Getting actual weights

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Lowell

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Aug 15, 2005
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Tempe, AZ
I haven't weighed my rig yet but have found a gravel yard close to me where I can get it done.  Because it is a very busy scale, I want to minimize the time I have their scale tied up.  I think that if I first weigh my entire rig, 2nd just the trailer axles, then park and disconnect the trailer, and 3rd weigh just the tow vehicle, I should have all the info I need. 

The entire rig weight minus the tow vehicle weight should be the total trailer weight.  The total trailer weight minus the trailer axle weight should be very close to the tongue weight.  I know leverage plays a roll in the tongue weight calculation but is that close enough for all practical purposes?

Jake

 

Carl L

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west Los Angeles
Jake said:
I haven't weighed my rig yet but have found a gravel yard close to me where I can get it done. Because it is a very busy scale, I want to minimize the time I have their scale tied up. I think that if I first weigh my entire rig, 2nd just the trailer axles, then park and disconnect the trailer, and 3rd weigh just the tow vehicle, I should have all the info I need.

The entire rig weight minus the tow vehicle weight should be the total trailer weight. The total trailer weight minus the trailer axle weight should be very close to the tongue weight. I know leverage plays a roll in the tongue weight calculation but is that close enough for all practical purposes?

Jake

Ask the weigh master when things are slow.  Tell him what you are going to do -- 3 weights.  Tell him you do not need certification.

Process:

1.  Pull entire rig onto weight.  Weigh.  That is weight A.
2.  Pull truck just off the scale but leave the trailer wheels on it.  Weigh.  That is weight B.
3.  Uncouple trailer from truck and raise off hitch.  If you have a TT, be sure that the hitch jack is on the scale.  Weigh.  That is weight C.

Trailer weight = C
Combined vehicle weight = A. 
Tongue weight is = C - B.

If you have a TT or any ball-and-coupler hitched trailer,  tongue weight should equal 11 -16%  of trailer weight.  Less could indicate an unstable trailer.  5th wheel units should be around 20%.
 

Lowell

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Tempe, AZ
Thanks Carl.  I believe we are calculating the same way but using a different scheme on the scale.  I didn't want to park the unhitched trailer on the scale which is why I was going to weigh the truck by itself, the rig total and only the trailer axles.  But either way, we should come up with the same numbers.
Jake
 

Carl L

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Jake said:
Thanks Carl.? I believe we are calculating the same way but using a different scheme on the scale.? I didn't want to park the unhitched trailer on the scale which is why I was going to weigh the truck by itself, the rig total and only the trailer axles.? But either way, we should come up with the same numbers.
Jake

You are not really parking it, you are just lifting it off the ball or hitch for a moment and signaling the weigh master to take the weight.
 

Lowell

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Tempe, AZ
Well, I finally got my weights.  I filled the fresh water tank on the TT although I don't usually travel with it full.
This is how it figured out after doing all the math:
Total rig weight: 12,100 lbs
Trailer axles(2):  5,440 lbs
Trailer alone:  6120 lbs
Hitch weight: 680 lbs
Truck weight with trailer hitched, driver & wife: 6,560 lbs
Truck weight, unhitched, driver & wife: 5,980 lbs
This puts my hitch weight at about 11% of the total trailer weight.
 

Carl L

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This puts my hitch weight at about 11% of the total trailer weight.

That is in the lower end of the limits, but within them.  Don't be afraid to put load ahead of the trailer axles, a bit more weight on the hitch would not hurt.
 

Lowell

Well-known member
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Aug 15, 2005
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Location
Tempe, AZ
Good point Carl.  I sometimes put extra gear in the truck box(bed) such as cooler or tackle boxes.  I have room in the TT on both sides of the queen bed up front and it might make more sense to place them there to get a little more trailer weight balance forward.  All in all, I've been very satisfied with the handling. I believe I read in a previous thread that 11% to 15% tongue weight to trailer weight is the target range.

Jake
 
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