Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-20-2015, 01:40 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 20
2006 Rockwood 2280 tongue weight - long read

Hi everyone,

This is a long read but I'm needing advice/help on a towing problem I have.

I wanted to know what others have to say about the tongue weights on a 2006 Rockwood 2280 12' pop up trailer.

I'm currently towing this pop up with a 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring (Canadian model without the stupid PAX run flat tires) and my vehicle is equipped with the factory towing package that allows me to tow up to 3500 lbs with a 350 lb tongue load.

I have a family of 4, my wife, my two little kids (4 and 2 year old) and myself so I've taken the conservative approach and limit myself to tow up to a maximum of 2800 lbs - lower than honda's estimated maximum of 3050 lbs with 4 vehicle occupants.

What confuses me about towing and this has been an ongoing concern for me is that my Odyssey although has plenty of power to tow MOST pop ups that it really wasn't designed to tow something quite this large. Why do I make this comment even though I've already clocked at least 1000+ kms of towing?

Tongue weight.

The original sales brochure and even the half man door for the trailer clearly states the dry hitch weigh as being 255 lbs. I understand that 255 dry weight doesn't tell the whole picture when you consider that you can easily tack on another 70 lbs on the tongue just by filling the propane tank and installing a battery. That really makes my dry hitch weight more like 325 lbs (dealer tells me Forest River already considers the empty propane tank as part of the factory tongue weight calculations).

Today after towing the trailer back loaded from our weekend camping trip I decided to take the Odyssey and the 2280 to a CAT certified platform style weigh scale where I have to pay a fee to get my official papers on the weights. Much to my surprise my van's rear axle weight was exceeded by about 65 lbs and my tongue weight on my 2280 weighed in at 460 lbs!

This is very concerning for me as the 460 lb tongue weight is a LOT higher than what my factory hitch receiver is rated for. This clearly is a HUGE safety issue and I didn't initially catch it b/c I was under the presumption that tongue weight was small proportion of what was loaded ahead of the trailer's rear axle. i even did a re-weigh just to make sure I didn't have any measurement errors and triple checked to make sure the trailer was level when I weighed it on its own.

We hardly had anything heavy in the trailer and I would imagine that even with everything that was inside that it wouldn't have been more than a few hundred pounds of cargo at most. The typical items would be water hoses, sleeping bags, a small # of pots and pans and dishes and a microwave and enough clothes for a family of 4 for just a weekend.

Heavier items such as the Weber Q100 BBQ and food was put in the back (ahead of the rear axle) in our odyssey and nothing else. All water in toilet and water heater are always drained prior to towing.

So what i want to know is:
1. Given how light I packed in our minivan and the fact that we have two kids that don't add up to more than 75 lbs combined "kid weight" how could I have exceeded my rear axle rating by roughly 65lbs? I'm going to suspect b/c of a very heavy tongue weight. I already packed SUPER light for this past weekend trip prior to doing this weigh in.

2. The 2280's tongue weight in what they advertise is DRASTICALLY different than what I measured. i'll bet that even if I pulled all my cargo out of that trailer that my tongue weight would still exceed what my minivan's hitch and body frame mounts were rated for. Can/IS the 2280's tongue weight really THAT heavy and that far off from the factory's estimate of 255 lbs?

3. I just ordered a brand new 13.5K Dometic rooftop AC that I'm installing on my pop up next week. The ac unit is 80 lbs installed and despite it being just slightly ahead of the rear axle I'll bet that will push my tongue weight far beyond 460 lbs.


What are other's experiences and what are my mitigation options short of having to spend a pile of cash on a new tow vehicle?

Did I by chance measure my tongue weight wrong? I doubt it and even the fellow operating the scale said the technique was correct.

here are my weight figures:
2006 Honda Odyssey Touring w/Honda tow hitch

Front axle rating = 2877 lbs -> actual = 2600 lbs
Rear axle rating = 3197 lbs -> actual = 3260 lbs
Rockwood 2280 axle rating = 3000 lbs -> 2080 lbs
Odyssey GCWR = 8410 lbs -> actual 7940 lbs

Then I went and put only the trailer onto the scale and then disconnected it from the tow vehicle and got these figures:

Trailer axle rating = 3000 lbs -> actual 2080 lbs
Tongue weight = 460 lbs

I've clearly exceeded Honda's design specs.

