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Old 12-01-2020, 05:54 PM   #1
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Increase tongue weight?

I'm towing a 2021 AS FB23 that has, according to specs, a 440lb tongue weight. Everything I've read says that the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer weight, which is 6,000lbs.

Does this mean that I should increase my tongue weight for a safer/better ride? Maybe adding a tongue mounted generator would be beneficial?
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:15 PM   #2
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Like this?

We need to know what those weights mean. Hitched, unhitched, weight distribution engaged?
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:15 PM   #3
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:58 PM   #4
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After towing a 23FB for five years (50K miles), I can help just a bit.

First, the answer is no. But, here is why. You are going to get enough weight forward with little to no extra effort. It will be a challenge to hold the weight below 600#s. The tongue is best at 600-750#s IMHO. Your experience may be different, but reducing it is harder than increasing the weight.

The 440 or 467 or what ever your listed weight is, includes only the dry weight with full propane tanks. Any options will add to the coach weight and impact the associated tongue weight. The fresh water tank is in front of the front axle. It is low and an excellent solution to balance your rig for best performance by lowering the center of gravity. We mostly towed with it empty to minimize our tongue weight, but you may prefer it full. For what it's worth Andy at CanAm recommends towing with it full.

As you add gear to the cabinets over the bed, tools and such to the outside accessed storage compartment, and whatever you store un der the bed, the tongue weight will go up. If you add heavier batteries, the tongue weight will go up. If you upgrade the mattress with a heavier one, the tongue weight will increase. You may be seeing a trend here.

Now, do not put extra gear in the back of the trailer to teeter totter the excess weight off the tongue. Weight on the back is a bad moment arm and makes the coach less directionally stable. Load all gear low and as close to the axles as possible. That does not work in all cases, but the more you can do that way, the better your rig will perform.

With respect to the generator. Some have, I would not. Loading at the extreme end of the front or back can encourage the trailer to pitch forward and back when you hit bridge transitions and similar rough road conditions. It also increases the weight that you need to transfer to tune your rig.

Caution - be careful what you store in the shower. The Fiberglass finish is easy to damage, it is the wrong place to carry weight, and the easier it is to access, the more you will use it.

Congratulations on the new coach. Enjoy the adventure. Check in with the 23FB and 23D threads. Lots of good information there. Be careful though. The folks who hang there tend to change things up a bit.

Believe what you read on the internet, only after you verify it through investigation, testing and your personal understanding. Not everything you read is correct, right for your rig, or appropriate for all conditions. Lots of personal preference floating around and everyone's rig is different. Pat
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:51 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. Would it help to actually weigh the tongue separately when the trailer is fully loaded and full of fluids? We travel extremely light. I noticed that the tongue weight on the 23FB is almost 200 pounds less than the other 23 foot models. Does this mean that they have to reduce their cargo even further?
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:08 AM   #6
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On the above ticket it looks like my trailer is 100 pounds overweight. And according to Flying Cloud specs I should somehow increase my tongue weight.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:16 AM   #7
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-- snip -- I noticed that the tongue weight on the 23FB is almost 200 pounds less than the other 23 foot models. -- snip --
The answer is no. They do not have to reduce their gear and fluids. The axles are located a different distance from the ball on the D-CB than they are on the FB. The layout is different. The storage is different. The balance is different. Think of the distance from axle to ball as a lever. The longer the lever, the less force it takes to lift weight that is close to the axle. Hence, the reason that you do not want to add weight at the end of the tongue where it has a very short length of lever remaining.

Now, the tongue weight is not necessarily 200lbs less. It only starts at that weight with no gear or fluids. But the listed weight is not what you will deal with when towing. It's the loaded weight that is your consideration.

You can weigh your tongue separately or establish the added weight between the weight of the TV unhitched and the weight of the TV when hitched with no weight distribution applied. Pat

Edit - is it possible that you have the numbers reversed?
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by viking1 View Post
Thanks guys. Would it help to actually weigh the tongue separately when the trailer is fully loaded and full of fluids?
Yep it sure would... and I'll say with almost 100% confidence that the actual weight will be more than you expect.
ALL weights need to be fully loaded ready for camping.
Actual TW is done un-hitched.

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"Cloudsplitter's" factory TW is 860lb
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:24 PM   #9
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I have a 2019 23fb and have struggled to get the tongue weight to 600 lbs measured with the Sherline scale. With the fresh tanks full, full propane tanks, and everything packed up - got it to about 550ish lbs. I try to put everything forward to increase it as much as I can in an attempt to get in that 10 - 15% range - seems like 12.5% is a good spot. Don't think I will ever get there.

That said, it tows much better with the fresh tanks full - my wife even commented on it when I didn't fill it once out of laziness.

