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Old 01-20-2023, 09:28 PM   #1
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Default WTB: 31í or 33í Camper

I was never a huge camper, but my kids are turning out to be and constantly asking us to go. The tents work but I’m ready for a camper to make things a little easier.

I’ve been looking around but pretty concerned as I drive an electric vehicle, which led me to the trail manor…which led to comparisons to the Hi Lo, and now I want one!

If anyone is looking to sell one, I’m in the Northeast but willing to travel.

Thank you!
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Old 01-21-2023, 09:54 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Not sure how far you would travel but here is a 31' in Marathon City, WI.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0573278935837/
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Old 01-21-2023, 08:57 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. Not sure how far you would travel but here is a 31' in Marathon City, WI.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0573278935837/
Thank you! I reached out to them, as well as a 29' one I saw in the area. I didn't realize the 29' was less than a foot shorter and still had 3 sleeping surfaces.

It's a bit far but if I can get enough details and comfortable with it then I can try to figure it out.
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Old 01-22-2023, 09:00 AM   #4
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I did see the 29' posted as well. Both look pretty good in the pictures. Have fun doing the research and planning.

It looks like either one would work well for you and get you into the elite HiLo club.

(I would offer to go check them out for you, but they are about 3 hours from me.) I think there might be a couple of members on here that are actually live fairly close to them, but I don't know their names yet. (I just became a HiLo groupie last fall, and love it!)
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Old 01-23-2023, 04:11 PM   #5
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Default Noob travel

I noticed you mention an electric vehicle. To tow a 29 ft. or longer you would need a 3/4 ton pick up truck. Look in the library for brochures with wts. Welcome to the forum. Also be sure to use the buyers check list for any used HiLo you are considering.
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Old 01-23-2023, 05:02 PM   #6
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I noticed you mention an electric vehicle. To tow a 29 ft. or longer you would need a 3/4 ton pick up truck. Look in the library for brochures with wts. Welcome to the forum. Also be sure to use the buyers check list for any used HiLo you are considering.
I'll be right on that border of a 1/2 to 3/4 ton.

GVWR: 8532lbs
900 ft/lb Torque
Tow Rating: 11,000lbs

Payload is a little low around 1600lbs so I'll need to go on a diet before I go on a trip.

Thank you for guiding me to the checklist!
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Old 01-23-2023, 05:26 PM   #7
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I'll be right on that border of a 1/2 to 3/4 ton.

GVWR: 8532lbs
900 ft/lb Torque
Tow Rating: 11,000lbs

Payload is a little low around 1600lbs so I'll need to go on a diet before I go on a trip.

Thank you for guiding me to the checklist!
N00B, welcome to the forum! In addition to the tow rating weight, what you REALLY have to watch out for is the tongue weight of a trailer that size. ALL of that tongue weight has to be carried by the axles, wheels and tires of your tow vehicle. A Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) only spreads this weight out over both tow vehicle axles, it does not reduce it. In fact, adding a WDH (which you definitely need with a trailer that big) adds the weight of the WDH to your axles as well. My WDH weighs 70#, so you have to figure that in too.

I did a quick look at the listed weights of 31 ft Classics from 1998. They are 7000# and 7500#. Now, the tongue weights that are shown are only 10% of that, which is low. The ideal tongue weight should be around 12.5%, or 875# or 938# for each of these. In practice, the tongue weight can be as much as 15% of the total trailer weight, and it is usually closer to this figure.

You need to weigh your vehicle on a certified scale such as a CAT scale to determine its actual weight. I bet you will find you DO NOT have the advertised 1600# payload when you do this. Your axle weight limits are on a sticker at the driver's door. I think you have a 1/2 ton truck with that payload limit and I think a 31' trailer is too big for it.

The truck will easily "pull" the 31' trailer, but you need the suspension that a SuperDuty class vehicle gives you.

And, don't even consider air bags on the rear axles, they do not change the loading either.

I'm sorry I'm being a "Debbie Downer", but I don't want you to kill yourself or others.

