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Old 09-21-2021, 01:07 PM   #1
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Jayco 2020 Eagle HT Tongue Weight

We have a 36 foot 2020 280RSOK camper and I pull it with an F250 Gas Ford SuperDuty. At the time the hitch was a Husky Centerline style hitch that the dealer sold us when we bought the camper, it has a max tongue weigh capacity of 1200 pounds.

A few weeks ago we took it down to Texas from Michigan.
For the trip we had our clothes in the camper, most of the trip the 3 gray and black tanks were fairly empty, and there was probably 15 gallons of water in the fresh water tank. The fridge was pretty full but didn't wasn't packed, plus we carried a case of drinking water in the cupboard.

On the trip down the camper and truck seemed to be getting pushed around by the wind and passing vehicles. On the last leg of the trip down I stopped at a Loves and put the camper on the CAT scale (twice). The first pass weighed the camper axles and the front and rear truck axles independently. The second pass it I weighed the camper with it off the truck hitch and the combined truck axles (I didn't want to unhook it to the point where I could get each truck axle). The total weights matched up so I figured out I had done it correctly.

The problem was that the when I calculated the hitch weight (full camper weight minus the camper weight on the truck or total hitch and truck weight minus just the truck weight) I came up with 1700 pounds. Total weight of the camper was a bit over 9000 pounds, about 900 pounds under its limits.

Neither axle of the truck was close to its limits so from the standpoint of axle and tire load everything was fine. The rear axle of the truck did weight about 2000 pounds more than the front though.

I moved everything out of the camper basement into the bed of the truck, maybe that was 150 pounds being generous and set the load equalization of the hitch to its max setting. This made the whole system behave much better, the instability due to wind and passing vehicles pretty much vanished.

Once I got home I took it to the local dealer (not the one that sold it to me) they measured the tongue weight and it clocked in at 1500 pounds. That was after we took all the clothes and food out of it and I hadn't refilled the water tank during the trip, the tank read 1/3 full which and hadn't changed for the entire trip.

So I am trying to figure out what I am doing wrong if anything. The 1500 to 1700 pounds seems pretty high for tongue weight. The trailer isn't overloaded but there isn't much storage in the rear of the camper. The only modification I have made is to swap the original battery with at pair of big 6V batteries which probably added 80 pounds to the hitch.

Is this common? The dealer whined that they are seeing really high hitch weights occasionally. Would carrying more fresh water help? Maybe putting some of the gear on a rear hitch mounted carrier?
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Old 09-21-2021, 01:13 PM   #2
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new hitch

The new hitch is a blue ox one rated up to 2000 pounds. It seems to work as good if not better than the Husky and it still has some room to increase the load leveling if needed.
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:25 AM   #3
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Your trailer is 8,620 lbs in the fictional dry weight category and should weigh in at or very near the GVWR of 10,130 when loaded with factory options, dealer options, and all of your stuff. Tongue weight is meant to be 10-15% for conventional tow. So, your tongue weight is probably going to be best in the 1,250 - 1,500 lb range.

1,700 lbs seems too tongue heavy to me, but could be a function of the huge front cargo in these units.

I'd start by ensuring that your WDH was properly set up with your fully loaded, wet trailer. Then, all you can really do is to try to redistribute your load rear of the axles.
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Old 09-22-2021, 09:17 AM   #4
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tbray,

It's obvious the original 1,200lb rated Husky WDH wasn't up to the task towing a 36ft long, 10,130lb GVWR TT. Also, looking at a couple 2020 280RSOK TT's on RV dealer lots (web sites) they had a 'as-shipped' UVW of 9,000lbs and 9,173lbs respectively (yellow sticker UVW).

Just curious, what is your TT's 'yellow sticker' UVW?

Since you now have the new Blue OX WDH (2,000lb rating), the only way to confirm your weights and proper WDH adjustments is a CAT Scale visit under loaded TV/TT conditions performing a "3-pass" weigh-in. The '3-pass' weigh-in will take all the guess work out of confirming all TV/TT weights.

