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Old 10-25-2016, 02:50 PM   #1
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No longer a CAT scales virgin

Finally got my rig to a CAT scales and would like to share my experience for other CAT scales virgins, share results (of which I am pleased) and ask a couple of questions.

First, my rig:
2014 Ram 1500, 6 cyl., 8 spd., 3.55 rear end
FAWR 3700
RAWR 3900
GVWR 6800
GCWR 12900
PAYLOAD 1900
The truck was loaded with a kayak, windsurfing gear, a couple of folding tables, 3 folding chairs, tools, 2 bicycles, misc. smalls and one person (myself). Gas tank was full.

2016 Flagstaff MicroLite 21DS
GAWR 4400 (2 axles...each rated 2200)
GVWR 4980
PAYLOAD 777
DRY WT. 4053
The trailer was loaded with normal gear, food, clothing and ancillary items...a representative amount for my camping adventures so far. Fresh water was empty, black water had 5 gallons and gray water was empty. 1 of the 2 30 gal. propane tanks was full, the other about 1/4 full.

Blue Ox SwayPro w/ 750# bars using 9 links counting from free end.

When on the scales, there was a parked tractor idling right beside me so hearing the attendant through the speaker was a challenge. After a couple of failed weigh attempts, I finally got the procedure correct and got all 3 weighs successfully accomplished. Pull up, push the button, wait for attendant to acknowledge the weigh attempt, wait for attendant to acknowledge the weigh completion, pull off scales.

Here are the results plugged into ependydad's towingplanner.com site (and many thanks to ependydad for making this an easy process):

Weight #1 Truck/camper hooked up WDH engaged:
TV front axle 2880
TV rear axle 3600
Trailer 4240

Weight #2 Truck/camper hooked up, spring bars in truck bed:
TV front axle 2760
TV rear axle 3800
Trailer 4140

Weight #3 Truck alone:
TV front axle 2960
TV rear axle 3040

GCW 10,720
Truck weight (hitched + WDH engaged) 6480
Truck weight (hitched, no WDH) 6560
Truck weight (truck only) 6000
Camper weight 4700
Tongue weight 560
Tongue % 11.9
No. trailer axles 2
Individual axle weights 2120
Individual tire weights 1060

So it appears everything is within spec with some room for one more occupant plus their gear...2 more occupants may be a bit much. I'm thinking that if I could shift a bit more weight to the front TV axle by going to link 10 that I would have a bit more capacity for the rear TV axle without putting too much more on the trailer. As it is now, the trailer and truck sit very level though the truck has just a very slight touch of squat at the rear...not really enough to notice but a touch none-the-less.

So my hope is to have those more experienced with these measurements "weigh-in" with their expertise and critique this setup.
Did I miss any red flags?
Is adding a 10th link to the BO setup a valid approach? (BTW, getting the 9th link hitched takes quite a bit of rise from the electric jack so getting to the 10th may be a bit difficult on the jack.)
Is adding 2 more occupants and their gear pushing the limits too much?

Thanks in advance to all who read/respond.
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:37 PM   #2
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No longer a CAT scales virgin

80 lbs short on the front axle isn't going to hurt anything. I would leave it as is. You have a few hundred pounds available so use it any way you like.


2010 F250 5.4L 3.73
2011 Flagstaff 831FKBSS
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:57 PM   #3
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I agree, the front axle weight restoration looks good. I am anal about this stuff so I would be the one that tries to get that 80 lbs.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:13 PM   #4
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What does the cargo carrying capacity (payload) read on the door sticker? 1900 seems high.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Seachaser186 View Post
What does the cargo carrying capacity (payload) read on the door sticker? 1900 seems high.
I think the number came from the generic towing specification

1900 pounds is what is listed for the 6-cyl Ram 1500. According to the cat scale weights the actual REMAINING payload is 940 pounds.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:13 AM   #6
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emm-dee, that is exactly where I got the payload data. The door sticker lists GVWR, FAWR and RAWR but does not list payload. With 940 remaining, it sounds as if I can handle 2 more passengers and their gear if needed. I'll mostly be joined by one other but knowing boundaries is a good thing. Also, an 80 pound inverter generator and 5 gal. of gas sound very doable as well should I decide to go that route.

Thanks to all input so far.
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Old 10-26-2016, 10:41 AM   #7
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You only have 320 lbs available after hitching up the trailer.


