Re: Trailer Tongue Weight Question
Mon, 16 Aug 1999 22:30:25 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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Hitches are rated for both towing weight and tongue weight. More than 10%
weight on the tongue is probably okay if you don't exceed the hitch rating
for tongue weight. If you tow with small vehicles as I do you might not
want to put more weight on the tow vehicle than is necessary for stability.
I'm thinking of moving the hitch tower back a few inches on my P14 to move
the boat aft and reduce the tongue weight. I don't use a tongue jack and
find it heavy work to lift the tongue on and off the hitch. It also puts an
excessive load on the tow vehicle's rear suspension. When I had a hitch
installed on my Toyota Chinook, I had to return it to the shop and have the
hitch strengthened when the bumper started to crack from the excessive
tongue weight. But stability has never been a problem.

Harry Gordon
P14 #234, Manatee
Little Dude tilt-up trailer
Mountain View, CA

>Judy and All
>I don't know if I am a trailer guru, but I will try to answer your question.
>I have towed many sail and power boats in my time. The only time I got in
>trouble towing a boat was with a Ford Bronco. The trailer tongue weight was
>less than it should have been and the length from the tow ball to the axle
>was not enough. I just about lost the whole thing on I 35 when it started to
>sway. The remedy was to move the axle back which of course added to the
>tongue weight. I never had trouble again. The short wheel base of the
>Bronco also added to the problem. Since the I have towed mostly with
>Suburbans. I have always left the length from the ball to the axle as long
>as I could, and have carried plenty of tongue weight. One advantage that I
>have is that the Suburban can handle a lot of tongue weight. In my opinion it
>is to your advantage to carry as much tongue weight as you can for your tow
>vehicle. This in turn keeps the distance from the ball to the axle at a
>greater distance which also adds to the stability of the rig. I guess what
>I'm trying to say is that if your tow vehicle can handle the weight, and it
>is towing ok the way it is, I'd leave it just the way it is. There is no
>rule saying that you cannot go above the 5 to 10%. I have always believed
>this to be a minimum. Any other ideas out there?
>Dale Place
>Farmington, Mn
>P19 #769 Maggie May