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View Poll Results: Adding static weight to rear to lower static weight of tongue
You're crazy, you'll die 1 25.00%
I've done it and it was ok 1 25.00%
Remove tongue weight and suck it up 2 50.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-06-2016, 06:09 AM   #1
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Lowering Tongue Weight

Hi all,

I have a 2006 16x7 enclosed trailer I just bought for hauling small things like karts, golf cart, or ATVs. The trailer has an awesome workbench/storage up front but I had concerns about too much tongue weight. I had my buddy weigh it yesterday at it was about 700lbs. Typical tongue weight for this 3000lb trailer should be 300-350lbs. I plan to tow this with my Class A Ford - 500/5000lb towing.

Hoping to hear from some veteran tow folks on this. I calculated that if I load 500lbs (3/8" 4x8 steel sheet weighs 490lbs) I'll get my static tongue weight down to 300lbs. The cost is not too bad, probably less than $200 total to have the steel cut and installed. I'm worried about extra sway and increased wear on the frame.

I'd hate to loose the very nice work bench but will if it's not safe to straddle the axle with such weight.

Oh by the way, the trailer's on a 2x6 box frame.

Thanks everyone for reading!
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:27 AM   #2
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How much will the trailer weigh when loaded? Instead of adding weight to reduce tongue weight, can you shift the load rearward? You need about 10% of trailer weight as tongue weight. Adding the steel sheets should actually increase tongue weight not decrease it.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwood27 View Post
I believe that the recommended tongue weight on a trailer should be about 10% of trailer weight. This translates to around 700 lbs for your trailer. You will be way over design specs for both tongue and trailer weights for your MH.
Right good point...trailer weighs about 3000lbs. Tongue is just overloaded and that's what this post is about...reducing tongue weight.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:47 AM   #4
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I have no idea what your trailer weighs, but with a 700# tongue weight, I'd assume it's around 7,000#. Adding weight to reduce your tongue weight won't help in your case and could most likely cause handling problems, because you won't have enough tongue weight,
I would assume you might also exceed your GCWR of 26,000# (I believe), which is only 4,000# more than your GVWR (22,000# I think).

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Never mind - didn't see your post about your trailer weight when I posted.
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Old 04-06-2016, 06:48 AM   #5
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How was the trailer weighed? was the bed level?
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:17 AM   #6
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How was the trailer weighed? was the bed level?
The tongue was weighed with a scale that basically tests a hanging load. My friend has a crane repair business and has all these tools. We hung the tongue from a forklift through this device. Then we added people to the back to get it in check. The bed was level for the most part...+/-1-2.

From the factory, the trailer weighs about 2500lbs...we estimate that work bench to be close to 500lbs...all of which are at the tongue.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:18 AM   #7
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Car54,
If you trailer weighs 3000# and assuming you have the full 5000# available (depending on what you carry in the coach) you have a maximum of 2000# carry capacity on the trailer. 490# of ballast brings that to 1510#.
If a work bench is that important it would not be difficult to build a fold down work bench inside the trailer on a wall. Same with storage installing cabinets or shelving high on the walls. Loading heavier toys towards the back of the trailer etc. will help. Normally you want the loaded trailer to have 10-15% of total weight on the tongue. (not to exceed the 500# limit)
I wouldn't want to lose 490# of carry capacity with dead weight.
Good luck and tow safe!

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Old 04-06-2016, 07:18 AM   #8
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CoachC View Post
Car54,
If you trailer weighs 3000# and assuming you have the full 5000# available (depending on what you carry in the coach) you have a maximum of 2000# carry capacity on the trailer. 490# of ballast brings that to 1510#.
If a work bench is that important it would not be difficult to build a fold down work bench inside the trailer on a wall. Same with storage installing cabinets or shelving high on the walls. Loading heavier toys towards the back of the trailer etc. will help. Normally you want the loaded trailer to have 10-15% of total weight on the tongue. (not to exceed the 500# limit)
I wouldn't want to lose 490# of carry capacity with dead weight.
Good luck and tow safe!

Cheers
This is a good point of view...thanks. I need to weigh the entire trailer and stop guessing before I put the ballast in there.

I love the workbench (that the previous owner installed) but it was built with 0 consideration for weight. Bad news is that it was built outside the trailer then installed so there are many redundant pieces of backing. The good news is that it was installed into the trailer and can be removed as one (or two) pieces.

Perhaps I keep 300lbs or so on hand for when I need to dead head.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:25 AM   #10
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Nice looking trailer!

Here is something that may help.

Measuring trailer tongue weight with a bathroom scale

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Old 04-06-2016, 07:29 AM   #11
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I like the last pic in the link too! Thanks!

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Old 04-06-2016, 03:33 PM   #12
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Question is...how did I know?!
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Old 04-06-2016, 03:52 PM   #13
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Here's how I'd do it. Hook up the trailer to the intended tow vehicle. Measure the tongue height in inches from the ground to maybe the bottom of the ball stud. This is the tongue height at 700 pounds of tongue weight, right? Now, find a cute young thing, about 100 pounds. Offer her a beer to stand on the coupler, and measure again. This is the tongue height at 800 pounds. Now, find her twin sister, (oh yeah)hand her a beer and hop her lil' cute self up there -- tongue height at 900 pounds. Now, chase them away before the wife kills you. You can graph these three points as Tongue Height on the vertical axis and tongue weight on the horizontal axis. When you load the trailer, you will load more towards the tail to remove tongue weight, and measure tongue weight with the points inferred on the graph. I'd NOT use ballast unless the load cannot be shifted sufficiently aft to relieve tongue weight, I like the "cute twins method". You can check the loaded tongue weight by using a scale. Weigh your tow vehicle with no trailer, then weigh the combo rig BUT just put the tow vehicle wheels on the scale, the trailer wheels should be off the scale. Subtract the two and here's your actual tongue weight.
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyMac View Post
Here's how I'd do it. Hook up the trailer to the intended tow vehicle. Measure the tongue height in inches from the ground to maybe the bottom of the ball stud. This is the tongue height at 700 pounds of tongue weight, right? Now, find a cute young thing, about 100 pounds. Offer her a beer to stand on the coupler, and measure again. This is the tongue height at 800 pounds. Now, find her twin sister, (oh yeah)hand her a beer and hop her lil' cute self up there -- tongue height at 900 pounds. Now, chase them away before the wife kills you. You can graph these three points as Tongue Height on the vertical axis and tongue weight on the horizontal axis. When you load the trailer, you will load more towards the tail to remove tongue weight, and measure tongue weight with the points inferred on the graph. I'd NOT use ballast unless the load cannot be shifted sufficiently aft to relieve tongue weight, I like the "cute twins method". You can check the loaded tongue weight by using a scale. Weigh your tow vehicle with no trailer, then weigh the combo rig BUT just put the tow vehicle wheels on the scale, the trailer wheels should be off the scale. Subtract the two and here's your actual tongue weight.
Air suspension on the Range Rover and I don't think I'll see the motorhome compress...but good story!
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