Definitions for "Tongue Weight"
Keywords:  hitch, trailer, tow, gtw, pintle
The actual weight that is pressing down on the hitch attached to the vehicle. This weight should be subtracted to figure payload capacity. Typically, the tongue weight should be 9-11% of the trailer load. Too much tongue weight negatively affects the vehicle's steering, and too little tongue weight means the vehicle may lose traction.
The weight of the trailer tongue that is carried on the hitch ball is its Tongue Weight. This is a critical measurement as it has an impact on vehicle handling. Too much Tongue Weight causes overloading of the rear axle, causing the front suspension to lift and therefore reduce steering response. Too little Tongue Weight can reduce rear-wheel traction and cause excessive swaying or jack-knifing. Depending on the type of hitch being used, Tongue Weight is generally 10-15% of the Loaded Trailer Weight. Some adjustments to the Tongue Weight can be made by moving the cargo in the trailer.
Tongue Weight (also called Tongue Load) is the actual weight pressing down on the hitch ball by the trailer. The recommended amount of Tongue Weight is 10%-15% of the GTW. For additional details see Understanding RV Weights.