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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Jurgen, Mar 2, 2010.
yup. A fact many ignore.
Yes! Definitely yes. I can't confirm your numbers but you got it. In my case though, I'm pulling a small camper with a nearly empty Sprinter. Many people make redneck RV's out of Sprinter Cargo's, with minimum amount of weight and equipment and they'll weigh in far less than your Roadtrek. That's sort of what I'm doing.
Don't tow close to capacity though. Many do, but it's very risky, IMHO.
You want to be real careful weighting the back of a trailer. A bike might not seem like of allot weight, but the lightest 2 stroke plus the carrier will be at least 250 lbs at the end of a pretty significant lever.
Have you ever pulled a trailer with too little tongue weight? It can be anything from sketchy to a pile up.
The rule of thumb is at least 10% of your laden trailer weight should be on the tongue. Realistcally 300 lbs on the back of a trailer is that size/weight is not a great idea. Your trailer when loaded normally should be at least 350 lbs on the hitch, so lets call it 500 lbs, Just by eyeballing it, it seems the distance from the hitch to the trailer axle and where a bike would hang off the back would be about equal, which brings your tongue weight to 200 lbs or so.
I have had some pretty bad experiences with about that weight on the back of a 20' tandem camper trailer when pulled with a full size pickup, so please use my mistake to your advantage. If your gonna do it anyways, at least take it real easy until you understand the dynamics. Just for the sake of comparison the trailer weighed in at about 6000 lbs, and the tongue weight was probably at about 500 lbs when the nastiness happened.
^^ Dwayne has it right alright. Putting a bike on the rear of the trailer is a bad idea.
Figure out a way to get two on the tongue and get a weight distributing hitch. Your TV is looking tongue heavy to begin with. Too little tongue weight is potentially hazardous to your health.
anyone ever add a front mount hitch to their TV?
I want one for a bike rack, or to push the camper into tight spots
This one of Mr. Cob's has always been an inspriation to me.
Bought the same carrier. May eventually move it to the front of my tow rig.
Dwayne, you're spot on with your analysis with one exception: the water capacity. The main tank is only 20 gallons, so halve that figure you mentioned. As such, that's the last 200 lbs I'll need for gear and such.
Thank you very much for taking the time to do the run down, though, as you filled in some gaps on figures that I had.
I'm in no hurry to do any of this as my wife is probably close to a year out from riding seriously. And right now, I'm using her bike, so if there is a case of her wanting to ride, I'll just stay in camp with baby, and she can take off.
It might be that at the point where we'll be doing both of us riding at the same time, the little one will be on a bike as well, which will require a proper tow vehicle and possibly a toy hauler for bikes for mom & dad & little man.
This past fall, my niece and her boyfriend hit the open road for a lil adventure. I thought this thread would be a good place to show the rig they put together
Here is their blog
the rig would be ugly if it was not so cute... I think I will follow them on the blog. I too have a soft spot in my heart for old Rovers and small trailers...
That's so cool. (The vehicles and the journey)
I also assumed that you Jeep is a automatic, the factory derates the GCVWR to less that 6000 lbs for a standard (if you have a standard).. I also just noticed your winch, and that along with any other add ons need to be factored into your weight calculations. Also consider a front mounted winch will amplify the effects of not enough tongue weight.
i do like it when a vintage (unique) camper has a tow vehicle that kinda fits/matches
Bottom line I ain't gonna do it with this vehicle as 1) I have a stick on principle, and 2) you are correct in that there is about 300 lbs of armor and the big nasty winch.
The thing that is very surprising is that with the stick that it is 2100 lbs less for GCVWR. Might I ask your source? I was always under the impression that a stick was invariably stronger than a slush box- especially in the case of towing.
I bought a used F150, and after I bought it, double checked the towing capacity. With an auto it's 8,000 pounds, but with a manual trans, v6 and the rear end ratio I have (really tall gearing), it's about 2,500. Oops.
Fortunately, I don't tow much any more, and I sold my 3/4 ton Dodge/Cummins and got an F150. It was still a bit surprising that I supposedly can't tow my 14' tandem axle box trailer *empty*.
I assume the clutch is the weak link in the towing capacity.
Manuals used to be stronger in trucks but in my experience, any manual in a Jeep is no better
than an auto. I've had tranny problems in a newer Jeep and I've had friends with troubles and it
didn't matter if it was manual or auto.
If I remember correctly, my 09 Rubicon unlimited 6 speed had the same trailer specs as the auto.
Towing max load or close to it with a Jeep is not what I'd call a confidence inspiring event.
An automatic trans usually have a better towing capacity due to the torque converter.
I really like the concept of a front mount carrier EXCEPT for one little thing...how do you drive at night with one? I use a versahaul behind the truck, and it has spots to mount aux lights which I connect up to the trailer harness. But these front mount rigs look like a real problem if you get caught at night, heck even during the day your turn signals are mostly blocked... Do you just drive only during the day with a rig like this?:huh
This is why most newer vehicle with a manual trans have a lower tow capacity. Generally they also have a much higher gear ratio in the axles.
I was a pretty firm believer that a manual transmission is much stronger then a auto. However I have learned that it greatly depends on the vehicle.
My 99 cherokee has 247k on it now. And I have beat the living shit out of it, towing well beyond the rated capacity for thousands of miles. I'm still on the original transmission and it still shifts like new. By far the best vehicle I have ever owned.
Oh and my little camper trailer
IMG_7302 by boardrider247, on Flickr
That's because the 99 still has a Aisin-Warner AW-4. That thing is tough. You have one of the last good Jeeps.