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Old 09-30-2012, 09:02 PM   #1
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30 ft 1979 Argosy loaded tongue weight

Hi there,

Per Airstream website, the dry trailer/hitch weight for 30 ft 1979 Argosy rear bath model is 4270#/405# -- the tongue weight does not include the "options and variable weight" though. Could someone kindly explain what those "options and variable weight" are? (sorry, I am new to RVing and may be asking the obvious!), and how they affect the tongue weight?

Also, what would be the loaded tongue weight of the trailer? I would greatly appreciate if someone with direct experience (owner/previous user of 30 ft '79 Argosy) would provide feedback here, as I am trying to determine whether this trailer is within my TV's weight limits). Thanks a lot!
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:33 PM   #2
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30 ft 1979 Argosy loaded tongue weight

Greetings rostam!

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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
Hi there,

Per Airstream website, the dry trailer/hitch weight for 30 ft 1979 Argosy rear bath model is 4270#/405# -- the tongue weight does not include the "options and variable weight" though. Could someone kindly explain what those "options and variable weight" are? (sorry, I am new to RVing and may be asking the obvious!), and how they affect the tongue weight?
The "dry" or "empty" weight of an Airstream or Argosy does not include optional equipment, accessories, nor any fluids. The typical trailer is going to be two to five hundred pounds heavier than the "dry" weight listed in the literature. Things that would add to the base weight would include exterior awnings, spare tire/wheel, battery, optional larger LP tanks, air conditioner, etc. The "dry" weight does not include the weight of fresh water carried on-board, LP gas in the LP tanks, and waste in the waste tanks. The "dry" weight also does not include the weight of food, cooking equipment, and personal possessions carried in the coach.

My estimate would be that the "dry" weight of an Argosy 30 would likely be around 4,500 pounds (when options and accessories are included) with a "dry" hitch weight of 450 pounds. I would expect the loaded, ready to travel weight to be in the vicinity of 6,000 to 6,250 pounds with a hitch weight of between 700 and 750 pounds.

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Also, what would be the loaded tongue weight of the trailer? I would greatly appreciate if someone with direct experience (owner/previous user of 30 ft '79 Argosy) would provide feedback here, as I am trying to determine whether this trailer is within my TV's weight limits). Thanks a lot!
My '64 Overlander had a comparable published "dry" weight of 4,250 pounds with a hitch weight of 470 pounds; but it actually has a "dry" weight of 4,750 pounds with a "dry" hitch weight of 535 pounds. When I have the coach loaded for an extended vacation, the loaded weight of the coach is between 6,000 ad 6,100 pounds.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot for the detailed response Kevin! I learned a lot. Another question for you: Do you know the tongue weight of your loaded (ready to travel) '64 Overlander? It should provide me with a good estimate for 30 ft '79 as their specs are very close.

Also, I would greatly appreciate it if any current/previous owners of 30 ft '79 can help out regarding the loaded tongue weight.

Best,
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
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30 ft 1979 Argosy loaded tongue weight

Greetings rostam!

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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
Thanks a lot for the detailed response Kevin! I learned a lot. Another question for you: Do you know the tongue weight of your loaded (ready to travel) '64 Overlander? It should provide me with a good estimate for 30 ft '79 as their specs are very close.

Best,
With my Overlander, the loaded hitch weight is between 750 and 775 pounds. The two differenced between the configuration of my Overlander and the Argosy 30 would be the location of the fresh water tank and size of the LP tanks. The fresh water tank on my Overlander is located above the axles under the mid-coach streetside twin, and it is also equipped with 40-pound LP tanks that are both full at the beginning of such a trip. I have also installed a solar system on my Overlander that places 3 AGM batteries above the rearmost axle.

The Argosy 30, if my notes are correct, has its fresh water tank mounted across the front of the coach below the front lounge placing much more of the fresh water weight on the hitch. You may also have a spare tire/wheel mounted either behind the LP tanks or behind the hitch in a recess below the floor under the front lounge either of which would add to the hitch weight.

I suspect that 750 pounds would be a fairly close approximation of the loaded hitch weight of an Argosy 30. Variable weight carried in cabinets and overhead compartments can be adjusted to have some impact on hitch weight, but it is desirable to keep at least 12% loading on the hitch . . . both of my coaches approach 15% when loaded for a trip.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:34 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot Kevin,

I suspect the trailer's hitch weight is over my vehicle's limit then. The dry hitch weight seems a bit useless from what I see, because almost no trailer would be without the equipment you mentioned. I wish the trailer producers would also give the hitch weight with major accessories/options too.