2010 F250 5.4L 3.73
2011 Flagstaff 831FKBSS
Equal-i-zer 4pt 12K
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsurfdog View Post
emm-dee, that is exactly where I got the payload data. The door sticker lists GVWR, FAWR and RAWR but does not list payload. With 940 remaining, it sounds as if I can handle 2 more passengers and their gear if needed. I'll mostly be joined by one other but knowing boundaries is a good thing. Also, an 80 pound inverter generator and 5 gal. of gas sound very doable as well should I decide to go that route.

Thanks to all input so far.
Congrats on weighing! Look for this sticker and it'll tell you your truck's payload capacity as it came from the factory:

Payload Sticker from 2012 Ram 3500 DRW

But, the reality is- the number you really care about is the truck's GVWR minus the truck's loaded weight w/ the trailer attached.
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Old 10-26-2016, 11:56 AM   #9
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Thanks, ependydad! Now that I see it, mine shows a payload max of 1729.

And thanks also to lbrjet for pointing out the 320 left. I see now that my GVWR of 6800 minus my truck weight, hitched with WDH engaged...6480...is 320. So, that is indeed the capacity I have left. I'm guessing my payload max of 1729 minus 320 = 1409 would be the total weight of occupants and cargo for the TV at the time of weighing.

This gives me a very good idea of capacity remaining. One more occupant with clothing and possibly the generator and gas will put me very close to if not a bit over max for the TV. And the trailer dry weight of 4053 plus max cargo of 777 = 4823 minus measured trailer weight of 4700 means I have about 123 lbs. of capacity left in the trailer, correct?

All good info. Thanks all for playing and please make any corrections/observations from the above added info.
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Old 10-26-2016, 12:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by windsurfdog View Post
I'm guessing my payload max of 1729 minus 320 = 1409 would be the total weight of occupants and cargo for the TV at the time of weighing.
-ish. I've found that none of the math for the numbers ever matches exactly.




Quote:
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And the trailer dry weight of 4053 plus max cargo of 777 = 4823 minus measured trailer weight of 4700 means I have about 123 lbs. of capacity left in the trailer, correct?
Yes, but your trailer should have a published GVWR. It'll be close to 4053+777. But again, "-ish", the numbers never 100% match up. I'm missing like 27 pounds from my yellow sticker + cargo carrying capacity to my trailer's GVWR. It's silly.
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Old 10-26-2016, 01:52 PM   #11
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No longer a CAT scales virgin

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbrjet View Post
You only have 320 lbs available after hitching up the trailer.


2010 F250 5.4L 3.73
2011 Flagstaff 831FKBSS
Equal-i-zer 4pt 12K


^^^This.
GVWR is 6800 lbs
Actual weight hitched up is 6480 lbs

6800 minus 6480 is 320.

Don't need payload sticker if you have GVWR and actual.

The payload number on the sticker is pretty much irrelevant the second you start adding stuff to the vehicle that you forget about. In reality, nobody keeps track of additional weight added to the vehicle after the sticker weight was taken.

GVWR minus actual is the formula!
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Old 10-26-2016, 02:37 PM   #12
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ependydad, found the GVWR of the trailer on the label...4968...don't know where I got the 4980 that I reported in the initial post but I definitely identified the 4968. So, 4968 minus the 777 payload = 4191. The label reports 4053 as dry weight so 4191 - 4053 = 138...definitely "-ish" as you suggested! At least I'm on the "good" side. I'll definitely not push it...I figure I'll just stick with additional overhead of no more than 125 lbs. for the trailer.

325BH, exactly! Another passenger with personal effects would be fine. 2 smaller passengers with personal effects loaded in the trailer would probably also be fine. At least I now have a real good idea of my limitations. Thanks to you, ependydad, lbrjet, emm-dee and others, I'm feeling real good about my rig. I knew it handled real well from day one and now I see why.

This has been an extremely valuable exercise for me. I only hope that others who are still CAT scales virgins will take the time to verify, educate themselves and make adjustments if needed.

Once again, thanks to all who played along.
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Old 10-26-2016, 03:54 PM   #13
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You have definitely done the right thing. A lot of folks won't go to a cat scale because deep down they know they're probably over one or more weight limits.


In my case I am 220 pounds under max tow vehicle weight. More limiting is I am 190 pounds below max rear axle weight. That's worst case scenario. If I load my Harley then I have a 150 pound lower hitch weight. Since the higher hitch weight provides better handling I then add 20 gallons of water to increase the hitch weight. The toy hauler is then loaded where it is about 1,800 below maximum trailer weight. BUT, I can only add about 1,000 pounds to the trailer because at that point I will reach max combined vehicle weight.

