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Old 04-20-2019, 03:00 PM   #1
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Weighing My Setup

I will be taking my TT out in a couple of weeks and I finally am going to get true weights for setup. I've never used CAT scales before but I've done some research and here is my plan. Please let me know if this is going to give me what I think it will.

First, I loaded the CAT Scales App and will use that at the scales. Here is my planned weighs:

1. Truck & Trailer hitched (each on it's own scale)
2. Unhitch in place leaving trailer on one scale and truck on the other.
3. By taking the truck weight from 1 and subtracting the truck weight from 2, that should give me the tongue weight WITH WD.
4. Tongue scale I am purchasing will give me basic tongue weight without WD.

Now I will have all the weights I need to evaluate my setup....I think.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Brenwol1
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
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If you have a highway DOT scale nearby you can get everything but individual wheel weights. The good thing about using a DOT scale is no one to bother you doing what you want.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
If you have a highway DOT scale nearby you can get everything but individual wheel weights. The good thing about using a DOT scale is no one to bother you doing what you want.
Do mean at a weigh station? I thought that is restricted to commercial trucks only.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brenwol1 View Post
Do mean at a weigh station? I thought that is restricted to commercial trucks only.
When the scale is open, then it is restricted to commercial vehicles only. But when the scale is closed, most "chicken pens" leave the scale turned on so anyone can weigh their rig

You should check with the Georgia DOT to see if they leave the scales on when the scales are closed.
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Old 04-20-2019, 03:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
When the scale is open, then it is restricted to commercial vehicles only. But when the scale is closed, most "chicken pens" leave the scale turned on so anyone can weigh their rig

You should check with the Georgia DOT to see if they leave the scales on when the scales are closed.
Wow! Didn't know that. I'll definitely check it out. Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:14 PM   #6
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CAT Scales have 3 platforms
Truck Front Axle on forward 1
Truck Rear Axle on middle 1
Trailer Axles on rearward 1




3 weigh tickets worth the costs ($15 per weigh with 1 free reweigh)
Truck/trailer WITH WDH hooked up

Truck/trailer W/O WDH hooked up


Then drive off scales ...go drop trailer in parking lot and weight truck only


Everything you will need to figure axle weights, tongue weight, if WDH needs adjusted, GVWRs and GCVWR etc
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Old 04-21-2019, 03:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
CAT Scales have 3 platforms
Truck Front Axle on forward 1
Truck Rear Axle on middle 1
Trailer Axles on rearward 1




3 weigh tickets worth the costs ($15 per weigh with 1 free reweigh)
Truck/trailer WITH WDH hooked up

Truck/trailer W/O WDH hooked up


Then drive off scales ...go drop trailer in parking lot and weight truck only


Everything you will need to figure axle weights, tongue weight, if WDH needs adjusted, GVWRs and GCVWR etc
When you say w/o WD, do you mean unhitched or still hitched with WD disconnected?
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Old 04-21-2019, 05:22 AM   #8
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W/O WD means trailer hitched up, but WD bars removed.
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:14 AM   #9
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And NEVER unhitch your trailer from the truck while on a CAT scale....that is a No-no.

Old Biscuit nailed it on the procedure and the order of weighing.
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by xrated View Post
And NEVER unhitch your trailer from the truck while on a CAT scale....that is a No-no.

Old Biscuit nailed it on the procedure and the order of weighing.
That's what I thought. Thanks.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:00 AM   #11
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Results

I followed Old-Biscuit's instructions and weighed at my local Flying J Cat scale in Resaca, GA. By the way, the charge was $11 for the first weigh and $2 for each reweigh. Cheaper than I expected.

Anyway, my results are posted below. What other figures do I need to calculate using this data and how? Thanks for helping this newby.

