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Old 06-18-2019, 01:12 AM   #1
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Need a new trailer with lower tongue weight

I recently bought a used travel trailer. I just had my whole rig weighed and ran in to problems. I weighed each axle sedately, with the trailer attached and empty. The truck was empty except for me. All the axles were under their rated limits except the rear truck axle which was 100lbs over the rated load. The TT had a number of upgrades including 6v batteries and a weight distributing anti-sway hitch (which distributes the weight better but adds to your total weight). My rear axle will be way over with a full load so I am thinking of selling the TT and buying a new one.

Does anyone have suggestions for a fully featured travel trailer with a tongue weight of about 3-400 pounds? Weight of the trailer doesn't seem to be an issue as my truck is rated to over 10000lbs towing. My payload is 1500lbs so a tongue weight of 400 pounds leaves me with 1100 pounds for driver, passenger, big dog, luggage, and additional weight in the trailer which I will easily use up. Driver/passengers/dog will be up to 600lb.

Any suggestions for fully featured travel trailers with a tongue weight of about 400 pounds? New or used, I will worry about cost later, my wife is in love with the one we have and doesn't want to sell it.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:36 AM   #2
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My guess is you will be looking for a larger truck. Not many campers will come in with a tongue weight of 400lbs
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:52 AM   #3
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My guess is you will be looking for a larger truck. Not many campers will come in with a tongue weight of 400lbs
I have thought about that, but I have seen several smaller trailers with a tongue weight of about 400lbs but I have never payed attention to their make or model. We will have to go with a smaller trailer, but I am looking for smaller trailers with as many options and amenities as they make, with about that tongue weight. I have an F150 with the most powerful engine they made for it, so my search should not be too hard. Suggestions appreciated.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:11 AM   #4
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I have thought about that, but I have seen several smaller trailers with a tongue weight of about 400lbs but I have never payed attention to their make or model. We will have to go with a smaller trailer, but I am looking for smaller trailers with as many options and amenities as they make, with about that tongue weight. I have an F150 with the most powerful engine they made for it, so my search should not be too hard. Suggestions appreciated.
are you talking about fantasy "dry" tongue weight numbers of 400lbs?
just cause your F150 has an Ecoboost, doesn't mean it has the payload capacity to tow a heavy tongue weight.
in fact, smaller single axle trailers will often have heavier tongue weights than larger tandem axle trailers.
i don't know of many small TTs with a lot of amenties and options, with bogus dry tongue weights of 400lbs.
plus you have to factor the weights of the WDH also.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:18 AM   #5
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Need more information on what you are looking for. You don't give a type of floor plan you want. There are small trailers out there. Jayco 174BH for example is a single axle 17' bunkhouse. Published tongue weight of 280lbs. Pod campers are light also.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:11 AM   #6
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:37 AM   #7
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I think as my Grandpa used to say you're trying to make a square peg fit in a round hole.

I'd get a bigger truck.

I have a little experience here with this.. I could make the numbers work with my Escalade but it just wasn't worth it white-knuckling and wondering if I was doing serious damage. Numerous upgrades performed and I was still technically too close on the numbers to feel comfortable.

Even if you find a camper with an advertised tounge weight of around 3-400lbs by the time you get it loaded you're going to be over.

Plenty of trucks out there with higher numbers.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:40 AM   #8
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Take a step back here and look at the whole picture. What's the tounge weight now? What are you putting in the truck besides people that are eating up your capacity. Luggage??? We put our clothes directly in the coach closets. No luggage.

I have similar vehicle specs. 3.5 EB and 1439 lbs. Don't forget, Ford identifies a driver at 150lbs, so you can add this to you calculation.
We have 4 people, 2 dogs and 600 lbs of tounge weight. I'm right at my limits with just a few things in the rear compartment of the SUV. Most everything goes in the trailer.

Rethink packing before you buy anything new.

