Water Tanks and Tongue Weight

WATER TANKS AND TONGUE WEIGHT

Why tongue weight is important

The most critical aspects of safe towing of any trailer is tongue weight and weight distribution. Industry standard for tongue weight should fall between 9-15% of the total weight of the camper. For example, if you have a 2000lb camper the tongue weight should fall between 180-300lbs. Anything outside of this range can result in unsafe towing and trailer sway.

What is Tongue Weight?

Tongue weight is the downward force that the tongue of the trailer exerts on the hitch that is connected to the vehicle. Too little tongue weight can cause the back end of the vehicle to lift which can result in a very dangerous condition known as trailer sway. On the other hand, too much tongue weight can cause the back end of the vehicle to sag which negatively effects the handling of the vehicle, the visibility of the driver, and the effectiveness of the vehicle’s brakes.

Tongue weight and trailer balance is even more critical when towing smaller trailers like teardrops. The location of variable weight, such as a water tank can create significant changes in the tongue weight and ultimately the safety of you and your trailer.

To solve this issue and build the best towing camper on the market we install our water tanks underneath and directly on the axle line. This keeps this type of variable weight in the center of the camper and distributed over the axle. Whether you have a full or empty tank, the weight variance of the tongue or tail is nearly zero.

It is both our recommendation and manufacturing best practice that a water tank should not be mounted behind the axle line in teardrop campers. This goes against industry standards and will cause unsafe towing conditions. 

Keep in mind that a gallon of water weighs 8.34lbs. Let’s say you have a 20-gallon tank mounted at the rear of your camper. This will add 167lbs to the rear of the trailer. This will lower the weight of the tongue and will make the camper difficult to control and reduce the safety performance of the tow vehicle. In addition, being that water is a variable weight it should never be used as a ballast to reduce or increase tongue weight. Safely towing your camper should not be determined on whether or not you have water in the tank.

This video is a great example of our above explanation:

Here are the specs on our two models of campers:

Boreas AT

GVW - 1,850 lbs - Tongue Weight - 200lbs or 11%

Boreas XT

GVW – 2,000 lbs - Tongue Weight – 225lbs or 11.3%

Boreas MXT

GVW – 2,100 lbs - Tongue Weight – 210lbs* or 10%

* We redesigned the axle line and tongue length to accommodate the added weight of a dirt bike or bicycle carrier. This results in a lighter tongue weight when empty but allows for the added weight of motorcycles or bicycles while still adhering to industry standards.

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