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  1. #1
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    Default Towing with excessive tongue weight

    What happens if you tow a trailer with excessive tongue weight?

    I have two major trips planned with my Lees-ure Lite. I went on an overnight trip a few days ago to work out bugs. After many hours I have them all corrected except excessive tongue weight. Despite my best efforts I could not get it down below 47 pounds, and specs say 40 pounds is maximum. I admit I am skeptical about the tongue weight of the empty trailer (18) and will be testing that after the seam sealer dries.

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Grandpot's Avatar
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    Are you looking for facts or opinions? The facts are in the owner's manual.
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    Active Member NorthAlabamaSpyder's Avatar
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    Typically trailers empty will have more lounge weight than a properly loaded trailer. Having puller a Bunkhouse camper for maybe 50,000 miles on a Goldwing I found that if you load it properly it be just fine. I had a 110 volt AC window unit I carried in it and used it as the main ballast to the rear. The Goldwing carried the weight on the "shock" and the Spyder carries weight on the "axel". Of course all this being said they are my findings and opinions learned over the years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthAlabamaSpyder View Post
    Typically trailers empty will have more lounge weight than a properly loaded trailer. Having puller a Bunkhouse camper for maybe 50,000 miles on a Goldwing I found that if you load it properly it be just fine. I had a 110 volt AC window unit I carried in it and used it as the main ballast to the rear. The Goldwing carried the weight on the "shock" and the Spyder carries weight on the "axel". Of course all this being said they are my findings and opinions learned over the years.

    Bruce
    I know what you are saying and that is why I am going to weigh the trailer empty. If I add 65 pounds in gear, put the heavier things in the rear, mechanics say the part in front of the first third of the axle should add 1/3 of it's weight. The part from behind the axle should reduce it. That is why nothing makes sense.

  5. #5
    SpyderLovers Sponsor SpyderAnn01's Avatar
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    I carry a ton in my RT-622 but haven’t checked the tongue weight lately, I will be loading for a trip today and I will try to get the weight. I pack all of my heavy stuff over the axle and have been doing this regularly for years with no problems.

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    Like Ann, I put the heavy stuff over the axle. I have an RT622 trailer that has a dry tongue weight of 26#s. The spec on the trailer says it weighs 250#s empty. So, 26# tongue weight is just right. When I load it I try to keep the tongue weight as close to 26 as possible. I found that if I go heavier, I tend to feel the trailer "push" me especially going down hills in twisties. A large part of that "push" feeling went away when I changed the rear Kenda for a better tire. The last time I did a trip trailering I had only about a 75# load and kept the tongue weight at 28#s. I couldn't feel any effects from the trailer at all under all road conditions. I use a fish weight scale to measure tongue weights. Cheap at any sporting goods store. My experience running with closer to 40#s had me going much slower to be comfortable in twisties. Good luck..... Jim
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnorthern View Post
    I have two major trips planned with my Lees-ure Lite. After many hours I have them all corrected except excessive tongue weight. Despite my best efforts I could not get it down below 47 pounds, and specs say 40 pounds is maximum. I admit I am skeptical about the tongue weight of the empty trailer (18)
    My Lees-Ure Lite trailer has a 25# tongue weight right now. That's loaded (inside), no luggage on top and no tongue box. I do have the spare wheel and tire mounted to the tongue under the trailer box.

    I'm betting you have a loaded tongue box with relatively heavy stuff in it?

    47# tongue weight, in my opinion only, will not harm anything as long as the trailer overall is still under 400#. The major limitation for the Spyder regarding towing is brake capacity, I believe.

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  8. #8
    Very Active Member Brentc's Avatar
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    Here is a quick read that does a decent job of explaining tongue weight.

    https://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-...gue-weight.htm

    If the tongue of the trailer does not exert enough downward force on the tow vehicle's hitch ball -- meaning that the trailer's tongue weight is too light -- a dangerous condition called trailer sway could result. If the tongue weight is too heavy, the steering of the tow vehicle will be affected.
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  9. #9
    Active Member starrider60's Avatar
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    I tend to distribute the load evenly inside my RollaHome and then put a large ice chest on the tongue. I made the mistake once of draining all the water out of the chest and got a scary moment on the road. I quickly stopped and put ten pounds of ice in the chest and rode on smoothly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starrider60 View Post
    I tend to distribute the load evenly inside my RollaHome and then put a large ice chest on the tongue. I made the mistake once of draining all the water out of the chest and got a scary moment on the road. I quickly stopped and put ten pounds of ice in the chest and rode on smoothly.
    And, what was the tongue weight with a loaded ice chest on it? That's kind of the point of the OP I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahPete View Post

    I'm betting you have a loaded tongue box with relatively heavy stuff in it?
    I do have a box with 7 pounds of gear. I am guessing the box is light (3 pounds?) since it is fiberglass. At ten pounds, and about 60% of the distance to the tongue from the axle, that should be adding only 6 pounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnorthern View Post
    I do have a box with 7 pounds of gear. I am guessing the box is light (3 pounds?) since it is fiberglass. At ten pounds, and about 60% of the distance to the tongue from the axle, that should be adding only 6 pounds.
    The fiberglass box from Lees-Ure Lite is, I believe about 20#, plus the gear that's in it.

    Correction; per OEM, pod is 19# empty.

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    I just weighed my tongue weight empty - 37 pounds. That box is heavy!

    I am starting off at a huge disadvantage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnorthern View Post
    I just weighed my tongue weight empty - 37 pounds. That box is heavy!

    I am starting off at a huge disadvantage.
    Yeah, it's probably only good for lightweight bulky items like sleeping bag and clothes.

    As I said earlier, you're probably okay going over the 40# limit somewhat as long as the overall weight of the trailer loaded is at or under 400#.

    I use a bathroom scale to check the weight on each wheel and the tongue to get total weight.

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    Very Active Member Bob Denman's Avatar
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    What does your trailer weigh when it's fully loaded, and ready for the road?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
    What does your trailer weigh when it's fully loaded, and ready for the road?
    Bob, I don't know who you are asking this of, but I'll answer it.

    My trailer with spare wheel and tire and a deep cycle battery on the tongue (for my CPAP), loaded and ready for a trip tips the scales at right around 400#.

    2014 RTL Platinum & 2014 RTL Cognac
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  17. #17
    Very Active Member easysuper's Avatar
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    I pull a aspen and total weight with all our plunder including firewood is around 430 to 450 this is actual experience from around 50,000 miles of towing with a 2013 and now a 2014 my new bike has 42,640 miles on it. At least 25k is towing the trailer, I weighed my young this morning as I had rearranged some thins and it came in at 45 it ranges from 35 to 50 depending on how much ice,water,and other stuff I throw in the ice chest, we are on a Coast to Coast and back trip this summer and will rack up around 10K before we get home. The big thing to remember is your bike will handle different and stopping is a little delayed so just keep that in mind. Don’t worry about a little extra weight,all the numbers have a ton of extra built into them from the engineers and then added more from the lawyers on top of it.
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  18. #18
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    I tow a Lees-ure Lite also and have a tongue weight of about 45 pounds. I hate to add the unsprung weight to the axel but have not had any problems. I wish that there was a hitch that mounted from the frame but do not know of one. Mounting off the axel transmits a lot of shock to the trailer. My camper weighs about 450 pounds loaded.
    You should be OK.
    Steve

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