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Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull

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slantedhorse
Reg. Feb 2006
Posted 2006-03-10 11:00 AM (#38603)
Subject: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Member


Posts: 14

Location: Northern VA
Mr Trailer HELP!!
I am considering purchasing a bumper pull - the box is 18 ft plus the 2.5 to 3 ft of tongue. One trailer I am considering is 4000 lbs and the other is 5680 lbs. Both trailer manufacturers state their tongue weight is 10% but they both seem to have a warning about increased tongue weight. (Is that weight actually measured or just guessed - does it matter?) The layout of the trailer allows for 2 H over the axles; plus room for a pony (rarely) and/or hay and a small dressing room in front. Is anything I load in front of the axles causing more tongue weight even if I use a weight distributing hitch? I understand that a GN is the way to go but I don't have the cash to move up to a GN. My feeling is that the three manufacturers I have spoken to are all willing to build the trailer, so will it trailer correctly down the road (three companies wouldn't build a trailer that wouldn't "work", would they? My truck is a 2000 Silverado 2500 and my hitch is a class 3 - 4 hitch that can handle 1200 lbs of tongue weight with the weight distribution hitch or 1000 lbs with a regular hitch - I think I read somewhere online that my truck can handle 1500 lbs of tongue weight. I have a 14 ft stock trailer so is the extra 4 ft going to be that noticeable?

I use my trailer once a week max.36 I'm confused and a bit concerned that I can't seem to find the information I really need to make the right decision. I just want to be happy and safe but I don't want to spend a fortune on a GN. (The other option is just to get a regular old 2H with a dressing room).
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santelikk
Reg. May 2005
Posted 2006-03-10 1:05 PM (#38607 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Regular


Posts: 93
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Location: Northwest Indiana

Tongue weight is approximately 10-15% of your total trailer weight.  If your trailer weighs 4000 empty add  2600 lbs for your horses and tack your total weight would be 6600 about 700lbs of tongue weight total.

Your trailer should be fine and travel down the road no problem.  They do make 4 horse bumper pulls (longer).

About the WD hitch, see how much your truck squatts when you got everything loaded,  if you feel it is squatting too much and feels awkard when drive then get the WD hitch.  It can always be added later.

I myself sometimes like the extra weight on the rear-end of my truck. (2x4) helps with traction in the early morning when I get to the shows and need to park on the wet grass in the field.

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hosspuller
Reg. Oct 2003
Posted 2006-03-10 1:21 PM (#38610 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Expert


Posts: 2953
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Location: North Carolina

Slantedhorse...  Be aware that GM requires a Weight Distributing hitch for any trailer over 5,000 pounds.  See the footnotes in GM's trailering guide.

They use the word "required"  not "suggested", not "would be nice" or some such weasel word.

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xyzer
Reg. Apr 2004
Posted 2006-03-10 2:48 PM (#38615 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Extreme Veteran


Posts: 366
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Location: Albany, Oregon
The 10-15% of the trailer weight = tongue weight is correct...but as you add to the weight to the custom dressing room/pony stall it will increase your tongue weight. Adding 100# midway between the center of your trailer axles and the tow ball will add 50# to the tongue weight and 50# to the trailer axles...the closer the weight is added to the trailer axles the less weight is transfered to the tongue weight.....
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chadsalt
Reg. Nov 2004
Posted 2006-03-10 5:11 PM (#38629 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Expert


Posts: 1416
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Location: sc

well im not mr trailer, but perhaps i can help.

since you are concerned about tongue weight, i would be very wary of the 10%.  before i bought the 2500hd i used to tow with the suv in my sig, so i had to know EXACTLY what i was talking about.   my steel 2h slant w/ dress came in at 3500# empty with a 650# tongue weight,  add my 2 horses-2500# tack and misc crap (nothing excessive, jack, flares, first aid etc.)in the dressing room the tongue weight shot to just under 1000#.  now with the trailer weight was just over 6000#.........this was about 16%.  i would figure on the 15% number.  roughly 10% of the horses combined weight over the axles was added to the tongue, the 200# or so in the dressing room added about 100# give or take.

another problem youll run into is the tongue being to short.  most WDH require a 36" tongue, and most tongue tend to be 30".  this should not be a problem if youre having one built. but be sure the trailer builder understands that is a must.

with the trailer being that long, your last stall will likely be somewhat behind the axles.  with a horse in that one, it will help keep the tongue weight in check.

as for the WDH you cant go wrong with one.  however the "limit" is likely not 5000# on your 2500, i have found on the 2001 and newer it is 7500# (its in the REAL fine print, hosspuller. and wasnt easy to find, but thats a whole other thread).  you might be interested in a higher rated reciever hitch.  youll also want to consider sway control, such as the equl-i-zer hitch or a reese dual cam setup, as a trailer that long will be much more prone to sway as opposed to a 2h that really cant sway with the axles all the way back.

good luck and feel free to pm if i can be any more help.



