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williemon

Tongue weight too high

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williemon

I properly measured the tounge weight of my 2007 boatmate single axel trailer that holds my 2001 sunsetter vlx. I get 380lbs tounge weight and my hitch is listed for 350 tounge weight. I looked at the trailer and the boat is already 3 inches shy of being fully seated on the trailer. Guess i did not get it fully on he last time. Anyway, the axel is already adjusted as far forward as the brackets will allow. Any ideas what i can do? I have the vin and thought about calling boatmate to see if they can tell me if that is the proper matched trailer. 

Edited by williemon
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oldjeep

That tongue weight seems correct for a boat that size and weight. Somewhere just under 10% of total load is what i normally go for. Using a class 2 hitch to pull that load seems like a bad idea.

350 tongue weight rating typically means only 3500lbs total rating which you have to be way over.  Lets say that the Malibu numbers are correct - boat is 2900lbs dry, add another 1000lbs for a single trailer and you are already at 3900 with no fuel or gear in the boat.

The solution is not messing with the trailer, it is installing a class 3 or 4 hitch with properly rated drawbar and ball. This is all assuming you are not towing with an undersized vehicle that only has a 3500lb rating regardless of the hitch you put on it.

Edited by oldjeep

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oldjeep

one more thought, which doesn't fix your under rated hitch, but is there a spare tire on your tongue? It would be a bandaid, but an easy way to remove 50 lbs of tongue weight.

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MadMan
11 hours ago, williemon said:

I properly measured the tounge weight of my 2007 boatmate single axel trailer that holds my 2001 sunsetter vlx.

How did you measure it?

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Nitrousbird

Malibu's dry weight isn't a good number to go by.  Your boat on that trailer is likely near 5000 lbs.

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cowwboy

My 02 vlx on an aluminum I-beam trailer weighs 5200 on a cat certified scales. 

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williemon

Well the hitch is a curt hitch. Its for a 2006 honda pilot. THe hitch itself is rated at 350 tongue weight and 3500 lbs or 500 tongue  weight, 5000 lbs using weight dist hitch. Im under the assumption that the hitch will handle 5000 lbs no problem as long as tongue weight is 350 or less. If the boat weighs 2900 and the trailer weighs 1080 as every spec i see states, add fuel, we are talking 4300 lbs. the pilot is rated at 4500 for a boat. Seems like the vehicle, hitch can safely tow the boat, just that i need the tongue weight to not be over 350. I tow with the tongue roughly at a 1 to 2 inch drop from level. Its just the way ive always towed. Previous boats though have been lighter.

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oldjeep
Just now, williemon said:

Well the hitch is a curt hitch. Its for a 2006 honda pilot. THe hitch itself is rated at 350 tongue weight and 3500 lbs or 500 tongue  weight, 5000 lbs using weight dist hitch. Im under the assumption that the hitch will handle 5000 lbs no problem as long as tongue weight is 350 or less. If the boat weighs 2900 and the trailer weighs 1080 as every spec i see states, add fuel, we are talking 4300 lbs. the pilot is rated at 4500 for a boat. Seems like the vehicle, hitch can safely tow the boat, just that i need the tongue weight to not be over 350. I tow with the tongue roughly at a 1 to 2 inch drop from level. Its just the way ive always towed. Previous boats though have been lighter.

The published specs are a completely stripped boat at best.  You are way over loaded.  Take it to a scale and weigh it so you know by how much.

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Nitrousbird
3 minutes ago, williemon said:

Well the hitch is a curt hitch. Its for a 2006 honda pilot. THe hitch itself is rated at 350 tongue weight and 3500 lbs or 500 tongue  weight, 5000 lbs using weight dist hitch. Im under the assumption that the hitch will handle 5000 lbs no problem as long as tongue weight is 350 or less. If the boat weighs 2900 and the trailer weighs 1080 as every spec i see states, add fuel, we are talking 4300 lbs. the pilot is rated at 4500 for a boat. Seems like the vehicle, hitch can safely tow the boat, just that i need the tongue weight to not be over 350. I tow with the tongue roughly at a 1 to 2 inch drop from level. Its just the way ive always towed. Previous boats though have been lighter.

You are doing it wrong.  The trailer should be level, not a 1 or 2" drop.

http://www.boatus.com/magazine/trailering/2013/february/trailering-guys.asp

2900lbs dry isn't correct.  I don't think anyone knows where they get that number but it is made up at best.  Notice that cowboy has his rig weigh in @ 5200lbs on an aluminum trailer.  5000lbs would be realistic for your setup.  You are towing more than your vehicle is rated for - which could cause a legal concern if in an accident.    

