Setting tongue weight? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:34 PM
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Setting tongue weight?

How do you guys know your trailer is balanced?
I have read tons of threads, and looked at lots of pics, both goosenecks and bumper pulls.
The gooseneck trailers always seem to have way more load forward of the trailer tires, so I chalked that up to the hitch system, bags, etc

On a bumper pull how do you know your balanced?

I stopped by the main trailer shop we have here and the guy said to get a yard stick and it's right if the ball on your rig drops 1-1.5 inches when you pull the trailer jack up.

I am moving and will be hauling a 2400lb car hauler with a 5k truck and some shop equipment on it. I can move everything around as needed. Trailer is rated for 8k and has brakes.
I moved 10 years ago and had a butt pucker trailer wag situation with a car hauler and the same truck on it and do not want to have a repeat. A guy at the next truck stop said most likely it was not enough tongue weight. I was hauling it that time with a kodiak box truck that was loaded so I didn't even feel it, but when I looked in the mirror I crapped myself.

I'll be towing with an E450 box that will be loaded. And weigh alot less than the kodiak.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:59 AM
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Rule of thumb on a bumper pull is about 20% of the weight be on the tongue.
Don't let the tail wag the dog.
Doug
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:35 AM
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20% sounds high though for a trailer in the 4-8K range.....

I set my 6K trailer (which weighs 6K All the time) at 10%. I think 1,200lbs on the tongue would be Way too much. I have no sway at 600lbs.

Because my trailers weight and distribution doesn't change, I moved the axles to set the tongue weight.

By using a bathroom scale, a lever arm, and a 3-to-1 pivot point on the tongue you can actually get an accurate measurement. I see 200lbs on the scale so I know I have 600lbs on the ball.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRalPh View Post
20% sounds high though for a trailer in the 4-8K range.....

I set my 6K trailer (which weighs 6K All the time) at 10%. I think 1,200lbs on the tongue would be Way too much. I have no sway at 600lbs.

Because my trailers weight and distribution doesn't change, I moved the axles to set the tongue weight.

By using a bathroom scale, a lever arm, and a 3-to-1 pivot point on the tongue you can actually get an accurate measurement. I see 200lbs on the scale so I know I have 600lbs on the ball.
Yeah 20% is what I thought you wanted for a gooseneck, I thought 10-15 was what you wanted with a "bumper pull"
I built a hitch that is basically a class 5, 1/4 steel, 2 side rails 2 foot long, 5/8 grade 8 bolts through frame and a 24 inch receiver welded to 3 crossmembers. Maybe overkill but I prefer that.

So a 4 foot bar, jack stand on the scale at the 3.5 foot mark, trailer tongue at the 1.5 foot mark and another jack stand under the .5 foot mark?
Would that work?

The other reason I want to get this right is the distance from the rear axle to the ball is quite a bit more than on a pickup, so tongue weight will have more leverage.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:46 AM
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For clear diagram, I would Google it. But basically, the 4ft beam has your solid point (a jackstand would work) at one end, the tongue 1ft in, and the scale 3ft from the tongue. I used a piece of plate on the scale (not meant to have 200lbs on just a couple of sq inches) and got a "tear" wt. with everything before lowering the tongue down on to it.
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