How to Calculate Trailer Tongue Weight

How to Calculate Trailer Tongue Weight
Traveling on the road with a trailer and a tow vehicle can be a challenging task. Not only do you have to properly load the vehicle, but you also have to be aware of turns, stopping and vehicle speeds. Before you head out on the road, calculate the trailer tongue weight for your vehicle. Doing so could prevent a road accident. Swaying can occur if tongue weight is higher than the tongue weight rating of the tow vehicle.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Public scale
Step 1
Weigh the trailer at a public scale or obtain the gross trailer weight (GTW) in your owner's manual.
Step 2
Multiply the GTW by 10 percent and then by 15 percent. These numbers represent the tongue weight range for your trailer.
Step 3
Load the trailer within the allowable weight range for the trailer tongue. Load from front to rear and left to right. Secure items so they do not shift back and forth during travel.

Tips & Warnings

You can also have your hitch inspected by a qualified hitch installation company. There, a specialist can calculate the maximum tongue weight, which is typically 10 percent of the hitch's rated capacity.
Never brake suddenly when towing a vehicle.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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