Best of luck. Have Fun.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by harpo-the-camper View Post
The TT had a number of upgrades including 6v batteries and a weight distributing anti-sway hitch (which distributes the weight better but adds to your total weight). My rear axle will be way over with a full load so I am thinking of selling the TT and buying a new one.
What trailer did you get? What's the tongue weight on your trailer, are you setting up the WDH correctly? The WDH should take some weight off the rear axle and put it back on the steer and trailer axles.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:35 AM   #10
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what are all the weights both with TT connected with WDH and the truck alone. You could still have options with the truck and TT
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:56 AM   #11
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what are all the weights both with TT connected with WDH and the truck alone. You could still have options with the truck and TT
This.

The WDH may not be setup properly. I was amazed at the amount of tweaking I needed to do with mine to get it right.

I had to go completely through the setup and even repositioning the L brackets on the A frame.

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Old 06-18-2019, 11:19 AM   #12
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There are many things you can do. First you have posted any specific specs on your trailer other than the tongue weight.

Things that you can do to change tongue weight are weight distribution hitch adjustments and load more weight in the back of the trailer to lift weight off the tongue.

That being said, you need to maintain 10%-15% of your overall trailer weight on your tongue.

Now, I am going to stir up some crap. I don't get so wound up in payload capacity of your truck. You are not going to spin off the road and die if you are a 100 lbs over. Personally I look at it as long as I am within 200 lbs, then whatever. The biggest thing is that being over your payload is just harder on the truck.

There are also lots of things that go into the payload of your truck. Suspension, springs, tires etc. That is how different F150 trucks can have different payload ranges. You can improve the truck you have by putting load range E tires on it. You can also add a leaf to the rear.

Since you are talking a tongue weight of only 400 lbs, to me that says you must have a trailer that is 4,000 lbs which is quite light. I bet your load capacity is based on load range C tires. Check your tires. Put load range D or E tires on it and don't worry about it. I put load range E tires on my F150 and never looked back. Amazing difference.
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Old 06-18-2019, 11:59 AM   #13
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I hate to break the bad news to you, but there is no such thing as a "full-featured" TT with a tongue weight of 3-400 ils.

If 3-400 lbs is your target maximum, you're going to need a bigger truck in order to tow what you envision.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:00 PM   #14
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I have similar vehicle specs. 3.5 EB and 1439 lbs. Don't forget, Ford identifies a driver at 150lbs, so you can add this to you calculation.
Payload Capacity rating is factored ONLY with a full fuel tank. Occupants(which the driver is considered one of them)and cargo should not exceed your 1439 number. So driver's weight counts against payload.

Towing Capacity rating is factored with a full fuel tank AND a 150lb driver.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:13 PM   #15
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Are there any "full featured" pop ups out there?
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by harpo-the-camper View Post
I recently bought a used travel trailer. I just had my whole rig weighed and ran in to problems. I weighed each axle sedately, with the trailer attached and empty. The truck was empty except for me. All the axles were under their rated limits except the rear truck axle which was 100lbs over the rated load. The TT had a number of upgrades including 6v batteries and a weight distributing anti-sway hitch (which distributes the weight better but adds to your total weight). My rear axle will be way over with a full load so I am thinking of selling the TT and buying a new one.

Does anyone have suggestions for a fully featured travel trailer with a tongue weight of about 3-400 pounds? Weight of the trailer doesn't seem to be an issue as my truck is rated to over 10000lbs towing. My payload is 1500lbs so a tongue weight of 400 pounds leaves me with 1100 pounds for driver, passenger, big dog, luggage, and additional weight in the trailer which I will easily use up. Driver/passengers/dog will be up to 600lb.

Any suggestions for fully featured travel trailers with a tongue weight of about 400 pounds? New or used, I will worry about cost later, my wife is in love with the one we have and doesn't want to sell it.
If its just you and the trailer and you are over the rear axle weight than assuming you weigh about 200 than your hitch weight must be around 1500 lbs. How else do you go over a 1500lb cargo capacity? The cargo capacity is based on the axle weight limits. Also, either your WDH isn't doing anything or you have one heckofa big trailer back there or both.

