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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Scope: This will be a discussion on whether it's possible to resolve the Ascent's 500 lb tongue weight limitation when looking for a typical travel trailer in the 3500-4600 lb Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) class, which resolves to 3800-5000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) when fully loaded. These are often called ultra-lightweight trailers. This covers a wide range of travel trailers models potentially suitable for the Ascent, ones that I consider the best value for the money when compared to the even smaller and lightest class of travel trailers generally under 3500 lbs UVW. (For the sake of this discussion, I'll call these "ultra-ultralights" to distinguish them).

I've started looking for a suitable travel trailer for my Ascent shortly after I purchased it in late 2018. In that time, I've researched virtually every travel trailer available that can potentially be used with the Ascent. To this day, I'm still looking because I haven't yet found one that both suits my requirements while safely remaining within the Ascent towing specifications. Not to say that they don't exist, many do, I just find them unsuitable for my requirements. They either are too small, do not have the floor plan I'm looking for, or have too many compromises. Yet, moving up just a little bit in weight, many more models with far better features become available. I know I'm not alone, reading the many travel trailer threads here, many are looking for the best trailer possible for the Ascent.

When researching these trailers, you'll find that there are serious compromises in the features of ultra-ultralights and that simply moving up to the next higher weight levels often provides you with a lot more for your money. But this comes with potential spec issues.

The good news is that for an SUV its size, the Ascent actually has a decent maximum tow rating of 5000 lbs. I've been able to find many excellent travel trailers that would work within this limitation. Staying within an 80% safety margin, the Ascent can tow 4000 lbs. Judging from others who've reported towing even heavier loads with the Ascent, I would feel comfortable extending that to 4750 lbs. This weight limitation works well with many decent travel trailers when accounting for their UVW weight and all typical cargo. So, I don't feel that the Ascent's maximum tow rating of 5000 lbs. is a major limiting factor when looking for a really nice travel trailer with a good floorplan and reasonable amenities.

Where it all falls apart is the 500 lb tongue weight limitation. For travel trailers in general, this is extremely low and very difficult to work with. This specification alone will rule out a major proportion of travel trailers, especially those that fit within the 3500-4600 UVW class.

Unless you're content with an ultra-ultralight trailer, of which there are admittedly some fine selections, the tendency of trailers in the 3500-4600 UVW class is to have a dry tongue weight of around 400 lbs or greater. Adding one or two full LP tanks to this as well as one or two 12-volt batteries can easily push this near or over 500 lbs, and that's without even beginning to load your cargo. If the tongue weight cannot be practically held below 500 lbs, every such trailer falls right off of the list.

Now, there are a few select travel trailers in the 3500-4600 UVW class that have dry tongue weights below 400 lbs such as the Micro Minnie 2106DS with a specified weight of 360 lbs. This, at least gives you a fighting chance at holding below the 500 lb weight limit. But such trailers are relatively rare. In fact, I just discovered that the 2106DS has been discontinued from the Micro Minnie line, leaving only those with similar floor plans with dry tongue weights in excess of 400 lbs. For example, its replacement, the 2108DS, has a dry tongue weight of 410 lbs.

So, the purpose of this thread is to discuss potential out of the box methods to see if there are any practical solutions where a travel trailer with a dry tongue weight of 400 lbs or greater can work with the Ascent.

Let's assume you want a travel trailer with a tongue weight of 425 lbs, a couple of LP tanks, and one or two 12 V batteries. This is typical. Let's also say that you're going to load around 300-400 lbs of cargo into the trailer above its UVW and that the cargo hold is in the front of the trailer. This is also typical unless you're fortunate to have a model with a rear cargo hold. And let's say the trailer has a typical tank layout such as this:
5725

Again, thinking out of the box, how can this typical trailer with a dry tongue weight of 425 lbs be balanced to maintain a tongue weight of less than 500 lbs.

