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Weight Distribution System for Towing a 20 Foot Enclosed Car Hauler With Different Loads


I have an 20 ft. enclosed car hauler trailer that has a GVW 10,000 lb. I have two different cars that I put in the trailer. One car weighs about 2,000 lbs and the other weighs about 3,800 lbs. Which tongue weight should be used the 600 or the 800?


Expert Reply:

When determining the correct spring bars for your trailer you will need to take into account the weight of gear loaded behind the rear axle of the truck and the additional tongue weight loaded in the trailer.

I believe bigger is better and safer so I would go with a 1,200 pound spring bar rated system, item # RP66074, for the trailer you are describing. By the time you are loaded and ready to travel your trailer tongue weight will most likely be approaching the mid range weight capacity of the spring bars, 900 pounds, which is right where you want to be for a smooth ride and safety. The larger spring bars will also allow for towing of heavier items if required in the future.

If you load your truck and trailer ready to travel and take it to a scale you will be able to determine the actual tongue weight and would then be able to make the best decision based on the actual tongue weight loaded and ready to travel. I believe you will find that the 1,200 pound spring bars will serve you well. First, locate a commercial truck scale in your area. Look in the yellow pages under truck stop. The scale operator will know how to weigh your rig.

Generally it goes like this:
Drive on scale with front wheels of the truck to get the front axle weight.
Pull forward until the rear axles are on the scale to get the loaded truck weight.
Pull the trailer onto the scale to get the total weight of the rig.
Pull off the scale and unhitch the trailer and get the truck alone weighed.

Total weight minus truck weight equals trailer weight
Loaded truck weight minus truck weight equals payload on truck (tongue weight)

We have an article (see link) that explains how to measure tongue weight also.

Your goal for tongue weight should be between 10 and 15 percent of the trailers weight loaded and ready to travel. The Strait-Line Weight Distribution Hitch System, item # RP66074, combines heavy duty trunnion style weight distribution with proactive sway control that keeps sway from beginning when high winds are encountered or when large vehicles pass on the highway.

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