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I did a search of this but couldn't find exactly what i was looking for. My Jeep has a max tongue weight of 720. If a travel trailer has a tongue weight of 800 but I add a WDH to re-distribute the weight, does that make it okay?

I have seen vehicles that display 2 different tongue weights. ie, 500 max tongue weight, 750 max tongue weight with WDH. I don't see that anywhere in the Jeep manual.

I know of a few folks who have tongue weights of ~900lbs but when they add the WDH it drops to ~600. (they aren't driving grand cherokees).
 

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Keep in mind that your cargo carrying capacity is usually the first thing to hit the limit when towing a heavy trailer. If you have 700 lbs of tongue weight, that only leaves a few hundred pounds for passenger and cargo inside the vehicle.
 

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You could move some of your load to the rear of the trailer but you have to have 10 to 15% of the total weight of the trailer on the tongue, hope that makes sense.
 

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Jeep requires a WDH when tongue weight exceeds 350 lbs up the maximum which is 720 lbs. 800 lbs of tongue weight exceeds the vehicle maximum and also uses up a major chunk of your overall cargo capacity for the JGC...people, luggage and tongue weight are included in that maximum which is sorta kinda in the 1200 lbs total neighborhood. It varies by trim level and engine.

You need to use a WDH and you also need to rebalance the trailer to get your tongue weight down. I'll also caution you about pulling with your load "right at the limits"...take great care.
 

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The short answer is, apparently, "No." .. the WDH doesn't change the nominal tongue weight. https://www.etrailer.com/question-78445.html

As Jim says, reblancing your trailer load can change the tongue weight, and running at or beyond the nominal limits is not a good place to be.
 

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Moving weight to the rear of the trailer will lighten the tongue weight. But be careful if you do not have the correct percentage. The tail will wage the dog. Don't ask how I know. Even with a WDH and friction sway control it is not fun having the trailer swaying violently side to side whipping the towing vehicle with it. Applying the trailer brakes did not work, then trying to accelerate with the trailer brakes applied did not work either. Jack knifed with the trailer on its side , pulled off the ball and the towing vehicle up rite was not a fun ride. Thank God I did not hit anyone or anything. Hurt pride and just totaled a travel trailer. All due to not enough tongue weight. Keep the Jeep and get a smaller trailer or get a bigger tow vehicle. Be safe and have fun.
 

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I think anyone pulling more than 5000 pounds with these things are nuts. Just my opinion, but you need that loooonng wheelbase of a heavy truck for stability. It's not just whether your engine and brakes can pull the weight.



 

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Jeep requires a WDH when tongue weight exceeds 350 lbs up the maximum which is 720 lbs.
How did you determine that WDH is required when tongue weight exceeds 350 lbs? The 2014 owners manual specifies only that WDH is required for gross weights that exceed 3500 lbs. There is no separate specification for tongue weight. For me, this is not a rhetorical question. I am about to pick up a teardrop trailer and am really trying to avoid using a WDH if I can. I'd rather not have to carry another 100 lbs or so in the form of a weight distribution hitch if I don't have to. And I don't like the lighter Andersens because the trailer frame is a c-channel which will require me to drill holes for the set screws.

My trailer has a GVWR of 3700 lbs but I won't load it past 3500. But it's relatively tongue-heavy. Fully loaded, the tongue weight according to the manufacturer comes in at 460. If the tongue weight threshold for WDH is derived from the 3500 lb total weight specification in the owners manual, what is the actual formula? If it's 10% (the low end of normal tongue weight) of 3500, then you're right, it would appear that WDH is required for tongue weights in excess of 350 lbs. However, if the need for WDH is triggered at 15% (the high end of normal tongue weight), then WDH is not required until tongue weights exceed 525.

I would appreciate any guidance you could provide.
 

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In North American, tongue weight is typically 10-15% of trailer weight. In the MY12 manual, however, it has this exact wording:

WARNING!
If the gross trailer weight is 3,500 lbs (1 587 kg) or more, it is mandatory to use a weight-distributing hitch to ensure stable handling of your vehicle. If you use a standard weight-carrying hitch, you could lose control of your vehicle and cause a collision.​

There have been no material changes to the JGC since MY11 relative to towing outside of an increase in capacity for the V6 starting at MY14 to 6200 with Factory Tow Option.
 

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In North American, tongue weight is typically 10-15% of trailer weight. In the MY12 manual, however, it has this exact wording:

WARNING!
If the gross trailer weight is 3,500 lbs (1 587 kg) or more, it is mandatory to use a weight-distributing hitch to ensure stable handling of your vehicle. If you use a standard weight-carrying hitch, you could lose control of your vehicle and cause a collision.​

There have been no material changes to the JGC since MY11 relative to towing outside of an increase in capacity for the V6 starting at MY14 to 6200 with Factory Tow Option.
That is the exact wording in my owners manual as well. So, my question remains. How did you determine that WDH is required for tongue weights of 350 lbs (10% of gross) instead of 525 (15% of gross)? Both figures would appear consistent with the typical 10-15% range you indicate. For me, this makes a difference. At 10% I'm SOL--I need a weight distribution hitch. At 15%, I'm fine.
 

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I took the more conservative number. I know for a fact from experience that my JGC gets REALLY squirmy with a tongue weight above about 400-450 lbs...like "change your underwear" uncomfortable handling and mine weighs in at about 5300 lbs with the heavier HEMI up front. A WDH is a good investment, IMHO if you're going to be towing something that has a tongue weight above the 10% number. But you can always test it yourself (taking care) to see how it feels. The specific kind of trailer is also going to affect the feel as something low is also going to have less "wind effect" than something taller and more blocky and that can make a difference in that "in between" tongue weight range. Adjusting where the load is on the trailer slightly can help, too, but you don't want to push too much backward because that can cause other instabilities in some circumstances.
 