Best,
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
Thanks a lot Kevin,

I wish the trailer producers would also give the hitch weight with major accessories/options too.

Best,
Hello there
If you have a manual for the coach you should find a guide (and it is only a guide) to additional items and their weights.
I would think a search will bring up a pdf or other listing somewhere.
If not, PM me and I will figure out a way to copy mine and mail it to you. Although with the info already given out here, I doubt you now need it.

Bex
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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If you have access to the trailer, why not just weigh the tongue with the water tank full? You can do it with a bathroom scale.

Hitching Up - Trailer - Tongue Weight

I've done this to confirm the tongue weight of my trailer.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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Dear Bex,

Thanks for offering to send me the manual. But I suspect the hitch weight of 30 ft Argosy would be much higher than my vehicle's 600 lbs limit (given that the weight of the fresh water tank is also on the hitch).

I see that you own a 1976 Argosy 28 ft. Just curious, what is the loaded hitch weight of your trailer?

Dear Robert,

very interesting link! I will keep it in mind.

Also, does anyone know of an older Airstream (25 ft +) whose loaded hitch weight is within the 600 lbs limit? (I still hope there is one!)

Thanks a lot!
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
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I don't know the hitch weight, ours is still in the yard being renovated. I pulled it home with our 1/2 ton camper van though. It was (after taking some time to research here) probably a little underpowered for the trailer or rather, could have benefited from a different axle ratio. As it was, It pulled OK, did not overheat the van and I got home with no issues, albeit slowly up hills (down to 45 KM/PH) I would not want to tackle the Rockies though. I now have a 1 ton truck which I know will haul it but might also shake it apart, from what I have read elsewhere.
Sometime you just cannot get a break!
By the way, I would suggest Kevin is spot on with his assessment.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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Another question (I still have a faint hope the 30 ft Argosy might work: )):

The hitch weight of my car with weight distribution hitch is 600 lbs (without it, it is 500 lbs). I am not familiar with weight distribution hitches; Do they reduce the trailer tongue weight?

For example lets assume, a travel trailer has a hitch weight of 750 lbs. Would using a weight distribution hitch lower the trailer tongue weight? If so, when manuals specify a hitch weight limit for WD hitches, do they refer to tongue weight without the WD hitch or with it?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rostam View Post
Another question (I still have a faint hope the 30 ft Argosy might work: )):

The hitch weight of my car with weight distribution hitch is 600 lbs (without it, it is 500 lbs). I am not familiar with weight distribution hitches; Do they reduce the trailer tongue weight?

For example lets assume, a travel trailer has a hitch weight of 750 lbs. Would using a weight distribution hitch lower the trailer tongue weight? If so, when manuals specify a hitch weight limit for WD hitches, do they refer to tongue weight without the WD hitch or with it?

Thanks a lot!
Yes! Using a weight distribution hitch transfers some of the tongue weight from the rear Tow Vehicle axle to the front axle and some to the trailer axle(s). For example on my 4,700 lb loaded Tradewind, before I hook up the weight distribution spring bars the tongue weight is 480 lbs. After connecting the spring bars, 120 lbs gets transferred to the trailer axles, 180 lbs to the front TV Axle leaving 180 lbs on the rear axle.

Dan
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:48 AM   #12
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Yes! Using a weight distribution hitch transfers some of the tongue weight from the rear Tow Vehicle axle to the front axle and some to the trailer axle(s). For example on my 4,700 lb loaded Tradewind, before I hook up the weight distribution spring bars the tongue weight is 480 lbs. After connecting the spring bars, 120 lbs gets transferred to the trailer axles, 180 lbs to the front TV Axle leaving 180 lbs on the rear axle.

Dan
Thanks Dan, Good to know this.

Just so I fully understand, let say a TV's hitch limit with WD hitch is 350. Can it tow your trailer whose tongue weight is 480 without WD? (but 180 lbs after WD hitch is used)?

Best
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
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There is also the class of reciever as well. I believe it needs to be a class 3 or 4 but please, someone correct me if I am wrong. And tires. Standard Load tires might not cut it. Its not something I realised until I had the trailer hooked up. The tires were not a pretty site at all. I got away with it but its not something I would knowingly do again.
Presumably, you do have a brake controller fitted? I keep intending to click the post button but then I remember other stuff.
Oil cooler, do you have one? You might want to check. There, finished, I think.

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:28 PM   #14
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Thanks Bex,
The hitch is class IV, so I should be fine there. I think I am set on all gears, except I need clarification on what tongue weight limit with WD hitch exactly means.
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