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Old 03-08-2010, 11:25 PM   #1
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Cargo Carrying Capacity for 2009 Bambi

Picking up a 19' 2009 Bambi next week. The cargo weight seems razor thin and the numbers just don't seem reasonable.

Based on the math as i understand AS recommends it be done it i can almost carry nothing in the AS! Doesn't make sense that a trailer would be designed with so little cargo capacity. Some threads suggested deductions of axle and tire weight, another that 2/3rds of the toungue weight is transferred to the TV and ignored.

From the sticker trailer as equipped form the factory GVWR: 4,500 lbs.

UVW: 3,779 lbs. (dealer said all 2010 UBW's include full LP, or 60lbs. but does that apply to 2009 model flying Cloud Bambi too? Note: It UVW is 3,792 lbs. in the AS manual.


Water Weight: 257 lbs. (including the extra 6 gallons in water heater & water in lines and filter). 23 + 6 hot water = 29 x 8.4 lbs.

Total weight W/Full tank of water 4,036 lbs.


Estimate of additional dealer installed options 117 lbs. (solar, 2 extra fire extinguishers, wi fi in motion system)

Estimate of Pro-Pride Hitch 228 lbs. (going by the weight of the 4 boxes they shipped)


Extra cargo capacity 119 lbs.

If a case of "beverage" is about 20 lbs. its shoes or ....

Some threads on Airforum indicated that 2/3 of the hitch weight is on the TV and not counted. Some indicated that you subtract tires, etc. from teh weight. None of this is per manual. What is the real deal? I would ask Dr. Phil but not sure he has an AS.

Any thoughts, help, clarifications or suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Marty
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:23 AM   #2
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Hi, some of the Bambi's have very little carrying capacity. First go by the factory sticker inside of your trailer. [mine is in the closet] Next subtract from the CCC your dealer add-ons. The balance is what you have left. Forget the hitch, tires and axles ETC. I can carry 865 lbs, but I will never carry that much weight.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:02 AM   #3
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Bob:

Thanks for the input. So you're saying that the weight the hitch adds to the trailer can be ignored in calculating cargo carrying capacity? I was told otherwise. If i can ignore the hitch that is another 228 pounds I can carry which is solves the issue since we'll be up to about 350 ccc which is fine. Anyway i can confirm to be sure? Is ignoring the hitch weight similar to the point others have made in the threads that 2/3rds of the hitch weight goes onto the TV? Appreciate any further insight. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pattimarty View Post
Bob:

Thanks for the input. So you're saying that the weight the hitch adds to the trailer can be ignored in calculating cargo carrying capacity? I was told otherwise. If i can ignore the hitch that is another 228 pounds I can carry which is solves the issue since we'll be up to about 350 ccc which is fine. Anyway i can confirm to be sure? Is ignoring the hitch weight similar to the point others have made in the threads that 2/3rds of the hitch weight goes onto the TV? Appreciate any further insight. Thanks.
I have been thinking about this, and here is what I came up with.

When the ProPride is mounted on the trailer and unhooked from the TV, it is obvious that the whole weight of the hitch is on the tongue of the trailer.

However, when you hook it up completely, the hitch becomes an extension of the truck and the trailer tongue is resting on it. Then, once you start raising the WD jacks, the problem becomes more complex. You have a bar attached to the hitch, pulling down on the A frame. Unless you can measure the force of the downward pull, everything from there on is a guess.

With a load margin that slim, I would highly recommend you start out by hooking up empty, adjusting the WD and going to a nearby scale and weighing each axle individually. Then you should have an idea how much you can Carry.

Then add that much weight, readjust the WD, and repeat the weighing.

It sounds like a PITA to me, but that is what I would do.

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Old 03-09-2010, 12:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pattimarty View Post
Picking up a 19' 2009 Bambi next week. The cargo weight seems razor thin and the numbers just don't seem reasonable.

