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Old 09-25-2021, 11:46 PM   #1
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Weigh Safe Hitch - Driving me nutty, doing it wrong or have an issue?

I have a weigh safe drop hitch on my 2009 3500 Long Bed Dually Quad Cab 4x4. We are currently down sizing and what we're keeping I am loading into a 24' aluminum cargo trailer for our cross country move.



I cannot get a consistent weight reading on the weigh safe hitch and it is driving me nuts. With no movement nor changes to truck/trailer contents, it varies from 500lbs in the morning (cooler, mid 40s out) to nearly 2000lbs in the late afternoon today (warmer, 80s out) then down to 1000lbs or so the next morning. It's an aluminum hitch, is something maybe heating up and expanding during the day? If so, I would think it would go back to the previous day's reading though?


I have tried rolling the truck and trailer forward a few feet and back again to make sure everything is smoothly connected and not bound up anywhere. When I initially did the roll back and forth a few times, the weight reading dropped from 1500lbs down to 400. Thought I had it, something was bound up. But then no changes to the truck/trailer, the next day, late afternoon, it was up to nearly 1500lbs and today it went up to 2000 lbs. Absolutely no movement of the vehicles, no addition to anything, everything has been locked up for past few days. DW thinks I'm crazy as I go outside every few hours to 'check what the hitch reads now'. She thinks I'm too obsessed.



I am befuddled. Anyone have any ideas or ever experience something like this? It is driving me nuts. I am going overboard with trying to keep weights properly balanced - inventorying, weighing, and labeling every item/box/container that goes into the trailer and even keeping a map of where it goes in the trailer. DW says I'm crazy, but when she wanted something that was packed, I was able to get it for her in a matter of minutes. I currently have a bulk of the contents/weight over the dual axles to just about 2 feet in front of the axles. There is some light furniture behind the axles, and a tool chest up at the front of the trailer, don't have exact weight on the tool chest, but estimate about 400 lbs or so. A current tongue weight of 700-1000 would make sense to me, the constant variance with no changes made does not make any sense to me.



Thanks,
Joe
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Tow Vehicle - 2009 Dodge RAM 3500, Cummins 6.7L, 4x4, Quad Cab, Long Bed, DRW, 4.10 rear
5th Wheel - 2016 Keystone Alpine 3900RE, 39'6" length, 15,500 GVWR
Cargo Trailer - 2021 Express 8x24 Aluminum cargo trailer, 9990 GVWR
Motorcycle Trailer - 2014 Aluma MC10, 2000 GVWR
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:15 AM   #2
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It sounds like air bubbles in the oil. Bleed out the air and give it a try.
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Old 09-26-2021, 08:36 AM   #3
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I have had a scale go bad on one of mine. A seal blew and it didn't work at all after the oil blew out. They will send you a new sale replacement kit for free under limited lifetime warranty and they are easy to replace. I would give them a shout and ask for a scale replacement kit if bleeding the air out of the oil does not work.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:35 PM   #4
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Is there grease on the ball? No grease could cause it to bind up.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:17 PM   #5
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Thanks guys

Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. I didn't know how the internal scale system worked. With your feedback I was able to search and find a video on repairing the gauge and the video walks through bleeding and filling the system with hydraulic fluid. I just wasn't searching well last night prior to reading your feedback. Now I have an idea what to do and I'm going to give it a shot today. I'll let you all know how I make out.


I will also make sure I put a light deal of grease on the ball. Any preferred type/brands?



As always, the knowledge and experience here is invaluable and I am thankful for it all.



Thanks,
Joe
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Tow Vehicle - 2009 Dodge RAM 3500, Cummins 6.7L, 4x4, Quad Cab, Long Bed, DRW, 4.10 rear
5th Wheel - 2016 Keystone Alpine 3900RE, 39'6" length, 15,500 GVWR
Cargo Trailer - 2021 Express 8x24 Aluminum cargo trailer, 9990 GVWR
Motorcycle Trailer - 2014 Aluma MC10, 2000 GVWR
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Old 09-26-2021, 10:05 PM   #6
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Well I bled the hitch today. Sorta weird. There was definitely a hiss of air as I opened the plug on the back, yet the fluid level was right at the hole. I added a little more hydraulic fluid, tapped it a bunch, rotated it as shown in the video and put the plug back in. Also spread some high temp / high pressure grease on the ball. Seems to have settled in at around 900 lbs which strikes me as reasonable for whats in the trailer currently and has held pretty steady since late afternoon. We'll see what it reads in the morning and throughout the day tomorrow.

