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Old 01-08-2016, 10:38 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
If you are curious, just measure your tongue weight at a few heights.
Did that last year (was just curious)... Each thickness of 2x4 (roughly 1.5") changed the tongue weight by about 50-60lbs on our fully loaded 19. Don't recall what the actual tongue weight was, though...

Note that this is on a tandem trailer. I would guess the change would be very much less significant on a single-axle trailer.
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:36 PM   #122
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I would guess the change would be very much less significant on a single-axle trailer.
Yes, smaller, and in the other direction.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:04 PM   #123
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Yes, when you put more weight on the tongue on a dual axle so that the tongue is lower, the tongue weight is lower, not higher as you might expect. But does that translate to meaning that nose down is not what you want, the way you would with a single axle? Nose down is supposed to be advantageous for less chance of sway than nose up. Is that still true with a dual axle?

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Old 01-08-2016, 04:13 PM   #124
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Yes, when you put more weight on the tongue on a dual axle so that the tongue is lower, the tongue weight is lower, not higher as you might expect. But does that translate to meaning that nose down is not what you want, the way you would with a single axle? Nose down is supposed to be advantageous for less chance of sway than nose up. Is that still true with a dual axle?
Good question. Nose down is not good for stability with a tandem, because the lower tongue weight is the evidence that the load is being carried disproportionately on the leading axle, which is much like shifting the axle(s) forward. That's less stable. Small changes are okay, but overdo the nose-down attitude and the trailer definitely sways more.

The only time I've had any sway with a tandem-axle trailer was with a U-Haul - I didn't have a ball mount quite tall enough, so it was a little nose-down, and it wagged a bit on a downhill in Okanagan. It had lots of tongue weight with the tongue at the right height.
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Old 01-08-2016, 04:28 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Good question. Nose down is not good for stability with a tandem, because the lower tongue weight is the evidence that the load is being carried disproportionately on the leading axle, which is much like shifting the axle(s) forward. That's less stable. Small changes are okay, but overdo the nose-down attitude and the trailer definitely sways more.

The only time I've had any sway with a tandem-axle trailer was with a U-Haul - I didn't have a ball mount quite tall enough, so it was a little nose-down, and it wagged a bit on a downhill in Okanagan. It had lots of tongue weight with the tongue at the right height.


I mean that slightly nose down is considered better than nose up with a single axle. I wondered if that still holds true with tandem axles.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:30 PM   #126
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I mean that slightly nose down is considered better than nose up with a single axle. I wondered if that still holds true with tandem axles.
I'd still say no - so slightly nose up would be better than slightly nose down with a tandem. Very flat-fronted trailers (with any number of axles) can have aerodynamics issues and are helped by being nose-down (as well as the weight shift for a single-axle trailer), but I can't see that applying to any Escape.

Tandem-axle fifth-wheel trailers are often towed quite nose-up due to truck/trailer hitch mismatch problems, and don't have any problem with it... and even a fifth-wheel is still a trailer that will be unstable is not handled properly.
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Old 01-08-2016, 06:52 PM   #127
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When ETI setup our WDH at pickup they mirrored what Brian is saying with the tandem. Told us it was better to err on the side of nose up and not nose down.
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Old 01-08-2016, 07:51 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I'd still say no - so slightly nose up would be better than slightly nose down with a tandem. Very flat-fronted trailers (with any number of axles) can have aerodynamics issues and are helped by being nose-down (as well as the weight shift for a single-axle trailer), but I can't see that applying to any Escape.

Tandem-axle fifth-wheel trailers are often towed quite nose-up due to truck/trailer hitch mismatch problems, and don't have any problem with it... and even a fifth-wheel is still a trailer that will be unstable is not handled properly.
A little confused Brian when I picked up trailer Dennis said a little down was Ok . I do have air bags though if I needed it up . F250 no weight or sway hitches . What is ok ? Pat
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:11 PM   #129
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The idea is to be level but with tandem axles, apparently slightly up is better than slightly down. I had this conversation with Reace and that is what I think he said.

I never look at where the nose goes when adding weight. If tongue weight is too low, less than 10%, and weight is added that brings up the tongue weight, don't think we can go wrong if in the 10-15% range.