Based on the math as i understand AS recommends it be done it i can almost carry nothing in the AS! Doesn't make sense that a trailer would be designed with so little cargo capacity...
hi marty and congrats on the new stream purchase.

the carry capacity (cc) issue is an a/s issue going way back.

and u are wise to think about it, work through the math and sort out the options.

there were 30/34s built 10-12 years ago that only allowed for 2-500 lbs of gear and these were the LARGEST streams.

more recently the single axle units have had paltry payloads...

for example the quiksilver model (a limited edition of 50....x2) had a carry capacity of 51 pounds.

no foolin' (see the links below)
__________

your note suggests a/s is going to START including lp gas in the tongue/base weight?

that would be a NICE change, they finally started included the SPARE TIRE/WHEEL in tongue weight 2 years ago...

our reporting about the issue HERE may have prompted them to do that so maybe the lp weight is another EAR to the community of users.

but this unit is a 2009? so it is UNlikely the lp gas weight was factored into the ratings/sticker/weights.
__________

regardless of the weight ESTIMATES a/s provides, the only sure measure is taking the trailer to a scale and getting actual values.

do this early, it's easy and will be useful info going forward.

also pay close attention 2 the trailer tires and keep the psi UP at 65.
__________

folks use a LOT of calculations, gyrations and fudge factors to pretend they are UNDER the gvwr or carry limits.

even a/s does this, to the confusion and dismay of owners...

for example a mythical "10,000 lb" trailer will come with only 8800-9200 lbs~ of TIRE capacity...

the explanation/answer being, that the TONGUE weight doesn't ride on the tires.

and while that is true it's misleading to owners trying to be WITHIN safe limits...

and IF a flat//low tire happens that other tire is WAY over capacity instantly.

my understanding is that the HITCH (good choice btw) may be mounted/sitting on the tongue,

but once the w/d is tensioned and the rig in motion, the hitch is viewed as riding on the TV at that point, not the trailer...

so i do think it is OK to not count the hitch against trailer payload/cc (but DO include it in the TV payload)...

and ignore the 1/3-2/3rds thing and subtracting UNsprung weight (tires/axles), these are misleading gains in cc.

will 1-200 lbs OVER capacity break anything?

probably not but we don't really ever know UNLESS we go past some limit and break stuff.

the folks who do that for a living are called engineers or test pilots...
___________

the 16s/19s and even the 20 are designed as 'weekender' units, withOUT allowance for carrying much stuff.

so boats, bikes, grills, kegs, dutch ovens and so on should be carried IN the TV up to the gvwr/payload allowed.

IF ordering a new 19 i would insist on a 5k rated axle and recently CANADIAN trailers did come with HIGHER rated axles...

IF the deal is sealed, it's reasonable to just USE bambi for a while and find out IF 'streamin fits and the rvn hobby is a keeper.

if a/s rvn becomes a regular obsession THEN there are other options 4 WHEN more payload becomes important...

1. a tv with MORE payload so gear/toys can go in/on the mule ...

2. a LARGER stream (many go this route after learning the bambi isn't so hard to tow and more bed/shower/fridge/clothing space is GOOD)...

3. UPgrade the axle on the 19 to a higher rating....

IF keeping the 19 long term and cramped for weight (scale readings) UP rating the axle is a nice long term approach...

here are a few threads on doing this and the related issues...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f368...vwr-28020.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...xle-39897.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...vwr-50240.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:08 PM   #7
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Thanks all....

The plot thickens/the confusion grows......

2air is correct in that the 2010 not the 2009 figures include LP. I checked with customer service/tech support at AS. So i have to add another 60 lbs for LP to the weight mix. So that means 119 - 60 = 59 lbs of stuff can be loaded. Once i include the wife's goodies and treats for the doggie, i'll be lucky if i can add that old sawed off toothbrush i'm saving in my backpack in the attic! I don't even think i'll be able to throw in the pencil stub with duct tape, that will have to go in the TV as well!

Here's what else AS tech support told me:

o The axle weight limit is 4,300 (per tech support). I'm really confused now since the GVWR is 4,500. Tech support explained that 10% of that is transferred to the TV. But isn't it is all sitting on the trailer when i disconnect? More confused.

o 40% of the hitch weight rests on the axle of the trailer and 60% on the TV (per tech support). This sounds like the 1/3rd 2/3rd comment from one of the airforum threads that others have indicated is questionable. But does this really give me leeway? Tech support's position was quite clear that the 11th Commandment is "Thou shall not exceed the weight limit."

o I asked tech support that if 10% of the weight is on the TV then 4500 GVWR + 450 = 4,950 that should be OK (expecting a "no" answer). Understood. But isn't that the same rationale/analysis that permits a 4,300 axle to hold a 4,500 GVWR? I am an ignorant newbie with zip in experience so perhaps i'm missing the elephant in the back of the room, but i just don't get the consistency of these positions.

