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Old 11-29-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
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Receiver hitch weight & tongue weight

The hitch receiver on my F250 has a maximum 1,250 lbs with weight distribution, the dry hitch weight of our new trailer is 1,080 lbs. based on these two figures I will be over the maximum weight of the hitch receiver. Am I missing something, or do I need to need a heavier hitch receiver?
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Old 11-30-2013, 02:37 AM   #2
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1,250lb minus 1,080 lb equals 170lb you have to spare.

Looks to me like you are UNDER your maximum limit.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:58 AM   #3
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He said the trailer DRY hitch weight.
The 170 lb difference extrapulates out to 1,700 - 1734 lbs that can be added to the trailer IF the 1,080 lbs is already 10 - 12 % of the trailer weight, PROVIDED he doesn't exceed the max gross vehicle weight of the trailer.

What is the trailer dry weight? A 10,800 lb trailer would have a 10% tounge weight of 1,080 lbs. How close are you to your other numbers? Max Towing?

A CAT scale is what you need now. Go weight trailer - drop weight with tongue jack in front section for front axles, trailer axles on the back part of the scale. Do this loaded and ready to camp. Get a weight ticket for the truck only, LOADED, fueled, ready to go, with all passengers and driver with front and rear axles on the different scale pads. Then hook trailer and get weight of the combo together - one reading with the WDH snapped up, and one with the WDH un snapped. Going to require multiple passes on the scales, but will give you a more accurate picture of your numbers and how close (or if over) you are with your current combo and how the weight is distributed with your current hitch adjustment.
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Old 11-30-2013, 12:36 PM   #4
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First, what TT have you got?

You could potentially have a problem. Actual tongue weights can go up substantially from the factory listed dry wt., or sometimes, not much. Ours is nearly double the factory dry wt. Actual tongue wt. usually varies between 10 - 15% of the gross trailer wt., and is what is needed for proper handling and safety. Our TT has an actual percentage of just under 15%. You need to find out what your actual is. If you don't know the actual wt. of your TT at the moment, use the factory GVWR figure and apply 15% of that to be conservative.

Based on your receiver rating and tongue percentage, you could handle a TT with gross wt. of 8,333 to 12,500 lbs. If the trailer is on the heavier side, you may need to look at your GCWR rating which is the rating for TT + TV. The GCWR can range between something like 15K - 33K depending on your diff. ratio and tranny type. If your truck is 6K+ lbs, you could potentially be over on the GCWR. Truck and trailer specs would be needed to confirm.

To determine you actual tongue wt., you can either go to a scale or buy a Sherline tongue wt. scale. If you go to a scale, it takes 3 separate passes (truck only, hitched up with WDH engaged, and hitched up without WDH engaged). A scale would be preferable, at least for the first time because you'll also get your TT total gross wt. as well as being able to check the wt. distribution of the hitch and finding out what your actual truck payload capacity is.

Actual payload capacity in a truck can be a lot less than what the door jamb sticker says. Besides the receiver rating, you want to know if you are overloading your truck with the tongue weight plus passengers, pets, groceries and cargo. If your truck has factory options like long box, 4x4, super or crew cab, and misc. things like tow hooks plus anything you might have added like say a canopy, you could have lost a lot in payload capacity. Our F250 lost 800 - 900 lbs (I'd have to go look up the numbers) and we are down to 1800 lbs of actual payload cap. Still plenty for us. Passengers, cargo, etc. can add around 400-500 lbs and you *might* be fine on payload capacity, but you may want to know for sure what it is.

Hitches come in different class ratings. Your F250 would have a class IV setup. Good for max. 12,500 lbs with a WDH engaged. Here's some info. from etrailer: http://http://www.etrailer.com/faq-ballmount.aspx and http://http://www.etrailer.com/faq-hitch-size.aspx

You can't simply beef up your existing receiver. You'll notice that to go to a class IV receiver rated up to 14,000 lbs (with WDH engaged), the square receiver opening goes from 2"x2" to 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". You would have to go to an aftermarket receiver to get up to 14,000 lbs of towing and 1,400 lbs tongue capacity.