If you 'normally' tow with water in your fresh water tank make sure to add the water prior to the CAT weigh-in. Confirm that the TV's receiver hitch is properly rated as well.

NOTE: Depending on the location (front of, over, rear of TT axles) of your fresh, grey, and black tanks...., when filled can effect the 'loaded' tongue weight (plus/minus) and/or TV handling, especially a heavy 36ft long TT. A loaded tongue weight range of 13% to 15% of gross weight would be ideal for the 280RSOK..., with 15% enhancing TV handling in less than ideal towing conditions.

CAT Scale how-to: https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...v-tt-3871.html

Bob
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:36 PM   #5
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The yellow sticker of the camper says that it left Jayco weighing 9066 lbs. Based on the sticker, I should be able to put up to 940 pounds of cargo in it. In my old camper I would tow with a half a tank of fresh water because it just towed better that way, the Jayco holds a lot more water so I try to keep less water in it.

This trip there couldn't have had more than 20 gallons of fresh water in it since I filled it with a bladder that only held 20 gallons after I had run it out of water dry camping back in the spring. I probably had 5 gallons in the black tank or less, the two gray tanks were empty. So that would be around 200 pounds or so.

After I emptied out the front storage and weighed just the tongue we were at 1500 pounds. The water was still measuring 1/3 a tank but we used a bit while traveling and that got dumped out when we stopped. Clothes were under 50 pounds that were removed and the food was gone but that sits over the rear axles. I still had all the stuff from the storage sitting in the back of the truck and most of our personal stuff, like computers, sewing machines, etc. were in the back seat of the truck.

Ill look at what a 3 pass on the cat scale will do. I tried to get the truck weight and separate out the trailer axles and tongue weight but I couldn't get the truck to fit onto the front part of the scale, it did fit on the section that weighs the rear tires of the tractor though ... I was standing on the front axle scale section and it clocked in very close to my actual weight.

When I did the scales, I got the weight on the axles, the total weight of the trailer, the total weight of the truck with the tongue attached, and the truck weight without the trailer attached. Cross checking, I came out with the 1700 pounds doing the math with the trailer weight and with the trailer weight, with and without the tongue weight.

The other day when we had the new hitch installed the couple of truck stops nearby were both pretty busy and I decided to deal with a fresh measurement later.

I am going to try towing and do a weight with all the stuff in the camper and again with it moved to the truck to see which behaves better.
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Old 09-22-2021, 10:44 PM   #6
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With the new WDH I can probably do all three measurements in a reasonable period of time. The Husky hitch wasn't easy to attach and remove. The Blue Ox one I now have can have the bars removed in a minute or two. So I'll try that.
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:07 AM   #7
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A properly sized and set up WDH should put some of that hitch weight onto your front axle and a bit back to the trailer's axles ... and weight can obviously only be in one place. So, hopefully, that moves a couple hundred pounds around and off your hitch ... so that when fully loaded at 10K lbs, you still only have around 1,500 lbs on your hitch.

I think these Eagle HTs with those massive front 5er-style storage areas will always be a bit tongue-heavy. At least you didn't buy into the hype and try towing these so-called HT trailers with an HT (there are some half-tons out there that can, such as a HDPP F-150, but they are unicorns).
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:14 AM   #8
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tbray,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbray View Post
The yellow sticker of the camper says that it left Jayco weighing 9066 lbs.........snip
I appreciate the follow-up. 'As-shipped' UVW's can very on the same TT model depending on specific build configurations..., thus my curiosity on your specific model 280RSOK.

I'm confident you will find once you have your new WDH (adjustment) "dialed-in" under typical TV/TT loaded weight conditions, the WDH will be more effective in 'maintaining' proper weight distribution while 'in-tow', thus enhancing TV handling characteristics.

Bob
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1999 Jayco Eagle 246FB (retired)
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