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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
May 16, 2019

I left the house at 7:02 a.m. for the 103 mile trip, southwest, to Haylett Auto and RV Super Center in Coldwater, Michigan.

The trip took longer than usual. I was in rush hour traffic here in southeastern Michigan. I arrived at the Meijer gas station in Coldwater, to fill the Ascent’s gas tank, right across the street from Haylett, at 9:56 a.m.

Before I left, I calculated, using previously measured weights, that the weight of the Ascent was about 4,740 lb. That included my CAT scale weight of 4,520 lb. plus myself and everything I had in the car to take with me. Yes, I’d weighed everything.

The CAT scale weight of 4,520 lb. included what I normally carry in the Ascent Premium and a full tank of gas, but without me. I also did the CAT scale weight with me in the car. It was 4,700 lb. I do weigh 180 lb.

I took a Haul Gauge Weight reading in a little used, little trafficked area of the Meijer parking lot after filling the gas tank. The reading appeared accurate enough. It is really hard to get too specific with the analog type gauge of the App. Note that the line between the 4 and 6 is 5, not 4.5.

Haul Gauge
https://www.amazon.com/HAUL-GAUGE-Connector-Measures-Combined/dp/B07DQ44JFB

I arrived at Haylett about 10 a.m. That was a half an hour before my 10:30 a.m. appointment for my walk through and purchase of the Forest River Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB with Summit package.

I had a list of items to purchase and take home with me. Several of the items are mentioned on my Essential Purchase page.
My RV Essentials

The items included:
Rhinoflex 45 degree clear sewer hose fitting connector
Rhinoflex 90 degree clear sewer hose fitting connector
25’ 30 Amp extension cord
Water filter
Rhinoflex 15’ Sewer hose kit
Sidewider sewer hose support
Rhino 21 gal. Tote tank (35.8 lb.)
2-5/16” x 1” Shank (AKA tow ball)
Curt xxx ball mount (the Ascent’s would not work with this trailer)
Fresh water tank filler with shut off
1 pr. Wheel chocks
Hose Saver 90 degree elbow
LP Tank gauge
50A to 30A adapter
Broom and Dustpan combo
The weight of the other items is 23.4 lb.

All of these items were taken home with me in the car and they added 59.2 lb. to the Ascent. I weighed them after arriving home using a Brecknell Digital Shipping Scale, Model PS150 that I’d ordered from Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/Brecknell-PS150-Receiving-Warehouse-Industrial/dp/B019OGNBXI

That brought the Ascent’s weight up to about 4800 lb. on the way home. I did not reweigh it with the Haul Gauge, nor were any of these items in the car when I got the Haul Gauge weight for the combined weight of the Ascent and Apex Nano 187RB

I also ordered a cover for the trailer, which will be shipped when they receive it.

During the walk through, I noted the unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) of the trailer as 3100 lb. The trailer had pretty much empty water tanks, but the 6 gallon water heater was full, which is about 50 lb. The propane tank was basically full, 20 lb. The battery, battery box and strap weigh 38.6 lb. This surprised me as the Marine/RV battery I use for field charging my flight batteries for RC flying weighs 47.0 pounds in a similar battery box.

There was also a starter pack, provided by Haylett, in the trailer.

The Haylett RV Starter Kit includes:
Disposable gloves
30A surge protector
4 pack RV toilet paper
Sewer hose
Drop in toilet treatments
25’ white water hose
30A to 20A/110V adapter
Water pressure regulator
A large bucket containing all of the items

The Starter Kit weighs 10.0 lb. and was in the trailer on the way home.

The new ball mount is a CLASS 3 BALL MOUNT (2" SHANK, 7,500 LBS., 2" DROP, 7-1/2" LONG) #45030 (https://www.curtmfg.com/part/45030)

The ball mount, ball, hitch pin and clip, and tongue lock (provided by Haylett) weighs 9.2 lb.

Per Jim’s comment below, the 9.2 lb. was added to the car’s weight.

The trailer weight was then about 3220 lb.

The combined weight, without the items purchased, should have been about 4750 lb. (Ascent) + 3220 lb. (trailer) or about 7970 lb. That would be really close, either way, to 8,000 lb. on the Haul Gauge App.

Note that this section has been updated and changed on May 18, 2019

Before I left the dealership. to Haul Gauge weigh the Ascent and trailer combo at an almost vacant parking lot that I knew about, I used the Haul Gauge to take the tongue weight. The Haul Gauge read just shy of 500 lb., maybe 470 lb. or 480 lb.

As it turned out, that number was erroneous. I am not sure what caused the error. It could have been something I did, as I was doing and thinking about a lot of ‘stuff’. It could also have been the high wind, but I really doubt that.

Originally, in this section, I tried to explain the high weight. That has been removed.

I recalibrated the Haul Gauge suspension. That made very little change when I weighed myself after the recalibration. My 180 lb. was used for the calibration weight.

Coachmen notes the shipping tongue weight as 316 lb.
http://www.coachmenrv.com/travel-trailers/apex-nano/187RB/1594

There was about 20 lb. of propane in the LP tank and the battery weighs 38.6 lb. That’s about 60 pounds. The front fiberglass cap, with windshield, adds about 100 lb. to the total trailer weight near the front end. There was also about 50 lb. of water in the water heater. All in all, based on those numbers, I expected the tongue weight to be between 320 lb. and 350 lb., if the 316 lb. shipped tongue weight, provided by Coachmen, was anywhere near correct.