The idea of looking at the nose is that, with single axles, for instance, if the nose is seen up, one expects that the tongue weight is too low. So adding to it will fix that. With double axles, we just need to see that the tongue weight is not too high or too low, within 10-15 % of total weight. Have to weigh the loaded trailer to know.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:26 PM   #130
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If you do a Google search regarding slightly nose up/nose down on dual axle trailers there seems to be people arguing for both slightly nose up or nose down. But nothing I've seen yet seems to be from what I'd consider a reliable source - just opinions. (Strangely some European sites list much lower tongue weight % as safe than US and Canadian sites do)
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:38 PM   #131
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I have always shot for 8-12% tongue weight.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:38 PM   #132
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A little confused Brian when I picked up trailer Dennis said a little down was Ok . I do have air bags though if I needed it up . F250 no weight or sway hitches . What is ok ? Pat
The problem is knowing what he was calling "little." A little down probably does not matter much but something significant does. So what is significant? Well, we try for level! And we just make sure that we are 10-15%.

Most experts seem to say 10-15 so we try for 11-12. We added propane after pickup as we did not know whether we might be tongue heavy on pickup of the 21'. So only had one tank filled. Then found we could use both filled. A 19' may be different with batteries in the box. Our 21' batteries are at the back.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:40 PM   #133
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(Strangely some European sites list much lower tongue weight % as safe than US and Canadian sites do)
Yes, European towing practice routinely uses much lower tongue weight. It also includes trailers with the mass more concentrated toward the centre (because that's more stable) than here - no pile of batteries and propane on the tongue and no box of gear on the back. Every recommendation has an appropriate context, and North American travel trailers is not the context for 6% tongue weight.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:45 PM   #134
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A little confused Brian when I picked up trailer Dennis said a little down was Ok . I do have air bags though if I needed it up . F250 no weight or sway hitches . What is ok ? Pat
Okay is whatever doesn't hurt stability enough to be a concern. Up is more stable than down, but less-than-ideal is reality. Ball mounts usually only come in 2-inch height increments, which is an indication of tolerance - we're not looking for small fractions of an inch here. If you can't see any difference in how much the two axle suspensions are compressed, there probably isn't enough difference to matter much.

The air suspension is handy - just pump the truck back up if it squats down, to avoid a nose-down trailer.

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The problem is knowing what he was calling "little." A little down probably does not matter much but something significant does. So what is significant? Well, we try for level! And we just make sure that we are 10-15%.
Sounds reasonable to me - aim for level, rather than trying to be in some direction from that or just ignoring the attitude.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:57 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Yes, European towing practice routinely uses much lower tongue weight. It also includes trailers with the mass more concentrated toward the centre (because that's more stable) than here - no pile of batteries and propane on the tongue and no box of gear on the back. Every recommendation has an appropriate context, and North American travel trailers is not the context for 6% tongue weight.
Brian trailer looks pretty level when hitched . Trailer rides pretty good too . I never have any sway . Never has a problem if big rig pass me . I just never weighed trailer which I should do . Just keep putting it off . I really don't carry a lot of stuff in trailer having big truck to use . Just saw the thread and remembered what Dennis said and I am a worry wart . Forgot I carry nothing on the back hitch either .Thanks . Pat
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:58 PM   #136
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The problem is knowing what he was calling "little." A little down probably does not matter much but something significant does. So what is significant? Well, we try for level! And we just make sure that we are 10-15%.

Most experts seem to say 10-15 so we try for 11-12. We added propane after pickup as we did not know whether we might be tongue heavy on pickup of the 21'. So only had one tank filled. Then found we could use both filled. A 19' may be different with batteries in the box. Our 21' batteries are at the back.
Thanks Cathy . Pat
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:02 PM   #137
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If you do a Google search regarding slightly nose up/nose down on dual axle trailers there seems to be people arguing for both slightly nose up or nose down. But nothing I've seen yet seems to be from what I'd consider a reliable source - just opinions. (Strangely some European sites list much lower tongue weight % as safe than US and Canadian sites do)
Thanks Eric for responding . Pat
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:06 AM   #138
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We're dead level with 10% tongue weight. Very stable. But, I'd agree with Brian that if the setup is a choice between slightly nose up or nose down, go slightly up on a tandem axle trailer.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:15 AM   #139
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We're dead level with 10% tongue weight. Very stable. But, I'd agree with Brian that if the setup is a choice between slightly nose up or nose down, go slightly up on a tandem axle trailer.
Thanks Rbryan . Pat
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:41 PM   #140
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Another question ? Would it be good to get one of those 1000 lb Shurline scales ? Does anyone have a good source with a reasonable price also if you recommend . Pat
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