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Jlighty
07-10-2017, 11:54 AM
Good morning all. I have a couple questions about tongue weight - and I expect that I'm going to pull the trigger quickly (most likely tonight) on a 302 SLE.
I know I can adjust the load plan on the trailer to get to where I want to be for tongue weight - within reason. I was astounded to see the listed tongue weight for the 302SLE of 1025 lbs. I plan on doing local (within 3-4 hours max driving) camping, possibly seasonal. I obviously am having a trailer brake controller added, and a Beefy Reese weight distribution hitch. I'll apologize ahead of time for the lengthy questions...

Questions -

1. Is the tongue weight listed in the brochure calculated at GVWR? Dry Weight? Trailer with full tanks but without loaded gear? Trailer only with fresh water?

2. Doing the math, with My Nissan and 4 passengers, but otherwise empty - I'm at 6487 lbs. I think I'm on the right path here - but could use a little bit of hand holding...
My vehicle is a 2017 Nissan Armada rated at 8500 Tow capacity / 7500 GVWR / 14700 CGVW - 850 Tongue weight. 7500-6487= 1013 available for tongue weight. Is this a problem with the 1025 lb listed tongue weight of the 302 SLE? If I distribute the load correctly, I can reduce the actual tongue weight, and with the WD hitch, I think I'm well in the clear - as long as I don't bust 8500 lbs Tow capacity. With the WD hitch, Nissan says to stay between 10-15% of the weight of the towed vehicle - and I can certainly be sure to do that - 1025 lb listed tongue weight puts me at 14.2% IF I only put 500 pounds in the Trailer (7196 lbs with gear and trailer) - if I load 1000 lbs of gear, it puts me at 8196 pounds, at 12.5%...

3. Regarding Towing capacity - 14700 CVWR-6487 (Actual Nissan weight with gas and passengers) = 8213 available for the total trailer weight before I hit the danger mark for the Nissan's 14700 CVWR - so I'd have to stay under that. That leaves me with 1517 lbs available for gear/tanks (if I need to fill water to go to a place without a hookup - which I don't plan on) - and I don't think there's any way I'm going to load 1500 lbs of stuff. Even with a full 35 gallon fresh water tank at 280 pounds, that leaves me 1237 lbs for just gear. I know I'll be surprised at how much Everything weighs - but I'll pay attention to what I load and develop a weighed load plan. The GVWR for the trailer is 8900 lbs, which is too heavy for me to tow anyways, so that's not a worry for me.

I know the smartest thing to do is to get to some scales, Take weights on the Nissan, Trailer, and combo - unloaded, and then weigh my load as I add stuff to the trailer, and then loaded, get axle weights and combined weights etc... do the math there on tongue weight... I'm not sure about how to figure all that out, but I'll read these forums and get it figured out.
I'm going to have the dealer lift the trailer with their fork lift and they have a tongue weight scale - before I ever hook it up.

Advice, comments, concerns, gripes or complaints?

And THANK you for any and all input.
-Jim

danemayer
07-10-2017, 12:46 PM
Hi Jlighty,

The published tongue weight is very likely the actual weight from an empty prototype of that model. Until you get an actual weight, you should probably plan on 15% of the trailer's GVWR.

If you want help on calculations, visit RV Tow Check (http://fifthwheelst.com/rvtc_calculator.html). David has done a lot of work to build calculators that will give you real answers (even if sometimes disappointing)

Jlighty
07-12-2017, 08:53 AM
Hi Jlighty,

The published tongue weight is very likely the actual weight from an empty prototype of that model. Until you get an actual weight, you should probably plan on 15% of the trailer's GVWR.

If you want help on calculations, visit RV Tow Check (http://fifthwheelst.com/rvtc_calculator.html). David has done a lot of work to build calculators that will give you real answers (even if sometimes disappointing)

Thanks for the response! I've done quite a bit of research in the last couple days and I now know more than I ever thought I'd need about weight distribution. I did pull the trigger on the 302 SLE. Excited to pick it up tonight!

justafordguy
07-13-2017, 03:30 PM
One thing to check is the actual capacity of your factory receiver hitch. Make sure your actual scaled tongue weight (after loaded for camping) is less than the hitch capacity. If the hitch itself is only rated for 850 lbs you will need a heavy duty aftermarket receiver hitch if available.

There should be a sticker like this somewhere on the hitch.

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