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Old 09-15-2021, 04:27 PM   #1
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21' tongue weight under 500lbs

I need help picking options that will keep my 21NE tongue weight under 500lbs. If anyone weighs there 21' Escape tongue and its 500lbs or less I would really like to know what options you went with. Below is some context to my decision making so far.

1350lbs payload for tow vehicle. 2006 Toyota Sequoia with 3rd row seats removed.
750lbs for Passengers. 2 adults, 2 kids in carseats and a large dog.
That leaves 600lbs for tongue weight and any cargo riding in tow vehicle.

I don't like the idea of maxing out payload. I am trying to weigh the pros and cons of the following options.

-ETI Front storage box: Increases weight by 100lbs.

-ETrailer.com front storage box: Saw this in the Rally video put out by Escape. David Hendrickson shows extensive mods for tongue weight and how these boxes weigh 37lbs instead of 100lbs like the ETI version. Not sure if lithium or 6V batteries would fit? https://youtu.be/Uc-FXuH2kZA
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Ton.../UWS01065.html

-6v golf cart batteries: Increases weight by 72lbs more than lithium batteries but wouldn't need a front storage box since you can mount these on tongue without much fear of theft.

-2x Lithium batteries: Reduces weight by 72lbs compared to 6v batteries but would need a front storage box due to fear of theft. Or I would need more info about moving them under dinette. Also concerned about ETI wiring/electrical not being able to handle lithium from what I've read on this forum. Leaning towards 6V batteries for now but don't like the extra weight.

-Front solar panel: Don't know how much this weighs. strongly leaning towards skipping front panel as they have been tearing off of 21NE's. Hoping to learn more about the recent modification ETI is making to how they mount them (lower to roof?).

-E2 fastway WDH hitch: Not sure what this does for tongue weight. These are heavy though and I can't imagine it being free extra weight.

-Trailer valet hand crank hitch jack: Another suggestion in the video by David Hendrickson. Weighs 10lbs instead of 30lbs for powered jack. Also should give clearance for the Sequoia rear hatch to open for our dog to jump in/out. Also since it can be powered by a drill it won't be too frustrating with the E2 Fastway WDH hitch.

-Powered Jack: Increases weight by 20lbs more than manual. I would probably get this if I can get confirmation that the rear hatch on Sequoia can still open.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:14 PM   #2
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Not sure why you want to lighten the load, but both my E21's were 500+ pounds loaded on the tongue and they towed straight, anything less may cause issues.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:22 PM   #3
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If we had it to do over again, we would have asked ETI to not wire the batteries to the storage box, but to leave them loose in the area under the dinette and to also just ship us the batteries with the trailer. We would then have installed them under the dinette and wired them. That is one of the modifications we are going to be doing in the next few months. It is easy enough to pull the wires in from the storage box into the dinette area and move the batteries in there. There is plenty of room for the 2 lithium batteries in that area.
Also, the front solar panel we got is 28 1/2" back from the front of the trailer and maybe 1/16" from the top. It is an improvement over past installations. There just isn't 3 feet in front of the MAXX fan for the panel. I suppose you could eliminate the MAXX Fan and have it installed in the back opening where they usually install the AC and have no AC. It just depends on what is important to you.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:42 PM   #4
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WUT?

"ETI Front storage box: Increases weight by 100lbs. "


WUT?
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Not sure why you want to lighten the load, but both my E21's were 500+ pounds loaded on the tongue and they towed straight, anything less may cause issues.
The reason I want to lighten the load is because I'll have a family of 4 and a large dog in the tow vehicle and don't want to exceed my vehicles payload. I don't want to reduce braking or accident avoidance ability. I figure 500lbs will tow well because its going to be about 10% of the trailers weight. I'm coming to this figure by using the "Trailer weights in the real world spreadsheet". It shows that most of the 2nd generation 21' Escapes seem to weigh about 4700lbs - 5000lbs.

