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I'm hung up on the tongue weight

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Old 08-22-2008, 04:10 PM   #1
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I'm hung up on the tongue weight

Hi guys,

I think this thread might better discussed in a forum of experienced travel trailer owners... but I'll try here anyways.

I have a 2006 taco 4x4 sport complete with the tow pack and its automatic. I am looking at buying a 2001 travelaire Rustler that is 5811 lbs (GVWR); 4188 lbs (dry weight) and 558 lbs (dry hitch weight)


if I do the math, the total tongue weight would be: 558 lbs (dry hitch weight) + approx. 60 lbs (full two-30 pound propane tanks) + approx 60 lbs (2 batteries)= 678 lbs. I know the taco hitch is rated at only 650 lbs.

My 4 questions are:

1. Is the dry hitch weight still considered 558 lbs, if I'm only planning on loading the trailer up to... let's say 5000 lbs?

2. I plan to use a Reese weight distributing bar....will this help to decrease the tongue weight?...or will this just add more tongue weight??

3. can I load the trailer heavier in the back to decrease the weight in the front??

4. should I forget this trailer and buy something that is 4000lbs (GVWR)?

thanks
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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Dry hitch weight is dry hitch weight regardless of weather or not you take advantage of the full cargo carrying capacity of the trailer.

A weight dist. system does not "really decrease" tongue weight, it simply uses springs under tension to cause the rear of the tow vehicle to sag less and therefor transfer some of the properties of the weight that was causing the sag to be carried by the trailer axles. (to really over simplify how a Weight dist. system works)

Anything that is forward of the axles does to some extent or another contribute to hitch weight, so with that said you can help yourself out by loading the heavier things directly over t he axles if possible.

This is within the Tacoma's tow rating, and abilities, so go ahead with it.

Oh and simple solution to your problem is to dump the 2 30lb LP bottles and replace them with to 20lb LP bottles. You are still carrying 40lbs of LP this way, and it is still in two bottles, so you'll still get notified by the regulator when the bottle switch-over happens so you won't run out of propane, but you have just shaved 20lbs off your tongue weight, which would put you at 658, and I would not worry about being 8 lbs over.

Just as an asside, the wife and I camped 5 times last season, with an average stay of 4-5 days each trip, and our single 30lb bottle took us 3 days into our first trip this year, so 2 20lb bottles would really be more than enough unless you were going to run the furnace, and water heater constantly and run the fridge on propane all the time.

Enjoy your truck and trailer, and remember to come to me first with towing and RV questions, because all you'll get on the rv forums is tolt to buy a bigger tow vehicle, which is most often times not necessary.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #3
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excellent thank you for you help!

so just to double check: I don't have to worry about the Reese system adding more to the tongue weight...I'm sure it weights about 50 lbs.

secondly, is it too hard on the taco to have all 650 lbs of tongue weight??...I plan to be driving in the mountains as well


thanks again
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:17 PM   #4
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you will be fine, don't forget the "fudge" factor that they all have to add!
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:11 AM   #5
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Just follow the weight distrubution hitch directions and you should be fine.

Oh and another way to look at the way a weight dist hitch works is it transfers weight to the ft. of your truck so your ft. brakes will still work and your headlights won't blind everybody at night.
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Old 08-29-2008, 10:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick491 View Post
Enjoy your truck and trailer, and remember to come to me first with towing and RV questions, because all you'll get on the rv forums is tolt to buy a bigger tow vehicle, which is most often times not necessary.
LOL. I would love to play a joke on one of those "RV" forums and say that I am going to pull a 6.5K dry 32 foot trailer with my Tacoma. I swear most of them live to just say "should have bought a full size truck". In my opinion if the manufacturer say's it is OK do it or at least try.

I would definitely use the WD hitch thou and a good sway system just for the extra protection.
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