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In North America, trailer tongue weights are typically 10% or so of trailer weight although there is certainly variation and it can often be as high as 15% as you mention. That's likely why the manual reads the way it does...and yes, it's unfortunate that they don't spell it out more clearly that it's about tongue weight relative to WDH. Trailers in Europe tend to balance differently and have much lower tongue weights so they can be towed with more modest vehicles, albeit typically with speed restrictions that don't exist here. WDH doesn't typically get used there because trailer brakes have to be inertial/surge brakes and not dependent on the tow vehicle. Different system over there...
 

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Discussion Starter #42
So with all this said. If I install the factory trailer hitch, wiring, install a brake controller and use a WDH. Can I pull a trailer with a empty weight of 3086lbs and full 38xxlbs and a tongue weight of 320lbs without propane tanks or battery.

Remember I have a 2011 and the only features In a tow package back then we're load leveling shocks and a trailer hitch. No cooler no alternator.

Thanks
 

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If the trailer is 38xx lbs and the tongue weight is 320 lbs, then the trailer only has an 8.4% front bias, its suppose to have between 10%-15% forward bias, so the trailer isn't loaded properly and that will affect control of the trailer and safety....
It the trailer is properly loaded, the tongue weight will be at least 38x lbs...
More than 350 lbs tongue weight you should use a WDH.....
If you have to charge a battery on the trailer, as well, electric trailer brakes, the Tow Package has a greater alternator capacity to supply electric power to the trailer...

The 2011 O.M. says in a not so direct way, the limit for non-Tow Package equipped vehicles is 3500 lbs.....
As we've been discussing, the Tow Package has nothing in it to help you control the tow load... ...the Load Leveling doesn't help you control the tow load, if anything it might make the weight distribution just slightly worse, it just levels the vehicle for convenience....
The rest of the items on the Tow Package are for protecting the vehicle against the stress of pulling the tow load, to include bigger alternator and a full sized spare... ....so if you try to tow at the max limit for the vehicle with the Tow Package, provided you use the required WDH, you probably won't have any problem with handling the tow load, but you may damage the vehicle from the stress....

If you install a Tow Hitch in WK2, this trailer is a couple hundred pounds above what you can just hook up to the hitch and drive away.....
And I suspect that is why they set the non-Tow Package limit at 3500 lbs, its the max weight you can hook up and drive away without the extras, like a WDH...

So I can't say, Oh yea, you can tow more than the O.M. capacity, but if you're only 10% over (considering the vehicle can safely controls load almost double that, but it would overstress the engine/electrics) do it properly I can't see you having any serious problems... ...unless you get a flat and only have the undersized emergency spare, then your stuck...
But that means you have to do it right and use the right safety equipment, Make sure the trailer has the proper weight distribution, get a WDH and set up electric brakes....
Make sure your cooling system is in good shape....
The biggest problem you might have is the standard capacity alternator... ...check your build sheet, it will say what size alternator your vehicle got at the factory.... ...I replaced my alternator in an hour with simple hand tools, so that is always an option, get a rebuilt 220 amp alternator and swap it in, but a good rebuild of an alternator, especially the higher capacity will be several hundred dollars, if not $400... ...having a voltmeter and learning what it is telling you, could help, you can always get something that plugs into the cigaret lighter... ...take the trailer out for a series of longer and longer test drives to test it out and make sure it works and you're not dragging down the electric system to discharge your battery's....

I'd defer to Jim or anyone with more towing experience than I have.... ...one thing I am confident on, you're trailer is just over the "Install a hitch, hook it up and go", you need to get the safety equipment (WDH, electric brakes, full sized spare would be smart also) and make sure your electric system can handle the trailer...
 

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Discussion Starter #44
If the trailer is 38xx lbs and the tongue weight is 320 lbs, then the trailer only has an 8.4% front bias, its suppose to have between 10%-15% forward bias, so the trailer isn't loaded properly and that will affect control of the trailer and safety....
It the trailer is properly loaded, the tongue weight will be at least 38x lbs...
More than 350 lbs tongue weight you should use a WDH.....
If you have to charge a battery on the trailer, as well, electric trailer brakes, the Tow Package has a greater alternator capacity to supply electric power to the trailer...

The 2011 O.M. says in a not so direct way, the limit for non-Tow Package equipped vehicles is 3500 lbs.....
As we've been discussing, the Tow Package has nothing in it to help you control the tow load... ...the Load Leveling doesn't help you control the tow load, if anything it might make the weight distribution just slightly worse, it just levels the vehicle for convenience....
The rest of the items on the Tow Package are for protecting the vehicle against the stress of pulling the tow load, to include bigger alternator and a full sized spare... ....so if you try to tow at the max limit for the vehicle with the Tow Package, provided you use the required WDH, you probably won't have any problem with handling the tow load, but you may damage the vehicle from the stress....

If you install a Tow Hitch in WK2, this trailer is a couple hundred pounds above what you can just hook up to the hitch and drive away.....
And I suspect that is why they set the non-Tow Package limit at 3500 lbs, its the max weight you can hook up and drive away without the extras, like a WDH...