I'll start the discussion by throwing out a few ideas and their cons:
  • Partially fill one or more water tanks in back of the axle(s)
    • Dead weight taking away from the overall cargo capacity
    • Reduces capacity of the tanks
    • Increases towed weight, decreases towing efficiencies
    • May not provide the required offset
  • Attach dead weight to the chassis in back of the axle (which does not affect tank capacities)
    • Reduces the overall cargo capacity
    • Increases towed weight, decreases towing efficiencies
    • May not provide the required offset
    • May not be able to find a suitable location
  • Moving cargo from the front cargo hold to the back interior rooms
    • Inconvenient and bothersome
    • May damage decor
    • May incapacitate bathroom when on the road
    • May not provide the required offset
    • Cargo hold wasted
  • Move the LP tanks and/or batteries to the back
    • Safety issues
    • Legalities?
    • Modifications necessary
    • May not be able to find a suitable location
  • Replace typical LP tanks with chassis-mounted LP tank mounted behind axle(s)
    • May require professional installation
    • May not be possible due to size and lack of suitable location
As you can see, this is not easy, but there must be a practical solution. If this can be resolved, then many more travel trailers offering better floorplans, more room, better amenities, and better value will be possible for the Ascent.

Let see if we can put our heads together and resolve this. It would be a major breakthrough for everyone wishing to find the best possible travel trailer for the Ascent.
 

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@pro10is , nice framework for discussion. I have started examining appropriate travel trailers, but not as scientifically and haven't gone to see any in-person yet.

That's bad news about the Micro Minnie and seems counter to market since there's only going to be more engine downsizing and hybridization impacting tow capability. The much heralded Kia Telluride has a 5k tow rating but only 350lb tongue weight rating making it useless for a TT.

I would also add that I'd like a 7' width or close to it and à lowish height and aerodynamic front profile.

I'm not sure about the safety of partially filling any of the tanks, especially far rearward. The guy who does pressure washing here uses a very heavy duty dual axle utility trailer with a large poly tank (200g ?) mounted over the rear axle. When the tank is less than full, it's a shifting load (there aren't any interior baffles in the tank). He's told me that he once flipped the trailer going around a corner too fast. Similar flips occur to tanker trailers. Anyone with experience with partially filling rear tank in a TT?
 

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I vote for being able to move the axles, like on many boat trailers.
 

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Please do keep in mind that tongue weight is also important relative to trailer stability, so whatever shifting around is being done is still going to have some finite limits because if there's too little weight on the ball relative to the specific trailer and the "stuff" in it, things can get wonky or even dangerous. The actual engineering design of the trailer comes into play here. Some may perform acceptably toward the lighter end of the tongue weight range for their design and some may be a lot more sensitive and get scary.

There is also this: it's nice that the Ascent can be a great tow vehicle, but if the actual trailer features one wants/needs pushes the limits (and I"m a proponent of always having some safety leeway that's below the specification limits) perhaps choosing the trailer first and then choosing a tow vehicle is the better play for any kind of serious and frequent travel trailer use. There will always be compromises; features that add weight have to be balanced accordingly.

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Merope, moving the axle is an interesting thing but what I mentioned in my first paragraph comes into play. That feature is a lot easier on something like a boat trailer and is there because one is presumably taking a boat trailer of a certain size and needing to make it conform to multiple boats of different sizes -- so being able to move the balance point is part of that customization for a specific boat. I will say that folks who make trailers in Europe...especially horse trailers...have really gotten the design art down really well around matching stability with lower tongue weights because almost every tow vehicle is modest in that geography and they often tow at lower speeds, too(
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
@pro10is , nice framework for discussion. I have started examining appropriate travel trailers, but not as scientifically and haven't gone to see any in-person yet.

That's bad news about the Micro Minnie and seems counter to market since there's only going to be more engine downsizing and hybridization impacting tow capability. The much heralded Kia Telluride has a 5k tow rating but only 350lb tongue weight rating making it useless for a TT.

I would also add that I'd like a 7' width or close to it and à lowish height and aerodynamic front profile.