Lastly, the balls also have ratings and you will find it stamped in the top. You may have a ball that is only rated for 10,000 lbs for example and you need to ensure it is good for the weight of your TT. More etrailer info.: http://http://www.etrailer.com/dept-...eter_Ball.aspx
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1010 View Post
The hitch receiver on my F250 has a maximum 1,250 lbs with weight distribution, the dry hitch weight of our new trailer is 1,080 lbs. based on these two figures I will be over the maximum weight of the hitch receiver. Am I missing something, or do I need to need a heavier hitch receiver?
If the dry hitch weight is over 1,000 pounds, then your wet and loaded hitch weight will probably exceed 1,250 pounds. Only the scales will know for sure.

If you comply with myredracer's suggestions, then you'll know where you stand. DO NOT tow with more hitch weight or more gross trailer weight than your receiver is rated for. If the GVWR of your TT is more than 10,000 pounds, then you probably need a heavier-duty receiver to safely tow that trailer.

HD receivers are available. I'm a Reese fan, so this is probably the one I'd order:
Reese Trailer Hitch for Ford F-250 and F-350 Super Duty 2010 - 45297

That 2.5" HD receiver will handle up to 2,000 pounds hitch weight. That should be more than you'll ever need, assuming you don't want exceed any of the weight ratings of your F-250.

That one is a 2.5" receiver. A 2" receiver is a lot easier to buy matching WD hitches for. Reese (and others) makes 2" receivers rated for about 1,400 pounds hitch weight, so that may be the one you want.

For a matching WD hitch, be sure it's rated for hitch weight of at least 15% of the GVWR of the trailer. Probably 1400 pounds in a Reese Strait-Line or Equal-I-Zer.
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:17 AM   #6
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I want to thank every one for replying, to answer all individually would take me forever.

The TT is a 2014 Outdoors RV Black Stone 280 RLSB, 36' long, GVWR of 10,300 lbs.

The hitch is a Husky Center line with 1,200 bars, the ball is rated 12,000 lbs.

I am going to weigh the TV & TT loaded as suggested, however for this trip I am not worried about being over loaded except for the hitch weight as we will be traveling light.

Based on the numbers of the dry tongue weight and the receiver carrying weight it appears I need a class V receiver hitch to tow this trailer, period. It seems that the 1,200 lb bars would also be too light. Does the WD hitch change the numbers, lowering the tongue weight, if it doesn't then I need a class V receiver hitch before I tow the trailer anywhere?

Thanks again
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:16 AM   #7
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When I had a travel trailer with weight distribution bars I weighed the entire rig once with the bars attached and then released the bars and weighed again.

Approximately 300 pounds shifted from the truck rear axle to the truck front axle.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:12 AM   #8
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Nice trailer! Jealous... Nice WDH too.

I see the factory dry tongue weight is listed as 1080 lbs. Hard to tell where it will actually end up. I'm guessing possibly 1250 - 1400 lbs. Again, just a guess and every make and model can vary a little or a lot. May also be affected by any factory options it has.

Another thing to think about is that if you were to travel with full holding tanks, that would be over 1500 lbs of liquid in total. Not that you would ever have them completely full, but it's possible to have a LOT of additional wt. there. It looks like that would you over the GVWR rating. Not good in itself, but it could increase your tongue weight by maybe another 150 - 250 lbs, but depends on where the tanks are located.

The WDH engaged or not will not change the tongue wt. number used for sizing the bars. I've read someone here say that when the WDH is properly adjusted, you'll end up with approx. 25% of the tongue wt. transferred to the steer axle, 50% to the drive axle and 25% to the trailer axles. The vertical tongue wt. from the trailer remains the same, but it gets shifted between axles. There's a really good diagram out there that explains this, but I don't know where to find it.

You need to watch that your actual tongue weight is not more than hitch bar rating. Otherwise you may not be able to "wind up" the bars enough when engaged to transfer weight onto the steer axles. Plus, with bars that are near or over the rating, you can end up with too much bounce in the trailer (BTDT).

