Weighed the tongue weight of our rig, shocked!

scottkp

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Hey Guys,

I got the itch based on another forum post to physically weigh the tongue weight of my rig. Lets just say I was shocked based on the various thoughts and theories out there that exist on what the proper tongue weight should be. I know this is a touchy subject so let me preface by saying I do not have the foggiest clue of what is right/wrong - nor does the internet seem to have a common answer. I have read more forums on this topic than I'd like to admit (Here, Hull Truth, Shorelander, Audi, and a bunch of other sites) and found tongue weight recommendations range from 5%-20% of the gross weight.

I simply want to share what I have done and the actual measurements of our rig. Who knows, this may be some help to others out there or just another post to help pass time away while we are all at work!

That being said, here are the specs that I have gathered thus far (rough & advertised weights) and a couple shots of how things were measured. Keep in mind I received my boat and trailer from the dealer as a package and they positioned the boat on the trailer like this.

Boat3,100 lbsListed/advertised weight
Trailer1,400 lbsListed/advertised weight
Motor500 lbsListed/advertised weight
Fuel175 lbs6.3 lbs / gallon
Misc. weight300 lbsGear, cooler, rafts, etc
Total weight5,475 lbs

The images below will show how the Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight scale recommended setting up the measurements.

Based on the measurements I only have roughly 5% of the weight on the tongue. Again, shocked by this as I have towed the boat from Ohio to North & South Carolina multiple times and it was just fine - no sway whatsoever. That puts me in the very bottom of the "Acceptable" tongue weight according to the ol' google machine....

I myself am going to try to add a few more pounds to the tongue I just need to figure out how to do so. The ladder/stand is right up against the fork so I can move the boat +8" forward, but not anything less (to jump over the fork) or start monkeying with the axels which I prefer not to do. Both present inherent challenges so I am curious if anyone else has any thoughts?

Happy Friday!


Hitch.jpgHeight.jpgDial.jpgLevel.jpg
 

LaurencetheAdventurer

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Hey Guys,

I got the itch based on another forum post to physically weigh the tongue weight of my rig. Lets just say I was shocked based on the various thoughts and theories out there that exist on what the proper tongue weight should be. I know this is a touchy subject so let me preface by saying I do not have the foggiest clue of what is right/wrong - nor does the internet seem to have a common answer. I have read more forums on this topic than I'd like to admit (Here, Hull Truth, Shorelander, Audi, and a bunch of other sites) and found tongue weight recommendations range from 5%-20% of the gross weight.

I simply want to share what I have done and the actual measurements of our rig. Who knows, this may be some help to others out there or just another post to help pass time away while we are all at work!

That being said, here are the specs that I have gathered thus far (rough & advertised weights) and a couple shots of how things were measured. Keep in mind I received my boat and trailer from the dealer as a package and they positioned the boat on the trailer like this.

Boat3,100 lbsListed/advertised weight
Trailer1,400 lbsListed/advertised weight
Motor500 lbsListed/advertised weight
Fuel175 lbs6.3 lbs / gallon
Misc. weight300 lbsGear, cooler, rafts, etc
Total weight5,475 lbs

The images below will show how the Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight scale recommended setting up the measurements.

Based on the measurements I only have roughly 5% of the weight on the tongue. Again, shocked by this as I have towed the boat from Ohio to North & South Carolina multiple times and it was just fine - no sway whatsoever. That puts me in the very bottom of the "Acceptable" tongue weight according to the ol' google machine....

I myself am going to try to add a few more pounds to the tongue I just need to figure out how to do so. The ladder/stand is right up against the fork so I can move the boat +8" forward, but not anything less (to jump over the fork) or start monkeying with the axels which I prefer not to do. Both present inherent challenges so I am curious if anyone else has any thoughts?

Happy Friday!


View attachment 29830View attachment 29831Move
 

LaurencetheAdventurer

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Move spare tire forward, add tool box with jack and parts, add gas can rack, move anchor / other heavy objects to front storage.
 

adkboater

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Don’t try an reinvent the wheel, the reason you found no solid answer is because there isn’t just one right answer. Every truck /trailer combination can and will be different. If you didn’t have enough tongue weight for application you would of known right away as you stated you’ve towed this a pretty good distance. It’s really just a trial and error. Hopefully not the roll your rig kind of error! You move the boat forward or add junk to the tongue and it may ride like crap and not tow any better. My last boat was light on the tongue and you’d never know it was behind the truck, this boat has more weight and still toes the same. This especially applies to SUVs. I have 8 different trailers I tow anything from small dingos to 10k pound scissor lifts and a 24’ enclosed snowmobile trailer. Each had its own characteristics. Long story short...if you’re set up is working leave it be.
 

jhill

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Portland, Oregon
Hey Guys,

I got the itch based on another forum post to physically weigh the tongue weight of my rig. Lets just say I was shocked based on the various thoughts and theories out there that exist on what the proper tongue weight should be. I know this is a touchy subject so let me preface by saying I do not have the foggiest clue of what is right/wrong - nor does the internet seem to have a common answer. I have read more forums on this topic than I'd like to admit (Here, Hull Truth, Shorelander, Audi, and a bunch of other sites) and found tongue weight recommendations range from 5%-20% of the gross weight.