I'm not sure about the safety of partially filling any of the tanks, especially far rearward. The guy who does pressure washing here uses a very heavy duty dual axle utility trailer with a large poly tank (200g ?) mounted over the rear axle. When the tank is less than full, it's a shifting load (there aren't any interior baffles in the tank). He's told me that he once flipped the trailer going around a corner too fast. Similar flips occur to tanker trailers. Anyone with experience with partially filling rear tank in a TT?
All good points. I actually got into a protracted email discussion with Winnebago. According to them, the decision to drop the 2106DS was made because they couldn't find a better couch to replace the existing one which owners didn't like. I'm not sure I buy that, but it's what they said. I chided them about that and told them that they short-sightedly dropped one of the best and relatively few travel trailers available to owners of SUVs and small trucks with tongue weight limitations. I got the impression that they didn't really consider that and that the SUV and small truck market segment wasn't all that important to them. They didn't say that outright but that's the impression I got from their reaction. They were somewhat apologetic but unconcerned. Yet, according to industry analysts, as of 2019, 70% of the US vehicle market is SUVs and small trucks. That seems to me to be a massive market segment to be unconcerned about.

This sentiment is not unique to Winnebago. I believe their reasoning is that if their customers were serious about travel trailers, then they should buy a large truck. They don't seem to be willing to go out of their way to design even most of their "ultra-lightweight" trailers to work with lower tongue weight limitations. All they would need to do is slightly change the weight distribution. Instead, they start out with relatively heavy tongue weights and then make it even worse by storing LP tanks and batteries right on the tongue as well as typically putting the cargo holds right up front. They act as if their customers have hundreds of pounds of extra tongue weight to work with as in the case of a large truck with a 1500 lb payload capacity.

This could relatively easily be resolved, but they simply don't seem to care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I vote for being able to move the axles, like on many boat trailers.
I would love to see this feature, it would solve the problem. My guess is that they don't do this because of cost and complexity and the fact that they seem unconcerned about vehicles with tongue weight limitations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Please do keep in mind that tongue weight is also important relative to trailer stability, so whatever shifting around is being done is still going to have some finite limits because if there's too little weight on the ball relative to the specific trailer and the "stuff" in it, things can get wonky or even dangerous. The actual engineering design of the trailer comes into play here. Some may perform acceptably toward the lighter end of the tongue weight range for their design and some may be a lot more sensitive and get scary.
Jim, If you have say a 3600 lb UVW travel trailer, and you add 400 lbs cargo, that would give you a GVW of 4000 lbs. Since the recommended safe tongue weight is 9-14%, that translates to a safe tongue weight between 360-560 lbs. Since the goal is to tune the tongue weight below 500 lbs, that is right in the correct range for tongue weight safety. There is no reason to go lighter than 360 lbs, not to mention that would certainly not be easy to practically do if even possible when starting off with a dry tongue weight of 400 lbs or over.

I made this same point to Winnebago. When they start out with a UVW of 3500-4600 lbs, which resolves to ~3800-5000 lbs GVW when loaded, that translates to a safe tongue weight of 342-532 lbs on the low end to 450-700 lbs on the high end. So, at best when they spec a dry tongue weight of say 425 lbs for a 4600 lb UVW trailer, you could only safely add 275 lbs or less to the tongue weight even if you had a tow vehicle with an unlimited payload. It doesn't take much to put 275 lbs on the tongue when you have 2 LP tanks and 2 batteries sitting right on the tongue which adds around 175 lbs and then you load the front cargo hold with much more weight, not to mention any water tanks in front of the axle.

So, if anything, these trailers are already way too heavily front-loaded. The chances of having too little weight on the ball relative to the specific trailer and its cargo is highly unlikely even if you tried to somehow lessen the tongue weight.