I'm using as a reference.

Thanks,
Joe
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Tow Vehicle - 2009 Dodge RAM 3500, Cummins 6.7L, 4x4, Quad Cab, Long Bed, DRW, 4.10 rear
5th Wheel - 2016 Keystone Alpine 3900RE, 39'6" length, 15,500 GVWR
Cargo Trailer - 2021 Express 8x24 Aluminum cargo trailer, 9990 GVWR
Motorcycle Trailer - 2014 Aluma MC10, 2000 GVWR
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Old 09-27-2021, 10:31 AM   #7
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Scale reading has varied a little from yesterday. Today, despite no changes, it is reading 1100 lbs so far. Spoke with weigh safe this morning and they're sending me the full rebuild kit. Should be here in 2 days, cutting it close and it won't help me as I load, but I guess it'll tell me if I need to unload and repack once I get it.


Thanks,
Joe
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Tow Vehicle - 2009 Dodge RAM 3500, Cummins 6.7L, 4x4, Quad Cab, Long Bed, DRW, 4.10 rear
5th Wheel - 2016 Keystone Alpine 3900RE, 39'6" length, 15,500 GVWR
Cargo Trailer - 2021 Express 8x24 Aluminum cargo trailer, 9990 GVWR
Motorcycle Trailer - 2014 Aluma MC10, 2000 GVWR
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:41 PM   #8
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Sigh, so my bleeding of the system and greasing the ball didn't help much. This afternoon, no changes to truck/trailer load, and it's back up to 1600lbs. Not that hot out, overcast and occasional drizzle. Hoping the rebuild kit fixes things up. 2 or 3 days for that to show up.


Thanks,
Joe
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Tow Vehicle - 2009 Dodge RAM 3500, Cummins 6.7L, 4x4, Quad Cab, Long Bed, DRW, 4.10 rear
5th Wheel - 2016 Keystone Alpine 3900RE, 39'6" length, 15,500 GVWR
Cargo Trailer - 2021 Express 8x24 Aluminum cargo trailer, 9990 GVWR
Motorcycle Trailer - 2014 Aluma MC10, 2000 GVWR
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Old 10-01-2021, 05:28 PM   #9
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Is this a new hitch? If so, time to request a replacement hitch to replace defective same.

Try jacking up your receiver a little to make it solid to the ground. This will give you your best chance for accurate tongue weight regardless of your truck springs and the load in the bed.
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Old 10-02-2021, 08:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilD View Post
Is this a new hitch? If so, time to request a replacement hitch to replace defective same.
Weigh Safe has a lifetime warranty on the scale, which can go bad occasionally (especially if the weight on the hitch gets overloaded or abused loading equipment). Replacing the scale is free and easy and takes about 10 minutes.
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Old 10-02-2021, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by immortl View Post
Sigh, so my bleeding of the system and greasing the ball didn't help much. This afternoon, no changes to truck/trailer load, and it's back up to 1600lbs. Not that hot out, overcast and occasional drizzle. Hoping the rebuild kit fixes things up. 2 or 3 days for that to show up.


Thanks,
Joe
So if the bleeding didn't help and the pressure is reading high then it's probably a piston seal. Oil that leaks past the seal applies downward pressure on top of the piston and you get what is called hydraulic pressure intensification. A scored cylinder wall would also cause the same problem. I think the new seal will fix it.
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Old 10-03-2021, 01:22 AM   #12
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Thank you folks for all the insight. I've been busy sorting and packing (week 6 now of what I though would take a week, sigh) but the rebuild kit did arrive on Thursday. It's a lot better now, some variance during the day, but now no more than 2 or or 300 lbs when it warms up outside. Ultimately, yes if this continues I'll send it back, but for right now I need it and don't have the time to wait for a new one before I hit the road. I'm already a few weeks behind.

To answer some questions - This was a new hitch. It's been parked in my driveway with trailer attached for about 6 weeks now. Loading of weight into the trailer is slow, 30-60lb increments at a time. I'm basically doing all this packing myself hence it taking me forever.

Thanks
Joe
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