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Old 09-27-2017, 09:59 AM   #1
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30' Classic real world hitch weight

If anyone has established real world hitch weight numbers for their 30' Classic it would be great if you could share them. I'd also be interested to know any circumstances that may have influenced your weight readings, for example, the added weight of WD hitch hardware, heavier batteries, full tanks, loaded or unloaded, etc.

AS claims 886# for a 30' Classic but from everything I've read the actual weight is usually significantly higher. I'm trying to get a handle on hitch requirements before we get our own 30 footer. Thanks.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
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Hi

This quickly gets into a snarl over "what are we looking at".

The weight on the receiver on your TV is one number. (and there are stated limits on receivers)

The weight delivered to your front and rear axles on your TV is a different number. (axels also have limits).

There is the weight on this or that measuring setup right at the end of the A frame. How this equates to the rest of the numbers is dependent on the hitch setup. A hitch that pushes the ball back a foot or two is going to be different than one that does not push back as far.

A completely different number is the WD hitch bar "weight ratings". Those don't appear to have much to do with any of the numbers above.

Next up is the very basic - how close do you want to get? I would not put a 30' classic on a 1,000 lb rated receiver no matter what the paper ratings said. Margin is a good thing. Wiggling to within 10% of the rating is not something I'd want to do. WD bar wise ... not a big issue.

Lots of different rabbit holes to run down. Which one(s) are you after?

Bob
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:17 AM   #3
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Are you interested in hitch weight at the coupler of the trailer....at the jack post...or at the receiver of the truck? They are all different and "hitch weight" term is always thrown around indiscriminately here on posts.

"hitch weight" (or more accurately stated as coupler weight) as spec'ed by AS is the maximum they want to see on the ball at the coupler.

"hitch weight" as measured at the jack post is inaccurate and an additional mathematical calculation needs to be applied in order to determine coupler weight.

"hitch weight" as measured at the receiver and determined by the TV and receiver manufacturer includes the coupler weight plus the hitch components as measured at the point on the drawbar/stinger interfacing with the receiver.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:30 AM   #4
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I have an elaborate spreadsheet for my specific 30" Classic and my gear. With no bikes, nor rack installed on the tongue and no water in any tanks but with full propane and permanent gear loaded, Hensley hitch with RockTamer flaps, my coupler weight is 875#. My TV receiver weight is 959#.

Fully loaded and ready to go camping with water, groceries, clothing, bikes and rack on tongue I am at 964# coupler weight and 1039# receiver weight.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:30 AM   #5
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Specifically, I'm looking for the weight of the trailer on the receiver hitch ball, or more accurately, the coupler weight. If I understand correctly, that is the weight that AS specifies as being 886# for the 2018 30' Classic. It's also the weight that Equalizer requires as an input on their web site calculator to determine the correct hitch size and bar tension weight for a particular trailer.

Edit: Rich, just saw your numbers above after posting this. Thanks. Other input welcomed....
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Are you interested in hitch weight at the coupler of the trailer....at the jack post...or at the receiver of the truck? They are all different and "hitch weight" term is always thrown around indiscriminately here on posts.

"hitch weight" (or more accurately stated as coupler weight) as spec'ed by AS is the maximum they want to see on the ball at the coupler.

....
Respectfully disagree. I think the number given by Airstream is the weight an unloaded trailer would put on a scale (like Sherline) at the coupler. Widely stated recommendation is that the "tongue weight" should be 10% to 15% of the trailer's GVWR for stable towing. My trailer GVWR is 9100#, so 910# to 1360# would be the range. Airstream specs my trailer as "Hitch (lbs.) 900. Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) is 8000#.

I have measured 950# on a Sherline scale. The effective load on the receiver is lessened by weight distribution, as can be confirmed by measuring the rig per the process often defined on here. The trailer "tongue weight" is applied to the ball of the WD hitch. Torque from the WD bars reduces the effect of that weight on the receiver but adds a torque instgead. That is why most receivers have two weight specs, one for WD and one without.

Al



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Old 09-27-2017, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
Respectfully disagree. I think the number given by Airstream is the weight an unloaded trailer would put on a scale (like Sherline) at the coupler. Widely stated recommendation is that the "tongue weight" should be 10% to 15% of the trailer's GVWR for stable towing. My trailer GVWR is 9100#, so 910# to 1360# would be the range. Airstream specs my trailer as "Hitch (lbs.) 900. Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) is 8000#.

