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Old 07-28-2017, 10:03 AM   #1
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Newbie question about tongue weight

I'm new to the forum, and a TT newbie. Hoping to be able to safely to tow a Palomini 180fb (GVWR 3943) with a 2017 Toyota Highlander AWD XLE with tow package. RV dealer added Pro Series friction control WD hitch and sway bars and installed a Tekonsha Primus IQ Trailer Brake Controller. Made a newbie mistake of learning much of the weight limit info after buying the car and trailer (just focused on the TT GVWR and TV TWR/GCWR when I bought the car and trailer), but now and am studying weight ratings and trying to stay within all limits (haven't actually tried weighing the TT yet). My question has to do with the tongue weight limit for the car, which is 500 lbs. The Palomini specs indicate the tongue weight is 443 lbs and the manual says the filled propane tank is included in the trailer weight. RV dealer added a size 27 battery to the tongue (haven't opened the box yet to see the exact battery, but google search shows they can weigh around 50-65 lbs). So 443 tongue wt + 65 lb battery = 508 lbs. If I also have to add the 37 lb propane tank, that puts the tongue weight at about 545 lbs (45 lbs over the limit for the car). Does anyone know if the propane tank is included in the published hitch weight for the TT? If not, any suggestions for reducing the tongue weight to stay under the 500 lb limit (e.g., should I downsize the battery)? Sorry for such a long first post, but still confused about tongue weights!
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:35 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Here's a similar thread also re: a Toyota Highlander. http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ies-59812.html
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:01 AM   #3
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You don't add all of the weight of additional items directly to the tongue weight. What gets added is a fraction based on the location of the added weight relative to the trailer axle and hitch. Adding weight to a location behind the axle will lower tongue weight. Remember that the tongue weight needs to be between 10 and 15% of total trailer weight.

You can measure actual tongue weight with a bathroom scale - do a search on the internet - there are several u-tubes on how to do it.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:04 AM   #4
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published tongue weights as a published spec put out there for guidance purposes, and may or may not be correct to the pound...

Proper tongue weight can be calculated to be within a safe range of numbers depending on the total weight loaded of the towed trailer. That being anywhere from 12 to 15% of the weight of the fully loaded trailer should be on the tongue of the tow vehicle.

Using 3943# that would vary the tongue weight from 473# to 591#...Both numbers a little scary with your 500# limit. Heavy tongue loading is better than lower tongue weights... less chances of sway problems.

Lightly loading your trailer should bring you under the 3943# number, so maybe not so bad.

I see published empty weight of 2873#, so say you load up to 3300# or 427# cargo at 15% thats 495# tongue weight. the WDH will actually throw some of that weight back onto the front wheels which it is designed to do. I think you are close on your numbers but probably doable with some thought going into loading, and then getting a number on the scales. Lots of info on scaling on this forum.

Only after loading up the trailer can you actually determine tongue weight.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:17 AM   #5
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Bought my 21DS from a couple who had just purchased a Highlander then purchased the 21DS after being told by the trailer salesman that the Highlander could handle it. The trailer came with a Blue Ox SwayPro as well. On their trip home...about 90 miles...they were not comfortable with the tow. Got home, called the saiesman and got a Blue Ox representative to come to their house to check out the installation. Bottom line...with the BX adjusted properly, the Highlander would unusually rev on acceleration which was attributed to the Highlander's front wheel drive slipping due to lightness. They decided they wanted to keep the Highlander, the salesman would not take the trailer back so they advertised it in Craigslist and I bought it...with less than 150 miles and never camped. BTW, my Ram 1500 pulls it perfectly fine as would be expected.

Sounds like a rear wheel drive SUV at a minimum would be more capable.

Edit: Oops, sorry...just noticed that your Highlander has AWD so I wouldn't expect it to suffer the same symptoms as described above. That said, I think you are expecting a lot out of the Highlander in this case especially when considering the AWD running gear will diminish your CCC.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:46 AM   #6
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First off you need to hit the scales! Find out what your vehicle weighs, TT and get the correct tongue weight. Find out what your GCWR is. Also look at the hitch itself. Does it give you other weights on the sticker for towing? Like with or without WD hitch? Look for that also. There are tons of things weight wise to consider other than tongue weight. It's important yes but everything needs to be addressed when towing to make sure you have the information you need to tow safely.

My shamrock 2017 183 has a manufacturer TW of 368 I think and when I got it home brand new I found it over 400 so keep in mind the weights in the books and stuff are not accurate and you will hear this from multiple people.

Basically for tongue weight anything in front of the TT axles and behind the TV rear axle is pretty much tongue weight. It's the force on your hitch in basic terms if you will. Just from what information you gave us I would say you are going to be over weight on your vehicle.

Good luck and welcome. You will get many great answers and information on this and other things from people. Some a little more critical than others but for the right reasons.

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Old 07-28-2017, 12:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopwr4me2003 View Post
First off you need to hit the scales! Find out what your vehicle weighs, TT and get the correct tongue weight. Find out what your GCWR is. Also look at the hitch itself. Does it give you other weights on the sticker for towing? Like with or without WD hitch? Look for that also. There are tons of things weight wise to consider other than tongue weight. It's important yes but everything needs to be addressed when towing to make sure you have the information you need to tow safely.

My shamrock 2017 183 has a manufacturer TW of 368 I think and when I got it home brand new I found it over 400 so keep in mind the weights in the books and stuff are not accurate and you will hear this from multiple people.

Basically for tongue weight anything in front of the TT axles and behind the TV rear axle is pretty much tongue weight. It's the force on your hitch in basic terms if you will. Just from what information you gave us I would say you are going to be over weight on your vehicle.

Good luck and welcome. You will get many great answers and information on this and other things from people. Some a little more critical than others but for the right reasons.

Tim
Definitely hit the scales. They have a way of separating guesses from reality, especially when close to max TV tongue weight max.

I'm fortunate that there is a State Patrol "Scale House" about 3 miles from my house so I will often take the truck and trailer there to weigh. The scale is only in use periodically to catch over-loaded gravel trucks but they leave the scales turned on with a readout you can see from the driver's seat.

I will weigh truck only, trailer only, combined weight (just so i don't have to add ) then back up and read the right side only as there's lots of room to the left but the scale house is in the way on the right.

Because I already have a scale weight from earlier trips for the TV, I can determine actual tongue weight and with the one side numbers I can determine if my TT is loaded evenly from side to side and adjust the loading if necessary.

BTW, if money is no object, a set of four electronic vehicle scales like the State Troopers carry is only $680 from Jet.Com.
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Old 07-28-2017, 02:38 PM   #8
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Adding weight to anywhere adds to the gross weight. Adding to the rear can eliminate a portion of that total just as adding anything in front of the axels will add a portion. Storage areas are usually up front as are bedroom closets and under bed storage. Wishing you the best but if you want to bet you will be under when loaded I'll take the best and give odds as well.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:47 AM   #9
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Be sure to use this site for weight measurement guidance:

Actual Weights - Travel Trailer/Bumper Pull Weights from CAT Scales - Towing Planner
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