Tongue weight

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strugglebus

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Just saw a post by a certified Cricket dealer in which they say it is perfectly acceptable to load a receiver to the maximum tongue weight because manufacturers include “normal driving stresses” in their max tongue weight allowances. Any thoughts on this? I’ve always gone with the idea that anything at the max is a very bad idea. Eventually everything used at the max will fail IMO.
 

Jayflight

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If you tow long enough, you will know if you have too much tongue weight by how the truck handles, manufacturers specs aside . Of course,,,
 

Martian

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Wouldn't it be a lot better to load so that tongue weight is about 13% of gross trailer weight? That would put the trailer tongue stresses within design limits and make the tow vehicle behave predictably if the wd hitch is set up properly. Not much out there that will endure max anything for very long.
 

strugglebus

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The original post is referring to putting things like golf carts and motorcycles on hitches at their max weight.
Years ago I had a F150 and a big RV behind it and that RV was dragging me around the road at times. I had a weight distribution hitch but the weight behind the truck was just too much.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At some point, probably well beyond the rated max, the receiver would fail more-or-less immediately. Within the rating limits, however, you can expect a reasonable service life, but the receiver specs won't tell you what the engineers considered "reasonable". Nor what type & frequency of conditions they assumed in their reliability estimate. Surely it is measured in years and surely at least some time on rougher roads was included, but we can only guess how much.

At the maximum load, one can expect the service life would be shorter than at minimum or no load, but if 25 years is shortened to 22 years, do you care? And isn't it just as likely to rust out before metal fatigue etc is a factor?
 

Kirk

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I pretty much agree with what Gary just posted. But I'd also add into the mix how much of the time you will be at the maximum rated load. Most design maximum weights are assuming that the rated device is not going to be at maximum 100% of the time, but that is another of those factors that they never share with customers. With anything that we do or use there is some degree of risk. In all of my years of twoing things, whether an RV, a farm trailer, or even towing equipment trailers with a tractor or something of the sort, I only can recall one time of hearing of the hitch receiver failing. On my 2003 truck, one of the things listed under annual maintenance is inspecting the hitch receiver, but I can't remember ever having inspected the receivers on any of the tow vehicles that I have owned. I guess I had never really thought about it before reading this thread?
 

strugglebus

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This was just posted under the discussion from another site. These golf carts go about 320 pounds plus the rack weight.
 

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Viajeros

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Interesting to see the different engineering guidelines between Europe and North America. Here we shoot for greater than 10 percent on the hitch. In Europe they shoot for 5 to 9 percent. Then again most tow vehicles there are cars.

Our trailer is a European design. Weighs 3400 pounds ish loaded and hitch weight is 335 pounds ish. But it also has all the storage right over or around the axle. It doesn’t matter what you put in the thing the hitch weight pretty much stays the same. It also doesn’t have these rear racks that people pack full of stuff. Those are literally sway generators.

Anyway, we run on the edge of the engineers specs both for tongue weight and tow capacity. We are fine with it. Tows well. Now if it was 10,000 pound trailer I might rethink it. More inertia etc.
We don’t use a weight distribution hitch.

Everybody has their comfort zone.

Jmho.

46F9DBC4-CC67-49F5-A238-D081ECB4A163.jpeg
 
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Ray-IN

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Just saw a post by a certified Cricket dealer in which they say it is perfectly acceptable to load a receiver to the maximum tongue weight because manufacturers include “normal driving stresses” in their max tongue weight allowances. Any thoughts on this? I’ve always gone with the idea that anything at the max is a very bad idea. Eventually everything used at the max will fail IMO.
I agree with your thinking. Just because your V6 engine has a limit of - say, 6,000RPM doens't mean it will last long if you continually gear down to keep your RPM at 6,000.
 

Ex-Calif

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Just saw a post by a certified Cricket dealer in which they say it is perfectly acceptable to load a receiver to the maximum tongue weight because manufacturers include “normal driving stresses” in their max tongue weight allowances. Any thoughts on this? I’ve always gone with the idea that anything at the max is a very bad idea. Eventually everything used at the max will fail IMO.

There are two things - the hitch/receiver and the carrier. Each are constructed using different criteria.

I will go on a limb and say that the hitch is rated for probably 15% of pull capacity continuous. So a 5,000# hitch can probably take 750# of tongue weight. I would have no problem pulling 5,000# and 750# tongue weight all day long.

Caveat - This is if the hitch is "normally" mounted on the frame. If like an RV the hitch has been attached to some frame extension rails I would reduce it based on the RV manufacturers recommendation. My RV hitch look like a standard 5,000 hitch but is 5 or 6 feet behind the natural frame rails on a set of rails made by GB so is rated by Georgie Boy for 3500# - a number I plan to stick to.

Carriers - Here there is a ton of variation in quality. Their rating is only for their bit of kit. So a 300# rating is just that for the carrier. They pretty much have no idea what you are going to plug it into. As the cell photos above shows the 2 inch square receiver doesn't do a lot for load stability.

So my RAM is rated for 8600#. I know there are a lot of folks here always recommending to run 10% less but I disagree. I have no problem loading 8600# of trailer right up to 1300# of tongue weight - within the payload capacity of the truck. Will I love the tow? Probably not especially if it is a TT or 5W because of windage which is not part of the mechanical limits.

Will the brakes, engine and transmission last as long as if I wasn't towing - of course not.
 

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