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Anyone tow a travel trailer at or over the 5000lb weight and/or 500lbs hitch weight? I know this is not recommended, just wondering how the Ascent will handle at extremes.
 

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I don't recommend it... but...

Anyone tow a travel trailer at or over the 5000lb weight and/or 500lbs hitch weight? I know this is not recommended, just wondering how the Ascent will handle at extremes.
I definitely wouldn't recommend towing anything over 80-85% of any vehicle's tow rating (also taking into account if cargo affects tongue weight, which it does on the Ascent).

With that said, we calculated this setup to exceed 5,000 pounds, but have no idea how far he towed it. We do know that pulling that much weight up a muddy boat ramp is generally difficult for most vehicles - the Subaru noticed, but didn't seem to care too much. I think we estimated it to be about 5,100-5,200 as loaded per discussions with and posts by him.

Keep in mind, this isn't driving up and down mountain road grades or a thousand mile trip.

Personally, when I get my own travel trailer, I will be sticking with about 4,000 pounds as a max limit. Currently, the one I am looking at is about 3,780 GVWR, if I recall correctly.

This was 4,395 GVWR, with it very well loaded to capacity.

So, in an emergency, sure, you can move something that's 5,000 pounds... but I wouldn't make a habit out of it.

REMEMBER: if you tow anything, you need to have the transmission service performed per the interval in the manual.
 

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At some point I'll probably get a trailer to tow my race car across town. That'll be close to the 5,000 mark but it's also fairly level and about 100 miles round trip, so not a big load.

Have towed a 3,500 lb camper with no problems at all. Was charging up a 8% grade at 60+mph.
 

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Have towed a 3,500 lb camper with no problems at all. Was charging up a 8% grade at 60+mph.

THAT is the part that really surprised me. When we were "having fun" on the hills in the neighborhood, yeah, we could tell we were towing a lot of weight, but the car never struggled. The engine just suddenly sounded beastly and bigger than it really is (that gorgeous Subaru growl) and the Ascent made quick work of the hills. And, we actually could hear the turbo instead of having to listen very hard to get hints of it.
 

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I have the Premium Subaru Ascent, 5,000lb rating. We were trying to find a camping trailer under 4,000lbs, but we're coming in at about 4,380 lbs. It's over the weight that we hoped, but it's the trailer we want. It's a jayco x23b, 24 ft. travel trailer, tongue weight is 485. We will be traveling 6-10 times per year, mostly under 300 miles, but 2 trips per year would be 1,000 miles.

When reading all of these threads, I'm thinking we would be okay, but obviously need to be careful of terrain. Am I on the right course here or out of my mind?

I'm not looking for a direct answer, but just some guidance.
 

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I'm not looking for a direct answer, but just some guidance.
Is 4380 the trailer’s gvwr or empty weight? Same question about the 485lb tongue weight. Balanced properly you can tow those numbers. If you plan on carrying gear on top of those numbers you’re going to max it out or exceed the Ascent’s rating easily, especially the tongue weight. With it being that close I’d recommend a tongue scale.
 

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Thank you for this reply!

These are dry weights. We would not be towing the black water, grey water, water tanks filled at all. Our gear would be split in the camper and car. We're a family of 4. Total weight of us is under 400.

Trailer's gvwr is 5,500, but I don't believe we would get to the point of adding the payload capacity of 1,120 lbs. Loaded we "may" get to 5,000lbs.

I'm just confused about this all in relation to the cars gvwr... So would we want to lighten the load on the trailer and load the car more??

I also know we're not supposed to use the weight distribution hitch. Our receiver is factory installed.
 

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I have the Premium Subaru Ascent, 5,000lb rating. We were trying to find a camping trailer under 4,000lbs, but we're coming in at about 4,380 lbs. It's over the weight that we hoped, but it's the trailer we want. It's a jayco x23b, 24 ft. travel trailer, tongue weight is 485. We will be traveling 6-10 times per year, mostly under 300 miles, but 2 trips per year would be 1,000 miles.

When reading all of these threads, I'm thinking we would be okay, but obviously need to be careful of terrain. Am I on the right course here or out of my mind?

I'm not looking for a direct answer, but just some guidance.
I'm a little concerned about the 485 lb. dry tongue weight. You won't know until after you own it and load the cargo whether or not you can keep it under 500 lbs. That's a considerable risk. It's better to start off with a better margin. It all depends on the trailer's balance, location of cargo areas, and location of water tanks.
 

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Thank you for this reply!

These are dry weights. We would not be towing the black water, grey water, water tanks filled at all. Our gear would be split in the camper and car. We're a family of 4. Total weight of us is under 400.

Trailer's gvwr is 5,500, but I don't believe we would get to the point of adding the payload capacity of 1,120 lbs. Loaded we "may" get to 5,000lbs.

I'm just confused about this all in relation to the cars gvwr... So would we want to lighten the load on the trailer and load the car more??

I also know we're not supposed to use the weight distribution hitch. Our receiver is factory installed.
Our Jayco's listed tongue weight was a "dry" tongue weight at 315 lbs, and did not include the weight of filled propane tank(s) or the battery. Once those are added, the tongue weight of my unloaded trailer was a measured 368 lbs. You need to look at the label on the driver's door pillar to see how much cargo your specific vehicle can carry. For my 2019 Premium it's 1,158 lbs. That includes the weight of all passengers, accessories you may have added to your car such as a roof rack, crossbars, etc., as well as child seats, plus anything else you might carry such as tools and other things that fill up every nook and cranny. Also, the car's cargo weight must also factor in the tongue weight of the trailer, so your car's cargo limit will get eaten up real fast when you add all of that stuff up. My personal opinion is the trailer you want is not suited for the Ascent because I believe the tongue weight will exceed the 500 pound limit, but there will be others who will likely disagree with me. You may be able to move weight behind the axle to help offset some of the tongue weight, but it won't be a pound-for-pound offset unless it's relocated the same distance behind the axle as the tongue is in front of it, and most trailer designs don't allow for that - it will depend just how far over the 500 lb limit you are.
 