Towing is new to me and I'll admit I've already towed over 1000kms on my van with this pop up including through some mountainous terrain and so far no issues BUT that doesn't mean I should continue to do so. My van up until now hasn't had any issues pulling or stopping the trailer and has performed quite well on fairly long 8% grades.

I do not have a WDH and can't do so b/c on my year of trailer forest river themselves have stated in the owners manual to NEVER use a WDH even though it does have a box frame and not a c channel frame. Battery and propane tank are also in the way of WDH mounting points.

I can't pack any lighter, I can't buy a better TV just yet and I love this trailer too much to downsize to something lighter.


Thoughts?

Thanks,
stevespopup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2015, 02:50 AM   #2
Just a member
 
kandl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Great White North
Posts: 921
FR has updated the specs on this camper. Specifically the hitch weight. Not surprised. Doesn't appear that there have been enough changes to the unit to warrant the revised figure with the exception that the 2006 figure was probably out to lunch. We and many others on this forum can empathize with that. FR's brochure data over past few yrs and even the label data is at best, questionable. That's why so many press home the imperative to weigh your rig and even suggest you have it done at the dealer before you drive off into the sunset.

Nevertheless, your Odyssey is probably fine with your current config but for peace of mind you might consider liberating some of the camping stuff from the van and relocating it over or behind the camper's axle. That might be a PITA from a setup perspective but it could very well bring your numbers back into the black and even afford the extra wiggle room that the impending A/C will add.

And don't forget...
__________________
K&L + the Wild Bunch
TT: 2011 Rockwood 8293RKSS
TV: 2019 Dodge 3500 SRW Crew HO CTD

kandl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2016, 07:02 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3
Heavy tongue weight

I am in the exact same situation, and I'm wondering how you resolved your tongue weight problem. What did you do?
CampingWith4Kids is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2016, 10:04 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 20
In the end I did a couple of more toes with the odyssey but realized that should something fail on the minivan that my insurance would find out I was over capacity and I could lose coverage and be sued for damages. Sadly I had to sell our perfectly fine (and super crazy upgraded) Odyssey and I purchased a 1/2 ton truck to tow the pop up with it. Not surprisingly, the truck hauls this pop up with ease and I am 1000% more confident pulling this trailer anywhere including through the Rocky Mountains without EVER thinking twice about my load ratings. Bittersweet ending because I didn't want to sell the van and drive a truck but safety was absolutely paramount and even though the Odyssey may have been able to tow the trailer in flat ground that it would be a hard strain on the powertrain and suspension every time we towed with it. Our odyssey would've probably does a premature death of we keept using it to tow.
stevespopup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2016, 03:46 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3
Odyssey and popup

We're kind of stuck with the van since we have four little ones, but we're already looking ahead to a larger tow vehicle. I installed a transmission cooler and bought an ultragauge to monitor the transmission fluid temperature. I installed a W/D hitch, and we've spent the morning repacking the trailer and we currently have a tongue weight within spec. I haven't visited the scales so I'm not sure what our trailer weighs yet, but I think it will be okay too. For the benefit of others doing this, where we keep the camper is hilly and the transmission fluid temperature has so far remained very reasonable even on very hot days and very steep grades (we have a 24% grade near our cabin).
CampingWith4Kids is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2016, 03:56 PM   #6
I go RV'ing not Camping
 
jgourlie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lethbridge, Ab, Canada
Posts: 1,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by CampingWith4Kids View Post
We're kind of stuck with the van since we have four little ones, but we're already looking ahead to a larger tow vehicle. I installed a transmission cooler and bought an ultragauge to monitor the transmission fluid temperature. I installed a W/D hitch, and we've spent the morning repacking the trailer and we currently have a tongue weight within spec. I haven't visited the scales so I'm not sure what our trailer weighs yet, but I think it will be okay too. For the benefit of others doing this, where we keep the camper is hilly and the transmission fluid temperature has so far remained very reasonable even on very hot days and very steep grades (we have a 24% grade near our cabin).
You could look at a Nissan Armada which has seats for 7 and then have plenty of towing power for your trailer.

Just a thought
__________________
312QBUD Owners Thread
2015 Wildwood Heritage Glen 312QBUD
2000 Chev 2500 Extended Cab 6 Liter
1400lbs Equal-i-zer Hitch
jgourlie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
280, rockwood, weight

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:31 PM.