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Old 07-05-2015, 12:05 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 4
Tongue Weight

Hi all, my wife and I purchased a cougar 243RKS last fall which I tow with my 2012 F150. My truck is rated to haul 7700 pounds and I know the dry weight of my trailer is stated at 6000 pounds. I am currently looking for a half ton with a higher towing capacity like a ram with the 3.92 rear axle that will pull in the 10,000 pound range to give me some breathing room (I did consider a 3/4 ton but don't think I need to go that route).

Here is my question. My trailer tongue weight is stated at 535 lbs. from all I've read tongue weight should be around 13-15% of total weight and I calculate my trailer to be only about 9% ( I realize these are still dry weights just trying to get things correct in my head). When I hook up my trailer my truck doesn't lower even an inch, and when I tow it it feels like it is swaying and almost bouncing (I use an Anderson hitch but am reluctant to tighten it too much as I feel I am transferring weight off the back wheels that isn't really there). So is this normal for this type trailer or are they designed to maybe have water onboard to add tongue weight? or do I maybe need to load more items up front to offset the rear kitchen? From day one it just hasn't felt right pulling it and I don't want to buy a new truck only to find it's something else.

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Old 07-05-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Fredericksburg VA
Posts: 30
You said it feels like it is swaying and bouncing, is it really swaying? Have you towed a trailer of the same size and weight before to know how it is supposed to feel?

I would not be afraid to tighten the chains on the hitch too much, just follow andersens install instructions.

Be sure the trailer is level, or slightly nose down. Nose up can cause handling issues.

For the tongue weight, you are going to need to go to a scale. There is a tread in the towing section that will explain how to get all your weights. This is the best way to determine if your weights are correct and are the cause of any handling problems.

Some trailers do handle better with water in the tank. Depends on the design of the trailer.
2012 F250 6.2L
2014 Laredo 303TG
Reese Dual Cam WD Hitch
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:58 PM   #3
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First, you will want more truck. Your trailer dry weight is 6000 lbs but has a carrying capacity of 3335 which is a GVWR of 9335, much more than the 7700 your truck is rated for. You should probably look at a truck that is rated to pull around 12k lbs. to give you some room. Also check the payload of the truck. When all is said and done you will probably end up with around 1000lbs on the hitch (assuming 8000lb. loaded weight). Some 1/2 tons don't have much more than that for payload.

The swaying and "bounce" sounds like a trailer too light in the nose. You will need to weigh it to see for sure. If the trailer is loaded (you didn't say) and your truck does not start to squat a little (with approx. 1000lb tongue weight and a truck only rated for 7700lbs it should) then it sounds like your weight is in the rear. You need the tongue weight for stability when towing.
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Old 07-05-2015, 01:19 PM   #4
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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Thanks for the answers. The trailer is loaded for camping when we pull it minus water. It's not overloaded by any stretch as we usually go for 5 days at a time but each trip we usually add something new we decided we need ( chairs, small folding tables etc... Light stuff but it all adds up). Since it's a rear kitchen I'd hazard a guess the bulk of the weight is at the back with only bedding and clothes up front.

I used to tow a 24' sailboat that weighed around 4500 pounds. Once it was too far back on the trailer so I had minimal tongue weight and it swayed violently until I moved the boat forward. When I mention sway with my cougar I don't mean sway in that sense, but more of a feeling of the back of the truck swaying or feeling light. I will haul the trailer to a scale and do some weighing to see what I'm really dealing with. It just feels to me that something is not quite right with my setup.

Thanks again
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:22 PM   #5
Ken / Claudia
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See my trailer listed below. I go camping with a full water in fresh tank, propane full, 2 batteries. Tongue weight was checked with trailer loaded with food, clothes camping stuff in storage for several days. 900 lbs.
2013 24RKSWE (27ft TT) Cougar 1/2 ton series
2013 Ford F350 4x4 CC 6.7 engine, 8 ft bed 3.55 rear end lariat package
Retired from Oregon State Police in 2011 than worked another 9.5 years as a small town traffic cop:
As of 05-2020, I am all done with 39 years total police work. No more uniforms for me.
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Old 07-05-2015, 02:45 PM   #6
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Location: Rochester, NY
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I would forget about "dry or brochure weights" such as 6000 weight and 535 tongue. With truck and trailer fully loaded, take the trailer/truck to a scale aand weigh it. This will tell you your true trialer axles, tongue and truck weights.
Keep in mind that besides bitting the optimum 10 to 13 percent tongue weight for safe towing, your truck has to be able to handle the payload of the loaded tongue as well as the combined weight of the hitch, passengers, gear in the bed, etc. You will run out of payload long before you will run out of your trucks ability to "pull" it, aka 7700 lb tow rating.
In my opinion, a travel trailer that weighs over 7000 loaded should be towed by 3/4 ton truck at a minimum.
Do yourself a favor and look at this before you buy another half ton truck. Don't get me wrong, 1/2 ton trucks are nice, but really not the best set up for tongue heavy applications like travel trailers.
Steve Rinker
Rochester, NY
2013 Outback Sydney 340FBH (12,280 lbs loaded-scale)

