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Old 06-27-2021, 04:05 PM   #1
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Tongue Weight on 174BH

Hey Happy Campers,
Iíve been pondering campers for years. My wife and I have looked at everything. We have a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the Hemi V8. Towing capacity is huge at 7,200 pounds. However, payload is everyoneís enemy. I have a crappy 1,050 to work with. We considered an Airstream but would need to upgrade our Tow Vehicle which drastically increases the costs needed to start camping. We also looked at the Jayco X19H but the tongue weight was cutting it too close. Plus, we would like to travel out West and hybrids are not the safest in bear country. People were reporting 500-650 pounds on the X19H. With a family of four, I just was not comfortable. The empty hitch weight of the 174 BH is lower than most bunk trailers Iíve seen. Dry is 300#. Iím well aware that batteries, propane, WDH and cargo increases the hitch weight. I also know that a trip to the scales is the best way to get an accurate weight. However, Iíd like to hear from fellow owners about their hitch weight. I donít want to buy a trailer, hit the scales and find out Iím over my payload. Can anyone with a 174 share their measured hitch weight? Let me know if you have empty or full tanks. Iím already considering removing the AGM batteries for lithium to reduce weight. Any other thoughts?
Thanks! Andy
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Old 06-27-2021, 04:23 PM   #2
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I have a 195RB Baja so the water is 10 more gallons and more weight for a full propane tank of 30 and not 20 lbs. With dual GC2 lead acid gold cart batteries I hit 700 pounds on the tongue. Remove 80 for less water and another 80 (I converted to LiFePO4) for less battery. I also relocated the battery under the bed. So I would assume a 600-650 tongue for a 174. Best friend has the model in a Baja and just doesn't want to know. The trailers have the same GVWR. Mine had 700 lbs available (3070 empty weight from the factory) for cargo per the sticker.
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Old 06-27-2021, 04:57 PM   #3
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Are you sure about that Payload number? I Googled 2021 Grand Cherokee Payload and it came back with 1614 to 1882 pounds.

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Old 06-27-2021, 05:05 PM   #4
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Yes. The payload is 1,050. I’m staring at the yellow sticker right now (I don’t know how to take pictures. It’s 4 Wheel Drive which further drops the payload. And on top of that, the V8 eats up a lot of the payload capacity. Plus I ordered a fully loaded Limited model with all the safety features. Basically, I screwed up. I was told it would be between 1,500-1,600 pounds. It is certainly not that! I would love to buy a new tow truck but financially I can’t afford a trailer and new tow vehicle. 100% of the time you pick out your trailer first and then make sure you buy a truck to tow it. I did it wrong. But I still want to enjoy camping. So we shall see….
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Old 06-27-2021, 05:10 PM   #5
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brwarrior - that tongue weights seems high. I’ll admit I’m not a pro but that’s equal to roughly 20% tongue weight to trailer weight. I was always told to keep it between 10-15%. I’m not saying you’re wrong. That is just news to me. Does your trailer tow comfortably? What do you tow with? (Not trying to be mean, just trying to learn.)
Andy
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Old 06-27-2021, 11:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by McMullap View Post
Hey Happy Campers,
Iíve been pondering campers for years. My wife and I have looked at everything. We have a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with the Hemi V8. Towing capacity is huge at 7,200 pounds. However, payload is everyoneís enemy. I have a crappy 1,050 to work with. We considered an Airstream but would need to upgrade our Tow Vehicle which drastically increases the costs needed to start camping. We also looked at the Jayco X19H but the tongue weight was cutting it too close. Plus, we would like to travel out West and hybrids are not the safest in bear country. People were reporting 500-650 pounds on the X19H. With a family of four, I just was not comfortable. The empty hitch weight of the 174 BH is lower than most bunk trailers Iíve seen. Dry is 300#. Iím well aware that batteries, propane, WDH and cargo increases the hitch weight. I also know that a trip to the scales is the best way to get an accurate weight. However, Iíd like to hear from fellow owners about their hitch weight. I donít want to buy a trailer, hit the scales and find out Iím over my payload. Can anyone with a 174 share their measured hitch weight? Let me know if you have empty or full tanks. Iím already considering removing the AGM batteries for lithium to reduce weight. Any other thoughts?
Thanks! Andy
Our previous RAM 1500 had about the same payload that your Jeep has. We towed a 195RB Baja for 5 years with it. With dual Group 24 batteries, full 30lb propane tank, ~10 gallons fresh water and everything we loaded in for a couple week long trip our tongue weight would be ~450-470 and loaded trailer weight was just over 3700. That's about 12-13% tongue weight.

