bing tracking image
Q & A Icon

When Flat Towing a Vehicle How Much Tongue Weight is on the Trailer Hitch  


We purchased a motorhome with a Gross weight restriction of 26000lbs. It says we cannot tow more tha 4500 lbs. Im confused if the tongue weight is what gets added to the overall weight of the motorhome or he weight of the vehicle we are towing. We will be towing the car flat 4down. How does this affect the tongue weight?


Expert Reply:

There are 2 different capacities independent of each other though related. Tongue weight is the downward force or weight on the trailer hitch. So it is pushing down at the back of the vehicle. The gross trailer weight is the weight of whatever it is you are towing. So for your motor home, at most you can tow 4,500 pounds gross trailer weight. Tongue weight is typically 10 to 15 percent of the gross trailer weight.

However, when flat towing a car there is almost no tongue weight because the vehicle is supporting itself on all 4 wheels. So as long as your vehicle weighs less than 4,500 pounds you will be within the limits of the motor home.

Check the vehicle owners manual to make sure that it can be flat towed behind your motor home. If it can there are 5 things you will need: base plates, tow bar, safety cables, lighting, and supplemental braking. Some of these items are vehicle specific so I would need to know the year, make, and model of the vehicle to make more specific recommendations.

I have also included 2 helpful links to the right on flat towing.

expert reply by:
Michael H

Norman F.


Good Afternoon I have a 2020 forest river Georgetown gt5 max weight is 24,000lbs and it is specified for a 5000lbs towing capacity, on a ford F53 chassis with a V10 engine. I am flat towing a 2021 jeep gladiator and wanted to understand the tongue weight on the motorhome to decide if I can have the ebikes (63lbs each) on the hitch above the car tow hitch. Thank you Norman

Etrailer Expert

Kevin C.


@NormanF When flat towing all four wheels of the tow vehicle will be on the ground, bearing the weight of the vehicle. The only tongue weight (downward force) you'll really have is just the weight of the tow bar and that's split between the motorhome and tow vehicle. In order to haul both the bikes and still flat tow your vehicle you'll want to pick up a Gen-Y stacked receiver like the # 325-GH-315. These will have enough capacity and give you enough space to mount both the tow bar and bike rack.



@KevinC Perfect than you for the response Norman

Product Page this Question was Asked From

Q & A Icon

Continue Researching

See More Q&A Expert Answers >>