- Jack
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Old 01-23-2023, 07:16 PM   #8
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N00B, welcome to the forum! In addition to the tow rating weight, what you REALLY have to watch out for is the tongue weight of a trailer that size. ALL of that tongue weight has to be carried by the axles, wheels and tires of your tow vehicle. A Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) only spreads this weight out over both tow vehicle axles, it does not reduce it. In fact, adding a WDH (which you definitely need with a trailer that big) adds the weight of the WDH to your axles as well. My WDH weighs 70#, so you have to figure that in too.

I did a quick look at the listed weights of 31 ft Classics from 1998. They are 7000# and 7500#. Now, the tongue weights that are shown are only 10% of that, which is low. The ideal tongue weight should be around 12.5%, or 875# or 938# for each of these. In practice, the tongue weight can be as much as 15% of the total trailer weight, and it is usually closer to this figure.

You need to weigh your vehicle on a certified scale such as a CAT scale to determine its actual weight. I bet you will find you DO NOT have the advertised 1600# payload when you do this. Your axle weight limits are on a sticker at the driver's door. I think you have a 1/2 ton truck with that payload limit and I think a 31' trailer is too big for it.

The truck will easily "pull" the 31' trailer, but you need the suspension that a SuperDuty class vehicle gives you.

And, don't even consider air bags on the rear axles, they do not change the loading either.

I'm sorry I'm being a "Debbie Downer", but I don't want you to kill yourself or others.

- Jack
Hi Debbie Downer! I'm an Enthusiastic Eddie, which can sometimes cause issues of the head first variety. So I appreciate the feedback. I'd rather flush it out here than on the side of the road.

According to the door jamb:
GAWR Front is 4134lb
GAWR Rear is 4960lb

Edit: Doesn’t look like it’ll work. I see the 31c has an axle weight of 4830. That’s only 130lbs from the rear limit.

Thank you @jackandjanet for saving me a lot of time.
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Old 01-23-2023, 11:23 PM   #9
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Hi Debbie Downer! I'm an Enthusiastic Eddie, which can sometimes cause issues of the head first variety. So I appreciate the feedback. I'd rather flush it out here than on the side of the road.

According to the door jamb:
GAWR Front is 4134lb
GAWR Rear is 4960lb

Edit: Doesnít look like itíll work. I see the 31c has an axle weight of 4830. Thatís only 130lbs from the rear limit.

Thank you @jackandjanet for saving me a lot of time.
You, or I, may be misunderstanding something. If your tow vehicle has those Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWRs), then it would imply the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating would be around 9094#, but you said earlier that it was 8532#, which is lower and is the one that takes precedence. The difference is not unusual, my truck's GVWR is less than the sum of the axle limits too, but not by as much as yours.

The axle weight limit you see for the 31C is a limit for each of its axles, I believe, which means the trailer could have a GVWR of around 9660#. If it did, and you loaded it to that figure, then the tongue weight, which your truck has to "carry", not "pull" would be between 966# and close to 1500#. This would be the weight that would be transferred to your truck and would add to its vehicle weight or its individual axle weights.

Either way, I applaud your decision NOT to try to tow this trailer with your vehicle. As I said, it would pull it, but the truck's suspension would be overloaded.

- Jack
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Old 01-24-2023, 06:50 AM   #10
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You, or I, may be misunderstanding something. If your tow vehicle has those Gross Axle Weight Ratings (GAWRs), then it would imply the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating would be around 9094#, but you said earlier that it was 8532#, which is lower and is the one that takes precedence. The difference is not unusual, my truck's GVWR is less than the sum of the axle limits too, but not by as much as yours.

The axle weight limit you see for the 31C is a limit for each of its axles, I believe, which means the trailer could have a GVWR of around 9660#. If it did, and you loaded it to that figure, then the tongue weight, which your truck has to "carry", not "pull" would be between 966# and close to 1500#. This would be the weight that would be transferred to your truck and would add to its vehicle weight or its individual axle weights.

Either way, I applaud your decision NOT to try to tow this trailer with your vehicle. As I said, it would pull it, but the truck's suspension would be overloaded.

