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Old 08-26-2018, 03:09 AM   #1
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Default Adding bikes on rear made tongue lite tongue weight

I recently welded a 2Ē trailer hitch on the back frame of my 24í Alumilite. I also added 2 frame skid rollers, and added a bike rack. The hitch, rollers, rack and bikes come to 205 pounds. This changed the towing stability dramatically. My TV is a 2014 F-150 crewcab with the 5í5Ē bed,rated to tow over 8000 pounds. My Alumilite dry weight is 6000 pounds. I was waiting until we got the camper fully stocked with cookware, etc., before I had it weighed at a certified scale. I had about 700 miles of previous towing before adding the bikes on the rear. Previously we carried them in the truck bed. The stability was fantastic until this trip. In fact, we got in a thunderstorm coming home on a previous trip, with 45 mph gust, and only a slight sway. After getting a certified weight to check tongue weight, and the gross weights, I plan to install a weight distributing hitch for maximum safety. Iím right at the point of TV and trailer weighing about the same.On this current trip, I could feel every passing truck, and 50 mph was the highest speed I felt safe driving. It was only a 75 mile trip, but before returning home, I plan to put about 200 pounds of water in the freshwater tank, which is located under the bed, near the front, just to balance things better. Has anyone experienced this? What options are available to allow me to keep the bikes on the back? Seems a waste to haul 200 pounds of water, just for stability. This was just a 3 day trip, so not a lot of clothing or food, but we plan to do 8 months of full time starting December 2019. I do plan to add one more battery on the tongue. Thanks for any and all input. BTW, Growing up on a farm, Iíve had a lifetime of towing all sorts of trailers, but you canít reposition loads to get a 10% tongue weight in a travel trailer.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:29 AM   #2
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This info may help;
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:34 AM   #3
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Adding 200 lbs to the rear removes 200 lbs (roughly - not quite exactly, but close enough) from the tongue. You need to maintain 12-15% of the total weight on the tongue. I highly recommend using a tongue scale so that you know what your tongue weight truly is.

There really aren't a lot of options. You need to restore tongue weight somehow. Sometimes loading differently works. Sometimes not ... If it doesn't, then you'll need to reconsider putting all of the bikes on the rear.

FWIW - my trailer was designed to be towed with a full water tank and the water tank is at the back. I don't do that, so my tongue was overweight. I put bikes on the rear which corrected my overweight tongue.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:25 AM   #4
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:13 AM   #5
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The 15% total trailer weight on the hitch ball is a good rule of thumb and will definitely be the most stable distribution. The "weight distributing" hitch does nothing for this requirement, its job is to level the tow vehicle and keep some weight on the front (steering) axle.

If your dry weight of your trailer is 6000 lbs and your tow rating for your truck is 8000 pounds you are dangerously close to the anther rule of thumb for safe conventional towing -- which is staying under 75% of rating at ALL TIMES. Adding even a can of soup, let alone extra weight beyond the end of the trailer impacts both this percentage and the hitch weight so measure, do not estimate.

A third factor that impacts trailer stability is the overall length of the trailer compared to the wheel base of the tow vehicle. I think it is basically 110 inches of wheelbase for a 20 foot trailer and add a foot of trailer length for each additional 4 inches of wheelbase on the tow vehicle. This is a conservative rule, but short tow vehicles make for white knuckle travel so longer is better. Your Crew Cab should have a long enough wheelbase for this 24 foot trailer.

Since you don't yet have a proper hitch, maybe you don't have any sway control apparatus either...that would be yet another factor.

You owe it to yourself, your family, your heirs and everyone else on the road to tow safely, so hope you get it sorted out and ask any additional questions you may have on this forum.

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Old 08-27-2018, 07:50 AM   #6
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Planning to add WD hitch ? What are you currently using ? The tongue weight is very important . A good WD hitch with built in sway control is essential. I like the Equalizer. Depending on you abilities or finances, the bikes could be mounted to A-frame of trailer above LP tanks, thus adding tongue weight. Trailer axles can also be relocated. Lots of solutions, none are cheap or easy. Good luck
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Old 09-02-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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Modified the flimsy bumper on my Vista 19 to have enough lateral stability to take a two bicycle carrier with 2" square receiver. My diesel SUV with Andersen WDH handled the set-up wonderfully on a 12Kkm transcontinental trip this summer with the bicycle carrier and two bicycles!
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Old 03-13-2023, 05:01 AM   #8
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Steps to install a caravan stabilizer bar. Step #1: Install the hitch sway control ball. Step #2 - Mark the location of the trailer's wobble ball holes. Step #3: Drill pilot holes in the frame. Step #4: Secure the trailer swing ball in place.Step #5: Attach the Stabilizer Unit.
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