Friday, June 09, 2017


Day 30

My Apology

5am - This is an apology to all of my Readers. I made a terrible mistake by overloading the cargo area in the rear of Little Honda.

I realized that mistake yesterday while doing online research about Honda's suspension system. I learned that Honda's Base Curb Weight is 2,496 pounds [Link].

However, the actual weight of Little Honda is 3,300 pounds. It might be that the weight difference of 804 pounds is the reason for some of the hitch problems that have been occurring.

10am - Gardening with Rowena
Rowena [aka Weng] does gardening for a living.  And being that we are friends, I asked Rowena to go with her to a client to see what goes on.

Also, by coincidence, I happen to be friends with this client.

Rowena on the job

4pm - Rain
It's been a bit rainy this afternoon. So, I have not had much chance to check out my overload of the Honda idea as being responsible for the rear end being low.

The rain has been coming down steadily for about two hours. When MsTioga was around, the coming of rain brought concern for leaks. However, with Scampy, there is no concern about rain leaking in. Because Scampy is all fiberglass. No leaks at all!

8:30pm - Solving Honda's low clearance
We wish to get some data on what is causing Little Honda's low rear clearance. We need some real numbers!

This afternoon, a meeting was held. Everybody on the Scampy RV Team attended. It was decided that all the cargo onboard Little Honda would be removed. Everything! Including the two cabinets with full extension sliding drawers.

When Little Honda is completely empty, we then will be able to see what the clearance looks like. When Scampy is off Honda's hitch, are the front and rear clearance now equal?

Nite Camp Location Map

Elevation: 190 feet



  1. George, when you say "overloading the cargo area" and calculating the "weight difference," did you also add the weight of Scampy's hitch on the suspension?

    1. Hi Dee,

      Yes, I did figure in Scampy's tongue weight. It's 120 pounds.



  2. P/S -- No matter how old we get, we continue to learn new things. Right now, I am learning from Kevin and Ruth's blog about the proper psi for the tires on my RV and truck; Beach and I blew fairly new tires often last summer. The way Kevin explained it makes a lot of sense.

    1. Hi again, Dee,

      Yes! That is sooooo right for me.

      It blows me away that at my age [79-1/2], I am continuing to learn stuff!

      Kevin and Ruth! I love then!!



  3. George,
    One thing that came to mind that might make a difference is your ball hitch height.
    Scamp recommends for the 13' Scamp Trailer that your ball hitch height be at least 18" from the ground to the ball. If you already knew this then please disregard. If not, and you hitch is a few inches (or more) off from this mark, this might have contributed to your problem (maybe but I really don't know).
    I'm sure sorry this has been turning into a headache for you. Hopefully, you'll have good new with your phone call today! :)
    Sending Well Wishes and Good Luck!

    -Tom L.

    1. Hi Tom,

      Not a headache. I love this kind of stuff!

      In order to bring Scampy's frame to level, the dimension at the hitch would rise 3".



  4. There is a YouTuber- Bex Cat Herder- who has the same Scamp and uses a Honda CRX for towing. Seems to be a good combo. You'll get a better trade in amount, Honda for Honda, than for another make. Just a suggestion.

    1. I believe Steve meant Honda CR-V.

    2. I stand corrected. CR-V it is. Also I was wrong that it was a Scamp. She has the 13ft Casita. Nearly identical.

  5. In reply from yesterday's post
    You made a comment about lifting your trailer up here's the kit to do that with,
    You probably have a dexter torsion axle
    This kit will only lift it up 3 inches (you have to cut-and-paste)

  6. Now you ask me for my thoughts about the trailer pan hitch setup
    If you said you were going back home, I would say you'd be fine.
    But that's not the case.
    I think I would still stick with my fish plate set up the only change that I would make would be using 1/8th inch steel plate and not 1/16th inch steel plate as in the simple fix.
    If you take 10 minutes and sit down and only think about this subject you may come away with the same idea I'm thinking
    But first let me say this. you did not show a picture of the inside of the tire well so I don't know what's up there. but looking at the bottom of where the two bolts bolts on to the trunk pan? I would not trust that set up over time
    Here's the scenario to think about.
    If you were to stand on the ball hitch think of the ergonomics of pressure,
    Where would the pressure be.
    It would be on the four bolts holding the hitch on to the very back of the vehicle s unibody it would be a downward pressure.
    You would have upward pressure on the two bolts that are in the trunk pan
    Note: on the very back of the trailer hitch with a two bolts come through.
    that plate looks to be about 4x4 in, so times that would be 16sq in

