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New here guys . My wife and two young children are in the Rv market. We looked at the keystone bullet Crossfire 1650EX . Dry weight is 3459, tongue is 470 and total GVWR is sub 5000. It was nice and checked most of our boxes. I’ve really gained a lot of towing info just today with you guys. I’d say I’m an experienced tower with trucks but nothing crazy. Love the ascent and don’t want to kill it . Thanks guys !
 

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Discussion Starter #142
New here guys . My wife and two young children are in the Rv market. We looked at the keystone bullet Crossfire 1650EX . Dry weight is 3459, tongue is 470 and total GVWR is sub 5000. It was nice and checked most of our boxes. I’ve really gained a lot of towing info just today with you guys. I’d say I’m an experienced tower with trucks but nothing crazy. Love the ascent and don’t want to kill it . Thanks guys !
I'm a bit late on this, but two things stick out. 1. This must be a single axle trailer with such a high hitch weight. 2. I would have it weighed as it sits. You can move weight around a trailer fairly easily but that 470 lbs is awfully close to the max.

Observations on our rig.
I originally towed it home with all tanks showing full. It felt just fine no issues at all with balance/sway even up to 70mph. Fast forward a couple trips and I also towed the trailer with just the fresh water tank reading full, approx 25 gallons in a 28 gallon holding tank. With just the fresh tank full, the extra squat and weight is unmistakable. And th weigh safe read right at 500 lbs fwiw.

If you can afford the extra weight you can always use the holding tanks to try and balance out your load as well. I am definitely getting this trailer weighed soon, as I need a reference point as to how much water is safe to carry. Some parks we have been to have some well water that has a lot of character, lol. And using our onboard supply ensures we wont overfill our holding tanks, unlike using the city connection.

Also a video review I ran across for the sherline scale that I am sure could apply to all hydraulic scales.
@Ken Myers I dont known if you have run across this yet.

 

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Discussion Starter #143
So after a lot of speculation and hemming and hawing I finally took an afternoon to fill up our trailer tanks and have it weighed. I was quite surprised at the numbers.
With trailer attached:
Steer 2540lbs
Drive 2800
Trailer 4560

With no trailer:
Steer 2700lbs
Drive 2240

Conditions: all trailer tanks were full, we never would knowingly tow this way on a trip but I figured a worst case scenario was in order. I was quite surprised the TW was 400lbs, while the trailer weight came in at 4960 lbs. Reminder this is with 3-28 gallon tanks reading full.
 

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Discussion Starter #144
Something I have been considering for a while was adding a heavier duty tow vehicle to our fleet. I don't see us downsizing our trailer any time soon as it is great size for us. I am looking into full size suv options that will also double as an alternate vehicle. We will of course keep the Ascent and use it for our local trips since it does the job nicely and is much easier to maneuver than anything else we have driven. But I think longer trips are going to need a bigger vehicle more leeway on capacity.

If you are looking in to a camping trailer:

1. Look for a narrow trailer, they are easier to tow and that frontal area makes a huge difference at speed. Many shorter trailers are still 8 ft wide. Ours is only 7 ft wide.

2. Check where your tanks are positioned, it matters especially if you have a smaller unit with a 40 gallon freshwater tank. That is a whole lot of weight that is going to sit right on your tow ball.

3. Consider a slightly heavier/longer tandem chances are it will be better balanced and easier to tow than a shorter, wider, but lighter single axle trailer.

4. More than anything hitch it up and take it for a driver just like you intend to do when you travel. I went on a good 10 mile run down highways and through an urban area. I don't think I would like a wider trailer at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #146
@Ruben Marin , remind us what trailer make and model you ended up with?
We purchased a 2016 Jayco Jay Feather 7 22 BHM. The Jay Feather 7 line is only 7feet wide as opposed to standard 8ft wide options, this makes a big difference in frontal area wind resistance and visibility on the sides. We couldn't be happier so far with it.
 

