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Hello All,

We are considering a travel trailer that has a weight (GVWR ~ 3900 lbs) that should be comfortable for the Ascent to tow, but the tongue weight (465-495 lbs) approaches the Ascent's limits, if I understand all this correctly (this would be our first venture towing something heavier than a pop-up, which we did with our Outback). I noticed this hitch (Ascent EcoHitch; 2018-2020 Subaru Ascent EcoHitch) online, which cites a tongue weight of 750 lbs. That makes it sound like this could alleviate our concerns about tongue weight with this trailer, but is this true? Does anyone have experience with this hitch?
Thanks for any guidance. We really want to stick with a mid-size SUV, and ideally the Ascent, if possible!
 

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The hitch in this case does not define max tongue weight. It's the vehicle itself that has this 500 Lb limit. So regardless of which hitch you install (note factory hitch is best) the Ascent is rated for a max of 500 Lbs tongue weight and no more.
 

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Yeah. That hitch may be rated for 750lb but not the Ascent you'll be attaching it to. The Ascent max is 500lb.

And, that hitch, though it is better than others that mount only to the bumper bar mounting bolts, it does mount differently than the factory hitch, which mounts only to the longitudinal structural channels of the body. The general consensus here is that the factory hitch is superior to any of the aftermarket hitches we've seen, and preserves the warranty and safety of the vehicle.
 

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Agreed with the above. The 500lb rating on the Ascent is a vehicle rating so it’s not going to change by adding a different receiver. Also you’ll have to be very careful how you load a trailer with that kind of tongue weight. Get a tongue scale to verify before you hook it up. Don’t forget to include the weight of your hitch (the part the ball attaches to) as some of them can be rather heavy and add tongue weight.
 

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^^^Wow. That looks pretty cool. As Robert.Mauro is wont to say, "It's physics!"

+/- 5% so best to stay 5% under limits, 250 and 25lb respectively. Unfortunately, it can't tell you what you have until you drive around enough for it to make the determinations. IDK how much driving that takes.
 

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Hello All,

We are considering a travel trailer that has a weight (GVWR ~ 3900 lbs) that should be comfortable for the Ascent to tow, but the tongue weight (465-495 lbs) approaches the Ascent's limits, if I understand all this correctly (this would be our first venture towing something heavier than a pop-up, which we did with our Outback). I noticed this hitch (Ascent EcoHitch; 2018-2020 Subaru Ascent EcoHitch) online, which cites a tongue weight of 750 lbs. That makes it sound like this could alleviate our concerns about tongue weight with this trailer, but is this true? Does anyone have experience with this hitch?
Thanks for any guidance. We really want to stick with a mid-size SUV, and ideally the Ascent, if possible!
no problem for Mike Greenstein who effortlessly drags his 2006 Buick down 48th Street in New York City -- after reminding the guy behind the wheel to take his foot off the brake. tongue weight here considerably more than 500lbs.:devilish:
3908

3909
 

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Does anyone have any experience with this...https://www.curtmfg.com/betterweigh
Last year a lot of people tested a lot of these different "tongue weight" gauges. It seems most were spotty at best and the margin of error was too high to trust. Even the ones built into the drop receiver seemed to vary +/- 40lbs!

I think the only reasonable one was an actual scale that went under the prop of your trailer and weighed it there. So more accurate, but not as convenient. I think it was $100+ too.
 

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This is what I use. I checked and the link is still active on May 19, 2020.

Medical Heavy Weight Floor Scale: Digital Easy Read and High Capacity Health, Fitness and Physician Portable Scale with Battery and AC Adapter - Pound and Kilogram Settings - 550 lb / 249 Kg Limit by Patient Aid

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BW54Z79/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  1. I laid a piece of plywood counter top, that I use as a cutting board in basement, on the ground and measured to bottom of coupler with the trailer level; 16”
  2. The scale thickness is just barely shy of 2”, 10 Lynx levels are 10.5” and a 4x4 of treated lumber is 3.5” x 3.5” 12.5” + 3.5” = 16”.
  3. The 10 Lynx Levelers and the piece of 4x4 treated post, used as risers, weighed 11.8 lb.
Note: I really didn’t need the weight of the items used as risers because the scale does have a Tare feature, but I didn’t find that out until AFTER I was done. Head-slap, Duh!

The photo shows how I set it up. The scale is not resting on the gravel. See the note above. Note that the weight is taken at the ball coupler, not the hand-cranked leveler.
 

