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Old 06-20-2019, 09:38 PM   #1
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Question Design flaws - weight ratings

I have been re-thinking about the axle/tire combination/weight ratings of my '83 Funlite and am close to being convinced that if I want to take this rig on any longer trips, I need to upgrade a number of items.

Here's the specs:
MODEL* - 16 S
DRY WEIGHT - 2000#
HITCH WT.** - 200#
G.A.W.R. - 2600#
G.V.W.R. - 2800#
CARGO WT. - 800#
RECOMMENDED HITCH WT. 12-15%
Tires - 205/75R14 ST Load range C
Hitch coupler - 1 7/8" Diameter ball - "A" Frame type welded to trailer.

SO, here's what I conclude about this:

1. IF the dry weight and tongue weight are correct in the manual, my tongue weight is only 10%. I know that it will increase when I add the propane tanks and gear to the trailer though, so that's not such a big issue.

2. Load range C tires are rated for 1360#/tire - 2720#, just a hair over what the axle is rated with very little in the way of a "safety margin". Switching to Load range D is a no-brainer at this point.

3. Relying on a proper weight distribution to protect the axle from being overloaded again leaves no margin for safety. I'm sure it's okay for short trips and making sure that I lightly load the trailer (empty tanks always while traveling, minimal gear in the trailer, etc.). But for a longer trip, or boondocking (more gear, full FW tank etc.) it makes sense to upgrade to include a safety margin.

4. The 1 7/8" hitch coupler is ONLY rated for 2000#. The load carrying capabilities of any setup are only as high as the weakest component, therefore, I cannot place ANYTHING in this camper while towing (assuming again the dry weight is 2K#). Consequently, it seems apparent to me that I need to replace the trailer's coupler to a 2" coupler before I can safely take this thing on the road.

Having said all that I realize that this camper has been towed thousands of miles over its 36 year life AND all this (except the LR C ratings and coupler size) is conjecture. I really need to take this out and get my true dry/axle/hitch weights with it empty before I make the investment in upgrades to its load capacity. Thoughts? Am I just being too paranoid?
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:45 PM   #2
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BTW - My TV is a 2013 Chevy Traverse 2LT with towing package. Rated to tow 5200 with or without a WD hitch, Max tongue weight is 520 #. I towed it home about 40 miles through city streets and back roads. No drop in rear when I hooked it up. Tracked straight with no sway or bouncing, though I only got it up to about 50 MPH in the rain.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:03 AM   #3
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Okay, last issue solved. Found https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 on Amazon. 1 7/8" ball/1" diameter shank rated to 3500 #. Going to the Goodyear dealer tomorrow to shop tires.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:51 AM   #4
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the weights of all these trailers are grossly underestimated! to make it look "good"? mine was several hundred pounds off! lame. IMO they should have added a sticker stating "this is the true weight of your trailer disclaimer: without water,stove,bed,batteries,frame,wheels,the little pull out steps that help you get in and out,propane,awning,wiring,heater, etc"
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:14 PM   #5
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thatguy, I'm with you part way on true weights. But having owned several RVs and four Hi Los, I know from experience to weigh the unit yourself. Hard to do if your just looking though, kinda have to trust the owner. For my self preservation, I weigh the unit asap after purchase. Most of know that trailer weights are UNDER-estimated and that towing capacities are OVER rated. We kinda have to judge weather our TV can safely tow this unit. If your okay with it, do it, then weigh the whole rig and adjust after that.
Just my 2 cents,
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:08 PM   #6
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Nicely stated, Tree! Trailering is a constant learning process. It can be fun, and it can be a punch in the nose for someone new to the whole thing.

While I think trailer manufacturers are mostly to blame, I can't exonerate tow vesicle manufacturers either. They proudly proclaim how much weight they can "pull" but neglect to mention the fact that if you DID pull that much weight, your axles would be badly overloaded.

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Old 06-23-2019, 08:00 PM   #7
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What they don't mention is that the towing capacity is measured on flat ground at sea level. Introduce a hill and/or elevation and it's a whole new ball game.
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