Typically people are able to pull 6000-8000 lb trailers(loaded) with an F-150(1500-1800 cargo capacity which is almost always more limiting than the towing capacity), that puts around 750 to 1000 lbs on the hitch before the WDH impact(at nominal 12% hitch weight). A proper WDH should put about 10-15% back on the trailer axles. So rough rule is that after using a WDH you can figure up to about 10-12% of the trailer weight is your cargo weight(assuming trailer isn't too nose heavy). So if you've got a 6000 lb trailer you should have maybe 800 cargo capacity for passengers and gear. If you think/guess you are putting in more than maybe 700 or so you'll want to weigh everything to check.

With an F-150 and +6000 lb trailer you usually need to put as much of your stuff as possible into the trailer making sure you stay within the trailer wt limit and making sure you still have about 12% or so tongue weight for stability.

So in order to pull a decent sized trailer with an F-150 the trailer needs to be loaded up just right(balanced) and the WDH has to be properly functioning for the weight of the trailer hitch.

My truck has a 1624lb cargo rating and a 4500lb dry weight trailer rating. I think the trailer is around 5500lb loaded. I figure I can go maybe another 1000lb on the trailer(thinking of upgrading) before I run out of truck.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:20 PM   #17
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Are there any "full featured" pop ups out there?
Well, they won't have a full size fridge/freezer. Only small 3-way fridges with only a place for an ice tray.
They won't have a full size bathroom or shower.
They won't have a permanent bed.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:50 PM   #18
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Well to stay under your 400 pound limit I would suggest that your unit dry should weigh no more than about 3000 pounds. You can get several units that are quite good at that weight limit size. Below are several smaller units that are normally recommended.

Forest River R-Pod Travel Trailer Travel Trailer Series 2342-2836 lbs 18 to 20 feet 2 to 4 people.
Gas detectors
Safety-glass windows
Wood-glazed drawer fronts
9 floorplans

KZ Sportsmen Classic Travel Trailer Travel Trailer Series 2126-2840 lbs 15 to 21 feet 3 to 5 people
Solar panels
Alum-a-tough roofing
AC
Awning with LED lights

Palomino PaloMini 180FB Travel Trailers Travel Trailer Model 2823 lbs 21 feet 3 people.
Awning with LED lights
Walkable roof
Memory foam mattress
AC and furnace

Lance 1575 Travel Trailer Travel Trailer Model 2775 lbs 20.5 feet 4 people Skylights
Stereo systems
Furnace
Bluetooth speakers

Airstream Sport 22FB Travel Trailer Model 2860 lbs 22 feet 1 to 4 people Several entertainment options
Dinette-cum-bed
AC
Ultraleather seating

Good luck and remember RVing in any size unit requires some compromises some were.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:48 PM   #19
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Payload Capacity rating is factored ONLY with a full fuel tank. Occupants(which the driver is considered one of them)and cargo should not exceed your 1439 number. So driver's weight counts against payload.

Towing Capacity rating is factored with a full fuel tank AND a 150lb driver.
Disagree. Lots on the subject. 150lbs + passengers and cargo. It's in the Ford towing manual.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:19 PM   #20
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OP, not sure if this helps but we have an early 2018 Rockwood Mini Lite 2104s pulling it with an older Toyota Sequoia 4.7L V8, 4:10 rear with a payload of 1,250. We removed our 3rd row seat to gain about 80lbs of payload. In our case its just the DW and me.

For that year the 2104s listed dry weight in the broucher was 383lbs. I have a Sherline Tongue Weight Scale and weight it occasionally, photo below was from a couple weeks ago, around 450lbs. We did swap our 30lb LP tanks for 20lb to make them easier for me to lift which reduced our tongue weight by a small margin of about 35-37lbs. We also have an Andersen WDH that weights less than 60lbs total, again, making it easier for me to lift. We never carry water in the trailer when traveling except a gallon or so in the black tank. We are about 5,000lbs wet. We generally travel and camp in MD, VA, PA.


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