Quote:
If we had it to do over again, we would have asked ETI to not wire the batteries to the storage box, but to leave them loose in the area under the dinette and to also just ship us the batteries with the trailer.
I know that ETI won't deliver a trailer without working batteries due to legal reasons according to Karl. Maybe I can see if they would wire up the basic 12v lead acid battery in the storage box but also provide the lithium batteries in a box in the trailer ready to be installed once the trailer safely makes it home. As long as it has the extra equipment already installed (DC to DC charger, larger guage wiring etc) that shouldn't be too bad to move the wiring back into the dinette.

Quote:
the front solar panel we got is 28 1/2" back from the front of the trailer and maybe 1/16" from the top. It is an improvement over past installations.
Ok this is good to know thank you. I wonder if previous 21NE trailers had the front panel closer than 28 1/2" to the front of trailer? That was my main concern. Moving it back farther along with lowering to 1/16" from roof top does seem like good progress towards fixing the issue. I don't plan on driving fast so we may be fine. However getting the front panel adds weight. I need to find out how much though.
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Old 09-15-2021, 05:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 7Gentex View Post
"ETI Front storage box: Increases weight by 100lbs. "


WUT?
Yeah in the youtube video from the Escape rally David Hendrickson discusses it.

This link goes to the exact spot in the video so you don't have to skip forward to 21:29 in.
https://youtu.be/Uc-FXuH2kZA?t=1289

He says ETI informed him it was close to 100lbs. Since ETI put out the video I'm sure its an accurate number and not off by 50lbs or something. It definitely surprised me.
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MichaelS78 View Post
The reason I want to lighten the load is because I'll have a family of 4 and a large dog in the tow vehicle and don't want to exceed my vehicles payload. I don't want to reduce braking or accident avoidance ability. I figure 500lbs will tow well because its going to be about 10% of the trailers weight. I'm coming to this figure by using the "Trailer weights in the real world spreadsheet". It shows that most of the 2nd generation 21' Escapes seem to weigh about 4700lbs - 5000lbs.



I know that ETI won't deliver a trailer without working batteries due to legal reasons according to Karl. Maybe I can see if they would wire up the basic 12v lead acid battery in the storage box but also provide the lithium batteries in a box in the trailer ready to be installed once the trailer safely makes it home. As long as it has the extra equipment already installed (DC to DC charger, larger guage wiring etc) that shouldn't be too bad to move the wiring back into the dinette.



Ok this is good to know thank you. I wonder if previous 21NE trailers had the front panel closer than 28 1/2" to the front of trailer? That was my main concern. Moving it back farther along with lowering to 1/16" from roof top does seem like good progress towards fixing the issue. I don't plan on driving fast so we may be fine. However getting the front panel adds weight. I need to find out how much though.
The 190 watt solar panel weighs 26.4 lbs according to the specifications on the vendors website.
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kathytony1985 View Post
Also, the front solar panel we got is 28 1/2" back from the front of the trailer and maybe 1/16" from the top.



My emphasis added above.


How in the world will you clean under that panel.......guess not?
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:09 PM   #9
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Definitely not a good cleaning, maybe just squirting water under it??
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:26 PM   #10
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Here are some pictures I just went out and took of the front solar panel on our 21NE. Notice how close it is to the top of the trailer, and there is no hole drilled in the front aluminum frame as I have seen in other pictures of the long edge of the panel. The first one is looking from the passenger side of the trailer at the front long edge of the panel, the second one is looking from the front of the trailer and the third picture is looking from the passenger side of the trailer at the back long edge of the panel.
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:30 PM   #11
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I don't think it is that critical to get to a set tongue weight on the delivered trailer....what really matters is what it weighs once you have loaded it with all your stuff, and how you position that stuff will have a huge impact on the tongue weight. Hanging a loaded bicycle rack off the back of the trailer will greatly change your measured tongue weight but I can almost guarantee you it won't improve your towing! With the NE I believe most of the storage space is in the back so I would think the challenge would be to get enough weight on the front when fully loaded. I have a 21C which is opposite but still I weight the hitch when I'm loading (where I can) to make sure I have a good weight distribution and often move things around to get where I'm targeting (usually around 500 lbs).

