Real world loaded & hitch weights, 2020 400 BD?

Newbie here looking at possible small trailers that we can tow with out existing vehicle. A factory tow fitted Jeep Cherokee. Rated for 4500lbs towing, 450 hitch weight, & 1000lb payload.

Reckon we're will be on our limits for payload and hitch weight. Our payload will be maxed out with hitch, passengers, and a WDH. 

The latest 400 BD is showing as 372lb wet hitch weight? 

Any folks here know their loaded trailer and hitch weights are on the latest 400 Boondock?   I know there is at least one user here towing a 400 with a Jeep Cherokee.  How much can I lighten the hitch by moving/securing the propane to the rear of the trailer, does a full fresh water tank shift the weight backwards? And of course I'm mindful of maintaining the min 10% load on the hitch.

Thanks for any help..

Comments

  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 141
    We tow a 2020 400 BDL with a 2L Jeep Cherokee with a 4000 lbs tow rating and 400 lb hitch weight.  We already had the TV when we fell in love with the TAB 400.  The major mod that we implemented was to remove the spare tire and its wind-up mechanism from under the tub and mount it on a roof rack on the Cherokee.  Making this change reduced our tongue weight to 350 lbs.  We also moved the propane cylinders back to the floor in front of the bed (where they are strapped in) which reduced the tongue weight to 300 lbs.  (We also didn't get the extra aluminum trays on the tongue, as we'd never put anything on them).  We find the trailer tows really well without a WDH, but you should shorten up your hitch as much as possible, like this:

    This keeps the tow ball as close as possible to the rear axle, which is probably the most important factor in controlling trailer sway (IMHO this is more important than the fabled 10% load).  I'd dump the WDH and recover that precious weight.  Filling the water tank makes very little difference to tongue weight, as the water tank straddles the trailer axle.
    The 2021 models will differ as the axle got moved forward.  I don't have any information for them.


    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 722
    I I do not think the trailer would pass codes with a propane tank in the rear.  At any rate, a bad idea in a rear end collision.  :|
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 500
    Aside from Denny16’s comment, there’s nowhere on the rear to mount the propane tanks, nothing to attach them to. It’s just not a remotely viable solution.

    Also, “wet weight” doesn’t include your gear. You will almost always run a higher tongue weight than shown. And at least some 2021 models currently on lots have moved the AC up front again, which may put them back into a heavier tongue weight than listed. The 2020 was tongue-light due to moving the AC under the bed and a lighter AC unit that was a poor design choice they appear to be correcting.

    As someone who runs right up to their tongue weight limit currently and hasn’t in the past with other vehicle/trailer combos, I have to say I strongly don’t recommend it. Getting the trailer ready to go is WAY easier when you aren’t weighing the tongue, shifting stuff around, weighing again, shifting stuff around again. You have to carry less overall than your fellow owners, can’t just add things like second propane tanks (or second batteries on the 320), can’t carry the spare tire up front, shouldn’t load as much into the cargo area of the car because it’s still behind the car axle, and it’s all around a more stressful experience. I’m looking forward to the day I can afford to switch tow vehicles, hopefully sometime this year.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (being replaced, not recommended!)
    Pacific NW
  • treefrogtreefrog Member Posts: 98
    edited March 4
    Our 2021 400 was 360lbs with empty LP tank installed.
    AC is up front.
    The axle moved forward and helped a lot with tongue weight.
    Water tank was 2/3 full. Not sure but it seems the center of the water tank is just rear of axle.
    However both waste tanks are forward of axle so tongue weight will certainly be affected by waste tanks.
    We do not have a Boondock, but we do have aluminum front box and platform. I wanted a Boondock but the standard trailer fit in our garage by literally 1/4"

  • BritCanuckguyBritCanuckguy Member Posts: 2
    treefrog said:
    Our 2021 400 was 360lbs with empty LP tank installed.
    "

    Thanks. Was that 360lbs with a loaded trailer?
  • treefrogtreefrog Member Posts: 98
    edited March 5
    @BritCanuckguy Nope, the trailer was empty.
    Much of the storage is behind axle including the fridge. I think if you try just a little bit and put your heavy items in the back the "loaded" tongue weight should not change enough to matter.

    With the exception of the waste tanks (1/2 filled they weigh 125lbs).

    I took a picture with a rope in the location of the axle to show which cabinets are behind axle.
    Yes we took the bathroom door out, my first mod.


