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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the best place to ask this question, but I'll try.

I just installed the Curt towing hitch for the Cruze (I have a 1LT). Installation was easy, and the instructions were great. No drilling is required, and nothing needs to be removed or modified.

Here's my question....

The hitch has a weight carrying (towing) capacity of 2000 lbs, and a tongue weight capacity of 200 lbs. We know that the Cruze has a 1000 lb towing capacity, so the fact that the hitch can handle 2000 lbs doesn't matter. The towing capacity of a Cruze with this hitch (or any other hitch) is still 1000 lbs.


My question has to do with tongue weight. I have read that the rule of thumb is that tongue weight capacity is 10% of towing capacity, which would make the Cruze's tongue weight capacity 100 lbs according to the rule of thumb. However, I think that unlike towing capacity, the tongue weight capacity of the Cruze with this hitch would be 200 lbs, as it is rated. This spec has to do with the strength of the hitch, doesn't it? Shouldn't we be able to put up to 200 lbs of non-supported weight on this hitch?


I want to buy a cargo rack for my hitch, but if I can only safely put 42 pounds of gear on the rack (the rack weighs 58 pounds), I'll probably pass.


What do you think - 100 lbs, or 200 lbs for the tongue weight with the Curt hitch?

Thanks for the input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Although not explicitly stated, the Cruze manual (p 9-52) suggests 100-150 lbs for the tongue weight.
But wouldn't that be based on the 'rule of thumb' of 10% of the towing capacity? GM would probably assume that if someone made a hitch for the Cruze, it would be built based on the 1000 lb towing capacity, and therefore the hitch would be structurally capable of handling approx. 100 lbs of tongue weight. The Curt hitch is structurally capable of supporting a tongue weight of 200 lbs, so there's no worries that the hitch itself would buckle under a 200 lb load. As long as the Cruze isn't loaded with 5 occupants and a trunk full of gold ingots (in other words, as long as the Cruze isn't overloaded), I would think that it would be OK to put 200 pounds on the tongue.

But if I was 100% positive that I am right, I wouldn't be asking the question here, would I? :th_coolio:

Any other opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The 10% is based on the actual trailer weight, not the maximum trailer weight. In your case I wouldn't go over 150 lbs. Not only does the hitch need to support the tongue, but the hitch needs to stay attached to the car. Since GM has a 1,000 lb trailer weight limit, this tells me the Cruze is designed to safely handle up to a 150 lb tongue.
I'm no expert on this, but here's how I interpret the specs.

TOWING CAPACITY is based on the safe limits of the vehicle's engine, transmission, brakes, tires, etc. The Cruze has a towing capacity of 1000 lbs. Weight distribution on a trailer is important, and it should be distributed such that 10-15% of the weight is applied to the tongue. So, if towing a trailer weighing 1000 lbs, the tongue weight should be at least 100 lbs, and no more than 150 lbs.

However, if you are not using the hitch to tow a trailer but instead you are putting unsupported weight in the form of a cargo rack on the tongue, I think it makes sense that there are three things to consider. First - the hitch itself, as well as how and where it attaches to the vehicle, needs to be able to support the weight applied without buckling. The Curt hitch has a tongue weight rating of 200 lbs, and the hitch attaches to the frame, so I think it is strong enough to handle 200 pounds. Second - the weight applied must not cause the vehicle to exceed the GVWR. Third, the weight applied must not be enough to cause the front wheels to lose traction and affect the handling of the vehicle. Since the vehicle is capable of handling a 150 pound tongue weight when used in a towing scenario, I would think that an extra 50 pounds applied in a cargo rack scenario wouldn't be enough to cause an issue.

I appreciate your feedback, and I hope you will reply with your thoughts. I also hope others will choose to add their thoughts to this discussion in the days to come.
 
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