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Old 07-01-2022, 07:13 AM   #1
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added weight to tongue

Hi,
i have read that adding a carrier shelf to the back of a trailer adds 10x the weight of the item to be carried....

is it then also true that carrying a generator above the propane tanks with an added shelf will do the same thing?....it will certainly add the weight of the gen and shelf ect.

thanks all
joe
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Old 07-01-2022, 08:11 AM   #2
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Don't have a clue about the origins of that claim.

Adding weight behind the rear bumper, all other things equal, is going to reduce the tongue weight. The impact on the trailer axle(s) is going to be significant, but without having the various lengths from the load to the axle, tongue to axle, etc., I can't compute. (It's been so long since I did the math, I may never be able to compute it again.) I would tend to think the trailer axles are going to see something more like twice the weight of what ever is hung off the rear bumper, not 10 times the weight. For 10 times the weight, the distance from the tongue to the axle would have to be 5 times greater than from the axle to the rear load added.

Adding weight to the tongue is going to obviously add tongue weight. This could seriously compromise the tongue capacity as well as the payload, so need to be careful. It is going to impact the trailer axles, but for what I picture in my head, not near as much impact as hanging weights off the rear bumper since weight loaded on the tongue is going to be closer to the tongue, thus the tongue will support the greater share of the weight.

Either of these modifications is going to change the distribution of weight across the axles and tongue, so a WDH will likely need adjustment and the towing characteristics will change. Arguably, when these things change, usually not for the better.
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Old 07-01-2022, 08:16 AM   #3
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Just think of the simple playground see-saw. When you add weight to one end, it will appear to lighten the load on the other end.

As for adding weight extended beyond the hitch on the rear bumper you can do a simple experiment at home. Put 5# of sugar in a container and hold it against the body. This is not so hard. Now hold the container on a stick 2 feet long from the body. This is much harder. Now extend the stick to 3 or 4 feet.

The moment arm you are creating is the force or load time the distance. 5# at 1 FT is 5 LB-FT and at 3 FT it is 15 LB-FT.

Ken
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Old 07-01-2022, 08:44 AM   #4
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I added a frame mounted cargo rack on the back of my trailer. When I added 100 pounds to the rack, tongue weight decreased about 60 lbs. There is about 65 lbs on there now.
Not a real concern since I have a 12-13% tongue weight.
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumjoe View Post
Hi,
i have read that adding a carrier shelf to the back of a trailer adds 10x the weight of the item to be carried....

is it then also true that carrying a generator above the propane tanks with an added shelf will do the same thing?....it will certainly add the weight of the gen and shelf ect.

thanks all
joe
For best stability of your rig you don't want to concentrate too much weight either in the back or in the front of your trailer. Too much weight in the back could cause your trailer to sway. Too much weight in the front could cause your tow vehicle to oversteer and possibly jackknife. Try to put the heaviest items over the trailer axles and the lightest items in the front and back.
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:41 AM   #6
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If planning to add weight to a rear carrier, be mindful that the biggest effect on tongue weight is the weight of liquids in the trailer, and where they are distributed in relation to axle(s). At 8.4lbs per gallon, a full 35 gal gray tank, and full 25 gal black tank, if they are located behind the axles as they normally would be, will have a huge effect on tongue weight. Similarly, a full 40 gal fresh tank, although normally located close to center of mass, will also have an effect. So, if you add weight to the bumper, you’ll need to be careful about tank levels. I’ve found that failure to empty my waste tanks noticeably changes towing dynamics in my rig. If you have a propane generator, you can carry it in the pass through where it’s effect on tongue weight is less than tongue mounting.
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Old 07-03-2022, 10:11 AM   #7
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What they said. Generally, adding weight to a tt bumper hitch is risky. Adding it to the tongue isn't a problem as far as trailer stability goes but you need to ensure that you are well within all the applicable payload, axle, tire ratings etc.
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Old 07-03-2022, 12:10 PM   #8
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The effect on tongue weight, of adding a weight to the trailer can be calculated by this formula:
TW = W x D1/D2
where
TW = the change in tongue weight
W= weight of object
D1 = the distance to the new weight from the middle of the two axles
D2 = the distance from middle of the axles to the ball.
Note that if the weight is behind the axles D1 is a negative number.

Example:
40 LB Genny added to bumper of my trailer
D1 = -84 inches
D2 = 180 inches
TW = 40 x (-84)/180 = -19LB (means TW goes down by 19 LB)
Example:
40 LB Genny added directly over ball
W = 40
D1=180 inches
D2 = 180 inches
TW = 40 x 180/180 = 40LB (means TW goes up by 40 LB)
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