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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just finished our third camping trip of the year.

We went to Harbor Beach on September 5 and returned on Sunday, September 8.

Harbor Beach is located on the east side of the thumb of Michigan. It is located fairly far north on Lake Huron.

Here are a couple of photos I took of the Ascent and the Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB at the city run North Park Campground.

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The weather was great and my wife and I had a great time.

The following is some pertinent data covering our three camping trips for this year towing our trailer with our 2019 Ascent Premium trim.

Synopsis of Our Three Camping Trips In 2019 - With Towing Data

1st Trip July 22 - 24 to Groveland Oaks County Park

This was a short trip, close to home.
The Ascent contained two adults and a 5-year-old along with her bike, clothes and swimming gear.

Trailer Weight Before Loading: 3523.3 lb. (included 306.3 lb. of items that stay in the trailer)
Loaded Trailer Weight: 3,685 lb.
Food: 82.9 lb.
Personal Items: 36.8 lb.
5 gallons water in black tank: 42 lb. (needed to achieve tongue weight)
Tongue Weight: 421 lb.
Tongue Weight as % of Total Trailer Weight: 11.4%
Total Distance Pulling Trailer: 60 miles
Road Type: 2-lane suburban
Average Miles Per Hour: not noted
MPG Pulling Trailer: not noted
Note: Ascent easily pulled trailer at posted speeds.

2nd Trip August 12 - 17 to Covert, MI KOA Near South Haven, MI
On the way over the Ascent contained two adults and on the return trip the two adults and an 11-year-old.

Trailer Weight Before Loading: 3532.7 lb. (included 315.7 lb. of items that stay in the trailer)
Loaded Trailer Weight: 3,744.5 lb.
Food: 153.4 lb.
Personal Items: 58.4 lb.
Tongue Weight: 411 lb.
Tongue Weight as % of Total Trailer Weight: 11.0%
Total Distance Pulling Trailer Out: 187.4 miles
Road Type: 2-lane paved
Average Miles Per Hour: 37.5 mph (included 30 minute stop for lunch in trailer)
MPG Pulling Trailer: 15 mpg
Note: Ascent easily pulled trailer at posted speeds.
Total Distance Pulling Trailer Home: 194 miles
Road Type: Mostly Freeway
Average Miles Per Hour: 46.4 mph (included 15 minute rest stop)
MPG Pulling Trailer: 16.7 mpg
Note: Drove mostly at 55 mph on the Freeway

3rd Trip September 5 - 8 to North Park Campground, Harbor Beach, MI
On the way up the Ascent contained two adults and a few other items.

Trailer Weight Before Loading: 3541.1 lb. (included 324.1 lb. of items that stay in the trailer)
Loaded Trailer Weight: 3,684.3 lb.
Food: 96.8 lb.
Personal Items: 46.4 lb.
Tongue Weight: 425 lb.
Tongue Weight as % of Total Trailer Weight: 11.5%
Total Distance Pulling Trailer Up: 130 miles
Road Type: 2-lane paved
Average Miles Per Hour: 40 mph (included a brief stop in North Branch)
MPG Pulling Trailer: 14.5 mpg
Note: Ascent easily pulled trailer at posted speeds. It was very windy.

Total Distance Pulling Trailer Home: 129.8 miles
Road Type: 2-lane paved
Average Miles Per Hour: 43 mph (non-stop)
MPG Pulling Trailer: 14.8 mpg
Note: Extremely windy for the first half of the pull across the thumb. Drove into a headwind a lot of the time.

All three trips could be considered flatland towing, even though there were a lot of “hills” and curves going up and down, there was no signage indicating significant grades.

The Ascent handled the trailer well in some pretty good wind and no sway was ever noted, although I could feel the Ascent “working” to keep the trailer trailer straight, my wife didn’t notice anything. I believe that my feel was feedback through the steering wheel and just being aware of all of the little movements. The “feel” wasn’t much, but I was aware of it, but it never bothered me and I felt confident at all times.
 

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Excellent information. You continue to provide superb, highly valuable research concerning Ascent towing.

...The Ascent handled the trailer well in some pretty good wind and no sway was ever noted, although I could feel the Ascent “working” to keep the trailer trailer straight, my wife didn’t notice anything. I believe that my feel was feedback through the steering wheel and just being aware of all of the little movements. The “feel” wasn’t much, but I was aware of it, but it never bothered me and I felt confident at all times.
Do you feel that a twin axle trailer (of acceptable weight) would tow better?
 

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What was the 9.4lb/8.4lb of items that stay in the trailer which changed between the 1st & 2nd/2nd &3rd trips, respectively?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's hard to say exactly what the added weight between the first trip and third trip is, because I modify my spreadsheet, by adding and subtracting weights from existing weights, but here are some of the things that I modified and/or added; box of 45 tall kitchen trash bags, my glass coffee cup, Pfister MC-048-MC Masey nickel finish faucet to replace the original plastic one that was too low to get your hands under, 8” frying pan & lid, small rug to be placed on floor at entry door, difference between the new lower bathroom 1/4" plywood shelf and the original 1/8" lite ply shelf that broke out, Happy Camper wine glass, 4 pieces of foam board for under head of bed, dual spigot adapter for water hoses, Sparkle window cleaner (½ bottle), scrubber sponge, pump hand soap for bathroom, small table lamp, and another tension rod. I also swapped out a 12" frying pan with lid for a 10" frying pan with lid, so that was a minus. The 10" fits the 2-burner stove much better.

It just all adds up when you're not looking, and even when you are. ;)

pro10is
The tandem axle question is difficult to answer. The single axle pulls just fine with no to very, very little rocking of the car fore and aft. Neither my wife or I have noticed any. For some pretty obvious reasons, tire changing and backing being two, I like the idea of a tandem axle.
I am extremely pleased with how well the 187RB tows, so I really have to say I'm satisfied, but I am NOT everyone, so that needs to be taken into account.
I did look for tandem axle trailers to start with, because both of the bunkhouse trailers, that I used to pull with my Chevy Suburban and Jeep Grand Wagoneer were tandem axle, but at this point, I am glad I went with what I did for now.
I still keep checking this forum for more information from folks pulling heavier travel trailers with tandem axles. I know that several folks on here are, but I've not seen anything recently. I'd really like to know how it is working out for them.
I also keep checking the Ascent group on Facebook (FB), and I'm not finding any new information there either.
 

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So you didn’t physically weigh the trailer each trip? I’m assuming you did weigh the tongue since that would be hard to calculate. I’m rather impressed at the precision though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I weighed each and every item that has been placed in the trailer permanently and weigh everything going into it for the trip.

I have weighed the trailer 'empty' except for propane, battery and water in the water tank and lines on a scale used at a landscaping place near us, as well as a CAT scale.

I can't say the numbers are accurate to the decimal point, but they aren't off by too much.

Why?
I'm just a curious kind of guy and a lot of folks say, "I think..." or "It must be about...", I wanted to know and I wanted to present real world data.

And yes, the scales that I use have been calibrated to real world items and weights and they are very, very close for non-scientific scales, although for the lighter items, I do use a triple beam balance scientific scale.

The scale that I use to weigh the tongue is a digital physician's scale that reads up to 550 lb.
 

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Did you weigh from the actual tongue or the the landing gear? Just curious, since tongue weight will be different from landing gear weight by a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I weigh the tongue weight at the tongue coupler socket, not the bottom of the tongue jack.

Hope that helps,
Ken
 
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