Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-04-2019, 06:10 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Tongue weight question

I have a question that, based on my personal searches, hasn't been posted or discussed. The question has to do with tongue weight. Admittedly, I'm quite new to this world, but I've done extensive research and feel confident that I'd ace any written test. Now, since we all know that ideally you'd like your tongue weight to be 10-15% of gross trailer weight (or ACTUAL, loaded trailer weight), how does one actually go about obtaining this weight? I've seen many people post with the suggestion that they fall in that tongue weight sweet spot. But without a tongue weight scale......HOW?! I've researched tongue weight scales and I really don't want to come out of pocket for $150 for a product that will see very minimal use. Also, I don't actually see how to use a CAT scale to determine this, either. Thoughts from the smart people, please.
Metallicat is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-04-2019, 06:40 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
CecilD's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 686
Welcome to the forum. Some people use a bathroom scale and a 4 or 5 to one lever. Support the end of a two by eight or four by four with a piece of pipe or similar. One foot over, center your tongue jack, another four feet over block up the board on your bathroom scale. Multiply the scale's reading by four. Make sure you read the weight of the board before applying your trailer's weight and deduct from the reading. Not perfect, but close enough.
__________________
2004.5 Ram 3500 2WD DRW
2008 Carriage, tows at 10k#
CecilD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 09:04 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
tuffr2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Palm Coast Florida
Posts: 9,920
I think you can come close with a CAT scale. It will take 2 weights. One with truck only then one with truck and trailer without a weight distribution hitch.

The truck's rear axle weight difference will be very close to the tongue weight.

It would be close enough for me.
tuffr2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 09:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: OKC
Posts: 548
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I think you can come close with a CAT scale. It will take 2 weights. One with truck only then one with truck and trailer without a weight distribution hitch.

The truck's rear axle weight difference will be very close to the tongue weight.

It would be close enough for me.
This method would exaggerate your tongue weight. The trailer has leverage on your rear axle, so it would put additional weight on your rear axle, and remove it from the front. Depending on the distance between your rear axle and hitch, this can be dramatic. On my trailer, I weighed (with the tongue weight scale) 650 lbs of tongue weight. Hooked up to my RV with no WD hitch, it added 1200 lbs to the rear axle.

You know, though, if you looked at the total weights between both truck axles, I think this would work.
__________________
2018 Minnie Winnie 25B
E450
DirtRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 09:25 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Nowhere, now here. Freedom!
Posts: 4,601
There are a few ways to find the tongue weight.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx
__________________
ORV 19B Full Timer from '15 to '20, '14 Ram 2500 Diesel and a GSD. Vancouver, WA
de K7NOL 146.52Mhz Safety? (CLICK ME!)
1bigmess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 10:02 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Jayco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 22
Cost/Benefit of tongue weight scale

Shearling LM 2000 cost $130.00 new.
Benefit is that you can KNOW your tongue weight...which likely will change from trip to trip...more or less.
It is likely that over time you will learn what tongue weight to expect under your unique loading scenarios. You can then sell the scale if you wish, likely for half or more of it's purchase price. Net cost then would be $65.00 or less. I believe that knowing the tongue weight is worth the full $130.00 ... so I will likely keep mine.

Like they say, 'to make rabbit stew, start with a rabbit'!
Lafayettemo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 10:16 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 16,465
Two trips/3 weigh tickets across CAT Scales
1st weigh----Truck/trailer WITH WDH hooked up
2nd weigh....still on scales----Truck/trailer W/O WDH hooked up


Then drive off...drop trailer in parking lot and do 3rd weigh...Truck only


$20/$30 for all three weigh tickets and you have ALL the weights needed to figure Trucks GVWR, Truck/Trailer GCVWR, Affect of WDH, Tongue weight, Axle weights etc


Simple......
__________________
Is it time for YOUR Medication or Mine?
Dodge 3500 w/Tractor Motor & NUWA 5vr
US NAVY---USS Decatur DDG-31
Old-Biscuit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 10:19 PM   #8
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 4,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallicat View Post
Now, since we all know that ideally you'd like your tongue weight to be 10-15% of gross trailer weight (or ACTUAL, loaded trailer weight), …
10 to 15% of actual gross trailer weight is the number usually spouted by the informed. But if you want a better towing trailer, then you need to have at least 12% tongue weight (TW). 13% is the average TW for a travel trailer (TT), and more than 13% doesn't really help any, so I recommend getting as close as possible to 13% but not less than 12%.

Quote:
...how does one actually go about obtaining this weight?
I have thousands of dollars tied up in my tow vehicle, hitch, and RV trailer, so the additional cost for a tongue weight scale is only a tiny percentage of the whole package. Mine cost $125 several years ago, and still works fine.
Here's mine: https://www.etrailer.com/Tools/Sherline/5780.html

You'll use it more than you think. I use mine several times each year.

Even if you have a tongue weight scale, you still must know the gross trailer weight or so you can compute percent of TW

Quote:
Also, I don't actually see how to use a CAT scale to determine this, either.
Follow the bouncing ball:

1] Remove the spring bars from the weight-distributing (WD) hitch and put them in the bed near the tailgate.

2] With the trailer loaded to as close as possible to the way it will be loaded when on the road, weigh the rig on a CAT scale. That will get you the weights on the steer, drive, and trailer axles and the gross weight on all axles of the rig.

