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Old 09-14-2017, 01:45 PM   #1
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Towing 28' international serenity

Just bought a 28' International Serenity. Trying to get this thing balanced correctly for good driving.

The hitch weight dry on this is 891lbs. Already at 15% That is because bedroom is at the back and living room/kitchen at the front. But the water tank, black water tank, and gray water tank are in the middle and partly set toward the back of the wheels. I know that when those tanks are filled that tongue weight is going to go down. But I also know that this could cause trailer sway if the front is too light.

The last time we went out and I know I had quite a bit of hitch weight; probably more than I should have. But it drove great. No sway at all. And I had about 50% water tank full, and I had just dumped. When we left however and I had about 50% of the black and gray water tank full it didn't drive as well.

Anyone have any tricks out there to kind of get this balance right without having the tongue weight hit 1000lbs.

I just bought a tongue weight scale. Figured it was a good investment to make sure I have enough tongue weight when loaded and especially if I am carrying water and have black water and gray water.

But what I'm going to do is hook up the front like I want and then start experimenting with water in the tanks and have my wife walking in the area of the tanks to see what that does to tongue weight. Maybe put some water jugs around to see what happens.

Any insights or help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:49 PM   #2
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I doubt that you will have to ever deal with a light tongue weight problem with the '28. It would help if you would share the following:

What are you towing it with now?
What kind of hitch are you using?
Do you have any weight distributing of any kind?
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
I doubt that you will have to ever deal with a light tongue weight problem with the '28. It would help if you would share the following:

What are you towing it with now?
What kind of hitch are you using?
Do you have any weight distributing of any kind?
Curious as well and want to follow the thread.
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Old 09-14-2017, 05:25 PM   #4
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F150

Towing with 2017 F150 Ecoboost. Has plenty of power and payload. Using Blue Ox WDH. Works great.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:03 PM   #5
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P.S. I have a max tow haul feature as well with the F150. With the 10speed transmission and the max tow haul I am around 2000rpms in 8th gear most of the time. Nice thing also is that when going down hills it downshifts. At 2500 rpms I have 472lbs of torque. If I was towing most of the year I'd have gotten the F250. But l use my truck for work (appraiser) and I need something that is less expensive run and depreciate. When I finally retire I'll go up in size because then more likely to travel more. Hopefully in about 3 years.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:10 PM   #6
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I've been pulling my 28 Serenity with my F250 - equalizer hitch - I'm new at this but have stopped at a CAT Scale every trip to check out my load and WD - it's a learning thing. So far great towing - no sway - I also keep my speed between 60 and 63.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:15 PM   #7
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28'

I'm actually more concerned about going over weight than under weight. That's why I bought the tongue scale. I also only drive between 60 and 65. I try to stay off freeways where everyone is blowing by. The point of this is to enjoy yourself and relax and not feel stressed. So I take the scenic routes.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:39 PM   #8
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Have you played with the number of links on the Blue Ox? Which bars do you have as well? We noticed the handling change dramatically on our trailer (30FC) with a change in how much water was in which tanks after camping and before dumping - to the point that I just purchased a different hitch to not have to dink around with it as much.

We have both sets of bars (1000 & 1500) and I just could not get it dialed where I liked it. The Blue Ox seems to get great reviews with a few somewhat lukewarm feelings as well.

Since you aren't changing the trailer or truck it's going to come down to playing with the hitch - not sure where your closest Cat scales are, but they may be all the way down here in the Green Bay area. Might be worth spending a day fiddling with it.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:32 PM   #9
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Perhaps you're over-thinking this Daquenzer. I tow a 28' International and have never measured the tongue weight. I travel with empty tanks when I can and if I have anything really heavy in the trailer, it does go aft of the axles. However, I've done plenty of freeway driving, usually at around 60-65mph and never felt any sway, no matter how I've loaded.

2wiresdave said he thinks it's more about the hitch and I tend to agree. I'm using a basic EAZ-Lift with the 1000lb bars and it all seems to work for me; I'd start there if I were you.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:51 PM   #10
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Maybe I am over thinking it. But the limit on the tongue weight is 1000lbs. The dry weight on the tongue is 891lbs. Most other AS are at least 100lbs less. That is a significant variance.

Also I have the WDH pretty well lined up now. On our last trip I increased the links on the Blue Ox and it rode very nicely.

So clearly the WDH hitch is where to start as you said.

My main concern is too much tongue weight that's all. I just wanted to know how to the weight distribution on the International affected that tongue weight and where to best put it.

But you are obviously more experienced at this than I am so will defer to your wisdom on the WDH.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:01 AM   #11
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For any of you with the International 28, what is the weight of the hitch when ready for travel?

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2017, 07:41 AM   #12
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28' Tngue Weight

Loaded for camping with full propane tanks, tongue wright is 940lbs in my 2008 28' International.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
For any of you with the International 28, what is the weight of the hitch when ready for travel?

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
For any of you with the International 28, what is the weight of the hitch when ready for travel?

Thanks!
I checked various weights when full timing several years ago. The hitch weight was 450 kg. (About 990 lbs.). Full propane and supplies for camping with minimal water and empty waste tanks. The rig handled perfectly - in this case going through the Rockies via Banff.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:54 PM   #14
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Hi Daquenzer & welcome to the Borg.

