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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > How do I weigh my TT?

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dinnrbellmel

NE PA

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Posted: 03/29/12 07:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have procrastinated weighing my TT because I am confused and a little intimidated about the whole process. I have a Dodge 2500 and am pulling a Rockwood 2306.

I am interested in my tongue weight and whether I am exceeding the GVWR for my trailer. The yellow sticker indicates that my base weight is 3,916 but I only have a GVWR for this TT of 4,718 so I do not have much room to work with. The dry hitch weight in my brochure indicates 318 lbs. I want to get to magical 12-15% tongue weight.

Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions on the best weigh (sorry for the pun) to get these figures?

jmtandem

western nevada

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Posted: 03/29/12 08:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Take the truck to the scales. Weight it. Then take the truck and trailer to the scales and weight it again, that is the weight of the TT (total weight minus the truck weight). As for the tongue weight you might want a tongue scale like the Sherline to be able to watch how loading the trailer and adding/deleting water will affect the tongue weight. Never use brochure weights or dry weights as they are not reality for a trailer loaded for camping.

* This post was edited 03/29/12 10:38am by jmtandem *


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skipnchar

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Posted: 03/29/12 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

http://www.catscale.com
There are complete instructions both at the site and at the scale location.


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passport2590bh

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Posted: 03/29/12 10:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First time I went to a Cat scale it was a bit intimidating with all the 18 wheelers in line to weigh their rigs and the knowing that their time is money and then here comes the Griswolds to weigh their RV.

Never done it, but you can measure tongue weight it at home with a bathroom scale without too much trouble. tongue weight


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BigSur2

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Posted: 03/29/12 08:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm about to do this tomorrow. I'm gonna

- front 2 tires on scale to ensure I'm not exceeding front axle capacity
- rear 2 on scale...............
- TV and TT on scale for total weight
- TT on scales but TV not
- TT by itself for TT GVWR
- subtract the last 2 for tongue weight


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pg_rider

Colorado Springs, CO

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Posted: 03/29/12 08:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hitch up your loaded TT to your truck, load your family into the TV as if you were going on a trip, fill with gas and go to the scales.

1) With trailer hitched to truck (and WDH hooked up) you want to get front TV axle (Front gross axle weight - FGAW) and rear TV axle (Rear gross axle weight - RGAW) and total combined weight of TV and TT (Gross combined weight (GCW)). This is easy with a three-part CAT scale. Just put an axle on each platform. The printout separates the three and also includes the total. These numbers are important to compare to their respective ratings to make sure you are not overweight the limits of your truck.

2) With trailer hitched to truck (and WDH NOT hooked up). Weigh again with the trailer hitched to truck but unhook the spring bars of your WDH. If you compare the numbers with the first set of weights above, you can see how much weight you are distributing with your WDH to the front TV axles and to the TT’s axles.

3) Loaded truck weight (and, subsequently, trailer weight and trailer tongue weight). Weigh the loaded truck without the trailer but with family still aboard truck. Get front TV axle and rear TV axle. Add both to get the loaded gross vehicle weight (GVW loaded).
_____A) This will also give you the trailer weight with the following calculation using the combined weight from weight set #1:
Trailer weight = Total combined weight of TV and TT (GCW) – loaded truck weight (GVW loaded)

_____B) This will also give you the trailer tongue weight (TW) with the following calculation using the FGAW and RGAW from weight set #2:
Tongue weight = (set 2 FGAW + set 2 RGAW) - Loaded truck weight

You need to use the front and rear axle weights as measured without the spring bars so that you are not measuring the effect of the WDH.

Ron Gratz

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Posted: 03/29/12 01:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The following procedure was posted a couple years ago in This Thread. The procedure is applicable for a 3-pad scales.

If you want to use the scales data to determine tongue weight, and if you want to get the maximum information about your TV/TT combination and how well your weight distrtibution system is working, you need data from three weighings. Second and third weighings usually are done at a lower cost.

And, you need to find a scales with at least three separate weighing platforms so you can separately measure all three axle loads at the same time. Most, perhaps all, CAT scales have this feature.

If you need any help in interpreting the scales results, just post the numbers. There are several ORF members who can help with the calculations.

First, the TV and TT should be loaded approximately as they would be for camping.

Second, the weight distribution system should be adjusted as it normally would be for towing.

Then, I would do the following:

Weighing #1 -- TT attached and Weight Distribution Activated
Let Front Axle Load be "FA1"
Let Rear Axle Load be "RA1"
Let TT Axles Load be "TT1"

Then, remaining in same position on scales, take
Weighing #2 -- TT attached and Weight Distribution Not Activated (WD bars unloaded, but hanging in place) -- ask the operator for a "re-weigh":
Let Front Axle Load be "FA2"
Let Rear Axle Load be "RA2"
Let TT Axles Load be "TT2"

Then, drive off scales and drop TT. Return to scales and take
Weighing #3 -- TV only -- TT Not Attached -- ask operator for another re-weigh:
Let Front Axle Load be "FA3"
Let Rear Axle Load be "RA3"

From the above values, you can calculate:

TV weight = FA3 + RA3

Gross Combined Weight = (FA1 + RA1 + TT1)
{should also be equal to (FA2 + RA2 + TT2) if scale weights are correct}

TT Weight = Gross Combined Weight - TV Weight

Tongue Weight = (FA2 + RA2) - (FA3 + RA3)

Load Transferred to TT Axles
when WD System is Activated = TT1 - TT2

This procedure should get you on and off the scales fairly quickly and still provide all the data you need.

Ron

Ron Gratz

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Posted: 03/29/12 01:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Old-Biscuit wrote:

CAT Scales.......three weigh platforms.
Pull up with your truck & trailer combo ready to camp
Front truck axle on one platform (front axle weigh)
Truck rear axle on one platform (rear tuck axle & trailer tongue weight0
Trailer axles on one platform (trailer axle weight)

Tell weight operator......."Private"

Weigh......drive rig off scales.......go park.....unhitch trailer.....go back an re-weigh truck
Front axle on one platform
Rear axle on one platform
This procedure will not allow you to calculate the trailer's "tongue weight"
UNLESS the weight distribution bars are unhooked during the first weighing.

If the WD bars are unhooked during the first weighing,
then the "tongue weight" is equal to the sum of the steer and drive axle loads from the first weighing
minus the sum of the steer and drive axle loads from the second weighing.

However, if the WD bars are unhooked during the first weighing,
you have no way of kowing what the axle loads are when WD is applied.

Ron

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 03/29/12 11:11am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CAT Scales.......three weigh platforms.
Pull up with your truck & trailer combo ready to camp
Front truck axle on one platform (front axle weigh)
Truck rear axle on one platform (rear tuck axle & trailer tongue weight0
Trailer axles on one platform (trailer axle weight)

Tell weight operator......."Private"

Weigh......drive rig off scales.......go park.....unhitch trailer.....go back an re-weigh truck
Front axle on one platform
Rear axle on one platform

Tell weigh operator......"Private, re-weigh"

Weigh.....drive off......park/hitch up.....go inside get both weigh tickets
Then do the math.

Need help......ask, they are friendly (usually) and don't mind.

dinnrbellmel

NE PA

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Posted: 03/29/12 02:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ron Gratz wrote:

Tongue Weight = (FA2 + RA2) - (FA3 + RA3)
Ron


This post was very helpful. Thank you. I don't understand why you determine the tongue weight without WD activated? You travel with the WD bars on...wouldn't that be the true weight on the tongue?

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