tongue weight, dumb question - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2007, 10:37 PM   #15
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Hmmm... It works for me.

http://senzbar.com/

Hmmm... Yep, works for me now, too.

Must have been an internet burp.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:57 PM   #16
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http://senzbar.com/
Definitely not if you tried to TOW with it. It's not made for that.
Not so, according to the manufacturer; it is made for towing. See my new post #8 in the previous topic [b]Unique Tongue Weight Scale.

If I had a 2" receiver box, I would be very tempted to buy one of these and use it to tow my Boler, which is about half the rated total trailer capacity, and one third of the tongue weight capacity, of the drawbar.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:39 PM   #17
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Here's a simple method for weighing your tongue with a bathroom scale.
I wish this drawing would go away forever. As I have pointed out before, it is wrong when it says to "multiply the scale value by the distance between the pipes.

When I use this method, I set the 'pipes' four feet a part and the hitch jack at the exact center. If I did what they said my hitch would weigh about 864 lbs. Where in fact in fact the weight is 432 lbs. or 'the distance between the pipes divided by the distance between the hitch jack and the scales times the scale value'.

OBTW, you also have to transpose the weight from the hitch jack to the hitch ball.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:08 PM   #18
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I use that method to get my hitch weight.I just reread the articale and it says to multiply by distance between pipes.I only multiply by distance from center of jack to pipe.Now you got me wondering.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:53 PM   #19
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I wish this drawing would go away forever. As I have pointed out before, it is wrong when it says to "multiply the scale value by the distance between the pipes.

When I use this method, I set the 'pipes' four feet a part and the hitch jack at the exact center. If I did what they said my hitch would weigh about 864 lbs. Where in fact in fact the weight is 432 lbs. or 'the distance between the pipes divided by the distance between the hitch jack and the scales times the scale value'.
Charles, I agree that your value is correct for your setup, but the drawing's direction is also correct, if you follow all of their instructions. By insisting that the distance from the fulcrum pipe (the one shown on the right) to the tongue support point is exactly one foot, then the required factor of is simply the number of feet between the pipes... it is planned to be simple.

Also, 'the distance between the pipes divided by the distance between the hitch jack and the scales' would not be correct; it should be 'the distance between the pipes (the lever arm length for the scale) divided by the distance between the hitch jack and the fulcrum pipe (the lever arm length for the load)'.

I assume that the reading in this case (for Charles' trailer) is 216 lb (a 432 lb hitch weight, divided by two by placing it in the middle of a four-foot board, [b]two feet from the fulcrum). To completely follow the published method, the hitch weight would be placed at [b]one foot from the fulcrum, the scale reading would be 108 lb, and the "multiply the scale value by the distance between the pipes" method would correctly return 432 lbs.

Quote:
OBTW, you also have to transpose the weight from the hitch jack to the hitch ball.
If weighing at the jack, I agree a further correction is required; however, I assume that the illustration is intended to show a vertical strut (a piece of pipe, or lumber) from the board up into the coupler socket. It does look like a jack leg.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:19 PM   #20
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I use that method to get my hitch weight.I just reread the articale and it says to multiply by distance between pipes.I only multiply by distance from center of jack to pipe.Now you got me wondering.
Sorry, Chester... your tongue weight is even higher than your thought.

This is a lever problem, and I think most people find levers easiest when the fulcrum (the pivot point) is in the middle (that's a first class lever), but in this case it is at one end (second class lever). Like any lever calculation, what is needed is a ratio of lengths from the fulcrum; in this case, those are
  • the distance from the load (jack, whatever) to the fulcrum (the pipe shown on the right) - this is what the procedure wants to be one foot
  • the distance from the scale (the pipe shown on the left) to the fulcrum (the infamous distance between the pipes)
As Charles noted, the scale reading must be multiplied by the ratio of those lengths, which is 2:1 in his case, and 3:1 or 4:1 in the illustrated example.

So, Chester, what are your lengths and scale reading... lets work them out. The good news: if you really are using the tongue jack, then compensating for that (again, as Charles mentioned) will lead to a slightly lower number.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:32 PM   #21
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One more note... the Draw-Tite drawing in Pete's link currently appears in their website on the Determine GTW & TW page.

Perhaps they've had problems with people misinterpreting the original instructions, because it now reads as follows, with specific dimensions:
Quote:
For heavier tongue weights, place a household scale and a brick that's as thick as the scale three feet apart as shown in Figure 2. Set a length of pipe on each and rest a beam across the pipes. Re-zero the scale to correct for the weight of the beam and pipe. Securely block the trailer wheels. Rest the trailer jack on the beam as shown, one (1) foot from the brick and two (2) feet from the scale.

