Merry Christmas everyone.

I am a newbie and need some help.  I recently purchased a 1969 Nomad travel trailer and am in search of weight info.  The po said the GVW is 2200 and tongue weight is 200.  Does that sound right?  I am trying to figure out what the cargo weight would be, and I know I can weigh it unloaded but cannot verify the GVW. It is 16 feet without the hitch and is the one with the door near the back end.  TIA for any help you can offer.  I saw that someone had a link to a manual but the link is broken.

Barb Lewis

TinCanGypsy@gmail.com

Tags: 16', 1969, Nomad

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Barb, my family had that identical trailer when I was a kid. Those weights would be reasonable for a trailer that size.

thanks William.  so the 2200 is the gross weight, what would be the dry weight.  I am trying to figure out how much cargo it can handle.  Thanks!  Barb

Barb,

Fellow member Louis Soto owns a travel trailer very similar to yours. Perhaps he knows the GVWR of his rig. However, I know his rig has two axles and, considering the estimated weight of your trailer, I suspect yours has only one axle.

http://www.goodoldrvs.com/profile/LouisSoto

 

The PO giving a number for "GVW" might be confusing us ... The term "Gross Vehicle Weight" is often used interchangeably with "GVWR". "GVW" is supposed to refer to the current (scale) weight; GVWR is the theoretical maximum weight limit, which is the information we are presuming you received from the PO. However, the weight you were provided is *reasonable* for a single-axle travel trailer of that era, though I would have expected it to be a few hundred pounds heavier.

As I see it, the GVWR is essentially limited to the "weakest link in the chain" -- the "chain" in this case being the maximum load capacity of the chassis frame, the axle, the tires, and the brakes. I'm no expert, but in my experience with TT's the "weakest link" is often the axle -- usually at or below 3,500 lbs per axle. Some folks (more knowledgable than me) say that manufacturers often set the GVWR at about 80% of the weakest link. In your case, assuming a 3,500 lb axle multiplied by 80% = 2,800 lbs GVWR, which is closer to what I would have expected from a single-axle trailer that size.

I believe your trailer would be marketed as a 19' or possibly a 20' trailer, if the box size is 16'. If you haven't yet done it, I'd contact Skyline (the manufactuer of the Nomad line of travel trailers) and ask if they have any old records.

As you said, the dry weight is calculated easy enough -- any truck stop can do it for about $8.00; any factory in your area which handles truck-sized quantities of product will also have a set of scales and will often weigh for free. I think I would want to weigh the entire combination (towing unit + trailer), then detach the trailer and weigh that item separately. Perhaps also get a weight by driving the tow unit onto the scales, leaving the trailer axles off the scale, to calculate an accurate hitch weight.

The exact GVWR must come from the manufacturer. If your unit does not have the GVWR listed, then you'll need to contact the manufacturer to get that exact number. I have also done the google search (as you did) and can't find anything but approximations for trailers that age.

That being said, I doubt the manufacturer has the necessary information for 1969 available. I would suspect you are going to need to "wing it." Sometimes, the axle itself has a stamped tag which gives its load capacity, but what are the chances of that tag still being on the axle after these years? And that would presume the axle is the "weakest link" (which often is the case).

Sorry I couldn't help further.

Best wishes,

Billy

wow, that's a lot of info!  Thank you so very much.  It is a single axle and my main dilemma is that I don't have a two vehicle yet and am trying to work backwards so to speak.  I am trying to also estimate what I will be able to carry inside since I will be living in it full-time.  Right now it is essentially striped inside, so I want to make wise choices when redoing it.  I will check the link you mentioned and contact Skyline.  I can see that this will be a wonderful place to get info from as I move forward.  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point as my drop dead date to get on the road (coincides with end of lease) is 5/18 and there is SO much that needs to be done.

Thanks Bill, I appreciate your help more than you know.

Barb

Barb,

Welcome to the wonderful world of full-timing! I became a full-timer (almost by accident) a year ago, when I had to move to what I considered the "arm-pit" of the earth -- the oilfields in western Oklahoma. That's where my career led, but I didn't want to make a permanent commitment. Put my stuff in storage, moved into the old motorhome, and came out here for what I believed would be 4-5 months.

