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Old 07-03-2012, 07:55 PM   #1
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Another newbie question

I weighed my rig. It's a 2010 f-250 and a 2013 coachman freedom express 302 fkv 30 foot. Empty weight on trailer is 7150(mfg) 8620 true weight. Tongue weight "should be" 820 by my calculations. My weight was 15880, that was with 5 people, 1/2 tank fuel(30 gal tank), and fully stocked with cloths food etc and unknown to me prior to weighing the fresh water tank was at least 1/2 full probably closer to full. I had 3940 on front 3320 on rear and 7260 gross without trailer. Truck with trailer was 4000 front 4020 rear and 7800 trailer axle. Gross of 15880. Does this sound correct? Do I need to move some weight around? I still get a bit squirrelly around 60 mph.

Second question. What is the best way to reduce all bouncing/movement when trailer is parked unhooked and in use? I use elec stabilizer but I don't want to put too much pressure on them and burn up the motors. Can I wrench down on them pretty good or should I let them hit the ground and lift just a little?

I have the 5.4L gas engine w 3.73 rear end auto trans with tow/haul. I averaged about 9mpg running 55-60mph in ALOT of hills and 100+ degree temps.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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Your tongue weight should be 12-13% of the trailer weight. If it is less you will have more sway and instability issues.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scales

Trailer tongue scale
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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I'll let others respond to your weight questions but I'll share what I do about stabilization. Bring your jacks down till they hit the ground using the motor. Then use the hand crank that came with your trailer to crank a whole bunch of tension on the jacks, especially the rear jacks. This way you won't burn a motor. You're not looking to raise the wheels off the ground, but you need lots of tension to take the bounce out of the tires. If you want more stabilization, look into getting two x-chocks. CW sells them for around $45 each. For less than $100 they make a huge difference in stabilization.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:56 PM   #5
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I thought about the x chicks but my TT has spread axles. About 2 feet between wheels. I will try the hand cranking on the stabs and see if that helps. Thank you.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpriest
Do you mean drop trailer on scale to check tongue?
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:01 PM   #7
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Do you mean drop trailer on scale to check tongue?
Yes. You disconnect the hitch, then use the tongue jack to raise the tongue of the trailer enough to clear the ball. Then move the tow vehicle out of the way. Then put the Sherline scale under the coupler and use the tongue jack to lower the coupler onto the Sherline scale. Then read the weight on the scale.

Weight on the scale is the tongue weight.

Weigh the rig on a CAT scale to get the weight on the trailer axles. Weight on the trailer axles is the gross axle weight (GAW). GAW plus tongue weight = GVW (gross weight) of the trailer.

Tongue weight divided by GVW = percentage of hitch weight. Your goal is 12 percent, but anything between 10 to 15 percent is okay. DO NOT have less than 10 percent, because that can result in uncontrolled sway. More than 15% tongue weight doesn't hurt anything if your tow vehicle has enough unused payload capacity to handle the extra weight.

Example: I weighed my tongue on the Sherline and found the tongue weight to be 650 pounds. Then I weighed the rig on a CAT scale twice, once with the weight-distributing bars hooked up and once without the WD bars.

GVW Front rear trailer
6800 3280 3520 3620 WD (weight distributing)
6920 3040 3880 3480 WC (weight carrying)
---- ---- ---- ----
. 120 240 (360) 140 difference

So the WD hitch moved 360 pounds off the rear axle, including 240 pounds from the rear axle to the front axle of the truck, 140 pounds from the ball to the trailer axles, and left 290 of the total 650 pounds hitch weight on the ball. (There's a 20-pound CAT scale error in those numbers, but it's insignificant.)

3480 trailer axle weight WC, plus 650 pounds hitch weight = 4,130 gross trailer weight. 650 divided by 4130 = 15.7% hitch weight. Later weights show it is closer to 15% after several thousand miles of towing.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:42 AM   #8
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Great post! Really good info. If I don't have a sherline scale can I get an accurate tongue weight on a cat scale by dropping trailer on cat scale? The weight I get will be what is on the jack stand not on the actual tongue but that should be pretty close?
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Okietrucker View Post
Great post! Really good info. If I don't have a sherline scale can I get an accurate tongue weight on a cat scale by dropping trailer on cat scale? The weight I get will be what is on the jack stand not on the actual tongue but that should be pretty close?
Yes for a TT. If you can find a CAT scale that will allow you the time, then get one weight with the trailer hitch jack on one pad and the trailer axles on a different pad - with the TV off the scale.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #10
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How close will the actual tw be? I know it won't be exact because the jack is a bit behind the tongue but it should be within 10-20 lbs I would think?
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:38 PM   #11
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There is a formula for that. Let me find out where I read that and I will post.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:51 PM   #12
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Sorry - Couldn't find the calculation.

FYI - A Sherline tongue scale is only about $100.

I DID find the info below that might help you in the future. But it still requires the use of a tongue scale.

cheers...


Once you are familiar with your trailer, it will be easier to measure tongue weight at the tongue jack rather than at the hitch. Once you have determined the actual tongue weight at the hitch, we recommend you take a reading at the tongue jack itself. With the hitch supported by the tow vehicle but not locked down, place the Sherline scale under the tongue jack. (A depression is provided in the top of the piston to help locate the jack leg or wheel.) Making sure the wheels of the trailer are blocked so it can't roll, crank the tongue jack until the hitch is just free of the ball and all the weight is on the scale. Compare this reading to the one taken at the hitch itself. You will probably find that it is close enough to use as the actual measurement in the future depending on the distance of the jack from the hitch.


Just keep in mind the approximate ratio and add that factor to your measured figure at the jack.
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