Coming from an aviation background causes me to be pretty strict about adhering to weight limits. I've known people who died because they didn't. However, maximum weights are not a limitation... they are a goal.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:30 PM   #14
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emm-dee, it certainly is a balancing act and sounds even more so with your toy hauler.
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by windsurfdog View Post
emm-dee, it certainly is a balancing act and sounds even more so with your toy hauler.
It was at the beginning but by using a Sherline scale I was able determine the loading schedule for different configurations. Now I just load and go.
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Old 10-26-2016, 08:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsurfdog
I'm guessing my payload max of 1729 minus 320 = 1409 would be the total weight of occupants and cargo for the TV at the time of weighing.




Just wondering if your tongue weight is suppose to come off the
TV payload? Seems like I read that on the forum before.


Also you stated your individual tire weights were 1060# each. Did you get that from the cat scale? You have perfectly balanced the
weight on your tires, that's a great job.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsurfdog View Post
...
Weight #3 Truck alone:
TV front axle 2960
TV rear axle 3040

Weight #2 Truck/camper hooked up, spring bars in truck bed:
TV front axle 2760
TV rear axle 3800
Trailer 4140

Weight #1 Truck/camper hooked up WDH engaged:
TV front axle 2880
TV rear axle 3600
Trailer 4240
...
Looks like 760 (minus 80 so 680) lbs tongue weight from Weight 3 to weight 2.

I am a bit surprised here... with WDH the rear axle dropped 200 lbs, 100 lbs added to trailer, 100 lbs added to front axle. That all seems correct. What is surprising is that the front axle weight is *still* less than without trailer?

This means he should still be a bit nose up with trailer and WDH compared to bare. Sounds similar to what I have run into from my wheel arch measurements. And this also means the front springs are less loaded when towing than when not towing. Very interesting.

So just how much hitch weight do you want to distribute to the front with the WDH? I would have thought 50% but maybe not.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodpile View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by windsurfdog
I'm guessing my payload max of 1729 minus 320 = 1409 would be the total weight of occupants and cargo for the TV at the time of weighing.


Just wondering if your tongue weight is suppose to come off the
TV payload? Seems like I read that on the forum before.

Also you stated your individual tire weights were 1060# each. Did you get that from the cat scale? You have perfectly balanced the
weight on your tires, that's a great job.
Yeah, the tongue weight should be counted against in the TV payload so the 560# reported is included in the TV measured payload figures reported.

The individual tire weights did come from the CAT scales figures but are not truly tire specific. If I have this correct, the weight of the trailer minus the tongue weight plus the weight added back to the trailer from the WDH divided by 4. Front/back Trailer load between axles may vary actual axle figures and side/side trailer load may influence tire loads. Since the trailer axles were not measured individually, this is a best approximation.

Once again all, please correct if I have any of this improperly reported...I'm getting better but still not 100% confident in my analysis.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:49 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by stevejahr View Post
Looks like 760 (minus 80 so 680) lbs tongue weight from Weight 3 to weight 2.

I am a bit surprised here... with WDH the rear axle dropped 200 lbs, 100 lbs added to trailer, 100 lbs added to front axle. That all seems correct. What is surprising is that the front axle weight is *still* less than without trailer?

This means he should still be a bit nose up with trailer and WDH compared to bare. Sounds similar to what I have run into from my wheel arch measurements. And this also means the front springs are less loaded when towing than when not towing. Very interesting.

So just how much hitch weight do you want to distribute to the front with the WDH? I would have thought 50% but maybe not.
From towingplanner.com with the figures inserted:
GCW 10720
Truck only 6000
Camper 4700

I don't know what happened to the 20# according to the site's calculations, truck only plus camper should equal GCW unless I'm not thinking correctly.
Maybe ependydad can help us here.

As far as the front axle unloading, I see what you are saying. Could just be a cantilever issue that is expected. Gives real insight to difficulties of those who do not use a WDH which would magnify front axle unloading even more. I don't know how long WDH technology has been around but I guess trailers were a lot smaller before...or trailering was a lot more unsafe...

Truck weight hitched with NO WDH was 6560 minus truck only weight of 6000 = 560 tongue weight, according to calculations by the site. I'm trying to reconcile your 760 (or 680) with this so if you can explain a bit more, I'm definitely interested. Your figures would push tongue % up a bit but still within spec it appears.

And, yes, I also would think that a 50/50 rear/front distribution of tongue weight would be the goal for WDH.
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Old 10-27-2016, 08:54 AM   #20
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It was at the beginning but by using a Sherline scale I was able determine the loading schedule for different configurations. Now I just load and go.
Had to look up the Sherline scale...and now I can see why you invested in one...direct measurements are definitely a good thing. Thanks for mentioning.
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