It is very important to know the tongue weight on your trailer to make sure your tow hitch is rated for the weight and for safety purposes. The definition of tongue weight is the downward pressure that is being put on your tow vehicles hitch. How much weight should be on the tongue of your trailer? The standard rule of thumb is somewhere between 10 to 15 percent of the (GTW) gross trailer weight. Having the correct tongue weight all comes down to safety and having a good towing experience.
What happens if the trailer tongue weight is on the light side? If there is not enough downward pressure on the tow vehicles ball hitch it could result in trailer sway which can be very dangerous. You can also run into a problem if the tongue weight is too heavy. Having to much tongue weight can have an effect on the tow vehicles steering. Adjusting tongue weight is not difficult to do, as long as you know how much weight to shift towards the front of the trailer.
So to explain it further think of the trailer acting like a lever and the axle of the trailer is the pivot point for the lever. If the tongue weight on the trailer is too heavy you will need to adjust the weight behind the trailers axle. If the tongue on the trailer is to light you will need to adjust the weight forward of the trailers axle. So what is the best way to figure out the tongue weight on your trailer? Most trailer owners know the actual gross trailer weight. If you do not know the weight then it would be best to go to a public scale and have it weighed. By knowing what your trailer weighs it will help you in properly adjusting the tongue weight of your trailer.