RVing message boards > Winnebago-specific issues

2008 Aspect 26a tongue weight rating


so i'm a bit lost on the tongue rating.  The towing capacity is 5000lbs and the specs say tongue rated at 350lbs.  I thought generally that the tongue rating was 10% of the towing capacity.   Why would Winnebago have this mismatch?  I've read that on other models ie: view, that the 5000lb rating was "derated" to 3500lbs & so the tongue rating is 350lbs.  But in the 2008 Aspect case the ratings are as stated above.  2ndly, if it is indeed a 350lb rated hitch, can it be replaced or beefed up?  I'm wanting to put a 300cc scooter on a rack on the back.

John Canfield:
Best practice is for the tongue weight to be 10% of the trailer load but unless you weigh your loaded trailer and weigh your tongue, then it's an educated guess. When I haul my tractor on my trailer I move it forward until I see the rear end of the truck squat a little and call it good. Basically the same procedure with the Jeep on my trailer behind my Horizon but it won't 'squat' so I move it forward to where I think I have the proper load distribution and call it good. Never had a problem other than blowing made in China trailer tires.

The primary reason why I think Winnebago derates the allowed tongue weight is that 500 pounds of weight at the rear of the chassis might unload the front axle.

An equalization hitch might help tongue weight - I would investigate that.

Gary RV_Wizard:
A hitch almost always has two tongue weight ratings, one "weight carrying" and another "weight distributing".   350# is probably the weight carrying number (that would be a typical value for a hitch that size).  The question is whether a WD set-up would help any in this case.  Sometimes the limitation is due to the attachment to the tow vehicle frame, or maybe I should say lack of attachment. If the hitch receiver is bolted to a relatively flimsy crossbar or an extension of the main frame, the torsion of the WD hitch would be just as potentially damaging as would the high tongue weight.  I suspect that is the case here, but have no data to prove it.

An RV-type trailer needs to have at least 10% of its loaded weight on the tongue for safe handling.  Other types of towing may be more or less than 10%.  For example, a car towed 4-down or on a tow-dolly will have much less that 10% of the towed weight on the hitch.  Utility trailers may also be able to run with less if balanced properly, but can also run upwards of 15% at times.

thanks for the replies!
here's where the confusion was... the specs that came with the rig states a 5000# towing capacity but nothing for tongue weight....the manual says 350# tongue weight. ... i went to the rig at the yard today & looked at the plate on the hitch....5k# towing & 500# hitch max.

sorry for the post but thanks for your comments  :))

That 500lb rating is for the hitch alone. It does not take in to consideration the mounting of the hitch. If the rv maker says 350, then I would think that says something about the structure the hitch is attached to.
The hitch maker says 500 before risk of hitch breaking. The 350 is about risk of hitch breaking away from rv because something on the rv breaks.

Generally, if you donít have at least about 10% of the loaded trailer weight on the hitch, you run the risk of runaway sway on the trailer. With the huge overhangs on many class A & C RVs, that trailer sway could cause the rv to get out of control.


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