Edited by chadsalt 2006-03-10 5:13 PM
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joybell
Reg. Apr 2021
Posted 2021-05-10 1:02 PM (#173689 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Member


Posts: 8

Having just had a horrible experience concerning tongue weights I thought I would tell you my story.

I have a 2015 Toyota Tundra, V8, 4.3 axle ratio that can tow 10,000 lbs, has a class 1V hitch which will take 500 lbs without a weight distribution hitch and 1,100 lbs with a weight distribution hitch.

i purchased a brand new 14 ft all aluminum slant load trailer from Jamco that has a 2 ft short wall dressing room in the front. The weight of the empty trailer is 4000 lbs. Dealer told me add 15%, which comes to 600 lbs tongue weight. No problem!

Until I found that even with the weight distribution hitch something was not right. My Tundra was level, but low. So my husband took it to the public scales. He is a farmer and knows how to use them. Then trailer tongue weight (empty) was 1,100 lbs - almost 27% of the trailer weight not 15%.

So it depends on how long the trailer is in front of the axles. There is a good formula for calculating tongue weight on a trailer manufacturer's website. Just google "horse trailer tongue weight calculator". I tested it using the scale weight and I was within 60 lbs of what the trailer tongue really weighed.

So lesson learned. The 10 - 15% is good for some trailer, but not all.
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HOUSE
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2021-05-17 12:23 PM (#173703 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Veteran


Posts: 184
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Location: riverside ca
while there are rules for tongue weight, especially with horse trailers they are just more guidelines. The main thing I will say is more is better, at least from a stability standpoint, obviously you need to take your vehicles specs into consideration, that said with horse trailers I would always recommend weight distributing bars for all trucks under a 1 ton, even then it does not hurt. You cannot compare weights across trailer manufacturers because there are so many variables. The 2 main factors that control tongue weight are, where is the axle located in relationship to the length of the trailer. and then do you have a tack room because that really changes the weight when you put horses in. Remember that with horses they can move a fair bit and change the tongue weight if they are standing in the front of the stall or the back of the stall.
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joybell
Reg. Apr 2021
Posted 2021-05-31 3:19 PM (#173733 - in reply to #173703)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Member


Posts: 8

Front or back stall...well here is a good question! When I look at where a horse is standing in the front stall, a lot of his weight is in front of the front axle. It would make more sense when hauling a single horse to have that horse in the last stall, which would place the horse 100% over the two axles. So why is this not a standard practice? Everyone, including myself, hauls a single horse in the front slant stall in a 2 horse slant trailer. It would make more sense to load it in the rear stall.
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HOUSE
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2021-06-02 12:18 PM (#173735 - in reply to #173733)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Veteran


Posts: 184
100252525
Location: riverside ca
. It would make more sense to load it in the rear stall.

 That is until you realize that you purcahsed a horse trailer marketed towrards lighter tow vehicles, which have the axles more in the center of the trailer because you are towing it with a smaller truck or suv, then the horse backs way into the back corner going around a turn on, reducing the already light tongue weight  to zero or possibly negative creating an unstable condition and you get whipped off the road.  The reason people haul in the front stall is that more tongue weight equals more stablitly.  now your tow vehicle may not be able to handle the tongue weight, but I would rather grossly overload the truck than go less than 10% tongue weight especially in a lighter vehicle.
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HOUSE
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2021-06-02 12:19 PM (#173736 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


Veteran


Posts: 184
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Location: riverside ca
this video shows the principal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jk9H5AB4lM 
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cajunmuleman
Reg. Oct 2011
Posted 2021-06-03 2:38 AM (#173737 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull



Elite Veteran


Posts: 656
5001002525
Location: Rayne, LA
Great video,thanks
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Sierras Mom
Reg. Feb 2008
Posted 2023-08-10 6:50 PM (#185625 - in reply to #38603)
Subject: RE: Tongue Weight for an 18-21 ft bumper pull


New User


Posts: 3

Location: Springfield, OR
I know the original post is old, but I recently calculated my tongue of my bumper pull with two horses in it. It's a 2 slant steel, weighs 2425 and is 13' not counting the hitch 16' counting the hitch. So about 4425 with the two horses. The tongue weight over the scales was 560, so about 13%. That leaves me a little for a light weight camper. I have an F250 SD diesel. I'm going to put my WD hitch on it that I used with my 1/2 ton pickup.
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