Getting the trailer weighed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2009, 06:09 AM   #1
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I've got the Burro loaded up and want to get it weighed. I'd also like to check the tongue weight.

Can/is this done at those truck weigh stations along the interstate? What do they typically charge to do this?

Or what other options are there?

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Old 04-19-2009, 06:58 AM   #2
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Hi Liz,

You can use the truck weigh stations. I believe they are still free in IL.
Other options are grain elevators or farm stores, depending on where you are located.
Tongue weight can be done with a regular bath scale.

Where are you located? Would love to see your Burro.

Bonnie
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:41 AM   #3
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how about in california I have been thinking about doing this with our casita.

thanks

Alexandra
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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Hi Liz,

You can use the truck weigh stations. I believe they are still free in IL.
Other options are grain elevators or farm stores, depending on where you are located.
Tongue weight can be done with a regular bath scale.

Where are you located? Would love to see your Burro.

Bonnie

Hi Bonnie,
Thanks for the info. I live in the Western suburbs of Chicago-- where is Belleville?
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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We have a cement factory down the road......befor certain trips I drive my car down weigh it first, then pack everything in the trailer and zip down and weigh it a second time.....not always just when I feel "overpacked" and want to get a rough idea........think of places like dump stations, places where they have semi's going to and fro......I find it SO easy and the lady always laughts when I'm sandwiched down there amoungst all the big rigs
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:58 AM   #6
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I stumbled on a scale at a gravel transload that is both accessible and powered up during off-hours. There are many other places that can weigh your trailer for a small fee - one big vendor is CAT Scale (http://www.catscale.com/). I don't know how much they charge, but it can't be very much.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:45 PM   #7
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...befor certain trips I drive my car down weigh it first, then pack everything in the trailer and zip down and weigh it a second time...
Brandy,
Is the resolution of that type of scale really fine enough to weigh the supplies you add to the trailer?

I had to weigh my trailer to get it licensed. I went to a stone quarry, and it seemed like, because they weighed 80-ton trucks all day, their sensitivity was about +/- 1 ton. (My weight was 2500 lb, a very round number.)

Marv
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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Hi Bonnie,
Thanks for the info. I live in the Western suburbs of Chicago-- where is Belleville?

Right outside of St. Louis. Sigh. That would be a drive.
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:52 PM   #9
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Right outside of St. Louis. Sigh. That would be a drive.
I've got friends just outside St Louis in Troy, IL. I'll give ya a "jingle" if I make it down there this Spring or Summer.
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
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how about in [b]California I have been thinking about doing this with our Casita.
Go to the Yellow Pages and look under:
  • Scales, [b]Public or
  • Scales, [b]Weighers
The most common locations for Public Scales in California are:
  • Recycling Centers
  • Moving (or Van) & Storage Companies
Do not look under:
  • Scales

We will try to SELL you a scale. A 10' x 70' Vehicle Scale costs $50,000.<sup>00</sup> and up, installed.

Do NOT drive into the Weigh Stations on the freeway. These are ONLY for weighing commercial trucks.
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:37 PM   #11
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I can not remember when I saw a truck stop (Flying J, TSA, etc) that did not have a scale, most often a CAT (brand name) scale. These multi-platform scales give you a chance to get almost every weight figure you will ever need. The cost to me has most often been $8 for the first weigh and $6 for a re-weigh.

Considering that you could hold up commercial traffic by staying on the scale for an extended time here is my procedure to get in and get out. First I visit inside with the employee who will be recording the weight. This is not necessary but I find it makes things work smoothly. I explain that I am a private operator and want to get a multi-platform weight for my personal vehicle and travel trailer. Since the call box on the scale is setup for an 18-wheeler to speak into it from their cab, it is good to let them know you may not be able to reach the call box. That normally gets the employee to watch for you.

Pull onto the scale and get each axle on a separate platform. If necessary get out and jump up to hit the call button on the box. You want to try and get back into your Tow vehicle while it is being weighed. Otherwise, step off the scale and you can later add half of your weight to each of the front and rear axles of the Tow vehicle.