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Happy Memorial Day to all you active service and vets, and to our fallen heroes.

We finally are getting some relief from lockdown. I won't get into my opinions of the science and politics here.

Anyway, some local parks and campgrounds opened, at partial occupancy. And our fav RV rental place is operating. I got a little aggressive on the specs and booked a 22' Keystone Bullet Crossfire 1900RD.
  • 3330 lbs empty
  • 1370 lbs payload
  • 4700 lbs GVWR
  • 485 lbs hitch wt
This is within spec but way above the "give yourself 20% headroom" recommendation. I towed a lighter 18' trailer last year, and it was easy peasy. This one hits 500 lbs tongue weight in a blink, especially if you're going for 15% of total weight. I figured 12% or so will keep it stable (just a guess), and that gave me some wiggle room for loading gear.

For 500 limit on the tongue, that'd be 4167 lbs gross (if using 12%), which is 837 lbs of payload. NOT a big number at all. In the end, we went minimalist for the 2-night trip, but I'm sure we're over, plus 4 people and a roof top tent on the car.

The lake is less than 2 hours away, flat drive. The 1900RD handled fine at 55mph, and held its own at 65 but I kept it at 55 most of the time. Downhill had a little bit of speed-shimmy, probably a brake controller issue (I backed off the gain and it was better), and maybe a touch of waggle. Got passed by other RVs, and it feels like the car is working to keep the trailer straight (some brake pulses, some speed shimmying). I never felt the trailer wag badly, but my butt told me that if I jostled the steering wheel, I'd get a bunch of back and forth. The car was working hard to pull the beast on steeper highway hills.

I will not be pushing specs for longer trips, and certainly not on a windy day or mountain trip. The extra space is nice (actually, really nice), but having to be so careful packing and still not know where I am (I did not use a scale), it did not seem worth doing for anything but a short trip.

That said, we hardly spent any time on the road, and here we are all settled in camp. Ahhhh.

Detailed specs are here:

F.S.
20200523_124919_polarr_1.jpg
20200523_153011.jpg
 

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I have towed a couple of trailers with my Ascent and have recorded a 2600 mi round trip. We recently traded in the last trailer for a brand new Winnebago 2100BH a few months back. With a little bit of loading knowledge, I easily keep my distribution and my tongue weight right where they need to be. Here are a few things that I considered when pairing a new trailer with my Ascent.

1) Everyone talks weights to death. I implore people to ponder trailer width as well. A very light 8 ft. wide trailer makes towing much more uncomfortable than towing a heavier 7 ft. wide trailer. Not to mention, your gas mileage will thank you. Oh yeah, and you will sure have a hard time seeing around that wider trailer.

2) I had a Sherline trailer tongue scale. My trailer tongue came in anywhere between 230-550 lbs. It was incredibly inaccurate. Load up your trailer and go to the local CAT scale. You can spend as little at $13 and can rest assured that you have a very accurate reading on your GVWR, Trailer weight and Tongue weight. My trailer perfectly fits on the scale, so I can break down the weight between my Ascent, front trailer axle and real axle.

3) A tandem axle should be a consideration for many reasons. Weight distribution, better braking power, flat tire change, tracking/sway, the list goes on.)

I think the Winnebago Micro Minnies and Minnie Drops are good choices for the Ascent.

With all gear haphazardly thrown into my storage bays and fully loaded with food and what not, I recorded my worst tongue weight at 440. When I load it with care, I come out around 380-400. I do a fair amount of hills and the Ascent handles it perfectly.

My MPG comes out around 11-13.5 MPG when towing with my 2100BH. I don't remember exactly where it was with a wider 8 ft. wide trailer, but it was significantly less. This was a big hit against the Bullet Crossfire when looking at that model.

I hope this helps in your decision making process. View attachment 570 View attachment 571
What did you end up with for a back up camera and brake controller for your Winnie and Ascent? I'm leary of wireless. Are you still happy with your rig? Thanks!
 
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