- Jack
Iím not sure how itís calculated or why the difference is so big, but hereís the plate Iím looking at. I have to see whatís the largest I can pull now that will have 3 sleeping surfaces.
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Old 01-24-2023, 10:06 AM   #11
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Yup, that's the plate I was talking about. It appears they (is it Ford?) has really strengthened the rear suspension in that vehicle. My two axle limits are much closer to each other. Like you, it puzzles me that the GVWR is less than the sum of the two axle limits. Maybe an automotive engineer (if there are any) who's a member here might enlighten us.

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Old 01-24-2023, 11:09 AM   #12
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My take on it, which may or may not be correct is this.

You can load your front axle up 4,134 pounds. Or you can load your rear axle up to 4,960 pounds, BUT you can NOT exceed 8,532 pounds combined. So, whatever your front axle weighs in at while you are loaded, full fuel, all passengers, snacks, etc. then whatever weight is left to reach 8,532 is what you can load onto your rear axle. It gives you some flexabilty to how the vehicle is loaded, as long as you stay below the GVWR of 8,532.

When I was driving semi, I built a spreadsheet that would try to keep me under 80,000 lbs. Brokers loved to max out loads (more money for them, the same for me
Anyway, with the adjustable trailer axles (moving weight from trailer axles to fifth wheel and back) and adjustable fifth wheel to move weight between the steer and drive axles. With the fuel tanks mounted midway between steer and drive axles, I could make 79,990 pounds work. The pain was if I could only run with half full tanks and anymore fuel would over load the front axles, it meant more stops for fuel. (So, at an average of 7 pounds per gallon, 1 gallon could add 4 pounds to the steer and 3 pounds to the drives. 10 gallons would add 40 pounds to the steers and 30 to the drives. Consequently, 200 gallons would add 800 pounds up front and 600 pounds to the drives. And so-on and so-forth up to the 600 gallons I was capable of carrying.) That being said, I could roll across the scale and only weigh 78,000 pounds but without things balanced, I could easily be 5,000 - 10,000 over on the steers and still be under weight. The scale master would only see $$$$$$$ and that trip just became unprofitable really quickly, although if under gross they would usually let you try to "rebalance" the load and scale again. (Just a side note, I know a few truckers that would be pushing the limits and time each fuel stop after each scale. If they could roll across the scale "almost" empty of fuel, their chances of not getting stopped were much better.)

All of that to say, as Jack mentioned, your truck is more than capable to pull something heavier, but once you reach 4,960 ponds on your rear axle, you best not have more than 3,572 pounds on your front axle. (Which I wouldn't recommend either, as the front end will be light and tend to wonder.) Try to balance out the weight proportionately between front and back, and then all will be good with the world, and your ride. But, until you know what your truck weighs loaded, it is really hard to know what you can drop onto your hitch and go.

Do people run overloaded, all the time! Do they get away with it, most the time! Is it smart to roll the dice and throw caution to the wind? Only you can answer that. But it sounds like you are working on doing it the correct way, and I commend you for that.
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Old 01-24-2023, 12:25 PM   #13
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Thank you Rahn, for that explanation. I also liked what you said in the last paragraph. I've seen way too many tow vehicles pulling trailers that I KNEW overloaded their axles and I knew they were really asking for disaster. I saw a big gooseneck with slideouts on a Toyota pickup a couple years ago at Bryce Canyon. That truck had to be bottomed out while underway.

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Old 01-24-2023, 12:48 PM   #14
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Thanks Jack! Yes, you don't have to travel very far or very long to see something like this. I wonder how the trip turned out for them?

I should have circled them and got a better picture, but I didn't.
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Old 01-24-2023, 01:20 PM   #15
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Thanks Jack! Yes, you don't have to travel very far or very long to see something like this. I wonder how the trip turned out for them?

