3 Things That Affect a Trailer Dolly’s Weight Limit

Trailer dollies are incredibly convenient and helpful when you need to move your trailer, especially when you’re making precise maneuvers and covering small distances. However, to ensure you’re able to move your trailer easily and without the risk of breaking the dolly itself, you need to understand your dolly’s weight limit. Here are three things that affect a trailer dolly’s weight limit.

The Design of the Trailer Dolly

At the most basic, you can ultimately determine the weight limit of your trailer dolly by looking at the make and build of your dolly’s model. For example, how large your trailer dolly is or what materials make up your dolly. Typically, you’ll see all-steel builds because they’re very sturdy and durable. They will also usually have a powder coating that protects them from rust and corrosion that would otherwise degrade the steel. Furthermore, larger trailer dollies can tolerate more weight in proportion to their size.

Powered vs. Manual

When choosing a trailer dolly, you’ll need to decide between manual and powered trailer dollies. Regarding weight capacity, manual trailer dollies can carry a maximum of 500 to 600 pounds, while a powered trailer dolly can reach upwards of 5,000 to 12,000 pounds, depending on the model you pick. This is, naturally, because human strength is limited. So, if you have a five-wheel camper trailer, for example, you need an electric dolly for certain to manage all that weight.

Tongue Weight

The last thing that affects a trailer dolly’s weight limit is the tongue weight when you connect the dolly to the hitch. The tongue weight is the static force the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch ball. Furthermore, the tongue weight of a trailer is about 10 to 15 percent of its total weight. So, for example, if your trailer is 5,000 pounds, the tongue weight would be roughly 500 pounds. Some trailers may not have a tongue weight, though. That’s where you should look for a trailer dolly with a pintle hook designed with the expectation to withstand at least 10 percent of the trailer’s weight.