  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,865
    A recent edition of the RV Small talk podcast covered "The Math of trailer weights explained."

    https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL3J2c21hbGx0YWxrL2ZlZWQueG1s&episode=cnZzbWFsbHRhbGsucG9kYmVhbi5jb20vMzk3NzU5NWUtYWIxYS01OGY0LWE3NzEtZjMyNzFiMjQzNjcy

    It's a pretty interesting listen. PJ knows her stuff.

    2021 [email protected] 320 Boondock "Mattie Ross" | [email protected] Nights: 13 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk | [email protected] owner since 2014

  • nbrandtnbrandt Member Posts: 14
    We have a 2018 [email protected] 400 - so it is a bit heavier on the tongue than the new one.  I recently entered a gas station just fine, but didn't pay close enough attention to the exit and the apron was steeper than expected - and yes, the front stabilizers scraped - bending them slightly.  One of them still worked but the other didn't.  So when I got home I took them off to work on them.
    To my surprise I found that those two stabilizers and the connecting arm were heavier than I thought they would be - so I weighed them:  31.4 pounds.  I'm not putting them back on.  Found a couple of aluminum stackable trailer stabilizers that are very light and do the same job.  No, they are not quite as convenient as the jacks that came on the trailer, but I have increased my ground clearance and unloaded some valuable tongue weight.  I tow with a 2015 Tundra and oddly enough that little bit seems to help (but that might just be in my head). 
  • TNOutbackTNOutback Member Posts: 389
    Our 2020 [email protected] 400 tongue weight, completely empty except for 1 full propane tank, was right at 400 pounds, measured on a certified CAT scale.
    2020 [email protected] 400 BDL w/ solar
    2016 F-150 4x4 Crew, 3.5L Ecoboost
    Middle Tennessee
    YNWA LFC
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 778
    It is disappointing how camper vendors promote a trailer dry weight when in the real-world we have full propane tanks, battery, food, water, and misc. gear in a trailer.
    At least NüCamp has a 'wet' tongue weight ( propane tank full & battery ? ).

    Really believe the rule-of-thumb that trailer GVW should be 75% or less of TV rating to take this marketing b.s. into account should be followed.  Highly recommend everyone to purchase TV with a tongue weight rating and maximum towing capacity as much above the advertised trailer 'dry weigh' as budget allows.

    Having extra capacity is never an issue, being at or below capacity can be a reallll pain
    . . . I know been there . . .
    '18 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE; PNW based
    TV: '17 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  26   Nights:  160 
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 722
    A loaded trailer tongue weight should be no less than 10% or the total trailer weight, and around 15% is good.  Halving too little of a tongue weight can be more dangerous than having too much tongue weight.  You need the average 10-20% ratio to maintain proper tracking of the trailer behind the TV.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • rh5555rh5555 Member Posts: 141
    @Denny16, these are commonly quoted numbers and because they're so commonly quoted, they seem to have become lore.  But the physics of towing is not that simple.  There are many factors that contribute to determining the minimum hitch weight, here are just a few:
    1. Vehicle wheelbase (longer is better)
    2. Distance from rear axle to hitch ball (shorter is better)
    3. Distance from hitch ball to trailer axle (longer is better)
    4. How weight is distributed in the trailer (closer to axle is better)
    5. Elasticity of TV and trailer suspension (stiffer is better)
    6. Towing speed (slower is better)
    They all contribute in a really complex way to determine whether a towed rig is stable.  The 15% rule is generally invoked to cover situations where one or more of the factors above are sub-optimal. 
    As an example, my little fishing boat has a scale weight of 2850 pounds and a tongue weight of 100 pounds, and it trails/tracks beautifully behind my Jeep.  It, however, has a comparatively long distance from hitch ball to trailer axle, and the trailer weight is concentrated close to the trailer axle. 
    In practice, the only way to determine if a rig is (or will be) stable is either to try it and see, or benefit from others' experience.  That is the power of this medium.