I should have circled them and got a better picture, but I didn't.
That I see all the time and I'm not looking to be one. I found a CAT scale via the locator so I'll see if I can get weighed. Do I just roll up and ask nicely?
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Old 01-24-2023, 01:42 PM   #16
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You can. At most truck stops just park on the scale and make sure the front axles is on the front scale and the rear axle is on the second scale (2nd section). That will give you 2 weights.
Then you call them on the intercom located near your driver's door, they will weigh you, and then tell you to park and come in to get your weight ticket at the fuel desk.
I find it much easier to use the CAT app on the smart phone, works great, saves time, and you have it saved on your phone.

Either way, don't leave your truck on the scale when you walk in to get your ticket. Some truckers highly dislike waiting for your return.

Also, seeing where the intercom is located will help you figure out which way to pull onto the scale. (It's a little embarrassing to drive on and be facing backwards. And I have seen it done. LOL )
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Old 01-24-2023, 01:46 PM   #17
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That I see all the time and I'm not looking to be one. I found a CAT scale via the locator so I'll see if I can get weighed. Do I just roll up and ask nicely?
Yes, I think you'll find them helpful. The CAT scale I used was at a truck stop. I just went inside and told them what I wanted to do. They let me do two weighings, since I had a trailer in tow. I rolled on for the first weighing with everything hooked up (trailer on the third scale and truck on the first two). Then I drove back on and unhooked the trailer and dropped it so it was entirely on the rear scale and my unhooked truck was on the front two. This way, I was able to see exactly what weight the trailer put on each of my truck's axles, as well as the actual weight of the trailer. There were NO trucks waiting to be weighed at the time. I think it cost me $15 for each weighing. There was a speaker at the scale, so I could talk to them while there.

I found my truck weighed much more than listed, (about 6500#), which, of course reduces the load I can put on the towing hitch. And I've confirmed this weight many times at the landfill I take trash to since then.

- Jack
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Old 01-24-2023, 01:51 PM   #18
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The perk of getting the paper copy is most CAT scales tickets have a plastic "collector's card" attached to it. Also, there is always "something" that you need in the store.

Also, around mid-day and mid-afternoon is a good time. Later in the day truck traffic really increases and sometimes early mornings can be busy.

Great advice Jack! I have unhooked and placed the trailer jack on scale one, and trailer axles on 2nd scale. Also doing the math as you mentioned will get the same results and easier if there is a slope leading off the scale. (Backing up a slope to rehook can be interesting.)
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Old 01-24-2023, 02:10 PM   #19
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Here's a picture of the Toyota Tundra and the trailer it was pulling I mentioned earlier. It was in the campgrounds at Bryce Canyon, so wasn't hooked up, but I know that truck was a 1500 class truck and the trailer was much too big for it.

Rahn, I actually have a trailer tongue weight scale that I bought (a bit over $100 as I recall) when I found my trailer tongue seemed to weigh a lot more than I expected from looking in the HiLo brochure. It DID - almost 600#! This was before I had the axle moved forward about 3" to re-balance the thing and to also align the axle properly with the trailer frame. It was positioned too far to the rear and was made this way at the HiLo factory (I bought it new, in 2007).

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Old 01-24-2023, 02:47 PM   #20
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Here's a picture of the Toyota Tundra and the trailer it was pulling I mentioned earlier. It was in the campgrounds at Bryce Canyon, so wasn't hooked up, but I know that truck was a 1500 class truck and the trailer was much too big for it.

Rahn, I actually have a trailer tongue weight scale that I bought (a bit over $100 as I recall) when I found my trailer tongue seemed to weigh a lot more than I expected from looking in the HiLo brochure. It DID - almost 600#! This was before I had the axle moved forward about 3" to re-balance the thing and to also align the axle properly with the trailer frame. It was positioned too far to the rear and was made this way at the HiLo factory (I bought it new, in 2007).

- Jack
Yes, that would be a load on the Tundra!

I have looked at trailer tongue scales, and it really would be a good investment. That is great that you figured out your weight issue and was able to correct it. I am tossing around the idea of raising my trailer and it would be smart to make sure the tongue weight is in the ball park of correctness before welding it back together. (Even a trailer that is not level will throw the balance/weight off. Plus cause other problems.)
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