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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Scale weight, confused by to much data

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Fstmvrerik

Salina, Ks.

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Posted: 09/07/20 05:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have just gone from a fifth wheel to a TT. I have installed an Anderson 16k hitch and have airbags also on my 2015 SRW F350. I have been weighing the truck as I go adjusting for a nearly level truck and trailer, also doing test drives.
My freshwater holding tank is in the nose of the trailer (60 gal) and can carry 95 gal of fuel. I have the ability to shift 250lb of loaded weight fairly easily. My hitch is set for sway control reduction primarily, I used the hitch height adjustment to get truck/trailer leveled out.
I have been scaling the truck as I go but am a little unsure of the data as to what it means as far as safety and longevity of the truck.

GVWR truck: 10800 trailer: 10500 GAWR trailer: 5200 each axel
GCWR 21000
Weight tickets:
Truck fully fueled and loaded for travel Steering: 5000 Drive:4080 Gross:9080

Truck/trailer with standard ball hitch empty trailer
Steering: 4420 Drive: 6200 Trailer 8080 Gross:18700

Truck/trailer with Anderson hitch fully loaded for travel TV/TT nearly level, trailer nose down, truck level.
Steering: 4580 Drive 6100 Trailer 8440 Gross:19120

It drives very well considering todays wind (25 30 mph), what should I be looking to get by either shifting load, or tensioning up the hitch?
Thanks for any advice offered.
Erik

Turtle n Peeps

California

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Posted: 09/07/20 06:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You're ok in MHO.

But I would try to get about 500+ more on the steering axle if it were me.

The idea is to get all the tires doing to same amount of work if you can. If you can't, call it good and go on vacation.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 09/08/20 10:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ideally, you would do all 3 weighs at the same time with the same loading (leave the bars on the front of the trailer but disconnected for the 2nd weigh), so you can directly see the impact of the WDH.

Without knowing how much was loaded where in the trailer, it's hard to determine how much impact the WDH is having. I can back calculate and determine it's doing something but exactly how much is difficult to tell what:
- Trailer weight is up by 420lb
- Trailer axles are up by 360lb
- So some of the 420lb must be going on the hitch (it's not simple subtraction)
- Since the front axle is heavier with the WDH (than without), it must be doing some distribution.

If it's pulling OK, I wouldn't worry too much. You are somewhere in the vicinity of 16% hitch weight, which should address sway issues (below 10-12% is where problems usually surface). As long as your hitch is rated for 1600lb, you should be fine with having enough truck to handle it.

Ideally, I would like to see the front axle not change from running empty but it's not enough to be too concerned.

If you really want to dial it in, go do the 3 weighs fully loaded, then try ratcheting down the WDH and do a 4th weigh to see if you can get the front axle close to the weight you see without the trailer attached (within the limits of the WDH settings).


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BurbMan

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Posted: 09/08/20 01:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the trailer is nose down and the truck is "almost level" that explains why you're 500+ light on the steer axle. Try picking up another link on the WD hitch, that should bring up the nose of the TT and at the same time send some more weight to the front of the truck.

Based on the weights you are very close to being 100% dialed in. Of course if it doesn't drive even better, then put it back where it was [emoticon]


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Fstmvrerik

Salina, Ks.

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Posted: 09/08/20 04:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Right now I keep 30 psi in my airbags for a nice ride, so the trailer tongue weight does not squat the truck much. I can easily drop some air and crank up the hitch, it may go to perfect level across the board.
One downside to the Anderson hitch is that the height adjustment jumps by 1 1/2" increments, so I have to adjust elsewhere to keep the trailer from going nose high or 2" plus low on the front.

BackOfThePack

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Posted: 09/09/20 04:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

At a CAT SCALE location (get phone app).

— Initial Weigh: Adjusted (true) TARE Weight. With only driver aboard with fuel topped off and ONLY permanent gear aboard (remains until truck sold); put truck across scale. Park, and retrieve paper copy of scale ticket at fuel desk.

This is the genuine Empty Weight. The truck will never weigh less than this. Take a pic of door sticker showing TIRE, AXLE, WHEEL Ratings. Note range remaining FF/RR.

The difference between Scale Values and Stated Limits, is the necessary information.

To set a WDH, go to the CAN AM RV website and find the magazine article link on, “How To Set Your Torsion Bars”. Use this process (enlist a friend) and do this work at home to get the basics of the WDH in the ballpark. (Trailer needs to be level within itself; carpenters level across doorway after hitch adjusted; in the bubble). Truck may be tail-down slightly; not important.

A). To use the CAT Scale to further refine WDH settings:

The Rig loaded for a camping trip, where

1). Full fresh water & propane on trailer
2). Fuel topped off at truck stop arrival
3). All passengers aboard


I). First Scale Pass

With WDH as well-adjusted as per above article.


II). Second Scale Pass

The same; except that WDH “slack” (no tension).


III). Third Scale Pass

The same; except that trailer was unhitched & parked.


— The short version of “correct” is that the Steer Axle value in I & III are the same.

— Go over loading: any gear in pickup bed must be secured against movement IN ANY DIRECTION and MUST have its weight ON OR AHEAD of the Axle center.