    Roger and Sue Hill | 2020 [email protected] Boondock ([email protected]) | 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2L | San Juan Island, WA
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 722
    Agreed, but I was basing the 15% guideline (it is only a guideline) on towing a larger TaB type trailer, like the TaB 400.  The only variable in wheelbase, being thrnTV, as the ball to trailer axle here is fixed, so I think keeping a minimum of 10% of total weight on the tongue/TV ball Connection is important.  I have a long wheelbase TV, and that definitely helps.  My response was more to those who try to lighten, what they think is an excessive tongue weight, when it is greater than 400 lbs on a 3600 lb rig like the larger TaB 400.  
    Cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • ChrisFixChrisFix Member Posts: 156
    Denny16 said:
    I have a long wheelbase TV, and that definitely helps.  
    I got curious as to what the wheelbase was for the Jeep Gladiator...and at 137", it is nearly full size pickup territory. No wonder the break-over angle is limited with the Gladiator.
    Hadn't realized how long that truck is.
    After two years of looking and considering...finally the proud owner of a 2021 [email protected] 400 Boondock!
    2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E with Redarc Trailer Brake Controller
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 722
    Yes, it is about two inches longer than my extended cab Dakota truck, and I thought it had a long wheel base.  A great break over angle, I do not need, and given its wheelbase it does quite well on steep hill break over situations, better than my Dakota did.  The long wheel base aid in tracking also, less wandering going down the road or highway.  I got about 20 mpg on a over the hill trip inland towing the TaB 400, on the return trip without the trailer, I on,y got two more mpg over the trip with the trailer.  Not bad either.
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • ChrisFixChrisFix Member Posts: 156
    edited July 2
    Denny16 said:
    I got about 20 mpg on a over the hill trip inland towing the TaB 400, on the return trip without the trailer, I on,y got two more mpg over the trip with the trailer.  Not bad either.
    cheers
    I'm getting 12-14 mpg towing a 400 with a 2020 Ridgeline...so I'd say 20 mpg is exceptional and in diesel territory.
    I watch "The Fast Lane Truck" YouTube channel, and they only got 8.5 mpg with the Gladiator on a flat mpg run towing 4,300lbs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrLPpBWRxSI
    After two years of looking and considering...finally the proud owner of a 2021 [email protected] 400 Boondock!
    2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E with Redarc Trailer Brake Controller
  • Denny16Denny16 Member Posts: 722
    edited July 4
    First up, they were towing a big box horse trailer with substantial front surface area,
    next they were using a Rubicon, with a lower rear end gear ratio,
    and third they were going 65-70 mph, towing a lot of drag area from both the trailer and the Jeep Gladiator.  

    So not surprised by the poor mileage.  I would have gotten about the same with a similar setup (5500 lbs tow package, with a low rear end gear) Dakota.

    I have a Gladiator Sport, with a higher rear gear ratio, a little lower trailer profile, and was only going 55-60 mph max, half the trip over the mountains was at 40-45 mph.  So my wind drag was a lot less, my engine rpms lower, and got better gas mileage.  Also, my TaB400 was empty, so my load was Less than 3,000 lbs. 
    The 18-20mpg was on the highway part of the trip. 
    cheers
    2018 TaB400, Jeep Gladiator truck, Northern California Coast
  • 1968Healey1968Healey Member Posts: 50
    ChrisFix said:
    Denny16 said:
    I got about 20 mpg on a over the hill trip inland towing the TaB 400, on the return trip without the trailer, I on,y got two more mpg over the trip with the trailer.  Not bad either.
    cheers
    I'm getting 12-14 mpg towing a 400 with a 2020 Ridgeline...so I'd say 20 mpg is exceptional and in diesel territory.
    I watch "The Fast Lane Truck" YouTube channel, and they only got 8.5 mpg with the Gladiator on a flat mpg run towing 4,300lbs.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrLPpBWRxSI
    Chris,

    Those TFL guys are usually doing their tests on I-70 @11,000 feet, somewhere east of Veil, CO.  Aka, they’re REALLY high up and doing some of the toughest stretches of the interstates that I’ve ever driven.

    I’d agree that 20 mpg is spectacular for towing anything.  
    2020 [email protected] 400
    2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road
    Seattle, WA
  • ChrisFixChrisFix Member Posts: 156
    edited July 4
    Those TFL guys are usually doing their tests on I-70 @11,000 feet, somewhere east of Veil, CO.  Aka, they’re REALLY high up and doing some of the toughest stretches of the interstates that I’ve ever driven.

    I’d agree that 20 mpg is spectacular for towing anything.  
    The MPG loop is not done at 11,000ft...it is done around the Boulder CO area and is a 100 mile loop on flat roads - but is still at around 5,300ft.
    And the trailer they pull is a 4,300lbs 15ft box V-nose horse trailer with a tongue to bumper length of 18 ft, and is 7 ft wide - and overall height is a little lower than the [email protected] Don't know the actual numbers but the frontal area is going to be very similar to a [email protected] It is surprisingly similar dimensions to the [email protected], except 1,000lbs heavier.

    You're referencing the "Ike Gauntlet", which is over the continental divide through the Eisenhower Tunnel, but that's a completely different towing test.

    And I love old Healeys - wonder how that would pull!!
    After two years of looking and considering...finally the proud owner of a 2021 [email protected] 400 Boondock!
    2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E with Redarc Trailer Brake Controller
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