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Old 02-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #1
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Watch your tongue! :P

Frederick L. Simpson over fiberglassrv.com published a list of trailer weighings from the past 4 years

I pulled out the Escape weigh-ins and it looks like there were some potential issues with hitch weight on about half the trailers, with three running very light, and two going slightly heavy on the hitch.


I calculated the hitch weight as a percentage of total weight. The shaded ones are below 9% or above 15% hitch weight. I am not sure what the manufacturer recommends but I have seen this published as a rule of thumb.

Are there different rules for fifth wheel hitch weight ratios?

Also not recorded was the level of fluids in each tank, but presumably these were the running weights that folks had actually towed with, so do give this some consideration!

It wasn't clear which of the trailers recorded as 19' were actually TT or fifth wheels. I expect most were 5.0.

Regards,

Matt

Source thread at Fiberglassrv.com
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File Type: png Escape Trailer Weights.png (34.2 KB, 182 views)
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

Hi: memobug...Thanks for the :P lashing !!! 10-15% is ok... The listed 5.0 seems to need Dr. Atkins help. How much can a 1/2 ton truck safely carry...good question? Alf
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

Frederick takes the weight measurements with the trailer unhitched from the TV.

A WDH transfers some of tongue weight to the trailer wheels and on the front end of the TV. It would seem that a WDH setup would alter the classic 10 to 15% rule of thumb. Does the rule of thumb still apply or is there another rule of thumb for WDHs?
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:58 PM   #4
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

I think the weight is still the same, it's just that it is more evenly distributed on the tow when using the equalizer hitch. So, I believe the rules still apply.

You can get much more towing info from the Sherline Trailer Towing Guide as a PDF at http://www.sherline.com/lm.htm

Sherline actually makes lathes, but the owner wanted to ensure his trailers were properly loaded, so his company came up with the hitch scale and started manufacturing them.

I noted that the 17s listed on the weight graphic generally came in close to 320lb at the hitch and 2800 for the trailer overall.

All is good.

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

gbaglo, the Sherline site is nice. But it raises a question. It states the for tandem axles the rule is 9% to15%. For a travel trailer the rule is 11% to 12%. So what to do with an Escape 19 foot, dual axle travel trailer? Split the difference 10% to 13.5%
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Old 02-17-2011, 12:22 AM   #6
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

I'm sure I read the range as 10 - 15 for a single axle. All my info is out in the trailer.

I've settled on 12 per cent as a target, but I'm not going to worry as long as I'm in the 10-15 range.

As in, I'm not going to stop and re-weigh the tongue after filling the fresh water, or after emptying the fresh by filling the black.

Escape Trailer Industries site specs are: 19' - approx. 256 hitch, 2510 trailer dry weight. 17' - approx. 250 hitch and 2100 trailer dry weight.

So, 12 per cent for either seems reasonable to me.

When I tried my new Sherline scale I found a hitch weight of 310 lbs. The trailer was hibernating so all the tanks are empty and there is nothing in the fridge, no beer under the bed.

I'll be weighing the hitch again after loading up for our first trip and probably redistributing and reducing weight. Until then, I'm working in a vacuum.

baglo

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Old 02-17-2011, 01:49 AM   #7
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

Here's a copy and paste of the chart
RECOMMENDED HITCH WEIGHT PERCENTAGES

TYPE OF TRAILER
PERCENT OF WT. ON TONGUE

Single Axle
10% minimum/15% maximum

Tandem Axle
9% to 15%

Travel Trailer
11% to 12%

5th Wheel
15% to 25%

So the real question is what's the difference between a single axle and a travel trailer? Maybe the single axle is any non-travel trailer, like a U-Haul. And that single axle travel trailers (like the marvelous Escapes 13, 15 and 17) have its own weight guidelines. If this is true, then logically, a tandem axle would be a double axle utility trailer and the Escape 19 would fall in the travel trailer guidelines.

Overall, it sounds like any Escape (except the 5.0) should be fine in the 9% - 15% range.




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Old 03-01-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

Does the torsion rubber ride suspension on the Escape trailers allow greater leeway on the hitch weight percentages?

I have not found any guidlines that differentiate between trailers with leaf springs and torsion rubber. I found the Escape is much more stable than the smaller utility trailers that I have with leaf springs. It seems that one would have to be more concerned about load balance with a suspension system more prone to oscillation. I wonder if these rules of thumb are too conservative when applied to the Escape. It seems the focus should be on the capabilities of the tow vehicle and keeping enough weight on the hitch that during acceleration there is still downward force on the ball as to not rely on the ball locking mechanisms.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:52 PM   #9
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

Hi: Robin... My take on the TorFlex tortion tube axle is weight related. Much lighter than springs and shackles. The Escapes positioning of the axle rearward, the water tank placements and propane tank location plus lower center of gravity have as much to do with positive tongue weights. Therefore the style of, and number of axles is just one part of the total stability equasion.
As we also know the numbers of fiberglass trailers produced per year is small in comparison to the stickies which may impact on the towing rules of thumb. This is looking at my thumb which is always pointing up for fiberglass trailers in general and Escapes in particular!!! Alf
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:28 AM   #10
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Re: Watch your tongue! :P

Rules of thumb are great, if you are measuring your thumb.
There must be something more accurate if you are measuring anything else.

Doug
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