Weighing the Trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-26-2017, 09:15 PM   #1
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Name: Peter
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Weighing the Trailer

I took my truck and Trillium to a local weigh scale to try to establish fully load weights of the two. All fuel, loads, passengers were on board.
I was hoping to get the combination weighed and then pull off the scale and drop the trailer somewhere close by. I could then take the truck back on the scale, weigh it and then be able to deduct that weight from the total to get the loaded weight of the trailer alone.
Unfortunately they wouldn't let me drop the trailer anywhere convenient. I had to weigh the combination and then pull forward to get my truck rear wheels off of the scale deck and then they read off the weight of the trailer left on the scale.
I have doubts as to whether this is accurate as I feel that the portion of the trailer weight that is sitting on the truck hitch is not included in this deduced trailer weights.
Is this a grey area or is there clear cut answer ... thanks for any forthcoming comments!
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:14 AM   #2
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You could probably just take the weights you have gotten, truck weight and trailer axle weight. At home, set up a scale under the tongue and get that weight. Should give you a good ball park figure if that is good enough.

One source of inconsistency would be the fact you are using two different scales, and one is not certified.

Guess it depends on how close you are to your maximums if this would offer "good enough" information or not.

Just my 2 cent's worth - may be worth nothing. Others, with more knowledge should be along shortly.
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:48 AM   #3
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or just drive back and weigh the truck again....
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:52 AM   #4
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I am still fixing to do this with my camper, but here is the idea (provided by a number of sources):
Pull on the scale so far that the TV wheels are off, but the front legs or the tongue jack are above the scale. Then have them take two readings. One is the axle weight as connected, the other is after you drop the jack or the legs on the scale and lift off from the ball, and that is the total weight of the trailer. No driving around is necessary. The tongue weight is the difference.
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:02 AM   #5
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Lyle is correct, and so is your intuition. There are three numbers for your trailer: axle weight + tongue weight = total weight. Once you weigh any two, you can calculate the third.

You only have the axle weight. You can get the tongue weight using a bathroom scale. If the tongue weight is less than the capacity of the scale, you can just rest the tongue jack foot on the scale using a board to distribute the weight.

If the tongue weight exceeds the capacity of your scale, you'll have to set up a platform with one side on the scale and one side on the ground. Put the tongue jack foot right in the middle. Twice the difference between the loaded and unloaded weight is your tongue weight.

For an accurate measurement, make sure the coupler is the same height as when attached to the vehicle.
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Old 01-27-2017, 07:05 AM   #6
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or just drive back and weigh the truck again....
Loaded as before...
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:12 AM   #7
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One small addition to Jon and others. When you set up to measure the tongue weight, adjust the hitch height to be the same as when hooked up, which hopefully will be close to level.

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Old 01-27-2017, 10:40 AM   #8
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Accurate weights

When weighing, for accuracy, you need a scale that has level approach and departure aprons. A place like a feed store or elevator, where they're not too busy to let you do one axle at a time.
It is important, when weighing TV or trailer axles, that you do not hold the brakes on. That can cause the scale platform to be pulled and affect the reading.
The total rig on the scale will give you the most accurate reading.
Pull ahead so your TV rear wheels are just off the scale. Don't hold the brakes.
that will, obviously, give you the trailer axle weight.
If you can, then drop the trailer - off the scale - and weigh the TV, front, both and rear axles. The difference between total TV and Total Rig will be the trailer weight. You should also get the TV rear axle weight with trailer, so you can adjust tire pressures accordingly.
The hitch load on the ball plus the weight transfer increases rear tire loads and reduces front tire load. Weight transfer = (Hitch weight x Overhang)/Wheel base.
Measure the distance the hitch ball is behind your rear axle (overhang) and wheelbase.
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:28 PM   #9
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There is a great formular on "tundratimes" about wd hitchs
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Lyle is correct, and so is your intuition. There are three numbers for your trailer: axle weight + tongue weight = total weight. Once you weigh any two, you can calculate the third.
Years ago, I ran over a highway scale and got 2380# ( front axle ), 2138# ( rear axle ) and 2821# ( trailer axle ).
My tongue weight would have been about 325#.
I was using a weight distribution hitch at the time.
Any idea what that would do to the calculations?
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Old 01-27-2017, 05:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BARNEYCONE View Post
There is a great formular on "tundratimes" about wd hitchs
Need a link. If you Google tundratimes you get a page on a defunct newspaper in Alaska.
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Old 01-27-2017, 06:08 PM   #12
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need a link. If you google tundratimes you get a page on a defunct newspaper in alaska.
sorry about that, go to "tundratalk.net wd hitch" bbc ii
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Years ago, I ran over a highway scale and got 2380# ( front axle ), 2138# ( rear axle ) and 2821# ( trailer axle ).
My tongue weight would have been about 325#.
I was using a weight distribution hitch at the time.
Any idea what that would do to the calculations?
Well, those three numbers alone still do not yield the tongue weight. How was the 325 arrived at?
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:30 AM   #14
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I weigh the tongue with a Sherline scale.
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