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Hello All,

We are considering a travel trailer that has a weight (GVWR ~ 3900 lbs) that should be comfortable for the Ascent to tow, but the tongue weight (465-495 lbs) approaches the Ascent's limits, if I understand all this correctly (this would be our first venture towing something heavier than a pop-up, which we did with our Outback). I noticed this hitch (Ascent EcoHitch; 2018-2020 Subaru Ascent EcoHitch) online, which cites a tongue weight of 750 lbs. That makes it sound like this could alleviate our concerns about tongue weight with this trailer, but is this true? Does anyone have experience with this hitch?
Thanks for any guidance. We really want to stick with a mid-size SUV, and ideally the Ascent, if possible!
If the final tongue weight loaded with all your cargo was 465-495 lbs, then you should be ok, but if the dry tongue weight is that much, you're starting out too front heavy.

In my experience researching travel trailers, this is a common problem. Some manufacturers poorly design them to be too front-heavy even when unloaded (dry). You would think that travel trailers in the 3000-4500 lb dry weight class would be aimed at tow vehicles with moderate weight hauling capabilities such as the Ascent, and yet their designs often rule out many such vehicles simply because of a heavy dry tongue weight. Poor engineering. Properly positioning the axle or better component weight distribution during the design phase would have prevented this. The use of CAD systems could have predicted and resolved this. Instead, they often use a common chassis for many similar models and then just hope the weights come out acceptable after they slap them together. With the exception of a few manufacturers, travel trailer design is not particularly high tech as it is for cars and aircraft.

They should be carefully designing trailers with a final tongue weight that falls within 9-14% of the weight of the trailer and its expected cargo. Trailers that have internal cargo compartments and lp tanks in front of the axle should start out with a dry tongue weight at the low end. So, for such a trailer with a gross dry weight (GDW) of say 3500 lbs, the dry tongue weight should ideally be around 10% or 350 lbs. This way you could safely tow it dry. Then, once you add all your cargo, you should still have sufficient reserve. Worst case, if you fully loaded the trailer up to its GVWR of say 4500 lbs and you added up to 150 lbs more tongue weight, you'd still be within the 500 lb tongue weight limit of the Ascent and stay well within the 9-14% recommended towing tongue weight which in this case would be 405-630 lbs. You always have to stay within both the maximum tongue of the tow vehicle and the 9-14% tongue weight of the loaded trailer, ideally within a good margin of safety for both. Yet I typically see many trailers that have cargo and lp tanks up front with way too high dry tongue weights leaving too little reserve for cargo. Simply a poor design.

If you really like this trailer, you could possibly distribute the cargo toward the back to try to lighten the tongue weight. Some people go as far as to partially fill one of the water tanks to try to solve this. But you're better off trying to find a better designed trailer with an acceptable initial dry tongue weight. I find that with most trailers the dry tongue weight will get considerably heavier once you add your cargo. This is because the LP tanks are usually located up front as well as the internal cargo compartments.

The Ascent is not an ideal tow vehicle. It has better towing specs than many vehicles in its class, but finding a suitable travel trailer for it that you may like is not easy due to the weight limitations.
 

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Hello All,

We are considering a travel trailer that has a weight (GVWR ~ 3900 lbs) that should be comfortable for the Ascent to tow, but the tongue weight (465-495 lbs) approaches the Ascent's limits, if I understand all this correctly (this would be our first venture towing something heavier than a pop-up, which we did with our Outback). I noticed this hitch (Ascent EcoHitch; 2018-2020 Subaru Ascent EcoHitch) online, which cites a tongue weight of 750 lbs. That makes it sound like this could alleviate our concerns about tongue weight with this trailer, but is this true? Does anyone have experience with this hitch?
Thanks for any guidance. We really want to stick with a mid-size SUV, and ideally the Ascent, if possible!
Yeah. That hitch may be rated for 750lb but not the Ascent you'll be attaching it to. The Ascent max is 500lb.

And, that hitch, though it is better than others that mount only to the bumper bar mounting bolts, it does mount differently than the factory hitch, which mounts only to the longitudinal structural channels of the body. The general consensus here is that the factory hitch is superior to any of the aftermarket hitches we've seen, and preserves the warranty and safety of the vehicle.
Some place, in their manual, it corrects their marketing figures by stating that the actual maximum tongue weight and tow load is determined by the vehicle's max ratings, or, in other words, as @Merope said, 500 pounds and 5,000 pounds respectively.

Without vehicle modifications, including a government entity or approved modification shop recertifying the vehicle, the limits are always the lesser of (a) the manufacturer ratings or (b) the equipment ratings - and never the greater number(s).

Merope covered all of my thoughts on the hitch design as well - and, one additional note is that the OEM hitch comes with 4 pin and 7 pin connectors and brake controller pig tail (remember, no matter what state laws are, you're required to have trailer brakes on all trailers that are 1,000 pounds or higher because of manufacturer requirements).
 
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