After days or weeks of planning, booking rooms, packing, prepping gear and the boat; it’s finally time to hook up and head out on that epic spearfishing trip or vacation.
Many of us go through this same process at least once a year some many many more. We give the trailer its annual or in some cases monthly service. Checking tire pressure, greasing hubs, fixing the damn lights ….again. All these are important parts of making sure your tow to your trip is uneventful and goes as smooth as possible. One important detail that is commonly overlooked, yet extremely important, is tongue weight. Sure, you may drag your boat to the ramp on a regular basis and 90% of the time you’re probably pretty close on tongue weight with a typical load, BUT… How about when you have all the extra gear packed, standard cooler plus a couple extra coolers iced and packed full, maybe a few of your crews’ gear packed on your boat including their supplies, what then?
Having to little or too much tongue weight, in 75% of cases simply equals a trailer that bounces a little to much or has to much squat from your tow vehicle. It’s the other 25% of cases that could, best case, cause a tire to blow due to excessive weight loaded on the front or rear axel, a tow vehicle that doesn’t want to stop due to nowhere near enough tongue weight, or a trailer that wants to drive your tow vehicle around corners causing fish tailing and an accident. Sure the vast majority of us would “feel” this a short distance down the road, stop and adjust the load to resolve the issue. But what if you knew before you left the driveway that you were spot on with your weight distribution and tongue weight? Wouldn’t you prefer to not have to stop and move everything around?
Recently I was put in contact by my good friend Chuck Lenhart, owner of R&R Marketing, with a company named Weigh Safe. Weigh Safe manufactures a number of aircraft grade and top quality steel standard and drop hitches with a scale built right into the hitch! Weigh Safe offers drop hitches in 4”, 6” 8” and 10” drops as well as 2”, 2.5” and 3” receiver shank sizes. In addition to standard and drop hitches they also offer true weight distribution hitches also including a scale to ensure you have a properly distributed load and tongue weight.
We received our 6” drop aluminum Weight Safe drop hitch a few months ago. First impressions were this thing is extremely well made and clearly durable. Ours came with a standard 2” ball with 8,000 lb capacity as well as a 2 5/16th with 12,000 lbs of capacity. They also have 2 5/16th balls with a 2.5” shaft for loads up to 18,550 lbs and a 2 5/16th with 3” shaft for loads up to 21,000 lbs. They do offer a Weigh Safe 180 hitch with has a ball above and below which can be easily flipped when needed.
One thing that became apparent quickly was the drop of the hitch is invaluable to ensure we had the proper height for different trailers. A standard 24ft flat bead trailer required the ball to be lowered to the second to last hole in order to level the trailer and load. The custom RealX trailer for our 26ft Twin Vee only needed the drop to be one down from the top hole in order to achieve a level trailer angle.
On a recent trip over to the east coast of Florida, we had the opportunity to put the Weigh Safe hitch to the test. As described in the scenario above, we had a heavier than normal load, additional gear and coolers and a few hours tow ahead of us. After all the standard trailer maintenance and packing, we backed our Dodge Ram 2500 in to hook up. Normally, the third position from the top would achieve a level trailer and the correct tongue weight percentage. With the additional load we had to now raise the ball up one position to achieve level.
What I personally didn’t realize was how moving the ball even one hole up or down affected my tongue weight! We noticed a 350lb difference in tongue weight by moving the ball up one hole allowing us to achieve the proper 10-15% tongue weight ratio for our load. Without the patented scale built right into the Weigh Safe Hitch, we would have likely adjusted weight forward in the boat to achieve the proper tongue weight, yet not had the proper level tow angle.
Once on the road the trip was completely uneventful. Our Ram didn’t seem to notice the 8800+ pounds behind it and our trailer handled like a dream, much to the credit of the Weigh Safe patented scale and gauge allowing us to be sure we knew exactly where our load should be.
If you tow annually or weekly do yourself a favor and check out Weigh Safe at
weigh-safe.com as well as their social media platforms. Sometimes the best investment makes your life the least eventful.