Bike racks and tongue weight - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-08-2015, 10:01 PM   #1
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Bike racks and tongue weight

I loaded up our 21' with 1Up bike rack, two bikes, full frig, a full fresh tank and checked tounge weight. Shows 500 lbs. Assuming trailer at 4300 lbs, that would put me at a shade under 12%. Good towing experience would back that up. I have pretty much all the options so I think the trailer weight is close. I do have the front box loaded with the usual stuff.

The Sherline scale works well. I did change out the original 2000# gage for a 1000 #gage and that works much better for these kind of weights. One thing I did notice is that you need to have the trailer level or the tandem suspension affects the indicated weight.

I was a bit worried about the bike rack pulling too much load off the tongue. No problem.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:44 PM   #2
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Good to know - thanks for letting us know what you found.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiman View Post
The Sherline scale works well. I did change out the original 2000# gage for a 1000 #gage and that works much better for these kind of weights.
Right in the middle of the gauge range - where you want it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiman View Post
One thing I did notice is that you need to have the trailer level or the tandem suspension affects the indicated weight.
Yes, because it affects the actual weight on the hitch... which is why the trailer's attitude is important.

Is it equally level while towing? It's more important to determine the tongue weight as towed than what the weight would be when level. Of course, ideally they're the same!

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I was a bit worried about the bike rack pulling too much load off the tongue. No problem.
Did you check without the rack and bikes for comparison?
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:12 PM   #3
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I too am interested in the tongue weight without the rack and bikes, Carl.
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Old 09-09-2015, 07:56 AM   #4
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I get the same weights, 500/3800 on BlackJack without any bikes, 50% full water, packed for Osoyoos 2 week trip. Carl has a similarly optioned model as mine.
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Old 09-09-2015, 08:56 AM   #5
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I too am interested in the tongue weight without the rack and bikes, Carl.
Without bikes and rack around 540. Don't have much under dinette.
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Old 09-09-2015, 09:26 AM   #6
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Tongue weight?

Hi: All... Once upon a time our 2007 Classic 5.0 had a removable step. I think it still does? I took it out and put it in the bike rack receiver. I put my 200 #'s on the step only to find the trailer heading towards the sky!!! I was going in the opposite direction. Problem is our driveway heads down hill too. Quick thinking on my part I stepped off!!! What goes up must... Alf
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:33 AM   #7
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My 21 recently tipped truck scales at 400/3800 with at least half the holding tanks filled and maybe half the fresh. No bikes.

I have since adjusted Andersen accordingly. Trailer weight inline with expections based off Jim's numbers.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:39 AM   #8
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But Bruce, you do not have the front storage box, at least another 100 lbs on the tongue.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:50 AM   #9
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Right, but my bed storage and tanks were /was/ is stuffed full. And other than batteries, most other weight is in kitchen area.
Blackjack ~4300, Lightning ~4200 which seems right given you have more options on yours.
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Old 09-09-2015, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I get the same weights, 500/3800 on BlackJack without any bikes, 50% full water, packed for Osoyoos 2 week trip. Carl has a similarly optioned model as mine.
Similar options doesn't mean exactly the same final weight distribution, because people carry different stuff, differently located... but there shouldn't be a huge difference.

The bikes are affecting the tongue weight - I was just curious if the data were available to say how much. The reduction of tongue weight should be roughly half the weight of the racks plus bikes, if they are about half as far from middle of the axles as the coupler.
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Without bikes and rack around 540. Don't have much under dinette.
Thanks Carl!
40 pounds reduction due to the bikes and rack... in line with expectations, assuming that the rack plus a couple of bikes weighs more than 40 but probably short of 80 pounds. For those who are not convinced by explanations of leverage, this is a demonstration of how it will work for anyone: add a pound or two to the back, pry a pound off of the hitch.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:41 AM   #11
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Similar options doesn't mean exactly the same final weight distribution, because people carry different stuff, differently located... but there shouldn't be a huge difference.