Once the employee advises you, via the call box, that your weight is recorded, pull off the scales, park and unhitch your trailer. Pull your Tow vehicle back onto the scales, again put each axle on a separate platform. Do the call box thing again and tell the operator that this is a re-weigh. Remember, if you can not get back in your Tow vehicle, step of the scale and add half your weight to each axle.

Pull off the scale, park and go back inside. When you pay the bill you will receive two weigh slips. Each slip will show the weight of each platform. From the first weigh slip you will have the GCVW, Gross Combined Vehicle Weight, which is the combined weight of all axles. In addition you have the 'ready to Tow' weights of each individual axle.

From the second weigh slip you will have the GVW, Gross Vehicle Weight, of the Tow vehicle. In addition you have the individual, unhitched, weights for the front and rear axles of the Tow vehicle. Now use a bit of simple math to come up with the effect of the trailer on the front and rear axles of the Tow vehicle.

First calculate the tongue weight, this is the weight the trailer places onto the Tow vehicle. Add the Tow vehicle front and rear axle weights together on both slips. Then subtract the second weigh slip figure from the first. The difference is the tongue weight.

To calculate the GVW, Gross Vehicle Weight of the trailer, add the trailer axle weight from the first slip to the calculated tongue weight. The result is the GVW of the trailer.

Compare the hitched/unhitched individual axle weights of the Tow vehicle to observe the loading/unloading of weight caused by the tongue weight of the trailer. If the front axle of the Tow vehicle loses weight when hitched this can cause a less than optimally stable Tow vehicle. Perhaps a WDH should be added to your rig or an adjustment made to your existing WDH.

All the weights, CGVW, GVW of both the Tow vehicle and trailer, Tongue Weight and the individual axle weights can be compared to the limits established by the manufacturer of your Tow vehicle, hitch and trailer. Another factor to examine is the tongue weight compared to the GVW of the trailer. This is a huge factor in preventing sway (which is a bad thing!). My personal goal for tongue weight is on the high side of 12 to 15 percent of the GVW.

Since the loading of the Tow vehicle and trailer is not perfect, one side will be heaver than the other, perhaps to a significant degree. Determination of side-to-side weight is more difficult in that many scales are not designed to allow the weighing of a single side. You would have to locate such a scale and weigh your rig a couple of times, each time with one side off of the scale.

Here is a link to a site with additional info on this subject.
<a href="http://tinyurl.com/cstve7" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/cstve7
</a>
Sorry for the length of this message, I'll shut up now and go eat supper. Don

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Old 04-19-2009, 05:56 PM   #12
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Don, enjoy your supper! Phew, that is some great info. Thanks much for the detail/explanation.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:07 PM   #13
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well great question.....I sit and watch the numbers go up and down and then they settle on whatever number.....I forget what my rig weights but usually full tank of gas and nothing in it but the norm seems consistant but not just a random even number.....and then when I get the trailer loaded or fully loaded it varies between 1300-1700 pounds (yes I pack alot or stuff in there.) but again the numbers varies so I would wager to say it is reasonably accurate

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Brandy,
Is the resolution of that type of scale really fine enough to weigh the supplies you add to the trailer?

I had to weigh my trailer to get it licensed. I went to a stone quarry, and it seemed like, because they weighed 80-ton trucks all day, their sensitivity was about +/- 1 ton. (My weight was 2500 lb, a very round number.)

Marv
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Old 04-19-2009, 11:32 PM   #14
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Is the resolution of that type of scale really fine enough to weigh the supplies you add to the trailer?
Most 10' x 70' vehicle scales have a capacity of 100,000 pounds / 50 tons. They will read in increments of 20 pounds / 0.01 ton.
Most states have an absolute gross weight limit of 80,000 pounds / 40 tons for any regular commercial semi-truck combination.
I have weighed my trailer both empty and full and know that I carry somewhere around 800 pounds of "stuff", not counting water (which I try NOT to carry). You won't know to the exact pound, but to within the nearest 20 pounds.

Frederick, the scaleman
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