Well, the job turned permanent, and I enjoyed the full-time lifestyle so much I gave away all the stuff I had in storage, and intend on living full-time in an RV for the remainder of my life!!!

Sorry I couldn't help you more, but I feel if you keep the loaded weight less than 3,000 lbs, you'll be okay. That unit will be the perfect size for a single full-timer!

I can almost describe the floorplan -- a closet next to the back door, the bathroom at an angle in the corner opposite the back door. A nice shower, but you have to turn on the bathroom sink to get water to the shower. Avacado green linoleum flooring. Dining booth which converts into a short bed. Little galley opposite the dining booth, with the fridge on the left-hand side. At the front of the coach, you'll have a large sofa which converts to a queen-sized bed. And above the queen-sized bed, there's probably a drop-down bunk bed.

That was before the days of "power converters" so your lighting is an interesting combination of 110-volt, 12-volt, and even a built-in propane lantern over the dining booth.

I've discussed at length with Louis about a few improvements to his 1972 Nomad. First, the water lines in those older Nomads are copper. But if they freeze, copper lines split very easy. There's no need to replace the lines all-at-once, but if you have a problem, try to replace with more modern plastic pipe or even the pink hose which everyone is using these days. That stuff is much more forgiving in freezing weather.

Second, your water system is pressurized by an air pump, which pressurizes the entire water tank. Again, that system works fine but there is a better (and cheaper) way to do it these days. Finally, those old Nomads do not have an external water connection ("city water" connection). You must remove the cap to the freshwater tank and manually refill it. It would be easy enough to plumb in a modern city water connection. I had to replace mine last month (the 26-year-old check valve in it stopped working) and it was $15.00 at the local RV supply store (and he is about double the price on his parts, than can be bought over the internet).

Another issue (you can read the discussions I've had with Louis, if you haven't already done so): Those old Nomads have only one wastewater holding tank, which is the tank for the toilet flushes. Sink water and shower water discharge directly out the sewer outlet. So this would presume you will be connected to a city sewer supply. If you are full-timing, I'd say you will always be connected to city sewer.

For the hot water tank, I'd strongly suggest installing a "Hott Rod" electric conversion. They run slightly less than $100. This will allow you to use electricity to heat your water instead of propane. The hot water tank will be the biggest consumer of your propane. And, in most places your electricity will be included in the price of the site, but you'll always have to buy your own propane -- so it makes sense to use electricity instead of propane whenever you can.

I like those old furnaces. They operate without an electric blower. The blower on my furnace uses 7 amps. When I'm dry-camping (without electric hookups), it's tough to get through one night without running down my batteries. But your furnace will put no drain on your batteries. The down-side is your floor will be cold and a bit drafty in the wintertime. PLUS, the water lines will tend to freeze faster (because in a forced air system, like mine, the warm air blows over the water lines, keeping them from freezing).

Anyway, that's the end of my journey down memory-lane.

Best wishes, and much happiness in your new lifestyle.

Happy trails,

Billy

Barb,

If you do the Facebook-thing, there's an interesting page dedicated to full-time RVers. It can be found at http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/fulltimervers/ .

Billy

fortunately or unfortunately the trailer has been striped out completely.  Only thing he left was toilet and shower.  The shower wall remains but he took out the door (saving old wood for template).  The layout you describe is spot on.  He has replaced all the interior walls with UV treated high end birch plywood that is gorgeous.  The kitchen is non existent as is the dining area and front bed. Hopefully I can get down to his show (about an hour away) this week to talk about the floor plan. Not sure what he has done with the "guts"- I know he added a tankless water heater and took out the furnace and all appliances.

I am really excited but very nervous.  I have not camped in years and never in a trailer. 

Lived in a pop-up for a few weeks when my daughter was young when moving for a new job.  Most memorable was a trip we took as a family almost 50 years ago with a tent, 8 weeks, cross country from Florida to CA up the coast and back across the midsection of country.

I have recently had to go on full time social security disability so this move is prompted by income down over 60%.  I think I can swing this lifestyle on what I get and give up the cost of living in Atlanta.  Hoping to just wander and stay where I want, for as long as I want.  I'll see how it goes.  Would love to revisit a lot of the places we went before.  No one is still alive that went on the trip so it will be all based on what I remember.

