Weight Distribution for a 10,500 Pound Tri-Axle Boat Trailer and Boat for a 2011 Ford F-150

Question:

What weight distribution hitch should I buy for the following application: 30 ft Boat weighs 8,500 lbs fully fueled and provisioned 3 axle trailer weighs 2, 000 lbs Approx 30+ of the weight of the boat is behind the back axle on the trailer 2 Big Block engines, 2 outdrives, the back 6 - 8 feet of the boat The fuel tank - 800 lbs full, sits centered above the middle axle Trailer has SURGE brakes on the 2 front axles. No electric brakes. Specify if I can or can not use sway control with the recommended hitch and surge brakes. If yes, what sway control? If no, that wont be a problem with the way I will normally be towing. Tow vehicle is a 2011 Ford F-150 Eco-boost, rated for 11,400 lbs trailer. The truck is borderline so I want to make sure Im protected with weight distribution. I do not have any idea what the tongue weight is on the trailer as its out of state and unavailable for measurement. Please reference pictures. I need the new hitch to go get the boat / trailer in the spring which is about 500 miles away and will be towing it home the one time at highway speeds, probably 50 - 60 MPH. After that, the boat will be in a marina in the summer, so I only need to tow it to and from the water a couple times per year, maybe 10 miles at speeds 30 - 45 MPH. Because of the anticipated infrequent use once I get the boat home, I would prefer not to spend a lot of money on a hitch that will only be used to tow the boat about 20 miles per year at relativelly slow back road speeds.

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Expert Reply:

Based on the weight of the boat and trailer you mentioned, the gross trailer weight will be around 10,500 pounds. Typically on a boat trailer the tongue weight is less than on a utility trailer or travel trailer. At most you are probably looking at 10 percent or 1,050 pounds. But you will want to be sure.

I have included a link to a help article explaining how you can determine the tongue weight of the trailer. You also have to add to the trailer tongue weight the weight of anything loaded behind the rear axle of the truck.

Most boat trailers have a straight pole tongue instead of an A-frame. If your trailer has a pole tongue then to use weight distribution you will need a pole tongue adapter, # RP58393. With the pole tongue adapter installed you can use a Reese Steadi-Flex weight distribution system.

Steadi-Flex systems have friction sway control built in and they are compatible with surge brakes. The tongue weight of the trailer is going to determine which system to use. If the tongue weight ends up being between 600 and 1,200 pounds then use system # RP66560. But if the tongue weight is higher than 1,200 pounds you would need a different system. Use # RP66561 for a tongue weight between 700 and 1,400 pounds.

Each of these systems require a ball. Use # 19286 for the 600 to 1,200 pound system, or # 63840 for the 700 to 1,400 pound system. I have included a link to our help article on weight distribution for you to view.

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Michael H

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