tongue weight

floater212floater212 manhattan, il.Confirm Email, Member Posts: 121 ✭✭
how does the tongue weight react too light  of a load and too heavy of a load?  everyone says mine seems to need more weight, seesawing after bumps, but there is no way i can even budge the tongue up so i'm thinking too much weight.... any info would be helpful. 2005 rinker 212 rx1 heavy single axle...about 3500lbs for boat.


  • Robs_232Robs_232 Member Posts: 212 ✭✭✭

    Here is a link on how to figure tongue weight of your trailer. How are your shocks on your tow vehicle? Just a thought. I have used the commercial scale method of weighing truck with boat hooked up, but don't have trailer wheel on the scale. Then unhook boat trailer from truck. Difference is tongue weight.

  • Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 6,950 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018
    Usually too heavy a  tongue weight pushes rear of a vehicle down and the front wheels up making the tow vehicle feel light on the front end, possibly noticeable when steering it - in extreme cases.

    Too light a tongue weight  usually causes the trailer to sway from side to side.

    If you can barely lift the tongue then I assume you have a least 200 lbs load on the tongue which IMO should be fine for a Rinker 212.

    A general rule is to have 5-7% of the gross weight on the tongue.

    There are two ways to alter the tongue weight. Move the winch post to alter the position of the boat on the bunks/rollers or move the axle assembly forward or rearward. If moving the axle assembly it should not need to be moved 6" either way or something is off.

    My friend had a swaying trailer one time and we were at a total loss as to why it was swaying until we realized that one side of the axle assembly was 1" more rearward that the other - and this was right from the factory!

    Differences regarding side-to-side swaying can be caused by differences (side-to-side)  in the bearings, springs/torsion bars and/or different heights/positions of the bunks or rollers.

    This year my friends 2018 Waverunner on a LoadRite trailer seemed a bit off (erratic swaying on occasion). Turned out the starboard bunk system adjustment bracket was two bolt holes down on the front of its bunk and one adjustment bolt hole down on the rear of  bunk attachment bracket as compared to the port side of the trailer. Equalizing these stopped the swaying.

    Does your ball mount on the receiver match the tongue receptacle properly? Does your hitch bar match the receptacle of your vehicle properly, no clanking/banging while underway?

    @212rowboat - given your generally superior level of expertise I am sure you have ruled-out most of this already.....just my 2 cents.

    Post edited by Michael T on
  • 212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,448 ✭✭✭✭✭
    same boat here for all practical purposes related to towing, and... i also had a single axle 5200# axle under a steel frame trailer... 

    having a single axle as you've said indicates to me you're running the trailer that came with the boat- as a single 5200# axle costs more than two 2800# axles or even two 3500# axles..... and you ain't no fool, Sir, so... it's a stock one... a single axle is easier to trail and launch in most cases, but the benefit doesn't outweigh the costs.  

    the see-saw isn't because of an improperly set up trailer in this case, as that trailer has risers and brackets hard welded to the frame- it was engineered specifically for that boat, to include the tower's location (though it actually is bolted to the frame)... 

    so... just a guess here, but an educated one- seeing as how i've talked myself into that trailer being stock made for the boat:  the brakes.  man, i hate those things... when is the last time you changed fluid or shoes?  it is pressure actuated akin to surge brakes and hitting a bump does guess what? 

    how big is your tow pig?  I used a 3/4 ton truck and i don't trailer far at all- literally a 1/4 mile each way.... but... it can (and has) handled that boat with ease w/o brake assists on long hauls... it comes down to a question of safety if your rig is a weekend warrior, or legalities for trailers over certain weights... what i'd suggest to see is to disengage the brakes- by opening the lines and draining them.... see if the issue persists and if it does, it isn't brakes.... if it doesn't, you can either recover them, or replace them with electric over hydraulic... 

    another way to test to a degree is to shift into reverse as soon as you come to a complete stop and tap the throttle rather hard.. the trailer should roll freely, but if it fights you even for a moment (and it should only for a moment), chances are the brakes are grabby..... 
  • nhsdnhsd Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    I tow a 212 on a dual axle trailer with an F150. I had a swaying issue a few times and found that even an inch or two difference in how far forward I pull the boat when loading it on the trailer makes a world of difference, so yes I would say that you are light on tongue weight. Try cranking the boat an inch or two further forward when loading if you can.


    2002 Captiva 212, 5.0 220 hp, Alpha 1, 1.62 gears

    Moon Township, PA - boating in the Ohio River

  • halifax212halifax212 Halifax NS CanadaMember Posts: 342 ✭✭✭
    2004 212 with 350. Tows great on a factory setup dual axle. Couple pics of the forward stand position may help.
  • floater212floater212 manhattan, il.Confirm Email, Member Posts: 121 ✭✭
    this weekend i replaced both calipers, master cylinder and the axle brake lines and bled it (the plumbing out the back of master was SOO plugged i needed to soak it over night to clear all the gunk out). took off on a short ride and it felt like the boat wasn't even attached to my 2012 f150 4x4. 1 problem gone, both calipers were stuck, one side 1/4" out and the other side was flat with housing, neither could be moved with a big C clamp. i haven't taken it out for a longer ride, too busy, but after reading everyones opinion i moved the bow stop 1" forward to add more tongue weight, i'll see what that does this weekend if there is no rain like they are predicting. i'll let you all know afterwards.
  • walleyrwalleyr Member Posts: 34
    edited August 2018
    I need to adjust the trailer tongue weight a bit so I'm planning to move the axles. Will do it next week once I'm done installing my new set of michelin tires and brakes on my towing rig.
  • davidbrooksdavidbrooks GermantownMember Posts: 656 ✭✭✭
    This really is a serious issue.  Please take the time to do the measurements and get it right.  Here is a video that does the best job at explaining what happens when you don't have the right weight distribution.  
    It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere!
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