I didn't see this question under the tag and don't typically tow often with my truck but towing with a full size truck, like a Titan, F150 or Silverado 1500 how should the car you're towing be placed on the trailer? Should the vehicle or load on the trailer be closer to the front, middle or end of the trailer? Which loading procedure produces the best fuel efficiency and is the safest on the truck pulling the trailer?

Trailer example:

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You need the load to be forward on the trailer, but not completely. You want the main part of the weight to be centrally located on the trailer so the trailer is hauling the weight of the load. This makes it so the weight isn't sitting fully on the tongue and receiver. You need to ensure the weight is forward to assist in how the trailer "follows" the truck. If the weight sits back on the trailer (center of balance is behind the wheels), the trailer will lift the back end of the truck and will cause stability issues. With the trailer you show, this is sort of hard to get, though, mainly because the wheels are set so far back on it to begin with. Usually, when placing the load, if you have the front of the car facing forward, you won't have any issues. Make sure you tie your load down securely or a whole other set of issues will occur.


You have to place things so, that the centre of gravity as low as possible, and in the middle of the trailer.(above the axles, but somewhat closer to the car) Try to place things close to each other. The trailer won't rock up and down as much then wile driving over bumps, and it won't tilt as much when cornering. It improves the driveability, and makes for easy manual movement of the trailer when detached from the car. Also, it minimses the burden on the drawbar, which is often mainly designed for only pulling the trailer.

Try to do this while maintaining a nose weight of 50-80kg. Too little, or even negative nose weight makes the trailer try to lift up your car's rear end when going over bumps. You can watch YouTube videos about the kind of accidents happening when you do that. Too much nose weight also compromises stability, but it's alway better than too little.

To secure your burden, make use of the lash showed below. When securing a non-flexible load, put something flexible but tough atop, between the lash and the load. Something like a car tyre. This creates a securing that always keeps tension. Lastly, put a net or a tarpualin over the load. You won't lose any parts that may come loose.

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    The nose weight is the most important parameter when loading a trailer. You could put a scale underneath the nose wheel when loading. Also check the maximum load of the towhook, you don't want to exceed that. – Hobbes Jan 31 '17 at 8:56
  • @Hobbes Indeed, you have special telescopic scales for that purpose. Most standard towhooks have a 80kg load limit as far as i know. I think that limit is not the design limit for the towhook itself, but rather meant to prevent mechanically less educated people from loading their trailer wrong. I'm learned that 50kg is the optimal weight, but that can vary a bit per car and per load/trailer of course. – Bart Jan 31 '17 at 9:19
  • 80 kg may be standard in the US. In Europe, 50 kg is more common. – Hobbes Jan 31 '17 at 10:24
  • To expand on why it's important to have the weight distributed farther up: jalopnik.com/… – atraudes Feb 1 '17 at 0:42
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    @atraudes Haha, that was seriously the one YT video i was thinking of when i advised to look up some of those. It's a very clear example. I think i'd put centre of the load further up about 10-20% of the towhook/axle distance, depending on the weight. One 'mistake' in the video is that they put a loads on both the far ends of the trailer. That'd reduce the driveability because of the inertial moment. Also, going over speed bumps could destroy your drawbar if the load is high, again because of inertial moment. – Bart Feb 1 '17 at 7:35

I don't put much stock in any of the answers supplied above. Invest in a tongue scale ($125) and know your trailer and tow vehicle capacities as well as the hitch and insert max tongue weight capacities. Adjust the load accordingly so as not to exceed the capacities. You may need a weight distributing hitch. And know this, if anything bad happens and an investigation (will be done) demonstrates the trailer loading was incorrect in any way be prepared, your insurance may abandon you (insurance usually doesn't doesn't cover negligence and that's the position an insurance company will take if you incorrectly load a trailer) and you may be liable for other damages.


Most of the answers above are okay, but also put most of the load over the wheels.This will keep the trailer from bouncing up and down. Per the U.S Army. good luck. 73`s


A very short answer for TL;DR reasons:

If a person of normal strength is able to easily disconnect and connect the trailer from/to the car, the load on the tongue is usually within the allowed limits. You will want to have some positive load on the tongue, though: negative load on the tongue is bad!

And needless to say that you should secure the load well using lashes. You don't want the center of gravity moving unpredictably around when driving the car and towing the trailer.


The trailer is correctly loaded when the trailer is level, anything else and you are putting undue stress on the trailer, trailer tires, hitch or tow vehicle.

First, wih the trailer empty, raise or lower the ball hitch so that the trailer is level, you can purchase adjustable height ball hitches but I would check it before purchasing one.

Second, load the trailer and adjust the location of the trailered vehicle forward or aftward so that the trailer is once again level.

Btw, the trailer dealer should tell you this when purchasing.


There has to be weight on the bar, no question. Most bars are weight limited at around 200kg or more but I'm not advocating that. If the load is completely neutral you will have stability problems, particularly on poor road surfaces. In my experience, if you can lift the drawbar by hand you will have problems. Someone mentioned 125kg, thats a good start. Put that into perspective...one chubby pie eater sitting in the boot of your car :)


60:40 towards the front from what I have read. no normal person has a scale laying around so estimate the best you can.

  • Front on the trailer is connected to the car, rear is over the wheels. Do you seriously mean 60% of the trailer's weight should be in the front, i.e. connected to the car? – juhist Apr 17 '19 at 18:34

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