Trailer tongue weight distribution | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Trailer tongue weight distribution

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hidesertwheelin

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For those with small off-road trailer, are you following the 10/90 to 20/80 tongue weight distribution method? I hardly have anything on my trailer, and am having a hard time picking up the tongue and moving the trailer around. I debating weather I need to add a foot or two to the tongue length to help with this. I brought up a discussion on facebook, and people said they were loading more weight on the tongue then the rest of the trailer. Thoughts.


 

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For those with small off-road trailer, are you following the 10/90 to 20/80 tongue weight distribution method? I hardly have anything on my trailer, and am having a hard time picking up the tongue and moving the trailer around. I debating weather I need to add a foot or two to the tongue length to help with this. I brought up a discussion on facebook, and people said they were loading more weight on the tongue then the rest of the trailer. Thoughts.


.

Adding length to the tongue may not lessen the tongue weight. The extra material may add weight, actually, as what offsets tongue weight is how the trailer is built and loaded and how much of the overall weight (loaded or empty) is behind the axle to help balance it better.

A longer tongue will increase the distance from rear axle of your tow vehicle to axle of your trailer, as well. Once it exceeds the wheelbase of your tow vehicle, your trailer will not track the same around corners. Not a big deal on the highway or most pavement situations, perhaps, but could be a problem on the trail.

Are those battery boxes next to your propane tank on the tongue? If so, they are typically heavy. Is your nosebox heavily loaded?

You also may find, though possibly only to a slight degree, that adding a hitch riser so your trailer rolls level, not dipping forward as in the image, may help in towing. Could be too, that when you straighten out the tongue weight problem, your trailer will sit more level on its own.

Here's a good article at etrailer about tongue weight. They suggest, and I agree, that toungue weight should be 10-15% of total trailer weight. They also describe how to weigh your trailer's tongue weight with a household bathroom scale, or how to at a commercial truck scale. Determining Trailer Tongue Weight.

Here's a bit more in-depth article about trailers, tow vehicles, and proper trailer loading and towing: https://sherline.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/lm_booklet_web.pdf

Hope this helps.

.
 
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MidOH

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Longer tongue reduces tongue weight. Make the tongue long enough and I'll lift your trailer nose up with my jewels.

Trailers are big teeter totters. A simple lever. The axle is the fulcrum. You put the fat kid on the short side.

I prefer very heavy tongues, 25%+ for wee trailers. Since I have a truck that can handle that. But I like longer trailers for stability.

By far the biggest evil, is a trailer that lifts up the tow vehicle when going over bumps. Bridge expansion joints and such. Ever see a zombie Rv'er with a gm truck get bouncy, and wiggle like a rocking chair? Longer tongues reduce that as well.
 
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hidesertwheelin

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Longer tongue reduces tongue weight. Make the tongue long enough and I'll lift your trailer nose up with my jewels.

Trailers are big teeter totters. A simple lever. The axle is the fulcrum. You put the fat kid on the short side.
I was under that impression also, but have had a few people tell me different.
 

Jeremiah Johnson

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A lot of my trailering is off-road and a heavier tongue puts more weight on the drive tires really helping with traction when sidehill, or on loose and rough terrain, I don't mean rock-crawling as I have very little experience with that sort of trailering. If I'm road towing with a bunch of weight I want the trailer to carry all of the weight it can and then put enough on the vehicle to keep the tongue down over any bumps and bounces. Most of my towing is with lighter SUVs these days instead of big diesel trucks and I have to pay a lot more attention to how much weight I pull and how it rides. I like to see everything level when it's loaded down. If my trailer has the rear-end of my rig squashed down and the headlights are pointed at the moon, that load is probably not going on the road.