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Old 07-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
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Hitch Weight Concern with a Jayco 16v

Just a new guy looking for advice/input. This is our third camper, but even though it's a 16, it's our biggest! I am towing with a Honda Pilot 4x4 rated at 4,500 as equiped. Due to passengers and what not I feel better staying at/under 350 for my hitch weight. We just took delivery of our 16v last week and it was about 2800 dry with a hitch weight of 350. I thought that was high for being "empty" but figured I could load accordingly. Weighed it locally (Tow Vehicle first along, then TV and TT together with no change in cargo) to come up with a trailer weight of 3250. Camper rated to 3,500/all is good...except my hitch weight was 425!Any tips/suggestions? I loaded anything heavy in the rear cargo bin (behind axle), the bathroom (behind axle), and had VERY little on the front bed (ahead of axle) such as pillows and blankets. I am thinking of taking the spare tire off the front (under propane tanks) and putting that in the back storage or even running with one propane tank instead of two, but that seems extreme. Am I missing something? Why does this otherwise wonderfull camper seem to tongue heavy? By the way...all weights were done with completely empty tanks and hitch weight being measured by a Sherline tongue weight scale that I completely trust (unlike my math!)
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. TW can run as high as 15%, with some saying 13% is ideal. It looks like you are right near 13%, but my math is not so great either!
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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LOL...I think your math is good, but with my even smaller campers I could seem to adjust pretty easily and I was counting on that for this as I am going to have to leave a kid or two home with that hitch weight! Honda is odd in that even with 4 passengers and cargo I am still rated to tow 4,100, but they want my hitchweight at 330 if you add up all of my typical cargo. You'd think if you could tow 4,100 you'd have a hitch allowance of 410...but it drops to 330. Since the trailer completely loaded is under 3,300 I was hoping for 10%...otherwise I'm with you! I over-worry about these things as many friends who camp don't turn the page in their owners manual to read how the rating change with cargo and or passengers, but I had one scary sway experience a few years ago with a Scamp and have been deligent about such things since. I have some precious cargo in the TV I'd like to keep safe! Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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The problem is if you get the hitch too light by loading stuff in the rear your trailer is actually MORE prone to sway then with a heavy hitch weight. But I see your concerns on the Honda and its limits, that should not be exceeded either so I see your dilemma.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:36 PM   #5
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Relocating the spare tire isn't extreme, been done before to address loading issues. Consider moving the dinette table and cushions to the bunk area??

As far as your TV manufacturer's max tongue weight of 330lbs, I'm sure that TV frame (or lack of) structure load factors come into play.

Your situation is similar to what many 1/2 ton truck owners experince....., attractive Tow Ratings and GCWR's, but lacking in Payload Capacity for the heavier loaded tongue weights.

Bob
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:07 PM   #6
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What's odd is that I am well within my GVWR. Even with the heavier than expected hitch weight, 4 people, and cargo I am 300 lbs under that. I am well within tow capacities (on paper) but this darn hitch weight is confounding me. I agree though too...can't go any lower than 10% or will sway. Just trying to get closer. The tire is moved...easy enough. Propane tanks seem extreme. Maybe the table would help...that thing is bulky for sure. Thanks for the input so far and keep it coming!
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaycoNewbee View Post
What's odd is that I am well within my GVWR.....snip
It's not so much a GVWR issue with the TV's specified 330lb tongue weight maximum with your particular TV, but more the "location" of where the 330lbs is being placed in respect to the TV's particular frame/rear axle, etc., and the resulting effect. It's not unusual for smaller vehicles to have a specified tongue weight maximum, driven by the vehicle's design (especially uni-body frame styles) to handle the weights applied to the TV's receiver hitch that is attached to the vehicle.

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Old 07-31-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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We have a Sport 16.5 and tongue weight is about 500 lbs. so you are right on.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
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Relocation of the spare tire is a good idea.

Smaller propane tank up front http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...b-1-gal-/56052

Relocate the battery when towing? Smaller motorcycle battery even if you are not boondocking. Honestly, if you camp with hook ups, the motorcycle battery could be the biggest help.

Bike carrier on the back bumper.

Aside from that, WDH, and airbags for the Honda.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:54 PM   #10
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Interesting ideas...
Again...If I leave my family behind I'm good for 450! I knew my Pilot advised no more than 4,100 with 4 of us, but I foolishly thought that would mean 410 for hitchweight, not 330-350. Of the ideas posted...

1) Motorcycle battery - very very interesting. Very curious if that will work. I see I could in theory pick up 40 lbs right there, and located where it is probably almost directly off hitch weight.

2) Smaller propane tanks - my last ditch move is to leave both behind as we don't cook inside and rarely turn on the water heater (not much of a shower in there). For us the best use of propane is the 3 way fridge when without power. If power site maybe we could ditch them?

3) No bike rack for back to off-set - bumper isn't rated to hold much.

4) No WDH allowed per Honda or voids the warranty according to my dealer. It's been a topic on the forum before. It's due to unibody construction/whole other debate I'd rather not get into.

Thanks for the continued input. I'm very interested in motorcyle battery option. If plugged in, would it be fine? Can't think of any reason at the moment, but it's 2:00 am
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:43 AM   #11
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A motorcycle battery is still 12 volt. It would be big enough to supple water pump enroute, and lights on a very limited bases. The most important thing, you have a 12 volt battery for the emergency brakes. For propane, if you wanted, you could get a couple one pound bottles and get a "steak saver" that would allow you to connect a 1 pound to the campers regulator... Just in case you wanted to use the indoor stove for something.

Those 2 things combines drop about 70-80 pounds!

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Old 08-02-2013, 08:57 AM   #12
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http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...FY5r7AodUVgAnQ

Here is the steak saver. It lets you connect the 1 pound propane to your camper.

http://emptygrilltank.com/tank-sizes...pecifications/

This 5 pound propane bottle drops 16 pounds, but still allows you to run you water heater and fridge off of gas. It would easily get yo through a week long trip.

Doing some searching, a group 24 battery weights about 41 pounds. A small motorcycle battery weighs 5.

36 pounds for the battery + 16 for 5 pound propane bottle = 52 pounds reduction in tongue weight.

It MIGHT even be possible (extreme) to use a 12v drill battery to use in place of the motorcycle battery. I'm not sure if that would meet the power requirements for the emergancy brakes.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:20 PM   #13
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I keep trying to reply and it keeps losing my reply! Anyway...thank you all very much. I think between the tire being moved back, the motorcycle 12 v battery, and the smaller propane tanks I should be able to make this work! We only consistantly go without power once a year at an island camp ground on Lake Erie and that is only a 30 minute drive to the ferry, so for the extra $30 I'll just take a 2nd vehicle on that trip and bring it all! Again, thanks all!
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:07 PM   #14
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I have a Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner with a towing weight of 5000#. It's factory lifted and has a dropped hitch. Interesting thing is that I have to jack up the trailer hitch to get the hitch wheel off! I didn't have to do this at "dry weight". The trailer tows properly with the dropped hitch, there's just not enough ground clearance to install or remove the hitch wheel assembly. Go figure!
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:11 PM   #15
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We have just 1 propane tank (4.2 gal tank) and found that is fine. We have been on the road for as much as a month and top off tank in mid trip.
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