You will want to scale the trailer and your vehicle and experiment with whether a WDH hitch can improve your ride (it will add significant weight to the tongue but makes up for it in balancing the tow vehicle better). If you find your front wheels are lightly loaded and it feels like it is understeering going around corners then I'd suggest adding the WDH.
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Old 09-15-2021, 06:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 7Gentex View Post
My emphasis added above.


How in the world will you clean under that panel.......guess not?
I would rather it be dirty on the bottom and take a hit on efficiency than have it rip off the trailer. I haven't researched it further but I was watching a YouTube video lately by the full time RVers Fate Unbound and they said they stopped washing their panels because it didn't seem to make any difference to performance if they were dirty or not.
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kathytony1985 View Post
Here are some pictures I just went out and took of the front solar panel on our 21NE. Notice how close it is to the top of the trailer, and there is no hole drilled in the front aluminum frame as I have seen in other pictures of the long edge of the panel. The first one is looking from the passenger side of the trailer at the front long edge of the panel, the second one is looking from the front of the trailer and the third picture is looking from the passenger side of the trailer at the back long edge of the panel.
Attachment 58316
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No hole through the long side is definitely an improvement. I will probably go with the front panel now knowing they have improved it this much. Still freaks me out a little that gopower says 3' or farther back but 28 1/2" is pretty close to that. Thank you very much for this info and the pictures!
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Old 09-15-2021, 07:00 PM   #14
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Me too!!
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
I don't think it is that critical to get to a set tongue weight on the delivered trailer....what really matters is what it weighs once you have loaded it with all your stuff, and how you position that stuff will have a huge impact on the tongue weight. Hanging a loaded bicycle rack off the back of the trailer will greatly change your measured tongue weight but I can almost guarantee you it won't improve your towing! With the NE I believe most of the storage space is in the back so I would think the challenge would be to get enough weight on the front when fully loaded. I have a 21C which is opposite but still I weight the hitch when I'm loading (where I can) to make sure I have a good weight distribution and often move things around to get where I'm targeting (usually around 500 lbs).

You will want to scale the trailer and your vehicle and experiment with whether a WDH hitch can improve your ride (it will add significant weight to the tongue but makes up for it in balancing the tow vehicle better). If you find your front wheels are lightly loaded and it feels like it is understeering going around corners then I'd suggest adding the WDH.
Ok it sounds like from the replies (yours and cpaHarleys2008) that I'm going about this wrong. I will plan on getting the options we think we would use the most along with the e2 fastway WDH and a trailer tongue scale.

In a worst case scenario (the tongue exceeds TV payload no matter how I load our stuff) I will plan on fixing it retroactively. I can always sell a front storage box and switch to lithium installed in the dinette if needed.
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:08 PM   #16
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You're welcome!
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:14 PM   #17
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Wow- when one has to go through all this stress in the front end with load calcs, etc., just think what it is going to be like while towing constantly second-guessing. Get the right tow vehicle!
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Old 09-15-2021, 08:31 PM   #18
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I recently weighed my trailer and was surprised the tongue weight was 644lbs! Not much in front storage box, not much under bed, empty tanks, no front solar. Total trailer weight was 4310lbs (FAW 1918, RAW 1748).
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:04 PM   #19
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Wow- when one has to go through all this stress in the front end with load calcs, etc., just think what it is going to be like while towing constantly second-guessing. Get the right tow vehicle!
I'm sorry my tow vehicle choice has upset you so much... as for my decision making I decided that it made more sense to purchase an older vehicle until vehicle prices went back down. Too hard to swallow the price gouge on anything close to new right now. I decided If I was going to buy older (higher miles) that it would be best if it was as reliable as possible. That's why I chose a Sequoia (better reliability) instead of an Expedition (better payload). Maybe Ill regret that decision but If so I only payed 1/10th of what a new TV costs so its easy to replace.
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Old 09-15-2021, 10:33 PM   #20
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I would rather it be dirty on the bottom

That's what happens when you only have a 13.2 G black tank......


My main concern regarding the lower panel mounting is heat buildup - that is almost a surface mount approach. No bueno in Texas heat.


Have it fly off or have it fail due to heat? - guess I'll take fail.
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