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Can the Tongue Weight of a Vehicle Be Increased


I have a small car, a 2006 Scion xB first gen and with any hitch Ive looked at, the maximum tongue weight is 200 pounds. Although I may in the future use a small trailer, for now Id like to only add a rear cargo carrier, like the Great Day, Incinch Hitch-N-Go Cart 45 lbs with 350 lbs capacity or the Uriah Productsinch Car-Go-Cart 60 lbs with 500 lbs capacity. Both of these are considered Hitch Mounted Cargo Carriers. I see I can use them, but with each Id be limited to only a little over a hundred pounds. I plan to use them for camping and for my hobby of repairing and/or parting out large TVs, some of which weigh up to 300 lbs. Of course those wont fit into my little car but could sit in the carrier, if only I had a higher tongue weight. Is there a way to increase the tongue weight to almost double, around 400 lbs? Perhaps a counterweight at the front of the car? Please give me some ideas of what I can do safely. Thank you,


Expert Reply:

I may have a solution for you to haul your TVs, but there is no way for the tongue weight of a vehicle to be increased. To start, the tongue weight refers to the amount of weight that can be added to the frame of the vehicle safely, so there isn't a way to add to that capacity.

With that said, the Curt # C11487 would be a great hitch for your 2006 Scion xB because of the durable powder coating that Curt hitches come with. Once you've got the hitch, you would need to get a small utility trailer like the Detail K2 Mighty Multi Utility Trailer - 6' Long - 1,295 lbs # K2MMT4X6. This trailer has a 1250-lbs towing capacity and as long as you loaded it carefully, you'll be able to stay under the 200-lbs tongue weight capacity on your vehicle. Typically the tongue weight of a trailer should be 10-15% of the total loaded weight of the trailer. The K2 weighs 305-lbs unloaded and can handle a payload of 1295, so you'll just want to be sure that you load the heaviest items at the rear of the trailer. I also recommend using a tongue weight scale like the Sherline # 5780 to ensure that you're not overloaded.

To complete your towing package you'll also need a trailer wiring harness and a ball mount and hitch ball. For the wiring harness I recommend using the T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector # 118414 because of the reliability of the Tekonsha converter boxes compared to others available. This will tee into your vehicle tail lights to allow for an easy installation. For a ball mount, you'll need something like the Draw-Tite # 3594, which uses a hitch ball with a 3/4" diameter; since the K2 has a 1-7/8" coupler, the # 19256 would be a good choice. You will want to measure your hitch height, as described in the article I've attached to this question on how to choose the correct rise/drop ball mount, so that you're towing your trailer level.

I've also linked some installation and review videos of the parts mentioned in this answer. These parts would be the best solution if you don't plan on replacing your vehicle with something that has a stronger frame and is designed for carrying heavier weights at the back.

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