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If weight is moved an equal distance from in front of to behind the trailers axle, the tongue weight will change twice the amount of weight it had added to the tongue. Example: The distance from the trailer axle to ball is 20' with a 400 lb tongue weight. Place a 100 lb weight 10' in front of the axle. It will add 50 lb to the tongue weight making it 450 lb. Move it directly over the axle and it will add zero to the tongue weight making it 400 lb. Move it 10' behind the axle and it will subtract 50 lb from the tongue weight making it 350 lb.
 

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Ok, so this could be doable with the right planning/calculating. Knowing this am I getting this suited for just level towing or will I also be able to tackle hills?
 

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Thank you again! I don't disagree, just trying to see what the issue is specifically. Is this just regarding the tongue weight issue or the trailer weight 4,380 lb also or the combination of both?

If we could find a trailer with similar weight, but lower tongue weight would that be sufficient?
 

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Thank you again! I don't disagree, just trying to see what the issue is specifically. Is this just regarding the tongue weight issue or the trailer weight 4,380 lb also or the combination of both?

If we could find a trailer with similar weight, but lower tongue weight would that be sufficient?
The dry GVW weight of 4380 lbs. gives you a total cargo weight of only 620 lbs. with no margin of safety, so that's the first issue.

The dry tongue weight of 485 lbs. gives you only a mere 15 lbs. before you reach the Ascent's maximum, that's the second issue.

You're really pushing the limits of the Ascent with very little margins. You're going to have be super careful about your total cargo weight and cargo balance. Not good.

I would pass on this trailer and try to find one more suitable. I know what you're going through, you find a trailer you really like, which is hard to do, but the weights don't add up. Been there. I've had to reject several trailers I liked because of this.

Stick with the double axle, that's a great choice, but try to aim for a dry GVW of around 3500 lbs and a dry tongue weight of around 350 lbs. This will give you much better margins.

Take a look at the Winnebago Micro Minnie series. Most have double axles, very good floor plans, and excellent quality, considerably better than Jayco IMO. Prices are also good for a premium brand, unlike Airstream and Lance. The Winnebago Micro Minnie 1708FB, for example, has a dry GVW of 3360 lbs. and a dry tongue weight of 340 lbs. This is much more suited to the Ascent.
 

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The dry GVW weight of 4380 lbs. gives you a total cargo weight of only 620 lbs. with no margin of safety, so that's the first issue.

The dry tongue weight of 485 lbs. gives you only a mere 15 lbs. before you reach the Ascent's maximum, that's the second issue.
Another concern I have with these weights is that, in order to not exceed the Ascent's 500 pound tongue weight, you would need to load everything perfectly balanced on the axle. Keeping tongue weight low by overloading the rear of the trailer may seem to solve the tongue weight issue, but, in reality, by having such a heavy tail, and a very low tongue weight (by percent of trailer weight) it will create an even bigger issue by introducing greatly exaggerated lateral forces which can introduce sway.


Most have double axles
I second looking for a tandem axle, whenever possible, no matter what the tow vehicle. There's less sway, they're easier to balance and get tongue weight right, and, in the event of a tire blowout, things are a lot more calm.
 

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...I second looking for a tandem axle, whenever possible, no matter what the tow vehicle. There's less sway, they're easier to balance and get tongue weight right, and, in the event of a tire blowout, things are a lot more calm.
Great points, and I'll also add that there is less chance of a rollover with a double axle.
 

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Tandem axle trailers balance the same. Use the center between the two axles as the fulcrum in my example above. Tongue weight needs to be less the 500lb and 10-15% of the total loaded trailer weight. So if the trailer is 5000 lb loaded, the tongue weight must be 500lb. If the trailer is 4500 loaded, the tongue weight can be 450 to 500 lb (10% to 11% of the loaded trailer weight). The % tongue weight is the % distance of the center of gravity of the loaded trailer in front of the axle (or center between the two axles in a tandem) and the ball.
 

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Tandem axle trailers balance the same.
Many tandems in our weight range have tanks mounted above and between the axles. There's about three feet between the axles on the trailer I tow. So, with tanks between the axles, it definitely balances differently, and, there's definitely less weight on the tongue. ;)
 

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Ok, Thanks to all of you for this. We're going to shift down to the Jayco x19h, dry weight 3810, hitch weight 340, double axle.

Makes more sense for safety and stability. I can worry now about where to go instead of what not to do with too heavy of a camper!
 

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Ok, Thanks to all of you for this. We're going to shift down to the Jayco x19h, dry weight 3810, hitch weight 340, double axle.

Makes more sense for safety and stability. I can worry now about where to go instead of what not to do with too heavy of a camper!
IMO I would seriously consider a different brand than a Jayco. When we were looking for 5th wheels, the brand new Jaycos were already having issues like peeling trim, bad cabinet closers, etc. The 6 year old Evergreen we bought was still in much better shape than the brand new Jaycos. They're like the Motel 6 of campers. You can stay in one, but it's not the best!


Same with our 12 year old Flagstaff pop up camper versus the new Jayco ones.

YMMV, but that was my experience.
 
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