Trailer Hitch Tongue Weight

October 28th, 2011 | Posted by Pacrec in StowAway Carrier Vehicles - (Comments Off on Trailer Hitch Tongue Weight)

One common question we receive at StowAway Cargo Carriers is, “Just how much weight can a StowAway carry?”  Well, it depends…  Our 2″ frame cargo carriers can hold up to 200 pounds while the 1.25″ frame carriers are rated for 125 pound of cargo.  But the box is only one half of the puzzle.  Your vehicle and hitch receiver also factor into the cargo capacity.

Trailer hitch tongue weightThe StowAway cargo carrier mounts onto the hitch receiver, so the vehicle will have to be able to accommodate the extra weight in the rear.  The ability to handle extra weight is measured by a manufacturer’s maximum “tongue weight” specification.  The tongue weight of a vehicle describes the largest downward force that can be safely applied to its hitch receiver.  The vehicle’s tongue weight may have to be calculated from gross trailer weight capacity (multiply by 0.10).  For example, a gross trailer weight of 2,000 lbs. will equal 200 lbs. tongue weight.

The hitch receiver itself will also be rated for a certain tongue weight.  When making calculations for your vehicle’s carrying capacity, use the smaller of the two values (vehicle tongue weight and hitch tongue weight).

The cargo weight and carrier weight combined cannot exceed the vehicle/hitch tongue weight.  The StowAway Cargo Carrier itself weighs between 65 and 99 pounds, depending on the model you have.  Exceeding the tongue weight will put undue stress on the vehicle, overloading the rear axle. This can lead to tire blowout, suspension failure, bearing deterioration, and poor handling.

Remember to use the lowest tongue weight in your calculations.  For example, if you have a hitch rated for 350lbs. and your vehicle is only rated for 200lbs., you would only be able to carry a total of 200lbs. If you have any other questions about tongue weight or carrying capacity, contact us at or look at our resource articles.