Tongue weight question


Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
Thanks everyone for all the advice. While I might be just fine going by the numbers, I will also be close to my max, and that probably would be an issue if I was going to places where I might be climbing to the few places in Arkansas that are 2000' feet or so. As mentioned above, traveling longer distances could be an issue as I like to travel to New Mexico quite often.

I think I will pass on the camper for now.
Its doable, you just have to pack light and/or remove some weight. I did that when I had pup.


Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
That 3000lb GVWR for the trailer, tells you right there, loaded to the max, you'll be 1000lbs over your tow rating. Weight adds up fast when you start putting stuff in the trailer.

Tow ratings and trailer weights are always a contentious issue on the Portal.. biggest thing to know and understand is the term "dry weight" is a very basic trailer weight, basically it's the weight of the trailer with just beds, and cabinets.. doesn't include things like, fridge, ac unit, furnace, awning, battery, propane tank stove/oven, any tank ( blue, grey, black) no water heater, no spare tire, no tire mount.. When you do the math on some, the fire extinguisher, propane detector and CO/smoke detectors aren't counted either..


Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
Here are all the numbers I have.

My car: GCWR=5871. GVWR=4620 Curb=3525. Payload=875.

Ranger 10: GVWR=3000. Dry weight= 1225. Tongue Weight=175.(Includes 2 empty propane tanks). Options to add would be sidemount AC and outdoor stove, so say an extra 100 lbs, making dry weight=1325. Battery weight= 36 lbs, upping tongue weight to 211 lbs.

So, 5871-3525-1325=1021 left for me, 2 dogs and gear.

Using the 1450 (full propane) would leave 896 for me, 2 dogs and gear. Tongue weight would be 250 lbs.

I will not be towing with full water, etc.

It seems I will be within limits.

Your tongue weight is 211 pounds, and your tongue capacity is 250. Two dogs on the back seat, taking half their weight is 35 pounds on the rear axle. A cooler full of food in the cargo area is 30 pounds. You haven't added bedding, pots and pans, etc. But already your capacity is reduced from 250 to 185, yet your tongue weight is 211, putting you 26 over, without camping gear. Tongue weight is almost always the limiting factor. Can you use a light duty weight distribution hitch? If your vehicle, and if your trailer frame allow a WD hitch, you're good to go. Get one that is advertised for up to 400 pounds tongue weight.

My trailer has a 480 pound tongue weight with a "dry weight" of 270. Propane, batteries, gear... it comes in around 500. Add a cooler and camping gear in the back of my tow vehicle, and I'm approaching 600 pounds. I have a 400-600 pound WD hitch, and it's SO much better.

So many people ask this same question, and I often wonder if their hope is that people will tell them it's ok to go over the limits. I hope you don't. It's a matter of safety, and of wear and tear on the vehicle.


Active Member
Mar 28, 2021
Niagara Region, ON
Here are all the numbers I have.

My car: GCWR=5871. GVWR=4620 Curb=3525. Payload=875.

So 4620 (GVWR) - 3525 (Curb) = ~1100 lbs, as per my original calculations.

Ford's payload rating must already include the driver and gas. I will change my earlier post again.

Another great resource would be vehicle specific forums.

There seem to be people happily pulling larger trailers with more people so I don't think weight is a problem..

Although most of them seem to have the turbo two. But at least your turbo 1.5 is forced induction so you will not have any power loss at altitude like you would in a naturally aspirated engine, plus a relatively flat torque curve which will reduce transmission hunting.


Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
Call it old fashion thinking.. but when it comes to towing more then a bicycle rack or small utility trailer with a riding lawnmower. "There is no replacement for displacement " .. small four bangers with a turbo are not designed to tow , the engines and the vehicles they are put into are designed for fuel efficiency and moving people.


New Member
Aug 12, 2022
I've decided to play it safe and just keep my teardrop for now. I can tow it easily and having a 10x10 canopy gives me a nice living area outside. I have to look at how much do I really think I will camp with a new camper vs now. I also have a nice cabin in North Central Arkansas on the White River, and I am there at least once a month for a week.
As I am learning more about trailers and towing, I would still suggest buying a trailer tongue scale both for what you currently have and anything you plan to buy (you can bring it when inspecting the trailer). I bought one in Canada for $35 and was eye opening to the point where I now fill up my water tanks beforehand to act as a ballast against the tongue weight and I bring an extra jug that I can move to various spots inside the trailer depending on what else we carry. Knowing actual weight helped avoid over stressing our TV and explained why we never fish tailed, given our tongue weight was actually 22% of trailer dry weight! $35 CAN $60 US - only thing in the US I could find quickly that was similar but I'm sure there's others for much less. Cheers.

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