RAV4 people: why is my hitch only 4 inches off the ground? - Page 11 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-25-2013, 09:00 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by lpk49 View Post
oh george...you havent seen my biceps...
It's good to know we have our very own super hero action figure right here at FGRV !
In that case, you can just pick up the tongue with one hand, while sliding the scale under it with the other hand ! Video please !
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:03 PM   #142
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The various leverage and load-sharing schemes for measuring a tongue weight over the capacity of a bathroom scale work, but why bother? A Sherline tongue weight scale is a small part of the cost of the trailer, and works simply, safely, and reliably.

I see two problems with a truck scale for tongue weight:
  • Determining tongue weight involves combining at least two readings, accumulating uncertainty (error) with each reading... and the uncertainty (possible error) in each reading is already significant compared to tongue weight. Truck scales are very good at measuring tons, but not suited to a couple hundred pounds.
  • The truck scale is not handy in your driveway to check as you adjust trailer loading.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:07 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
The various leverage and load-sharing schemes for measuring a tongue weight over the capacity of a bathroom scale work, but why bother? A Sherline tongue weight scale is a small part of the cost of the trailer, and works simply, safely, and reliably.

I see two problems with a truck scale for tongue weight:
  • Determining tongue weight involves combining at least two readings, accumulating uncertainty (error) with each reading... and the uncertainty (possible error) in each reading is already significant compared to tongue weight. Truck scales are very good at measuring tons, but not suited to a couple hundred pounds.
  • The truck scale is not handy in your driveway to check as you adjust trailer loading.
EDIT: I mis- spoke. I believe the correct figure is plus/minus 40 pounds.
Brian,
For sure a Sherline scale is a nice tool to have, but not everybody wants to spend $100 plus dollars on a given tool.

CAT scales are certified/guaranteed accurate within plus/minus 20 pounds.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:11 PM   #144
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are truck scales the same as CAT scales?

the cat scale is 15 miles...and that is too far to tow when i dont know what i am towing...

i think there is too much piling up here for me to bite the bullet and change one or the other: camper or tow vehicle. right now tow vehicle is winning.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:53 PM   #145
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Yeah a hundred dollars for a scale is a lot...I'm glad mine is fine on my bathroom scale
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:39 PM   #146
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Yes, "CAT" is the brand name of what is presumably the most extensive North American network of privately operated (not government) truck scales.

Frederick can correct me if I have this wrong, but the typical spec for a truck scale is a reading to the nearest multiple of 20 pounds (in the U.S) or 10 kilograms (in Canada). That means, for instance, that if you weigh your tug and trailer, then the tug without trailer, then calculate the tongue weight, you might have (example for illustration only):
tug front axle with trailer: reading 2000 lb (weight anything between 1990 lb and 2010 lb)
tug rear axle with trailer: reading 1900 lb (weight anything between 1890 lb and 1910 lb)

tug front axle without trailer: reading 2160 lb (weight anything between 2150 lb and 2070 lb)
tug rear axle without trailer: reading 1300 lb (weight anything between 1290 lb and 1310 lb)

Total for tug with trailer: 2000 + 1900 = 3900 lb, but could be anything between 3880 and 3920
Total for tug without trailer: 2160 + 1300 = 3460 lb, but could be anything between 3440 and 3480

Tongue weight: 3900 - 3460 = 440 lb, but could be anything between 400 and 480
After accumulating uncertainty, the tongue weight isn't very accurately known. This is without considering any possible inaccuracy, only the limitation of display precision.

