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Old 05-31-2015, 01:17 PM   #1
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Why is my Tongue so heavy?


I'm working on getting my Equalizer hitch setup with my new tow vehicle and am having a little trouble. I think my main problem is that my tongue weight is way too heavy.

Last weekend, I weighed the setup on the way home because I was having a lot of sway (it was WINDY that weekend). It turned out my front axle was still a 220 lb lighter with the camper attached and WD connected than it was with no camper. So I figured my hitch needed to be adjusted to add some more weight back to the front. Also, the tongue weight was 1,200 lb! Now my trailer was only 4,350 lb in total so 1,200 for the tongue weight just seemed ridiculous. I did have all our bags loaded up near the front of the trailer though so I figured I could move those towards the middle next time.

This weekend we went back out for another short trip and so I weighed it again to see how the slight hitch adjustment and the different loading pattern would work. The scale experience wasn't quite as good as the last one and I wasn't able to get the truck alone weight, but I pretty much had the exact same things in the truck as last weekend so I'm using the truck weight from the previous scale trip. This time I weighed on the way to the campground so my water tank was full, and I probably had a little more in the camper (in terms of food / drink). I did have all the bags packed in the middle of it though. My tongue weight was still 1200 lbs though.

On the way home I loaded all the bags all the way in the back of the camper, but I just don't see how I"m going to change things that much with the bag loading to make up for all that weight. I really don't have that much in the storage area in the front of the camper so it makes me wonder what the heck am I doing wrong and how in the world do I fix this?

PDF with all scale info is attached if anyone is curious to look.

I think if I can figure out how to get my tongue weight down my sway will calm down and my camper will tow a lot better. Plus I really need to get it down some how as I'm over the rating currently.

2012 Durango (V8) with tow package
2012 Jayco Ultralite X18D Hybrid (dry hitch weight is suppose to be 440 lb)
Equalizer 10,000lb / 1,000 lb hitch

Anyone have any ideas?

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20150529_171218.jpg   20150531_123451.jpg   20150531_123510.jpg  
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File Type: pdf Camper Weight.pdf (32.0 KB, 23 views)

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Old 05-31-2015, 01:42 PM   #2
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I agree that your tongue weight seems excessive in comparison to your trailer weight. I am not familiar with the floor plan of your trailer but from the picture it appears most of it is forward of the axles. I don't know what you are packing but at this point I would make a simple tongue scale using a bathroom scale and start moving things around to find out were the excessive weight is originating.

Also if the front of your trailer is significantly lower than the rear this could transfer some weight forward. Moving your hitch head up a notch might help some too.

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Old 05-31-2015, 03:34 PM   #3
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Yea, I really wish I had a way to check the tongue weight in my drive way so I could keep moving things around until I figured out what was going on. Then I could even empty the trailer and see if I'm at the supposed 440 tongue weight that is advertised. I don't think a bathroom scale would work up to 1200 lb though. Even if I used 2 I think I would probably risk breaking them. I would love to have a tongue scale to use, but it looks like they run around $150 so I'd like to avoid that if possible.

My trailer is actually nose up slightly. It's not a ton, but I couldn't go any lower on my hitch. I figured if anything I may need a longer hitch bar for the ball so that I could get the nose down a little bit, but that would hurt my tongue weight. I'm not sure i would want to take it up though. If that is what is needed, I guess I could at least give it a shot though.

Floor plan is attached.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nathan48035 View Post
snip..... Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

Referencing your PDF document, I get your loaded tongue weight to be 820lbs. I used the following weights from your attached pdf document:

(2,700lbs + 4,140lbs) - 6,020lbs = 820lbs Loaded Tongue Weight

Your loaded HTT weight I get 4,340lbs (10,360lbs - 6,020lbs)

The published "dry" tongue weight, ignore it. What you want is your "LOADED" tongue weight to be in the 10% to 15% range of your "LOADED" HTT weight (13% to 15% more desirable).

So, at 4,340lbs you want a tongue weight of 434lbs to 651lbs (10% to 15%). So basically you are 169lbs above the recommended maximum (820lbs - 651lbs = 169lbs). IMO if you relocate 100lbs to 150lbs you should be fine. I would however adjust your WDH so the HTT tows level or a little nose "down" (best for TV handling)......., having it a little nose "up" can be amplified (not good) under less then ideal road conditions (bouncing, etc.).

I agree that you need to adjust your WDH to transfer a little more weight to your TV's front suspension, another 220lbs (3,080lbs - 2,860lbs).

Also, keep in mind the location of your fresh water tank has a direct impact on any trailer's tongue weight when filled. If you tank is located to the front of your axles, you may find when filled you can't have as much cargo stowed front of the HTT axles.

Your 2012 X18D published CCC is 1,150lbs, but the 'actual' as-shipped CCC will be less and will be noted on the weight sticker on your X18D.

Hope this helps.


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Old 05-31-2015, 04:08 PM   #5
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As is mentioned make a proper rig so you can weigh the TW with your bathroom scale.
Fill your Fresh water tank and see where you are at with the stuff already in the trailer.
That's how I did it and was right around 13.4%. of my TT weight.
After that go over the scale a couple of times and adjust your WDH.
Write down all weights and WDH adjustments, then at least you know if you'll have the same occurrence how to adjust.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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(2,700lbs + 4,140lbs) - 6,020lbs = 820lbs Loaded Tongue Weight
Thanks. I was calculating that wrong. I was just looking at the rear axle weights and ignoring the fact that the front axle weight of the TV shifts and adds to the rear axle when connecting the camper. 820 lb seems much more manageable.

Not sure if you saw the 2nd page of the PDF also, but that is the weights from this weekend with the hitch adjusted and a full water tank. Using the correct calculation for tongue weight, I'm still at 1000 lb for tongue weight.
Loaded Tongue Weight: (2,880 lb + 4,140 lb) - 6,020 lb = 1,000 lb

My fresh tank is located front of the trailer axle.

I'll have to look into getting a new riser bar or whatever they call it for my hitch so that I can drop it down a little.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:56 PM   #7
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Can you guys explain a little bit about how you setup the bathroom scales to weight the tongue weight? Did you have to find special bathroom scale that went up higher? Or did you use multiple? How many?

I would love to be able to get this thing on a scale in my driveway and be able to take my time moving things around without hearing dollar signs ever time I want to check the weight.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:03 PM   #8
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I could see setting up 2 bathroom scales with a bridge between them, but from I can see they generally go up to 400lb and 800lb wouldn't be enough to weigh my TT... at least currently. I'm wondering if I'm missing some sort of trick.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:27 PM   #9
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Here you go Nathan.

Measuring trailer tongue weight with a bathroom scale
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:37 PM   #10
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Tongue Weight

I tow a 35.5 foot TT with a WD and I use 2 Friction Sway Controls Bars to help control the sway. My setup works fine, however, in moderate to strong cross winds you will get some sway.

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