So I can't say, Oh yea, you can tow more than the O.M. capacity, but if you're only 10% over (considering the vehicle can safely controls load almost double that, but it would overstress the engine/electrics) do it properly I can't see you having any serious problems... ...unless you get a flat and only have the undersized emergency spare, then your stuck...
But that means you have to do it right and use the right safety equipment, Make sure the trailer has the proper weight distribution, get a WDH and set up electric brakes....
Make sure your cooling system is in good shape....
The biggest problem you might have is the standard capacity alternator... ...check your build sheet, it will say what size alternator your vehicle got at the factory.... ...I replaced my alternator in an hour with simple hand tools, so that is always an option, get a rebuilt 220 amp alternator and swap it in, but a good rebuild of an alternator, especially the higher capacity will be several hundred dollars, if not $400... ...having a voltmeter and learning what it is telling you, could help, you can always get something that plugs into the cigaret lighter... ...take the trailer out for a series of longer and longer test drives to test it out and make sure it works and you're not dragging down the electric system to discharge your battery's....

I'd defer to Jim or anyone with more towing experience than I have.... ...one thing I am confident on, you're trailer is just over the "Install a hitch, hook it up and go", you need to get the safety equipment (WDH, electric brakes, full sized spare would be smart also) and make sure your electric system can handle the trailer...
Thanks for reply. The trailer website says
Hitch Weight:
360 lb.
UVW
3088 lb.
CCC
772 lb

Hitch weight includes 2 empty 20lb propane tanks.
 

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Technically, you really should use a WDH with that trailer...360lbs dry tongue weight is going to go up once you put stuff in your trailer. Something simple and lighter weight like the Anderson might be worth considering.
 

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And at least get a volt meter, like one you can plug into the cigarette lighter that costs a couple of bucks, so you can monitor the electric system....
I'm going to assume it has electric brakes as well as a battery to be charged, the existing alternator might be able to handle it if you don't put a high electric load inside the Jeep.... ....it might not, the voltmeter will clue you in before you drain your battery or do damage.... ...like I said, if you're half handy, you can swap in a quality rebuilt high capacity alternator yourself, turn in the original for the core charge...

Alternators are controlled by the vehicle electronics, to regulate their output, (the PCM actually does it), so you can swap in a higher capacity alternator and that's all that is needed.... ...the only difference is, when more current is demanded from the alternator, it actually can provide it, while the lesser capacity provides the max it can and it's unable to meet the demand...

If the alternator can't provide enough for the load, the voltage drops on the system, battery's drain trying to make up for the current draw, electric accessories start going haywire, you should get the electric fault warning at this point, the little red light on the dash that looks like a battery, if you're battery's drain enough and the voltage drops enough that it can't sustain the PCM and ignition, the engine dies.... ...which at this point, there is enough charge left in your battery to restart...

And if you're going to tow this load a lot, and far distances, I'd considering putting together a full sized spare to swap into the spare tire compartment.... ....if you have a flat, trying to tow that load with an undersized emergency spare would probably be dangerous...
 

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Discussion Starter #47
And at least get a volt meter, like one you can plug into the cigarette lighter that costs a couple of bucks, so you can monitor the electric system....
I'm going to assume it has electric brakes as well as a battery to be charged, the existing alternator might be able to handle it if you don't put a high electric load inside the Jeep.... ....it might not, the voltmeter will clue you in before you drain your battery or do damage.... ...like I said, if you're half handy, you can swap in a quality rebuilt high capacity alternator yourself, turn in the original for the core charge...

Alternators are controlled by the vehicle electronics, to regulate their output, (the PCM actually does it), so you can swap in a higher capacity alternator and that's all that is needed.... ...the only difference is, when more current is demanded from the alternator, it actually can provide it, while the lesser capacity provides the max it can and it's unable to meet the demand...

If the alternator can't provide enough for the load, the voltage drops on the system, battery's drain trying to make up for the current draw, electric accessories start going haywire, you should get the electric fault warning at this point, the little red light on the dash that looks like a battery, if you're battery's drain enough and the voltage drops enough that it can't sustain the PCM and ignition, the engine dies.... ...which at this point, there is enough charge left in your battery to restart...

And if you're going to tow this load a lot, and far distances, I'd considering putting together a full sized spare to swap into the spare tire compartment.... ....if you have a flat, trying to tow that load with an undersized emergency spare would probably be dangerous...

I have a aftermarket Kenwood double din that connects to the obd2 port and can show any gauges I want on the screen. I will look into a spare tire. Thank you.
 

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Not to change the subject, but where did you install your trailer brake unit? I put mine on the right side of the steering wheel at the lower edge of the dash. The steering wheel does impede seeing the digits, but at that position, it does not hit my knee.

Jeep, If you are reading this. Adding the brake unit to the tow package and having a spot for it in the dash would be nice (if not already done)
 

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There are lots of threads in the Interior/Exterior/Visual/Lighting area about mounting a brake controller.
 
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