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Old 04-15-2024, 01:13 PM   #1
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What is it with X17Z tongue weight?

I have been struggling trying to reduce the tongue weight of my 2021 X17Z. It is just plainly too high.
So, I finally did a simple exercise with the numbers:
The dry weight is 3400 lbs with a dry tongue weight of 445 lbs.
Add gas tanks (75 lbs) and battery (44 lbs), and you end up with 3530 lbs total weight and (taking into account the locations) 555 lbs tongue weight.
That's 16% of total weight and we haven't yet put any personal stuff into the camper. By the way, that personal stuff isn't likely to improve the ratio, since there isn't much space behind the axle.
It seems to me that the axle of the X17Z should really have been moved a little further forward. With three standard heavy pieces (gas tanks, battery, and spare tire) all the way up front, there doesn't seem to be anything one can do about this.
I would really like to stay below 500 lbs, in consideration of my TV. Any thoughts? I don't really want to leave my spare tire at home, or one of the gas tanks. And a lithium battery doesn't really do enough, either.
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Old 04-17-2024, 12:31 AM   #2
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A heavy tongue is a stable trailer. less tongue weight will sway at lower speeds and with less external influence (cross winds, truck wakes, sudden maneuvers, etc).

If you really want to shift weight, relocate the spare, battery, fuel tanks, etc to the rear or just load all your personal gear against the back wall. stack some bottled water back there.

What's your TV rated for as far as tongue weight goes?
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Old 04-17-2024, 06:28 AM   #3
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Yes, a heavy tongue stabilizes the trailer, but I would like to aim for 11 or 12%, not 16%.
Relocating gas tanks or battery does not really work. I am looking at the spare, but gas lines and drain faucets might get in the way. There is no structural support in the rear wall.

Yes, I am trying to back load a cool chest and other items, but the amount of space behind the axle is limited.
And the ultimate driver here is the TV's tongue weight limit: 500 lbs. Towing limit is 5000 lbs.
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Old 04-17-2024, 07:55 AM   #4
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Just a couple thoughts. First what is the weight limit on the rear bumper. My Hummingbird is 100 pounds and my spare is there. Then in your normal operations do you really need two 20 pound propane tanks. Perhaps one could be taken off, or change to two 10 pound ones. While not as much gas you have two tanks so when one runs dry at 2AM you just shift tanks and go back to bed. Do a refill later in the day.

Also suggest doing the percentages based on loaded weight. The only time a trailer hits the road at Dry Weight is from the factory.
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Old 04-17-2024, 05:47 PM   #5
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Instead of relying on calculations why not weight the rig including axle only, total weight of axle and tongue off vehicle to find where you really are.

You didn't post your tow vehicle or what limits that brings into the picture.

As said before, 16% is above average but does help make for a nicer tow if you can carry the load on your hitch.
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Old 04-18-2024, 11:45 AM   #6
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TV tongue weight limit also means the mfr thinks it's perfectly fine for the average (Neanderthal) owner to do that, not that it is the breaking point of the vehicle. Even if your added weight isn't behind the axle to subtract from the tongue, over the axle at least doesn't add to it. Just load what you can over/behind the axle and don't get upset about it. You're still well within safety margins.
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Old 04-18-2024, 12:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold R View Post
I have been struggling trying to reduce the tongue weight of my 2021 X17Z. It is just plainly too high.
So, I finally did a simple exercise with the numbers:
The dry weight is 3400 lbs with a dry tongue weight of 445 lbs.
Add gas tanks (75 lbs) and battery (44 lbs), and you end up with 3530 lbs total weight and (taking into account the locations) 555 lbs tongue weight.
That's 16% of total weight and we haven't yet put any personal stuff into the camper. By the way, that personal stuff isn't likely to improve the ratio, since there isn't much space behind the axle.
It seems to me that the axle of the X17Z should really have been moved a little further forward. With three standard heavy pieces (gas tanks, battery, and spare tire) all the way up front, there doesn't seem to be anything one can do about this.
I would really like to stay below 500 lbs, in consideration of my TV. Any thoughts? I don't really want to leave my spare tire at home, or one of the gas tanks. And a lithium battery doesn't really do enough, either.
I donít want to come across negative just asking- is 95 lbs of tongue weight make that big of a difference in how the tow vehicle performs? Sounds like you are running lean as it is.
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Old 04-18-2024, 01:09 PM   #8
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Also, if not using one, add a WDH. Although it doesn't reduce the actual tongue weight it can redistribute weight to the front TV and to the TT axle. This can keep all your axles within the GAWR, and the 'virtual' tongue weight (by 2-pass CAT calculation) will be lower.

