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Old 05-17-2013, 05:43 PM   #1
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Crunching the Scale Numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
The cat scale folks don't care what you weigh. Having the weight ticket (showing "in limits") could get you out of one if stopped "for looking overloaded."

For a 5th wheel it is easy.

1) Loaded as you would for camping, with a full tank of gas and your family aboard...

2) Pull up and onto scale pulling all the way forward placing your front wheels on the small leading scale plate.

3) Get out and make sure your rear axle is on the second plate and the camper's wheels are on the third plate.

4) Use a yard stick to reach up and push the "press to talk" button (or call them with your cell phone) to get your initial weight and tell them you will need a second "reweigh."

5) Drive to the parking area and drop the camper.

6) Drive back onto the scale and putting the truck exactly where it was before; press the button and get your second weight.

7) Go hook up your camper and go to the shack to get your weight tickets.

8) the first weigh is 10 bucks; the second is 1 dollar.

treat your family to dinner and figure out the data.
My tickets for a previous camping trip are attached.

If you subtract the truck alone weight from the combined weight you will get your true camper weight. (Compare to the camper's GVWR to make sure the camper is not overloaded)

Add the truck axles (connected) together and subtract the disconnected truck weight to get your true pin weight.

Add the truck axles (loaded) and compare to your trucks max gross weight (GVWR) to make sure the truck is not overloaded.

Compare the connected combined weight to your truck's maximum combined weight (GCWR) to make sure your truck can pull the combination.
would pin lbs be the same as tongue lbs on a tt ? crunching numbers as I got weighed today
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
would pin lbs be the same as tongue lbs on a tt ? crunching numbers as I got weighed today
I guess this is for me.

In a 5th wheel the portion of the camper's weight carried by the truck's hitch is called pin weight. In a travel trailer (bumper pull), the portion of the camper's weight carried by the truck's hitch is called tongue weight.

If you picture both type campers as "teeter totters" with the wheels as the fulcrum, you will get the idea as to why all this matters.

In a trailer, the wheels are located "about" the center of the camper. They are moved forward or back depending on where the weight is located (empty). The "Big Weight" is not your camping gear (unless you are me ), it is where the kitchen is located and the number and location of the slide mechanisms.

Rear heavy travel trailers (like rear kitchen models) are designed to place the wheels farther aft to keep the weight "on the tongue" approximately 12% of gross camper weight empty FROM THE FACTORY.

Rear heavy 5th wheel trailers (like rear kitchen models) are also designed to place the wheels farther aft to keep the weight "on the pin" approximately 18% of gross camper weight FROM THE FACTORY.

Depending on where your storage is located, your load plan will have an effect on the final percentage of camper weight to be carried by the truck. This will almost always be more (sometimes A LOT more), than the published "dry pin or tongue". You should always try to load to 12% (travel trailer) or 18% (5th wheel) of total camper weight.

The "Why" is the way the trailer will handle. Placing too much of the weight aft of the fulcrum (wheel set), will result in unsafe handling (severe sway and a tendency to swap ends in a panic stop). Too much forward located weight will result in a nose heavy camper that will nose dive under heavy breaking and lift the front end of the truck reducing steerage (potentially eliminating the ability to control the truck).

Obviously, since even a case of water will have some effect on your final weight distribution, getting accurate axles weights is very important.

Those who think "anything goes" are certainly entitled to their opinion.

Personally, I think my family is entitled to every possible Ace I can put in their hands. I am no automotive engineer; nor am I a lawyer or or automotive executive whose job depends on selling cars, I am a husband and a father. There is no way I would knowingly exceed a limit that could even remotely put my family at risk without a DARN good reason.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
I guess this is for me.

In a 5th wheel the portion of the camper's weight carried by the truck's hitch is called pin weight. In a travel trailer (bumper pull), the portion of the camper's weight carried by the truck's hitch is called tongue weight.

If you picture both type campers as "teeter totters" with the wheels as the fulcrum, you will get the idea as to why all this matters.