o Ahhh, so many i've spoken to have indicated not to sweat it if it is close. If you're 100 lbs over or so it shouldn't really matter. Tech support was pretty firm not to exceed the GVWR of 4,500, which was no surprise. They also pointed out that if there is an accident or issue and the trailer exceeds the GVWR that might present a legal problem. No surprise there either but what can be done? And are the axle weights really suffiicent based on the information provided? Just getting more confused.

o Sure i can go out with a modest fresh water tank, but then what is the point of having the tank? It really seems, and no offense to AS or anyone else, that if a trailer is designed to have a 23 gallon water tank and 6 gallon heater, that we should be able to pack a reasonable amount of belongings and the supplies the trailer was designed to hold. Hope i haven't just blacklisted myself from the graces of the community but i am quite confused. I wasn't planning on taking my pet rock collection, but if i cannot take the pots and dishes for my wife to make chili and home made apple crisp, these trips are going to be less fun.

o If i understand the analysis correctly, assuming the frame and trailer are strong enough, if an axle of somewhat greater strength were used there would be no issue. Is that correct?

o Lots of assumptions can be made about which water where, but this is supposed to be fun.... not a liability or safety concern.

Again, i apologize for imposing on all of you, and hope i did not offend anyone, but would be grateful for guidance and recommendations.

Confused, and looking for a sawed off toothbrush.....
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:19 PM   #8
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Just my opinion, but I think you may be overthinking this a little; although, you are rightly concerned about overloading your Airstream.

We just put clothes and food in the trailer and anything "heavy" (cases of water, pop, extra canned goods, etc.) goes in the bed of the pickup, which has a tonneau cover.

As a rough guide, anything that my wife can carry easily that doesn't end up on the floor under the table is OK to put in the Airstream. And, anything that she struggles with or that I have to carry goes in the truck bed. Regular cookware is fine, but you might want to consider putting that cast iron dutch oven and matching set of skillets and lids in the truck. (Less dents in the aluminum, too.)
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:24 PM   #9
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For what it's worth: On our 34' Silver Streak once the trailer had all trailer equipment aboard [tools, supplies, etc]

THEN

we added about 400# of supplies (food, beverages, clothing, shoes; personal valuables) to the trailer as we full-timed for seven months.

We tended to grocery shop every second or third day AND anything really heavy went into the pickup truck bed under cover.

Nevertheless, were the trailer "empty" (ready to travel) all we needed to add was that 400# of stuff to travel for weeks. This is derived from a number of scale readings and is a bit high to leave a margin for two/three season clothing.

The truly empty trailer weighed 6,860# as I recall, and the heaviest it was ever scaled was 7,460# on the axles.
(TW also went through a substantial increase).
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattimarty View Post
The axle weight limit is 4,300 (per tech support). I'm really confused now since the GVWR is 4,500. Tech support explained that 10% of that is transferred to the TV. But isn't it is all sitting on the trailer when i disconnect? More confused
Congrats on the new AS.

Don't worry we are all a little confused around here here. Asking questions is a good thing.

As 2air mentioned there are a lot of opinions on trailer weights and how to deal with the limited carry capacity.

I look at it this way, not saying it's the ONLY way.

We have the same concern about Axle capacity...our GVWR is 7300lbs on axles rated at 7000lbs. The weight on the trailers axles is the same whether the tongue is supported by the jack or the hitch UNTIL your WD bars are tensioned.

Example...this is why the CAT scales are VERY important.

Last year on one of our trips we had a combined TV/Trlr weight of 16120lbs.

No tension on the WD bars-str axle 3140..drive axle 5280..trlr axles 7580.
Bars tensioned trailer LEVEL-str axle 3540..drive axle 4900..trlr axles 7680.

You can see from these numbers exactly how much was transferred forward to the TV and back to the trlr axles, 380lbs over trlr GVWR and 680lbs over what the axles are rated for.

The rig tows beautifully and I haven't noticed any deterioration of the axles...yet, The loaded unloaded angles of the axle torsion arms are still within specs.

Am I happy about this?....not very, but it's something I know i will have to address down the road.

Any less foggy?...probably not.

Happy Streams
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
QUOTE
............................

We have the same concern about Axle capacity...our GVWR is 7300lbs on axles rated at 7000lbs.
.......................................

Happy Streams

Is this because the the GVWR includes the weight of the axles, but the Axle weight ratings don't include the weight of the axles? It makes sense to me , but I don't know if it is right.
regards,
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #12
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Thanks again all. I'll read through the above threads more carefully again in a few minutes. But i will buy loudruff a toothbrush (perhaps one with a very heavy handle!)