There are two things that you can do to reduce tongue weight.

#1- Relocate batteries inside. This will require new batteries that are sealed i.e AGM or lithiums. Relocating the batteries inside will give you an immediate weight reduction.

Here's a link about moving the batteries.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162373


#2- Pack items towards the rear of the trailer. You won't see much of a difference but at least you won't be adding to the tongue.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:44 PM   #15
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Hi

As you have already figured out, you *could* put 500 pounds of gold bars in the rear bumper and have a significant impact on the tongue weight. That's probably not a good idea for a number of reasons, one of them being much worse sway. Bottom line is that this is just the way the weight and balance work out on this model. There are a *lot* of RV's that come out like this. You may need to do a bit of work on the receiver on your TV to get everything running with good safety margin.

Bob
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:32 PM   #16
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Dumping black and grey is a priority. Always.

890-lbs is car territory. It's roughly 350-lbs per TV axle (@ .78) with the balance leveraged to the TT axles via WD.

Setting the WD to 100% front axle Load restoration is the thing.

TW is not cargo capacity despite the fervency of believers. It is the static weight of that long lever end while at rest. One works with axle limits.

A WDH spreads the force at the hitch ball to the three different axles, not just one. It can handle the increasing and decreasing force at the ball much more efficiently (assuming its set correctly, which won't be found on a UTube video).

An ordinary Eaz-Lift or an integrated antisway Dual Cam are best choices for best set up among the cheap hitches. The superior VPP design hitches are in another class altogether.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:55 PM   #17
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A vote for taking it to the CAT scales. If you weigh it hitched and then just the TV unhitched you will have almost all you need. From that you will get the amount of weight added or subtracted from each axle of the TV. As SlowMover said, the amount of weight you add to the TV is a more important number than the tongue weight with the trailer sitting unhitched. You do either need to do the CAT scales or to measure the front fender height before and after hitching to determine how to adjust the hitch in terms of putting enough weight on the front axle. And some weight goes back to the trailer axle. I am really uncomfortable with the idea of reducing tongue weight by adding load to the trailer. ( I carry my gold bars in the truck bed). I would rather just live with the extra tongue weight.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:28 AM   #18
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Not sure what the issue is... you may be overthinking it. We just finished a 1 month cross country trek with our 28 foot 2017 international serenity... using a good weight distribution hitch, and towing with half to full water tank for boondocking, we drove thru the mountains of Colorado and Utah with no sway whatsoever at speeds of 70+ mph. No problems.

Total trailer miles on this trip was around 3700 miles... and there was no issue. The only real difference between our rigs is my truck is a ram 2500. My trailer is on LT tires from Nokian, 235/75 R15...

What is your goal? A certain stability at a certain speed? Is your trucks suspension up to that task? F150 payload for your model?
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Hi

As you have already figured out, you *could* put 500 pounds of gold bars in the rear bumper and have a significant impact on the tongue weight. That's probably not a good idea for a number of reasons, one of them being much worse sway. Bottom line is that this is just the way the weight and balance work out on this model. There are a *lot* of RV's that come out like this. You may need to do a bit of work on the receiver on your TV to get everything running with good safety margin.

Bob
1. I got started on this because I wanted to put our bikes on the tongue. But because this model already has 891 lbs on the tongue dry that wasn't going to work. Actually had a great set up. But when I weighed it out the tongue weight was about 1100lbs. Too heavy according to specs.
2. Then it got me thinking how do I load this RV so that I don't get too much weight on the tongue. I did NOT have a problem towing it. In fact when I had 1100lbs on the tongue it towed wonderfully. But decided I better not go that direction. Everyone assumes that I'm having a problem with towing. I'm not. It tows just fine. My F150 works great. I have plenty of payload and plenty of power. Maybe when I'm fully retired I'll get a diesel since I'll be pulling it more. But for now the F150 with 3.5 Ecoboost and Max Tow Haul works just fine.
3. All I wanted to know is were there any "tricks" to keep that tongue weight around 950lbs. I know that is when it tows the best. My WDH levels it out very nicely at about 6 to 7 links on the Blue Ox.
4. I bought a hitch weight scale. I thought it would be nice to know what causes the balance to change. And it was very helpful. I leveled it out and did some experimenting with my generators and some water jugs. I also found that when I drive with the black water or gray water tanks half full that I might need to add to the tongue weight. Those tanks are over the wheels and just a bit toward the back. And if we boonkdock and have to drive some distance to dump I wanted to beware of what that did to the weight distribution. And I also learned how the distributed weight affects the tongue weight.

It's a learning experience. And one poster says he has about 950lbs. And that's what I'm aiming for.

So in summary; My tow vehicle is just fine. My hitch is just fine. All I'm doing is figuring out the best way to level this thing out so that I have the best driving experience possible.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:13 AM   #20
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Three Pass Scale Method (the Ron Gratz chart I linked here about 2010). Dial in the hitch according to numbers.

With better info, easier to make decisions about where to carry bicycles.

1100-lbs at .78 means truck is carrying TW at about 429-lbs/Axle. This is an estimate based on FALR.

TW isn't a problem, is the point.

1) How the truck is loaded for camping (not just total weight, but per axle)

2) How the hitch is distributing TW

Need to be answered.

.
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