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Old 09-24-2020, 11:51 AM   #1
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
Midland , MI
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 77
Tongue Weight & WD Bars

We have a 2019 27' Tommy Bahama. We tow with a Cadillac Escalade and we have had zero issues thus far. Prior to the AS we had a Starcraft SOB that we pulled roughly 30,000 miles all over the US with the same truck. Again no issues. Then I subscribed to this forum and began to get worried with my truck ratings and loadings. My receiver hitch is factory installed as part of the Escalade tow package and is rated for 10,000 pounds with WD, 5,000 without. I have a Reese Cam Straightline hitch with 800# bars.

As I said, I was never concerned with truck loading until I began reading the forum. While I had the Starcraft I went to the CAT scales several times because it had a severe sway problem starting at 60-65 mph. I found out the tongue weight was far below the recommended 10-15%. In fact it was about 6-8%. I always felt the axle location was too far forward, taking all the weight off the tongue. We learned to repack the trailer putting as much weight forward and low as we could and that reduced the sway problem significantly.

I do not experience sway with my current setup. My concern is tongue weight and bar stiffness. As I said, the dealer outfitted the trailer with 800# bars. I bought a Sherline tongue scale to double check everything since I had such a problem with my previous trailer. The Airstream is the opposite. The tongue weight totally empty other than propane and batteries is about 800#. With water, propane, clothes, food, etc., and empty grey and black tanks it reads between 1,000 and 1,150 pounds.

This worried me since my receiver is only rated for 1,000#. I called the dealer and asked why the 800# bars and he said since the GVW of the trailer is 7,,500#, 10% would be 800# bars. Logical. But my loaded tongue weight is over 1,000. I monitored the scale as we were loading the trailer for a trip recently. Tongue weight starts at about 800# but moves up. Filling the water tank adds about 50# to the tongue weight. Hanging our clothes adds about 100. Loading food takes it up another 50-100#. Apparently everything we put in the trailer goes directly to the tongue, which is very weird.

This is a front bedroom trailer. The only thing we have in the front bedroom is our clothes and they aren't much. I have hoses and extension cords in the front storage compartment, but that is all. No heavy tools or anything else that would add so much weight The trailer is essentially empty - food and clothes and water, but definitely not overloaded. I plan a trip to the nearest CAT scales soon but in the meantime I'm wondering if I should swap the 800# bars for 1,000# or 1,200# ones. I've read about having a rig that is too stiff, stressing the trailer and popping rivets. As I staid, I've had zero issues thus far pulling the trailer, but we live in Michigan where grades aren't anything like Colorado. I'm tempted to keep what I have - why fix something that isn't broke. But then I don't want to break anything either!
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Old 09-24-2020, 03:49 PM   #2
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 16,027
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As long as you are moving the correct amount of weight the lighter the bars the better.

We have a 1200lb tongue weight loaded for camping.
I use 1000lb bars with a Hensley hitch.

You need to visit the CAT scales and get some weights.

I use 4 separate weights
TV alone
TV & AS no WD
TV & AS with maximum WD. (To determine a range)
TV & AS with the WD set to get the proper weight returned to the TV front axle.

Bob
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Compare TV frt axel on ticket #1 & #4
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Old 09-24-2020, 05:37 PM   #3
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2017 28' International
Baileys Harbor , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,227
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So I have a Propride hitch with a 28' rear bedroom. My bars are 1400lbs. That was recommended by Sean at Propride. I think your bars are a little light to properly distribute the weight. Previously I had a blue ox and the dealer gave me 1000lb bars. So I think 800lb bars are on the light side for your AS; especially with a front bedroom where most of the stuff gets stored.

Also although you say you are "packing light" there might come a time when you don't want to. And in fact with your tow vehicle you want as much stuff in the trailer as possible to minimize your payload. Many people on this forum say their tongue weight on a front bedroom is running about 1000 to 1200lbs.

With my rear bedroom my tongue weight actually stays about the same.

I would think getting new bars would be a pretty easy thing. You might also find that it distributes the weight a bit better. Can you get bars and test it out? Personally I'd just get the 1000lb bars.
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