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Old 03-17-2009, 03:51 PM   #1
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Upgrading tongue weight capacity

Hello all, I am picking up a new 1976 31' International in a few days. The internets say it will have either a 650 or 690 tongue weight.

My Toyota Sequoia I will be towing it with came with a class III receiver and a 2" ball on a ball mount rated for 600 tongue weight.

I got a new ball (2 5/16") and a new ball mount (a WD shank, actually) rated for 1400 pounds.

Can I just do that? Can I stick the beefier shank in there and it will work with respect to tongue weight?

The "600 max TW" sticker was on the old ball mount, so I figure that is a limitation of the old ball mount, and that a stronger ball mount (the WD shank) with a higher rating will resolve the TW issue completely.

Am I right in this?

The small print: By the way I also have a Reese weight distributing and dual cam anti sway to use.. I just want to make sure I am not making a mistake regarding my upgrade to handle the large tongue weight)

This is my first travel trailer and I have only ever towed a small lawn trailer. I am just towing it home (<= 80 miles) and then after a few weeks of work towing it to the lake (<= 150 miles) where it will live for weekend trips.

The V8 Sequoia can tow 6500 pounds, the Airstream should be 5065, no LP tanks, no water, so I should be ok there as long as I stay out of the mountains and there ain't no mountains around here.

I loaded a washer and dryer onto the REAR of that lawn trailer once and learned about sway.. Not wanting this tow to go wrong...

Thanks!
Chris
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Someone will chime in on the Sequoia's tongue weight limits, but if I understand the class receivers, the heavier duty shank may not fit into the receiver. I am probably wrong, but I think the Class III receiver is for a 2" shank and the Class V (?) shank you bought is either 2-1/4" or 2-1/2" square. I may be wrong, though since I have never dealt with a Class III receiver. That may be where the larger receiver begins.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:59 PM   #3
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Hi Minnie's Mate, Thanks for your reply. I guess we got crossed up when I moved this to its own thread. Sorry! The shank says it fits 2" x 2" Trailer Hitch Receivers so that part should work ok. I am just kind of worried that the heavier TW might be too much for the receiver or the Sequoia itself.

I do have a hundred pounds worth of third row seating I will remove, so I think the Sequoia itself will be ok. I guess it's just the receiver I wonder about.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:09 PM   #4
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Are you not planning to use the Reese set-up to bring your Airstream home?

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Old 03-17-2009, 04:20 PM   #5
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Yes, I am planning to use the Reese set up. The Airstream won't fit in the back even with the 3rd row seats out. haha!

But seriously I am brand new to all of this. I just ordered the Reese kit from the internets yesterday.

I know the weight distribution is supposed to balance out the TW across the whole Sequoia (a 6600ish lb GW, 118.1 in. Wheel Base vehicle I should add). I dont know enough to tell if this means everything will be OK regarding tongue weight. The way I figure, all that weight still has to go through the receiver and I am worried it might get overloaded.
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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I should clarify.. The original ball mount has a 600 pound limit sticker on it. Is that 600lbs purely a limitation of that ball mount? And with my shank the 600 pound limit goes completely away?
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Old 03-17-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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Your new Reese hitch set should come with the height-adjustable hitch bar (the big steel thingee that goes into the receiver on the tow vehicle). One end goes into the 2" receiver on your tow vehicle and the other end has the 2 5/16" ball on it. You will not be using the generic ball mount.

You should take a look at the receiver on your tow vehicle. There should be a sticker there with the weight ratings for the receiver. The small number in without weight distribution equipment, and the larger number is with WD.

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Old 03-17-2009, 04:45 PM   #8
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Right, I am getting a new shank with the Reese stuff. I will look for a sticker on the receiver. I did not notice one before, but it could be up under things. Thanks a lot that answers my question!
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Old 03-17-2009, 06:02 PM   #9
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The weight might not be on a sticker, it could be stamped into the metal. What about your owners manual, if this is a factory setup. jim
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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The receiver had a sticker telling me to look in the owner's manual.

I consulted the owner's manual and found it be very generic but stating that with weight distribution I should not exceed 650 TW. I have no way to determine if they mean "while using the ball mount we gave you" or if they mean "even if you get a shank that can handle the extra TW, your receiver will fall off anyway and you will crash and die."

If my Airstream has the 650 tongue weight I am fine no matter what. If it has the 690 TW, I could potentially be putting 40 pounds too much tongue weight onto the receiver. UGH. The original bed setup is gone, so I have no way to know which it was other than "rear." Double vs twin.. No clue.

A good bit of stuff from the trailer is not even there (such as propane tanks at this time), so my TW is probably not 690 even if it was originally 690 back in 1976.

Would +40 TW be something immediately dangerous / hazardous or more of a long term wear & tear thing?
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:54 PM   #11
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One thing you could do is to actually load up the trailer with full propane tanks and fresh water, and other items that you would normally load. Then weigh that tongue.

I had a bigger bite to chew. My GMC van came with a factory receiver that had a 1,000 lb. weight distribution limit. Class IV. My Classic slide out was 1,250 lbs on the hitch. I did go out and upgrade the receiver to a Class V receiver with a 1,400 lb capacity.

The question is how much fudge factor is built into the receiver and the bolts that attach it to the frame? The second question is what the real towing weight will be for your trailer once you load it. I hate spending money unnecessarily but if you don't want to get the trailer weight loaded, I'd spring for the class IV receiver. It will take a load off your mind when towing.

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Old 03-17-2009, 10:11 PM   #12
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Jack, you are the man! Your comment got me looking at hitches and I found the one that came with the Sequoia. It does claim a 650 max TW for the receiver, not just the ball mount, but right above that receiver in the search results is another class III receiver that fits but has a 750 TW. I will get that. (a Class IV or V would be needlessly much for the Sequoia's towing capabilities) Thanks!!
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:26 PM   #13
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One thing to remember, your towing capacity is limited by the WEAKEST link in your system. Or the smallest weight max in your system.
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:27 PM   #14
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You guys got me thinking, so I went out and looked at the receiver on my 99 Silverado 1500. There is a tag on it showing both the tow and tongue capacity. The tongue is 1,500 and the tow is 12,000, far higher than the truck rating. They must have used the same receiver on all of their trucks.

The tongue weight on our "new" '83 Excella 27' shows 590. The rear of the truck does drop a little low, even with lots of tension on the equalizer bars. I am considering an Air-Lift 59501 kit to give the rear springs a little help.
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