Full Size Pull behind RV thread

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Tudelum48, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

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    I didn't post a pic of what I actually ended up buying this fall (till now) because it's not "little/light" but here it is anyway...

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    Coachmen Apex 214RB. 24 foot long but it is only 7 wide which makes it little-er than most these days. Makes for easier towing and the huge dinette slide somewhat makes up for the loss of width.


    One glitch that I didn't take into account is that I have to unhook in order to load/unload the bikes. I have to fix this somehow.

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    @ Evilclown - The electric awning has an auto-dump feature. It has gas struts both sides. You lock the side that you don't want to dump. The other side will sag down and dump when just a little bit of water builds up. :wink:
  2. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Take it off and use a side rail mount.

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  3. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

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    I thought about that but I don't think it will work with the weight dist bars. I was thinking maybe I would weld more flat plate on the tongue and move the existing jack back.
  4. ghostrider.y2k

    ghostrider.y2k ride enything but HD

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    Pop the gate out, turn the truck about 60 deg right and off you go.
  5. goosecreek

    goosecreek fed up

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    +1 you can foul the threads if you don't
  6. Ken

    Ken Long timer

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    Thanks! I was debating on what to lube them with. You just solved my dilemma :clap
  7. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Do the stabilizer arms slide in those holders? So they restrict the amount of room you have on the side rails? I'm wondering if the wheeled jack will clear those arms since it does stick out somewhat and once stowed should not interfere with the arms. This one seems to stick out far enough to clear.

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  8. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

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    Remove the tailgate.
  9. goosecreek

    goosecreek fed up

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    Hey you could get a fifthwheel tailgate they are dropped in the center. Stole this picture off the web.
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  10. Doorguy1979

    Doorguy1979 Dreamridin'

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    Have you looked into shorter units with a drop leg? The one I have on my 12,000# work trailer only sticks up maybe 12" above the tongue, and has the adjustable leg so it only ever need to be cranked a couple inches. Should give you the room you need.

    That one looks to mounted really high compared with the bottom of the coupler, could you just lower that jack few inches?
  11. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    I was checking some of our work trailers and they had one with a universal inboard crank jack. Basically, mounts like the one with the swivel wheel except it's fixed and does not stow, but just raises by cranking up, like yours. I'll get a picture of it monday.
  12. Hannda

    Hannda Short, fat, bearded, slow

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    The jack on my motorcycle trailer is on a swivel. Straight up and down to jack up and support the trailer. When it's time to go I poot the hitch on the ball then pull on a spring loaded pin and swivel the jack so that it's parallel to the trailer frame - crank to the front, foot to the rear. Cheap and easy - but my jack is on the outside of the single leg that goes to the hitch, not an "A" frame like your trailer. :dunno

    PM me know if you need/want a photo.
  13. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

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    Thank you very much for the input guys. However, isn't your above statement a bit contradictory Funguy? If my tow vehicle is tongue heavy, wouldn't it be a good thing to have a bit of weight on the back of the trailer? Not arguing, just wanted some clarification.

    Also, there is the E2 version of this camper- which we may at some point go to. However, the Jeep is the tow vehicle du jour these days and with a class 2, technically I thought it was only to have a tongue weight of 350 lbs. The E2 (larger tray up front that can carry at least 2 bikes) would almost force getting a load leveling hitch and we do have trailer brakes set up on the Jeep, but the GVWR on the E2 is higher than the Jeep is rated to.

    Here is a shot with a JK and the E2- 2 bikes up there looks like a LOT of tongue weight:

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    So I guess my point is that if I put a bike up front on that tray it by itself basically maxes out the tongue weight. If I put a bike on the back that is similar or lighter in weight, doesn't that just nullify the weight on the front and I'm back to like there was nothing up front?

    Now I know the physics of moment arms, the pivot point of the axle as it relates the distance each load (on the front tray and rear hitch carrier) is from that pivot point, will have an impact on things, but if I take into account 2 full propane tanks and perhaps some doo dads up front in addition to a full water load (the main tank is in front of the axle), wouldn't that negate the concern?

    Again, not arguing, but looking to see if I'm just going to waste money on a bad idea from the start...
  14. Hueychief

    Hueychief FNG

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    You are correct with offsetting the weight upfront with the weight in back. I've been running with my water tank dry to keep the tongue weight down as it can get overloaded very quickly with the deck loaded. That's why they have the deck loading limit of 200lbs, but with proper care and understanding you will be OK. I would not want to try this with just any popup trailer as the frames are alot less rigid and lighter than the E-series, once again why I chose the E1. Any pilot out there can help with a proper weight & balance program to keep the tongue weight in check.
    I was going to do a proper C/G program in Excel for just this purpose and will get it done when able and make sure you get a copy.
    A weight distribution hitch is not an option for my vehicle as it has a self leveling system and I need to keep the tongue weight in proper order.
  15. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

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    Yep, you caught me in a contradiction. What I meant to say was :

    Your TV is looking tongue heavy to begin with. However, too little tongue weight is potentially hazardous to your health.