There is also this: it's nice that the Ascent can be a great tow vehicle, but if the actual trailer features one wants/needs pushes the limits (and I"m a proponent of always having some safety leeway that's below the specification limits) perhaps choosing the trailer first and then choosing a tow vehicle is the better play for any kind of serious and frequent travel trailer use. There will always be compromises; features that add weight have to be balanced accordingly.
That's correct. For serious towing one should buy a serious tow vehicle. In fact, if I can't resolve the tongue weight issue with the Ascent, I will very reluctantly sell it and buy a large truck. I've already started looking. However, I really don't like trucks and much prefer my Ascent. It comes so close to working, it would be such a shame to just give up without a fight. This thread is basically my last attempt to try and solve this issue before I throw in the towel.

Merope, moving the axle is an interesting thing but what I mentioned in my first paragraph comes into play. That feature is a lot easier on something like a boat trailer and is there because one is presumably taking a boat trailer of a certain size and needing to make it conform to multiple boats of different sizes -- so being able to move the balance point is part of that customization for a specific boat. I will say that folks who make trailers in Europe...especially horse trailers...have really gotten the design art down really well around matching stability with lower tongue weights because almost every tow vehicle is modest in that geography and they often tow at lower speeds, too(
Again correct, but it could be made to safely work with travel trailers if the manufacturers would simply take the initiative. The dealer could select and adjust the proper axle position for the customer's specific tow vehicle. If it works for boat and horse trailers, it could work for travel trailers. But again, the manufacturers seem to have little to no interest in catering to SUVs and small trucks with tongue weight limitations.
 

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I would love to see this feature, it would solve the problem. My guess is that they don't do this because of cost and complexity and the fact that they seem unconcerned about vehicles with tongue weight limitations.
Cost and complexity are certainly going to be factors but product liability probably come into play too. Do they make it automated with a limited range that they can reasonably test? Do they make it retailer adjustable requiring special tools and shift liability to the seller?

I don't think the traditional major rv manufacturers see much value in innovation. The novel designs are going to come from boutiques and start-ups.
 

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I'm not quite tracking what you're laying down. Tongue weight is based on your trailer weight and how level your trailer is. Usually, your tongue weight, with proper trailer leveling is around 10-15% as the article at the end of my post explains. The 500lb's subaru rates it's hitch at is 10% of 5,000lb. Which any camper trailer, is set up with its axles and gross weight for this calculation. So if you buy a 4,000lb trailer, with nothing loaded, you will have a 400lb tongue weight if you properly level the trailer. This can be done with different hitch's. Secondly, if you plan to tow 4000lb's pounds, don't forget to make sure you have the proper trim and your trailer has brakes.

The best way to do this with a travel trailer would be figuring out what's level of tongue weight with it fully unloaded. Then evenly distribute your item's in the trailer storage. Most travel trailers have a front "tongue" storage and a rear "bumper" storage. Ideally, as long as you spread your items between the front and the back evenly "working towards 500lb tongue weight" you should have the best towing experience.

I personally just purchased a Gulfstream 25bh enlighten. It's an ultra-light 26ft 4 wheel 4 brake model. if you notice from the layout below, this camper holds the majority of the weight over the dual axels. The freshwater tank sits under the front queen size bed, which I don't plan to utilize. But it has ample front and rear storage to shift the tongue weight of the camper.

I'm not sure about you, but I purchased extended warranties. If Subaru says I can tow 5,000lb's you better believe I will tow 5,000lb's. Also, be aware Subaru states you can only tow 1,000lb's w.o trailer brakes. Most lightweight trailers are only single axel and vary from 2,000lb's-3,500lbs. I feel safer, pulling this 4,000lb trailer, knowing it's a dual axel 4 brake trailer. Between myself, wife and kids I presume we weigh around 500lbs. Add two dogs, 100lbs. The owner's manual states you shouldn't surpass the ascent maximum capacity weight.

What does this mean?

DO NOT EXCEED 1,158lb's (my touring ascent) "CHECK" THIS IS LOCATED IN YOUR DOOR
Passengers 500lbs.
Trailer tongue weight 500lb's.
This leaves 158lb's for maybe a couple of things for the kids, electronics, drinks ect.

