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19854Re: [California PortaBoters] FYI Bote Parts Weights for RV members who may need to know

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  • hbillsmith@att.net
    Oct 1, 2013
      Lee,
      Thanks for the reply. In answer to your question "Â…with the fulcrum being the axle of the trailer and therefore adding 100 pounds to the storage compartment of the trailer would put a lower weight on the hitch", the storage compartment is at the front, in front of the axle so it adds to the hitch weight. If it were at the back, what you say is true. That's why I also often put some of my `stuff' inside the trailer, behind the axles in order to add weight behind the axles and shift weight off the tongue. I can usually keep myself right at 600#.

      For spec clarification, the tow vehicle is a Mercedes Benz GL450 and I have verified with the dealer and directly with Mercedes that since WDHs are not recognized in Europe, they choose to not recognize them here in the USA. Regardless, I do have CAT scale weights with the WDH on and with the WDH off (I use an Anderson WDH mainly to eliminate sway and bobbing). The WDH impact is evident in the weightings and approximately 100 pounds moves to the front tow vehicle axle and a similar amount moves back to the trailer (it's variable depending on the tension I apply). Regardless, Mercedes would view this as out of spec and while the vehicle is still under warranty, I chose to follow their guidance.

      In addition to the CAT scale weightings I've done, I also own a Sureline Tongue Weight scale that I use each time just before I hook up in order to take a measure from the hitch point on the tongue before applying the WDH. If the weight is over, I remove things from storage and place them inside the trailer near the back (behind the axles). Of course, this raises the other problem and that is safe towing requires that you need from 8% to 12% of your total trailer on the tongue. Basically, move too much weight behind the axles and you'll get a tongue weight in spec but a tongue percentage that is less than 8% of the total trailer and that can cause the trailer to sway. That's why I also occasionally do the CAT scales and use both CAT and Sureline to do a proper setup. I always want to know what the whole enchilada weighs ;-); if I can't add more weight inside the trailer, then the stuff goes inside the SUV and hopefully I have room there. (SUV payload is not a problem)

      As it relates to Porta-Bote, besides the weight, having the transom on the hull (travels on top of the tow vehicle) takes up less space in the storage bin as does the more compact plastic seats in the new bote design. 3 seats weighing 25# in a simple duffle bag will be much easier to carry around.
      Regards,
      Bill
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