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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Airstream announced this new model in the last couple of weeks. This larger version from the 16' model fixes the issues I had with the 16 due my height. But at the expense of losing the large galley of the 16. Basecamp | Travel Trailers | Airstream

Weight comes in fine at 3400lbs for the 20 and 3500lbs for the 20X. max weight of 4300.

Tongue weight is where the issues are. Airstream states tongue weight for these are listed with batteries and 2 propane tanks as
20- 500lbs
20X 535lbs

The batteries that come with the solar setup it are 2 AGMs which are now dealer installed and not factory installed so I should be able to get credit and move to a single equivalent LiFePO4. They are installed under the front dinette.
2 AGMs- 120-125lbs
single LiFePO4 is under 30lbs

That's 90lbs off the tongue then the two propane tanks are another 70-80lbs combined. Is it dangerous to store them in the trailer while underway to take that weight off the tongue? Travel with them empty in the trailer and have them filled near our destination? Obviously, for a weekend I can just leave one tank at home. Would I be making the tongue too lite by storing them in the trailer?

Is this workable? The 20X is my preference for the rock guards on the front end but is the extra 35lbs of tongue weight for the rock guards make it too much for the Ascent?

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I read up on propane and carrying a tank(s) with propane in the trailer is not safe as if it gets hot enough the propane expands enough to trip the expansion valve. You can build an enclosed box with venting out the bottom the trailer as propane is heavier than air.
 

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I would look at permanently relocating the batteries to an area above the axle or very close to it. And recheck actual tongue weight, if needed then relocate your spare propane tank. I wouldn't travel with them empty, mainly because we use our fridge while in transit, and I dont want to be at the mercy of a propane dealer close to a campground. If your fridge can be run on 12v that's a whole different consideration. I keep a spare tank in my storage bin, but our trailer only has a single tank holder on the tongue.

You can also use the water holding tanks to lower or raise tongue weight then drain them when you get to your destination. Or potable water jugs stored in the camper, any number of ways to get your weight right.
I would test tow both and see what they feel like to you, both on small roads and on freeways going north/south and east/west.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would look at permanently relocating the batteries to an area above the axle or very close to it. And recheck actual tongue weight, if needed then relocate your spare propane tank. I wouldn't travel with them empty, mainly because we use our fridge while in transit, and I dont want to be at the mercy of a propane dealer close to a campground. If your fridge can be run on 12v that's a whole different consideration. I keep a spare tank in my storage bin, but our trailer only has a single tank holder on the tongue.

You can also use the water holding tanks to lower or raise tongue weight then drain them when you get to your destination. Or potable water jugs stored in the camper, any number of ways to get your weight right.
I would test tow both and see what they feel like to you, both on small roads and on freeways going north/south and east/west.
No propane fridge it is one of the new high efficiency compression fridges and electric only. I have considered taking it out and using a Dometic style as the fridge is in front of the axle.
 

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So what runs off propane? Stove, water heater, and furnace? If that's the case, unless your camping in the dead of winter one tank should suffice for a few trips.

Our trailer has the propane fridge, stovetop, furnace, and water heater (also electric). We went 6 weekend trips on one 20lb tank. But again we only really use propane for the fridge while driving and cooking.
 

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In my opinion, if you have to go way out of your way and significantly inconvenience yourself just to make a trailer weight's work, then it's time to look at another trailer. I've been there myself in trying to choose a travel trailer. I've had to let go of several trailers I badly wanted because the weights just wouldn't work. I too tried to find ways to shift weights around but, in the end, I realized this was just not worth it.

Propane tanks and batteries are heavy, potentially dangerous items that need to be properly located and then stay put. They also have connections that should not be constantly connected and disconnected.

I know the Airstream Basecamp is in a class all of its own but there are other great trailers out there. There are just only so many places in a trailer to realistically locate propane tanks and batteries. You don't want to be relocating heavy cargo every time you want to tow.
 

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I know the Airstream Basecamp is in a class all of its own but there are other great trailers out there.

I haven't looked at these in person but by the specs and prices they seem to be in the same class as Airstreams:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In my opinion, if you have to go way out of your way and significantly inconvenience yourself just to make a trailer weight's work, then it's time to look at another trailer. I've been there myself in trying to choose a travel trailer. I've had to let go of several trailers I badly wanted because the weights just wouldn't work. I too tried to find ways to shift weights around but, in the end, I realized this was just not worth it.

Propane tanks and batteries are heavy, potentially dangerous items that need to be properly located and then stay put. They also have connections that should not be constantly connected and disconnected.

I know the Airstream Basecamp is in a class all of its own but there are other great trailers out there. There are just only so many places in a trailer to realistically locate propane tanks and batteries. You don't want to be relocating heavy cargo every time you want to tow.
I'm my case it is likely just for 3 years at which point I'll switch to an electric truck/SUV. But since just changing the battery technology and only carrying one propane tank eliminates 125lbs of tongue weight it isn't major mods nor constant rearranging. Plus propane tanks are disconnected all the time for refilling.
 

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I think you will be fine. Load your personal gear near the back. But keep your tounge weight at 10% plus a little. You don't have to offset very much to make it work.

The folks that have problems are the ones that don't bother to check their trailer or tongue weight, so you are well ahead of the curve just thinking about it.

LiFePo4 batteries are always a good idea if you can afford them and you won't be camping in really cod weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Do you do lithium ion batteries?
Interesting reads I found. Keep in mind lead is also mined and is a toxic heavy metal. Lithuim is recyclable just like lead. Wonder what the carbon output difference is for the extra hundred pounds being towed over LiPo?
 

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^^^
I wasn't going to get into the differences between lithium ion and lithium polymer since his post was about lithium mining.
I only brought it up at all because I thought the mention of sustainability on a web site devoted to a not-so-economical-SUV in a thread discussing towing a trailer making it even less economical was funny.🙄🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I only brought it up at all because I thought the mention of sustainability on a web site devoted to a not-so-economical-SUV in a thread discussing towing a trailer making it even less economical was funny.🙄🤣
I brought the Ascent before ESG fell under purview to learn so much about the sustainability part of ESG(Environmental Sustainability Governance).

Before the Ascent I was driving a Yukon XL Denali that got 15-16mpg on the highway. I'm trying to stick to something the Ascent can tow and not go back to a truck platform vehicle until electrics are available.

Nor do I conflate sustainable with economical. An Airstream that could still be on the road 50 years from now isn't cheap.
 

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I figured my next would be an EV. I got my Ascent in the interm after my previous vehicle was totaled. I wonder about range and the ease/feasibility/logistics of charging while towing.
 

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You can either match the trailer to the tow vehicle or match the tow vehicle to the trailer. Either way works but requires one to accept the associated limitations and consequences. The Ascent is very much a valid tow vehicle when the "right" trailer is chosen to hang behind it. If one's trailer requirements are pushing hard on the specification limits, then the expectations of either the trailer or the tow vehicle choice have to be questioned and resolved.
 
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Nor do I conflate sustainable with economical. An Airstream that could still be on the road 50 years from now isn't cheap.
True sustainability (and economy) is tied to a product's longevity - the re-use aspect of the mantra.

My trade-in for the Ascent was 21 years old and still ran like new and almost looked new. Many others would have bought 4 or more cars in that time. That's at least 4 new cars that didn't need to be manufactured.

I have a 30 year old fiberglass boat that looks brand-new, has never been painted and never will need to be painted. I'll have it 10 more years before a new owner gets it. Boats made of other materials would have dozens of paint jobs in that time.

Lots of things contribute to sustainability.
 
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