DO NOT EXCEED 5,000lb's "Check"
Trailer, 4200lb's (propane and battery)
Dogs 100lb's
700lbs of cargo.
Per the Subaru manual, we would put 60% of the cargo in the front and 40% in the rear.

See attached Subaru Ascent owners manual below.


5739
5740
5741
5742
5743
5744
5745
5746
5747


5749





In order to make sure your trailer is properly loaded, you need to know your trailer tongue weight. Tongue weight is the weight that the fully loaded trailer exerts downward on the hitch ball of the tow vehicle. Typically, your tongue weight should be 10-15% of your total trailer weight. If you don't know the tongue weight of your trailer, there are several different ways you can measure it. How to measure tongue weight:
  • Tongue Weight Scale
  • Bathroom Scale
  • Commercial Scale
 

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Like I said, they do it on most boat trailers...same cost/complexity/liability issues, no?
 

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So if you buy a 4,000lb trailer, with nothing loaded, you will have a 400lb tongue weight if you properly level the trailer.
The term you're using here...level....isn't correct and can be misleading to folks learning here. You need to balance the weight properly to achieve a certain tongue weight. A 4000 lb trailer can easily exceed 500 lbs tongue weight through how it's balanced. That's the crux of this discussion. You cannot assume 10% is the number and it can change dramatically on any given trailer depending on where "stuff" is loaded as well as physical position of tanks that have variable weight of contents.
 

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You're mistaken. I said with nothing loaded, you will have a 10-15% if you properly level the trailer. This is true. Weight distribution is explained later and in the links/manual. Trailers can become un-level based on hitch and connection components. Nose down on the trailer will result in more load (tongue weight) when nose up will result in less or negative (tongue weight). This is also explained in the owner manual and any trailer manual.
 

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Like I said, they do it on most boat trailers...same cost/complexity/liability issues, no?
The boat trailers are sold as "kits" which are amalgamated by boat manufacturers and boat dealers. Since they're sold as a generic boat trailer rather than a fully integrated vehicle like a TT, the liability issues are different. I just found my boat trailer owners manual (buried in the garage 26 years ago). There were about 10 pages with instructions on how to assemble the main components (electrical, springs, axle, coupler, tongue) then about 50 pages of disclaimers on weight distribution, center of mass, center of gravity, tire and wheel specifications, etc. They really CYA'd very thoroughly. Essentially, thanks for buying our product, be careful and don't kill anybody with it.
 

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@Nick & Brie There's more to it. The trailer manufacturers don't make their trailers with 10% of the gross unloaded weight equal to the tongue weight. Just look at the spreadsheets on the TT mfg's web sites. There might be some which show the tongue weight as 10% of the unloaded gross weight but most are higher than 10% and that's what @pro10is started this discussion for. Finding the ideal TT that's heavy enough to have all the desired quality and features while keeping the tongue weight in balance.

When you say that Subaru says you can tow 5000# and that's what you're going to do, using Subaru's tongue weight range spec of 9-15% of gross loaded trailer weight you will need to keep tongue weight between 450 and 500#. When you go to the CAT scales you can verify how your rig needs to be balanced.

There are several discussions that are very helpful in this towing section. Check out the thread on never using a weight distributing hitch, always using the Subaru OEM receiver and various threads on weighing (and the various weighing devices).

Looks like a nice trailer. Enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
You're mistaken. I said with nothing loaded, you will have a 10-15% if you properly level the trailer. This is true. Weight distribution is explained later and in the links/manual. Trailers can become un-level based on hitch and connection components. Nose down on the trailer will result in more load (tongue weight) when nose up will result in less or negative (tongue weight). This is also explained in the owner manual and any trailer manual.
Well, of course, most properly engineered trailers will have a dry tongue weight that falls within 10-15% of the UVW. And, yes, this is measured with the trailer level. However, that is just the starting point. Once the trailer is loaded, the dynamics change considerably and that's where it usually all falls apart for a 500 lb limited tongue weight.