    Your idea is a good one if your trailer has the substructure to support a bike on the rear. I thought about doing that for a while with mine but didn't find enough steel under the rear to make me comfortable about trying it. Trailer mfg's don't tend to put any more metal anywhere that it isn't needed for their design, but maybe your trailer is different!

    You sound like you know what you're doing to me. Do the math. You'll figure out how much/little tongue weight you'll have if you try this.

    All I meant to emphasize is what Dwayne said. Don't get the tongue too light. Trailers will do nasty unpredictable things when you do that.

    If it gets tricky though a WDH and an anti-sway bar can be helpful.

    I say go for it! :thumb
  16. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

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    Maybe... Your propane is around 75 lbs loaded on a long moment arm, and water is about 410 lbs on a short moment arm... plus do you plan on towing home with full or empty tanks? Where are the waste tanks, and do you plan on towing with them full (or partially full)? Combine those things and it can dramatically change your tongue weight.

    Get out a bathroom scale and measure the tongue weight empty. Remeasure at different load configurations (you can use a 2x6 and a fat friend to mimic the bike/carrier combo). There are lots of resources on the net that describe the procedure. There is no replacement for empirical data (especially when it's easy to acquire).

    Also look at the Jeeps owners manual and see if there is a separate specification for trailer GVW and Max tongue when using a weight distributing hitch (my Titan and Excursion do, but lighter vehicles might not?), But if your trailers GVW is 3500 lbs then the tongue weight should be AT LEAST 350 lbs (which is very close to what Jeep allows and gives no wiggle room to move stuff around in the trailer). If you want to go more you can use a distributing hitch (probably, depending on what the manual says).

    Dimes to dollars this is what will happen, even if you get an acceptable hitch weight with 2 bikes (one front, one back). You will find by the time you load up all the stuff you want to take you will exceed the trailers GVW (you can tow without filling the water tank, but that will probably change the tongue weight), so you put some stuff in the Jeep. Now you will be getting close to the Jeep's GVW, which will almost certainly exceed the GC(ombined)VW specified by Jeep.

    Welcome to the game of towing.

    EDIT

    I did some basic research, it looks like your Jeep can go up to 525lbs tongue with a WD hitch, but trailer max remains unchanged at 3500lbs

    The GCVWR listed by jeep is about 8100 lbs (+/- aprox 100 lbs depending on which model you own)
    The Jeeps Curb weight (inc full fluids and a driver) is about 4300 lbs
    Assuming you fully load the trailer with 1215 lbs of stuff (bringing it to 3500 lbs), you only have 500 lbs of capacity in the jeep for passengers and cargo.

    The trailer has 1215 lbs of capacity.

    A carrier an 2 dirt bikes will come to at least 600 lbs, but probably more realistically 700, so lets split the diffrence at 650 lbs.

    2 20 lb propane tanks will weigh 34 lbs plus 20 lbs of propane each, or 74 lbs total.
    full water looks to be 47 gallons (41 gal + 6 gal water heater) @ 10 lbs per gallon so 470 lbs.

    this totals 1194 lbs of cargo, leaving 21 lbs for food, dishes, clothes, riding gear etc.

    Of course some of this can go in the jeep, you have 500 lbs spare, but you have to subtract the weight of the passengers, dog (if you have one) etc. so lets call it 300 lbs less say 40 lbs for 2 sets of riding gear, some basic tools etc. now at 260 lbs for food, dishes, clothes, games whatever.

    Simplified, to meet the letter of the specifications, after 2 fairly light bikes, propane and water, you have 521 lbs of capacity for everything except you. If you feel you need to use a WD hitch you can make that 480 ish lbs (they are heavy). Which really isn't all that bad, considering you can exchange water weight for cargo, and you could probably remove 1 propane tank for weekend stuff etc, and all you have to do is make sure you have enough hitch weight.

    Again the choices are very much yours to make, I just wanted to point out the things to consider when getting close to the specs.

    Oh going to an E2 (assuming towing with the jeep) you would loose ability to carry 160 lbs.
  17. willymills

    willymills n00b

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    My son and I use it for a pit trailer racing 1/8 scale RC cars. It had a working AC, work benches, bunk beds, and 4 new tires. It even has a 35g water tank and whater heater.

    We obviously painted over the art work.


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  18. Patrick46

    Patrick46 visionary

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    Er......well, most of it anyway! :deal :lol3


    FREE??? Great score!! :clap
  19. pilo

    pilo Rhymes with below

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    It's not ultra small or super light, but a month or so ago we ordered a LivinLite 21 BHS. It's light compared to other campers its size and will be a welcome upgrade from our 89 VW Westy (soon for sale if anyone is interested - 55K original miles). The E350 extended can fit 3 bikes in the back and we have a complete camper for mama and the kids to be comfortable. We thought about the VRV for a while, but now we can take the camper with the Ford for bike or motorcycle trips or the MDX for hiking trips. We weighed the options with other campers, but the quality of construction as well as some of the details (like the euro windows) won us over compared to the 'warmer' feel of the cheaper, 'woodier' interior other brands. The weight was the kicker and a requirement for me. Pics when we pick it up in a few weeks. It's going to look like this one with a diff color combination.

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  20. bobfab

    bobfab Long timer

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    ^^ any link for the westy... Curiosity more than anything!