Pay Attention to Weight Distribution When You Load Your Trailer

Pay Attention to Weight Distribution When You Load Your Trailer

  • In a previous post, we discussed the importance of getting your weight under control by learning the language of towing, especially those terms related to weight. Now it’s time to start putting some of that language to good use so you can load your trailer the right way.


    Proper weight distribution makes it possible to maintain as much control as possible over your vehicle while towing. It also prevents unnecessary strain on both your vehicle and your trailer.


    Most people will say to put the big, heavy stuff over the axles, but that might be oversimplifying things a bit. If you take this approach and have a lot of small things that outweigh one heavy thing, the weight won’t be properly distributed.


    More of your load should be in the front of the trailer – about 60 percent of the weight in the front and 40 percent in the back. The tongue weight should be 10-25 percent of your gross trailer weight, depending on the type of trailer you’re using. Too much weight on the back can cause your trailer to sway.


    However, you don’t want to overload the front of our trailer or stack items too high. A front-heavy or top-heavy load can cause the trailer to “dive.” This increases tongue weight, causing the front of the trailer to dive toward the ground. It can also cause a slight lift in the front of the towing vehicle. This reduces stopping power and can make it difficult to control steering and braking.


    Along those same lines, you need to distribute the weight evenly from left to right. An unbalanced load can make turning and steering difficult and even increase the risk of the trailer flipping over.


    There are a number of weight distribution systems on the market that can distribute tongue weight to other axles. These are a good idea if the weight of your trailer is more than 50 percent of your towing vehicle’s weight.


    A weight distribution system helps you avoid dangerous situations and makes it easier to turn, brake and steer, especially with very heavy loads. For smaller loads, a weight-carrying hitch will help to ensure proper weight distribution.


    There’s no way to discuss every possible loading scenario in one blog post. Remember, the best tool at your disposal when towing is the one between your ears. Use common sense and take your time.