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Old 05-30-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 43
Tongue Wt and Wt Distribution Question

We are new to RVing and I've got a question about my tongue wt and weight distribution.

We currently own a Grand Design Transcend 26RLS travel trailer, the sticker on the trailer says that the GVWR = 8495 lbs and the UVW = 6708 lbs.

My tow vehicle is a 2018 Ram 2500 CTD. My Payload is 2400 lbs, max tongue wt is 1800 lbs and max towing is 17,100 lbs. We are using a Hensley Arrow hitch with 1000 weight distribution bars.

Unfortunately I can't find an RV scale locally, so I bought a tongue weight scale, just so I'd at least know my tongue wt while I search for a scale. If I can't locate an RV scale soon I'm planning to unload the trailer and weigh everything one piece at a time and tally it up. The trailer is currently sitting in our yard all loaded up with our "camping stuff" minus food and our clothes. The kitchen cabinets basically sit over the trailer axles, so I don't think adding food will any increase the tongue wt at all. The clothes on the other hand are another story, since the bedroom is in the front of the trailer. So I took 4 storage bins of cloths, which is more cloths than we'd ever pack and put 2 of them in the storage bin under the bed and the put the other 2 on the bed but under the storage cabinets. Also, all of the tanks are empty, but these are all close to the axles. Then I weighed the tongue using my new scale and it weighed 950 lbs.

Is my 950 lb tongue weight too close the 1000 lb weight distribution bars? Should I go with the next larger size? The trailer seems to tow fine and the truck sits very level when hitched up, but I'm no expert. We don't experience any sway at all, even when passed by huge trucks on very windy days. When we do go over a bumb in the road the trailer does seem to push the truck up and down for a brief moment then steadies right out. Is this normal or does it mean that I need more weight distribution.


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Old 05-30-2019, 12:16 PM   #2
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You have plenty of truck to pull that trailer, cargo capacity to spare, and a Hensley Arrow with proper sized bars. Your rig is level, and you experience no sway. The slight up and down over bumps is normal. People who say they "can't tell it's back there" are not paying enough attention to what they're doing, or they are lying. In any event, it sounds like you are just fine. In fact, you are way ahead of most newbies, as well as a fair number of experienced RVers.

Call it good and go camping! Enjoy!

BTW, you can find scales at grain elevators, gravel and landscaping supply companies, and scrap yards. Or just wait until you're on a trip and pull in to a truck stop with a CAT scale.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BeerBrewer View Post
...Unfortunately I can't find an RV scale locally, so I bought a tongue weight scale, just so I'd at least know my tongue wt while I search for a scale.
Try again. Click on this link, then scroll down a half-screen. If there is not a CAT scale near you, then you are really lost out in the tullies.


Is my 950 lb tongue weight too close the 1000 lb weight distribution bars?
No. You may need to tighten the spring bars almost as tight as thy will go, but your hitch is perfectly matched to your current tongue weight (TW).

However, use your TW scale religiously. If TW exceeds 1,000 pounds, then you'll need a step up in spring bar weight capacity/

Should I go with the next larger size?
Not unless later use of the TW scale indicates you have gained TW so you exceed 1,000 pounds.

The trailer seems to tow fine and the truck sits very level when hitched up,
A level tuck is not important. What is important is the floor of the trailer must be a close as possible to level, front to rear, after it's connected and the spring bars are adjusted.
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).
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:27 PM   #4
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I'm relieved!

As for the truck scale locator I tried it and the closest one it found is 48 miles away, which isn't too bad, except that I'd have to drive thru NYC to get there! I just did the exact drive and it took me 4 hours and I'm not doing it again. The other 2 sites that it are 28 and 38 mile way, but only as the crow flies. They are across Long Island Sound in CT and they would take 2-3 hours to get to.

We have a trip planned for upstate NY in August, I will try to get it weighed near the campsite.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:17 PM   #5
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I would recommend loading th CAT Scales app on your phone. We just weighed our rig recently and the app made it SOOOO easy. Hint: create your account online and then load app and login.

Once you're on the scale, you give the app the scale ID number and take a weight. Then you can re-weigh as often as needed to get all your weights. Warning: don't expect the weigh tickets to show in the app......they email each ticket to you.

Go get weighed!
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:23 AM   #6
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You may also be able to use your state's commercial truck weigh stations when they're closed. Washington state has a policy of leaving the scales on and encouraging people to weigh their rigs. You won't get a printed piece of paper, but you'll see the weight on the display board.
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:14 PM   #7
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Van and storage (household furniture) often have scales.
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