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Old 07-29-2009, 01:12 PM   #15
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Don -

I have not measured the drop, but I will. I have used to adjustment in my Companion to raise the nose of the trailer slightly

I need to a trip to scale...this will be my first trip. Here are the measurements I am planning on taking, so please let me know if I need additional or different measurements...

1) front truck axle on scale (no trailer attached)
2) rear truck axle on scale (no trailer attached)
3) legs of trailer on scale (no truck attached)
4) legs of trailer on scale with me and son on rear bumper to simulate 350 lbs of fresh water on-board (no truck attached)
5) entire rig on scale (truck and trailer)

Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:00 PM   #16
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That is a good first step in determining any problems with tow ability IMHO.
Like I have stated many times before the biggest concern is the loaded rear axle weight. Note also all weights should be accomplished fully loaded and ready to camp. Including people fire wood, tools what ever. It is very hard to "guess" the weight of the stuff you add to a trailer, and it really can add up fast.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverBullet View Post
Don -
I need to a trip to scale...this will be my first trip. Here are the measurements I am planning on taking, so please let me know if I need additional or different measurements...

1) front truck axle on scale (no trailer attached)
2) rear truck axle on scale (no trailer attached)
3) legs of trailer on scale (no truck attached)
4) legs of trailer on scale with me and son on rear bumper to simulate 350 lbs of fresh water on-board (no truck attached)
5) entire rig on scale (truck and trailer)

Thanks!
Don,

First, comment on the ride: pin weight can affect the bucking quite a bit. Usually an increase in weight will decrease bucking - - USUALLY. It could be very easy to increase pin weight by moving something heavy into the front storage compartment - - like a tool box or jack, etc. Just be careful of exceeding the GVWR or axle rating of the rear of the truck.

Second - - what do you mean by "legs of trailer." If you mean the front jacks and if you are trying to find the pin weight, that will not do it. The jacks are back behind the kingpin hence not directly under the pin - - that will not reflect pin weight. Here is the routine for the weights you want:

Truck alone loaded with normal passengers, full fuel and whatever you normally carry in it when rolling:
1) Front axle (then pull forward)
2) Total truck

Hook up the rig with it loaded as for a trip:
3) Front truck axle - - (then pull forward so truck is on scale)
4) Full truck - - (then pull forward until total rig is on scale)
5) Full rig

Calculate as such:
A) #2 minus #1 gives you rear axle weight of truck not hooked up - - now you know front, rear and total
B) #4 minus #3 gives you rear truck axle weight when hooked - - now you know the changes in front and rear axle weight when hooked up.
C) B minus A gives you pin weight
D) #5 minus #4 gives you rear trailer axle weight
E) C plus D gives you total trailer weight

Many times it is good to know how much weight each trailer wheel is carrying. This can spot problems in loading unevenly or problems in suspensions. Different scale setups can create their own level of difficulty in accomplishing that task.

Incidently, I travel much of the time with a full water tank and that is lots of miles over many years over some very tough roads, like Alaska, Newfoundland, Mexico and all parts in between.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:23 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by FiverBob View Post
Don,

First, comment on the ride: pin weight can affect the bucking quite a bit. Usually an increase in weight will decrease bucking - - USUALLY. It could be very easy to increase pin weight by moving something heavy into the front storage compartment - - like a tool box or jack, etc. Just be careful of exceeding the GVWR or axle rating of the rear of the truck.

Second - - what do you mean by "legs of trailer." If you mean the front jacks and if you are trying to find the pin weight, that will not do it. The jacks are back behind the kingpin hence not directly under the pin - - that will not reflect pin weight. Here is the routine for the weights you want:

Truck alone loaded with normal passengers, full fuel and whatever you normally carry in it when rolling:
1) Front axle (then pull forward)
2) Total truck

Hook up the rig with it loaded as for a trip:
3) Front truck axle - - (then pull forward so truck is on scale)
4) Full truck - - (then pull forward until total rig is on scale)
5) Full rig

Calculate as such:
A) #2 minus #1 gives you rear axle weight of truck not hooked up - - now you know front, rear and total
B) #4 minus #3 gives you rear truck axle weight when hooked - - now you know the changes in front and rear axle weight when hooked up.
C) B minus A gives you pin weight
D) #5 minus #4 gives you rear trailer axle weight
E) C plus D gives you total trailer weight

Many times it is good to know how much weight each trailer wheel is carrying. This can spot problems in loading unevenly or problems in suspensions. Different scale setups can create their own level of difficulty in accomplishing that task.

Incidently, I travel much of the time with a full water tank and that is lots of miles over many years over some very tough roads, like Alaska, Newfoundland, Mexico and all parts in between.

