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Determining the Carrying Capacity of Trailer

Question:

Can I carry 5000 lbs with a trailer that has two 3500 lb. axles?

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Expert Reply:

It is highly likely that you can carry 5,000 pounds on two 3,500 pound axles. The carrying capacity of two 3,500 pound axles is 7,000 pounds. The axles support not only the cargo's weight but also the weight of the trailer's frame and body.

You will need to calculate the total weight of the trailer frame and body, also known as the dry weight, and subtract this weight from the axle's 7,000 pound capacity to find the weight the axles can carry.

Then, you will want to add back the loaded tongue weight of the trailer to determine the trailer's carrying capacity. A trailer's tongue weight is typically 10-15 percent of the trailer's weight, and this weight is carried by the vehicle.

expert reply by:
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Victoria B

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Follow up Questions

Keith S.

One must keep in mind that the use of a weight distribution hitch puts a lot of that hitch weight BACK on the trailer again. This makes many trailer axles grossly underrated for what they carry.

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