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Is Max Tongue Weight Reduced if Cargo Carrier Has Longer Shank


In Adam Rs response to a question regarding a 2010 Traverse, you discuss maximum tongue weight. The answer states that you take the maximum tongue weight of the vehicle and subtract the weight of the hitch mounted cargo carrier to derive the maximum carrying capacity. Ive read elsewhere that even without the use of an extender, that there is a reduction in the capacity based on the distance to the load from the receiver. Given that my 2018 Outback has such a small 200 lb TW capacity, Im trying to make sure not to exceed it. I have a class III hitch and cargo carrier that exceed this limit, but I understand that its the weakest link that sets the limit. Based on your previous answer, Im within the limit, but Im concerned that I must also factor in something for the distance. If so, I might be exceeding the limit and damage my vehicle. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


Expert Reply:

You are definitely on the right track with your research and findings. If your 2018 Subaru Outback Wagon is listed for 200 lbs TW then even if you use a trailer hitch with a higher TW capacity, like the Draw-Tite # 76227 with a 600 lb TW, you are limited by the least rated component which would be your Outback Wagon at 200 lbs TW.

To determine how much cargo you can carry in a carrier like part # C18113 you need to subtract the weight of the carrier itself. For this example the carrier weighs about 25 lbs so the max amount of cargo you can carry is 175 lbs.

Yes, the further away that the load is placed the more stress it puts on your trailer hitch/vehicle which is why an extender will reduce your max weight rating by 50%. Technically this comes into play even with accessories, but none of them stick out far enough for it to really make an impact on your weight rating. Unless the carrier you plan on using has an abnormally long shank you will be able to use your 200 lb TW rating as a base point and go from there. If your carrier has a longer shank then the manufacturer would likely call it out for safety reasons.

expert reply by:
Jon G

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