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Travel Trailer Tongue Weight Compatibility When Used with Weight Distribution


I am concerned about the hitch weight of a Travel Trailer I want to buy. My tow vehicle has a max tongue weight of 720 lbs and the TTs hitch weight dry is 740 lbs. The salesman insists that it is no problem because I will be using a weight distribution hitch. I need to hear that from someone other than him. Would you please advise me on this? All other weights are within limits. Thank you.


Expert Reply:

I do not know your tow vehicle information to give you specifics about your particular application but I can provide a generalized answer that will help you confirm compatibility of your tow vehicle and trailer.

If it is your actual VEHICLE tongue weight rating that is 720-lbs (not the hitch's rating) then nothing will increase that. I suggest you check you owner's manual or with your local dealership to confirm.
Unless the owner's manual says its tongue weight rating goes up with weight distribution in place then the vehicle cannot tow your trailer safely.

If your HITCH carries a 720-lb tongue weight rating then it may still be used with the trailer if compatible and properly fitted with a suitable weight distribution system. However, if the vehicle rating is lower than the hitch rating, then that lower rating becomes the overall limit.

Some trailer hitches, many of those that are Class III and above, will carry higher tongue weight and/or gross towing capacities if they are rated for and used with weight distribution. Not all hitches are suitable for use with weight distribution so you will want to check the safety/warning sticker on your hitch to see 1) if it is approved for use with weight distribution, and 2) what its resulting tongue weight capacity is.

You also need to keep in mind that the figure that really matters here is not your trailer's dry hitch weight, but its fully-loaded and ready-to-tow tongue weight since this is the actual load seen by the vehicle, hitch and the weight distribution system. It is critical to selecting a system that you know your actual measured tongue weight; many use a scale like the etrailer # e99044 to simplify the process. You also need to add in the weight of anything in the tow vehicle that sits behind the rear axle, such as a loaded cooler or generator.

You may want to review the linked article as well as your vehicle manual to confirm compatibility of your tow vehicle and trailer.

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