1/2 full.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:49 AM   #9
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That is heavier than most, do you have any issues with the truck rear suspension or do you use a w/d set up?
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:06 PM   #10
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That is heavier than most, do you have any issues with the truck rear suspension or do you use a w/d set up?
Our TV is a Tundra with Super Springs installed. We use a regular hitch with an anti-sway control bar. We get about an inch of rear end drop when hitching up the trailer.
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:31 PM   #11
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I think you may have to hook up the trailer without the bars, have the trailer weighed and then do the same with the w/d set up. You will then see the impact of the w/d redistributing some of your tongue weight forward to your tow and rearward to your trailer. Then do the same with the generator on the rear. This should give you you answer.
I think I was not clear on my question. My original question was: is tongue weight defined as the weight placed on the ball of the tow vehicle, that is, the weight of the trailer and not the weight of the trailer plus the stinger? (My stinger is about 50 pounds so this is a substantial weight to deal with.)

The second question is: if I weigh the tongue with a Sherline scale, that is the tongue weight, right, and does not affect the distribution of that weight using a weight distribution hitch? In other words, once I determine my tongue weight using a scale, that weight is what I want to be 10-15% of the total weight of the trailer, regardless of whether or not I use a weight distribution hitch? And the total weight is the sum of the tongue weight and the weight on the tires?

If this is true, then I would need to determine the tongue weight when the trailer is not hitched to anything, then weigh the weight of the axles of the trailer on a scale without the weight distribution bars connected, and then add the two numbers together to determine the total weight of the trailer. Do I have it defined right?
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:54 PM   #12
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I think I was not clear on my question. My original question was: is tongue weight defined as the weight placed on the ball of the tow vehicle, that is, the weight of the trailer and not the weight of the trailer plus the stinger? (My stinger is about 50 pounds so this is a substantial weight to deal with.)

The second question is: if I weigh the tongue with a Sherline scale, that is the tongue weight, right, and does not affect the distribution of that weight using a weight distribution hitch? In other words, once I determine my tongue weight using a scale, that weight is what I want to be 10-15% of the total weight of the trailer, regardless of whether or not I use a weight distribution hitch? And the total weight is the sum of the tongue weight and the weight on the tires?

If this is true, then I would need to determine the tongue weight when the trailer is not hitched to anything, then weigh the weight of the axles of the trailer on a scale without the weight distribution bars connected, and then add the two numbers together to determine the total weight of the trailer. Do I have it defined right?
Or, if possible at the scale you are using, simply disconnect the tow vehicle, drive the tow vehicle off the scale, leaving the trailer on the scale for its actual weight.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:58 PM   #13
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I found Frederick Simson's postings "Trailer Weights in the Real World" in the Fiberglass RV forum. His method is:

Weigh your Trailer's Axles while hitched (but with any WDH bars removed)
Weigh the tongue
The sum of the two is the total weight.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:58 PM   #14
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I think the question may be ( since I have the same question ), if my WDH and bars weigh 68 lbs. and the Sherline scale comes up with 320 lbs for the hitch weight, does that make my tongue weight 388 lbs? Or does the redistribution of weight result in a different number?
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:14 PM   #15
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I think the question may be ( since I have the same question ), if my WDH and bars weigh 68 lbs. and the Sherline scale comes up with 320 lbs for the hitch weight, does that make my tongue weight 388 lbs?

No. Your hitch weight is your hitch weight, 320. The WDH distributes part of the 320 to the front tow vehicles axles. You will need to reduce the 68 from your payload weight like you would with the hitch weight and all items within your tow vehicle.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:51 PM   #16
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Or, if possible at the scale you are using, simply disconnect the tow vehicle, drive the tow vehicle off the scale, leaving the trailer on the scale for its actual weight.
I think what I will do is weigh the rig both with and without the WDH bars in place since I have a tongue scale. I am curious what the difference will be, as well as what the trailer weight is without the WDH bars in place.

The scale gives you two weighings for one price.
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:53 PM   #17
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No. Your hitch weight is your hitch weight, 320. The WDH distributes part of the 320 to the front tow vehicles axles. You will need to reduce the 68 from your payload weight like you would with the hitch weight and all items within your tow vehicle.
A purely academic question here, but doesn't a weight distribution hitch reduce weight on the rear axle of the tow vehicle by redistributing that weight, proportionally, depending upon distances to: 1) the front axle of the tow vehicle AND 2) the axle(s) of the trailer? The WDH forces a flex in the middle to reduce weight in the middle and redistribute that weight, to my thinking, to BOTH ends. I don't think a WDH can make all of that redistributed weight go in only one direction. Am I missing something? It would be interesting to have a set of portable single axle scales, like the DOT uses to weight 18-wheelers on the side of the highway, and weigh each axle individually without the WDH, and then weigh again with the WDH. I bet at least some of that weight that leaves the rear axle of the tow vehicle shows up on the axle(s) of the trailer. What say you, physics majors and engineers? Again, purely academic curiosity....
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:10 PM   #18
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You are correct. It goes both ways, forwards and backwards.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:05 PM   #19
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On the scale

Narrowing down my tongue and tow weights this week. I will go to my local sand plant and pull on the long scale with the trailer without any water on but full propane. She will punch in the weight. Then I will pull off and uncouple the trailer out of everyone's way. Pull back on the scale. Highlander will be full of fuel but no other cargo. The scale lady will punch that weight in. Go around the back and hook trailer back up. Go inside scale house and she will give me the weight ticket and I will give her a loaf of zucchini bread and deduct one pound from vehicle weight ( kidding). Go home and drop trailer in driveway and weigh tongue. Add water to fresh tank 5 gallons at a time after hot tank fills. Add water weight to trailer weight and determine lightest tongue weight. Water in fresh tank behind axle on 21 reduces tongue weight. Weigh stuff I haul in Highlander and Escape to get final weights. Record data because I can't remember yesterday most of the time.
Might be right, might be wrong, works for me.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:04 AM   #20
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He has a point, tho, the 21 is marginal at best with a primarily FWD unibody Highlander. heck, pulling an almost empty E21 (but with mostly full water) with my Tacoma 4x4 6-speed 4.0L V6 that has airbags felt marginal, I went out and got a F250 diesel that gets better mileage towing or not.
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