    Now reverse the scenario, if you tried to pick up on that ball hitch where would the pressure be.
    The four bolts holding the trailer bracket on would be zero.
    The two bolts on the trunk pan would be Downward lateral Pull
    Note: i'm guessing that the trunk pan is probably 3/32 thick
    Flimsy at best
    So think that when you're driving down the road you're jumping onto and lifting the back of the trailer ball hitch, that's exactly what your trailer is doing.
    Note: here's a little cheap trick go to Walmart and buy a digital bathroom scale
    Somewhere in your travels pick up a small piece of wood.
    When you disconnected your trailer put the piece of wood on the digital scale
    Turn the Jack down until it lifts off the car if you have more than 75 pounds your tongue is too heavy (re-shift things inside the trailer)
    So you're still back to the ergonomics of weight Think of the pressure that you're putting on the four bolts attached to the trailer hitch and the undercarriage
    So my reasoning for the upper and lower 1/8 fish plates which would come out to about 24 sq in.² Lot larger coverage,
    This will not cancel any upward or downward pressure put on the two bolts from the rear part of the trailer hitch. But distribute the load and pressure over 24 in.² opposed to 16 in.²
    Note: another words it ain't going anywhere. That is provided you don't put more than 65 / 70 pounds on the ball hitch
    When you put that hitch on your vehicle there are only two for a Honda fit
    you were lucky enough to pick the better one
    If you had a light duty trailer like maybe go to the dump and haul a little brush around nobody would've cared,,,
    but because you're using a trailer almost on a full-time basis was a reason that everybody picked on the The choice of a Honda fit vehicle
    The biggest question is yes you can tow a trailer behind a Honda fit BUT
    With or without a warranty what will the minor issues be?
    and what will the major issues be?
    How many miles have you put on your Honda since you bought the trailer
    Before your first minor issue?

    You suggested putting a roller on the underside of the trailer hitch next to where the ball hitch would be. do not do this
    If you go out of a gas station and you drag your trailer hitch occasionally add another 2 1/2 inches that you're going to use for that roller, it will Drag every time you go out...

  7. I honestly don't believe that your problem
    Yes you're overloading the suspension system yes, but the trailer hitch has nothing to do with your suspension other than the xx number of pounds total weight of the trailer hitch when attached
    The failure of the trailer hitches 2 bolts (bracket ) and that question is very well-documented on the Internet forum carrying far less weight than you are
    So here's a little tip go by a truck stop that has a cat weight scale go in and ask someone at the fuel desk that you want to weigh each axle it might cost you $10 but it'll give you the weight of each Axel as you place it on the scale
    They will print you a slip and show you how to read it that way you have your record and you can go from there

    1. Hi Mister ed,

      The plan now is to remove all cargo from Little Honda in order to check the clearance.

      With everything removed, are the front and back clearance equal?



  8. Have you ever weighed the Scamp loaded for a trip to see exactly how much weight you are requiring your Honda brakes to stop in addition to the car?

    1. Hi Ed, Carol,

      Yes, I've weighed Scampy on the road. Scampy weighs 1,650 pounds.



  9. Hi George. I don't know if you have read about CanAm Rv, a company in Canada that puts together incredible rv/trailer combinations. The guy does incredible things. I won't go on about it here but you can check their webpage.

  10. Good idea George! Then you can see"what's what" and move on from there.

    1. Hi Suz,

      It sure is taking me awhile to get the answer to:
      "What's what?"

      Soon, I hope!



  11. George, here I am, again. The following is from the paperwork given to me when we purchased our towable camper from the manufacturer and is fairly uniform throughout the towable camper industry:

    The tongue weight of an "empty" camper will be, at minimum, 10 percent of the total empty weight of the camper. "Empty" means no LP gas in the tank, no fresh water in the tank, no black or gray water in tanks, and no necessities in the camper needed for camping.

    So I believe the tongue weight of 120 pounds (10 percent) for Scampy is for an "empty" weight camper of approximately 1,200 pounds.

    Then you said to Ed and Carol that you had weighed Scampy and found Scampy to weigh 1,650 pounds, which I assume was loaded with the above items for camping. When taking 10 percent of 1,650 pounds, you then have a "loaded" Scampy tongue weight of 165 pounds. That number would need to be added to your cargo weight in Little Honda.

    1. Hi Dee,

      Thank you sooooo much for hanging in there with to get some resolution to this hitch thing!

      Tomorrow I hope to use a weight scale to learn the actual tongue weight for Scampy.

      However, my main thing to learn right now, is what is making Little Honda have a lower clearance in the rear, than in the front. That's when Scampy is disconnected.

      I hope to find the answer in the next few days.



    2. If you have lower clearance in the rear than in the front, with little Honda's rear cargo area empty, then the rear suspension may be shot.

  12. Dee T
    Let's take issue with your statement,
    When you're looking at 10% tongue weight your somewhat correct.
    When you take all of those measurements you're looking at a vehicle that has a frame rated to be capable of towing a normal trailer
    A Honda fit is not capable to have a frame rated trailer towed behind it
    The Honda fit is a unibody construction,which does not have a Standard automotive frame
    As in jeep ford Chevy Dodge or an SUV
    And this is where the biggest problem lies
    The analogy is very simple I'll make it clear if you're baking cookies you put the cookies on a cooking pan why not put the cookies all by themselves on tinfoil Yes they will cook but you have to be very creative to take them out of the oven
    This is where the four bolts that hold onto the unibody of a Honda fit come in play
    A normal framed automotive vehicle will have at least 3/8 to 1/8 inch frame that you attach a trailer hitch to
    A unibody frame is no thicker then you're cookie pan
    Take your cookie pan turn it upside down on the counter and push in the middle over time you will be destroyed that Pam
    That is the reason why you have 2 bolt holes on either side of the unibody and 2 bolt holes on the trunk pan it is designed to stiffen it up
    So in theory your right if it's a frame but your theory is wrong if it is a unibody. It all boils down to a unibody can't take the weight of the downward force over time. The keyword is weight and overtime