In a trailer, the wheels are located "about" the center of the camper. They are moved forward or back depending on where the weight is located (empty). The "Big Weight" is not your camping gear (unless you are me ), it is where the kitchen is located and the number and location of the slide mechanisms.

Rear heavy travel trailers (like rear kitchen models) are designed to place the wheels farther aft to keep the weight "on the tongue" approximately 12% of gross camper weight empty FROM THE FACTORY.

Rear heavy 5th wheel trailers (like rear kitchen models) are also designed to place the wheels farther aft to keep the weight "on the pin" approximately 18% of gross camper weight FROM THE FACTORY.

Depending on where your storage is located, your load plan will have an effect on the final percentage of camper weight to be carried by the truck. This will almost always be more (sometimes A LOT more), than the published "dry pin or tongue". You should always try to load to 12% (travel trailer) or 18% (5th wheel) of total camper weight.

The "Why" is the way the trailer will handle. Placing too much of the weight aft of the fulcrum (wheel set), will result in unsafe handling (severe sway and a tendency to swap ends in a panic stop). Too much forward located weight will result in a nose heavy camper that will nose dive under heavy breaking and lift the front end of the truck reducing steerage (potentially eliminating the ability to control the truck).

Obviously, since even a case of water will have some effect on your final weight distribution, getting accurate axles weights is very important.

Those who think "anything goes" are certainly entitled to their opinion.

Personally, I think my family is entitled to every possible Ace I can put in their hands. I am no automotive engineer; nor am I a lawyer or or automotive executive whose job depends on selling cars, I am a husband and a father. There is no way I would knowingly exceed a limit that could even remotely put my family at risk without a DARN good reason.

Hope that helps.
Thanks Lou thats all good info , but what I was getting at was.....
So here is my numbers
truck w/camper
15060 total
3280 frnt axle
4040 drive axle
trailer axles 7740

Truck w/o camper
front 3680
rear 2800
gross 6480

subtract the truck alone weight from the combined weight you will get your true camper weight. (Compare to the camper's GVWR to make sure the camper is not overloaded)

Add the truck axles (connected) together and subtract the disconnected truck weight to get your true pin weight. Would this number also be tongue weight?
If so my tongue lbs would be 840 lbs..
That below the 875 the unit states. That could be because of my weight distribution hitch.
I am thinking Im good / safe. . What say you?
I also found this website
Travel Trailer Weight Calculator

Thanks again Lou
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
So here is my numbers
truck w/camper
15060 total
3280 frnt axle
4040 drive axle
trailer axles 7740

Truck w/o camper
front 3680
rear 2800
gross 6480
Looking at those numbers if the spring bars are in place, then you need to get more weight added back to the front axle. It doesn't look like much weight at all is being distributed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
Subtract the truck alone weight from the combined weight you will get your true camper weight. (Compare to the camper's GVWR to make sure the camper is not overloaded)
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
Add the truck axles (connected) together and subtract the disconnected truck weight to get your true pin weight. Would this number also be tongue weight?
Yes.....but not if the spring bars are in place. You need to make 1 pass across the scales without the spring bars in place to get an actual tongue weight.

Kudos for getting the information needed to tweak your setup to get the best towing experience.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
Looking at those numbers if the spring bars are in place, then you need to get more weight added back to the front axle. It doesn't look like much weight at all is being distributed.



Yes.



Yes.....but not if the spring bars are in place. You need to make 1 pass across the scales without the spring bars in place to get an actual tongue weight.

Kudos for getting the information needed to tweak your setup to get the best towing experience.
With the bars on it would give me towing tongue lbs.
When I did the set up the first time I played around with several set ups.
If I put more pressure on the bars / adding a washer it put my front end below stock height. According to the manual thats a no no.
I am within 1/8" of stock height in the front. The bars regained more then half of the rise in the front end.
I going to double check and go over it again for sure.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
With the bars on it would give me towing tongue lbs.
When I did the set up the first time I played around with several set ups.
If I put more pressure on the bars / adding a washer it put my front end below stock height. According to the manual thats a no no.
I am within 1/8" of stock height in the front. The bars regained more then half of the rise in the front end.
I going to double check and go over it again for sure.
The WDH does not change the tongue weight........with any given load distribution in your trailer, it will always be "x" amount.

