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Old 07-01-2020, 01:17 PM   #1
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28BHS actual tongue weight very high - how to reduce?

Hi all- first post. Have been reading tons as we decided to jump into camping with a travel trailer after many years tent camping. Had been thinking about it for a few years but couldn't pull what we wanted with a Honda Pilot.

After much research, we decided to get a Jayco 28BHS due to the floorplan and plenty of space to take family & friends along. We needed a tow vehicle, and based on many calculations I decided to get a new RAM 1500 as we are going to pull a half-dozen times a year if that.

Well...

The Jayco specs for the 28BHS indicate 6,700 lbs dry weight and a dry hitch weight of 765. The yellow sticker on the trailer indicates dry weight is 7000 lbs. My truck has 1700 lbs payload so I was comfortable with that hitch weight and occupant / cargo load.

We towed the first time last weekend and I went by CAT scales on the way home (no fluids). The scale weights indicate my tongue weight is 1220 lbs. Wow - WAY higher than the dry tongue and definitely putting us at or slightly beyond payload for the truck.

Scales also indicate loaded trailer weight of 8000 lbs, which seems about right given 7000 lbs dry plus propane, batteries, stuff (but no fluids). I'd expect the hitch weight to be 900-1000 lbs max.

Why is the actual hitch weight so much higher than the specs? Are the specs just wrong? Do 2x propane and 2x batteries add that much weight? We have some stuff in the basement/pass through, but mostly bedding, dry goods, some toys for the kids, etc. -- no firewood, wood blocks, or heavy items etc.

I would love to hear from other 28BHS owners on their actual tongue weight, and any ideas to reduce the tongue weight. I'm definitely considering leaving behind one propane tank and one battery, and maybe putting a generator at the back of the trailer.

Also: I think the dealer did a poor job setting up the WDH as scales indicate very little weight returned to the front axle and the rear axle is at GAWR capacity (4100 lbs).

CAT scale images attached.

Thanks for any perspectives or help!
Attached Thumbnails
CAT Scale_loaded_truck_only_IMG-6229.jpg   CAT Scale_loaded_trailer_wdh_connected_IMG-6227.jpg   CAT Scale_loaded_trailer_wdh_disconnected_.jpg  
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:55 PM   #2
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blakei,

Welcome to JOF

Most RV dealerships are clueless when it comes to properly sizing and adjusting WDH's..., "if" they get it right the WDH adjustment is based only on an "unloaded" TV/TT combination departing the dealership.

All WDH's must be sized to meet potential "loaded" TV/TT conditions, and then need to adjusted under loaded TV/TT conditions.

When it comes to Jayco published weights the GVWR is about the only weight that remains a constant....., all others don't reflect "as-shipped" weights, or loaded weights (ie; tongue weight).

CAT Scales are certified with a plus/minus 40lbs tolerance.

Based on your CAT certificates (assuming I read them correctly):

* TV/TT Loaded gross weight = 14,060lbs

* TT Loaded gross weight = 7,820lbs (14,060 - 6,240)

* Loaded Tongue weight = 1,220lbs (7,460 - 6,240)

* Loaded Tongue percentage = 15.6% of TT gross weight (1,220 of 7,820)

* Odd that there is a 200lbs delta between two certificates TV/TT gross weights.

* I agree, WDH needs to be re-adjusted returning more weight to TV front axle.

Your loaded tongue at 15.6% is close to ideal for a loaded 28BHS, and at 30ft plus overall length a 13% to 15% range is recommended, closer to 15% being ideal for enhanced TV handling.

IMO a TT with a GVWR of 8,750lbs should have a WDH rated at 1,200lbs "minimum", but ideally a WDH rated at 1,400lbs.

Reference JOF member thread on "Scaled Tongue/Pin Weights":

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...t-57188-4.html

CAT Scale how-to (reference):

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...v-tt-3871.html

Bob
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
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Bob, thanks so much for the reply and welcome!


The 200lbs difference between the weighs may be that I stood on the side of the scale (after hitting call button) on the first weigh and stepped back on the scale for the second weigh but I can't quite remember. :-)


The dealer wanted to put on a 800lb Fastway e2 but I convinced them to put on 1000. Sounds like maybe I should consider a new hitch... or a new truck or a new trailer, as I'm a bit mismatched all around. $$ aside, my wife and I did start discussing getting a smaller trailer or a bigger truck but that is pretty unlikely.


Why are longer TTs better with 13-15% tongue weight %? I managed to not come across that nugget in my pre-purchase research... was assuming closer to 10-12%.


I will dig through the threads you shared, thanks again!
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakei View Post
snip......Why are longer TTs better with 13-15% tongue weight %? I managed to not come across that nugget in my pre-purchase research... was assuming closer to 10-12%.......snip
The 13% to 15% range notably enhances a TV's handling characteristics when towing a longer/heavier TT, especially in less than ideal towing conditions (sudden TV maneuvers, weather/wind, rough roads, etc.). A lighter tongue weight under these conditions can influence unwanted TT towing behavior.

