Knowing everything there is to know about how towing cargo with a 7×16 trailer works starts with a seemingly pretty straightforward topic – trailer weight. There are a lot of different variables that go into safely hauling a fully-loaded 7×16 at highway speeds that are each affected by weight. This towing guide was designed to help trailer owners understand all the ins and outs of pulling a 7×16 enclosed trailer weighted with cargo.
Key Measurements When Towing
Like a preflight checklist, there are some measurements you need to run down and stay within safe limits as set by either your vehicle or trailer’s manufacturer. These safe limits are found through extensive product testing, including tests that measure how much a component can withstand before failure. Product engineers then specify thresholds that keep everything within safe operating parameters.
A few of the most important weights you need to know before you tow include:
- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR): your vehicle’s manufacturer will set this rating as the total weight that the loaded vehicle pulling a loaded trailer can handle. This is the sum total of the vehicle, occupants, cargo, trailer, and everything all in one. The GVWR is a critical threshold to never exceed.
- Empty Weight: also called “curb weight” this is the trailer’s weight all by itself without any cargo. An 7×16 enclosed trailer’s empty weight clocks in around 2,260 pounds.
- Tongue Weight: this is the amount of weight that your trailer pushes down on your ball hitch. Whenever you are looking at tongue weight, you need to make sure you account for all the cargo you have. Our 7×16’s have a starting tongue weight around 339 pounds which you want to make sure your vehicle is equipped to handle. In general, the tongue weight threshold for safe operability will be around 10 to 15 percent of the weight of the empty trailer plus the weight of the cargo. Before hooking up, make sure to check out your vehicle’s max tongue load.
- Payload Capacity: how much cargo each enclosed trailer can safely carry is the payload capacity. For a 7×16 with standard 3,500-lb axles, the payload capacity is right around 4,740 pounds. You always have the option to upgrade your axle weight to increase your trailer’s payload capacity.
- Axle Weight: the axle weight of an enclosed trailer is how much weight each group of axles can handle. 7×16 trailers are tandem axles which means there’s two, 3500-pound drop leaf spring axles. A cool bonus included with our out-the-door 7×16’s is electric brakes on both axles. This really boosts the driveability and stopping power, especially when you have a loaded trailer.
- Tow Capacity: this is set by your vehicle’s manufacturer as the safe max that your vehicle can safely tow. If you don’t have it in front of you but know your truck’s curb weight and GCWR, you’re in luck. Just subtract curb weight from GCWR to get a close approximation for your vehicle’s towing capacity.
Even beyond these, there’ special considerations like trailer weight distribution hitches that each have their own safe operating parameters. Whenever you buy a trailer with Renown, our sales team is here to make sure that we help educate you on every element of safe towing so you feel absolutely comfortable from the moment you drive off the lot.
Upgrading Your 7×16 Enclosed Trailer Weight Rating
Did you know you can actually boost your 7×16’s payload capacity? We mentioned above that the 7×16 is a tandem axle with two 3500-pound rated drop leaf spring axles. Well, you can upgrade to a torsion axle to get less bounce and also increase the axle rating to either a 5,200 or even 7,000 pound-rated axle.
Axle upgrades mean larger payloads which is why we also include larger tires and hubs to help accommodate extra-heavy cargo. The trailer bearings are running cooler which means they won’t be subjected to as much wear and tear.
Why Weight Distribution Matters When Towing Enclosed Trailers
Safely hauling a 7×16 enclosed cargo trailer is all about balance. Properly distributed cargo is going to make the trailer more stable, handle easier, and reduce wear and tear on key components. You want to center heavy loads around your axles and keep in mind the axle weight ratings we mentioned above. Making sure your cargo is secure is a no-brainer and extra easy with the included mounted D-Rings throughout the 7×16.
A trailer that isn’t loaded evenly can cause additional sway when underway and bounce which are dangerous conditions, especially at highway speeds. Moreover, the weight imbalance can be causing excessive wear on vital trailer components like tires and bearings.
Know Your Local Laws Before Towing Enclosed Cargo Trailers
Renown’s 7×16 tandem axle enclosed trailers come right out the door fully loaded with a whole list of features that enhance the cargo hauling experience. These trailers are of the highest quality and built to last whether you drive all around town or clear across the country. But towing your trailer even in different local jurisdictions requires you to be cognizant of laws and requirements. One state may require trailer registration while another does not, weight limits, weigh stations, changing speed limits, limitations on parking, and other rules all differ depending on where you are. Make sure to follow all local laws and regulations concerning safe trailer towing, including abiding by safe weight limits.
Tips for Towing 7×16 Trailers Safely
While the physical act of towing may involve actually being underway, there are a number of crucial steps that need to be taken to make for a safer trip from A to B. The actual towing operation begins with the connection of the tow vehicle and only ends at the disconnect and storage of the 7×16.
- Connecting a 7×16: the first place you’ll start with your new 7×16 trailer is the connection point with your tow vehicle. Now that you’ve made sure your tow vehicle can handle the fully-loaded trailer, you can get down to hooking everything up. There’s an easy sand foot on the jack for lowering or raising the trailer even on loose terrain to the perfect height. Our 7×16’s come standard with a 2 5/16” coupler for a quick and easy connection to your tow vehicle’s ball hitch. The 7-way round bargman plug is one of the best in trailer wiring connections for a stable connection no matter how far you are towing. With the safety chains attached, you’ll be ready to begin loading up cargo.
- Loading up cargo: just throwing a bunch of equipment on the trailer and hoping for the best is not a great way to start a safe tow. Cargo should always be well distributed around the axle and never exceed any of the weight limits we covered above. When you have excessively tall cargo, increasing your 7×16 trailer height may be a customization you consider to make unloading and loading easier.
- Safe driving habits: as with any vehicle on the road, you need to be practicing safe driving habits including obeying all speed limits, using your signal when changing lanes, and giving plenty of room to other vehicles.
- Unloading cargo: unloading cargo is made a lot safer and easier with a E-Z spring assist ramp door standard on the 7×16. There’s also a 16” flap that makes getting on and off even easier. If you have excessively heavy cargo, you can upgrade your ramp door to accommodate. The 36” RV style side door gives you a whole separate access point to safely get to gear stored towards the front. You can even add extra cargo doors for maximum accessibility.
- Disconnecting a 7×16 trailer safely: trailer disconnect accidents can be deadly. The safest way to disconnect your enclosed trailer is to empty it first. If that’s not an option, you want to make sure the weight is properly distributed and not in excess towards the rear. With that done, you can begin winding down the sand jack to where the coupler raises off the ball. Then, disconnect the plug and safety chains to disengage your tow vehicle.
Talk 7×16 Trailer Weight With a Dedicated Trailer Pro
At Renown, we truly consider ourselves partners in helping you pull off a successful tow with your new 7×16 enclosed cargo trailer. We’ll take the time to go over every single inch of the trailer with you, including all the important weights and measures you should know before you tow. If you ever have questions down the way, our speciality is service after the sale and we’ll gladly help whenever you need us.
You can contact us now to go over the details, visit us in person at our dealership in Douglas, or even buy a 7×16 trailer online and have it delivered. We believe in treating our customers so well that they leave calling us friends. That’s the Renown difference and that’s the level of service you’ll receive no matter which way you decide to get your new trailer.