Thus, in my experience, the tongue weight from the specs on the 23fb is pretty accurate.
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Turbulence View Post
I have a 2019 23fb and have struggled to get the tongue weight to 600 lbs measured with the Sherline scale. With the fresh tanks full, full propane tanks, and everything packed up - got it to about 550ish lbs. I try to put everything forward to increase it as much as I can in an attempt to get in that 10 - 15% range - seems like 12.5% is a good spot. Don't think I will ever get there.

That said, it tows much better with the fresh tanks full - my wife even commented on it when I didn't fill it once out of laziness.

Thus, in my experience, the tongue weight from the specs on the 23fb is pretty accurate.

Okay I just ordered a Sherline scale to measure the tongue weight while packing. Should I top off my fresh water tank and just keep loading stuff as far forward as possible until I reach 650-700lbs?
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by viking1 View Post
Okay I just ordered a Sherline scale to measure the tongue weight while packing. Should I top off my fresh water tank and just keep loading stuff as far forward as possible until I reach 650-700lbs?
That sounds like a good way to proceed, although I wouldn't try to artificially create weight by packing unnecessary stuff

It will be interesting to see how your weights turn out.
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:40 PM   #12
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We weighed in today at the Temecula Inland Empire Airstream dealer using a Sherline scale. Looks like 450lbs with a half tank of fresh (20 gallons), half tank of grey (20 gallons) and maybe 5 gallons of black. No food or supplies onboard.
Maybe it's best to store heavy tools and so forth in the forward outside compartment and mount the Honda 2200 generator with five gallon gas can on the tongue?
What do you guys think?
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Old 12-04-2020, 06:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viking1 View Post
I'm towing a 2021 AS FB23 that has, according to specs, a 440lb tongue weight. Everything I've read says that the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the trailer weight, which is 6,000lbs.

Does this mean that I should increase my tongue weight for a safer/better ride? Maybe adding a tongue mounted generator would be beneficial?
Weigh the trailer fully loaded w/full FW and all supplies.
If in fact you weigh 6k the minimum TW would be 600lb a bit more would be ideal.

Disclaimer...I noe nadd'a.

Bob
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Old 12-04-2020, 07:19 AM   #14
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Question for those directly measuring trailer tongue weights, should you have the trailer as level as possible first?

Wondering if having the coupler a few inches off the ground on the scale is resulting in more tongue weight than if it were level.

May not be much, though perhaps 50-70 lbs. per thousand?
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:00 AM   #15
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I pulled a 23FB for many years. (2011 to 2019.). I thought it had a tendency to sway, much more so than the 25FB I now pull. Filling the FW tank helps, but try to keep the other tanks empty when pulling. I never had a particularly bad sway event. I just felt more side to side push with it than I cared for. I just kept my speed down, especially coming down mountain passes out west. I don’t think there’s a whole lot you can do, but have a good anti-sway hitch set up properly. I had an EasyHitch (or something like that) at the time. It worked well when we used it with our 19’ Bambi before the 23FB. FYI, we were pulling with a Toyota Tundra.
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Old 12-04-2020, 08:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExploreUT View Post
Question for those directly measuring trailer tongue weights, should you have the trailer as level as possible first?

Wondering if having the coupler a few inches off the ground on the scale is resulting in more tongue weight than if it were level.

May not be much, though perhaps 50-70 lbs. per thousand?
Level and directly under the ball coupler.
An inch down is better than anything up.👍

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Old 12-04-2020, 09:12 AM   #17
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My 2017 28' spec says 899; it actually weighs 1100lbs at the scales, loaded with water and my typical gear. These are from truck scale with AS on one and the tongue on the other, disconnected and resting level on the power jack.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:55 AM   #18
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Question for those directly measuring trailer tongue weights, should you have the trailer as level as possible first?

Wondering if having the coupler a few inches off the ground on the scale is resulting in more tongue weight than if it were level.

May not be much, though perhaps 50-70 lbs. per thousand?

I guess that's the reason that the dealer put the scale on an elevated forklift prong to weigh the tongue. Now wondering how I duplicate that leveling at home. Stacking something under the hitch to get level first?
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:58 AM   #19
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I guess that's the reason that the dealer put the scale on an elevated forklift prong to weigh the tongue. Now wondering how I duplicate that leveling at home. Stacking something under the hitch to get level first?
How does it tow? Does it feel unstable? What is the tow vehicle and weight distribution type (maybe you already mentioned that).
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:01 AM   #20
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Weigh the trailer fully loaded w/full FW and all supplies.
If in fact you weigh 6k the minimum TW would be 600lb a bit more would be ideal.

Disclaimer...I noe nadd'a.

Bob
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In a perfect world someone would invent a bolt-on, lockable, tongue box to hold my Honda 2200, a five-gallon gas can and a set of suitcase solar panels. That seems to be the best place to add weight.
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