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Old 12-23-2013, 11:31 PM   #31
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Location: Cobble Hill, British Columbia
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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My first WDH/antisway hitch is an Anderson hitch so not much to go by. We have a Highlander and a 19 and I think a WDH/antisway should be considered unless you have a midsize or bigger pickup then it is probably not needed. I wouldn't rule out other WDH/antisway hitches, I think I would have been happy with any of the major brands.

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Old 12-24-2013, 08:52 AM   #32
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Trailer: 2005 Escape 17B
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Tow Vehicle Peculiarities

Tremendous response to my inquiry. I never expected this much interest. Thank you all for participating and sharing your knowledge and experience. I confess that the towing part of this new adventure is one that I want to get right - the safety implications of not doing so are just not acceptable. I now have some understanding of the issues of a WDH and unibody construction - I don't know how I would gained this knowledge except from a forum like this where people generously offer unbiased information and their sole motivation is to help out. Thanks again.

The Audi manual reads exactly the same as the VW restrictions. So in order to avoid potential loss of warranty and accepting that the Audi engineers know more about the vehicle than anyone else seems to be the the prudent approach. We will proceed without the WDH and configure the total trailer weight and distribution in a way that hopefully will avoid sway and result in a balanced and level ride. I will add an anti-sway device of some sort. If problems develop the Anderson hitch set at a low level of weight distribution seems a reasonable approach.

This leads to a completely different line of inquiry with respect to estimating trailer weight and balancing the weight to optimize the tongue weight. So if I can continue to impose on your patience perhaps I can lay out what I think we will do and see what you think.

The unloaded weight of the 15 B is 1750 lbs.

Optional equipment as follows:

Insulated walls and windows 100 lbs
Insulated floor 100 lbs
Extra window in front 50 lbs (my estimate)
Dual 6v batteries 120 lbs
single propane tank 60 lbs
Front storage box 100 lbs
Other small extras 75 lbs

Total 2355

Fluids 200

Provisions, clothing
bedding and other 400

Total 2955 say 3000

Tongue weight at 12% 360

So some questions:

Any experience with tongue weight where the propane tank, two batteries, storage box and the inevitable stuff that will accumulate in the box makes it too heavy?

Any possibility on the 15 B to put the batteries on the back bumper or will that throw out the balance of the trailer given the placement of all of the tanks and other equipment? I expect that the Escape folks have already sorted this out.

Is my estimate of fluids on board while travelling realistic? I am assuming that the hot water tank is always full (60 lbs) the fresh water is usually half full (60 lbs) and waste water makes up the balance (80 lbs). Conversely should I allow for full tanks and make sure that the trailer balance can deal with that possibility? I have absolutely no experience here so this my shot in the dark.

Is my estimate of provisions, personal items and other equipment for two adults and a small sized dog at 400 lbs realistic?

Can't think of anything more and this is probably too much anyway. By the time this process is over I will owe a lot of people big time and will definitely be happy to offer some hospitality in return.

The community feel of this group is a very pleasant and unexpected bonus of opting for the Escape trailer.

Happy Holiday to you all.


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Old 12-24-2013, 09:01 AM   #33
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The Sherline scale mentioned in post #2 should help you keep your tongue weight in check. I'd drop the dual six volts and ask for a single oversized 12v inside or ask if Escape can install the dual 6's on the rear like it does on the 17B. As far as tanks, you can always travel with empty waste tanks and empty h/w and fresh tanks, just fill up at destination and dispose at destination.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #34
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Unless there has been a change in the construction , that front storage box is appr. 45 pounds ( empty ). Fifty pounds may be a bit generous for the small window .
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #35
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There is a pretty good discussion I started with many adding their voices at:
Actual Weight 15B

