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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is embarrassing, but I need all the help I can get. Here it goes. Have fun.
I did full time Rving for three years with my ex-husband (the relationship didn't end because of RV life, that part was awesome). First we had a 34 ft Newmar Bay Star and then traded for a 40 ft Newmar Ventana. I knew how to do and manage everything, I could drive the Bay Star, not the Ventana (feet wouldn't reach). We towed a car behind that I knew how to attach. Having done this I thought I had enough experience for Rv life on my own, not full time. Very easy.
I bought the Ascent Premium to be able to pull a little camper. I looked at the camper's specifications, did some basic math and bought an R-Pod 196. I picked it up last weekend. Drove it straight from Phoenix to Tucson, 110 flat straight miles. Parked it home.
During the walk through, the technician suggested that I might need a sway bar. Searching about that I landed in this forum. OMG. Now I am panicking because I realized this is a completely different story. I can do math, don't know much about physics or aerodynamics, though.
It is clear now that I don't need or should install any sway bar. That being said I have all the questions. Of course the most important one: can I do this or do I need to resell the R-Pod? If I don't, I am open to all the advice. Is it too heavy? Is it too long? Is it too boxy? Is it too tall? Can I load it? How do I load it? How do I drive it? Cruise control? Do I use the paddle shifters? Anything, please let me know.
I have a hitch installed by the dealer. I bought the curt echo brake controller.
Some specs from the R-Pod 196:
Hitch 361 pounds, UVW 3600, CCC 1161. So, if I carry a full load water (30 gallons x 8.3 pounds=249 pounds), plus the battery and gas around 53 pounds (found that in a post here), Shouldn't I be able to carry 859 pounds???
Length 22'2" Height 9'8" Exterior Width 96"
Thank you so much in advance. This is an awesome Forum!
 

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I don't know what you're worried about, the R-Pod 196 is an ideal travel trailer to use with the Ascent. It has a dry hitch weight of only 361 lbs which is well under the Ascent's 500 lb limit, and it has a gross dry weight of only 3600 lbs which is well under the Ascent's 5000 lb limit. It has a listed cargo capacity of 1161 lbs which would give it a GVWR of 4761 lbs. This means that you could load it to its full cargo capacity and still be under the Ascent's limits. It's a little long at 22' but that should cause no issues.

So, to answer your questions directly, the R-Pod 196 is not too heavy, not too long, not too boxy, and not too tall. In fact, it's ideal for the Ascent. You can fully load it to its maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 4761 lbs, although you should not need 1161 lbs of cargo.

You don't need anything other than the Ascent's factory hitch to pull it. No sway or weight control hitch is necessary or ever should be used on the Ascent so forget all about that. The Ascent has an integral electronic sway control.

How do you drive it? You drive it like any other trailer. You should first gain experience driving trailers, they can be hazardous. You need to know how to maneuver them properly, take wide corners, leave the proper space when passing, don't drive aggressively, etc. If you're inexperienced driving trailers you can take a class, or go onto YouTube for some video-based lessons.

The Ascent owner's manual says not to the cruise control when towing trailers, see page 4 of the EyeSight owner's manual. It also says not to use the Lane Keep Assist function when towing trailers.

I see no need to use the paddle shifters, in fact, it's usually better to let the Ascent's electronics decide how to control the CVT when pulling a trailer. The only time you may wish to use the paddle shifters is to use engine braking as instructed in the owner's manual.

Don't push the Ascent too hard when trailering, drive smoothly and evenly, and maintain reasonable speeds.

How do you load it? Distribute your cargo evenly. You need to keep the hitch weight under 500 lbs which should be no problem with the R-Pod 196. Keeping the weight evenly distributed should also ensure that you maintain a hitch weight of 9-14% of the trailer's gross weight, i.e. the weight of the trailer and all your cargo. You should have a means to weigh the tongue weight, but if you don't, ensuring an even weight distribution is the next best thing. Don't load it too heavily in the front or back and always try to keep your gray and black water tanks empty or near-empty while on the road. In general, try to keep 60% of the load in the front and 40% in the rear to ensure adequate tongue weight.

You've already had the brake controller installed which was correct, now you need to learn how to use it. Again, there are many videos here on YouTube about this specific brake controller.

Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
 

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You stated the dealer suggested adding a sway bar on your Ascent - did they put one on? If they did, you should have it removed, because as was mentioned the Ascent is designed to tow without one. And I agree with the previous poster, you should have no problems towing this particular trailer with the Ascent. As far as loading the trailer, they are numerous posts on this forum, as well as on the R-Pod forum, that will help you with making the right choices. The R-Pod forum offers a wealth of knowledge covering all aspects of traveling with an R-Pod. One bit of advice on your fresh water tank, unless you plan on boondocking/dry camping, there is no reason to travel with a full fresh water tank. I typically travel with about five gallons for use while traveling in case of a need for an emergency potty break, but that's it. And depending where the fresh water tank is located in relation to the trailer's axle, and it's probably forward of it, will increase your tongue weight. The dry tongue weight of 315 lbs on my Jayco increases to 368 lbs when the battery and filled propane tank iare added. An electric tongue jack, if yours is so equipped, plus any cargo placed forward of the axle, to include water, will increase the tongue weight as well, though it may be well under the 500 lb limit. Once you have loaded your trailer for an outing for the first time, I strongly suggest you get it weighed to ensure i's within the stated limitations. Search this forum on how to do that, as well as the R-Pod forum as they are both useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know what you're worried about, the R-Pod 196 is an ideal travel trailer to use with the Ascent. It has a dry hitch weight of only 361 lbs which is well under the Ascent's 500 lb limit, and it has a gross dry weight of only 3600 lbs which is well under the Ascent's 5000 lb limit. It has a listed cargo capacity of 1161 lbs which would give it a GVWR of 4761 lbs. This means that you could load it to its full cargo capacity and still be under the Ascent's limits. It's a little long at 22' but that should cause no issues.

So, to answer your questions directly, the R-Pod 196 is not too heavy, not too long, not too boxy, and not too tall. In fact, it's ideal for the Ascent. You can fully load it to its maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 4761 lbs, although you should not need 1161 lbs of cargo.

You don't need anything other than the Ascent's factory hitch to pull it. No sway or weight control hitch is necessary or ever should be used on the Ascent so forget all about that. The Ascent has an integral electronic sway control.

How do you drive it? You drive it like any other trailer. You should first gain experience driving trailers, they can be hazardous. You need to know how to maneuver them properly, take wide corners, leave the proper space when passing, don't drive aggressively, etc. If you're inexperienced driving trailers you can take a class, or go onto YouTube for some video-based lessons.

The Ascent owner's manual says not to the cruise control when towing trailers, see page 4 of the EyeSight owner's manual. It also says not to use the Lane Keep Assist function when towing trailers.

I see no need to use the paddle shifters, in fact, it's usually better to let the Ascent's electronics decide how to control the CVT when pulling a trailer. The only time you may wish to use the paddle shifters is to use engine braking as instructed in the owner's manual.

Don't push the Ascent too hard when trailering, drive smoothly and evenly, and maintain reasonable speeds.

How do you load it? Distribute your cargo evenly. You need to keep the hitch weight under 500 lbs which should be no problem with the R-Pod 196. Keeping the weight evenly distributed should also ensure that you maintain a hitch weight of 9-14% of the trailer's gross weight, i.e. the weight of the trailer and all your cargo. You should have a means to weigh the tongue weight, but if you don't, ensuring an even weight distribution is the next best thing. Don't load it too heavily in the front or back and always try to keep your gray and black water tanks empty or near-empty while on the road. In general, try to keep 60% of the load in the front and 40% in the rear to ensure adequate tongue weight.

You've already had the brake controller installed which was correct, now you need to learn how to use it. Again, there are many videos here on YouTube about this specific brake controller.

Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Thank you so much for your quick and extended answer.
It is such a relief to know I will be able to tow the R-Pod.
I will get educated using this Forum and the R-Pod's one, before getting on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You stated the dealer suggested adding a sway bar on your Ascent - did they put one on? If they did, you should have it removed, because as was mentioned the Ascent is designed to tow without one. And I agree with the previous poster, you should have no problems towing this particular trailer with the Ascent. As far as loading the trailer, they are numerous posts on this forum, as well as on the R-Pod forum, that will help you with making the right choices. The R-Pod forum offers a wealth of knowledge covering all aspects of traveling with an R-Pod. One bit of advice on your fresh water tank, unless you plan on boondocking/dry camping, there is no reason to travel with a full fresh water tank. I typically travel with about five gallons for use while traveling in case of a need for an emergency potty break, but that's it. And depending where the fresh water tank is located in relation to the trailer's axle, and it's probably forward of it, will increase your tongue weight. The dry tongue weight of 315 lbs on my Jayco increases to 368 lbs when the battery and filled propane tank iare added. An electric tongue jack, if yours is so equipped, plus any cargo placed forward of the axle, to include water, will increase the tongue weight as well, though it may be well under the 500 lb limit. Once you have loaded your trailer for an outing for the first time, I strongly suggest you get it weighed to ensure i's within the stated limitations. Search this forum on how to do that, as well as the R-Pod forum as they are both useful.
Thanks for your response. No. This Forum saved me from having a sway bar installed. I have not. I will not.
Yes, the math about the fresh water tank is for boondocking. I won't waste that cargo allowance on it otherwise.
My next step is to choose a weigh device to avoid trips to the truck scales. I have seen some of them mentioned here.
 

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2020 Ascent Touring
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This is embarrassing, but I need all the help I can get. Here it goes. Have fun.
I did full time Rving for three years with my ex-husband (the relationship didn't end because of RV life, that part was awesome). First we had a 34 ft Newmar Bay Star and then traded for a 40 ft Newmar Ventana. I knew how to do and manage everything, I could drive the Bay Star, not the Ventana (feet wouldn't reach). We towed a car behind that I knew how to attach. Having done this I thought I had enough experience for Rv life on my own, not full time. Very easy.
I bought the Ascent Premium to be able to pull a little camper. I looked at the camper's specifications, did some basic math and bought an R-Pod 196. I picked it up last weekend. Drove it straight from Phoenix to Tucson, 110 flat straight miles. Parked it home.
During the walk through, the technician suggested that I might need a sway bar. Searching about that I landed in this forum. OMG. Now I am panicking because I realized this is a completely different story. I can do math, don't know much about physics or aerodynamics, though.
It is clear now that I don't need or should install any sway bar. That being said I have all the questions. Of course the most important one: can I do this or do I need to resell the R-Pod? If I don't, I am open to all the advice. Is it too heavy? Is it too long? Is it too boxy? Is it too tall? Can I load it? How do I load it? How do I drive it? Cruise control? Do I use the paddle shifters? Anything, please let me know.
I have a hitch installed by the dealer. I bought the curt echo brake controller.
Some specs from the R-Pod 196:
Hitch 361 pounds, UVW 3600, CCC 1161. So, if I carry a full load water (30 gallons x 8.3 pounds=249 pounds), plus the battery and gas around 53 pounds (found that in a post here), Shouldn't I be able to carry 859 pounds???
Length 22'2" Height 9'8" Exterior Width 96"
Thank you so much in advance. This is an awesome Forum!
Nice trailer! Out of curiosity, I was looking at the 180 the other day based on being the lowest model with a dry bathroom (my wife would never accept a wet bath!). Do you know if you can get into the bathroom and to the bed without opening the slide? Thinking how much work a quick R&R break might entail.
 

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Nice trailer! Out of curiosity, I was looking at the 180 the other day based on being the lowest model with a dry bathroom (my wife would never accept a wet bath!). Do you know if you can get into the bathroom and to the bed without opening the slide? Thinking how much work a quick R&R break might entail.
Yes you can. See the sixth post down on this forum page: walk through space with slide retracted - R-pod Owners Forum
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice trailer! Out of curiosity, I was looking at the 180 the other day based on being the lowest model with a dry bathroom (my wife would never accept a wet bath!). Do you know if you can get into the bathroom and to the bed without opening the slide? Thinking how much work a quick R&R break might entail.
Thank you! Now I am feeling so much better about it. You can get into the bathroom and to the bed without opening the slide. Once the slide is in you cannot use the stove or the microwave though...
 

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Thanks for your response. No. This Forum saved me from having a sway bar installed. I have not. I will not.
Yes, the math about the fresh water tank is for boondocking. I won't waste that cargo allowance on it otherwise.
My next step is to choose a weigh device to avoid trips to the truck scales. I have seen some of them mentioned here.
Easiest I've seen are these hitch products with a scale built-in. You can buy it just as the ball or as part of a drop hitch if you need to level the RPod for towing. Ball Mounts - Weigh Safe
 
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