Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Northeastern BC
Careful about confusing "tongue weight" with gross trailer weight. There's no way your average 2" receiver hitch will take a 2000 lb. tongue weight. A couple of hundred at *most*.
The tongue weight is the weight the trailer tongue would be putting on the suspension of your vehicle -- not the actual weight of the trailer. Remember, the idea is to somewhat balance your trailer load (with a small bias in front of the trailer wheels), so that the trailer is carrying the deadweight, not your vehichle.
For example, the other day I was using a U-haul utility trailer to cart a load of broken concrete from my backyard to the dump. The weight of the broken concrete in the trailer just happened to be 2006 lbs. However, I could still wiggle the tongue on the hitch up and down with my bare hands. Which means I could probably have dead-lifted the tongue. I'd guess there was about 150 - 200 lbs. *tongue weight*.
You need a little bit of weight ahead of the trailer axle (ie., on the tongue) to keep it from weaving. I think the rule of thumb is 60/40. My drop hitch actually has stamped it's maximum tongue weight at 600 lbs., before it presumably snaps in half, or something.
Now, if the entire weight of my concrete would have been on the tongue, I probably would have snapped my leaf springs on the first pot-hole, assuming my front wheels could even touch the ground!
Tongue weight vs. trailer weight -- that's why even a compact 1/2 ton like a Ranger can pull almost 3 tons, no problem. I'd guess the braking capacity of the vehicle is the limiting factor?
If Princess Auto were a real girl, I'd ask her to marry me.