For example, I want a 20-22' trailer, with a slide, a north-south bed, and a sofa. This is typical for a retiree. No bunks for me, my kids are in their 30's, lol. For such a floorplan the bed is usually up front, the kitchen, slide, and sofa (or dinette) are in the middle, and the bathroom is in the back. This is the typical floorplan for such ultra-lightweight trailers. The UVW is usually around 3800-4500 lbs and the dry tongue weight is typically around 410 lbs. more or less.

Usually, with such a trailer, the cargo hold is located well in the front, usually under the bed. For example:
5751

There is rarely a cargo hold in the back, unless you want a floor plan with rear bunks, which I and most retirees traveling with only one or two people typically don't need. Notice also, that the 2 LP tanks and the batteries are located right on the tongue. So, once you fill the 2 LP tanks and add your batteries, you've already added about 170 lbs in front of the axle and increased the tongue weight to around 580 lbs. You're already 80lbs over the Ascent's limit. And yes, that's with the trailer perfectly level.

Now, where are you going to put your heaviest cargo? Right in the front cargo hold. That's going to add even more weight to the tongue and then you're going to be far too heavy for the Ascent. Leveling the trailer on the hitch is assumed, but changing the level up or down a bit is not going to do much and certainly won't solve this issue.

So how do you offset this front-heavy trailer? There's no cargo hold in the back, on trailers this small there's usually not enough room, again unless you want bunk beds. Take a look at the floor plan:
5752

Where are you going to store enough weight to offset all the weight in the front? Moving everything from the front cargo hold into the bathroom? No thanks, that's not for me.

So, it makes no difference if the trailer starts out with a good tongue weight, once it's loaded it quickly becomes front heavy and beyond what the Ascent can handle.

The camper you own appears to be a Gulf Stream Ameri-Lite 248BH rebadged as a Gulf Stream Enlighten 25BH exclusively for Camping World. Here are the specs from Gulf Stream:
5753

At nearly 27' this is a huge camper for the Ascent, most people wouldn't consider anything beyond 22'. But the UVW is ok. However, Gulf Stream specs a hitch weight of 500 lbs. for it. So, unless you're storing hundreds of pounds of weight in the rear cargo compartment and almost nothing in the front compartment, I don't know how else you're offsetting the dry tongue weight of 500 lbs plus the weight of the 2 LP tanks and battery or batteries up front. My guess is that you might be over 500 lbs tongue weight, but hopefully not. Still, this is not a camper I personally would feel comfortable pulling in back of an Ascent, but that's only my opinion and I tend to error on the side of caution. This is why I can't find a trailer I like which comfortably fits into the Ascent towability specs.

I hope this helps clarify the purpose of this thread for you.
 

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Well stated, Pro'....
 
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Well, of course, most properly engineered trailers will have a dry tongue weight that falls within 10-15% of the UVW. And, yes, this is measured with the trailer level. However, that is just the starting point. Once the trailer is loaded, the dynamics change considerably and that's where it usually all falls apart for a 500 lb limited tongue weight.

For example, I want a 20-22' trailer, with a slide, a north-south bed, and a sofa. This is typical for a retiree. No bunks for me, my kids are in their 30's, lol. For such a floorplan the bed is usually up front, the kitchen, slide, and sofa (or dinette) are in the middle, and the bathroom is in the back. This is the typical floorplan for such ultra-lightweight trailers. The UVW is usually around 3800-4500 lbs and the dry tongue weight is typically around 410 lbs. more or less.

Usually, with such a trailer, the cargo hold is located well in the front, usually under the bed. For example:
View attachment 5751
There is rarely a cargo hold in the back, unless you want a floor plan with rear bunks, which I and most retirees traveling with only one or two people typically don't need. Notice also, that the 2 LP tanks and the batteries are located right on the tongue. So, once you fill the 2 LP tanks and add your batteries, you've already added about 170 lbs in front of the axle and increased the tongue weight to around 580 lbs. You're already 80lbs over the Ascent's limit. And yes, that's with the trailer perfectly level.