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Old 07-01-2020, 05:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakei View Post
The dealer wanted to put on a 800lb Fastway e2 but I convinced them to put on 1000. Sounds like maybe I should consider a new hitch... or a new truck or a new trailer, as I'm a bit mismatched all around. $$ aside, my wife and I did start discussing getting a smaller trailer or a bigger truck but that is pretty unlikely.
Hello blakei, it appears we are in the same city, I am guessing from the e2 hitch you purchased from Pan Pacific in Morgan Hill. They wanted to sell me a 1200 e2 I had my own ideas, ironically they actually set mine up well when I checked it after loading the trailer. I have a 32BHDS and my tongue is around 1400lbs which is where I expected it to be after reading here and other places of people with the same trailer. Hence I insisted on a Reese Steadi Flex 1400lb hitch. It maybe possible depending on the type of bars you have to get just the bars, I did find the 1200 bars on etrailer.

On a side note as we are close by and if you are comfortable with it I would be happy to meet up and give you help if you need it, my schedule is busy but I am sure I can find a morning on a weekend to help you out.

James
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakei View Post
snip........The 200lbs difference between the weighs may be that I stood on the side of the scale (after hitting call button) on the first weigh and stepped back on the scale for the second weigh but I can't quite remember. :-) ........snip
That being the case, note the following corrections referencing my post #2:

* TV/TT Loaded gross weight = 14,260lbs

* TT Loaded gross weight = 8,020lbs (14,260 - 6,240)

* Loaded Tongue percentage = 15.20% of TT gross weight (1,220 of 8,020)

The added 200lbs of Total Axle weight on the one CAT certificate would also effect the associated axle weights.

Bob
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:23 AM   #7
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Your trailer definitely falls into the 250/2500 range.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:15 AM   #8
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Your dealer did you no favors. "Dry" weight is bull. You should do your planning based on the trailer's GVWR, which according to the specs is 8750. Loaded, you're going to put 10-15% of that on the hitch. Worst case at 15% is 1312 pounds!! Your CAT scale numbers seem to bear that out.

Here's a video you should watch, and then download the spreadsheet that he has developed for calculating towing capacity for bumper pull travel trailers. https://youtu.be/qwFLOBrADBs

Good luck!

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Old 07-02-2020, 08:33 AM   #9
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I thoroughly read my WDH manual before going to the dealer since I planned on setting it up myself. The salesman said it would cost $150 to set it up.
When I got there the techs offered to do it for free, but boy was I glad I read the manual. I had to have them correct it 3 times. One of their failures included leaving the shims/plunger our entirely.
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Old 07-02-2020, 12:13 PM   #10
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Rustic Eagle is great. You're ahead of 99% of new travel trailer owners because you've already gone to the CAT scales. Bravo. Unfortunately, your dealer, not unlike most dealers, was useless. And also unfortunately you should have done a lot more research before making a purchase. You would have realized that the published tongue weights are meaningless. Most other weights are relatively meaningless as well. And you may have
rethought that trailer with that half ton pickup. There are so very many threads questioning the use of half tons with 8,000 lb plus campers. They mostly consist of owners trying to convince themselves it's a good match. It isn't. Pulling an 8000 pound load on a flatbed is one thing, pulling an 8000 lb sailboat with the sail up is quite another. But that is just my opinion.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:39 AM   #11
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Hi all- thanks so much for the comments, I really do appreciate them!

I knew I would be on the border with the trailer and truck, but was trying to balance a "daily driver" truck with towing 5-10 times a year. As mentioned by by cekkk I convinced myself (still am?) that I could swing the 1/2 ton. My rational was along the lines of:
* 8750 GVWR, we likely won't load it to max, but if we did...
* 10% tongue weight = 875... and surely we won't load it that heavy
* At 1700 lbs payload I can swing that plus 600 lbs passengers (nothing else in truck)
* Truck specs are 1700lbs payload / 17000 GCWR / 11,800 max trailer / 4100 RGAWR

Clearly I was wrong on research of tongue weight % and clearly the Jayco spec on paper was not helpful, although I largely ignored it.

As flyrotor and cekkk pointed out, this is probably 3/4 ton territory, and I'd say my driving experience was very similar to being on the ocean -- engine's on, you're headed in the direction you want, but you definitely get pushed around by the waves / wind. I quickly assumed the perspective that I was "guiding" the trailer down the road rather than "towing" it.

In re dealers, yep, they are selling goods so come informed. As far as techs go... hmm. The hitch manual says "Start with 6 spacer washers for longer wheelbase tow vehicles like pickup trucks, and 5 spacer washers with shorter wheelbase vehicles like a small SUV." Guess how many are on my hitch? FOUR.

