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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB being held for me by a dealership (haven’t been able to pick it up due to travel restrictions as dealership is in Michigan). I love the layout and the way this trailer is equipped. My only concern is the fact that is a single axle design at its 3,165lbs. Another forum member named Ken has this same trailer and likes his but has struggled with it keeping its tongue weight at or below 500lbs max suggested by Subaru. So now I’m thinking that maybe I should consider a double axle trailer in my weight class for better stability and for keeping tongue weight down. My research has led to the Winnebago Micro Minnie 1708FB. It weighs 3,380lbs (215 more than the Apex) but it has double axles which I feel more comfortable with for towing. Also, in the event of a tire failure, you have two wheels per side as a safety factor v.s. a single axle design. Does anyone else have a trailer like this, it replaced the 1706FB which was an almost identical design in 2020.
Am I overthinking the safety factor afforded by dual axles and does anyone have suggestions for negating tongue weight. If only the Ascent would accept a WDH and all problems would be solved.
 

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Tongue weight is due to where the trailer's center of gravity (fully loaded) is between its axle(s) and the ball. If the CG is 10% of that distance in front of the axles, the tongue weight will be 10% of the trailer weight. You can change where the CG of the trailer is by where you load stuff. Moving stuff back will lighten the tongue weight. Moving it forward will increase the tongue weight.

If the empty trailer has too much tongue weight, loading stuff behind the axle will decrease the tongue weight.
 

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tongue weight at or below 500lbs max suggested by Subaru.
Just to be clear...that's not a "suggestion". It's a hard specification.

This is a tough one because if you load to release a little tongue weight you may cause other imbalance factors to come into play. There is usually a little wiggle room for good balance within a range, but it's not huge. You don't want too much tongue weight to come off because that can be unsafe. You certainly don't want to get into the "tail wagging the dog" situation out on the highway.
 
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huntingskeetman I would agree with the sentiments that a tandem axle trailer is safer than a single axle. It's not just because of a flat tire but I've had a spindle break off completely on a new tandem axle trailer so the wheel was gone.. disappeared on the road somewhere, but I was able to get to a garage and leave it with them to replace the axle. Whereas if this happens on a single axle trailer you are immediately stranded and waiting for a flat bed to drag your trailer onto it. Having a tandem axle trailer doesn't make it easier to get the correct tongue weight either. Merope's post #2 explains it perfectly no matter how many axles you have. These trailer homes can carry so much extra stuff it becomes important to get the tongue weight correct. I would go as far to say all those who tow trailer homes should get the special tongue weight scale so they can track the weight balance properly.

 

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I currently have a Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB being held for me by a dealership (haven’t been able to pick it up due to travel restrictions as dealership is in Michigan). I love the layout and the way this trailer is equipped. My only concern is the fact that is a single axle design at its 3,165lbs. Another forum member named Ken has this same trailer and likes his but has struggled with it keeping its tongue weight at or below 500lbs max suggested by Subaru. So now I’m thinking that maybe I should consider a double axle trailer in my weight class for better stability and for keeping tongue weight down. My research has led to the Winnebago Micro Minnie 1708FB. It weighs 3,380lbs (215 more than the Apex) but it has double axles which I feel more comfortable with for towing. Also, in the event of a tire failure, you have two wheels per side as a safety factor v.s. a single axle design. Does anyone else have a trailer like this, it replaced the 1706FB which was an almost identical design in 2020.
Am I overthinking the safety factor afforded by dual axles and does anyone have suggestions for negating tongue weight. If only the Ascent would accept a WDH and all problems would be solved.

I've towed my single axle trailer with the Ascent for over 5000 miles last year without a problem. We considered the Micro Minnie as I like the build quality and features, to include the double axle setup, however, we opted not to go with it as I was concerned that for the terrain I tow over it was just more weight than I wanted to put behind my Ascent, and which I've written about in several other posts. For my needs trailers in the low to mid 3000 pound dry weight rate range once loaded with a battery or batteries, propane, and other "stuff," approach a weight I am just not comfortable towing. Regarding single versus dual axle, too many people who tow don't pay attention to cold tire pressure, the speed rating of the trailer tires, the age of the trailer's tire regardless of remaining tread depth, or proper maintenance when it comes to wheel bearings, etc., all of which can contribute to problems out on the road. I have complete confidence in my setup, but should the unexpected happen, well, that's what insurance and roadside assistance is for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My previous trailer was back in the mid 90’s, a 22ft Hi-Lo model that towed fantastic behind my Ford Aerostar 2wd van with a 4.0 liter V-6 and with a WDH setup. It was a dream to tow, but that minivan was built on the Ford Ranger truck frame and heavier duty than my Ascent. When I purchased our Ascent I was drawn to its advertised 5,000 tow capability, but now knowing how it is limited and not able to use a WDH it severely limits my choices. Had I known that I may have opted for a mid-sized pickup truck instead.
 

