Originally Posted by longtallsally
Thank you very much for the input guys. However, isn't your above statement a bit contradictory Funguy? If my tow vehicle is tongue heavy, wouldn't it be a good thing to have a bit of weight on the back of the trailer? Not arguing, just wanted some clarification.
Also, there is the E2 version of this camper- which we may at some point go to. However, the Jeep is the tow vehicle du jour these days and with a class 2, technically I thought it was only to have a tongue weight of 350 lbs. The E2 (larger tray up front that can carry at least 2 bikes) would almost force getting a load leveling hitch and we do have trailer brakes set up on the Jeep, but the GVWR on the E2 is higher than the Jeep is rated to.
Here is a shot with a JK and the E2- 2 bikes up there looks like a LOT of tongue weight:
So I guess my point is that if I put a bike up front on that tray it by itself basically maxes out the tongue weight. If I put a bike on the back that is similar or lighter in weight, doesn't that just nullify the weight on the front and I'm back to like there was nothing up front?
Now I know the physics of moment arms, the pivot point of the axle as it relates the distance each load (on the front tray and rear hitch carrier) is from that pivot point, will have an impact on things, but if I take into account 2 full propane tanks and perhaps some doo dads up front in addition to a full water load (the main tank is in front of the axle), wouldn't that negate the concern?
Again, not arguing, but looking to see if I'm just going to waste money on a bad idea from the start...
Maybe... Your propane is around 75 lbs loaded on a long moment arm, and water is about 410 lbs on a short moment arm... plus do you plan on towing home with full or empty tanks? Where are the waste tanks, and do you plan on towing with them full (or partially full)? Combine those things and it can dramatically change your tongue weight.
Get out a bathroom scale and measure the tongue weight empty. Remeasure at different load configurations (you can use a 2x6 and a fat friend to mimic the bike/carrier combo). There are lots of resources on the net that describe the procedure. There is no replacement for empirical data (especially when it's easy to acquire).
Also look at the Jeeps owners manual and see if there is a separate specification for trailer GVW and Max tongue when using a weight distributing hitch (my Titan and Excursion do, but lighter vehicles might not?), But if your trailers GVW is 3500 lbs then the tongue weight should be AT LEAST 350 lbs (which is very close to what Jeep allows and gives no wiggle room to move stuff around in the trailer). If you want to go more you can use a distributing hitch (probably, depending on what the manual says).
Dimes to dollars this is what will happen, even if you get an acceptable hitch weight with 2 bikes (one front, one back). You will find by the time you load up all the stuff you want to take you will exceed the trailers GVW (you can tow without filling the water tank, but that will probably change the tongue weight), so you put some stuff in the Jeep. Now you will be getting close to the Jeep's GVW, which will almost certainly exceed the GC(ombined)VW specified by Jeep.
Welcome to the game of towing.
I did some basic research, it looks like your Jeep can go up to 525lbs tongue with a WD hitch, but trailer max remains unchanged at 3500lbs
The GCVWR listed by jeep is about 8100 lbs (+/- aprox 100 lbs depending on which model you own)
The Jeeps Curb weight (inc full fluids and a driver) is about 4300 lbs
Assuming you fully load the trailer with 1215 lbs of stuff (bringing it to 3500 lbs), you only have 500 lbs of capacity in the jeep for passengers and cargo.
The trailer has 1215 lbs of capacity.
A carrier an 2 dirt bikes will come to at least 600 lbs, but probably more realistically 700, so lets split the diffrence at 650 lbs.
2 20 lb propane tanks will weigh 34 lbs plus 20 lbs of propane each, or 74 lbs total.
full water looks to be 47 gallons (41 gal + 6 gal water heater) @ 10 lbs per gallon so 470 lbs.
this totals 1194 lbs of cargo, leaving 21 lbs for food, dishes, clothes, riding gear etc.
Of course some of this can go in the jeep, you have 500 lbs spare, but you have to subtract the weight of the passengers, dog (if you have one) etc. so lets call it 300 lbs less say 40 lbs for 2 sets of riding gear, some basic tools etc. now at 260 lbs for food, dishes, clothes, games whatever.
Simplified, to meet the letter of the specifications, after 2 fairly light bikes, propane and water, you have 521 lbs of capacity for everything except you. If you feel you need to use a WD hitch you can make that 480 ish lbs (they are heavy). Which really isn't all that bad, considering you can exchange water weight for cargo, and you could probably remove 1 propane tank for weekend stuff etc, and all you have to do is make sure you have enough hitch weight.
Again the choices are very much yours to make, I just wanted to point out the things to consider when getting close to the specs.
Oh going to an E2 (assuming towing with the jeep) you would loose ability to carry 160 lbs.