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  #1  
Old 10-06-2014, 02:37 PM
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Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Hi, new member here with a question. I have read many of the threads here that discuss towing with the GC, but I cannot find my answer to the payload capacity question. Please forgive me if I missed it somewhere. I'm getting kind of desperate so I thought it would be best to create a new thread...

We are getting very close to the "Buy It" decision on a Grand Cherokee with the Ecodiesel to use as a tow vehicle, but we are very concerned about weights, specifically tongue weight and payload capacity when hitched.

Our trailer is 4800 lbs fully loaded down the road and has a loaded tongue weight of 780 lbs and we have a WD hitch.

Do I understand correctly this scenario (using Jeep's specs):

Max Loaded Trailer Weight of the RAM 3.0 ED 4x4 Crew is 7200 Pounds

Tongue weight of Trailer= 780 Pounds

GVWR of the Vehicle: 6800

Curb Weight: 4677

Payload max: 1050

Subtract two occupants weight (230 for me, 120 for DW total of 500lb) from payload: 1050-500 = 550 lbs payload remaining (BEFORE hitching the trailer to the truck).

Now, after hitching the trailer to the truck, must I subtract the trailer tongue weight from the remaining payload weight also? That would exceed the payload capacity meaning that no gear, etc. could go in the back of the jeep.... !!! (550-780= -230)

The trailer is only 22ft. How do people tow the huge 30ft trailers that I see in the MPG and towing report threads, and what do they do about extra gear in the back, etc. Those 30ft trailers have to have a tongue weight heavier than mine, or so it would seem to me.

Please set me straight if I am wrong on the numbers or scenario that I have described above, as I might be in "left field" due to my confusion on the issue.

Thanks very much in advance.

Bluegrass Picker

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  #2  
Old 10-06-2014, 02:52 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

I don't think your tongue weight should be more than 480 (10% of loaded weight). You would run the risk of not having enough weight over your front wheels on the Jeep. If you can't distribute the weight in the trailer better, see if the axel can be moved forward a bit. That would shift the weight backwards.


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Old 10-06-2014, 03:07 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

+1 something is wrong with that tongue weight..
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:35 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Here is a basic article on tongue weight.

HowStuffWorks "How Tongue Weight Works"

So, yeah, your tongue weight should be between 10% and 15% of the gross trailer weight. So, if your trailer, including stowage, is 4800lbs, the tongue weight should be between 480lbs and 720lbs. At 780lbs you are a bit over.

The weight on the tongue should be measured at the same height as your hitch and your hitch should be set up so that the trailer is towed at a level height (i.e. hitch drop or rise so that the trailer tongue is level).

Jeep has a towing calculator here:

Towing Capacity and Payload of Jeep Vehicles

I hope some of this helps... (grin)

.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:23 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_de View Post
I don't think your tongue weight should be more than 480 (10% of loaded weight). You would run the risk of not having enough weight over your front wheels on the Jeep. If you can't distribute the weight in the trailer better, see if the axel can be moved forward a bit. That would shift the weight backwards.
Thanks, Bill.

I'm gonna try to lessen the tongue weight and see what the results are. I can probably shave off a hundred lbs or possibly more by moving some gear to the rear, and using one battery and one propane tank. Moving the axle is not an option, unfortunately.

Dry tongue weight on the trailer is listed as 470 lbs so there should be some room to reduce....

We are wanting to get the Grand Cherokee for many reasons and we are going to try to make it work for towing (safely).
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:26 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomk View Post
+1 something is wrong with that tongue weight..
+1 too much gear probably..... The wife's gonna have to make do without some things (but I'm gonna try to keep mine...
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:32 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Hart View Post
Here is a basic article on tongue weight.

HowStuffWorks "How Tongue Weight Works"

So, yeah, your tongue weight should be between 10% and 15% of the gross trailer weight. So, if your trailer, including stowage, is 4800lbs, the tongue weight should be between 480lbs and 720lbs. At 780lbs you are a bit over.

The weight on the tongue should be measured at the same height as your hitch and your hitch should be set up so that the trailer is towed at a level height (i.e. hitch drop or rise so that the trailer tongue is level).

Jeep has a towing calculator here:

Towing Capacity and Payload of Jeep Vehicles

I hope some of this helps... (grin)

.
Thanks for the reply and for the link. Much appreciated.

I'm using a Sherline Tongue Weight Scale to measure the TW and I've been using it on the leveled trailer on level ground. It has consistently given the same weights every time I've used it.

I'm good to go for the towed weight not exceeding the limits. It's the payload specs on the JGC that I'm concerned about exceeding, and as you have pointed out, my tongue weight needs to be reduced.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:47 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegrass Picker View Post
Thanks, Bill.

I'm gonna try to lessen the tongue weight and see what the results are. I can probably shave off a hundred lbs or possibly more by moving some gear to the rear, and using one battery and one propane tank. Moving the axle is not an option, unfortunately.

Dry tongue weight on the trailer is listed as 470 lbs so there should be some room to reduce....

We are wanting to get the Grand Cherokee for many reasons and we are going to try to make it work for towing (safely).
Is there a water tank, and if so where is it? If it's behind the axel, filling it should reduce the tongue weight.


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Old 10-06-2014, 11:00 PM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_de View Post
Is there a water tank, and if so where is it? If it's behind the axel, filling it should reduce the tongue weight.


---
Great thought. The water tank is just above the axles and possibly just slightly to the rear. Grey and Black tanks are at the rear.

I'll fill the water tank and take a scale reading. We usually travel with the tank mostly empty and fill when we get where we are going, unless we know that there is no water available at the destination.
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Old 10-07-2014, 09:57 AM
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Re: Payload Capacity Towing Trailer - Very Confused - Please Help!!

Instead of abandoning gear, just move it to the rear while traveling over the road. Yes, that's a little bit of a pain, but it will help you adjust your balance to where it needs to be. Your water tank toward the rear is a good thing, too. That, combined with the benefits of your WDH will allow you to tow safely and also have "weight-room" for some sandwiches and cold beverages in the cabin while you are driving down the road.
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