I understand that $100 is not a trivial amount of money, but at the same time many members of this forum seem willing to spend this amount or much more for devices that may or may not be of any benefit. I would rather spend $100 for a tool that enables me to understand a situation and appropriately resolve it, than for a gadget that might not be needed, doesn't fix any fundamental problem, and may not even compensate for what might truly be wrong. This is, of course, a personal judgement call.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:06 PM   #147
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hmmmm what about this Health-O-Meter Professional Dial Scale with Textured Split-Mat Design - Walmart.com
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #148
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Seems like any RV shop that sets WD hitches would need both axle and tongue wt scales to do it right. Right?
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:35 AM   #149
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i have a healthometer but couldnt find the book or find it online cuz they stopped making it...but me, the dog and 2 gallons of vinegar weighed about 270...so i figure it goes to 300...

i think im done thinking about bathroom scales tho...and ravs...i'm looking at tacomas

this is getting too complicated...i just want to hitch up and go...

and yes...denny...i agree but they dont. i asked. closest is 15 miles
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:51 AM   #150
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Seems like any RV shop that sets WD hitches would need both axle and tongue wt scales to do it right. Right?
When I set up the WD hitch on my Frontier, I did the initial set up by doing the "fender height measurement" method, as outlined in the instruction manual that came with my hitch. I followed the procedure step by step. When all done, I visited the scale to "verify" that I had it right, and also to ascertain that I was within all the various limits of the truck and trailer ( tires, axles, gross capacities, tongue weight, etc. ).
Most RV shops that set these things up are not going to spend a great deal of time dialing this is in to the most accurate settings they can. They just don't want to spend the time, but I would bet that most of them get it "fairly close".
Let's face it, campers are something of a do-it-yourself-some-assembly-required kind of hobby, so it behooves the owner to do his or her homework, and spend the time making sure all is up to spec in their setup.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #151
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As nervous as you are about this, maybe it makes sense to just get a full sized pickup that will give you a wide margin of towing capability. Then you can just go camping without worrying about it.

Sure, it will cost you a little more in gas, but it might be worth it for your own peace of mind.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:30 AM   #152
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As nervous as you are about this, maybe it makes sense to just get a full sized pickup that will give you a wide margin of towing capability. Then you can just go camping without worrying about it.

Sure, it will cost you a little more in gas, but it might be worth it for your own peace of mind.
For sure, a full size half ton (1500 Chev, F150 Ford, etc ) will have a greater margin of towing capability vs a Tacoma or Frontier.
However, having said that, a Taco or Fronty would be at roughly 60% of their capacity with a Casita 17. That is still a pretty healthy margin.

As for gas mileage, from what I have seen a Taco/Fronty vs 1500 Chev/F150 Ford, the towing fuel mileage will be similar. Running empty mileage will be about 1 to 3 mpg in favor of the Taco/Fronty.
In my daily use I spend a lot of miles in both the Frontier and in a full size Ford (F350 dually), and I will say that the Nissan is simply an easier vehicle to use for general purpose driving. It's easier to use in tighter areas, and easier to get things in and out of the bed.
I chose a Frontier because it meets the general purpose needs we have and since we also have the larger truck, that end is covered. But, I also chose the Frontier because I prefer a manual transmission when I have that option, and it's about the only game left in town for that feature.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:42 AM   #153
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OK, just because I like digital, I went looking at the other scales at Walmart.
Taylor 7519 Ultra Thick Glass Digital Scale - Walmart.com

440 lbs !
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:40 PM   #154
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Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
For sure, a full size half ton (1500 Chev, F150 Ford, etc ) will have a greater margin of towing capability vs a Tacoma or Frontier.
However, having said that, a Taco or Fronty would be at roughly 60% of their capacity with a Casita 17. That is still a pretty healthy margin.

As for gas mileage, from what I have seen a Taco/Fronty vs 1500 Chev/F150 Ford, the towing fuel mileage will be similar. Running empty mileage will be about 1 to 3 mpg in favor of the Taco/Fronty.
In my daily use I spend a lot of miles in both the Frontier and in a full size Ford (F350 dually), and I will say that the Nissan is simply an easier vehicle to use for general purpose driving. It's easier to use in tighter areas, and easier to get things in and out of the bed.
I chose a Frontier because it meets the general purpose needs we have and since we also have the larger truck, that end is covered. But, I also chose the Frontier because I prefer a manual transmission when I have that option, and it's about the only game left in town for that feature.
All true, but I don't see you starting thread after thread to share your concern about towing capacity. Some people just need a wide margin of error to feel comfortable.
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