The little/light Camper Trailer Thread...

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Jurgen, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,165
    Location:
    Where the Skyline meets the BRP
    PM me if you have any questions. I'm no expert but I researched them for a year before finding mine.

    Also hppyfngy over at http://sprinter-source.com/forum/
  2. PA Slammer

    PA Slammer I hate titles...

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,255
    Location:
    Eighty Four, PA
    But don't you still need to consider the max weight combined for the Sprinter and trailer?

    For example my 3500 is a Roadtrek RV and has a lot of weight added to it with all the cabinets and such. If I understand it correctly, my GCWR (gross combined weight rating) is 15250, so Sprinter and trailer has to stay under that number, right?

    If so, and my tow capacity is 7000, then my sprinter loaded has to stay under 8250 if I'm pulling a trailer at the max weight of 7000.

    I haven't weighed the Sprinter all loaded up yet, but I bet it's gotta be close to 11,000. If so, I have to keep trailer weight under 4250. That can be tough. A bike and equipment can weigh in around 1000 or more depending on spares and tools, fuel, etc... So you have 3250 left for the weight of the trailer itself. And then you're maxed out. Who wants to max things out?

    And what about the weight of the beer and firewood? :cool:

    Am I understanding this correctly?

    PA Slammer
  3. cablebandit

    cablebandit Web Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    710
    Location:
    State College PA
    yup. A fact many ignore.
  4. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,165
    Location:
    Where the Skyline meets the BRP
    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.
  5. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,643
    Location:
    wheelie in purgatory, Calgary
    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.
  6. hppyfngy

    hppyfngy not dead yet

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,165
    Location:
    Where the Skyline meets the BRP
    ^^ 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.
  7. Hodag

    Hodag native

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23,844
    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
  8. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    16,877
    Location:
    In the shadow of the Uncanoonucs...
    This one of Mr. Cob's has always been an inspriation to me.

    [​IMG]

    Bought the same carrier. May eventually move it to the front of my tow rig.
  9. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,530
    Location:
    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
    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.
  10. Hueychief

    Hueychief FNG

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    77
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Dwayne,
    Nice work. :thumb
  11. RumRunner

    RumRunner Sit there, turn that

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Oddometer:
    4,921
    Location:
    Great White North
  12. coop74

    coop74 Deal's Gap Junkie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,216
    Location:
    Alcoa, TN
    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...
  13. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,534
    Location:
    Malta, NY
    That's so cool. (The vehicles and the journey)
  14. dwayne

    dwayne Silly Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,643
    Location:
    wheelie in purgatory, Calgary
    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.
  15. Hodag

    Hodag native

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    23,844
    i do like it when a vintage (unique) camper has a tow vehicle that kinda fits/matches
  16. longtallsally

    longtallsally Yeah I'm a chick

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,530
    Location:
    BACK IN THE STATES!!!
    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.
  17. OaklandStrom

    OaklandStrom Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,618
    Location:
    East Bay
    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.
  18. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,454
    Location:
    NW AB
    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.
  19. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,493
    Location:
    Province of Quebec!
    An automatic trans usually have a better towing capacity due to the torque converter.
  20. AtlantaViking

    AtlantaViking Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,012
    Location:
    Hotlanta
    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