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Old 12-10-2013, 10:50 AM   #15
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Most Definitely! This is how I have managed to adjust weight and tow with my Touareg. Only a full size spare and some light weight bulky items go in the car. Generator in a sealed tub, propane stove and chairs go in the back of the trailer. Luckily the local co-op only charges $1 for multiple weigh ins on the truck scale.
That will be our strategy too. We don't carry a tone of stuff even in the Suburban. Our on the road load is:

- 2 adults for 300 pounds
- 1 dog for 20 pounds
- lawn chairs for 20 pounds
- 2 bins for the hookup, like water hose, filter, mats, rags. call it 75 pounds
- Misc stuff like maps, 20 pounds
TOTAL: 435 pounds
I think 50 pounds of that can be put in the trailer. That would get the car down to 385 pounds before the tongue and hitch.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:04 AM   #16
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The brake argument is somewhat incomplete.

All vehicles are designed to come to a safe, controlled stop from their top speed, which is far higher than your typical towing speed.

For example, a Porsche Cayenne has a top speed of over 160mph. Bringing a trailer to a safe, controlled stop from 60mph, even without trailer brakes, should not be much of an issue.

The top speed of a Honda Odyssey is close to 120mph, with the brakes to match. The top speed of a Chrysler 300 is 155mph, same applies.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:47 AM   #17
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My purpose for questioning tongue weight is that I am setting up my new TV, a Chrysler 300 S. I will be towing my 2012 Flying Cloud 25. As this is a sedan, I need to budget my payload carefully. I will only have about 1200 pounds to play with. If I could take 100 pounds off the tongue, FOR EXAMPLE, that would be a significant improvement in my payload budget.

Mostly, I am first wondering at first if this tongue weight is overly conservative to cover every conceivable circumstance? That's a common engineering approach. The question might be put like this: Under what circumstances would I want to INCREASE tongue weight, or DECREASE tongue weight? Surely the factory setting can't be "perfect" for ever TV, can it?
You have got hold of the wrong end of things too quickly. You MUST have tongue weight to make the rig stable, then you use a weight distributing hitch to take the load off the tow vehicle.

You now have a rig that is dynamically stable in terms of weight distribution with even load on the front wheels, back wheels and trailer wheels.

CanAm RVs in London Ontario is the specialist in setting up this type of rig. This video shows a Chrysler 300 towing a 34 foot Airstream through a slalom course at 45 MPH.

JAGUAR towing Airstream 300C Towing Airstream Freestar - YouTube

Their formula for setting up a rig is more or less as follows:

Very strong and rigid hitch receiver, set up so the tow ball is as close to the back bumper as you can get. A standard brand receiver can be modified by welding to turn it from an I shape to an H or K.

Good name brand weight distributing hitch with sway control. Do not go too heavy on the spring bars, 500 or 600 pound should be about right for your trailer.

Good brake controller

1 size smaller tires for better gearing and more stability. If your car came with 70 series tires get the same size but 60 series. If you have 60s, get 50.

Transmission cooler

Then set up the whole rig so the tow vehicle and trailer are level and weight is evenly distributed. This can take several trips to the weigh scale, weighing front axle, rear axle and trailer separately. But once you have it set up you merely have to duplicate the same settings next time you hook up.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:48 AM   #18
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In case I wasn't clear... you need 10% tongue weight then the spring bars lift up the back of the car.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:01 PM   #19
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You MUST have tongue weight to make the rig stable,
--------------------
How much?
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:02 PM   #20
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"In driving experiments with cars pulling trailers, the trailer c.g. position was varied by moving its load. Too much rear loading (or too little tongue weight) resulted in pendulum motions and instability. Experiments carried out and video recorded by Chief Engineer Olle Nordström (then my associate) at the VTI in Sweden.


Unstable caravan-auto jack-knife. Test by Olle Nordström. - YouTube
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:04 PM   #21
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In case I wasn't clear... you need 10% tongue weight then the spring bars lift up the back of the car.
Right. That's the rule of thumb. What I am questioning here is if that rule is too general, and perhaps can be refined on a case by case basis. In short, why not 9% or 7% or 12%?

One of the things we know is that the exact percentage is almost never known when people hookup and go. Maybe it is more, maybe it has been reduced.

I am fully aware of WD hitches - that's not what is in question here. I am thinking out loud to understand why a lower amount of TW won't work.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:07 PM   #22
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"In driving experiments with cars pulling trailers, the trailer c.g. position was varied by moving its load. Too much rear loading (or too little tongue weight) resulted in pendulum motions and instability. Experiments carried out and video recorded by Chief Engineer Olle Nordström (then my associate) at the VTI in Sweden.


Unstable caravan-auto jack-knife. Test by Olle Nordström. - YouTube
Steve,
Excellent. By what amount was that tongue weight reduced from normal?
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:08 PM   #23
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Steve,
Excellent. By what amount was that tongue weight reduced from normal?
Sorry, don't know.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #24
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For clarification here, I am already working with Andy T. on setting up my Chrysler 300. And I have another thread in Tow Vehicles discussing it - Fantasy Tow Vehicle."

Here, I just wanted to explore the idea of tongue weight to fully understand the parameters. Sorry - I didn't make that clear enough. IME, rules of thumb are often left unverified in specific cases.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #25
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Another question is this- are there published tongue weight capacities for vehicles? for instance what is recommended or what is the limit? All I can tell is a Class III, IV, or V hitch dictates the tongue weight. Is tongue weight subtracted from payload? or is it a separate entity/number?
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #26
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I tried searching for the data behind that video and didn't find it. Just casually, it looks like the trailer is actually tipped back off the axle. They might have taken all the weight off? Well, we just don't know. But the video is certainly nasty!
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:18 PM   #27
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Another question is this- are there published tongue weight capacities for vehicles? for instance what is recommended or what is the limit? All I can tell is a Class III, IV, or V hitch dictates the tongue weight. Is tongue weight subtracted from payload? or is it a separate entity/number?
With WD some of the TW is moved to the trailer axle, so it is not all subtracted from the payload. Only the part not moved to the TT is considered payload.
For example:

1000# tongue weight with WD will move 250# to the trailer axles. This means that 750# is considered payload.
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:45 PM   #28
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I assume we have all read the comparison between towing a 34' Airstream with a Chrysler 300 and a Dodge 2500 in the winter 2013 Airstream life? Actual tests of stopping distance and speed through slalom course. Plus a lot of discussion about payload. The author of the article rates the Chrysler 300 as a better tow for the 34' than a Dodge 2500.

Me, I am keeping my Dodge 2500. And if I need to carry something heavy I put it in the back of the truck or the front of the trailer. I rebuilt the drawer under the gaucho so my wife would not break to the bottom with coke, water, tea, and other liquids where she wants to carry them.
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