Someone mentioned that perhaps i'm over thinking this. Possible. We pick up our first AS (and first trailer) in 6 days and for the past two months i've become engrossed reading threads on airforums.....(the wife calls it obsessed!) so if i'm a bit overzealous please forgive. But this stuff sure is fun!!!

I will heed W7ts' advice and get to a scale. A neighbor i met on airforums who has an AS and will be helping us with the first drive found a nearby one. I just need to understand the manner to weigh to resolve this issue so i do it right.

Perhaps the answer lies in the definitions of GVWR, unfortunately i've seen several different definitions. If you can help me sort it out i'd be grateful and then perhaps we will all have left a path of clarity for the next newbie.

If GVWR for a trailer is simply what the thing weighs, then i'm capped at 4,500 measured by hauling the trailer onto a scale, disconnecting the TV and having the entire trailer, tongue and tongue jack on the scale. (If i got this all wrong please correct me). Some definitions I've seen imply this. This view is certainly the most conservative but it seems to ignore the comments by 2air and Robert Cross above, Sean Woodruff of ProPride, and others on airforums. It also seems to ignore the physics involved.

Other definitions seem to imply that GVWR is the weight that the trailer (axle in particular) actually has to support. If that is the case then i should haul the trailer onto the scale, leave it attached to the TV, have the TV off the scale. In this latter scenario then any weight the hitch transfers to the TV is off the scale and the weight really being carried by the axle is on the scale. If i understand 2air's comments above i believe he is saying this. Hitch weight that is tranfserred to the TV is counted in the TV weight analysis, not the trailer's. If this latter case is the correct understanding of the GVWR limit then i won't have a trailer weight problem because of the weight transfer to the TV. (not worried about TV weight issues, we're fine). And isn't this how AS can use a 4300 axle to support a 4500 GVWR --- transfer via the hitch to the TV?

Sean Woodruff from Propride called and told me that the actual dead weight of the hitch on the trailer even ignoring transfer to the TV is only about 150 lbs. Patrick Botticelli from Colonial Airstream called AS in Ohio and confirmed that LP is included in their calculations from 2009 not 2010 so that is another 60 lbs. So now were 200+ of cargo carrying capacity which is getting more reasonable. And yes, as several of you have suggested the heavy stuff can go in the TV, no problem. Would still be nice to understand what the right answer is.

Trying to figure out how to make this all into a good lawyer joke. "How does a lawyer transfer tongue weight?....."

THANK YOU all for your patience and guidance.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:49 PM   #13
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"How does a lawyer transfer tongue weight?....."
He conceals it in his briefs.

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Old 03-10-2010, 12:03 AM   #14
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...If i understand 2air's comments above i believe he is saying this. Hitch weight that is tranfserred to the TV is counted in the TV weight analysis, not the trailer's...
hi marty

i don't think u are OVER analyzing the issues but there is a learning curve.

the feedback from the factory IS to be expected.

there is NO way they are gonna support OR suggest violating the gvwr.

and i agree with the caveat that 1-200 lbs OVER isn't gonna explode the trailer.
_________

sorry if my post was confusing but it DOES NOT suggest tongue weight transferred to the tv can be ignored...

folks TRY that creative math often and it does NOT apply.

the tongue weighs WHATEVER it weighs and that does count against gvwr...

the HITCH however is a different issue imo, and CAN be counted against the tv payload.
__________

the axle rating/gvwr inconsistency exists ALMOST in every model/length.

when PARKED and not connected 10-15% of the total weight is ON the A frame jack, NOT the axles.
__________

gvwr IS simply the limit for TOTAL weight of the trailer, just as it appears.

and is used dynamically (while towing)

but a PARKED trailer, not rolling or connected to a vehicle, like YOUR EXAMPLE....

will EXCEED the gvwr, EVERY TIME the 2 owners, dogs and friends CLIMB inside...

that's right, think about it.

with ONLY a tiny bit of RESERVE gvwr, going INSIDE the trailer will put it OVER the gvwr...

many modern rv companies NOW include a deadload/occupied weight limit...

in other words HOW MANY PEOPLE can get inside it when it's parked...

A/S doesn't provide this info, so we are still left to guessing...

it's a bit like stuffing a vw with coeds...

cheers
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