Proper Tongue Weight and How to Measure It

Discussion in 'Trailering' started by baktasht, Apr 3, 2022.

  1. baktasht

    baktasht Member

    May 26, 2009
    Round Rock, TX
    2003 Sea Ray Weekender 225
    5.0 MPI
    I have always just gone off of the eyeball measurement and the "feel" of the truck once loaded. But this is the first time I have actually used a trailer tongue weight scale.

    If you tow often I highly recommend grabbing some sort of a tongue weight scale and giving it a shot. You never know how far off you are until you measure. Did a video on it as well, incase it's useful to you.

    Here is the video
  2. Jus Cruisin

    Jus Cruisin Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2021
    Lake St Clair - MI (Belle Maer Harbor)
    2004 390 DA
    Almost all of my trailering was car trailers, both open and enclosed. Never scaled em. I'd pull the car on or in enough to drop the rear of the truck about 2" and I was good to go. The couple of trailer boats I had many moons ago had the axles set up by the dealer to get the tongue weight within specs. The only way you're going to adjust tongue weight with a boat trailer is axle placement.
    baktasht and MonacoMike like this.
  3. dvx216

    dvx216 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2012
    Catawaba Island,Oh.
    2001 340 sundancer 8.1
    8.1s 370 v drv.
    When I first had my 310 Da. put on it's new trailer that was hitched to my Sierra 2500hd one of the boat yard guys walked over to my truck and rested his arm on the back of my truck. When they hoisted on to the trailer he instructed them to pick it up and move it forward until he felt the truck take the load to his liking. The boat has always trailed good behind my truck.

    Attached Files:

  4. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    The premise of the information is good, however you put the scale in the wrong place. It should be in ball coupler. Where you put it, it's going to read higher than it really is. I couldn't quite tell, and maybe it was, but the trailer frame needs to level when measuring, as well. Admitedly, I did skip through the video a bit looking for the highlights - so maybe you talked about that. But it seems like that "scale" would be hard to use to get the frame level - especially for lighter weights?

    FYI, a bathroom scale, along with a little math/leverage can work, too. And that would be easier to use in terms of getting the frame level.

    In the end, this isn't an exact science - as long you're in the ballpark you're good.

    Side note... that little ratchet strap you have on the bow eye is going to snap like an old rubber band if the boat moves for some reason. For two reasons... it's NOWHERE near strong enough to be effective. And, two, wrapped around that piece of angle "point loads" it and makes it even weaker. It "looks good", but it absolutely won't be of any help if you actually need it.
    baktasht likes this.
  5. Woody

    Woody Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    N. Wisconsin/Lk Superior
    2005 420DA
    Cummins 6CTA8.3
    That boat needs a good buff and wax before it can go out in public.:)
    baktasht likes this.
  6. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    8.2 Mercs
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    260hp Alpha 1
    If the boat is properly on the trailer. I have had to move the winch stand forward on trailers to properly support the hull at the stern and increase the tongue weight…
    baktasht and Jus Cruisin like this.
  7. boatman37

    boatman37 Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2015
    2006 Crownline 250CR. 5.7 Merc BIII
    Previous: 1986 Sea Ray 250 Sundancer. 260 Merc Alpha 1 Gen 1
    5.7 Merc BIII
    I took mine to the CAT scales at the truck stop. Weighed my truck without the trailer then again with the trailer. Easiest and most accurate way. My boat/trailer was about 8900lbs and I had about 700lbs tongue weight. Lighter than the typical 12-ish% normally recommended but boats are usually lower due to most of the weight being behind the axles. I have also weighed my sons 2018 Grand Design Imagine 2670MK and my step-sons 2021 Grand Design Imagine 3250BH. The 2670 weighed 8100lbs with 1000lbs tongue weight (loaded up as my son was living in it for work) and the 3250BH weighed 9300lbs with 1100lbs tongue weight (new off the dealer lot so empty).

    ***Remember to add the tongue weight back on to the trailer axles to get true trailer weight***

    Empty 2018 2500 Ram 6.4 Hemi

    Same truck with 3250BH

    Same truck empty before weighing the boat:

    Same truck with 2006 Crownline 250CR:
    JHornsby3 and baktasht like this.

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