The 15B IS configured differently and does add more weight to the tongue than one would expect especially if adding the box and dual batteries. Frankly, I would KEEP the dual batteries and I like the fact that they are inside and out of the sun in extremely hot climates. As indicated in the thread, I finally determined that I did NOT want an empty fresh tank, because that is the one way I could easily manage my tongue weight. We do not carry a lot of extra stuff, using a lot of our things from the days of backpacking. We found that we needed to have the fresh tank 2/3 to full to keep the tongue weight within specs. Again, with the 15 B, the sink, stove, bath, black and grey tanks as well as most of the fridge is forward of the axle and when you add dual batteries and the box it puts much of the weight forward. We have a SINGLE propane, which has proved to be more than enough. Keep the dual batteries and get a single propane. We have always run out of electrical juice before we ran out of propane and even when in primitive areas where there was no electricity, we almost always found a gas station with propane. Oh and the one thing we didn't get that I am making arrangements to add is the INSULATION underneath. Get it! Even in October in Utah the night temps dropped to the low 30's the floor was the coldest part of the trailer. Good luck and best wishes on your order.
Tim and Julie
2013 Escape 15B
2014 Nissan Frontier, Previous 2012 Santa Fe
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:50 AM   #36
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While I'm a big believer in actual weighing both the trailer & hitch weight, obviously you can't do that until you get it. That said, I have a 17B with AC, dual propane & 6V batteries, solar, storage box, and just about every option Escape offers. Dry weight is 2100 lbs, actual weight with 1/3 fresh water & empty black & gray packed for a long trip - 3010 lbs & 348 lbs tongue.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:55 AM   #37
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Why wouldn't an Escape 19 work, doesn't dual axles mitigate some of the tongue weight and with the bigger unit the front box could be eliminated and battery inside, may be able to keep it at 3000# loaded and a tongue weight of 300#.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:26 AM   #38
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Excellent planning approach!

I suspect that most of the equipment weight allowable are conservative - higher than required - which is the right direction to err but could explain the discrepancy to observed weight of a comparison unit. The battery weight, for instance, looks like the total for the pair rather the difference between the single battery (already included in the base weight) and the pair. A single propane tank at 60 pounds would be 5 pounds heavier than a typical 30-pound-capacity tank; a filled 20-pound-capacity tank would be about 38 pounds.

Batteries plus propane on the tongue do tend to add up, and hitch weight capacity may be the only relevant limit for the tug.

The Escape 17' is unusually long in front for it's length, so the battery is placed on the back for balance. The Escape 15' is the opposite - unusually long in the rear - so a rear battery placement would be unusual and perhaps inappropriate.

The usual assumption for capacity planning - the basis for the Cargo Carrying Capacity shown on RV loading placards - is that the water heater is full, the freshwater is full, and the wastewater is empty... any wastewater was freshwater, so the carried total should never be more than the freshwater tank volume. For balance, I would want to calculate the situation with the fresh tank full (others empty), then with all of that same volume of water moved (forward in this case) into the waste tanks.

12% tongue weight is higher than should be required, but since the batteries are up there it might be this high. Since 360 pounds is likely too much for the Q5, I would strive to position mass closer to the axle (preferably not on the back, which is bad for stability).
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:33 AM   #39
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Wetaskiwin, Alberta
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 73
Having never hauled a trailer before, I too worried a bit about tongue weight. Europeans like a tongue weight of 8% (and I drive a VW so I take their standards into account too), North Americans like 10-15%. I decided that I should aim for 9-12% as a goal for tongue weight. The lower the tongue weight, the more weight I could have in the vehicle, so that's important too.

Anyway, to get an idea of how precise I would have to be with weighing the trailer I quickly threw together the following spreadsheet for my Escape 21. I'm good at math, but even still, it didn't really dawn on me how much leeway I had with loading up the trailer. How much goes in it matters much less (assuming a normal amount of gear here, I doubt I'll exceed the 4,500 GVWR of the 21') than how well distributed the weight is. I do plan on a fair bit of weight on the trailer hitch (4 bikes), so I got a Sherline scale and I decided based on my spreadsheet that if I aim for 390lbs +/-10lbs tongue weight (slightly less if totally empty, aim toward the higher end if loaded with gear and water) and I'm pretty much where I want to be. I doubt I'll worry about trailer weight much , I'll just check that the tongue weight is where I want it to be and I'll be good to go.

(1st try attaching a picture. Let's see if this works...)

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Old 12-24-2013, 11:44 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Why wouldn't an Escape 19 work, doesn't dual axles mitigate some of the tongue weight ...
How would the tandem axles do that? The effective axle position is simply the midpoint between the two sets of wheels; a tandem has exactly the same tongue weight as a single-axle but otherwise identical trailer with the single axle placed in the middle of where the tandem set would be.

What a tandem setup does, especially with the Torflex suspension, is make the tongue weight very sensitive to ball height. Raise it a couple inches too high and your tongue weight is way up as you pry the weight off of the leading axle; lower it a couple of inches and the trailer is leaning more heavily on the leading axle - less on the tongue - and it gets less stable.

Jim, perhaps you mean that with the scrubbing action of the tandem tires suppressing sway, a lower tongue weight fraction would be acceptable? I agree, but 10% is enough for even a single axle, properly configured.

A 19' should comfortably fit within the Q5's rated total trailer weight capacity, and would possibly still fit after considering passenger and cargo load in the tug, but I think - unless it has auto-levelling - keeping the ball height appropriate would be a challenge for this size of vehicle under that hitch load. A single-axle trailer is less sensitive to ball height.

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