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Old 02-09-2024, 06:38 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Waltham
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x17z spare tire relocation

I was just idly wondering whether the spare tire on an X17Z could be moved to the rear bumper. Its location under the hitch frame adds quite a bit to the tongue weight. That's currently around 540 lbs and I would like to get it down to 500.
I remembered that on my pop-ups the spare tire used to be attached to the back side.
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Old 02-10-2024, 08:39 AM   #2
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The issue with the rear bumper is it is not built for the weight. You will need to reinforce the bumper or install a receiver hitch.

One more thing to look closely at, is there enough room to lower the rear bunk, with the tire mounted?

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Old 02-11-2024, 06:44 PM   #3
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Good points, thank you!
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Old 02-12-2024, 06:20 AM   #4
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Sounds like a great idea. My 2017 16XRB has spare tire attached to bracket held on center of rear bumper with two big 4" C brackets. I think it weighs less than 50# and the bumper is rated for 100#. I also put a cover on it and rigged a 1/4" aircraft cable - padlock lock system to keep the spare from being stolen.
It seems you should be able to find a mount kit on-line. Sounds like a really worthy not-too-difficult project. Good luck!
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Old 02-12-2024, 09:53 AM   #5
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Anything can be done with a welder.

As for the weight, keep in mind tongue weight is stability. More is more stable, up to the TV tongue/payload rating. Too little tongue weight/trailer CG too rearward leads to sway which can be catastrophic. It doesn't take a ton of difference either. Conventional wisdom is 10-20% of total trailer weight should be on the tongue (depending on design, capabilities, and desired safety margin). Years ago towing way overweight with a 6x12 enclosed uhaul full of tools, motorcycles, and an apartment behind my little toyota truck it started to sway a bit getting up to speed on the highway (like 45 mph) so I pulled over and reorganized. Just moving a couple toolboxes (full of tools so heavy but small so maybe a couple hundred lb) 2' and some lighter apartment boxes back was enough of a shift in the center of gravity that it was fine in the wake of semis at 70.

When you move the spare, you're not just subtracting it from the tongue, you're adding it to the tail which subtracts from the tongue again. (hypothetically for round numbers, assuming the spare is mounted as far forward of the axle as it will be behind) If your spare and attachment hardware weighs 50lb, you take it off the tongue. that's 50 lbs off the tongue. you then reattach it to the rear bumper. That treats the trailer like a lever and subtracts another 50lb from the tongue. In this model, by moving the spare you're subtracting 100lb from the tongue weight even thought the parts are only 50lb.
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Old 02-12-2024, 10:49 AM   #6
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I think Russell has a valid point about watching weight, especially behind the axel.

Our 16XRB has a bunk mattress, entryway and bathroom behind the axel. I carry probably 30 or so pounds extra in those areas including a tool box, water jugs in the shower, items drying on the shower clothes line. And the black tank is behind the axel.

We tend to carry quite a bit of canned food, clothing, blankets, duffle bags, and other items, 2-3 weeks supply - in front of the axel. Our basement with heavier items and rarely very full grey tank is also in front of the axel. In short, the weight in front of the axel is always significantly greater the the weight behind it.

In six years I have never weighed our rig. We have towed our trailer approximately 50,000 miles without a WD hitch, often for days at 65-70 mph from Michigan to the Front Range. We occasionally experience very mind fishtailing when going down hill or in heavy cross winds. Easing the speed and trailer pull, coasting a few seconds, corrects it and applying the trailer brakes would stop the sway if needed.

The 16' and 17' models are very similar with axels located pretty far to the rear of the trailer. Removing 50# of tongue weight and adding it to the rear weight may give you different towing characteristics. You would have to see what happens and perhaps move some heavier items toward the front as Russell did.

Another factor is your tow vehicle weight, power, and wheelbase. Our Tahoe handles our 3500# trailer with authority. Our previous Trailblazer handled it with whimpering submission.

However, I think your plan is a worthwhile one and any weight differential from tongue to rear could be compensated for by distributing weight within your trailer.
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Old 02-18-2024, 09:00 PM   #7
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Here is my situation.

My X17z is about 4000 lbs.
My TV is a Subaru Ascent, towing capacity 5000 lbs, maximum hitch weight 500 lbs.
It always towes fine. Stable.

However, when I recently weighed the hitch it came in at 560-570 lbs.
The main thing we added was a 60 lbs mattress in the front.

I figured, taking into accounts the levers, removing the tire from the front would take some 40 lbs off the hitch, putting it on the rear another 20.
Alternatively, I could move hoses from under the sofa to the bathroom, and maybe add a cooler. But there isn't a whole lot of space in the rear behind the axle.
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spare tire, tongue weight, x17z

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