What is the proper ratio between trailer & tongue - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-15-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
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What is the proper ratio between trailer & tongue

I recently had my trailer (1984 perris pacer) weighed at the Lake casitas rally. My trailer was 1560 lbs and tongue was either 240 or 260 . Is this a good ratio ?

One of the ideas that I have if it is to heavy on the front, is to relocate my spare tire from the tongue. My rear bumper is fiberglass (not sure how to mount it on that) so the next best would be under the rear bed/dinette (it's always made up as a bed) ..but I really don't like the idea under the bed as I loose alot of storage

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas on the ratio issue as well, as ideas on putting the spare under the rear bed or on the rear of the trailer etc

Thanks...
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
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What is the proper ratio between trailer & tongue weights

Correction to title of post

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Old 11-15-2012, 05:34 PM   #3
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What are you towing with? What is the maximum tongue weight for your vehicle?

Our Subaru forester has a maximum tonge weight of 250 lbs. If your tongue weight gets too low, you can get sway.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #4
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If it's not too much for the tug, I think the weight's fine. In your case the tongue weight's probably higher than the average, but well inside the 10-15% rule-of-thumb.

For handling purposes, a heavier tongue is actually better- tends to reduce sway!

Francesca
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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10% - 15%
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan H View Post
I recently had my trailer (1984 perris pacer) weighed at the Lake casitas rally. My trailer was 1560 lbs and tongue was either 240 or 260 . Is this a good ratio ?

One of the ideas that I have if it is to heavy on the front, is to relocate my spare tire from the tongue. My rear bumper is fiberglass (not sure how to mount it on that) so the next best would be under the rear bed/dinette (it's always made up as a bed) ..but I really don't like the idea under the bed as I loose alot of storage

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas on the ratio issue as well, as ideas on putting the spare under the rear bed or on the rear of the trailer etc

Thanks...

The general rule is 10% to 15% of the trailer weight for tongue weight. In your case 1560 trailer weight that translates to 156lbs to 234lbs tongue weight, with ideal around 12% or 187lbs.
I would suggest you try to get the tongue weight closer to 200lbs or slightly under. Less wear and tear on the tow vehicle suspension will probably tow a bit easier.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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tongue weight

I rechecked a few things....i was off a bit off my tongue weighed in at 260 with a total trailer weigh of 1560. My tow vehicle is a jeep cj7 (wrangler) per the owners manual the tongue limit is 200 but that is using what is called a drawbar hitch. I've replaced that with a frame mounted reciever hitch. I'm guessing I may have to consider relocating my spare tire to under the rear bed or mounting it on the back of the trailer, does anyone have a lead on a rear mount or any ideas ......this sounds like a good winter project

Again thanks for everyone's input this is a great site with extremely knowledge members
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:59 AM   #8
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Alan when you weigh the tongue make sure the trailer is on level ground and the tongue is sitting at the same height it would be if it was attached to the tow vehicle. I have found as others have suggest that the best all round tow experience has been a ratio in the 12% range.

The more level the trailer is on the hitch the better the trailer will tow. If it sits with the tongue down the heavier tongue weight on the tow vehicle which can resulting in less mpg and a rougher ride and if its sitting high then its going to be lighter on the tongue, which can resulting in a less than stable tow & a sway problem. I had to add about a 3" drop draw bar to my tow vehicle to get a level trailer while towing.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan H View Post
I rechecked a few things....i was off a bit off my tongue weighed in at 260 with a total trailer weigh of 1560. My tow vehicle is a jeep cj7 (wrangler) per the owners manual the tongue limit is 200 but that is using what is called a drawbar hitch. I've replaced that with a frame mounted reciever hitch. I'm guessing I may have to consider relocating my spare tire to under the rear bed or mounting it on the back of the trailer, does anyone have a lead on a rear mount or any ideas ......this sounds like a good winter project

Again thanks for everyone's input this is a great site with extremely knowledge members
?
I'm not sure what you mean by "drawbar hitch"....I've heard that term used with farm equipment, but never with cars etc. If the manual means "weight distributing" hitch, the type you've got on would actually be too "light" for the 200 pound weight limit.

But if 200 pounds is the number you're working with, you're definitely too high for the tug.

My tug has a 200 pound limit, too, and I keep it under that by a combination of inside/outside load management. For example, depending on what I have on the back of the trailer, the spare travels around...sometimes it's up front under the bed, sometimes I put it on the roof of the car, or even inside the car if I don't have the grandkids with me.

You'd be surprised how much difference you can make by moving things around!

Francesca
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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That is a pretty heavy tongue for a 1500 lb trailer. Do you have 2 propane tanks or two batteries?

One thing I do to take some weight off the front is to carry a 1/2 tank of water. In my case that puts 50 lbs of water on the backside of the trailer. I know some people are hesitant to do this because of the additional weight, but most towing load is due to frontal area and not weight.

Was your trailer designed to have your tire on the font portion of the frame? Most fiberglass trailers, at least Casitas and Scamps, carry their spares on the rear wall. This moves about 30 lbs to the rear.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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tongue weihg

I have only 1 Lp tank (2o lb'r) and 1 battery. The trailer does not have a bracket mount on the back (i wish it did) When I purchased the trailer the spare was under the bed / table...i put it on the tongue to free up some storage space. I'm hoping someone has some ideas on relocating the spare tire other than into the trailer

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Old 11-16-2012, 04:34 PM   #12
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Rear mount brackets are readily available and just bolt on...here's one:
Folding, Bumper Mounted Tire Carrier - U-Bolt Mount Stromberg Carlson Trailer Cargo Control TR-2

Francesca
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:39 PM   #13
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I've never seen one of these...That would work if I welded a piece of steel between the frame pieces....my bumper is a fiberglass piece bolted to the frame members.....this looks like a good solution once I have a stronger enough piece mounted ....thanks for the idea
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