Go with a lighter weight option for the hitch though as it adds more weight to the overall equation.
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Old 05-01-2024, 12:45 PM   #9
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This post has started me thinking. We have the X17Z (2017) and I see all the same concerns. Our tow vehicle is likely similar (2019 Explorer). We use a WDH and have no trouble levelling for travel, no trouble handling, but have never actually done all the math or checked the weights.

Should I be thinking deeper into this, or blissfully carrying on? Relocating the battery or the propane seems pretty involved. I toyed with relocating the spare for other reasons (the winch failed, and the space was obstructing access to the in-line fuse, but I've dealt with those problems).


Edit - note to OP: by chance is your water tank full (hot or fresh), or do you have a lot of beer stored in the forward under-compartment?
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Old 05-01-2024, 12:52 PM   #10
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I have a different Jayco trailer, but my tongue weight is very close to the max.
1) put my spare tire on the rear bumper. 2) changed over to a lithium battery, and (3) I have the two propane tanks, but I only keep one filled. The only time both are filled is in the winter. I have never run out of propane yet in the summer.
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Old 05-01-2024, 01:00 PM   #11
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I was near a grain elevator near my house (10miles) and asked, they said bring it over. I took several weights including with and without trailer on my back axle and tongue only. No charge, just nice people who didn't have anything to do in the off season. But I saw my percentage was 14% tongue. When I added a second tank to use with my propane fire ring I also invested in lithium and moved it under the bed and still have great towing results with my Andersen hitch.

If you are not having sway, light steering, etc. you are probably good but weight at least the tongue vs. whole trailer to make sure your in the 2 to 15 % range is worth it.
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Old 05-01-2024, 02:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold R View Post
I have been struggling trying to reduce the tongue weight of my 2021 X17Z. It is just plainly too high.
So, I finally did a simple exercise with the numbers:
The dry weight is 3400 lbs with a dry tongue weight of 445 lbs.
Add gas tanks (75 lbs) and battery (44 lbs), and you end up with 3530 lbs total weight and (taking into account the locations) 555 lbs tongue weight.
That's 16% of total weight and we haven't yet put any personal stuff into the camper. By the way, that personal stuff isn't likely to improve the ratio, since there isn't much space behind the axle.
It seems to me that the axle of the X17Z should really have been moved a little further forward. With three standard heavy pieces (gas tanks, battery, and spare tire) all the way up front, there doesn't seem to be anything one can do about this.
I would really like to stay below 500 lbs, in consideration of my TV. Any thoughts? I don't really want to leave my spare tire at home, or one of the gas tanks. And a lithium battery doesn't really do enough, either.
My trailer is almost identical to yours and I've struggled with the same problem. I put my spare tire on the back; it rests on the bumper and is bolted through the puny rear wall just so it doesn't fall off. I have an access panel in my rear wall near the converter and it was easy to get in there and use a piece of plywood as sort of a washer where the bolt goes through to hold the tire in place; there's lots of room in there. Otherwise the bolt would pull through the foam wall. My tire is 13" and it just fits between the bumper and the bed when it folds down. I'm not sure if a 14" (which is probably what you have) will fit. I have since swapped out my original 13" tires with some much more robust 14" ones but I use one of the old wheels for the spare.

Here's the most important thing. You'll find that the lower your tongue is, the more it weighs. Change your receiver to one with a rise in it 'till your trailer is level when everything is loaded and you're hooked up. This is the height your coupler should be when you're measuring your tongue weight--it makes a big difference!

What are you using for a tow vehicle? Does it have any extra capacity? These campers really can't hold very much. Put all your heavy stuff into the TV. You could put the spare tire in the TV also. Keep all the heavy stuff as far forward as possible in the TV so it doesn't droop.

I'm going to assume your battery is heavy. Put it in the TV when you travel and use a small motorcycle or lawn tractor battery in the camper just to keep things going and provide power for your breakaway brakes. During normal operation that little battery should be kept charged through your seven pin connector.

Another thing you could do is move one of your propane tanks into the trailer--strap it to the back wall.

People have mentioned a weight distribution hitch. Be aware that many SUVs can't use them. I guess the hitch or frame isn't strong enough to take the stress.

Sorry to be so long winded...hope some of this helps!
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Old 05-01-2024, 03:22 PM   #13
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I had the same issue with my 2024 Jayco White Hawk. I did a lot of research trying to match the trailer to my truck but the advertised tongue weight did not match the actual tongue weight. I didn't think I would have that issue since the campers overall dry weight was well within the limits for my truck. I also felt like the rear axles were too far back on the camper. I ended up with a thousand pounds of tongue weight determined with a scale at a trailer hitch business. I use a load distributing hitch but ended up installing Timbrens above the rear axle. Now the truck rides level and we adjusted the hitch to match the suspension upgrade. The truck has no problem pulling the trailer but initially without the suspension upgrade I had excessive front tire wear. I don't know if they make Timbrens for your vehicle but I would highly recommend them.
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Old 05-01-2024, 06:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AncasterDuo View Post
This post has started me thinking. We have the X17Z (2017) and I see all the same concerns. Our tow vehicle is likely similar (2019 Explorer). We use a WDH and have no trouble levelling for travel, no trouble handling, but have never actually done all the math or checked the weights.