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williemon

Yea, i will have to get it weighed to be sure. To weigh the tongue, i had the bath scale, and a block of wood. I placed the wood 1 foot away from the tongue and the scale roughly that far the other direction. I placed small pipes on top of each, then placed a 4x4 accross the pipes. I lowered the tongue on top of the 4x4 and the scale measured around 180 to 190 lbs. i then multiplied that by 2 since there was 2 foot distance between the wood support and the scale support. Buying a new tow vehicle is out, as is getting a lighter boat. I will weigh the boat and trailer but i cant see it over 4500 lbs. if it is, then it just is. If not, then i still need to get the tongue weight a bit lighter or go with a wd hitch. When i bought it, i towed it 3 hours from the dealer to home using an 02 hondy odyssey van on interstate. I towed up to 60 mph, sometimes hit 65 and it felt stable all the way. I knew it was back there though. 

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williemon

Wow, i just saw the post from cowboy. I did not realize they would weigh that much. I think im gonna get it weighed this week. I may not be able to get a different tow vehicle but i tow about 10 min to my local lake . I will just limit it to that. Bummer. 

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cowwboy

Remember I also have an aluminum trailer not steel. But I also have a healthy stereo with golf cart batteries and 20's on the trailer.

So it may even out with yours. 

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minnmarker

2006 Honda Pilot Maximum towing capacity is 3500 lbs.  Be very careful and slow on the highway and definitely do not use it to pull the boat out of the water on anything but a very gentle and smooth ramp.  You may break something.

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That Guy

Eeeek! Reading post gave me a similar feeling as I had this weekend when I passed a mid 00's odyssey towing a 25-30ft travel trailer!   The a** end of the minivan was close to dragging and the front end pointed at the sky....I just cringed as I sped past as quickly as I could.  Be safe out there everyone!

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MadMan

As a data point, my tongue weight is just shy of 300lbs ('00 23lsv, full fuel, all equipment onboard, dual axle).  I could measure mine directly on the bathroom scale.

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williemon

06 pilot 4x4 is 4500 for a boat. Otherwise its 3500 for travel trailer. Odyssey is the same as well. I have hayden stacked plate tranny coolers on both. If the odyssey and pilot were that weak, they would both be trashed already if you saw one of the ramps i use. The other ramp is gentle. Got 241000 miles on the odyssey. One day this past summer, i was pulling the boat out of a steep ramp with the odyssey. I had a full tank of fuel in the boat instead of a half tank that i usally use with the odyssey and this ramp. Needless to say, the odyssey got part way up until the tongue weight started lifting the front tires. It just spun then. Had to put boat back in and wait for my wife to bring the pilot back. 

Anyway, if the boat does not weigh more than 4500, i wont sweat it. Just need the tongue weight less. Ive always heard to have the tongue just a tad lower than level and it helps stability. It may not be book right but thats what i heard from some old salts  

 

 

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cowwboy

If your tongue weight is lifting the front end to the point of loosing traction you have lots of issue. That is extremely unsafe and dangerous to others along with yourself.

Lowering the tongue weight to much can become dangerous also. 

Just a heads up, if you have an accident with weights like you have now you're leaving yourself open to a major lawsuit and fines. 

 

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williemon

No, you misunderstand. The front end only lightens when pulling the boat up that steep ramp. Since its FWD, the tire can spin. Its actually a benifit to a RWD vehicle. There is that point when pulling the boat out of the water that the tongue weight is multiplied due to the angles and it puts more downforce on the rear tires and lifts the front. 

I have read elsewhere that a boat trailer tongue weight should be set between 5 and 7 percent of total weight. I can see that working as long as the total weight of the boat , trailer and gear was not over 4500 lbs. i know my previous boat and trailer was roughly 2400 lbs but the tongue weight was around 170. It towed great the 17 years i had it. 

Anyway, i had just wondered how anybody adjusted the tongue weight on their trailers. 

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RyanB

Ways to adjust tongue weight:

Move boat on trailer.  Load it further forward to increase, further back to decrease.  Usually accomplished by moving the winch stand on the trailer.

Move the axle(s) of the trailer.

Add/subtract weight in the boat.  Someone already suggested the spare tire.  If you removed it from the tongue of the trailer, and stored it in the back of the boat you would have a (very) slight shift in tongue weight.

I guess you could add more weight to the rear of the boat (fill locker ballast tanks if you were allowed), although then you are adding more overall weight to your set up.

Not sure what else to do.

I know nothing about your set up, but in lieu of something like the SAE J2807 towing standards, the vehicle tow rating is something that is set by the manufacture and has more to do with a balance between marketing bragging rights and bean counter concerns over warranty.  When you are towing with something like a full size truck, your hard limitations are more likely the axle and tire ratings.  Not sure if you have a solid rear axle or independent suspension.

I do not know of a state that goes by a manufacture weight ratings where the law is concerned, and (as these conversations almost always go this way), your insurance will cover you in the event of an accident regardless of if you are over those tow ratings or not (as long as you don't have a written policy exclusion in regard to towing over the manufacture weight rating).

Good luck and be smart.

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boardjnky4
9 hours ago, williemon said:

No, you misunderstand. The front end only lightens when pulling the boat up that steep ramp. Since its FWD, the tire can spin. Its actually a benifit to a RWD vehicle. There is that point when pulling the boat out of the water that the tongue weight is multiplied due to the angles and it puts more downforce on the rear tires and lifts the front. 