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Even if Ascent permitted an WDH, you still wouldn't be able to exceed the rated tongue weight and that hitch itself adds to it. WDH only shifts weight from the back axle to the front to balance the tow vehicle but the design of the Ascent doesn't support how a WDH works which is why they do not permit its use.
 

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@AnacortesArmyGuy,
What trailer are you towing with your Ascent? I'm leery of coming within a 1000 lbs of the max towing capacity, but I would love to have a travel trailer, especially in a bunkhouse configuration. There's only me, the missus and our 7YO son but I don't want to have to convert anything to a bed every night for the boy. Most of the hard-sided trailers I find in the 2000-3000LB range only have 1 permanent bed in them.
 

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I currently have a Coachmen Apex Nano 187RB being held for me by a dealership (haven’t been able to pick it up due to travel restrictions as dealership is in Michigan). I love the layout and the way this trailer is equipped. My only concern is the fact that is a single axle design at its 3,165lbs. Another forum member named Ken has this same trailer and likes his but has struggled with it keeping its tongue weight at or below 500lbs max suggested by Subaru. So now I’m thinking that maybe I should consider a double axle trailer in my weight class for better stability and for keeping tongue weight down. My research has led to the Winnebago Micro Minnie 1708FB. It weighs 3,380lbs (215 more than the Apex) but it has double axles which I feel more comfortable with for towing. Also, in the event of a tire failure, you have two wheels per side as a safety factor v.s. a single axle design. Does anyone else have a trailer like this, it replaced the 1706FB which was an almost identical design in 2020.
Am I overthinking the safety factor afforded by dual axles and does anyone have suggestions for negating tongue weight. If only the Ascent would accept a WDH and all problems would be solved.
I would get the double axle trailer without hesitation. Tongue weight can be somewhat corrected by loading more stuff in the rear of the trailer. Also, you have to take "limits" with a grain of salt. I doubt very much if you exceed the 500 lbs by 10-15%, you will be endangering your safety. The manufacturers have to protect themselves with limits. The Micro Minnie will probably weigh close to 4,000 lbs by the time you get it loaded. Have fun, we envy you.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We’re in process of trying to decide between two dealers on the Minnie currently but will hopefully settle and seal the deal by the weekend. Mr. Chicken, you might want to check out the Micro Minnie 1700BH, it’s a lightweight unit with two bunks that might suite your needs.
 

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@AnacortesArmyGuy,
What trailer are you towing with your Ascent? I'm leery of coming within a 1000 lbs of the max towing capacity, but I would love to have a travel trailer, especially in a bunkhouse configuration. There's only me, the missus and our 7YO son but I don't want to have to convert anything to a bed every night for the boy. Most of the hard-sided trailers I find in the 2000-3000LB range only have 1 permanent bed in them.
I'm pulling at 2019 Jayco 154BH Baja Edition. It's just for me, so I don't have to collapse the dinette table to accommodate a third person as it has two bunks, but you would need to collapse the dinette for your application unless you have your son sleep in the bathtub. A primary want for me was a dry bath along with being on the lighter side. I tried the wet bath routine on an Amtrak train, and that convinced me that any trailer we got needed to have a dry bath. It's a measured 2500 lbs empty, and generally weighs a little under 3000 when I load it up. GVWR is 3250 for this model, with a measured tongue weight at around 365 lbs.
 

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I'm probably one of the top towers in the group. I've logged 3,700 miles or so towing, with over half that at 3,500lbs or more.