What the WDH does is distribute the tongue weight. It takes it off of the rear TV axle, puts more weight on the front TV axle, and puts some weight back on other the trailer axles. The weight that is put back onto the trailer axles will be missing from the relative difference in weights shown on the truck axles with and without the trailer hooked up, therefore giving you a "false" tongue weight figure.

Darn, I think I just confused myself.

If your truck manual shows that the front axle should never be lower than the unloaded weight, then that is what you need to follow. I understand that may 3/4 ton trucks have that stated.

Taking 300 lbs off of the front of my truck makes the fender go up almost 1/2".....but that is a 1/2 ton truck, not a 3/4 ton.

I am not familiar with the Equalizer setup, but would think that just 1 washer should not make that big of a difference. Can the brackets on the trailer tongue be adjusted some ??
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
I am within 1/8" of stock height in the front. The bars regained more then half of the rise in the front end.
Plato, that statement gets my attention. Where are you measuring ?? The front bumper will give you all sorts of weird numbers. The front fenders are usually what need to be measured.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Plato, that statement gets my attention. Where are you measuring ?? The front bumper will give you all sorts of weird numbers. The front fenders are usually what need to be measured.
Front fenders centered to the wheel and I measure both sides. Without weight distribution Its long 1/2" and with it hooked up Im a 3 /32. Adding the 7th washer dropped the front end 1/16". The equalizer manual stated never have a lower front then stock height. I may add the 7th or 8th washer and lower the L brackets and see what the reading is. If I just raise the L brackets they would slope up to the camper. Thats not recommended either. Spring arms need to be parallel to the frame or sloped down to the camper.
I going to re-try adjusting this again. But that said you think 400 lbs off the front is too much / unsafe??
I have thoughts of airbags........ worked out great on my last truck.
I would think tongue lbs hooked up is what you have at that time. That weight is being moved to the front and camper wheels. Next time I go to the scale I will weigh it w/o wdh hooked up.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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OK,

1) Weighing the camper/truck combination WITHOUT the WD bars installed is critical.

2) WITH the bars installed, the front axle CAN NOT weigh LESS than the truck without the camper on unless you are not transferring any weight at all.

Herk

True tongue weight can ONLY be found without WD bars.
Everything else gets faked out by the bars.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
Front fenders centered to the wheel and I measure both sides. Without weight distribution Its long 1/2" and with it hooked up Im a 3 /32. Adding the 7th washer dropped the front end 1/16".
Not sure what kind of fractional numbers you are getting......usually the numbers are in the 30 to 40" range, with fractions of those, of course. The way to measure the fender is to use a tape measure to the ground, close to the center of the axle axis. Mark the ground and fender with pieces of tape, so that you have the tape measure at the same place each measurement.


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The equalizer manual stated never have a lower front then stock height. I may add the 7th or 8th washer and lower the L brackets and see what the reading is.
That might work.

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Originally Posted by platokidd View Post
I going to re-try adjusting this again. But that said you think 400 lbs off the front is too much / unsafe??
The loss of 400 lbs. off of the front axle is pretty significant. The rear of a 3/4 ton truck can usually take the weight, but it is best if you can get more weight back on the front axle.

Were the people and cargo in the same position each weigh-in ??


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I have thoughts of airbags........ worked out great on my last truck.
Airbags do nothing to get the weight distributed. If the rear of the truck still sags once the WDH is set up correctly, then airbags would level things out. Many members here find that once the WDH is set up correctly, airbags are not needed. I just have a 1/2 ton truck with a 700 lb. tongue weight, and my truck rides pretty close to level, with the rear end still elevated slightly.
[/QUOTE]
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