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I took the more conservative number. I know for a fact from experience that my JGC gets REALLY squirmy with a tongue weight above about 400-450 lbs...like "change your underwear" uncomfortable handling and mine weighs in at about 5300 lbs with the heavier HEMI up front. A WDH is a good investment, IMHO if you're going to be towing something that has a tongue weight above the 10% number. But you can always test it yourself (taking care) to see how it feels. The specific kind of trailer is also going to affect the feel as something low is also going to have less "wind effect" than something taller and more blocky and that can make a difference in that "in between" tongue weight range. Adjusting where the load is on the trailer slightly can help, too, but you don't want to push too much backward because that can cause other instabilities in some circumstances.
I think my diesel comes in about 100-125 lbs or so heavier than the Hemi, which should help slightly with distributing weight to the front axle, but I take your point. Thanks for your help.
 

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A good way to think of this is that it's about a "lever"...the more weight that presses down at the back (on the hitch ball) the more the weight becomes out of balance relative to the front of the vehicle. The length of the lever isn't great...just the distance from the hitch ball to the rear axle, but it sill has real impact on vehicle stability.

2014 EcoDiesel Overland is about 170 lbs heavier than the HEMI Overland for the same year according to the Jeep specifications document at WK2Jeeps.com
 

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A good way to think of this is that it's about a "lever"...the more weight that presses down at the back (on the hitch ball) the more the weight becomes out of balance relative to the front of the vehicle. The length of the lever isn't great...just the distance from the hitch ball to the rear axle, but it sill has real impact on vehicle stability.

2014 EcoDiesel Overland is about 170 lbs heavier than the HEMI Overland for the same year according to the Jeep specifications document at WK2Jeeps.com
Thanks. I'm actually not new to towing. The teardrop I'm buying is my third trailer and I have used a Fastway E2 before. I was just trying to avoid having to use a WDH this time because they are a pain (for one, you can't really use them on rough terrain), they weigh a lot and the Jeep's payload is already not good, and I don't want to do any drilling (which the lighter Andersen requires for c-channel frames). I thought I was home free with a trailer I won't load past 3500 until I read something you said in an earlier post--that a WDH is required for tongue weights above 350 pounds. My understanding was that the only mandatory criteria Jeep imposes for use of a WDH was the 3500 lb GVWR threshold for the trailer. I think you have clarified that for me. If I am understanding you correctly, I am "legal" (i.e. within specs) without a WDH; whether I should use one is another question and will be dictated by feel, not by a factory-imposed requirement.
 

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Yes, when you are in that "magic spot" of the tongue weight range, you have to make it a judgement call because going only by weight doesn't account for the variability of tongue weight. Things are a bit different in Europe where many trailers are designed to focus more weight over their own axles so that tongue weight is lower and tow vehicles can be more modest. (Surge brakes also required over there and you generally cannot use WDH with that anyway) This is a big difference when it comes to things like horse trailers for sure, where it's not just weight, but a live, moving load.
 

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Yes, when you are in that "magic spot" of the tongue weight range, you have to make it a judgement call because going only by weight doesn't account for the variability of tongue weight. Things are a bit different in Europe where many trailers are designed to focus more weight over their own axles so that tongue weight is lower and tow vehicles can be more modest. (Surge brakes also required over there and you generally cannot use WDH with that anyway) This is a big difference when it comes to things like horse trailers for sure, where it's not just weight, but a live, moving load.
That makes complete sense. I'm sitting pretty much in the middle of the tongue weight range, which should give me some loading flexibility and no immediate WDH need. Fully loaded, the tongue is about 460 lbs which puts me at about 12.4% of gross weight. I'll keep my wife in the passenger seat to avoid the horse-shifting phenomenon.
 

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I will tell you again from experience, at about 500 lbs on the ball my JGC was not a pleasure to drive. It was downright scary and prompted a WDH purchase. But you'll have to decide for yourself.
 

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I've used an Andersen WDH for five years with my 14 JGC and used them on three Casita campers with 3 inch C channel frames. We didn't have to drill the frames--didn't use the set screws. Once the brackets are installed and the chains tightened up, the bracket bolts will jam against the frame--the brackets' shape indicates they like to be at a slant--and seek their own home. In the past I've welded a bead or piece of steel to keep them from moving; on the latest trailer I just let them do their jam thing and adjust the chains if needed. Works great.
 

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I've used an Andersen WDH for five years with my 14 JGC and used them on three Casita campers with 3 inch C channel frames. We didn't have to drill the frames--didn't use the set screws. Once the brackets are installed and the chains tightened up, the bracket bolts will jam against the frame--the brackets' shape indicates they like to be at a slant--and seek their own home. In the past I've welded a bead or piece of steel to keep them from moving; on the latest trailer I just let them do their jam thing and adjust the chains if needed. Works great.
Thanks. This is helpful. I have a 4-3/8 BAL/Norco frame and I see Andersen makes a bracket to fit it. So far, my [email protected] 400 is towing fine without a WDH but we'll see once I get it fully loaded.
 

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The 21' Lance 2185 I tow with my '15 is about as big as I'd want to go with this platform. Any longer or heavier and I'd step up to at least a half ton pickup. The GVWR of the trailer is 6000lb which is right around 80% of the rating of the vehicle. Dry weight is spec'd at 4565lb. I use an Andersen hitch which does a good job keeping things behaved. Loaded with 45 gallons of water and camp stuff I can definitely feel it back there, but I have not yet had a sway incident with this setup.

When my parents use it, they tow with a long wheelbase 2017 Chevy Colorado Duramax. Engine power is a little less than the diesel GC but the longer wheelbase helps for stability.
 
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