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Old 11-18-2019, 08:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Yes
however, load on the rear axle is not the only factor which limits a tow vehicle's hitch weight capacity, so it is not safe to assume that using a WDH will increase the tongue weight which can be handled. If WD does increase what the vehicle can handle on the hitch, the vehicle's owners manual should list a higher hitch weight limit for WD use than for weight-carrying (no WDH) use... and some do.
I’ve watched a couple more videos and read a thing at Weigh Safe since my last post on this. So, is a WD hitch pretty much just to even out discrepancies in the percentage of weight a given trailer puts on the hitch, trying to get that 10-15% or whatever? As I’m a neophyte it’s hard to tell at this point because while everything you say makes sense it also seems like all the things you say it doesn’t do... it also kind of does do. Just not really. ;-) Haha. But, the jist is, your tongue weight max is just that. Don’t F with it.

Dig it.


Quote:
I hope that's not what he really said, but in general I just assume that anything stated by a sales person other than price and availability is nonsense. The load goes to the tow vehicle's front axle and the trailer's axle(s). And load on the hitch isn't simply reduced: the load on the ball is increased (in the Andersen, it is pushing forward on the ball), and the hitch and trailer frame are twisted to accomplish that load shift between axles. When anyone uses words like "alleviate" or "nullify", it typically means that they don't really understand what is happening, so they talk about the problem just going away.
Actually what he said was, exactly and as a direct quote, “It will take about 80 lbs off the hitch”.

More over, just read that the tongue weights listed as “dry” do not account for things included on the trailer like propane tanks and batteries?! Is that true? If so, even with Johnathan magic trailer hitch, this is all moot: The Casita’s just too heavy up top.

Thanks folks. I might have narrowed it down to Escape and my ridiculous tent trailers.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by bpowell487 View Post
Ha!! I can just imagine what those things cost.

Reminds me of the Taxa Cricket\Mantis. How could those types of trailers not catch your eye!?

Due to cost and the significant issues with leaks I moved on. Havenít purchased anything yet but I definitely see an Escape in my future...that is, if I donít find a pristine used Bigfoot first ��
I wanted to like Taxa, but nope. Ruled them out very, very early on. Even more so after spending about three seconds in one.

We donít all like the same things the same way, dude. Itís just so very possible that I might value quality in places you do not. Pretty sure thatís OK.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:11 PM   #23
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I see the Taxa Cricket comes with:
"Preinstalled Pop-Up Roof"


That's handy.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:26 PM   #24
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Hi Navajas,

I totally get the dilemma of deciding on a hard-sided trailer without ever having owned one before. That was me just 2 years ago. Tough choices for a big expenditure. You mentioned you're coming to Victoria soon, which is where I live. You're welcome to come by and chat about/view my 2018 17B if you like. Private msg me to arrange.

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Old 11-18-2019, 09:41 PM   #25
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Hi Navajas,

I totally get the dilemma of deciding on a hard-sided trailer without ever having owned one before. That was me just 2 years ago. Tough choices for a big expenditure. You mentioned you're coming to Victoria soon, which is where I live. You're welcome to come by and chat about/view my 2018 17B if you like. Private msg me to arrange.

Lawrence
Wow, how considerate!

Donít suppose you got those bunks apparently almost no one ever options? ;-)

PM incoming.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:56 PM   #26
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What are you looking to do with the trailer? You need to pick whichever one best fits your goals for the next X years. We had a soft sided camper before the Escape, worked very well for us for 7 years till our camping style changed. We loved the open air feel of the soft sider, it certainly felt bigger then the Escape although it really isn't. Our soft sider says it could sleep 6, in reality it was 4, the 2 bump out bunks worked great.

When we decided to travel cross country in retirement, an enclosed trailer became more practical. We can stop anywhere for a night with no setup. Plus, getting older, we need a bathroom and somewhere to hide from the cold and rain. Don't know how rain and humidity effect where you camp but around here leaks and condensation were a constant battle with the canvas, or whatever it was.

If I lived out west and had two growing boys, I'd opt for one of the soft sided you posted about, if I could get it with A/C. We all have different wants and needs, you know what you want to do, I don't.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:58 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Forgive me when I say you're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Newbies in 2013, we made the classic mistake of shopping a trailer to fit our tow vehicle. That was a 2011 Murano which has a powerful V6, yet we found out pretty quick the other more important factors that determine a suitable tow.

