Weight balance with toy hauler

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by McMike, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. McMike

    McMike Member

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    Hi. I have been trying to figure out how toy haulers work. I have just bought a Banshee with a 4' deep toy hauler deck. It has two propane cans and two batteries out on the front of the tongue.

    Tying to figure out how the thing can trail well in both scenarios: either with, or without a 500# ATV loaded in front. That's a large range for the tongue weight.

    The rig also has a cargo deck added to a bumper hitch on the back. With the spare tire mounted out on the end of that. I have not inspected it closely, but it seems plenty stable.

    Seemed to trail just fine with both decks empty...

    In the meantime, looking for alternate location ideas for the spare tire. Wondering whether with the lift of the full-size Banshee wheels of I can sneak it up under the frame somewhere.
     
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    First Welcome to the Portal from North Bay, Ontario.

    Second, you may want to loose the rear deck specially if it's only attached to the bumper and not tied into the main frame rails..

    These trailer are designed to carry weight of some sort on the front deck at all times. With the pop up at the rear of the trailer there is little tongue weight without the front cargo deck loaded.
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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  4. Bradley E Dixon

    Bradley E Dixon Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum!!

    I have 1st hand experience with what you're asking - you will need a WDH (weight distribution hitch) w/sway bar (I have a REESE)

    I bought a 2014 FLAGSTAFF MAC BR28TSC (Forest River) last summer specifically to haul my 2 ATV's.

    It has an 105x84" front deck just behind the hitch with 2 propane tanks - front storage mount w/trunk (I installed) and a new dual battery setup (I also installed) and a rear storage trunk mounted to the frame/bumper with a cargo carrier thru a 2" receiver ( wait for it....yep....installed that to)

    The "factory" base hitch weight was 219lbs. empty - no batteries (90lbs) - no full propane tanks (40lbs). Now....add those, then add my 1300lbs (approx) of ATVs (Arctic Cats are big & heavy) and about 80lbs of setup gear including the hitch mount trunk - things get interesting.

    I use the WDH to distribute the hitch weight off the front axle of the truck and back towards the front axle of the camper. (as it's designed to do) I also use the sway bar on the hitch to help with any...well....SWAYING when I'm towing. (lots of vids on YOUTUBE to set a WDH up)

    I went one step further and added air bags to the suspension on my 2013 GMC Sierra SLT 1/2ton Crew w/6.2L. I haul a lot of gear in the truck (generator/coolers/extra fuel/atv gear) and even with the WDH, my truck sagged and I found had an noticeable "bounce" when towing. The air bag/WHD combo eliminated this with my towing setup.

    SO yea.....ITS HEAVY and I'm pretty sure I'm pushing MAX camper weight on all fronts, but I'm still under my truck's towing capacity

    Make sure to double check your camper's spec's for weight and get your towing rig spec to set up properly. Then as a good rule of thumb load up completely and hit a truck scale to see where your at.

    Good luck!
    My2cents....
     

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  5. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    A weight distribution hitch moves weight off the tow vehicle rear axle, and sends it to the tow vehicle's front axle and the camper axle(s).
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
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  6. Bradley E Dixon

    Bradley E Dixon Member Gold Supporting Member

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    DOH! ooops me bad. Thanks for the correction!
     
  7. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    Ok, I have a little bit to say about this. Our tow vehicle is 2000 Ford Excursion with 4in lift, V10, 4wd. For easier towing, it is chipped, with exhaust mods, and has custom gears loaded in each axle for better pulling power. I have never used, nor needed, any type of WDH with any trailer I've ever owned towed by this vehicle. My previous trailer (sold July 2020) was a Jayco Baja with the single front deck, 2-6v batteries, and dual propane tanks. Without toys on the deck, the TW was well over 300 lbs. I removed the factory rear bumper and replaced it with a thicker gauge 4x4 square tube AND ran 2in angle iron for cross bracing to the frame. This was done so that I could carry a 3rd dirt bike on the rear hitch, when needed. I'm 6'3/240 lbs and I couldn't get the jack to lift off the ground jumping up and down on that rear hitch with an EMPTY front deck.

    New trailer is considerably larger/heavier with a 8x8 front deck, electric jack, dual tanks, dual batteries, storage box and 370w of solar on the tongue. With a full 30g black tank, full 30g grey tank, and a full 50g potable tank all behind the rear axle, I can just barely get the jack off the ground with an empty deck. This trailer is very well balanced, and therefore, I have no need for a WDH on my Excursion. I didn't own a WDH when I drove 8hrs away to look at this trailer. Figured that if I needed one, then I would buy one. Otherwise, no sense in spending money on something that wouldn't get used. For giggles, I stopped by a weigh station to get an idea of how heavy I was when fully loaded. I had 3 dirt bikes, ATV, kayak, paddleboard, full tanks, enough food/water for my family of 6 for a week, and even put 10g of fuel in the 30g fuel tank under the deck. Excursion and loaded trailer weighed in @ 16,300 lbs with just me behind the wheel. My boy was in my Samurai and he weighed in at 2,400 lbs. He challenged me to the top of Homestake Pass, but couldn't keep up. I was able to maintain 55-60mph pulling all that weight oveer the Continental Divide with a 20yr old rig and no sway control was needed.
     
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  8. McMike

    McMike Member

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    Thanks. The rear deck receiver is actually welded to a super burly rear bumper. 4x4 thick-wall square tube, that is itself welded and braced directly to the frame.
     
  9. McMike

    McMike Member

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    Thanks. Yes, total weight is under spec for the truck. My Toyota service rep said air bags would help, He didn't think sway would help as much. But we'll see.

    My main concern will be managing tongue weight in changing scenarios. But I guess it will just need to be monitored with trial and error.
     
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  10. McMike

    McMike Member

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    My tow vehicle is a Toyota Tacoma. With the tow package, it is rated just fine for a modest camper rig. But don't believe the hype, it is slow going, hard braking, and fuel efficiency goes to single digits with a full load in a head wind.
     

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