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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, i know this is repitious, and have been told I am hard headed, and in my defense have never pulled a trailer.
The total weight of my empty trailer is 185 lb. My tongue weight at this point would be( at 15 per cent) around 28 lb, right.

Lets say that I put 100 lbs of what ever in it, my total weight now being 285 lb. Does this now make my tongue weight at 42 lb. (at 15 Percent) of total weight.

and finally, how do i check to see if it is 42 lb tongue weight?
My original empty trailer weight was derived from bathroom scales and two equal height blocks as described by Tom. I understand the distribution of the weight in the trailer but having trouble on the tongue weight. Any input would be appreciated.
 

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Your numbers look good to me. I have hauled trailers all over the
country hooked to my Goldwings...never a problem. The key is
to have enough tongue weight so the trailer doesn't sway
back and forth. Your math is as good as it can get...

Just try
it and if your trailer sways....move some weight forward,
my trailers ride fine when empty, and I just take a guess
that there is enough weight. I used to use a fish scale to
measure tongue weight, till I got the hang of it.
It's really not as complicated as it may sound, there is
plenty of room for error...I try to err on the side of extra
tongue weight. The only time I had 42lbs tongue weight
was pulling a fully loaded Bunkhouse...like in my picture...
over 600lbs of trailer and gear.

Have fun!
 

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---Dash. I believe you only use the cargo weight to get the tongue weight. 100lb x 15% = 15lb tongue weight. This is what I do and it works great. I pull a Bushtec and it is a very balanced trailer when empty. So I am not sure this works for all trailers. My Unigo has a higher tongue weight than my Bushtec due to the single wheel design. Hope this helps you. :yes1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
tongue weight

Ok, beginning to get the hang of it, and appreciate the input.
but do need more clarification on how to determine the tongue weiight, to be more specific, how do you apply a pair of scales (fish,etc.) to get the tongue weight, just hook them up to the end of the tongue and lift up and read the weight, I know this proably sounds elementary to most but as I said it is all new to me and once I get the hang of it I sure I will be able to make a good guess and ride on. Thanks.
 

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Even if the tongue weight gets up to 20 percent its not the end of the world...;)
 

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Here is the scale I use to set the tongue weight...just hook it to the tongue of the trailer and lift it to the height of the bikes hitch and read the dial. I also hang it from a ceiling joist in the garage and weigh all the bags and other stuff to determine the total weight going in the trailer.


http://www.bushtec.com/product-p/99409000.htm

 

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If you don't have a tongue stand, use a fish scale. If you don't have a fish scale or a tongue stand, use a 2 X 4 cut to length to hold your tongue at the same height as when it is hooked to the ball MINUS the height of the bathroom scale you are going to use. Balance it on the scale with the 2 X 4 supporting the tongue and check the weight. Adjust load, repeat...
 

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If you don't have a tongue stand, use a fish scale. If you don't have a fish scale or a tongue stand, use a 2 X 4 cut to length to hold your tongue at the same height as when it is hooked to the ball MINUS the height of the bathroom scale you are going to use. Balance it on the scale with the 2 X 4 supporting the tongue and check the weight. Adjust load, repeat...
If you cant do any of that, Bite your tongue, hit yourself with the 2x4 and walk away.
 

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---Dash. I believe you only use the cargo weight to get the tongue weight. 100lb x 15% = 15lb tongue weight. This is what I do and it works great. I pull a Bushtec and it is a very balanced trailer when empty. So I am not sure this works for all trailers. My Unigo has a higher tongue weight than my Bushtec due to the single wheel design. Hope this helps you. :yes1:
Wow, I can not believe this was even said and was not corrected. I don’t know where you got your info, but it is wrong.
The Tongue Weight should be 10-15% of the TOTAL Weight, Trailer and Cargo. Naturally you could say more toward the 15% is best for the Lighter Weight Trailers and closer to 10% for the Heavier ones like mine, 500-600 Loaded.
This should also be measured while the Trailer is level or at the height it will be at tow. Tongue up or down from that will alter the weight reading.
 

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---Chris you could be right. Setting the tongue weight using the cargo weight was how I was told it should be done. What if your trailer is empty, do you check the tongue weight? And if it is not right how would you adjust it? As long as the trailer is balanced correctly empty. It made scence to me to set the tongue weight just using the cargo weight. And it has worked for me.
 

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---Chris you have peaked my interest. If I am figuring tongue weight wrong I want to know. Bushtec says my trailer weights around 160lb. My cargo weight is 100lb. Total 260lb. That adds up to 39lbs of tongue weight. That almost 40 pounds. That sounds heavy to me. Is that correct?
 

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---Forgot to mention I figured that at 15% on the tongue weight. On another subject here. If i am ever in your town can I ride your RD 350. My Dad had the same year model you have. Sometimes when he was gone I would take it out on the street. It was a wheel smoking wheelie machine. I was just 13 back them. Had alot of fun on it.
 

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For tracking stability

I always thow a 40 pound bag of pure white softener salt in the mid-front of mine when traveling empty.... For tracking stability.
 

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---Forgot to mention I figured that at 15% on the tongue weight. On another subject here. If i am ever in your town can I ride your RD 350. My Dad had the same year model you have. Sometimes when he was gone I would take it out on the street. It was a wheel smoking wheelie machine. I was just 13 back them. Had alot of fun on it.
I actually wish you could. It is a restore project at the moment after sitting for years, but it looked just like the picture when I bought it in 82 and parked it several years ago.
The 66 though will be the first bike I restore. It was left to me by my dad to which was left to him by his dad whom I believe bought it new…
 

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---Chris you have peaked my interest. If I am figuring tongue weight wrong I want to know. Bushtec says my trailer weights around 160lb. My cargo weight is 100lb. Total 260lb. That adds up to 39lbs of tongue weight. That almost 40 pounds. That sounds heavy to me. Is that correct?
30 lbs should work just fine......10-15%
Having owned one, I believe Bushtecs are pickier about tongue height and wheel angle. Get those right and it will tow like a dream.
 

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The tongue weight will vary depending on how the trailer is loaded relative to the axle. If you have a lot of weight forward of the axle then the tongue weight is going to be heavier. If the tongue weight is too heavy it will lighten the front end of the bike making the your steering squirrelly. If it is too light the trailer will tend to fish tail. 25-35 lbs is a good tongue weight for a Wing. Just use a fish scale as mentioned earlier.
 

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The tongue weight will vary depending on how the trailer is loaded relative to the axle. If you have a lot of weight forward of the axle then the tongue weight is going to be heavier. If the tongue weight is too heavy it will lighten the front end of the bike making the your steering squirrelly. If it is too light the trailer will tend to fish tail. 25-35 lbs is a good tongue weight for a Wing. Just use a fish scale as mentioned earlier.
While I may agree with the first part of your post, you can not just throw out a general 25-35 lbs and call it good. That barely covers the Tongue Weight of my Trailer empty at 10%. The Heaviest of your load items should be placed over your axle and balance out from there….making 10-15% on the Tongue.
It may not be to ones liking and it can be played with, but 10% of the Loaded/Total Trailer Weight is not beyond reason. My Trailer loads up at 500-600 lbs….50-60 lb Tongue.
 
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