— The closer the pickup is to a 50/50 FF/RR weight balance before hitching the better will be the final results. (Too much spring capacity is detrimental; a penalty. )

A WDH works by spreading the FORCE exerted by the long lever represented from hitch ball back to trailer axle center. TW is pretty well meaningless. Has NOTHING to do with “payload”. It’s a placeholder number, only.

— The ideal is a distribution of TW force by 1/3-1/3-1/3 across Steer, Drive and Trailer Axles. Instead of concentrating this pounding at one point, the load is spread across the whole of the rig.

—In practice, about 70-75% remains on the TV, 25-30% on the TT. This IMPROVES steering, handling & braking.

— True TW shown

— The hitch, once closed is now a steering component. Understand the centrality of this and all the dumb RVer misconceptions go away. . The trailer is CONSTANTLY moving in and out of a three-dimensional plane aligned with the TV. It is in rotation (oscillation), and both loads AND UNLOADS the hitch ball over time (fourth dimension).


— This is also how one sets correct tire pressure. Get a cold overnight reading before leaving home. Make corrections (inside vehicle manufacturers door sticker range) from the Load & Pressure Table for that Load Range Tire. Not over or under. Get it dead-on. (Do NOT use tire pressure to alter handling feel. Get better shocks, poly antiroll bar bushings and rear Panhard Rod).

— Besides 90% failure rates to set hitch rigging correctly, wrong tire pressure is a default in a campground check of rigs. Both are vital.

— Getting hitch ball as close to rear bumper as possible (length of secondary lever; cut shorter & re-weld), it may be necessary to use a hitch specialist to also set hitch ball HEIGHT with pinpoint accuracy. Inches count. Seriously. That second lever is what forces rear TV tires sideways. This is the ballgame: those few square inches of the Drive Axle Tire contact patches.

— The hitch rigging is Equal in importance to the selection of the two vehicles.

A 4WD solid-axle pickup with a box-shaped trailer riding on leaf spring suspension is the worst towing combination on the highway. Take the time to iron out the details.

One is looking for two things:

1). For a given tow vehicle, tire pressure valued empty and loaded/hitched.

2). The full range of WDH settings for a given combined vehicle.

In both cases, these are narrow from low to high.

Make notes. Keep records. Get the baseline, final adjust, and check at least annually.

.

* This post was last edited 09/09/20 04:52am by BackOfThePack *   View edit history


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BackOfThePack

Fort Worth

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Posted: 09/09/20 04:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And; the Anderson IS NOT a WDH. Can’t shift weight as required. It’s a bad joke.

The original Reese Dual Cam is still better than all the variations since.

The Hensley & Pro-Pride (both same patent) are worlds away better.

Makes all other types obsolete.
Cheap at twice the price.

All the advantages of a 5’er hitch without the penalties. (Which are many).

Sway eliminated Guaranteed.

.

* This post was edited 09/09/20 04:59am by BackOfThePack *

mkirsch

Rochester, NY

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Posted: 09/14/20 09:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fstmvrerik wrote:

Right now I keep 30 psi in my airbags for a nice ride, so the trailer tongue weight does not squat the truck much. I can easily drop some air and crank up the hitch, it may go to perfect level across the board.
One downside to the Anderson hitch is that the height adjustment jumps by 1 1/2" increments, so I have to adjust elsewhere to keep the trailer from going nose high or 2" plus low on the front.


Do not go by rear squat. Go by front end rise.

Notice how when hitched, your front end is roughly 500-600lbs lighter than it was empty. If you look, you will see it is sitting about an inch or so higher than when unloaded.

IDEALLY, you want to adjust your weight distribution hitch to restore the weight on the front axle to its unloaded value (5000lbs).

However, this is an F350 and is somewhat more tolerant of weight shifting around than an F150. It's not that critical. If the WD hitch is doing something, anything, and you are not concerned about how the truck drives while hitched, it is fine.


Putting 10-ply tires on half ton trucks since aught-four.

Fstmvrerik

Salina, Ks.

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Posted: 09/14/20 09:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just completed first trip out, 1400 miles: western Ks winds, Colorado snow and wet roads. I am very happy with the quick adjustability of the Anderson.

I have come to the conclusion that getting a perfect setup may be impossible as depending on how much water and waste water I am hauling (plus or minus 160 gal, all in front of the axles) and 120 gal of fuel, my weights swing pretty wide.

After tearing down camp, re-hooking up and moving 6 times it seems I can keep the truck slightly nose down and the trailer level and everything rides and feels great.

I usually have heavy trailers on the rear of my truck, and I do not believe it when people say "I could not tell there was a trailer behind me". In my opinion you always can feel a 14k trailer when driving. I know what it was like to pull this trailer with just the ball, scared the **** out of me over 65mph. With the Anderson ran it up to 75 and it felt solid, then backed down to 68 where my truck is happiest and was able to drive like I had a well loaded 14k trailer.

I may re-weigh the truck just to see what is happening to my steer wheel weight if I get a chance, but overall I am really happy to be able to change the way the truck runs in a few minutes with the Anderson. It never made a peep of noise and I was able to back up at nearly 85 degrees without having to drop any bars or loosen chains.

I appreciate the knowledge on this forum that is freely offered, it is an outstanding service offered to keep idiots like me out of the ditch!

Turtle n Peeps

California

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Posted: 09/14/20 09:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like you got it where you want it and need it. Congrats on the setup. Now put this all behind you and go on another vacation!

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