Newbie Question: ATC aluminum car hauler

Discussion in 'Trailers' started by Ben Feng, May 13, 2017.

  1. Ben Feng

    Ben Feng New Member

    May 13, 2017
    Likes Received:
    I recently purchased an ATC aluminum car hauler from a friend who retired from racing.
    It is a 20x8.5 (20' interior length) with a V-nose and what looks to be an additional 6" of interior height.
    It seems well optioned with double E-track on both walls, generator provisions (transfer switch 120vac lights, superwinch, walk-on roof with ladder big awning, 2-piece 10ft loading door. I called ATC and they said that based on their records this trailer is about 3000lbs empty.

    I bought a Sherline LM2000 tongue weight scale so I could start figuring out how I should load this trailer. I put the tongue on the scale (with a wood riser) and empty the tongue weight is 900lbs!

    QUESTION: Is it unusual for tongue weight to be 30% of the empty trailer weight? I've read articles saying it should be 10-15% (300-450lbs, not 900lbs). I checked the Sherline scale with my own weight and my weight holding 100lbs of stuff (sand bags). It seem accurate.

    I then checked to see where the tandem axles are and they centered about 2/3rd of the way toward the rear (about 66% of the trailer length is forward of the middle line between the 2 torsion axles. I haven't done the math, but this seems to justify the 900lbs I'm seeing on the Sherline scale.

    The fully loaded trailer will be between 5000 and 6000lbs.
    QUESTION: what should my target tongue weight be? I do have a WD hitch setup for the trailer and my electric brake controller is a new Prodigy model with proportional braking based on deceleration) . I was thinking 600lbs? Problem is, that's less than the empty tongue weight.

    QUESTION: other than loading the race car with the engine at the back and trying to keep all my race supplies at the back of the trailer, I wonder if it's actually possible to significantly reduce the tongue weight from empty.

    Thanks for any/all replies. I know I'm new at this and I have done a couple searches and read up on the subject of tongue weight. But I didn't feel the search results fully answered my questions. atc_20.jpg

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