Don't overthink it. Just make sure you're within the limits and are careful with your loading. The Ascent is quite a capable tower and so far only ONCE did I have the camper wiggle the Ascent and that was when I was going downhill at 65mph and a guy doing 45mph cut out in front of me in the fast lane. Braked hard and the camper wiggled a bit, then fell back into line. (Love that Tekonsha brake controller).


Btw, the dodge nitro on the trailer made a total weight of 6,020 lbs. I didn't go over 45mph and it was only for 8 miles to get a friend's car home. No I wouldn't do it at highway speeds.

Look at your suspension and gap with the rear wheel well before you hook up the camper. Once you hook up it'll squat a bit. If it looks really squashed, you have too much tongue weight. I have a pic somewhere where I had the Mustang too far forward on the trailer. It was obvious there was too much tongue weight. Moved the car back a bit and everything was fine.

Oh, and the double axle won't help with tongue weight.... it does help with stability and security though.

Based on lots of testing and research it seems most of the tongue scales you can buy aren't that accurate. You'd really need one of the ones that go under the trailer's front post as they seem to be accurate if you get a good one. I don't remember anyone finding a built in hitch/drop bar one that actually worked... most are +/- 40 lbs or so.

Go forth and enjoy your camper... just be smart about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well we decided to go with the Micro Minnie 1708FB. Our dealer that had the other trailer on hold (Apex Nano) checked with Winnebago and they no longer had already build 2020 1708’s in inventory and were depleted due to plant closure from the Covid-19. So they’re ordering us a new 2021 unit upon the plant reopening mid-May. He said we could expect delivery anytime from late June to mid-July, which is fine with us as there is no hurry getting the trailer before campgrounds are open and hopefully things normalize again. We hope to get a couple weekend camping trips in over late summer to get acquainted with the new trailer and then trek down to Gatlinburg in September for a week trip. We are currently planning to go out west next year to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well we ended up getting a 2020 Micro Minnie 1708FB from an in-state dealer that had two in inventory. We found out the out of state dealer that was going to order a 2021 Unit for us wouldn’t be able to get the unit until late summer, so we opted for the 2020 model which was essentially the same. It hooked up well using a 2” drop 3/4” rise hitch bar, and when hooked up was pretty much level with very little suspension sag. On the way home from the dealer we had a few storms, heavy rain at times with windy condition. Although you knew there was a trailer back there in the windy conditions, I felt in total control with the Ascent.
we towed between 60 to 65 at different times depending on conditions. The pickup from stop to highway speed was quite good. Overall mileage dropped significantly to around 14-15 mpg on its maiden voyage. I’m hoping for better under ideal conditions but am realistic on my expectations. Overall I’m pleased with the Ascent as a tow vehicle for our new trailer.
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Automotive design Transport
 

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Congratulations! That's a very nice looking rig and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

On fuel economy, the biggest hit you take is from wind/air resistance when towing something like a travel trailer. While the sloped front of these current generation trailers helps a bit, that's still quite a bit of air that's getting "dragged" by the tow vehicle which in turn makes the engine work harder. The 14-15 mpg you experienced on your maiden journey home is actually pretty good, considering. Some folks are getting far less, depending on the trailer they are towing, etc.
 
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Nice rig! I'm thinking 14-15 mpg is awesome. With our previous tow SUV and PU, that's what we got towing nothing. Towing a significant trailer, I don't think we ever saw 10 mpg.
 

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Well we ended up getting a 2020 Micro Minnie 1708FB from an in-state dealer that had two in inventory. We found out the out of state dealer that was going to order a 2021 Unit for us wouldn’t be able to get the unit until late summer, so we opted for the 2020 model which was essentially the same. It hooked up well using a 2” drop 3/4” rise hitch bar, and when hooked up was pretty much level with very little suspension sag. On the way home from the dealer we had a few storms, heavy rain at times with windy condition. Although you knew there was a trailer back there in the windy conditions, I felt in total control with the Ascent.
we towed between 60 to 65 at different times depending on conditions. The pickup from stop to highway speed was quite good. Overall mileage dropped significantly to around 14-15 mpg on its maiden voyage. I’m hoping for better under ideal conditions but am realistic on my expectations. Overall I’m pleased with the Ascent as a tow vehicle for our new trailer. View attachment 4051
We're about to purchase this exact combination. Any updates on your experience since you purchased it? Can I ask how much you paid for the trailer?
 
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