Originally Posted by Paws4It
The wheelbase has came to my attention too. The only way to help that is to get the smallest lightest trailer, in my opinion. That's all I want to tow anyway, is a bedroom on wheels. lol I didnt know about the part of counting the weight in the Jeep too... thanks for the info!
As long as you stick with the shortest trailer you can find...you should be fine...the "leverage" a trailer has on a tow vehicle is more than folks realize...wheelbase is how the tow vehicle resists that "leverage" effect...
Tongue weight is also critical for you...you will need to insure that your trailer is loaded properly to have MINIMUM of 10% of the to total trailer weight show up as tongue weight...better is 12-13% tongue weight...and the only way to know that you have the proper tongue weight is to go and get your setup weighed!
There are various methods to weigh your setup and come up with the tongue weight...and if you will be using a WD hitch you will want to go and make sure you have the WD setup properly too (I can elaborate more on that if you are using a WD hitch if needed).
But to simply weigh your tongue to insure you have the trailer loaded properly...with lighter trailers you can actually use a bathroom scale, some pieces of pipe and 2x4's to get everything you need...follow this link...
Having too light of a tongue weight will give the trailer much more "advantage" and your load will be unstable...so make sure you have it loaded properly to have MINIMUM of 10% as tongue weight.
Have you considered the purchase of a WD hitch with sway control?...given the short wheel base of the vehicle...I think (IMO) it would be a wise investment...it really does help equilize the load and put weight BACK ON the FRONT axle after the tongue weight UNLOADS it...the WD hitch gives you an added advantage of returning the natural balance of the tow vehicle by shifting some of the tongue weight FORWARD and AFT...and distributing the load back to where it needs to be...think about it...you will see many Mini-Vans and smaller vehicles that tow popups using WD hitches...and they are smart to do so...again IMO...
As far as not knowing about weight inside the vehicle SUBTRACTING from those MFG mythical tow ratings...don't feel bad...most people do not understand tow ratings either!
The funny (and sad thing) is that most people will only go by ONE number in the tow ratings wars...okay maybe two...first they'll use the GCWR with is the MOST the total COMBINED (the C in gCwr) tow vehicle AND trailer can weigh. The next one they will go by is the MAX tow rating they see on television.
The problem with that approach is that the GCWR or "Max" tow rating are only two of the 4 or 5 numbers you need to balance and be UNDER ALL OF THEM!
Typically on any tow vechicle the first number you will EXCEED is the GVWR of the tow vehicle...and that one is how much the TOW VEHICLE can weigh with tongue weight, vehicle weight with factory options and then all the people and gear INSIDE the tow vehicle...most vehicles LACK sufficient payload for large families and gear let alone added tongue weight...and you will almost always EXCEED this GVWR of the tow vehicle FIRST...but people ignore that one when looking at towing.
Second one you will typically exceed is the REAR gross axle weight rating (GAWR-R)...once you load up all your gear in the BACK of the tow vehicle and add rear seat passengers and then add TONGUE WEIGHT...watch the rear axle rating...it is very easy to exceed in many SUV's...this one too is IGNORED by many who tow.
Next to be exceeded will either be the MAX tow rating or GCWR (vehicle and trailer dependent on which will be maxed first)...the problem with the MAX tow rating is that it is only achievable with a 150# driver and a STRIPPED DOWN vehicle that truly weighs "curb weight"...how many vehicles truly weigh "curb weight"?...add in the heated leather seats, hitch reciever, DVD player with monitors, GPS, sunroof, on and on with the options list...all of those "goodies" SUBTRACT from the MAX tow rating...and if you are fortunate enough to weigh 150#'s...LOL...
Now add in your passengers and gear...that too SUBTRACTS from the MAX tow rating...how many 150# people drive a stripped down vehicle to go camping?...kind of boring to camp alone isn't it?...well you get the picture...
The "MAX" rating is IMO a mytical number...but many don't realize that you have to SUBTRACT the weight INSIDE the tow vehicle from that "MAX" number...and that's how they get in trouble weight wise.
The easiest way to "size" the proper trailer...load up your tow vehicle as you would when towing...all the people and gear that you will haul INSIDE the tow vehicle...and go to the scales and get individual front and rear axle weights (all CAT scales are set up for THREE individual scale readings)...you simply put the front axle on one scale pad and the rear axle on the other scale pad...now you know individual axle weights and you know TOTAL vehicle weight...
You can thus compare your measured readings against the GAWR front and rear as well as the GVWR...all of these numbers will be on a sticker on the drivers side door jamb.
You can simply subtract the actual weight of the tow vehicle from the GVWR and that tells you how much PAYLOAD you have left for TONGUE weight so you don't exceed the GVWR once loaded for a trip and hitched up...
Knowing how much tongue weight you can carry you can simply do the math to reverse calculate the weight of the trailer you can look at. Simply divide the remaining payload by 0.13 (i.e. 13% tongue weight) and you have the maximum weight of the trailer you can be looking at.
Okay...sorry for the long post...I'll stop now as to not confuse you any further.
Hope this helps...let me know if you have any questions.