How Tongue Weight Works - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
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How Tongue Weight Works

HOW TONGUE WEIGHT WORKS

Not your tongue, your trailer's tongue:

HowStuffWorks "How Tongue Weight Works"
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:33 PM   #2
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Generally not bad - certainly not as bad as some of the stuff posted on HowStuffWorks and similar sites - but the photo caption shows that whoever built this doesn't know what they're talking about:
Quote:
The front wheels of the tow vehicle are barely on the ground. Is the tongue weight too heavy?
The tow vehicle's front axle load is probably about a ton (not barely touching the ground), as shown by the fact that the front is at nearly normal ride height for the vehicle. Yes, the rear is clearly overloaded, but the bend tongue on the trailer exaggerates the attitude of the trailer... that's why it is an amusing image from a stock photo company. The rear axle overloading might not even be due to excessive hitch weight, since there is cargo piled up inside the Jeep, and it might also just have collapsed rear springs. It's a gag photo, not a serious illustration, so how serious is the article?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
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The picture brings up an interesting question- if the trailer and auto are level, is the tongue weight necessarily right?
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:01 PM   #4
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How it works is the longer the tongue the less weight you have to have on it.
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IMG_3466.JPG   IMG_3946.JPG  

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Old 04-23-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie Mayer View Post
... if the trailer and auto are level, is the tongue weight necessarily right?
No. Yes, I think that's a reasonable question; but no, it doesn't mean the tongue weight is necessarily right.
  • If the tug is low in the back, it is likely overloaded, but that does not mean that the trailer tongue weight is too high for the trailer, and it may not be too high even for the tug.
  • If the trailer is low in the front, that does not mean that the trailer tongue weight is too high for the trailer - it might not even be high enough - it just means that the tug and hitch are not properly configured.
  • The converse applies for each of the above (high does not mean too light).
  • Even if the tug and trailer are both perfectly level, the tongue weight could still either be too high (but the problem is masked by pumped up rear tug suspension or heavy application of a weight-distributing hitch system), or too low.

Whether following the posted HowStuffWorks page or not, the only way to determine tongue weight is to measure it, not just eyeball the rig.
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