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Old 06-13-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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2008 23' Safari FB SE
Boulder , Colorado
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Smile CAT Scale Results - '08 Safari 23' FBSE + '08 Tundra DC 5.7 4x4

This gal is a newbie and decided to brave a trip to the nearby CAT truck scales at our local gas station/truck stop to figure out my prelim weights on the travel trailer while towing dry (without a black/gray/fresh water load).

Equipment
TV: 2008 Toyo Tundra Double Cab 5.7 4x4
Tow hitch: 800lb Reese Dual Cam with anti sway bars
Trailer: 08 Safari 23 FB Special Edition

Limits from AS/Tow Vehicle:

Trailer Limits:
GVWR: 6000 lbs
CCC: 724 lbs
UVW: 4841

Tundra Truck Limits:
GCWR: 16,000 lbs
Tow Capacity: 10,300 lbs
GVWR: 7,100 lbs
Front GAWR: 4,000 lbs
Rear GAWR 4,150 lbs

Results from Tow Scales compared to limits

Tow Vehicle:
Front Axle Wt: 3,360 lbs (compared to 4,000 lb Frt GAWR)
Rear Axle Wt: 3,020 lbs (compared to 4,150 lb Rear GAWR)

Travel Trailer:
Gross Vehicle Weight: 4,620 lbs (compared to 6,000 Trailer GVWR)
Front Axle: 2,240 lbs (not compared - could not find Trailer Frt GAWR)
Rear Axle: 2,340 lbs (no compared - could not find Trailer Rear GAWR)

I plan on going back once I've loaded the freshwater tank to full and see how much it changes and may even work in some hitch adjustments to see if I can get the tow vehicle axle wts closer.

The entire weighing process took 20 minutes for this newbie on a 3 scale CAT system. It really was not bad to do it with the assistance of my friend who helped me get my wheels aligned on the right scales. Of course, I went when the scales were not very busy. I was able to do it without ever backing up and just pulled off scales after completing weighing.

Process was:

1st weigh:
Front scale: nothing
Middle scale: tow vehcile - both axles [yields total tow vehicle wt]
Rear scale: trailer - both acles [yields total trailer wt]

2nd weigh:
Front scale: tow vehicle - front axle only [yields tow vehicle front axle wt]
Middle scale: tow vehicle - rear axle only [yields tow vehicle rear axle wt]
Rear scale: trailer - both axles. [yields total trailer wt - same as b4]

3rd weigh:
Pulled tow vehicle entirely off scales
Front scale: trailer - front axle only [yields trailer front axle wt]
Middle scale: trailer - rear axle only [yields rear axle wt]
Rear scale: nothing

How does this sound overall? It appeared pretty good to me after reading what I could find on approprate weights and ratios. It actually was kind of fun to do...

Cheers,

Sandy
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:20 AM   #2
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Wow, you've got some good WD going on there... perhaps a bit too good? I'm not sure what your weights of the TV front / rear axles are empty, but I think you have a bit too much on the front.. you might want to loosen the amount of chains you have pulling on the bars to get a bit more weight towards the rear axle.. you only have 40 pounds of GAW left on the front (you didn't say if you're in the truck or not, but I suspect passengers would put you over), but over 1000#'s of capacity in the rear. I think you want just a 10 - 30% weight difference front / rear (which you do have), BUT with the rear holding most of it.. I think your steering might feel a bit squirrely with this setup. Nice going getting weighed though.. so many don't.

Great work!
Marc
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:41 AM   #3
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2008 23' Safari FB SE
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Hey Marc - the way that I read the front axle results, I thought I had 640 lbs remaining available load on the front TV axle - 4,000 - 3,360. Am I misinterpreting this?

Even with me and my passenger up front, we probably won't hit that weight -at least not until AFTER vacation....