The bikes are affecting the tongue weight - I was just curious if the data were available to say how much. The reduction of tongue weight should be roughly half the weight of the racks plus bikes, if they are about half as far from middle of the axles as the coupler.

Thanks Carl!
40 pounds reduction due to the bikes and rack... in line with expectations, assuming that the rack plus a couple of bikes weighs more than 40 but probably short of 80 pounds. For those who are not convinced by explanations of leverage, this is a demonstration of how it will work for anyone: add a pound or two to the back, pry a pound off of the hitch.
I am purposely loading the front with heavy stuff for fear of getting tonue weight low. I will continue to do that but am relieved with some real data. A near catastrophe with an improperly loaded uhaul trailer from years back makes it a priority.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:51 AM   #12
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Yes me too I don't know my tongue weight yet and it worries me.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I am purposely loading the front with heavy stuff for fear of getting tonue weight low. I will continue to do that but am relieved with some real data. A near catastrophe with an improperly loaded uhaul trailer from years back makes it a priority.
This is good, but there are limits to the "counterweighting" idea. Adding mass to each end of a trailer can result in the same tongue weight, but it still makes the trailer less stable. In this case it is just a couple of bikes on a 21-foot trailer, and is apparently no problem.

I had momentary instability with a 6'x12' U-Haul once, but I know why: I didn't have a tall enough ball mount and so it was sitting a little nose-down - bad for tandems.
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:01 AM   #14
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Any more real world tongue and/or trailer weight testing on 21's lately? I looked (and that's all I'll be doing over there from now on ) over in FGRV on the weight thread, but couldn't find any 21 info.
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:48 AM   #15
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I have added 5 21' (and a couple of 5.0TA's) to the downloadable Spreadsheet version at LakeshoreImages. Frederick gave me permission to post it for those who wanted an editable Excel version & Steve LaBroad added the sort/filter capability. That lets you average any group of trailers...
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:01 PM   #16
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I have added 5 21' (and a couple of 5.0TA's) to the downloadable Spreadsheet version at LakeshoreImages. Frederick gave me permission to post it for those who wanted an editable Excel version & Steve LaBroad added the sort/filter capability. That lets you average any group of trailers...
Thank you Jon. Looks like a new Sherline scale is in my future.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:27 PM   #17
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Get the 1000 lb version vs the 2000 lb one, easier to see.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:31 PM   #18
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Get the 1000 lb version vs the 2000 lb one, easier to see.
Yah, I will Jim - Glenn already convinced me of that in an earlier post
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:35 PM   #19
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Our 21 weights were as follows. I say were because we’ve made some changes but haven’t gone through the exercise of re-measuring.
Advertised dry weight: 3050#
Escape/Owner Options/additions: 683#
Trailer without personal items: 3733#
Personal items/food etc: 500#
Total traveling weight: 4233#
Tongue weight as loaded: 500# or 11.8%

Add 2 bikes & carrier: 97.7#
Trailer & bikes: 4331#
Tongue weight: 450# or 10.4%

Adding bikes to the rear, using our rack and the distance it holds the bikes out from the rear, reduced our tongue weight by a factor of 2/1 (100lbs of bikes = 50lbs reduction in tongue weight).

Also, if I remember right, putting water in the fresh water tank had a 4/1 effect on our weight. So adding 100 lbs of water in the tank reduced our tongue weight by 25lbs.

I’ve verified the gross trailer weight multiple times on different truck scales while on different trips and it’s remained pretty constant. Speaking of stability, we towed our 21 over 8,000 miles this last summer using our Honda Ridgeline through winds in the 55-60mph range and the combination (with the Anderson) did just fine (we traveled without bikes). I knew it was windy outside, but I never felt out of control or at risk. I think that’s a testament for truck, trailer, and maybe even the Anderson.
Hope this helps, Tom
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:39 PM   #20
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Good info TA - thanks!
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