You do need to be careful about loading on these smaller single-axle trailers. They don't have much cargo capacity - ours was 735 as delivered and we used pretty much every bit of that every time we were out. You might consider investing in a Sherline tongue weight scale for ~$125. This will allow you to easily see how different loading configurations will affect the tongue weight without having to run it over the CAT scale.

I would also recommend the Andersen No-Sway hitch which is what we used on our 195RB. It's about the lightest WDH I've seen at ~55lb. It worked very well for us. Given our experience with a similarly payload-challenged tow vehicle I think the 174BH will work fine for you.
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Old 06-28-2021, 02:28 PM   #7
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*snip*

I would also recommend the Andersen No-Sway hitch which is what we used on our 195RB. It's about the lightest WDH I've seen at ~55lb. It worked very well for us. Given our experience with a similarly payload-challenged tow vehicle I think the 174BH will work fine for you.
I whole heartedly agree with this!

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Old 06-29-2021, 09:46 PM   #8
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I would also recommend the Andersen No-Sway hitch which is what we used on our 195RB. It's about the lightest WDH I've seen at ~55lb. It worked very well for us. Given our experience with a similarly payload-challenged tow vehicle I think the 174BH will work fine for you.
Plus one on this!!!

We have a 2019 174BH, we tow with a 2015 Mercedes ML350 4matic. Based on internet data, I was using a 7200lbs towing capacity, a 1532 payload, and Tongue weight of 720(with a WDH). Based on my sticker, I have the same 1080 payload you do on the sticker. BUT, the GVWR on the sticker says 6283 lb

For the previous year, I towed it with just a hitch and sway bar and have had zero issue. I do drive very cautiously. But with a 4000 mile trip planned, I bought an Andersen WDH just for an added level of security and safety. So this trip was more to take it out just to see how it worked before hooking up the morning of and trying to take off on a long trip and finding an issue. Unfortunately, the CAT scale I went to was covered with homeless people, so I just did a quick weight and left. I wanted to do a couple runs across the scale, but decided against it, I will do it again later at a different scale.

So for todays run, I had a dry camper, tanks are all empty, I did just fill both of my 20lb propane tanks which are on the tongue. No battery, clothes, food, or water was in the trailer, and only my son and I in the vehicle, normally, we would have my wife in there as well.

The scale gave me these numbers:
Steer 2480 LB
Drive 3160 LB
Trailer 3160 LB
Total Axle 8800 LB

My Sticker shows these numbers
Front GAWR is 3086
Rear GAWR is 3527
and GVWR is 6283

Based on the scale numbers I am fine.

So before the weight nazi's start attacking, I know this is not the weights I should use since I am missing so much stuff that I would normally have in the trailer. I more did this to get out and try driving with the WDH installed to see how it did.

Back to the original topic. With the Andersen, there was ZERO noise, not a single pop, I drove about 50 miles round trip, part highway, part interstate, part 2 lane roads. I was very happy with the performance of the hitch. There were semi's around me, not much wind, but there was a nice breeze today. It handled fine, it did seem to bounce a bit more with the WDH than when it was just connected with a ball and sway bar. I can also say the squat on the back of my vehicle is a fraction of what it used to be. When I first got the WDH, I measured the height of my receiver hitch then sat the trailer on it, then did the same after the WDH was installed and the drop was about 2.5 inches less if I recall correctly.

But based on your vehicle, you should be fine towing a 174BH, and if you get an Andersen WDH, you will be in a better place.

One other key to the Andersens. Most WDHs add about 100lbs to the tongue weight, this one is about half that at about 53 lbs.
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Old 06-29-2021, 10:03 PM   #9
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brwarrior - that tongue weights seems high. Iíll admit Iím not a pro but thatís equal to roughly 20% tongue weight to trailer weight. I was always told to keep it between 10-15%. Iím not saying youíre wrong. That is just news to me. Does your trailer tow comfortably? What do you tow with? (Not trying to be mean, just trying to learn.)
Andy
Trailer tows fine for a single axle. I had a tandem axle popup toy hauler before that towed awesome. I had dual batteries which is over 100 lbs but have since dropped to a single LIFEPO4 under the bed. Yes it was a very high tongue. 18%, IIRC. I scaled at 3760 on a CAT scale. I'm guessing I dropped 80-100lbs off the tongue but still need to re-weigh. With the single axle and its location and a 30 gallon water tank under the bed the tongue can get heavy fast with under bed cargo.
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Old 06-29-2021, 10:08 PM   #10
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Also forgot to mention I toy with a 2017 F150 super cab (not crew) short bed (6.5') 4x4 XLT 3.5L EcoBoost Maxtor (like 11,500 or so). Cargo was factory 1800+. Pulls like a freight train. Downhill compression breaking leaves a bit to be desired. I'm in California and wouldn't want to tow anywhere near 10,000 because of the downhill. My popup was heavier at like 5000 lb and pushed me down Town Pass (9%) west out of Death Valley. I can't imagine double that. [emoji51]
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:20 AM   #11
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My "14 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland shows 1050 combined weight of contents and hitch on the sticker.
Here is what I have:
Tongue weight measured at scales not attached 476 - includes Andersen hitch chains, full propane, loaded 105RB with about 5 gallons water, 2 or 3 in the toilet to prime it and road ready.
Add about 20 pounds for hitch parts attached to car.
This leaves us 500 pounds in car but we rarely (2 of us) come anywhere near that.
Using the Andersen hitch has reduced sway to zero and is about half the weight of other hitches. Ease of use and sway control were my primary reasons to buy but it is nice to reduce tongue weight.