Sandy
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:20 AM   #4
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Weights

Sandy
If you plan to run with the fresh water tank full then fill and re-weigh, You will see the rear axle of the tow vehicle carrying more weight and the weights on the trailer axles shift to more equal.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:31 AM   #5
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Oops! It was a long night prior to my posting... yes, you do have more capacity left! I still think you might want to move some weight rear... but honestly, if it drives well and feels stable, then leave it be.
Have fun!
Marc
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:49 AM   #6
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Bonginator,
Your trailer axles have a tag on them that will most likely make you use a mirror. The tags can be found on the topside of the axle (side closet to floor) and use the mirror to read them backwards. Its hlepful to have someone closeby to write it down as you decipher.
The GVW in your trailer owners manual or brochure indicates dry weight of your trailer before options. A/C, TV., spare tire, awnings, and microwave are all considered options. The option weight will reduce you CCC.
Case in point. We have a 2006 Bambi Quick Silver with a 3500 lbs rated Dexter Axle per the tag. I called Dexter a few years ago to verify. Static on the scale, not connected to tow veicle with full water in the fresh tank and hotwater heater, and 2 full LP tanks, also Options like patio awning, TV/DVD, A/C, spare tire/carrier our Q/S weighed at 3480. Our brochure stated unloaded weight with an asterisk, was 2825 lbs. Missed that darn asterisk!! Otherwise we would not have made the purchase. If we add some food and clothing weighing more than 20lbs, our trailer is overweight per axle rating. I told our insurance agent this caveat, and we were told in the unfortunate event of an accident, being overweight would be an issue and we would not be covered,. So, Bambi Q/S has sat in our barn going on 5 years unused. We have never used it at all. Poor Bambi, unloved and deserted, yet so cute sitting in the barn tucked away in a corner.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bonginator View Post
...How does this sound overall? It appeared pretty good to me after reading what I could find on approprate weights and ratios. It actually was kind of fun to do...

Cheers,

Sandy
good job sandy and YES it's sorta fun to do.

the info obtained is great but before offering ANY suggestions about the results OR adjustments...

ONE more set of scale reading is needed.

the truck, UNhitched (but loaded) front/rear axles.

the t'dra has plenty of capacity for a 23

so the primary goals of cat scale reading in this example are...

1. trailer load measurements (to assure not going over the gvwr)

2. properly dialing in the w/d tension.

the 3rd issue is NOT exceeding either TV axle rating and clearly that's not happened.

4. it's also possible to closely ESTIMATE the trailer tongue load (hitched but with ZERO w/d) from the other data

you have basically accomplished #1 (full fresh tank will improve this data)

but #2 (which may be the most important) is UNfinished.

the primary GOAL with w/d is to ~RESTORE the steering axle load on the TV.

so the 3360 lbs (front/steering axle) is only useful AFTER knowing the axle load UNhitched.

marc's suggestion to 'shift a little rearward' and your mention of 'hitch adjustments to get the axles closer'...

are really arbitrary tweaks at this point and without a baseline for reference.
_________

so swing by the scales with JUST the truck and collect a reading from the steering/drive axles using the 1st/2nd platforms...

one time, with the truck basically loaded sans trailer.

IF you wanna good approximation of A frame/tongue weight (#4) go back with the trailer in tow full (with water)...

then briefly UNHOOK the chains before pulling on for a 3 platform measurement (steering/drive/trailer axles)
_________

after this info is joined with your earlier numbers, we can all chime in about 'tweaks.

yes, steering/handling FEEL is important but folks adapt to some pretty bad setups and vague handling so don't rely JUST on this.
_________

there are a couple of indirect suggestions above or references to 'equalizing' the TV axle loads.

this is a misinterpretation of why w/d is used (on modern vehicles)

and ignores axle/spring rating differences, steering geometry, truck vs suv vs car issues and so on...

proper set up is NOT about equalizing anything.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:48 AM   #8
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Thanks

Thanks everyone - this is great information.

It sounds like I have one more trip to the CAT scales after I have filled the FW tank to dial in a few more numbers.

We are heading out on a week long trip to southern CO this Friday so doing some of this weighing has given me more confidence on the setup and load.

Great guidance, 2Air!

Sandy
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:52 AM   #9
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I knew 2air would chime in! It is fun, and helps give you a good handling setup.

I too am curious about the unleaden weights on the axles.... keep us updated!
Marc
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:54 AM   #10
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Leave tomorrow

I will - we leave tomorrow for our first 10 day AS/fly fishing and cycling trip to Southern CO. I can hardly wait! I'll try to get back to the scales after the trip and do the additional measurements and post results.

Thanks again for all of the great support everyone!

Sandy
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