Sincerely,
Brenwol


.................Steer Axle . Drive Axle . Trailer Axle . Gross Vehicle Weight
with WD . . . . 2920 . . . . 3180 . . . . . . 4040 . . . . . . . 10,140
w/o WD . . . . 2600 . . . . .3680 . . . . . . 3880 . . . . . . . 10,160
Truck Only . . 2980 . . . . .2560 . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . 5540
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Anyway, my results are posted below. What other figures do I need to calculate using this data and how? Thanks for helping this newby.
.................Steer Axle . Drive Axle . Trailer Axle . Gross Vehicle Weight
with WD . . . . 2920 . . . . 3180 . . . . . . 4040 . . . . . . . 10,140
w/o WD . . . . 2600 . . . . .3680 . . . . . . 3880 . . . . . . . 10,160
Truck Only . . 2980 . . . . .2560 . . . . . . . . . 0 . . . . . . . . 5540
Old-Biscuit’s instructions ASSUMED both tow vehicle (TV) and trailer were wet and loaded for an RV/camping trip. So if both your TV and trailer were loaded for camping, including everybody and everything that would be it them when on the road, then here’s your answer:

1] compute GVW of TV and compare to GVWR of the TV. With WD add the weights on the front and drive axles . 6100 GVW. Conclusion = nowhere near overloaded.

2] Compare gross weight of the rig (either with or without WD) with GCWR of the tow vehicle.. Ignore the 20 pounds difference caused by the rounding of the weights on the various scale pads. 10,160 pounds so nowhere near overloaded if your TV has the 5.0L V8 or 3.5L EcoBoost engine.

3] Compare weight on the drive axle with WD to rear GAWR of the TV. 3,180 should not even be close to the rGAWR of your TV.

4]Compute tongue weight (TW). GVW of the TV without WD minus GVW of truck pnly. 6280 minus 5540 = 740.

5] Compute gross trailer weight. Trailer axle weight w/o WD plus TW . 3880 + 740 = 4620

5a] Compare combined trailer GAWR to trailer axle weight to see if trailer is overloaded.

6] Compute percentage of TW. TW divided by gross trailer weight. 740 divided by 4620 = 16%. Industry says normal is 10% to 15%. IMO ,10% is too low and will likely result in trailer sway, even with a good anti-sway hitch. Acceptable is around 12% to 14%; Ideal is 13%. Your 16% is okay if you have plenty of GVWR and rGAWR so as to not overload the TV.

7]Compare the weight on each axle, with and w/o WD, to determine the results of tightening the spring bars on the WD. For example,
..Steer Axle
with WD . . . . 2920
w/o WD . . . . 2600
WD distributed 320# = 43% of TW (goal is 20% to 25%

. Drive Axle .
w/WD 3180
w/o WD 3680
WD reduced 500 = 67% of TW (goal is 40% to 50%, leaving 50% to 60% of TW on the rear axle.)

Trailer Axle(s)
w/WD . . . . . . 4040
w/o WD . . . . . . 3,880
WD distributed 160# = 22% = good (goal is 20% to 25)&

Conclusion: You still have some adjusting to do to get closer to the max of 25% of TW distributed to the front and trailer axles with 50% o 60% of TW remaining on the rear axle. First step is your spring bars ae too tight, removing too much weight off the rear axle. Then adjust the angle of the ball to the coupler to get the weight distributed to front axle closer to the goal of 20% to 25% of TW.

But my guess is that your TV and tailer were NOT wet amd loaded for camping. So 1] through 5] above will not give you any useful info, other than how much unused payload capacity your TV and trailer have available for loading up with people and camping stuff. But 6] and 7] above can be used now to determine if your WD hitch is properly installed and adjusted.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Old-Biscuit’s instructions ASSUMED both tow vehicle (TV) and trailer were wet and loaded for an RV/camping trip. So if both your TV and trailer were loaded for camping, including everybody and everything that would be it them when on the road, then here’s your answer:

1] compute GVW of TV and compare to GVWR of the TV. With WD add the weights on the front and drive axles . 6100 GVW. Conclusion = nowhere near overloaded.

