Tongue weight with 21' with 6 volt batteries & bikes - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-11-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
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Tongue weight with 21' with 6 volt batteries & bikes

Our 21' is currently spec'd out with dual 6 volt batteries, bike rack ready, and front storage box. The 6 volt batteries are on the back bumper. Are we going to run into problems with too low of a tongue weight percentage if we put a two bike rack on the back? I figure the balance can be helped if we try to load the storage box with some of the heavier items. Anyone running this configuration yet?
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:25 PM   #2
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My 6 volts are in the street side dinette bench.
Last trip to the scales was 3600# on the axles and 460# on the tongue (no bikes).
I don't think 100# of rack and bikes would unweighted the tongue by much, but it's something to keep an eye on...look around for a scale you can use while you develop your loading procedure.
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Old 05-12-2014, 01:26 AM   #3
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Carl this may be of help. On my former Escape 19, I carried two bikes that weight a total of 66.4 pounds and the Thule rack was 23.1 pounds, total of 89.5 pounds. The tongue weight was reduced by 40 pounds when carrying the bikes. I haven't yet be able to do the weights with my 21.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:08 AM   #4
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Yes, I agree with PaulW, the batteries should be inside under dinette with venting. That said, I'd measure the tongue weight before adding any bikes. You could also add some liquid to your forward black tank, if additional weight is needed up front. Your fresh water is in the rear, filling that up will decrease your tongue weight. Sort of like a balancing act with adding and subtracting to keep the proper measurements.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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So batteries are really inside...

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulw View Post
My 6 volts are in the street side dinette bench.
Last trip to the scales was 3600# on the axles and 460# on the tongue (no bikes).
I don't think 100# of rack and bikes would unweighted the tongue by much, but it's something to keep an eye on...look around for a scale you can use while you develop your loading procedure.
Aha! I was wrong about where ETI does the twin 6 volts on a 21'. I would be less concerned about taking too much weight off the tongue since those heavy batteries are not clear out back. Thanks.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:30 AM   #6
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Carl, I don't have the dual 6V batteries in my 21, but I have weighed the tongue with and without bikes. My two bikes and rack weigh in at about 80 lbs, and when loaded, they lower the tongue weight by about 40 lbs. This makes sense when comparing it with Ricks 19 footer and 90 lbs of bikes. One note, the storage box is only rated to carry 100 lbs.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAfraser View Post
My two bikes and rack weigh in at about 80 lbs, and when loaded, they lower the tongue weight by about 40 lbs.
This makes sense because the leverage the bikes have, given the middle of the axles as the fulcrum, is about half of the leverage that the coupler on the tongue has... so this works generally: every two pounds on the rack will take about one pound off the hitch.

I suggest caution in this approach, because maintaing balance (the same tongue weight) by piling load out at the ends of the trailer makes the trailer inherently less stable and harder to control. A couple of bikes may not be an issue, but it can get out of hand.
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:20 PM   #8
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I agree Brian, you bring up a good point. Prior to loading up the bikes, (this was my first trip with them loaded) I rearranged my load. I had items in the storage box that didn't need to be there, I was about 50 lbs over my 500 lb limit, so I moved them to a new location under the dinette seats. This in itself shifted some load off the tongue. I didn't check the tongue weight after adding the bikes but when traveling with the Anderson set as before, I noticed some bouncing. I think I did just as you stated, made it a little unstable. On the return trip I lowered the tension on the Anderson by one thread for testing. It may have been my imagination, but it seemed to help with the bouncing. Have to get the Sherline out again!! Still learning.
Thanks Brian
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