Enough trivia, thanks again for friending me, I appreciate it and will surely have many more questions as time goes on.

Barb,

What an inspiring attitude you have: To take the lemons life has thrown at you, and make lemonade!

You also have a good opportunity to adjust the floorplan slightly, for full-timing. I think that means adding storage compartments wherever possible. I am so impatient I don't think I could handle a floor-up restoration.

Most folks agree the dining booth is wasted square footage, especially considering a single person living full-time in the rig. A small sofa, with an end-table or TV tray works fine for eating alone, then you could fold up the TV tray and have a nice little sitting area!

Additionally, you might consider an "island bed" if that area has been completely gutted, and if the size works. Those are beds you can walk around. They are much easier to make up in the morning. Many times the freshwater tank and hot water tank are hidden under the bed, so renovating into an island bed might be impractical.

The standard RV oven never quite works as well as a large household oven. Many folks are replacing their RV microwave with a combination microwave/convection oven (available at JC Penney for just over $400) which eliminates the need for a baking oven. And you don't need four burners on the cooktop; two is ample. In fact, some folks (even with newer RVs) are buying electric "induction" hot plates and not even using the RV cooktop. I've never used "induction" cooking but they swear it's a great thing. The down-side of these galley upgrades is that you eliminate the possibility of living "off-the-grid" or as we full-timers call it, "dry-camping." If your appliances run off 110-volt electricity instead of propane, then you must be plugged in before you have those conveniences in your home.

The tankless water heater will keep your propane usage to a minimum and give an endless supply of hot water (my showers are 6-minutes maximum, before I run out of hot water). If you are planning on dry-camping in the winter months (such as staying at Quartsite, AZ) then you won't have 110-volt electricity available and will need to be careful to plan for no on-grid electricity whenever possible. For example, a 12-volt TV in that case is better than a standard household TV.

But in my opinion, you are making exactly the right decision for your circumstances. You'll be very pleased with your decision.

Keep in touch,

Billy

my biggest consideration/hurdle is to make it all electric.  That is because I am on oxygen and cannot risk having an open flame inside at all ever!  I already have a microwave that has an oven and broiler so that takes care of that.  I was thinking along the lines of the hot plate for a stove, a crock pot & most importantly a coffee maker.  I plan on a coleman stove for outside use and probably could dry camp for a few hours to get a nap with a battery back up for concentrator.  I have a portable unit that uses frozen liquid oxygen but will probably change to one that has a battery pack (even though they battery powered ones don't last anywhere as long a liquid o2.)  I'm determined and stubborn so I will figure it out but I am also impatient and want to get this show on the road! 

I too am pretty much a hermit at this point, not necessarily on purpose, lost my car and just have no way to get out and about.  Amazed how content I actually am with the slower pace ( I was a neonatal intensive care nurse for 30 years- a real adrenaline junkie).  I have lots of interests and really like people for the most part but just need that kick in the 'arse to get out and going.

I feel like I have finally found what I want to do (since I can't take care of my babies anymore).  Talking with you guys make me want to get going even more.  I am trying to go thru stuff and get rid of what I can on Ebay, lots of work.

Talk to you later,

Barb

:) I have no concern; it seems you have found the path for this part of your life-journey.

Wishes for best success as you pursue it!

Billy

The lifestyle is much less expensive, in my case, than living in a traditional home. The folks who buy expensive RV's and travel every few days, or who eat out frequently, are the ones who have a more expensive lifestyle.

Just find an area and sit there a few weeks or months. Get to know the local folks, experience the local culture. Then, when you get the itch, simply move on. Dry-camping on lands managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management is always free or very cheap.

Personally, I can cook as good or better than most restaurants. So I seldom eat out. The dog makes me take a long walk every day, which is free entertainment. In the winter months, I go through 20 gallons of propane a month but if I added a 2nd electric heater, I could cut that usage substantially. So, my only bills are the $375/month I pay for the long-term site at the local RV park, and my cell phone bill.

Barb, with a single-axle trailer the number of possible tow-vehicles increase dramatically, to include some larger sedans and the small SUV's and small pickups.

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