The redo of the Haul Gauge tongue weight this morning showed about 320 lb. to maybe 330 lb. That certainly is close enough.

************* Update of May 18th Ends Here ****************

At the parking lot I took two readings of the combined weight. Both read about the same, about 7,200ish lb., and both were wrong when compared to the previous information.

I returned to Haylett and picked up the items that I purchased. They were put into the Ascent.

I thought I was ready to head home at about 12:30 p.m. I did one final walk around of the trailer and checked the trailer door lock, I realized that I did not have the trailer keys, when I want to take a final look inside to see that all items were secured.

About 45 minutes later, after a lot of searching by myself and the staff at Haylett, they were found in the pocket of the gentleman that had walked me through the trailer. Whew, sure glad I noticed that before returning home!

One of photos shows the car and trailer hooked up at Haylett before I tried the Haul Gauge.

US 12 was followed from Coldwater east to just east of Saline, MI, where it intersects with US 23, a freeway.

US 12 is a very curvy and hilly two lane highway with a speed limit, in some spots, of 55 mph. The Ascent easily pulled the Apex Nano along at whatever the posted speeds were. The Tekonsha P3 brake controller was set by the guy that did the walk through, and I never changed it on the way home. It seemed to be working just fine.

I stopped about halfway home, a little over 50 miles, in Clinton, MI to check the lug nut tightness. They were fine. I also snapped a photo of the car and trailer combination while there.

Going north on US 23, I drove at about 60 mph for about 7 miles to the exit at Geddes Road.

The remainder of the trip was on two lane roads through the suburban area between Ann Arbor, MI and Detroit, MI. Unfortunately, I arrived at that point during rush hour. Rats!

During the whole trip, I felt very comfortable pulling the trailer with the Ascent.

I hadn’t backed up any trailer in a long time, but with a couple of attempts and my wife’s guidance via her phone into my phone over the media system in the Ascent, we got it done.

The temperature was in the mid to upper 70’s during the whole time. The wind was supposedly in the 15 to 20 mph range from the south, southwest. It was definitely in the 20+ range. US flags were standing straight out and whipping like crazy, even the very, very large ones. The majority of the route had the wind behind me and from the back right side of the trailer as I was headed east. The Ascent handle that well.

The real surprise was how well the Ascent handled the bow wave of the big rigs flying by me on US 23. I could tell when they went by me, but really nothing to note. The wind at that time was mostly blowing on the left, driver side of the combo.

Another surprise, which I attribute to the “tailwind”, was the gas milage per the onboard computer. It was 16.5 mpg for 96 miles. It was only 96 miles of the 103 miles because I’d forgotten to reset the trip meter when getting gas, and I had gone several miles before I realized that. Still that was a weird figure, even with a “tailwind” in that extremely hilly country with twisting roads.

I wanted to fill my tank to do an actual mpg, but by that time it was time for me to head down to our RC flying field for our monthly flying meeting. The winds were still so high that no one chose to fly! That’s windy!!!

I am looking forward to our first trip, once I get the rest of the RV Essentials and do a lot of other prep for the trailer.

I was disappointed with the Haul Gauge results. The combined total accuracy is a mystery to me, as the Haul Gauge’s Ascent weight, shown on the gauge, is extremely close, yet when they are combined, it is off by almost 800 lb. I’ll be contacting Haul Gauge about that.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Very nice write-up!

BTW, your hitch ball mount and ball count as vehicle cargo, not trailer weight, just as tongue weight counts as "cargo".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the clarification Jim. Actually, that is what I thought. I'll change it in the post, but it doesn't make a huge difference in the total weight, but keeping it 'right' is important.

Much appreciated,
Ken
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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It doesn't matter "a lot", but a beefy, quality ball mount and ball does have surprising weight to it and for anyone pushing things with cargo and passengers while towing, it could have an impact on "being under" or "being over" allowable, depending on the trim level and accouterments.

Enjoy your new camping home!
 
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Nice write up Ken!

Hope you enjoy your new rig.
 

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You've done an incredible job researching which travel trailer to buy and all the many considerations for proper towing with the Ascent. You were also kind enough to share all of it with the rest of us all along the way. I've learned a lot from your research and I very gratefully thank you for that as I too am in the process of selecting a travel trailer. Your research is very valuable.

I wish you the very best in your travels. Please continue to post your experiences. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is MY trailer in the first part of this video by Josh the RV Nerd at Haylett Auto and RV Super Center.


One of the things we really, really liked about this trailer, and there were many, is the pantry next to the refrigerator and the bathroom storage. You can view those in the rest of the video for the non-Summit package version.

I am thinking that for folks looking for a bunkhouse, they might want to consider the Apex Nano 185BH. It does have an east/west bed, but that might be something young parents might want to consider to take along a couple of youngish children.


Figure about 100 pounds more weight if you want one with a Summit package and the cool front windshield.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It appears that the photos did not get transferred in the system change over.
The first photo shows the Ascent and Apex Nano 187RB ready to leave Haylett RV in Coldwater, MI on Thursday, May 16, 2019.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Sport utility vehicle Compact sport utility vehicle

The second photo shows the stop at a park in Clinton, MI, about halfway home, to check the lug bolt tightness.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Travel trailer Trailer
 
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