Reducing tongue weight on a 21’ by LOADING differently - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-22-2016, 06:11 PM   #1
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Question Reducing tongue weight on a 21’ by LOADING differently

Reducing tongue weight on a 21’ by LOADING differently

Hi all

We will have a forthcoming 2017 - - - 21’ Escape. (will order when ordering opens)

Tug is a Acura MDX with factory tow package. 5000 lb max, 500 lb max tongue weight.

AWD, and 300 hp (10% more than the peppiest Highlander)

Prodigy P2 proportional brake controller.

Will get ETI to install the e2 Fastway WDH with built in sway.
They recently said "that one is best for the 21'" (that they sell)

Have ordered a Shureline LM 1000 scale, and will be very careful about measuring & watching tongue weight.

Az Jack (and many others) say their 21’ loaded is about 4,200 gross.

No, I am not going to change the tug now… so don’t try to convince me to.

Numerous people tow with a Highlander, and that has the same max weight capacity (5,000 & 500) as our tug, and 10% less horsepower. (270 hp vs our 300 hp V6)

Will be getting dual 6v batteries in the 21’ (they are in rear dinette seats, i do believe, on the 21’)

will be getting factory installed solar.

so those things put some weight at the back.

We also try to minimize towing with full black & grey tanks any distance… (even though we do mostly boondocking….. I just do the research to find a close by RV dump to dump ASAP after heading towards home)

Will rarely have a bike rack on the 21’ Escape, however.

QUESTIONS:

one) Wanted to get some clever ideas about how to reduce our tongue weight (* * if need be* * )

Of course how I load the stuff… but… any clever ideas?

two) Where is the fresh water tank located? I know the amount of water in that can (?) reduce tongue weight, depending where it is.

three) on our MDX the hitch receiver is about 17” off the ground (to the center of the receiver)… I assume the e2 Fastway can be set up by ETI to account for this, and make the ball the right height for the 21’ Escape?

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate this forum, and all the good people on it.

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Old 02-22-2016, 06:18 PM   #2
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Does your Acura specifically list a 500# max tongue weight? The Highlander specifies max trailer weight at 5000# and total weights of trailer, cargo, passenger, and vehicle (GCVW) but it makes no mention of max tongue weight. Since safe tongue weight can range up to 15% a trailers that weights 5000# could have a safe tongue weight as high as 750#.

With the WDH you will be moving weight off the tongue and onto the front wheels, so it all gets complex. Strangely Toyota says a Highlander only needs a WDH if the trailer weight is over 5000# - which would therefor be over the max weight. I figure they copy and pasted that out of some other manual.

We're planning on a 21' next year too, so I'll be in the same situation as you.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by thoer View Post
Does your Acura specifically list a 500# max tongue weight? ...
Yes, indeed.

I have a WDH with our 17' Casita, and i LOVE it... the WDH is, to me, an important thing, for a bunch of reasons. But that is a different debate, for a different thread.

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Old 02-22-2016, 07:26 PM   #4
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The fresh tank is in the rear, so if you travel with it full it should reduce your tongue weight. Skip the front storage box that should save a lot of weight, but be careful, too light will result in sway.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:33 PM   #5
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I don't think that there is an tongue weight problem with the 21'. Should be easy to have 10-15%.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by float5 View Post
I don't think that there is an tongue weight problem with the 21'. Should be easy to have 10-15%.
It's easy to get up there - no problem getting high enough. I think the problem to be avoided in this case is going too high in tongue weight. 15% of 4200 pounds would be 630 pounds... way too high for the tug.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:48 PM   #7
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yeah I'm hoping to be about 11% ..... 11% of 4200 is 462 lbs.

and yes the WDH will "lighten" the hitch weight, sort of.... but still I want to be in a good zone.



i think (?) i will get the front storage box, but only put light-ish things in it....

I also have never ever used more than 1/2 a bottle of propane on any trip.... so maybe the changeover 2nd one could be mostly empty..... Hmmmmm

or maybe even remove it, if need be......
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
Where is the fresh water tank located? I know the amount of water in that can (?) reduce tongue weight, depending where it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The fresh tank is in the rear, so if you travel with it full it should reduce your tongue weight.
All Escape fresh water tanks are located under the floor, behind the axle(s), up in the step up in the floor in those models having that step. The 21' floor doesn't step up, but the front of the tank (as I recall) is roughly where the frame steps up, around the back of the wheel wells (fender openings). That puts it maybe one-quarter as far from the effective axle location (midway between the two set of wheels) as the coupler, so the amount water in that tank reduces the tongue weight is about one-quarter of the weight of water. For example, 30 US gallons or 250 pounds of water in the tank takes roughly 62 pounds off the hitch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Skip the front storage box that should save a lot of weight, but be careful, too light will result in sway.
With a published dry hitch weight of 360 pounds (of only 3140 pounds of dry and empty trailer), it seems like it would be hard to end up with less than about 10% tongue weight unless excessive load is hung on the back bumper... but some people do that
That 360 pound spec is presumably without the storage box, because it is optional.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by thoer View Post
With the WDH you will be moving weight off the tongue and onto the front wheels, so it all gets complex.
Load is transferred, but all the mass stays in the same place. Hitch weight limits apply to the load on the hitch before the WD system is applied, so in that sense it is simple to know whether or not you are within the limit.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post
three) on our MDX the hitch receiver is about 17” off the ground (to the center of the receiver)… I assume the e2 Fastway can be set up by ETI to account for this, and make the ball the right height for the 21’ Escape?
Receiver heights are normally measured to the top of the receiver opening; the amount of "rise" or "drop" of a ball mount is how far the mounting surface for the ball is above or below the top of the opening. So that makes the MDX receiver height 18".

A 21' needs (by coincidence) about a 21 inch ball height. That's to the top of the ball, so allowing for a ball about 3" tall (so the base of the ball is 18" off the ground), you would need zero rise (or drop), which should be no problem at all.
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