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Old 12-30-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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Unloaded/loaded weight shift

I am thinking of moving up from a 31' bumper-pull to a large 5th-wheel toy hauler. (Along with a new tow-vehicle.)

Can someone explain the dynamics of towing a toy-hauler without anything in the back vs. with a 3000# toy in the back? It seems like the weight shift would cause problems with the fifth-wheel weight and balance.

Also, I am looking at some that say they have 5000#+ Net Cargo Capacity. (My 'toy' is actually about 2800#.) But, I can't seem to get a handle on the amount of weight the toy area can really handle as all the web sites list the Net Cargo Capacity, but not the toy area capacity.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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A few years ago, I dug into toy haulers quite a bit. I found basically two classes: RV based and Cargo Trailer based. The former have more creature comforts, but lower garage cargo capacity, probably due to axel placement on the frame (need to keep adequate hitch weight).

Like you, I found, very few RV-based TH manufacturers listed the CC of the garage alone. I had to contact the manufacturers directly (email), or call dealers who in turn contacted the factory, to find out. Most of the answers were in the 2k to 3k range, depending upon make and model. KZ did have at least one model that went higher (4k?), but I don't know about current offerings.

I'd say a rule of thumb for RV-based TH is whatever the rear ramp is rated for would be a good indication of garage CC. Also, if you stay within those ratings, I would think you'd notice little, if any, affect upon towing characteristics. I might be wrong, and your mileage may vary...
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:11 PM   #3
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Let me throw this out and see if it makes sense. Let's assume you're talking about a 40 ft trailer with three axles, typical TH. Let's also assume the center axle is the trailer center of gravity, and you have 14 ft behind the axle(CG) and 26 ft in front of it(CG). Let's also assume your 2800 lb toy is split equally between the two axles. If the front of the toy is 2 ft behind CG, and rear axle is 12 ft behind axle, that should give you about 19,800 lbs (1400 times 2 +1400 times 12) of force behind the CG. With the front of the trailer (pin) 26 ft forward of the CG, the down force behind CG should unload the front by about 754 lbs(19800 divided by 26=754.

Make sense?
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:58 PM   #4
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I can't come up with anything better, but, no--it doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:27 AM   #5
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Think of an uneven teeter totter, one side is 12 ft long, the other side is 24 ft long. A child that weighs 100 lbs on the long side equals 2400 lbs of down force. The other child would have to weigh 200 lbs to balance the teeter totter. Simple math.
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:14 AM   #6
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Simple math--ok with that. Its the way you get to the CG front-to-rear that doesn't seem right.
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alageezer View Post
Let's also assume the center axle is the trailer center of gravity, and you have 14 ft behind the axle(CG) and 26 ft in front of it(CG).
Strictly an assumption. I have no idea where the CG is.

But then again, I have been known to be completely full of "doodoo" at times.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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It's just a matter of adjusting tongue weight as needed.
Trailers are designed to be pulled empty and full.
Your driving speed and cross winds is what you need to be cautious of.
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