2015 GMC Sierra Denali 3500HD, SRW, Duramax, CC, SB (payload 3700)
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Old 07-05-2015, 04:14 PM   #7
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Are you sure your tow rating is 7700lbs? Or are you meaning your GVWR is 7700? These are two very different things. I couldn't see what your truck specs are in your signature line, but you first need to look at your door sticker for your specific max payload. If you have the Ecoboost, super crew 4x4 with 3.55, 3.73 rear end your max "tow" weight rating would be north of 9,000lbs, now as many have already said you will likely run out of payload before reaching max tow weight. I had a 2014 Ram 1500 towing our 5660lbs "empty" 24' trailer and I can tell you first hand the coil springs in the back are very soft for 800-900+lbs tounge weights. Ram has a great ride empty but you sacrifice payload ratings for that soft rear end. My door sticker on the Ram stated 1300lbs max, I was at or over this with our modest 24' trailer. I upgraded to the 2014 ecoboost max tow/max payload with a door sticker max payload of more than 1800lbs and max tow weight of 11,300lbs. The experience between the two is night and stay for me, I feel much safer with this truck vs the Ram. I loved my Ram but the suspension is just too soft for heavy loads IMO. I would have loved a 3/4, or 1 ton but for me it didn't make sense. Best of luck in whatever you decide but just do yourself a favor and always check the door sticker when shopping to see what your real payloads will be as every truck varies greatly based on options in the truck, cab and bed length, etc. again you will run out of payload long before you run out of towable weight on the newer 1/2 tons.
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies and the great info, I love forums like this for that very reason. To answer a couple questions, I am positive on the 7700 pound tow rate based on the 2012 RV towing guide. I have the 5.0 L supercrew 4wd ( I bought it before the trailer of course). I had a deal ready to close on Friday for a 2010 ram which I'm glad I passed on as something didn't sit right. Thanks for the info on the soft rear end on Rams. I'm still considering a 3/4 ton but don't want to break the bank, and here in Alberta a lot of the cheaper used ones (especially F250's) are back from the oilfield and not necessarily looked after.
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Old 07-06-2015, 11:37 AM   #9
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I pull a 2007 Keystone Springdale weighing 7700 lbs loaded with my 2014 Ram. I'll admit that when I first bought the truck I was a little disappointed with the way it handled but then I installed air lift 1000 bags in the rear coils, night and day difference. We just got back from Lake of the Woods which is a 7 hour drive one way and we had no problems as far as pulling goes.
2014 RAM 1500
2007 Springdale 266RELL GL
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:07 PM   #10
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: temperance MI
Posts: 58
Tow my springdale Dry weight 7500 with my 2012 Ram 1500

No issues cruz at 65/70 down the highway with no issues.

I also have supporting mods that help. It can do it but I will be upgrading some time in the next couple of years to a 3500.

Truck has no issues pulling but the trailer will push you around if you are not careful.
2012 Ram Hemi Crew Cab 4x4
2014 Springdale 297BHSSR
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mjones363 View Post
I'm still considering a 3/4 ton but don't want to break the bank, and here in Alberta a lot of the cheaper used ones (especially F250's) are back from the oilfield and not necessarily looked after.
I've seen a few of those trucks in BC, and they are not looked after at all. Beat to crap is more like it. But it rally sounds like you need a 3/4 ton.
2010 Cougar 30RKS
2015 GMC Sierra Max Trailer

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Old 07-07-2015, 09:43 PM   #12
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Whatever truck you choose, you can always play not only with the loading, but also adding fresh water to add tongue weight, adding stability.
Don't forget every option on a truck removes precious available payload. A "properly equipped" half ton with just enough amenities might do the trick, a la F150 EB.
Now that our truck is a dedicated tow vehicle I would trade it for a 3/4 in a heartbeat, just waiting for the money tree to bloom
2013 Passport 3220BHWE, upgrade axles, Kumho Radial 857's, all LED, TST507 TPMS, Reese DCSC, DIY corner stabilizers
2012 Ram 1500 Sport crew cab, Hemi, 4x4, 3.92 LSD, factory brake controller, S&B CAI w/scoop, Moroso air/oil can, 87mm ported/polished/knife-edged throttle body, Magnaflow exhaust, 180* t-stat, Rear lowered 2", Airlift 1000.
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