Tongue weight is the amount of downward force the coupler places on the hitch ball. You can determine the tongue weight of the trailer using a bathroom scale. The tongue weight accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of the total weight of the trailer, but it should never exceed 454kg. Load the trailer as you normally would before weighing it.
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Things you need
- 2 short pieces of pipe
- Small board
- Bathroom scale
- 4-inch-by-4-inch board
Place a short piece of pipe in the centre of a board of the same thickness as the scale. Position the board on the ground so the pipe is one foot to the left of the trailer hitch jack. Be sure the board is in line with the hitch jack.
Position a short piece of pipe in the centre of a bathroom scale. Place the scale on the ground on the opposite side of the trailer hitch jack so that the pipe is two feet to the right of the trailer hitch jack and aligned with the board on the opposite side.
Place a 4-inch-by-4-inch board so that its ends cover both sections of pipe.
Ensure the wheels of the trailer are chocked. Lower the trailer jack hitch down onto the 4-by-4 until the weight of the trailer is fully supported by it.
Read the weight on the scale. Multiply the weight by three. This is the tongue weight of the trailer.
Tips and warnings
- If the weight exceeds the capacity of your bathroom scale, move the scale three or four feet away from the trailer hitch jack and repeat the procedure. The weight shown on the scale is still multiplied by three.
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