With 4 in the car you would be closer to your limit but not above it if your results are anywhere near me.
After over 10K of towing including several trips through the Rockies the V6 is a little small but never failed. We are thinking of upgrading to a V8 for better passing, merging and some newer technology.
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:28 AM   #12
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Estimate the tongue weight by: GVWR * 0.12
I’m not sure what the “Max Tow”, “Tows Up To” or whatever you want to call it is telling me. In my limited experience for a bumper-pull the rear axle is maxed out at about half that number.
Maybe it’s useful if you want to tow a cotton wagon.
JMHO
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:35 AM   #13
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First thing is to ignore "dry weight". It doesn't even factor in real world towing. Assuming you max out the GVWR of the trailer at 3950#, your loaded tongue weight will be around 513# (13% of 3950#). This is just for pre-calculation. CAT scale is best, or get a tongue scale. Most likely you'll even be a little under this. Realistically you'll have a little less than 500# left for your stuff in the Jeep. Unless you have a family of 4 and need to carry a lot of toys and bikes, you'll be fine.
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Old 06-30-2021, 08:53 AM   #14
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DocBrown - Ha! That’s why I’m worried. We have a family of four and hope to bring along some toys/bikes/extra water/etc. we also have a 70 pound Golden Retriever. Hence, the reason why I’m worried. But thank you.
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:31 AM   #15
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Since you have the tow vehicle, load it up and hit a scale and see what you have to work with. Remember kids get bigger. What squeaks by this year may not work next year.
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:47 AM   #16
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I obviously think my payload is not ideal. The Grand Cherokee has a wonderful towing capacity but the payload is awful. I was so excited ordering the V8 to increase its capabilities. The dealer said, expect 1,400-1,500 pounds. Wrong! I stopped at a Ford dealership yesterday and they actually received a Ranger 4x4 SuperCrew Lariat with Tow Package that same morning. The tow capacity is 7,500 (300 more than my Jeep) and the payload is 1,560 (I looked at the sticker in the truck which is 500+ pounds more than my Jeep. I’m thinking about switching vehicles. Ideally I’d love a 30ft Airstream Bunk and 3/4 Ton truck but I work for the Air Force and I simply can’t afford it. I was able to pull some massive strings on the Jeep and got a great deal on it. I would actually not lose any money switching and going to the Ranger (actually save a few thousand dollars). Thoughts on towing capabilities of the Jeep Grand Cherokee vs the Ranger? Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2021, 11:12 AM   #17
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Work backward.

How much does your family of 4 weigh? Generally speaking, you'll have around 700 lbs of occupants and cargo for a family of 4. But, this can vary. Are you Jack Sprat or are you a retired NFL offensive lineman? Everyone's situation is different, but it would look similar to this:
  • Parents: 350
  • Two Kids: 150
  • Bags, duffels, games, gear, electronics, food, drink, clothes, dogs/pets, and other gear in and on the TV: 100
  • Additions to the TV: lights, bigger wheels/tires, stereo equipment, WDH, bed liners, lift kits, airbags, roof racks: 50
  • Tools, wood, bikes, leveling blocks, and other recreational items: 50
SUVs are notorious for collecting gear and it adds up pretty fast. So, 600 - 1000 lbs is a typical range and 700-800 lbs is pretty common. It's exceedingly difficult to get much under 600 lbs, unless you're really tiny people.

1,050 - 700 = 350 lbs to accommodate your trailer (note I already tossed the WDH in above).

Single-axle trailers will be a bit tongue heavy, so I'd budget 12.5 - 14% of the trailer's weight onto your TV: 350/.125 = 2,800 lbs.

You are looking for trailers with a GVWR of 2,800 lbs or less in this example. Note that I said GVWR and not dry weight. Ignore dry weights. Anything on a single axle will be at GVWR when rolling down the road.
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