General question about tongue weight.

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  #1  
Old 03-11-19, 05:53 PM
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General question about tongue weight.

I've converted a 12' jayco pop up camper into a BBQ trailer. I'm trying to decide on a new smoker to put on it, the one I want weighs 350 and plan to put it up front . This would be the only thing on the front of the trailer there will be a 3 compartment sink and a small fridge on the back end. Is that too much weight on the front? Thanks
 
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Old 03-11-19, 05:58 PM
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I'd seriously doubt it but, what kind of truck is it?
 
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Old 03-11-19, 06:03 PM
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I'm pulling it with a Nissan Titan.

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Old 03-11-19, 06:25 PM
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Without knowing the weight on the tongue, trailer weight etc, & what truck you have, I cant say for certain.

The maximum towing capacity when using the Genuine Nissan step bumper, as a ball mount hitch is limited to 3,500 lbs. and 350 lbs. tongue load.

This is from a basic google search. I dont know if this is a 1990 model or a 2019 model.
 
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Old 03-11-19, 06:31 PM
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I tried to Google it and couldn't come up with it .But after reading what you've said I'm going to guess I'm good .I have an 08 Titan with a hitch .Really appreciate your help.
 
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Old 03-12-19, 09:48 AM
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Ezee question.
You need an approximate tongue weight of 10% of the gross weight of the trailer.
So, if i were to guess that you have 3500 lb axles you should have about 350 lbs on the tongue.
More than this you could overload the tongue of the trailer and put too much weight on the hitch and vehicle.
Much less than 10% could overload the trailers suspension and could cause the trailer to be unstable when towing.


Is there a truck scale you could take it to weight it all.
 
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Old 03-12-19, 10:49 AM
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You always want tongue weight and like GregH mentioned 10% is a good number though many small trailers run a higher percentage. I am about 15-16% on the small trailer I use most often with 250 on the tongue of a 1'600 pound trailer. The small trailer I use for pulling my mower is about 30% tongue weight and still handles well but I pull with a 2500 diesel which can handle a lot of tongue weight.

For a small trailer I would try to keep the tongue weight to the lower end to make hitching easier. With a lighter tongue weight it's reasonably easy to shove or bump it to line up with the ball when hitching. The heavier the tongue weight gets the more difficult to man handle. A heavier tongue weight also makes cranking the jack up and down more difficult.

If you get too light with the tongue weight the trailer can sway at higher speeds. I have pulled small trailers with only 3-5% tongue weight and they still handled OK but I wouldn't recommend it.
 
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Old 03-12-19, 04:19 PM
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I have to take the trailer to get weighed at the landfill to get proper tags. So I guess that will give me an idea of how much weight I should have on the tongue .
 
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Old 03-12-19, 04:46 PM
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For a small trailer I measure the tongue weight at home with a bathroom scale or I use the shipping scale at work. Then I go to the local grain elevator to weigh the trailer. Their display can be read while I have the truck pulled off the scale. The weight display at the landfill is right at the end of the scale so I can't read the weight without getting out of the truck and walking back.
 
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Old 03-13-19, 02:55 PM
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The landfill I go to will give you a print out of your trailer weight so you can take it to the DMV and get tags . Also just wanted to thank everyone for the help I think I have it figured out .Thanks
 
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Old 03-14-19, 04:38 AM
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I would add that after you get the weight of the trailer that you check the weight capacity of the tires which are printed on them.
Often the tires do not match the capacity of the axle and would be unsafe if they were too low a rating.
 

Last edited by GregH; 03-15-19 at 02:47 AM. Reason: Typo
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