It sounds like you might be borderline on the bar size but you won't know until you weigh the trailer. Same with the receiver. I don't want to be the one that says you're definitely okay, but it *seems* like you should be fine to tow the trailer home or to a scale without anything loaded into it. I'm thinking you will end up with a class V receiver for certain tho.

It sounds like you are probably good on the truck payload capacity, but again, going to a scale will give you the knowledge and peace of mind.

BTW, when you weigh the TT, you should have it loaded, packed and ready as you would for a camping trip. This additional wt. can add in the range of 1,000 - 1,500 lbs.

Please post your results from going to a scale!
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:45 AM   #9
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What I saw, the floor plan shows a fairly well balanced trailer. Bet the tongue weight doesn't vary much dry vs. loaded, and you can move stuff around to balance the trailer so you don't go heavy on the tongue. Just don't go too light. That is probably worse than tongue heavy.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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I agree with smokey, just upgrade the receiver. No worries and possibly a better tow as the new receiver will be structurally stronger with less flexing.
Assuming the TT comes near the advertised dry weight of 8250lb and you add 1000lbs for gear, that puts you at 9250lbs. TW will be between 10-15% so figure 12.5% for estimating purposes @1156lbs.
Looking at the floor plan most of the storage is either over the axles or in the front. Virtually nothing in the rear. I don't see how you could not load 2-300lbs in the front with the bedroom slide outs and of course the front cargo area.
Remember your WD hitch adds near 100lbs by it's self. That right their puts the dry TW at 1180lbs, only 70lbs less than the rating.
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Does the WD hitch change the numbers, lowering the tongue weight, if it doesn't then I need a class V receiver hitch before I tow the trailer anywhere?
What myredracer said. The WD hitch does not change the tongue weight, it just distributes the tongue weight to various axles of the rig.

You can determine the approximate tongue weight by making two passes over the CAT scale - one with the trailer tied on without the WD bars engaged, and one without the trailer. The difference in the combined weight on the two truck axles, AKA the truck gross vehicle weight (GVW), is the tongue weight.

Or you can determine exact tongue weight by using a Sherline tongue weight scale. If you are going to be towing "bumper pull" trailers more than once in a blue moon, then you need to invest in a Sherline Tongue Weight scale anyway. Here's the one I have:
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
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Remember your WD hitch adds near 100lbs by it's self.
Yes, the WDH will add some weight. But... The hitch head/shank + bars form part of the added weight to the TV. Only the snap-up brackets and the chains(or other bracket types) would go towards added weight on the trailer's tongue. The proper procedure when going through a scale is to put the bars in the back of the TV.

As SmokeyWren says, a Sherline scale would be a good idea. Best pricing here?: http://http://www.discountcampus.com...ilerscales.htm
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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Yes, the WDH will add some weight. But... The hitch head/shank + bars form part of the added weight to the TV. Only the snap-up brackets and the chains(or other bracket types) would go towards added weight on the trailer's tongue. The proper procedure when going through a scale is to put the bars in the back of the TV.

As SmokeyWren says, a Sherline scale would be a good idea. Best pricing here?: http://http://www.discountcampus.com...ilerscales.htm
It's still weight added to the receiver. Anything stuck in the receivers hole is added weight whether TW and or WD. My point was that with a TW of 1080lbs and just adding the 100lbs for the WD will almost max his receivers rating. Then add 60lbs of propane and whatever else in the front of the TT and more than likely he's over the receivers rating.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:42 PM   #14
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It's still weight added to the receiver. Anything stuck in the receivers hole is added weight whether TW and or WD. My point was that with a TW of 1080lbs and just adding the 100lbs for the WD will almost max his receivers rating. Then add 60lbs of propane and whatever else in the front of the TT and more than likely he's over the receivers rating.
My point is that anything stuck into the receiver hole and does not move vertically relative to the receiver is not weight added to the GTW of the trailer. It's not physically possible and it's only the snap-up brackets that are dead wt. added to the tongue. Just the brackets like these are 13 lbs shipped. Including a couple of chains, that will only add about 15 lbs to the OP's 1080 TW. Pretty insignificant.

http://http://www.etrailer.com/Acces...se/RP6637.html

Anyhoo, it's all speculation until he goes to a scale.
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