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Old 09-14-2013, 10:12 PM   #1
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Micro Lite Hitch Weight

I bought a new 2013 Forest River Micro Lite 23LB in June of 2013. My tow vehicle was a 2007 GMC Sierra with a 4.8 motor. The Sierra towed the Micro Lite good and steady even with no weight distribution hitch, but it just didn't cut the mustard, power wise, on a slight grade, let alone on a steep hill. A few weeks ago I traded the GMC for a new 2013 Ford F150 with a 5.0 engine. What a difference 65 horsepower and a bit more torque makes! Hills and grades are no problem now, but I have a concern: While towing the Micro Lite with the F150, the steering feels way lighter than I experienced with the Sierra and was not as steady as towing with the Sierra. With the money I have in both a new TT and truck I know it's a wise idea, not to mention the safety aspect, to buy a WD hitch. So I figured I'd first check out a ballpark figure of my hitch weight. This is where I got confused.

According to the 2013 Forest River brochure, the Micro Lite 23LB has a base dry hitch weight of 356 pounds and the Micro Lite 23FB base dry hitch weight is listed as 569 pounds. The only difference, I can see, between the two (the 23LB and 23FB) is that the 23LB has bunks beds and the 23FB doesn't, but instead has a full width bath room in place of the bunk space and the refrigerator is located a bit forward on the opposite wall (but still rear of the axle.) I'm wondering if anyone on this forum can answer why is there such a difference in the hitch weights, according to the manufacture, between these two models? I know I can figure the hitch weight myself by pulling my truck on scales and finding the difference between the truck's weight by itself and with the TT hooked up, but I can't understand why there's such a hitch weight discrepancy between two very similar models according to the manufacturer's specs. I suppose it could be a typo in the brochure, but I would think Forest River would have corrected that by now. You can see for yourself on page 7 on the following link:

http://media.rvusa.com/library/13_Sh..._Microlite.pdf

I also did an online search for 2013 23LBs for sale and I'm seeing all kinds of different hitch weights listed for that model by different dealers. I find hitch weights, for the 23LB, listed anywhere from 290 pounds to 356 pounds.
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:15 PM   #2
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We have a 23lb and the hitch weight loaded is 425. One of the reasons for the difference could be the murphy bed. On the 23lb, the standard is no murphy bed so you can keep the triple bunk. If you get the murphy bed option on the 23 lb, then you can not have the triple bunks.

Just a guess here but the murphy bed and sofa has to weight more the the standard.

We also tow with a F150 5.0 and it does a great job but I have a Hensley Cub hitch as well...Good luck with your decision.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:00 AM   #3
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The additional dry weight is due to the murphy bed & sofa combo. A great trailer but after you add a battery and fill the propane tanks the weight adds up. Definitely requires WDH. I use an E2 Equalizer WDH which would work well on the 23FB. Enjoy the TT
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:09 AM   #4
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Indymule...thank you for your response. I was sure the hitch weight on my Micro Lite (mine has the Murphy bed option) was more than 356 lbs., but I've never weighed it. I thought of the Murphy bed when looking at the differences in hitch weights, but completely forgot about the sofa. I still find it hard to believe there's over a 200 lb. difference in hitch weights between the 23LB (356 lbs.) and the 23FB (569 lbs.) as stated in the Flagstaff brochure.

I live in rural area with not many RV dealers around. I've never seen a Hensley Cub hitch at any of the local dealers. By chance, is there a reliable online dealer you know of where they can be purchased? Experience has taught me that sometimes the best deals can be found online, but later tonight I'll fill out the form on the Hensley web site for dealer locations. I only use my TT 3 to 4 times a year and the trip is only about 40 miles one way, but bad things can happen even close to home and I'd like to cover all bases as best I can with a good WD system.

Other than a broken screen door latch, I haven't had any problems with my Micro Lite and I'm very happy with it so far.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:17 AM   #5
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rschoono289...Thank you for the heads up on the E2 Equalizer. I'll check it out. The problem I'm finding is that there are so many WD systems out there, if I ask 10 different people what system is the best, I get 10 different answers. But think that even a mediocre WD hitch is better than not having one at all.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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I know what you mean about wdh selection. My E2 equalizer is the lower priced equalizer (2 point vs 4 point). It has worked well for me and not as expensive as the Hensley products. You don't have to remove it when backing into site which helps. Best of luck in your selection. A wdh will make much more enjoyable towing whichever one you choose.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:53 AM   #7
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I don't know about local dealers, I think they only deal direct. The Hensley is expensive and many will tell you that is overkill. They are correct when all is going well. There are many WDH's that will control sway. The Hensley shines in a couple area's. I do not experience any movement of the trailer from high winds or passing trucks...NONE!

The second is during emergency breaking or blow out. I have not experienced a blowout while towing but I have no doubt that the trailer will remain inline.
I have experienced an emergency stop situation when someone ran a red light, the trailer remained directly inline and I was able to stop short of broadsiding a family. I can't put a price on that for them or me.

Good luck on your decision, I would recommend some type of sway control.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:55 PM   #8
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I weighed my 23FB on a tongue-weight scale at 640 lbs. And that's with about 80 lbs of inflatable kayaks in the rear bathroom to try to counter the battery and propane weight (those aren't included in the 569 lb factory spec). If you have the murphy bed option you might be in the same range. It's definitely worth weighing the tongue - mine is around 13-14% of GVW.

My dealer included a Reese ProSeries WD hitch with sway control in the price of the trailer. I don't have anything to compare it to but it works well for me.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:56 PM   #9
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OldRock, thanks for your input. It's going to be a long winter so I'll have plenty of time to check out the many WD systems offered today. One thing is certain: I will have a WDH the time I next tow my Micro-Lite (next June). So far I've looked at the Anderson and Blue Ox sway pro systems and found a lot of good reviews on both, but I know there're also many others on the market. I just want to make sure I get the correct system that matches the hitch weight of my TT. As I understand a WDH that's rated for a lighter or heavier hitch weight than I have, loaded, will not do the job it's designed to. I figure a good WDH is cheap insurance compared to the cost of a new truck and TT, not to mention the risk of personal injury.
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