Should I be thinking deeper into this, or blissfully carrying on? Relocating the battery or the propane seems pretty involved. I toyed with relocating the spare for other reasons (the winch failed, and the space was obstructing access to the in-line fuse, but I've dealt with those problems).


Edit - note to OP: by chance is your water tank full (hot or fresh), or do you have a lot of beer stored in the forward under-compartment?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifly1956 View Post
I have a different Jayco trailer, but my tongue weight is very close to the max.
1) put my spare tire on the rear bumper. 2) changed over to a lithium battery, and (3) I have the two propane tanks, but I only keep one filled. The only time both are filled is in the winter. I have never run out of propane yet in the summer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerR View Post
Instead of relying on calculations why not weight the rig including axle only, total weight of axle and tongue off vehicle to find where you really are.

You didn't post your tow vehicle or what limits that brings into the picture.

As said before, 16% is above average but does help make for a nicer tow if you can carry the load on your hitch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bankr63 View Post
Also, if not using one, add a WDH. Although it doesn't reduce the actual tongue weight it can redistribute weight to the front TV and to the TT axle. This can keep all your axles within the GAWR, and the 'virtual' tongue weight (by 2-pass CAT calculation) will be lower.

Go with a lighter weight option for the hitch though as it adds more weight to the overall equation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaacs View Post
My trailer is almost identical to yours and I've struggled with the same problem. I put my spare tire on the back; it rests on the bumper and is bolted through the puny rear wall just so it doesn't fall off. I have an access panel in my rear wall near the converter and it was easy to get in there and use a piece of plywood as sort of a washer where the bolt goes through to hold the tire in place; there's lots of room in there. Otherwise the bolt would pull through the foam wall. My tire is 13" and it just fits between the bumper and the bed when it folds down. I'm not sure if a 14" (which is probably what you have) will fit. I have since swapped out my original 13" tires with some much more robust 14" ones but I use one of the old wheels for the spare.

Here's the most important thing. You'll find that the lower your tongue is, the more it weighs. Change your receiver to one with a rise in it 'till your trailer is level when everything is loaded and you're hooked up. This is the height your coupler should be when you're measuring your tongue weight--it makes a big difference!

What are you using for a tow vehicle? Does it have any extra capacity? These campers really can't hold very much. Put all your heavy stuff into the TV. You could put the spare tire in the TV also. Keep all the heavy stuff as far forward as possible in the TV so it doesn't droop.

I'm going to assume your battery is heavy. Put it in the TV when you travel and use a small motorcycle or lawn tractor battery in the camper just to keep things going and provide power for your breakaway brakes. During normal operation that little battery should be kept charged through your seven pin connector.

Another thing you could do is move one of your propane tanks into the trailer--strap it to the back wall.

People have mentioned a weight distribution hitch. Be aware that many SUVs can't use them. I guess the hitch or frame isn't strong enough to take the stress.

Sorry to be so long winded...hope some of this helps!

Here is an answer to many suggestions and questions.
My TV is a Subaru Ascent. 5000 lbs towing capacity, 500 lbs tongue weight limit. A WDH is a no-no for this vehicle - and doesn't need it.
I have a hitch scale and it registers something like 550 lbs.



I had installed a holder for stinky slinky (5" vinyl post sleeve) on the rear bumper, which makes it impossible to locate the spare there. Aside from that, the 14" spare probably doesn't fit, and I am hesitant about the strength of the bumper and of the rear wall.
My son suggested a BAL device to relocate the spare, either a hide-a-spare or retract-a-spare (which btw is similar to what comes standard with the Jayco, but upfront). That doesn't work for two reasons: not enough clearance, since the bottom is more or less flush with the bottom of the frame, and the location - it couldn't go behind the axle, since the steps are in the way, and in front of the axle I would gain some 20 lbs, but loose that by the extra weight of the BAL device.
Putting the spare in the TV seems rather a hassle.

I considered a lithium battery, but would have to replace the converter and I was warned against it, since that battery might drain the TV battery because of its higher charging voltage.
Maybe leaving one gas tank at home (I don't think you are supposed to keep them in the trailer). Or leaving one empty - yes, I don't really need two.
I have a fairly heavy canopy which I will stow upright, strapped against the rear wall, together with a rolled up mattress topper.
And for the rest, the X17Z has always towed very well and stable, so I assume that a little over the manufacturer's recommended tongue weight limit will work just fine - which got the blessing of my TV's mechanic.



Thank you all!
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