We sold that first trailer- a 2010 17B that loaded was only 2850, partly because it was Gen1 with 3" frame and had no A/C or dual pane windows. That saved 200 lbs. We sold it to buy a 21 and the buyers had a CX-9. They traded within a year to an F-150.
No forgiveness necessary, Iím an information is never a bad thing kind of guy. Thoughts along those lines have begun creeping across my head. We bought the CX-9 after an exhaustive decision process (not unlike the one Iím engaged with now!) and something like a big ass truck would not fulfill all the roles we required of the Mazda. I am, mostly, a stay at home / homeschool / part time teacher / soccer coach / Dad. I own the only high passenger count vehicle in our extended family. It was the best option at this point in our lives... AND, I thought it had all the towing capacity Iíd ever need.

Iím sure thatís not the first time anyone here ever read or thought that!

The annoying thing about much of this is that the 350/3500 is a North American condition. The same car, even with the same power plant, in other countries is rated higher. I donít get it. Perhaps itís a common thing with how our regulations work? Whatever. Itís got a ton of low end torque, good four wheel (though front biased) drive, etc... I wonder what year your buyers CX-9 was. The new models are utterly different cars than the originals (designed when Mazda was still Ford).

Thanks for your input!
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:02 PM   #28
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If you live in the north west US ( south west Canada ) and enjoy setting up and packing away a tent trailer, the soft side is perfect for you.

You get to pack up in the rain, leaving camp. You get to unpack when the sun comes out ( two weeks later maybe ), and you get to pack it back up when it's dry ( or maybe damp, if rain is in the forecast ).

Had one, done that.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:08 PM   #29
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Noise level was another thing. The Escape isn't great for keeping out noise, but it's a heck of a lot better the the Starcraft was.

For some reason it seems all campgrounds in the southeast are a stones throw from railroad tracks, and they all run through the night.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:10 PM   #30
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So, is a WD hitch pretty much just to even out discrepancies in the percentage of weight a given trailer puts on the hitch, trying to get that 10-15% or whatever?
No, it doesn't change the distribution of mass in the trailer. The WD is fundamentally to relieve the tow vehicle's rear suspension (not hitch) of some of a load that it does not handle inadequately. The other fundamental reason to use WD is to restore the front axle to load to something closer to what it would be without the trailer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navajas View Post
But, the jist is, your tongue weight max is just that. Don’t F with it.

Dig it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by navajas View Post
Actually what he said was, exactly and as a direct quote, “It will take about 80 lbs off the hitch”.
As Bob mentioned, this is not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by navajas View Post
More over, just read that the tongue weights listed as “dry” do not account for things included on the trailer like propane tanks and batteries?! Is that true? If so, even with Johnathan magic trailer hitch, this is all moot: The Casita’s just too heavy up top.
"Dry" means no fluids, so no water and no propane. The quoted specification is usually also "base" (meaning no options) and of course it's "empty" (none of your stuff on board). Some manufacturers seem to treat the battery like an option - so they don't include it in the weight specs - even though it is standard equipment.

Yes, real operating tongue weight will likely be substantially higher than the base/dry/empty spec. As a first approximation you can assume it will be the same fraction (percentage) of the trailer's loaded weight as it is of the base weight, but realistically it will likely be a higher fraction if you get the optional dual batteries in a trailer with tongue-mounted battery/batteries.

There is a thread which points to a list of actual loaded trailer weights, of a small sample of trailer owners:
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f1...orld-2298.html
While you may load your trailer more or less heavily, and you may distribute the load differently, this gives you an idea of what some actual owners end up with.

The Casita 17' is well-known for excessive tongue weight (as a fraction of the total trailer weight), leading to the tongue weight being more of a problem in tow vehicle capacity than the total weight in many cases. This is due to the proportions of the trailer (axle set far back in body), and the Escape 17' has similar proportions so it has a similar concern but to a lesser extent. This is why Escape puts the battery (or batteries) at the back of the 17', instead of on the tongue.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:16 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
What are you looking to do with the trailer? You need to pick whichever one best fits your goals for the next X years. We had a soft sided camper before the Escape, worked very well for us for 7 years till our camping style changed. We loved the open air feel of the soft sider, it certainly felt bigger then the Escape although it really isn't. Our soft sider says it could sleep 6, in reality it was 4, the 2 bump out bunks worked great.

