How To Calculate Total Tongue Weight

Question:

Does the entire weight of the rack plus the bikes add directly to the tongue weight?...example: Tongue weight prior to bike and rack= 380 Bike rack = 45 lbs, bikes = 75 lbs. is my tongue weight total now = 500 lbs? Thanks

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Expert Reply:

If 380 pounds is the tongue weight of your trailer, then you are correct. You add the tongue weight of the trailer to bike rack and bikes, and that total is your total tongue weight. Make sure you are within the tongue weight capacities of both your hitch and your 2005 Dodge Dakota.

If 380 pounds is your hitch or vehicle capacity, you would subtract the bike and bike rack weight.
380-(75+45)=260 pounds of capacity left.

Trailer Tongue Weight + Bike Rack Weight + Total Weight of all Bikes = Total Tongue Weight

Total Tongue Weight must be less than Tongue weight capacity of hitch or truck, whichever is lower.

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Follow up Questions

Joe C.

Hi, thank you for letting me ask this question, I m confused as im getting too many conflicting answers on tongue weight.I purchased a Sherline LM 2000 tongue scale. My questions are In order to calculate my tongue weight do I figure the 10 to 15 of my campers gross weight of 7430 as listed on the federal sticker?orDo I figure the 10 to 15 of my campers dry weight of 4358?orDo I figure the 10 to 15 of the ACTUAL WEIGHT of my camper with my gear inside and do I need to know what it weighs then in order to calculate?Thank you again 74202

Reply from Chris R.

Calculating 10 to 15 percent of the trailer's gross weight rating (which indicates the most the trailer can possibly weigh when loaded) is a good way to estimate your potential tongue weight range. If you actually have the Sherline scale though, then using it to determine your tongue weight is much more accurate. Just load the trailer up like you would when going on a trip and use the scale - this will show you what your true tongue weight is. 60368

Reply from Chris R.

Thank you for an explanation that makes sense. I am new to travel trailering and I just wanna do it right. Please correct me if Im wrong but taking12% from the gross of 7430 will keep me honest, even though i wont load up to that amount, my camper is empty now, but i have 550lbs of tongue weight, so that mean i can adjust load to level out to say 625lbs tongue weight, then go weigh the camper? Thanks Joe 60376

Reply from Chris R.

I completely understand. Estimating your eventual loaded tongue weight by taking 12 percent of the trailer's 7,430 is definitely a safe bet. Like you said this will likely be an over-estimate but that's okay. As far as actually loading up the trailer - I think you can make it a lot easier by simply loading it up for a trip. Don't worry too much about weight right now, you can always take things off if needed. Load it up like you're heading out on vacation tomorrow, then use your Sherline scale to determine its tongue weight and weigh the camper soon after to ensure you're not over its GVWR (which would be extremely unlikely). You can adjust from there if you find that the tongue weight is less or more than than 10 to 15 percent of its total loaded weight. I hope that makes sense. 61462

Reply from Joseph C.

Thank you Chris, you got me on the right tack. Keep up the good work, 61465

Reply from Chris R.

No problem! Please don't hesitate to reach back out if other questions come up. 61557

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