So what I think I'll do (today !):
* See if I can shift some cargo (there's not much) to get 100-200 lbs off the tongue and be around 13%
* Adjust the WDH to get another 200-300 lbs back to the steer axle and off the drive axle. Maybe, possibly replace it with a 1200lber.
* Reweigh at CAT scale (about 30 mi away)
* Give it a few tows and see how it is. I apologize for being the guy going 45-55mph on the freeway!
* If it's still sketchy, either downsize trailer or upsize truck (prob can sell 1/2 ton to my father in law).

rkresge, I will check out the video, and add the spreadsheet to my spreadsheet collection. :-)

jpgale, thanks for the offer, I will send you a PM to discuss!

(Lastly, I'll post some new CAT certs and updates so others can learn too.)
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:44 AM   #12
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BlakeI, your post #11 was just a very good one!
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:47 AM   #13
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I'm glad you got your rig weighed and are looking at this instead of ignoring it. Your dealer's service department is dumb (most are) and don't know how to set up a hitch. You could/should transfer another 400lbs to the front axle. Right now you are only getting 60lbs of return which is ridiculous.

I have a 28BHS as well, although mine is the previous floorpan of that designation. It weighs 5500lbs dry and GVWR of 7500. When I last hit the scales, I found out I am about 6800lbs loaded trailer weight, and I also found out that I set up my hitch properly as my hitched and unhitched Steer Axle weights were identical.

As for the tongue weight part - published dry tongue weight for my trailer was 690lbs. My actual tongue weight is 920lbs. I have since added a bike rack to the back of the trailer which maybe counteracts that by a few lbs, so we'll call it 900. I have twin 30lb propane tanks and twin 6V batteries on the tongue, as well as the added weight of tools and whatnot in the front pass thru.

The published dry weights don't mean a thing. Most trailers are delivered ~500lbs heavier than advertised and tongue weights are based on the lightest model of that floorpan they can produce without anything in it.

Definitely dial in your hitch better. Maybe drop a battery and consider putting more gear and tools behind the axle. Add a bike rack or generator tray on the back to counter some of the excess weight. Those things may help, but I do believe you have a bit more trailer than that truck is suited for.
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Old 07-04-2020, 02:04 PM   #14
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snip........(Lastly, I'll post some new CAT certs and updates so others can learn too.).......snip
Your time and effort on the subject will pay dividends...., and I'm sure you will be a helpful resource for others.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:40 PM   #15
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blakie,

Your experience is all too familiar. We first bought a 24RKS Jayco and towed with our Tundra Crewmax and it towed ok even through Colorado [well...so so]. We decided we wanted a full slide so we went with a 28RL which is right in the ballpark in the weight of your trailer. The tung weight [loaded] was 1,000 lbs or more and the GVW was right around 8,700 or higher. The first time I towed it, I knew I would be seriously looking at a 3/4 ton truck and a Diesel. I added firestone air bags, sway bar and some nice tires but at the end of the day the wind, big rigs and hills made my mind up. Your analysis of the way it feels in a 1/2 ton is right on the mark.

I see lots of people going down the road towing a 28í or longer with 1/2 ton trucks and many of them look totally relaxed even with the rear of the truck and the hitch at a very poor angle. Iím not sure if they a numb or just way braver than me.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:15 PM   #16
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There are ways to decrease tongue weight. 28DSBH has 680 lbs dry tongue weight. I measured 600 lbs at the end of the ProPride stinger with the trailer empty:

- I have lithium batteries in the trailer under the bunk beds
- I have 2x20 lbs propane cylinders, instead of 30 lbs
- ProPride add length (but also weights more)

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...tml#post513180

I am running ca. 800-850 lbs tongue weight ready for camping. Heavy stuff goes to inside the trailer above the axles. This was probably one of the reasons for bending one of them - they are underrated to start with (3,500 lbs axles on 7,500 lbs trailer).
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:46 AM   #17
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blakie,

I see lots of people going down the road towing a 28í or longer with 1/2 ton trucks and many of them look totally relaxed even with the rear of the truck and the hitch at a very poor angle. Iím not sure if they a numb or just way braver than me.
Ignorance is bliss.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:28 PM   #18
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Wouldn't another idea be to remove the batteries and propane tanks and put them at the front of the truck bed? Any problem with doing that (ie safety)?
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:34 PM   #19
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Wouldn't another idea be to remove the batteries and propane tanks and put them at the front of the truck bed? Any problem with doing that (ie safety)?
Anything in the truck counts against payload. Leaving it on the tongue atleast takes away a small portion.
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:46 PM   #20
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Anything in the truck counts against payload. Leaving it on the tongue atleast takes away a small portion.
I thought the whole idea of the OP was to reduce tongue weight?
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