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Can Trailer Tongue Weight be Changed Just by Moving Weight Around in the Trailer

Question:

I was wondering is the hitch weight rated at the trailers max rated weight GTW or its empty weight? Therefore does the hitch weight increase if the trailer is loaded with cargo? Or does it remain the same if cargo is equally distributed throughout the trailer. If not, is it possible to load the trailer in such a way that you can keep the hitch weight low or at least at that exact weight. Im currently 215 pounds below max hitch weight with a Reese strait line WD setup.

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Helpful Expert Reply:

The trailer tongue weight or hitch weight is dynamic meaning that it will change as weight is added or removed from the trailer or if the weight in the trailer is moved around (front to back).

You can manipulate the tongue weight by moving weight more to the back of the trailer for less tongue weight or more towards the front for more tongue weight. However, the tongue weight should be 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight. And when using weight distribution there are different rules.

With weight distribution you will need to go by the total tongue weight of the set up. This is calculated by taking the tongue weight of the trailer, when loaded and ready to tow, and adding to that the weight of anything loaded behind the rear axle of the tow vehicle. This is because the spring bars also have to lift up on the vehicle so weight behind the rear axle affects that.

Also, you do not want to have the tongue weight at the maximum the weight distribution system is rated for. If you are closer than 100 pounds then I recommend going with the next system up in capacity.

If the tongue weight of the trailer is too low or high though the system will not be effective. Take a look at the help article I have linked on determining tongue weight for more information.

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