When we decided to travel cross country in retirement, an enclosed trailer became more practical. We can stop anywhere for a night with no setup. Plus, getting older, we need a bathroom and somewhere to hide from the cold and rain. Don't know how rain and humidity effect where you camp but around here leaks and condensation were a constant battle with the canvas, or whatever it was.

If I lived out west and had two growing boys, I'd opt for one of the soft sided you posted about, if I could get it with A/C. We all have different wants and needs, you know what you want to do, I don't.
Yeah, that all sounds pretty spot on. Would you mind telling me what year and make your tent trailer was? In all my research it seems tent trailers are headaches unless they are Colemans 1994 and older, or top of the line moderns like post buy-out Aliner (Somerset), or Opus. Iím not counting things like Black Series or the host of little offlanders in that.

Iím a guy who absolutely hates garbage. I just canít tolerate it. This is why Iím willing to spend $20k, or hell, $30k on a ďridiculousĒ soft trailer like a Somerset or Opus. I like tents. I like sleeping in tents. Iím getting older. A trailer would be nice and comfy. My sonís love ďTiny HousesĒ. My wife will no longer sleep on the ground and likes bathrooms!

The upshot is, whether or not we keep this purchase forever, I want it to be extremely high quality. Iíve been in tent trailers from Indiana plants. Forest River Aliner knock offs. Iíve been in R-Pods and ďNo BoundariesĒ.

Hell. No.

Short term, Iíd love to able to head out, during at least three and a half season, boondock if necessary. Iím in Washington state, we have extremely beautiful, varied terrain worthwhile year round, from scorching desert to frozen waste. The Somerset and Opus have 16k propane furnaces, but I have no delusions that the soft tops would be as warm as insulated fiberglass!

Long term? After the wife retires and the boys are out of the house, weíll either gift it to one of them, sell it for cheap to my brother, or turn it over for something fancier and more set up for the two of us. Maybe an Oliver, Alto, etc.. Also, by then towing vehicle will not be an issue, weíll just buy whateverís necessary. Thatís not really an option right now.

Thanks for the chat!
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:19 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
You get to pack up in the rain, leaving camp. You get to unpack when the sun comes out ( two weeks later maybe ), and you get to pack it back up when it's dry ( or maybe damp, if rain is in the forecast ).
Ya, forgot about this. We don't get as much rain as you folks but we still put it away wet. For us you could usually open it up the next day, or maybe 2 days later, and dry it out. The Opus looks like it'd be the biggest hassle where the whole top is canvas.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:41 PM   #33
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With a family of 4 camping, you will likely pack more gear in the trailer, and have a larger load in the your tow than most commenters here (lots of boomer couples frequent this forum).

I would go conservative when considering tow vehicle weight limits.

Unless you are willing to find a new tow vehicle now, you might want to try a used tent trailer that you know you can easily tow now for a year to start with, then decide on a longer term choice for trailer and tow based on your experience.

Depending on your budget, I agree with the advice to select the trailer that best suits your needs, then find a tow vehicle.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:52 PM   #34
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A year ago I was a complete newcomer, like you. I went most of the way down the road to buying a Casita 17, then, at a late point in the process, saw an Escape 19 and changed directions. I strongly suggest you arrange to see both types of trailer. Both companies have owner referral programs, and you are close enough to BC that you could easily take a day trip to Chilliwack and see the entire Escape lineup. There is no substitute for kicking the tires and seeing each trailer upfront and close.

There is a woman named Eileen something who wrote the Casita bible. In it she strongly suggests that the minimum tow vehicle for a Casita 17 have a tow capacity of 5000, not 3500 pounds. Before ordering a Casita, I'd suggest buying her book. She's a fan of Casita, but she's not on the payroll or selling the product.

FWIW, I think the Escape is the better engineered, higher quality product. If quality matters to you, and you have the money, well, you get what you pay for. Stripped and dry, the Casita 17 weighs about what an Escape 19 weighs--both just under 3000 lbs., both, with pretty typical options, a bit over 3000, and, fully loaded, pr'ly around 4000 (depending on how you travel, of course). I assume the Escape 17 would weigh less than a Casita 17. All that carpet on the walls adds weight.

