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Old 08-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #1
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How do you load up your A frame for a trip?

Hi everyone!
I'm captivated by the A frame units and will be buying one in the near future (looking at a 128S). Just waiting on the CFO approval. I'm currently camping in a '95 Coleman Utah which has a lot of room. I'm curious how you all load your units for a week of fun. I understand that there is a 150 pound limit on the front storage trunk. I've seen some very creative mods for storage in the forum and will look closer at them down the road. I love the forum and the flow of ideas and information. You guys are all great and thanks for the information!
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #2
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While you wait for feedback, to the forums!

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Old 08-23-2012, 04:21 PM   #3
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I think this strongly depends on your towing vehicle .. how much it can hold/pickup or SUV, and how much you like to bring. We have converted from a fairly large 12 popup with a boxed unit on the front, to a plain and simple A122, with no issues at all. We still carry extra heaters, hoses, solar panels, wiring, a 5lb propane bottle and a couple of 1lb backups, a weber Q 120, sleeping bags ( incase of a cold night) full sets of pots and pans, cooking utensils and cooking gismos (for me) and a Bal leveler. In there im sure is a full make up for the bedding, all the dishes stuff and everything. Basically it all stays in the trailer, we just load our truck, dry good, and clothes, canoes fishing equipement and the dog ... and off we go. On larger trips we precool and pack the fridge, which for some crazy reason really works well in all these trailers. Our last trip had us out for 14 nights.

welcome to the forum - d-mo
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trjeep View Post
Hi everyone!
... (looking at a 128S). I'm curious how you all load your units for a week of fun. I understand that there is a 150 pound limit on the front storage trunk. I've seen some very creative mods for storage in the forum and will look closer at them down the road. I love the forum and the flow of ideas and information. You guys are all great and thanks for the information!
Hi, welcome to the forum!

We have a A128s.

To date, we have not had it out for more than 3 nights. (I hope that will change in September when I finally take some vacation time.)

My wife and I carry enough to be comfortable. We don't carry lots of entertainment equipment except for e-book readers. She carries her painting items and occasionally other small craft stuff. The stereo system has a large number of MP3's on an SDHC card. This doesn't mean that we won't carry a TV or larger computer, etc. We just don't at this time.

We try to carry fairly light bulky stuff in the front storage compartment. These items include: porta potty, popup shower, tarp, chairs, jacks, leveling blocks, rug, and the heaviest item - the awning.

We fill up the fridge (and carry a small cooler as well.) The small storage area to the next to the sink is our pantry for non-perishable items (and it holds pots and pans as well.). Under the sink is plates, cups, and miscellaneous kitchen stuff.

Clothes, bedding and personal care items, make up most of the of items carried under the left front storage.

We keep a couple of collapsible picnic baskets at the nose (front dinette) with snacks, coffee, paper plates, etc.

I carry the grill, grill table, a dutch oven, a few tools, and duct tape, in the back and side compartments on the microwave side.

The first aid kit, small repair items, and flash lights are stored under the microwave.

Inside the cabin is a fair number of throw pillows.

Finally, we keep the back dinette backboard up most of the time. Behind it we store miscellaneous things like camera cases, some bedding, shaving kit, and other need it quick stuff.

We've tent camped for years, so for us less is just fine. The amount we carry is way more than we were used to. We're just more comfortable now...
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trjeep View Post
Hi everyone!
I'm captivated by the A frame units and will be buying one in the near future (looking at a 128S). I'm curious how you all load your units for a week of fun. I understand that there is a 150 pound limit on the front storage trunk. I've seen some very creative mods for storage in the forum and will look closer at them down the road.
Welcome! Great ideas and suggestions for packing by DGrissom.

Be cautious that you don't over load your tow vehicle and / or Aframe's weight limit in carrying capacity with gear. I believe the (additional) carrying capacity weight limit is 1000 lb. for the Aframe and it's tires. Your tow vehicle's GVW should be listed in it's manual.

The tongue weight limit depends on your tow vehicle's limit and should be in the manual as well. Often you can overcome some of that with a weight distributing hitch and bars.

I am unfamiliar with the front storage trunk weight limits, but the storage looks like a pretty handy feature.