Now, where are you going to put your heaviest cargo? Right in the front cargo hold. That's going to add even more weight to the tongue and then you're going to be far too heavy for the Ascent. Leveling the trailer on the hitch is assumed, but changing the level up or down a bit is not going to do much and certainly won't solve this issue.

So how do you offset this front-heavy trailer? There's no cargo hold in the back, on trailers this small there's usually not enough room, again unless you want bunk beds. Take a look at the floor plan:
View attachment 5752
Where are you going to store enough weight to offset all the weight in the front? Moving everything from the front cargo hold into the bathroom? No thanks, that's not for me.

So, it makes no difference if the trailer starts out with a good tongue weight, once it's loaded it quickly becomes front heavy and beyond what the Ascent can handle.

The camper you own appears to be a Gulf Stream Ameri-Lite 248BH rebadged as a Gulf Stream Enlighten 25BH exclusively for Camping World. Here are the specs from Gulf Stream:
View attachment 5753
At nearly 27' this is a huge camper for the Ascent, most people wouldn't consider anything beyond 22'. But the UVW is ok. However, Gulf Stream specs a hitch weight of 500 lbs. for it. So, unless you're storing hundreds of pounds of weight in the rear cargo compartment and almost nothing in the front compartment, I don't know how else you're offsetting the dry tongue weight of 500 lbs plus the weight of the 2 LP tanks and battery or batteries up front. My guess is that you might be over 500 lbs tongue weight, but hopefully not. Still, this is not a camper I personally would feel comfortable pulling in back of an Ascent, but that's only my opinion and I tend to error on the side of caution. This is why I can't find a trailer I like which comfortably fits into the Ascent towability specs.

I hope this helps clarify the purpose of this thread for you.
Looking at the proportions of the Enlighten TT, the wheels are roughly 1/3 of the length to the rear. This would equate to roughly a 1:3 ratio of weight added to the rear. 100#'s added behind the axle might only subtract about 33#'s at the hitch. Possibly a little more, possibly less depending on the design of the suspension.

If the axles were both dead center of the length AND dead center of the mass, then 1# added in back could possibly work out to 1# reduced at the coupler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looking at the proportions of the Enlighten TT, the wheels are roughly 1/3 of the length to the rear. This would equate to roughly a 1:3 ratio of weight added to the rear. 100#'s added behind the axle might only subtract about 33#'s at the hitch. Possibly a little more, possibly less depending on the design of the suspension.

If the axles were both dead center of the length AND dead center of the mass, then 1# added in back could possibly work out to 1# reduced at the coupler.
Yes, it's the same physics as any lever and fulcrum.
5757
 

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Here's a trailer weight/leverage calculator.
 

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  • Partially fill one or more water tanks in back of the axle(s)
  • Attach dead weight to the chassis in back of the axle (which does not affect tank capacities)
Those would be my two targets. Attach a receiver hitch and cargo carrier or bike rack to the rear to help offset some tongue weight.

Also, you could swap the electric tongue jack for a manual one to shed a few pounds.

You're mistaken. I said with nothing loaded, you will have a 10-15% if you properly level the trailer. This is true. Weight distribution is explained later and in the links/manual. Trailers can become un-level based on hitch and connection components. Nose down on the trailer will result in more load (tongue weight) when nose up will result in less or negative (tongue weight). This is also explained in the owner manual and any trailer manual.
I think I get what you're saying there and it's not quite right. The level-ness of a trailer depends on hitch ball height and how much the tongue weight of a trailer compresses the suspension of a TV. Having a trailer sit nose down or nose up by using different hitch heights does not appreciably affect the tongue weight except for perhaps non-static loads like water in a tank. Set the trailer up nose down, the water shifts forward, and now you have more tongue weight.
 
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