View Full Version : Light Tongue Weight-Loading Trailer

03-23-2014, 05:23 PM
I apologize if I put this question in the wrong place. I have a 2014 Trail Runner 27RKS. Heartland says it has a dry weight of 6442 Lbs and a Tongue weight of 500 Lbs. Obviously this is due to the rear kitchen putting a lot of weight in the rear of the camper. Everything I've read says the tongue weight should be between 10%-15% with the ideal tongue weight being 12%. That means I am 273 Lbs. shy of ideal before I put a thing in it. I will have full propane tanks and a weight distribution hitch which will add a few pounds of tongue weight but not nearly enough. Should I plan on packing the vast majority of my gear toward the front of the trailer before towing to get the percentage closer to where it should be? I plan on buying a Shurline Tongue Weight Scale to help me determine where things should be stored but what do all of you do that have rear kitchen TT's to get to the desired tongue weight?

03-23-2014, 07:20 PM
My 28RKS suffered from exactly what you are concerned with. We had a tail wagging the dog effect, in terms of trailer sway. I removed the spare from the rear of the trailer and started carrying it in the bed of the truck. Also when I load the trailer I try to keep everything with any weight to it forward of the front axle. IE: cooler with ice and beverages, ez up, etc. . With all that said I was still getting a bit of trailer sway. The only thing that was left was to switch from my reese dual cam hitch to a P3 hitch (pivot point projection) Pretty pricey but well worth it in my opinion. It took a white knuckle ride and turned it into a more pleasant trip anytime we go. If you search P3 hitch here you should be able to read the thread another fellow and I talked about the hitch. The P3 is more reasonably priced than the Hensley and does the same job. If you need more info feel free to pm me here. ED. :angel:

03-23-2014, 07:32 PM
Look for Pro Pride P3 or Hensley Arrow. They both have fans and detractors.

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03-26-2014, 03:45 PM
Well, buying one of those hitches won't be in my immediate future. I'm gonna have to come up with another plan to increase weight on the tongue

03-26-2014, 04:04 PM
Don't forget that adding/removing water in your tank(s) can help with balancing your load too.

03-26-2014, 04:29 PM
Never dawned on me to run with water in the front gray tank. Good idea silverado!!!!! ED.

03-28-2014, 06:30 PM
Just a quick update. I received the Sherline scale today and checked the tongue weight of my Trail Runner. It showed a weight of 420 pounds but I don't have the 12V battery on the A-Frame. The battery I have probably weighs about 50-60 pounds. Do you think Heartland weighs their trailers with a battery installed to get the rating they provide or is there "dry" weight rating really a bare bones rating?

04-09-2014, 09:49 AM
Go to a CAT scale. Found at truck stops. Park, go inside and tell them what you are doing. Weigh the whole rig. It will give you the weight on each individual axle. $10 or so….

Since you already have the tongue weight you can just add that to your trailer axle weight and have the weight of the whole trailer. Next time you're loaded for vacation do it again.

Using the tongue scale is a good idea. With the above numbers you can move stuff around to get to where you want to be.

Yes, using a tank forward of the axle as ballast is a good idea. Just make sure you don't exceed any weights.

They sell cheap inline gallon meters to put a known quantity in the tank. I use one to put 20 gallons and no more in my fresh water tank when we go in the road. Just for flushing etc. The water gauges are not very reliable.

You could put a tool box on the front triangle and store heavy stuff in there, including a battery box.

08-24-2014, 10:37 AM
This is an interesting thread . . . wish I had seen it earlier!

On our first big trip with our 2013 Trail Runner 22RK last summer I experienced a bad swaying problem, to which I thought was going to fast.

After that trip I decided not to fill the fresh water tank as that added about 400 lbs behind the axles, and that was just too much for my 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4.

That, and keeping the speed at 65 mph or less, seemed to solve that problem.

However, just replaced that truck with a new 2015 Chevy 2500HD on Friday, so I can't wait to see how the trailer pulls now (next campout in 3 1/2 weeks in Rifle, Colorado)!

Along with the rear kitchen, we also have the pull-out rear bumper bike rack with the spare tire mounted on it, which also adds to the weight on the back of the trailer.

08-25-2014, 05:42 PM
Although it's too late now, there is an alternative to purchasing the high priced Sherline scale. There is a conventional tow worksheet and calculator available at Fifth Wheel Safe Towing (http://fifthwheelst.com). The maximum cost within a 24 hour period at the same CAT Scale location is $16.00.