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Old 07-19-2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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This brings up the issue of "floorplan" planning when trying to determine whether your tow vehicle is capable of towing a particular camper.

The dry tongue/dry weight ratio can give you an idea (loose estimate) of what you are going to look at loaded (use GVWR of the camper to get an estimate of worst case tongue weight).

DRY TONGUE/DRY WEIGHT = TONGUE AT GVWR/ GVWR

Solve for TONGUE AT GVWR = (GVWR * DRY TONGUE) / DRY WEIGHT

Plan your hitch to be able to handle that tongue load and you should be OK.
LOADING can only do so much to shift the weight of heavy installed items like slides and appliances.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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The final tongue weight should be 12-13% of the trailers loaded ready to travel weight, period! regardless of floor plan. this is why you need to properly load a camper. Before I weighed my trailer it didn`t handle all that well, then I found out I had 1500lbs of tongue weight on a 9100lb trailer. I got rid of a few things, moved some stuff around and I`m now at 1200lbs and the whole setup handle so much better. so you can have to much tongue weight vs. trailer weight! load it properly and everything works out great!
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dodge Guy View Post
The final tongue weight should be 12-13% of the trailers loaded ready to travel weight, period! regardless of floor plan. this is why you need to properly load a camper.

Not always possible to get within such a narrow range.
Take a look at the floor plans the OP is talking about and explain how you would add weight to the rear.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:41 PM   #14
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Not always possible to get within such a narrow range.
Take a look at the floor plans the OP is talking about and explain how you would add weight to the rear.
This is correct. The "range" for travel trailers is 9-15% of total camper weight.
The "optimum" is 12% for safe trailer handling (sway and end swap). The more tail heavy the trailer is the more unstable in braking and the more likely a jack knife in a stop. The heavier the nose, the more likely it will have severe sway issues.

Some floor plans are by their nature heavier in the front or back. If tongue weight is a limitation for your tow vehicle, you should avoid a floor plan that has a heavier than average dry tongue weight (and the majority of the storage in front).
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:43 PM   #15
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1500 Spec

Well all this is good and well but what is the spec for max tongue weight on your truck. You should know that even if you decide to exceed it. I would be very careful of liability these days. You overload, have an accident and those lawyers will be all over you. I doubt you could do much to the truck and get anyone to stand behind any spec other than the manufacturer of the vehicle. Air bags or springs might work but getting the spec changed is another thing. I passed on an F-150 because I was within 92% of max weight, dry....I went in a different direction.

Good luck
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:48 PM   #16
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I moved up in trailer size and had some problems taming 450 more lbs of tongue weight. After the 100 mile trip home the 1st thing i did was lose the P rated factory Bridgestones and installed some LT tires. After a few hitch adjustments i am pretty comfortable towing.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:52 PM   #17
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you ask about increasing receiver capabilities but I would be concerned about payload capabilities. Have you weighed your truck loaded, ready to camp with all occupants and pets in it plus a full tank of fuel? if not then I suggest going to do so. then take the scaled weight and subtract it from your TV gcwr to get your adjusted towing capacity. The loaded weight of the TT must be less than this. Take the scaled weight and subtract it from your TV gvwr to get your available payload. The loaded tongue weight of the TT must be less than your available payload. The loaded tongue weight of a TT should be 13-15% of the loaded weight.

Do you know for certain how much weight you have added to your Shasta from its dry scaled weight (yellow weight sticker in door or cabinet of TT)? if not then with only approx 1700 lbs cargo capacity on the 319 TT I would calculate using the TT gvwr. The gvwr on the 319 is 9680 lbs. That means a tongue weight possibly as high as 1452 lbs.

the 326 has the same gvwr as the 39 but as a much larger capacity. you are not likely to load 2400 lbs of gear but it s possible. The average camper adds 1000-1500 lbs of gear, some more, some less. You could weigh all of your gear as you pull it out of the Shasta or weigh it loaded and unloaded to figure that weight addition out. If you know the amount of weight added, then you can add that weight to the stickered dry weight (this includes weight of options etc) to get an estimated loaded weight. or you could calculate using gvwr of TT. Looking at gvwr of 9680, you again look at 1452 lb worse case tongue weight. if you know an estimate then it could be less. ie if you knew the stickered weight to be 7600 lbs (random number) and you knew you were to add 1000 lbs of gear for a loaded weight of 8600 lbs, a 13% tongue weight would be 1118 lbs.

I also find it very hard to believe your current TT is heavier nd only has a 650 lb tongue weight. that would mean you were unsafely low on hitch weight. How did you get that weight? did you get it from a sherline scale, a calculation after hitting scales, a dry tongue weight from a catalog or a guess? Have you scaled your Shasta to get an accurate loaded TT weight? if you haven't already, go to CAT Scale and find a local scale. you can also try a feed store or landfill to find a scale. good luck and happy hunting
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:55 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
This is correct. The "range" for travel trailers is 9-15% of total camper weight.
The "optimum" is 12% for safe trailer handling (sway and end swap). The more tail heavy the trailer is the more unstable in braking and the more likely a jack knife in a stop. The heavier the nose, the more likely it will have severe sway issues.

Some floor plans are by their nature heavier in the front or back. If tongue weight is a limitation for your tow vehicle, you should avoid a floor plan that has a heavier than average dry tongue weight (and the majority of the storage in front).

herk I thought tail heavy, tongue light induced sway.
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