To obtain the TW, multiply the scale reading by three (3). For greater tongue weights, place the scale and brick four (4) feet apart, rest the jack on the beam three (3) feet from the scale and multiply the scale reading by four (4).
They now say "jack", but as mentioned earlier this won't be quite right if a jack behind the coupler location is used.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:13 PM   #22
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I am now sitting on scale.From center(Jack) to scale on one side is 2feet the other side is 1 foot.Scale reads 120 lbs as it sits now.So if you multiply by 3 that comes to 360 lbs.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:34 PM   #23
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This whole thing now causes me a problem.I bought my tow vehical to go with a small trailer.Tow rating is 3500lbs.Max hitch weight 350 lbs.
I am sitting at 360 lbs empty.No food --drinks ---water --nothing.This is a delima.

Lesson here is to really do a lot of research.Make sure your choice can do it all.Another thing i found out is that my tow vehical is recommended not to use a equalizer hitch.
I got this vehical with a 3500lb tow rating BUT i never looked into the other stuff.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:59 PM   #24
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The next time I'm at an auction and one of those old warehouse scales comes up for sale, I think I will bid on it. They usually go for about $40-60 bucks and measures wieghs in the range of 1 lb. to 500-1000 lbs. That way all one needs to do is place a pipe/piece of wood on the scale tall enough to support the trailer ball hitch, with the trailer level. And the scale makes a great flower pot holder when not in use.


FRED,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:00 PM   #25
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Thanks for the photo Chester.

Yes, given your distances, you have a 3:1 lever setup, and the 120 lb scale reading means 360 lb tongue weight... except that it is really the jack weight.

If the distances from the jack leg to the trailer axle, and from the coupler (ball centre) to the trailer axle are both known, then the 360 lb can be corrected to the (lower) actual tongue weight. For instance, if the coupler-to-axle is ten feet, and the jack is one foot behind the ball (and so 9 feet from the axle), the actual tongue weight is 9/10 of the 360 lb... which is still 324 lb. For actual number, Chester needs to get out the tape measure...

I still think this is still way more than required for a one-ton trailer. Given the tow vehicle (which I think is quite capable, but not suited to high tongue weight), it seems like something massive really needs to get off the tongue and mount closer to the trailer axle.


I like Fred's warehouse scale idea... if I ran across one like that at that kind of price I'd buy it.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:10 PM   #26
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Lesson here is to really do a lot of research.Make sure your choice can do it all.Another thing i found out is that my tow vehical is recommended not to use a equalizer hitch.
I got this vehical with a 3500lb tow rating BUT i never looked into the other stuff.
I didn't look into these things before buying my van, either... but then we only decided to tow a travel trailer a year after buying it, so the trailer had to fit the van. Same issue, different order.

I think I'll be saying this a few times: the RAV4 seems quite capable of towing a 13' egg, even if it is very heavily loaded. The tongue weight is very high on this one, as discussed in this thread, due to the large battery set and dual propane tanks. I think it is just too much tongue weight; the equipment choices (particularly the batteries) make good sense, but they just shouldn't be on the tongue given the trailer's configuration. I say fix the trailer, rather than forcing the tow vehicle to carry an unreasonable hitch load.

To add some perspective to this, a full-size GM pickup with Class 4 hitch would be at about 70% of its maximum weight-carrying hitch weight with this trailer, even empty. That's just silly.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:41 PM   #27
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Ok--I made some changes to lower tongue weight.I am going to mount my Honda 1000 gen set on the back along with 8 liters of gas.This will be mounted in a angle iron frame.Tongue weight now at 294lbs.I will live with this till i can think of something better.The only other thing off hand is to drop down to one propane tank.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:07 PM   #28
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What seems now to be a very long time ago, before I saw the controversial drawing, I did much the same thing without the pipes and using a 4x4 under the coupler, rather than the jack, to get the ratioed weight at the coupler. But that was back when I had a heavy trailer; now I just use a bathroom scale, unratioed, directly under the coupler on a 2x4 or whatever is handy.

Ches, I wouldn't worry about ten pounds, but were I you, I'd weigh everything, including side-to-side, to ensure you get the best balance. And, of course, drive your rig carefully, knowing you are on the edge rather than having a comfortable margin...
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