3] Drop the trailer in the parking lot, and weigh the tow vehicle without the trailer. The tow vehicle need not be wet and loaded for the road, but it should be loaded the same for both the above two trips across the scale

4] Add the weights on the steer and drive axles to get gross vehicle weight (GVW) for both scale tickets.

5. Subtract the GVW without the trailer from the GVW with the trailer and the answer is tongue weight (TW).

6] Add the weight on the trailer axles to the TW to get gross trailer weight.

7] Redudancy: Subtract the gross weight without the trailer from the gross weight with the trailer to get gross trailer weight.

Note: the two weights for gross trailer weight may not be exactly the same because of rounding of the weights on the various scale pads.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Okay, now you know both the TW and the gross trailer weight. Divide TW by gross trailer weight. If the answer is 12% to 14%, you're golden. But if not, then you need to move weight around in the trailer and compute TW again. Now the lights should come on in your brain to say "Hey, if you had a tongue weight scale, you could simply weigh the tongue again." But without a TW scale, you have to go back to the CAT sale and weigh the rig again. Maybe three or four times to get it nailed down perfect.
__________________
Grumpy ole man with over 60 years towing experience. Now my heaviest trailer is a 7,000-pound enclosed cargo trailer, RV is a 5,600 pound Skyline Nomad Joey 196-S, and my tow vehicle is a 2019 F-150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost SuperCab with Max Tow (1,904 pounds payload capacity).
SmokeyWren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 11:47 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 419
I tow lots of different things (flat bed, dump trailer, TT, boat, et.) and I like to know the tongue weight each time out. I also like to get the trailer level. But I don't like guessing, or math or hassles all that much. So I bought a weigh-safe hitch and liked it so much I bought one for my wife's SUV. It was a bit spendy, but it is a breeze to adjust the hitch height and worth it to know the tongue weight for each and every trip.

https://www.weigh-safe.com
jjackrash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2019, 08:01 AM   #10
Moderator Emeritus
 
SmokeyWren's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Midland County, Texas
Posts: 4,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackrash View Post
But I don't like guessing, or math or hassles all that much. So I bought a weigh-safe hitch and liked it so much I bought one for my wife's SUV.
Those are great if all you need is a weight-carrying (WC) hitch. But any trailer with more than 500 pounds tongue weight and towed by a half-ton tow vehicle requires a weight-distributing (WD) hitch. I don't know of any WD hitches that can be used with a weigh-safe hitch. So if your travel or cargo trailer grosses more than about 3,850 pounds when wet and loaded on the road, you still need a tongue-weight scale.
SmokeyWren is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2019, 09:16 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 419
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
Those are great if all you need is a weight-carrying (WC) hitch. But any trailer with more than 500 pounds tongue weight and towed by a half-ton tow vehicle requires a weight-distributing (WD) hitch. I don't know of any WD hitches that can be used with a weigh-safe hitch. So if your travel or cargo trailer grosses more than about 3,850 pounds when wet and loaded on the road, you still need a tongue-weight scale.
You are correct about the WD hitch. I don't tow heavy with a 1/2 ton and don't usually use a WD hitch. However, in a pinch you can still use the weigh-safe hitch as a scale and then swap it out for a distribution hitch.
jjackrash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2019, 09:21 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 45
Wow! Thanks for all the informative responses. It looks like I've got a lot to look into this evening when I get more time.
Metallicat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 08:06 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 8
Hypothetical then a Question:

Tow Vehicle GVWR = 10,000 #
Tow Vehicle Weight =. 7600#
Carrying Capacity. = 2500#
I am technically 100# over weight

Now this newbie has a question. I can already see the eyebrows raising and the laughs. This is probably a stupid question.

My tires weigh 224#. My truck is not carrying those tires. Why would the weight of the tires be included in the weight of the truck. If they weren't , the truck body and suspension would only weigh 9876#. Now I'm 124# under. I guess I could inflate my tires with helium. (Ha)

I am not trying to be a wise guy but limiting weights are for reasons of structural integrity of the Vehicle and safety. Many, its just peace of mind, even if its only 100 or 200 pounds. Knowing you are legal.
I do have a life, just a crazy question.
Yellowcub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2019, 08:22 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Outdoors RV Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Nowhere, now here. Freedom!
Posts: 4,601
__________________
ORV 19B Full Timer from '15 to '20, '14 Ram 2500 Diesel and a GSD. Vancouver, WA
de K7NOL 146.52Mhz Safety? (CLICK ME!)
1bigmess is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
tongue weight, weight



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dead tongue weight vs wd weight cherv Travel Trailer Discussion 9 02-24-2018 02:02 PM
Older tow vehicle for 2014 Puma 32DBKS Tongue weight: 758 Dry weight: 8703 ChiefGeek Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 11 07-18-2017 12:48 PM
Tongue weight and weight distribution hitch BuzzWolfAR Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 19 10-20-2016 10:28 AM
Tongue weight - should I be concerned? Hitch weight 15% of trailer in stock form.... wankel7 Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 4 04-12-2016 06:06 PM
Receiver hitch weight & tongue weight 1010 Trailer Towing and Tow Vehicles Discussion 36 03-01-2014 11:33 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.