Al



Al
That's what I said....?????? Perhaps I wasn't clear...AS spec for MAXIMUM (1000#s in my case) is the most they want to see at the coupler. Not sure what mine was empty, as I loaded contents from one trailer into the AS at the dealer lot. My numbers above are with my "permanent" amenities on board.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I have an elaborate spreadsheet for my specific 30" Classic and my gear. With no bikes, nor rack installed on the tongue and no water in any tanks but with full propane and permanent gear loaded, Hensley hitch with RockTamer flaps, my coupler weight is 875#. My TV receiver weight is 959#.

Fully loaded and ready to go camping with water, groceries, clothing, bikes and rack on tongue I am at 964# coupler weight and 1039# receiver weight.
Rich,

Just to be clear, based on your data, if you were filling out the Equalizier form shown below for tongue weight, what number would you enter for your trailer?

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/find-your-hitch-size

Also, what was Airstream's claimed "hitch weight" for your 2007 30' Classic?
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Rich,

Just to be clear, based on your data, if you were filling out the Equalizier form shown below for tongue weight, what number would you enter for your trailer?

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/find-your-hitch-size

Also, what was Airstream's claimed "hitch weight" for your 2007 30' Classic?
964#, as per my prior post that is the heaviest coupler weight I run into in my "Take everything with me" trips (as currently distributed throughout the trailer).
That's not every trip, this weekend will be a quick hop with no "toys" so I will be well below that number.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:45 PM   #10
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BTW, when I ran an equalizer, I had 10,000# head, 1000# TW rating and 1000# bars.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:23 PM   #11
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Thanks, Rich.

You mentioned earlier that if tongue weight is measured at the jack post then an additional math calculation must be made, Do you or anyone else know what the variables involved in that calc would be? I don't have a trailer here to measure but I think the distance from the coupler to the jack post is less than 12".

FWIW, the "bathroom scale" method for measuring tongue weight described in the AS owner's manual and elsewhere uses the jack post.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:25 PM   #12
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I'll have to look for that calculation formula. Stay tuned. Jack post will ballpark it, but it will be higher than actual coupler weight. Roughly 50#, IIRC.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Thanks, Rich.

You mentioned earlier that if tongue weight is measured at the jack post then an additional math calculation must be made, Do you or anyone else know what the variables involved in that calc would be? I don't have a trailer here to measure but I think the distance from the coupler to the jack post is less than 12".

FWIW, the "bathroom scale" method for measuring tongue weight described in the AS owner's manual and elsewhere uses the jack post.
A=(BY)/X where:
A= calculated weight at ball
B= Observed weight at jack
Y= center of axle(s) to jack distance
X = center of axle(s) to ball distance

assuming trailer is dead level front to rear.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:17 PM   #14
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Assuming your frame is identical to mine, I got figures from a factory line drawing

Ball to axle = 223.37"
Axle to jack = 214.87"
Ball to jack = 8.5"
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
A=(BY)/X where:
A= calculated weight at ball
B= Observed weight at jack
Y= center of axle(s) to jack distance
X = center of axle(s) to ball distance

assuming trailer is dead level front to rear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Assuming your frame is identical to mine, I got figures from a factory line drawing

Ball to axle = 223.37"
Axle to jack = 214.87"
Ball to jack = 8.5"
Awesome. Thank you!
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:33 PM   #16
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Hi

This is *way* over thinking the bar issue on the hitch ...... Just go with the 1,000 pound bars and move on.

Bob
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:48 PM   #17
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Hi

This is *way* over thinking the bar issue on the hitch ...... Just go with the 1,000 pound bars and move on.

Bob
That's one opinion, but sounds more like an order. Typical of many forums.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Rich,

Just to be clear, based on your data, if you were filling out the Equalizier form shown below for tongue weight, what number would you enter for your trailer?

https://www.equalizerhitch.com/find-your-hitch-size

Also, what was Airstream's claimed "hitch weight" for your 2007 30' Classic?
Spec sheet says 672 was dry tw and the curb weight was 7460. I suspect my actual tw was closer to 800 before I started loading my stuff.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Spec sheet says 672 was dry tw and the curb weight was 7460. I suspect my actual tw was closer to 800 before I started loading my stuff.
I appreciate the follow up. I was trying to get a feel for the difference between factory TW and actual weights and your info helps me understand that. Interesting that there's such a significant difference in TW on the factory spec sheet between 30' Classics from 2007 and 2018; over 200#. Of course the curb weight of the 2018 is 7788; it seems much of the additional weight is towards the front of the newer model.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:52 PM   #20
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Well let's see.....reclining power sofa, more electronics, on and on. Mine was ordered without the entertainment package by P.O. no sub, no tv's, no dvr/DVD player, no inverter, no solar, etc. I added all the above. New ones have larger propane tanks and cover. It all adds up quickly.
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