Originally Posted by oil_rider
I'm looking to purchase a used trailer today, a 24ft ultralight weighing in at 2800lbs.
I doubt it. Ignore the dry weight and go by the GVWR of the TT. When you get into camping, you'll probably load the TT close to the GVWR, so plan on that happening. What is the GVWR of that trailer?
My 19.6' (not counting hitch length) ultralight TT has a GVWR of 5,600 pounds and weighs about 4,200 empty except for propane and battery. If your longer trailer weighs 1400 pounds less than mine, then it must be made out of tissue paper.
So I would not buy that trailer until after I towed it to a CAT scale and weighed it - without the tow vehicle tied on.
I've got a 2005 jeep liberty (with tow package) to haul it. It's rated around 500lbs - so it can handle the weight.
Maybe, but probably not. If your 2005 Liberty has the V6 engine and automagic tranny, then it's rated for a max of a 5,000 pound trailer. If it is not the V6 with slush box, then it's not rated anywhere near 5,000 pounds max trailer weight.
But the tow rating is misleading. It assumes there is absolutely nothing in the SUV except a skinny driver and a full tank of gas. No passengers, no pets, no cooler, no luggage, no tools, no jacks, nothing but a skinny driver. Generally, you can deduct about 1,000 pounds from the tow rating and be close to the actual weight rating of GCWR minus the weight of the wet and loaded tow vehicle.
So the first thing you need is to load the Jeep with everything that will be in it when towing. Passengers, pets, cooler, luggage, tools, a jack in case of a flat on a trailer tire, and shank and ball mount of your weight-distributing hitch. Then drive to a truckstop with a CAT scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the wet and loaded tow vehicle (TV).
Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded TV from the GVWR of the Jeep. The answer is the max hitch weight you can have without exceeding the GVWR of your TV. Divide that max hitch weight by 0.12 and the answer is the max weight of any TT you can probably tow without busting the GVWR of your TV.
Then subtract the weight of the wet and loaded TV from the GCWR of the TV. The answer is the max trailer weight you can tow wihout exceeding the GCWR of your TV. Trust me, it will be a lot less than 5,000 pounds.
So I wouldn't worry about the length of the TT. As long as you do not exceed the GVWR and GCWR of your Jeep, and provided you have a good weight-distributing hitch with dual sway controls, you shouldn't have any problems with the tail wagging the dog.
First I'd be sure that the hitch weight of the TT would not result in my being overloaded over the GVWR of my TV.
If it passed that test, then I'd be sure that the weight of the TT would not result in my being over the GCWR of my TV.
I doubt a wet and loaded 24' TT tied onto a wet and loaded Jeep Liberty can pass either one of those tests, but if it did then I'd probably buy the TT and hook it up with a good weight-distributing hitch with dual sway controls.