PW trailers

I’ve been reading a lot and viewing a lot of threads on trailer builds and of course the youtube vids.

I see a lot of people building their trailers for ease of use/access, but it doesn’t look (to me) like they are thinking about the tongue weight on the trailer. Without enough tongue weight your trailer will never track right, and could possibly be dangerous. I have a 10K 18’ trailer I will be using because I already own it, kind of think enclosed would be better but not spending 5k on a used one right now. Having said that, I plan on putting the water tanks (tote 275 gal) towards the tongue and the PW towards the axles. I figure hoses and pvc are relatively cheap so a longer connection between the tank a PW isn’t an issue.

Can anyone give suggestions or recommendations for layouts based on weights. I can’t think of anything other than the water tank, pw , a mix tank, soap/sh tanks that would have significant weight on a trailer. Maybe I am getting too anal with all the planning, and this is just over engineering…

example of poor weight distribution on a trailer.

I had a zero turn on a trailer (bigger diesel one) and had it somewhat forward, started driving down the road and that trailer got loose on me. Had to pull over and move it on the side of the road and re tie it down. Nothing like seeing a brand new zero turn and a trailer going all over the road behind you. Thats how you get Pudding Pants.

Don’t put 275 gallons of water on your tongue!!! Too much tongue weight can be incredibly dangerous too; when you go into a turn, the added weight will push your vehicle’s rear tires towards the outside of the turn and can jackknife you.

Tongue weight should be measured and calculated based on your specific load and your trailer, typically between 10-15% tongue weight. Easiest way is to go to a truck stop and use their scale, with the tongue off the scale and then again with the tongue on the scale. Then plan your build accordingly


That’s alot of weight on a tongue for a 10k trailer your talking 2200 lbs or more sloshing around. I got a 7000 lb 16’ trailer, 350 tote in the middle 800lb hot machine on tongue and 900 lb hot machine on back, so full of water and machines, chems,and gear I’m about maxed. Rides just fine with a 2500 GMC.
Even when I had no machine on the back it still pulled really well. Start with the heavy stuff over your axles and work your way out. I also got another 16’ trailer with a 500 gallon tank in the middle and 1 600 lb hot washer up front, reels come off the back, It also rides pretty decent .
Also the guys on here run atleast 100’ of drain pipe inside their buffer tank, Helps tremendously with the sloshing back and forth down the road.

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Are you going to travel with that much water on a regular basis?

I didn’t say on the tongue, towards the tongue, with the PW machine towards the axles. I just cant see what will have weight on the trailer other than those two items. It isn’t my first time hauling stuff, just trying to figure out weights for planning purposes. I don’t plan on riding around with a full 275 gallon tote, but I may need to. To me it is kind of like a see saw, it is about balancing the load.

Edit, maybe i will switch the two, water over axles (more or less) then PW toward tongue.
Second edit, I will be dropping the ramps off the trailer as they won’t be needed, which will lighten the trailer in the rear end. I didn’t mention that.

With the wheels so far back on this trailer (I think I linked the right one) things must go forward of the axles.

Yes it is brother, a gallon of water weighs 8 lbs, if I run around full. Not planning on it. But the trailer is about 2200 of the 10k, so I am asking for input on other weights. I can’t think of anything that has weight that I would be hauling, just those two items primarily.

So 10k-2200 = 7800 (appx) total weight capacity. IF a 275 gallon tote full is 2200 for water plus about another 100 for pallet tote and cage that is now 5200 capacity. If the machine weighs about 600-700 lbs then it is down to roughly 4400. can’t see the rest of the stuff coming to more than 1k, maybe I am wrong here. SO 3400 left over. This is the mental balancing act I am trying to configure. If my gibberish makes sense.

I don’t plan on doing it regularly, but if I get some of the houses on wells, well (pun intended) I may need more water. Not going to apply sulfur or iron water to clean with. My biggest need (in my inexperienced mind) is water for surface cleaning drive and pool decks, other than that I don’t see the need for much water.

A full chem tank, pressure washer, a job-box and various gallons of chems forward of the axles is gonna get you pretty close I bet

The formula for correct weight distribution on a trailer:

((Tongue weight x 3.14) / (axle load/axle capacity)) X (towing capacity / pants inseam)

Just kidding. Don’t overthink it, just place your heaviest item (buffer) over or close to the axle(s) and distribute the rest of the weight over the trailer. A few pounds misplaced here or there aren’t going to cause your trailer to start dancing behind you.


:laughing: You totally had me until “pants inseam”. I was 100% wondering how Pi tied into it all