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Old 03-29-2013, 10:09 AM   #1
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Loading up my TT -- Weight question....

Got me a used 2006 Gulf Stream 30' TT couple weeks back and itching to head out on a long trip. Have 6,980 listed as GVWR and 4,933 as UVW leaving me with 2,047 for my net cargo capacity.

Trailer did not come with an awning and I'm having a 18' Carefree awning installed next week (hardware and all). Looked online to get an estimate for added weight and it looks to be about 150 pounds.

Am pulling with a 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel so I have more than enough power to pull. My question is what all goes into the figuring for the GVWR so I don't overload the axles.

I'm figuring the capacity of LP & water tanks, weight of people, bike & carrier I plan to put on the TT hitch, everything in outside storage & as well as everything I load inside. Do I include the weight of the trailer tongue (is that what the thing is called holding the LP tanks)?

Hopefully, I can find someplace (live is a small town) to weigh the TT after the awning is installed to be sure of the beginning weight. Then weigh again after all is loaded. Just don't want to be tossing stuff out 'cause I didn't plan it correctly in the first place.

Thanks for all your suggestions,

Patsy
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:33 AM   #2
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The weight of the TT , tongue ( hitch ) should be 10% of the total trailer weight and figures into the rear axle weight rating ( RAWR ) of the truck, when attached.
Your being cautious with your weights, and finding a scale would be a big help, look into truck stops in your area, gravel companies, garbage collection contractors, all have scales or know where they are.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:03 AM   #3
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10% is a bit low. Tongue weight should be between 12% and 15% of loaded trailer weight.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:17 AM   #4
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If you can go to a local moving company and have it weighed. I know we have a Bekins here and they will weigh for free if you don't need a certificate. Check there first.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
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Use a segmented, certified scale if possible. CAT Scale has an online locator; there are two within 20-miles of you. About $9 for initial weigh, and $1 for each re-weigh on the same day. Two different trips to the scale will suffice to set up the hitch rigging optimally.

You'll want the adjusted empty weight of the truck. That is driver, full fuel and permanent supplies aboard, but nothing else. This is Weigh #1

Weigh #2 is of the trailer, empty, but for full fresh water + propane and only permanent supplies aboard

Weigh #3 is of the truck as loaded for camping, solo.

Weigh #4 is of the truck + trailer, both loaded; WD [weight distribution] not applied

Weigh #5 is of the above [#4], but with WD applied

Loads are what are seen at individual wheels. This is the vital final piece:

RMA Tire Service Professionals: Choose RV section

Proper weight distribution is shown this way, plus tire loads on both vehicles are highlighted for dead certain pressures (and making sure TT tires still have a 12% load reserve even with WD applied).

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Old 03-29-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies!!!

Using the CAT Scale's online locator shows a Love's Truck Stop about 14 miles from me. Next week I'm having the awning installed and that will be good time to get my first weighing (will make sure both LP tanks are full). That will give me a first indication of trailer weight (will figure in the fresh water weight at 8.3 lbs per gallon).

Do I pull the TT on the scale (double axle) and unhitch from truck to get the weight? Or can I just make sure the truck is off the scales and leave hitched?

Thanks,
Patsy


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CAT Scale has an online locator
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:15 AM   #7
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Proper set

Hello Yoda , It's good to see people taking the set up seriously. Bad things can happen when you don't have enough tongue weight, ie loss of traction or control to the pulling vehcle, so have fun and always motor safely.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:38 AM   #8
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You may not be able to weigh just the trailer unless you unhitch it. My suggestion: at the CAT scale there are usually 3-4 segments which weigh independently of each other. Drive on so that your front truck axle is on the first segment, the rear truck axle is on the second segment and the trailer is on the third segment, with the tongue jack just on the same segment. Get a weight as you sit there hitched to travel, then use the tongue jack to raise the trailer just to where there is no weight on the truck hitch and take a 2nd reading. This will give you a lot of info on how the hitch is transferring weight--besides, you really need to know how much your truck weighs also.
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
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Thanks.... I was wondering how to weigh both the truck & trailer. Being a single woman and not wanting unnecessary trouble down the road I want to be sure all is well with the weights.

Patsy



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You may not be able to weigh just the trailer unless you unhitch it. My suggestion: at the CAT scale there are usually 3-4 segments which weigh independently of each other. Drive on so that your front truck axle is on the first segment, the rear truck axle is on the second segment and the trailer is on the third segment, with the tongue jack just on the same segment. Get a weight as you sit there hitched to travel, then use the tongue jack to raise the trailer just to where there is no weight on the truck hitch and take a 2nd reading. This will give you a lot of info on how the hitch is transferring weight--besides, you really need to know how much your truck weighs also.
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:21 PM   #10
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It can be a little intimidating around a large truck stop, but maybe you can find one that isn't real busy at the time. Check in with clerk first about the 2 weights, this will save you money if you don't leave the scales between the weighings. Many of them charge a full fee if you drive off the scales between readings. Also, be careful stepping out of your truck if the scales are above ground...
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:06 AM   #11
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My Update..

Had a new awning installed and felt this is the perfect time to visit the Love's Truck Stop with a CAT scale down the road. All was fine until I pulled on the scales and looked up to find the "call" button. It was so high up that I couldn't even reach it standing on the running boards of my truck. Guess it's put there for the easy of truckers!

Got to find another place now......


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It can be a little intimidating around a large truck stop, but maybe you can find one that isn't real busy at the time.
Joe

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Old 04-20-2013, 11:27 AM   #12
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Got to find another place now......
Hi, shorty!

I'm a shorty, too. You don't need another place with another CAT scale. All the CAT scales are about the same distance from the ground to the call button. You just have to "make do".

I have to open the driver's window, then climb up and stand on the window sill to reach the call button. I've done it numerous times. But if you're too squeamish to do that, or maybe you think that's unladylike, then use a cheater pole.

Lots of us with pickups or SUVs use a cheater pole. Build a pole about 6' tall our of a good 2x2 pine board that has no big pine knots to weaken the board. Nail or screw a short piece of 1x2 or 2x2 (maybe 3 or 4" long) on the end of the pole. Store the pole in the basement of the RV. No need to finish it, but you might want to sand it to be sure there are no splinters, and maybe seal it with a stain or paint so new splinters won't show up later. At the scale, use that pole to reach up and tap the call button.

If you can find a good piece of 1x2 pine long enough, that might work too. But be sure it has no knots in it or it will break very easily into useless lengths.

Or for a lighter pole, make your cheater pole out of 1/2" PVC pipe. Cut the pipe so you have a piece about 6' long. Add a 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2" PVC "Tee" on the end of it. PVC Tees come if various configurations of slick and threaded openings. I'd probably use one with a "slick" hole on the base opening and use PVC cement to glue the Tee onto the pole. Then with threaded openings on both ends of the "T", screw in 1/2" PVC threaded plugs into the threaded openings. Then you have a good "tack hammer" with which to tap the call button.

Even fancier would be to use a 3/4" dowel rod about 6' long. (Think of a 6' long broomstick.) Dowel rods are available at most hardware stores, but they may not have any as long as 6'. Using a dowel rod, you'd probably still need to add something for a head to tap the call button with.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:54 AM   #13
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I made a dry run to the closest CAT scales just to make sure what I was doing. I went into the Pilot and asked questions. Cost was $10 for the 1st weight and $2 for the 2nd.

Never thought to look for a 'call button'.

on my way to the hardware store.
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