Deb
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:24 PM   #6
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I have the 128S and was surprise the tongue weight of the trailer without adding anything was 420 pounds. My SUV posted max of 350 pounds tongue weight. Since I also have my bike carrier in the front I had to shift the weight in the trailer. Moved all the heavy stuff in the rear including the propane tanks. Also the big table was moved to the rear. All the cushion were move to the front. Hardly put anything heavy in the front storage. I approx added over 500 pounds of camping gears to the trailer. Did the weigh in and got 370 pounds tongue weight, I'm over by 20 pounds but I think it should be safe. The SUV got lowered by 1.5 inches after hitching the trailer. When I filled up the fresh water tank 20 gallons, it added 40 pounds to the tongue weight, so I will travel with the tank empty. Here is a pic of my trailer:
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I do not bother installing the tanks back, just hook it up

I think that front storage empty added a lot of weight to the front.

I'm enjoying my A128S and having a challenge every time I park in my driveway going backwards:
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Good luck on your purchase and make sure they add the awning/screen room in the deal, it is a $600 option
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:36 AM   #7
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Is it safe to travel with the propane tanks inside the trailer? The manual advises against it because it has safety devices that relieve excess pressure by releasing the gas & if there is a pilot light on, it might explode?
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:47 AM   #8
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Is it safe to travel with the propane tanks inside the trailer? The manual advises against it because it has safety devices that relieve excess pressure by releasing the gas & if there is a pilot light on, it might explode?
Thanks for the warning. I do take the tanks out when I reach my destination and the trailer is not air tight so the gas will escape and no pilot lights are activated in the trailer since the tanks are offline. Those 2 tanks weight is equal to the bikes I carry in front of the trailer...too much tongue weight is a safety factor too
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:57 AM   #9
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I am still learning how this pop up works...its very different than my travel trailer...The manual is not really specific to my unit...Forest River doesnt hold a candle to Jayco when it comes to an owner manual to learn about the specifics...so dont mind me - I am still figuring things out, too. LOL

Ive taken it out by myself a few times without my spouse...but this weekend I finally get the pleasure of my husband's company - so really excited to see how he can help improve my usage of the trailer.

I have more of an advantage with the gear deck and a.larger tow vehicle capable of carrying the weight...I definitely understand the need to be creative in shifting the weight around for your rig.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:59 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for your tips and information. I can see the issues to be aware of when packing the unit. The CFO is beginning to sway, so the campaign is working.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trjeep View Post
Thanks to everyone for your tips and information. I can see the issues to be aware of when packing the unit. The CFO is beginning to sway, so the campaign is working.
Another couple of items that might help your campaign...

The A-frame has a hard side, so the interior climate can be controlled a little better since you won't lose the heat/cold through the canvas. It also provides a little more protection.

Setting up and breaking down camp can take as little as 5 minutes. (mileage may vary depending on your accessories!)

Good luck with your acquisition!!!!!!
Debbie
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:40 AM   #12
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KO77...

My tongue weight was excessive too on my A124. Something over 400 pounds. I have some strategies I am going to try on my next trip to bring the tongue weight down though.
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:05 AM   #13
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Weight Distributing Hitches work great if you have heavy tongue weight. I have an Equalizer hitch on my setup, and I know my tongue is notably beyond the recommended weights, especially after I have loaded up the cargo rack with wood and a cooler full of drink. More if I've attached bikes to the bike-rack.

With the WDH, everything is stable as a rock and I have no rear sag either.

I'd love to relieve the tongue weight some, but not sure I can easily do that short of moving the battery and/or propane tanks, and I'm pretty sure neither is a good idea for the rear bumper, meaning now I have to get additional structural support added which I'm sure seriously voids my warranty. It quickly gets very complicated.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:48 AM   #14
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Weight distributing hitches are really great and work well.
However...
When loading all that extra stuff, either in and/or on your camper,
you must keep in mind your aframe's gross axle weight rating
and the max weight carrying capacity of your tires.

Other factors that will affect performance/stability, especially with extra weight,
are traveling in higher temps, at high speeds, or on rough roads.

Overloading these components and/or your tow vehicle is just a bad idea.

Just sayin'
Deb
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:54 AM   #15
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Keep in mind too, when redistributing weight that sits In the hitch:

1) the weight is still sitting in the ball, you are just using the spring bars as a lever to lift the rear and settle the front of the vehicle.

2) if you effectively redistribute 150lbs of weight about half of that goes to your trailer axle(s). You should count that into your gross cargo weight to ensure you don't overload your axle or exceed its rating.
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