I simply want to share what I have done and the actual measurements of our rig. Who knows, this may be some help to others out there or just another post to help pass time away while we are all at work!

That being said, here are the specs that I have gathered thus far (rough & advertised weights) and a couple shots of how things were measured. Keep in mind I received my boat and trailer from the dealer as a package and they positioned the boat on the trailer like this.

Boat3,100 lbsListed/advertised weight
Trailer1,400 lbsListed/advertised weight
Motor500 lbsListed/advertised weight
Fuel175 lbs6.3 lbs / gallon
Misc. weight300 lbsGear, cooler, rafts, etc
Total weight5,475 lbs

The images below will show how the Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight scale recommended setting up the measurements.

Based on the measurements I only have roughly 5% of the weight on the tongue. Again, shocked by this as I have towed the boat from Ohio to North & South Carolina multiple times and it was just fine - no sway whatsoever. That puts me in the very bottom of the "Acceptable" tongue weight according to the ol' google machine....

I myself am going to try to add a few more pounds to the tongue I just need to figure out how to do so. The ladder/stand is right up against the fork so I can move the boat +8" forward, but not anything less (to jump over the fork) or start monkeying with the axels which I prefer not to do. Both present inherent challenges so I am curious if anyone else has any thoughts?

Happy Friday!


View attachment 29830View attachment 29831View attachment 29832View attachment 29833
Find a beefy hitch hiker to ride in bow seats and willing to get bugs in teeth. lol :rolleyes:
 

scottkp

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Find a beefy hitch hiker to ride in bow seats and willing to get bugs in teeth. lol :rolleyes:
Haha that is one fix but I would think with how nice our boats are that they would become a permanent fixture!
Although it’s a brilliant idea and thinking well outside of the box, I’d prefer an alternative that might not creep out the wife and kids
 

BulldogsCadillac

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Well I was going to reply about putting sand bags under the front seats (to reference an old post made) but in all reality if you really want to increase the tongue weight, they do make "tool" boxes for trailer tongues. You could mount one and fill it up with sand! Anyone ever says anything about it, just tell them "if the beach is too busy you brought your own!!"

I did move my second boat forward on the trailer. When I was towing it home we pulled out to pass a couple cars (raining and they were locked in at 95 km/h and the second car wouldn't pass despite numerous opportunities to) , well it towed fine until that point, once the Caddy hit about 145 km/h I could feel the trailer start to sway back and forth!! Probably the first time I was truly worried / scared while driving!! Let off the gas, held on tight to the steering wheel and eased back in front of the vehicles! Moved the ladder stop forward the next day, never had trouble again!

Point being, it may seem fine - until the time arises and it isn't! Your boat, your decision :)
 

Remediation

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Take the rig to a Cat scale at the truck stop. Put the truck on the front pad and the trailer on the rear pad still hooked up. Get the weight slip. Unhook the trailer and weigh again. Get the weight slip. The truck will weigh less. The difference is the trailer weight transferred to the truck. "Tongue weight". Now you know the weight of the trailer, boat and all the stuff and it will surprise you.
I was at the scales less than 10 minutes, it was also fun to compare the weights slips after weighing the boat with a pontoon full of water . Over 900lbs of water in the rear section. The boat had been towing weird. I had lost most of my tongue weight.
 

PartyBarge

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Take the rig to a Cat scale at the truck stop. Put the truck on the front pad and the trailer on the rear pad still hooked up. Get the weight slip. Unhook the trailer and weigh again. Get the weight slip. The truck will weigh less. The difference is the trailer weight transferred to the truck. "Tongue weight". Now you know the weight of the trailer, boat and all the stuff and it will surprise you.
I was at the scales less than 10 minutes, it was also fun to compare the weights slips after weighing the boat with a pontoon full of water . Over 900lbs of water in the rear section. The boat had been towing weird. I had lost most of my tongue weight.
Did much the same with our power boat, but got the weights without the boat too. Was pleasantly surprised that the boat was very close to the advertised weight.

Some of the online variance in reccos is that they may be referencing trailers with different construction and numbers of axels. I always try to give a rig a little shake to see what happens. A test drive can tell more than scales or guesses.

How did you pick up over a hundred gallons of water? Holed tube (but water didn't drain) or cracked welds/metal fatigue, maybe, at "M" brackets?
 

Remediation

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The top of the tube was cracked near the back cap. It could have been that way from the factory. It was slowly filling the tube. Slow enough that I did not notice it. It towed twitchy to Canada and back. I blamed it on the new Expedition with IRS instead of the old Suburban straight axle. When we took the boat to Lake Cumberland for a big group, Jill was in it going to our slip and the starboard side was much lower. I had her come back to the trailer and we pulled the boat. You could hear the sloshing. Took boat home and went to the scales. Took to dealer. They found the problem and said the toon was not repairable. I drilled a small hole, let it drain for a day and JB welded the hole. Since it took on water slowly we used it the rest of the year and they replaced the toon in the winter.
 

CapKaz

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Please don’t take this wrong. :)) Ram 3500, problem solved. Glad to see you are concerned and are doing the research. Towing a trailer is no small thing. An unbalanced trailer can be a real problem even for a large truck. Just keep in mind you are towing a large sail. Wind is our crafts biggest down fall. Perfect balance will not over come a strong wind and an under weight tow vehicle. Be safe!!!
 
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