Hope that helps. BTW, I tow with a Nissan Xterra, which is rated to 5000 lbs, and use a WDH (which may be overkill, but, like I said, I'm a newbie). And I like operating within the design parameters of my equipment, with 10 to 15% to spare.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:53 PM   #35
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A bit confusing wrapping my head around comparing off-road pop ups with road trailers. While watching tent trailers come and go in the campgrounds and all the setup/takedown, I never spent any time looking at them. However, you peaked my curiosity and I looked at the Opus and Somerset. Loved the Opus, very cool, that is an excellent looking off-road rig and the air tent setup looks interesting.
While some do take an occasional Casita (very bad ground clearance) or an Escape off-road, they aren’t designed to be off-road trailers.
If you are primarily wanting to do heavy off-road camping, of the four presented, I’d lean to the Opus. If you are wanting hard sided road trailer with more creature comforts I’d lean to the Escape. Really kinda seems like comparing apples to grapefruits however.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:04 PM   #36
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Not sure what the definition of off-road is. For some it might mean that when you get home, you spend the next month and thousands of dollars putting the trailer back together ( even the HD "Off-Road" models ).

I once photographed an off-road club beating their vehicles to death. One guy tried repeatedly to drive his 4X4 pickup out of a snow filled ravine. Every time he lost traction, the side of the vehicle slammed into the rocks. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

Others consider forest service roads, like this one, to be "off road".
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:58 PM   #37
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Not sure what the definition of off-road is. For some it might mean that when you get home, you spend the next month and thousands of dollars putting the trailer back together ( even the HD "Off-Road" models ).

I once photographed an off-road club beating their vehicles to death. One guy tried repeatedly to drive his 4X4 pickup out of a snow filled ravine. Every time he lost traction, the side of the vehicle slammed into the rocks. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

Others consider forest service roads, like this one, to be "off road".
For sure, and especially considering my vehicle, for the time being ďoff-roadĒ to me will be relatively unmantained forest service roads and short trips off them over bumpy terrain, Washington Scablands, etc... On the other hand, around the Olympics and Cascades we have some SERIOUSLY shitty forest service roads which are cratered and ribbed the entire 20+ mile trip. That said, I have no experience trailer camping. Iím not even sure WHERE Iíd go, I just know Iíd want to be able to get there. Do I need the Opus to help me do this?

Well, no, I donít. And yes, IF I pay for an Off Road Opus (or even an E3 Somerset) and donít use it like a crazy Australian, I know Iíll be paying for capabilities I wonít use. On the other hand, I also donít have to cringe and gasp as I trudge up and down some of our rain water rippled and pock marked backroads.

Besides, I collect watches. Will I ever *need* a 300m rated dive watch? Nope. Iím a crap swimmer and volume beneath me is terrifying. The only time I wear my dive watches is in the hot tub, swimming pool or as I kayak across the surface in mortal fear of sharks and orca. But its nice to know that if a professional diver can use it, I sure as hell canít do anything to damage it!

I also know that, a single $10 Casio F91-W could functionally replace almost every single watch I own. But, thatís not much fun.
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:10 AM   #38
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just skimmed here, but want to be sure you know that if there should be an unfortunate accident, your insurance company will likely abandon you if you have exceeded the recommended (in the user manual) tow weight of your vehicle.
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:39 AM   #39
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just skimmed here, but want to be sure you know that if there should be an unfortunate accident, your insurance company will likely abandon you if you have exceeded the recommended (in the user manual) tow weight of your vehicle.
I have zero interest or intent in doing that.
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:56 AM   #40
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just skimmed here, but want to be sure you know that if there should be an unfortunate accident, your insurance company will likely abandon you if you have exceeded the recommended (in the user manual) tow weight of your vehicle.

Maybe, maybe not. In my younger days I was into rally car racing. I didn't race myself, but helped with timing etc.
The advice was, if you wiped out, you tell your insurance company that you were driving a "transit" stage, not a "race stage". And, insurance paid out.
If you have an accident, it is unlikely that the insurance company will send somebody to gather all the bits and pieces strewn over the road, assemble them and weigh them.
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