2] Compare gross weight of the rig (either with or without WD) with GCWR of the tow vehicle.. Ignore the 20 pounds difference caused by the rounding of the weights on the various scale pads. 10,160 pounds so nowhere near overloaded if your TV has the 5.0L V8 or 3.5L EcoBoost engine.

3] Compare weight on the drive axle with WD to rear GAWR of the TV. 3,180 should not even be close to the rGAWR of your TV.

4]Compute tongue weight (TW). GVW of the TV without WD minus GVW of truck pnly. 6280 minus 5540 = 740.

5] Compute gross trailer weight. Trailer axle weight w/o WD plus TW . 3880 + 740 = 4620

5a] Compare combined trailer GAWR to trailer axle weight to see if trailer is overloaded.

6] Compute percentage of TW. TW divided by gross trailer weight. 740 divided by 4620 = 16%. Industry says normal is 10% to 15%. IMO ,10% is too low and will likely result in trailer sway, even with a good anti-sway hitch. Acceptable is around 12% to 14%; Ideal is 13%. Your 16% is okay if you have plenty of GVWR and rGAWR so as to not overload the TV.

7]Compare the weight on each axle, with and w/o WD, to determine the results of tightening the spring bars on the WD. For example,
..Steer Axle
with WD . . . . 2920
w/o WD . . . . 2600
WD distributed 320# = 43% of TW (goal is 20% to 25%

. Drive Axle .
w/WD 3180
w/o WD 3680
WD reduced 500 = 67% of TW (goal is 40% to 50%, leaving 50% to 60% of TW on the rear axle.)

Trailer Axle(s)
w/WD . . . . . . 4040
w/o WD . . . . . . 3,880
WD distributed 160# = 22% = good (goal is 20% to 25)&

Conclusion: You still have some adjusting to do to get closer to the max of 25% of TW distributed to the front and trailer axles with 50% o 60% of TW remaining on the rear axle. First step is your spring bars ae too tight, removing too much weight off the rear axle. Then adjust the angle of the ball to the coupler to get the weight distributed to front axle closer to the goal of 20% to 25% of TW.

But my guess is that your TV and tailer were NOT wet amd loaded for camping. So 1] through 5] above will not give you any useful info, other than how much unused payload capacity your TV and trailer have available for loading up with people and camping stuff. But 6] and 7] above can be used now to determine if your WD hitch is properly installed and adjusted.
SmokeyWren,

First, thank you SO much for your detailed response and analysis. Your time to do that is greatly appreciated.

It will take me some time to digest it, but I did want to respond on the readiness of our trailer.

I waited until we were going out on a trip (still on that trip now) to go by the scales. We were loaded with our standard load with exceptions of our bikes which is only about 50-60 lbs. We don't travel with fresh water except on a long trip of more than 3 or 4 hours and then I just load about 5 gallons. Full load of groceries and personal stuff. Our trailer is a 21' "couples" trailer and an Ultralite. Those are fully loaded weights.

I will be working this before our long distance trip to Florida next month. Thanks again. People like you are why this forum is such a valuable resource.

Sincerely,
Brenwol
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Conclusion: You still have some adjusting to do to get closer to the max of 25% of TW distributed to the front and trailer axles with 50% o 60% of TW remaining on the rear axle. First step is your spring bars ae too tight, removing too much weight off the rear axle. Then adjust the angle of the ball to the coupler to get the weight distributed to front axle closer to the goal of 20% to 25% of TW.
SmokeyWren,
Thanks again for all the info. As a newby, though, I'm not exactly sure of the adjustments that need to be made and I'm not sure I should take this to my dealer to work out.

In regards to adjusting the WD, I have the basic setup that CW sold me when I purchased the camper. Round bars that connect to the trailer frame using chains. We were instructed to "use link #6" but that was for a different TV that was much smaller than my Ram 1500. When you talk about tightening the "spring bars", are you referring to the bar/chains? If I've taken too much weight off the drive axle, should I "loosen" the chains by a link and re-weigh?

Thanks again to all for helping a relative newbie!
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