Class 2 Trailer Hitch Tongue Weight Limit - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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Class 2 Trailer Hitch Tongue Weight Limit

Thanks for all of the great discussion on this forum, I've learned a lot by reading through old posts.

I have a question about tow limits I was hoping that someone may be able to help out with. I have a 2018 Pacific with the factory-installed tow package and a class 2 hitch. My understanding of class 2 hitches is that they are rated up to 3500 lbs. gross trailer weight (GTW) with a maximum trailer tongue weight (TW) of 300 lbs.

I am hoping to tow a 3000 lb trailer with a 440 lb tongue weight. Given that the class 2 hitch is only rated up to 300 lbs of tongue weight, it seems like I would need to upgrade to a class 3 hitch.

Am I thinking about this correctly? I may have missed this discussion elsewhere, if so I apologize. It seems strange to me that Chrysler would install a tow package with a rating up to 3000 lbs, yet the lowest-rated component of the setup would prevent you from trailering most of the campers in that weight class.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 12:01 PM
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The max tongue weight rating for the Pacifica with factory installed tow package is 350 lbs. Note that the factory class II hitch has a 2" square receiver whereas the typical class II hitch has a 1.25" receiver.

It is not uncommon for the max tongue weight for a hitch to be 10% of the max tow rating. So I don't think Chrysler's rating for their hitch is strange. In general, the recommended tongue weight is 10 to 15% of the trailer gross weight. The tongue weight for your trailer is at the upper end of the recommended range. I don't know if the Pacifica's max tongue weight of 350 lbs is limited by the hitch rating or by safe handling of the van. 440 lbs is a lot of weight on the back which could affect traction, steering and braking even if you were to replace the factory hitch with a higher rated class III hitch. Any weight on the hitch is going to reduce the amount of weight you can carry in the van.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 01:52 PM
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Is there any chance you can store items in the trailer towards its rear helping to remove some of the weight from the front?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnee View Post
The max tongue weight rating for the Pacifica with factory installed tow package is 350 lbs. Note that the factory class II hitch has a 2" square receiver whereas the typical class II hitch has a 1.25" receiver.

It is not uncommon for the max tongue weight for a hitch to be 10% of the max tow rating. So I don't think Chrysler's rating for their hitch is strange. In general, the recommended tongue weight is 10 to 15% of the trailer gross weight. The tongue weight for your trailer is at the upper end of the recommended range. I don't know if the Pacifica's max tongue weight of 350 lbs is limited by the hitch rating or by safe handling of the van. 440 lbs is a lot of weight on the back which could affect traction, steering and braking even if you were to replace the factory hitch with a higher rated class III hitch. Any weight on the hitch is going to reduce the amount of weight you can carry in the van.
Thanks for the explanation - I have been wondering about the difference between the Pacific class II hitch and others I see out there. Very helpful, I'll have to look for options under that limit.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thclimer View Post
Is there any chance you can store items in the trailer towards its rear helping to remove some of the weight from the front?
Unfortunately I don't think this will help as I am going off the tongue weight on the trailer specification.. unless I am missing something..
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 07:05 AM
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Unfortunately I don't think this will help as I am going off the tongue weight on the trailer specification.. unless I am missing something..
Almost every trailer and RV that I have seen has more storage capacity than most people can actually use because of the rated weight limitations of the RV or the trailer.

If you are looking to purchase a trailer and it's tongue weight is specified at 440 pounds that's probably not the trailer you want to pull with a Pacifica.

Depending on where the storage location are in a trailer, either in front of the axle or behind, you can change the tongue weight by how you placed loads in compartments. This however can be a major issue if you load it wrong or the loads shift during your ride if they are not secure.

It's scary to see what some people tow down the road.

Glad to see that you are concerned with weight capacities.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 07:45 AM
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I have a ~2900 lb popup camper with a tongue weight between 250 and 300 lbs. The suspension already squats about 3 in with this setup. At 440lbs I would expect to bottom out the van so I would not recommend it. Even with a WDH you will be too high.

Overall the rear suspension is my biggest complaint when towing, it is simply not stiff enough for high tongue weights. Additionally, they do not yet make rear suspension airbags which would help with a higher tongue weight.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 08:24 PM
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I have a 1,200 pound teardrop but the hitch weight is around 350. Using the 10% mentioned earlier my tongue weight should be 120, right? Does the total weight have any effect on a heavier tongue weight?

Ken
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 09:53 PM
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The most critical question is: Do you have the factory Trailer Tow Group (VIN Code AHT)?

If you do, it's not ideal for trailer balance, but it's within the van's specs. If you don't, while your trailer weight is within the van's rating, the tongue weight is not and is not ideal for the van's handling. Personally, I wouldn't sweat it, and since you're towing a trailer you should be extra slow and careful anyway.
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