Q: I have read in past issues of Trailer Life that hitch weight should be 10 to 12 percent or more of the trailer’s total weight. My question is, what does “or more” mean exactly? How much more? Mine is 144 pounds over the 12 percent. Thanks for any advice.
J.C. Brown, Via email
A: If trailers have too much of their weight located aft of the axle centerline (center of mass) they are likely to be prone to swaying and “tail wagging” that can result in loss of control. It has been found that conventional travel trailers with hitch weights in the 10-12 percent range tend to be stable without overloading the rear of the tow vehicle. There is no precise formula, and there are many factors that affect this, including tire sidewall stiffness, suspensions, ratio of rear overhang on the tow vehicle, etc. However, as long as your tow vehicle can handle that bit of extra weight, you should be fine. It’s better to be a little over the recommended ratio than under it.
– Ken Freund