Toy Hauler tongue weight

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by ex0r, May 19, 2019.

  1. ex0r

    ex0r New Member

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    Planning to transition into a full time solo boondocking setup later this summer, no kids, no pets. Plan on BLM land, as deep as I can get. The tow vehicle is an '07 FJ Cruiser, it's currently stock and rated to pull 5,000lb with a 500lb hitch.

    At first I was looking at T@B teardrops & cargo trailers until I discovered the cargo rack on pop up toy haulers. For a solo boondocker with a mid-size TV, these look ideal. Canvas PUPs won't do for me full time, but I think a hard-side A-frame could. Instead of toys I'll be hauling extra water on the rack, plus firewood, trash can, tool box, portable clothes washer, etc. Anything funky or durable enough to survive out on the deck will find itself out there.

    Sounds great, but I'm concerned about the 500lb hitch capacity of the FJ. Single axle A-Frame PUP toy haulers weigh about 2300lbs with a 350lb tongue. Great for mid-size, not worried about overall weight as I'll stay under 3k fully loaded. But that loading will happen exclusively on the deck - how would you actually get a toy onto this mid-size friendly trailer, without exceeding your mid-size hitch weight? Time for a suspension upgrade, or something I don't know?
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  2. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    WDH. ..
    What's the trailers GVWR?
     
  3. ex0r

    ex0r New Member

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    Around 4200 GVWR on the models I've been looking at. Which leaves plenty from 2300 dry, but it's all going up front well ahead of the axle and I assume it sits heavy on the tongue. Maybe my assumption is wrong, don't see how else the physics can play out though. Looking at Jayco 12HFD, Forest River A122TH / T12RBTH, Aliner Evolution.
     
  4. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Just curious...is the tongue weight limited by the hitch itself, and if so, can you replace it with an improved one?
     
  5. ex0r

    ex0r New Member

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    That's a good question. It's a class 3 hitch, stock. Whether all class 3's are created equal, I don't know. Maybe it's a low-end, 500lb class 3 hitch and I should swap it out for a class 4. Or I might need new suspension *and* a class 4 hitch, that'd be a fun surprise.
     
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    You might want to check your manual on your FJ to verify you are able to use a weight distribution hitch. Found out on my 4 runner I cannot use a weight distribution hitch. Also before you fill up with gear be sure to weigh your unit so you know for a fact your true weight. Dry weight may not include the weight of options so your true weight may actually be heavier than you think.
     
  7. ex0r

    ex0r New Member

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    Thanks for the heads up, no warnings about WDH's in my FJ manual, though they do advise sway control. After reading around FJ forums I suspect Dingit's on the right track with the hitch class being too low, lots of people swap it out for a 5. There is a Lock n' Roll hitch I was considering for off-road articulation, I was on the fence about needing that, but it also happens to be Class 4 kit, with 1k tongue capacity. So... [8D] may have to get that after all
     
  8. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that even getting a heavier hitch, you will still have problems above 500 lbs. With initial tongue weights at 30, you only have 150 lbs left. 10 gal water is 83 lbs. You can see it quickly will add up.
     
  9. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    Among other things, find out your rear axle weight rating, RAWR, tv manual, door post sticker. Then have the FJ weighed so that you have separate weights for the front and rear axle as stock, so that you know what the starting point is. Then estimate the weight of what will be loaded in the TV, +350#, + the weight of what you'll put on the deck.
     
  10. ex0r

    ex0r New Member

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    Ah thanks for that tip, the RAWR is the info I needed. TV's Rear Axle is rated 3040# on the sticker. So adding up +350# for tongue, +500# for deck and roughly assuming +750# for TV cargo (including me driving) it's going to come in under 2000# well within TV's 3040# rear axle rating. I don't think I need a suspension upgrade anymore.

    The problem returns to all that deck weight on a 500lb hitch. I don't think the suspension notices the deck much, it's the Class 3 hitch feeling the burn. Bumping the hitch class up to bear the extra deck weight should probably work out overall, yea? That's what I'm seeing...
     
  11. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member

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    You'll need to add in the stock weight of the vehicle on the axle in that calculation. The only way to know for sure is to have it weighed, otherwise figure 50% of the vehicle curb weight.
     
  12. ex0r

    ex0r New Member

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    Ok thanks for the help guys
     

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