Bob
Yours is perhaps the best explanation and how-to-weigh procedure ever!
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:48 AM   #19
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Thanks Bob! Your steps are clear and I will spend less time at the scale!
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:00 PM   #20
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SilverBullet--getting the weights can be an easy one-trip deal. First, find a CAT scale at a truck stop--it will have 3 or 4 separate scale sections. Talk to the cashier before pulling on the scales--tell them you want two weight readings. If you don't drive off the scales between weights, it should be cheaper. Then drive onto the scales and locate the axles: front truck axle on front scale section; rear truck axle on second scale section; trailer front legs and both axles on third section. The legs of the trailer will have to be JUST onto the third section for this to work. Then call cashier for weight reading--asking for a moment for you to get into the truck. Then get out and set the legs of the trailer down and lift the pin box up until you see the weight is off the hitch, but do not let it pull the truck upward. Then call for a second weight--climbing back into the truck before it is taken. You will end up with 2 sets of weights--both with front axle, rear axle and trailer weights. The second set will show the trailer much heavier--the difference will be the pin weight.
Easy to do if you locate the trailer legs correctly. These scales are amazingly accurate--if you don't climb into the truck, your weight will be reflected on the section you are standing on--or not at all if you are not on the scales. Doing this when you first start out on a week or two-long trip will tell you everything you need to know about the total weight of everything you take with you.
Joe
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:02 AM   #21
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Thanks Joe. We have a trip planned in a couple weeks. I was wondering about the best way to position on the CAT scale! That really helps!
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:28 PM   #22
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It can be a little nerve-wracking moving onto the scales--take a moment to look at everything before you pull on. I always look for a smaller truck stop so as not to be in amongst too many semis--luckily, I have such a place on the road where I start out all my major trips. This has worked very well for me--the real trick is to A) be sure that both truck axles are on separate scales sections, B) the trailer legs and axles are all on a third section, C) be very careful to lift the trailer off the hitch, but not pulling up on the truck--easy to see in daylight when the pin box plate and the hitch plate show a small amount of clearance.
Save the weights to see how you can learn to pack better later on.
Joe
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Old 08-29-2009, 02:58 PM   #23
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I have 2 CAT scales about 3 miles from the house. I also found a grain elevator close by with one big scale the entire rig will fit on. I stopped by today for grins and weighed once for $2...16,880 lbs for the entire rig (with family and full fuel, but not loaded for a trip). I am planning on stopping at the CAT scale in the next couple of days. I brought the trailer home today to do a trip prep work. I will post back with my results.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:05 AM   #24
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Oh boy...here goes...

I finally made it to the CAT Scale...here it is...

Stats on my truck for reference...
- 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD Crew cab/Short bed/Duramax/Allison
- GVWR.............9,200 lbs
- FGAWR (FRT)...4,670 lbs
- RGAWR (RR).....6,084 lbs
- GCWR............22,000 lbs
- Max trailer......12,000 lbs

From my trip to the CAT Scale this evening...

First weigh in (trailer connected)
1) Front axle on pad 1......4,380 lbs
2) Rear axle on pad 2.......4,940 lbs
3) Trailer axle on pad 3.....7,380 lbs

Second weigh in (trailer disconnected)
4) Front axle on pad 1..................4,420 lbs
5) Rear axle on pad 2...................3,220 lbs
6) Trailer legs and axle on pad 3.....9,060 lbs

Actual Numbers calculated from above...
Truck..........7,640 lbs (line 4 + line 5)
Trailer.........9,060 lbs (line 6)
Total rig.....16,700 lbs (pulled off ticket)
Pin weight....1,720 lbs (line 2 - line 5)

Front axle doesn't exceed FGAWR........................4380 > 4670 = FALSE
Rear axle doesn't exceed RGAWR.........................4940 > 6084 = FALSE
Truck exceeds GVWR when connected to trailer.....9320 > 9200 = TRUE (line 1 + line 2)

It looks like I need to lower my pin weight!

I went back and looked through the trailer brochure and found a hitch weight of 1,500 lbs listed.

QUESTION: Is this the recommended pin weight for my trailer? (If so, then I need to reducing my pin weight by 220 lbs which should drop me under the GVWR. I suspect this will put me back to my "sweet spot".)

QUESTION: Do my calcualtions from above look correct?

Things learned using the CAT Scale...

First weigh $9

Every reweigh $1 (a reweigh can be at any CAT Scale within 24hrs of the first weigh according to guy at Love's in Anna, Texas.)

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:31 AM   #25
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Well...I made it back to the CAT Scale fully loaded.

My bottom line is I have too much trailer for my truck. I might be able to get my my truck GVWR down to 9200 lbs, but my truck will need to be completely empty and I will need to stack weight on the back of the trailer. I am hovering around 9380 lbs with an empty portable waste tank (35 lbs), 2 concrete blocks (est 30 lbs), and a loaded ice chest (est 40 lbs) in the bed. I run the risk of dropping below the minimum recommended pin weight of 15% of the trailer weight.

The proper fix would be a lighter trailer or a SRW 1 ton with a GVWR of 9900 lbs, but neither of those is an option right now. So, careful packing and weight distribution sre in order until it is time for a new truck.

I did notice this weekend there are a lot of 3/4 ton trucks pulling big trailers, so I suspect I am not alone in being over my GVWR...even if slightly over.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:29 PM   #26
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Well...
I did notice this weekend there are a lot of 3/4 ton trucks pulling big trailers, so I suspect I am not alone in being over my GVWR...even if slightly over.
Boy, you arent kidding there....

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Old 09-11-2009, 11:03 AM   #27
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There is nothing like buying your first trailer AND then learning all the little (or big as the case may be) things which you should be considering other than colors and floorplans!

When purchasing the trailer I told the salesman what I would be it with and he said "no problem".
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:06 AM   #28
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When purchasing the trailer I told the salesman what I would be it with and he said "no problem".
That is a prerequisite for all salespeople!!!!!!!
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