I have an enclosed 6x10 cargo trailer that I use to haul dirt bikes to the races. The axle is pretty far back so i dont have a lot of freedom to move the cargo around in order to manipulate the tongue weight. Totally empty, the trailer is 1025 and the tongue weight is just about 300 pounds. Loaded down the trailer weighs about 2300 pounds but the tongue weight is almost 600! The stock hitch that comes with the standard tow package is only rated at 500, correct? Even if it's rated higher, shouldn't the tongue weight only be 10-15% of the total trailer weight?
Thats correct on both accounts. Not sure if I would worry about 100lbs. JMO. If you were at say 750+ I would think about some form of WD. Really too bad they don't make an after market reciever with higher non WD ratings. But I guess the way it's tied into the bumper must limit it somewhat.
The receiver is rated at that pound, but the bar and ball determine the actual weight. Check the ratings on bars, and use a heavier bar, and you should be golden.
Another thing to consider about tongue weight, the more weight you put on the ball, the less weight on the front axle. Believe me when I say this, You don't want a light front end, it isnt fun. I used to drive an 18 wheeler hauling lumber and the moron who bought the trucks got a city truck with a short wheelbase, which meant moving the 5th wheel all the way back to make room for the headache rack. That truck was a handful on gravel and rain. I had to bump steer it when going around the yard.
Hook your trailer up empty, measure the front wheel opening, and then load up your trailer and measure the opening again, this will give you an idea on the tongue weight, it if goes up an inch, you should be fine, anything over than that, I would rebalance the trailer load.
I got that weight by using an actual scale designed for trailers.
So, does a wd hitch allow you to exceed the 10-15% tongue weight rule (since i am currently at about 20-22% with no cargo left to shift around) or does it just help you when 10-15% is enough to sag the truck to a dangerous level?
The other option I considered was to add weight up under the floor at the rear of the trailer to try to get the tongue weight down to about 12%.
Loaded down the trailer weighs about 2300 pounds but the tongue weight is almost 600!
That's 26 percent wet and loaded hitch weight. No good on tag trailer. You are talking about a tag trailer, right? Move the heaviest cargo to the very back of the trailer, and put only lighter stuff in front of the trailer axles.
If you can't achieve no more than 15% hitch weight, then you need to move the trailer axles forward a foot or so. That's no big deal to a competent welding shop or trailer manufacturer.
However, I wouldn't worry much about 600 pounds hitch weight - assuming your receiver, ball mount and ball are all rated for at least 600 pounds WC. You probably won't be overloading the tow vehicle in any way, and too much percentage of hitch weight is not necessarily bad if nothing is overloaded. If the trailer tows good when loaded with 600 pounds hitch weight, then it's not emergency time. But I would plan to have the trailer axles moved forward soon.
Grumpy ole man with over 50 years towing experience. 2012 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew EcoBoost, 6.5' bed, Platinum White/tan, Leer 100XQ camper shell, Nomad Joey 196S TT, CarMate 7x14' enclosed cargo trailer, three other utility trailers, plus a retired 2000 Keystone Sprinter 25RKS 5er we rarely tow now. ProPride hitch on the TT. Reese Strait-Line hitch on the cargo trailer.
Last edited by smokeywren; 02-26-2012 at 11:43 PM.
I believe the 10-15% is a guideline. With under 10% tongue weight, trailer sway is becoming an increased issue, so you should never go there.
But: the high end of this guideline - the 15% - really is just that: a guideline. As long as you don't go over the trailers GVWR, axle ratings, the trailer tongue rating itself as well as the trucks tongue weight rating, you should be fine. I have seen trailers sold that were at 20% tongue weight EMPTY, specifically several popup campers fall into that category.
But in your case, you are over the tongue weight rating of the truck, so you should either move weight around in the trailer, have the trailer axles shifted, or add a good WDH.
2012 XLT, EB, 157" WB, screw, 4x4, HD payload, max tow