I have read elsewhere that a boat trailer tongue weight should be set between 5 and 7 percent of total weight. I can see that working as long as the total weight of the boat , trailer and gear was not over 4500 lbs. i know my previous boat and trailer was roughly 2400 lbs but the tongue weight was around 170. It towed great the 17 years i had it. 

Anyway, i had just wondered how anybody adjusted the tongue weight on their trailers. 

I have an 09 Pilot that tows an A20. Pulls the boat out of the water great. Even on steep ramps. We trailer exclusively, and ride 3 times a week. The guys with 2WD trucks are sitting there spinning the tires, and I'm getting out no problem with 8 people sitting in the boat.

I've also towed several hour trips with mine, with no issues at all. It does squat a bit, but I get ZERO sway and it stops great with the dual axle brakes on the trailer (plus the car has good brakes too).

I know this is a different generation than OP's Pilot, but I think it's relevant anyway.

Edited by boardjnky4

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cowwboy
9 hours ago, williemon said:

I have read elsewhere that a boat trailer tongue weight should be set between 5 and 7 percent of total weight. I can see that working as long as the total weight of the boat , trailer and gear was not over 4500 lbs. i know my previous boat and trailer was roughly 2400 lbs but the tongue weight was around 170. It towed great the 17 years i had it. 

 

It is 10-15% tongue weight goal for bumper pull (not fifth wheel / goose neck) trailers. If you ran 5- 7% tongue weight you would have the issues I showed you the video of. 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a6791/the-right-way-to-tow-a-trailer/

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williemon
18 minutes ago, cowwboy said:

It is 10-15% tongue weight goal for bumper pull (not fifth wheel / goose neck) trailers. If you ran 5- 7% tongue weight you would have the issues I showed you the video of. 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a6791/the-right-way-to-tow-a-trailer/

Guess shorelander trailers has it wrong then. They spec 6% single and 5% tandem. Im figuring that madman's rig is not 10 to 15 tongue weight. I have read that a travel trailer should be at least 10% though. The pilots specs for a travel trailer differ as well compared to its specs for a boat. I feel safe and secure with this load on the pilot and odyssey as long as im taking it easy and have trailer brakes. I have however towed with a Toyota tundra and realize the vast difference the extra towing capacity makes. For my local use my tow vehicles are fine. Now if i towed for an hour every weekend, id want a better tow vehicle but for my 10 min trip at 35 to 50 mph low traffic, im good. I just need to get the tongue weight lighter and this trailer has no more adjustment. I will call boatmate though and talk to them, as well as getting this rig weighed.  

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oldjeep
23 minutes ago, williemon said:

Guess shorelander trailers has it wrong then. They spec 6% single and 5% tandem. Im figuring that madman's rig is not 10 to 15 tongue weight. I have read that a travel trailer should be at least 10% though. The pilots specs for a travel trailer differ as well compared to its specs for a boat. I feel safe and secure with this load on the pilot and odyssey as long as im taking it easy and have trailer brakes. I have however towed with a Toyota tundra and realize the vast difference the extra towing capacity makes. For my local use my tow vehicles are fine. Now if i towed for an hour every weekend, id want a better tow vehicle but for my 10 min trip at 35 to 50 mph low traffic, im good. I just need to get the tongue weight lighter and this trailer has no more adjustment. I will call boatmate though and talk to them, as well as getting this rig weighed.  

Probably get away with it as long as you are ok with all the extra wear and tear you are putting on that Honda drivetrain.   I'm curious why they list a higher weight rating for a boat since pulling a boat includes getting it out of the water at an angle which is far worse than "normal" trailer towing.

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williemon

The only thing i have read as far as the different weight ratings was that a travel trailer produces more wind resistance that has to be accounted for. At any rate, i just got off the phone with boatmate and the trailer i have was built for an 08 v ride. Their specs say the dry weight of the v ride is 3400 or 3500 lbs while the ssvlx i have is 2800.  So if the v ride is heavier, i wonder if there was more weight toward the rear for it? Boatmate said there is no adjustment that can be made without rebuilding it. Thats what i figured though since its all welded. I forgot to ask what the reccommend for tongue weight percentage but mastercraft towing manual recommends a min of 5% and a max of 10%. Looks like i will be in the market for a different trailer wince the current tongue weight is just too much for the pilot. Bummer. 

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mainekneeboarder

Just for reference, our 2001 Sunsetter VLX, Titan I tower, Monsoon 350, no amps, two tower speakers, one battery, is 5100 on a home built 2x4 steel tandem axle trailer.

 

I'm not one that follows/believes all the hype of being under the factory specs, but I believe that boat on a single axle (one braking axle) trailer, along with a pretty short wheel base, fairly light vehicle, may be pushing it? I would be tempted to add an axle (brakes) to the trailer if you are set on that tow rig, JMHO!!! 

P.S. you should know by now, you need a 1 ton Diesel dually to tow that boat rite? :biggrin:

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