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Old 02-28-2014, 02:25 PM   #15
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I didn't take it that way at all-
Just sayin'-
If I didn't already have a truck and was making the decision now it might have a different outcome.
I wouldn't advise anyone with a low mileage paid for 1/2 truck to go in debt or spend money for another truck, but if someone didn't already own a 1/2 ton truck the viewpoint/outlook would be different- like maybe I would get a 3/4 GM or Ram-
I am just curious about actual tongue weight on my particular rig- not that I'm gonna change anything or do anything with that number other than file it away with all the other trivial knowledge floating around between my 2 ears...
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:56 PM   #16
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I measured the tongue weight at the coupler (where the ball connects) with a scale made for this. It was 850 pounds with the trailer loaded with all our usual gear and full fresh water. That is 100 pounds lighter than the posted 950 pounds listed on the airstream specs. I gather that all the gear, tools, and supplies in the rear compartment, bed side closets, and under the bed make the rear heavier and lighten the front. I never did measure the tongue weight completely unloaded.

My hitch and weight distribution bars are around 40 pounds. Also, if I measured weight at the front jack it was about 100 pounds less than the tongue. Amazing what a short distance in leverage makes on weight.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:24 PM   #17
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It's good to know your normal camping load tongue weight with the scale under the coupler, so you know what the tow vehicle receiver is carrying and what size weight distribution bars to get.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:02 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
....snip....
How does one measure tongue weight with weight distributing hitch on? Cat scales? Can it be determined with total combination weight, steer axle weight, drive axle weight, and trailer axle weight? Or is the only way to unhook and get another reading? but this would be on the jack...not the coupler...
m.hony,
This discussion has been going on also over in another thread:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ml#post1417653
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
How does one measure tongue weight with weight distributing hitch on? Cat scales? Can it be determined with total combination weight, steer axle weight, drive axle weight, and trailer axle weight? Or is the only way to unhook and get another reading? but this would be on the jack...not the coupler...
You can get an approximation of the TW by:
1) measuring the TV's axle loads with the TT unhitched, but with the WDH in the receiver and the WD bars in the rear of the TV.
2) measure the TV's axle loads with the TT hitched, but without installing the WD bars.

The combined axle load from 2) minus the combined load from 1) gives the approximate TW.
If the TT has two axles with independent suspension and the TT is in a nose-down attitude during the second weighing, the difference of 2) minus 1) will be less than the actual TW.
Measuring the actual TW requires a level TT. When a TT with independent suspension is nose-down, more load is carried by the front axle and less load by the rear axle. This causes the load measured at the coupler to be less than the TW.

Another approximate measure of TW can be obtained by having the tongue jack on one scale pad and the TT's axles on another pad with the TT level. The load under the jack will be greater than the TW because the jack is closer to the axles than is the coupler.
The TW is equal to the jack load multiplied by the ratio of d1/d2, where d1 is distance from jack to axles' center and d2 is distance from coupler to axles' center.
For example, if jack load = 800#, d1= 190", and d2 = 200"
then TW = 800*(190/200) = 760#.

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Old 03-03-2014, 12:16 PM   #20
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Quote from post 16: "Also, if I measured weight at the front jack it was about 100 pounds less than the tongue. Amazing what a short distance in leverage makes on weight."

Is this statement reversed? Usually it is noted the jack shows more weight than the tongue.
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:34 PM   #21
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Looks like the Cat scale only gives weight readings in 10# increments. Every number ends in zero.
It may even be 20# increments or possibly a coincidence. On my particular Cat scale tickets the weights all end in 40 or 60#.
A sherline (spelling?) scale may be the only way to get an exact number. Sometimes at rallies someone with a scale will run around and weigh everybody's trailer.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:39 PM   #22
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Looks like the Cat scale only gives weight readings in 10# increments. Every number ends in zero.
It may even be 20# increments or possibly a coincidence. On my particular Cat scale tickets the weights all end in 40 or 60#.
A sherline (spelling?) scale may be the only way to get an exact number. Sometimes at rallies someone with a scale will run around and weigh everybody's trailer.
A Sherline is basically a hydraulic pressure gage that goes from 0 to 2000 pounds on a dial, and so the best you can do is within a 100 pounds or so.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:54 PM   #23
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I did reverse my post. It was 100 pounds heavier at the jack than the tongue weight. My mistake on posting.
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Old 03-05-2014, 01:19 PM   #24
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A Sherline is basically a hydraulic pressure gage that goes from 0 to 2000 pounds on a dial, and so the best you can do is within a 100 pounds or so.
Steve, I have one and checked with Sherline before I bought it and they say the accuracy is +/- 2% in the middle range. So for the 2000 pound scale, at the 1000 pound mark the range is 980 to 1020 (i.e. +/- 20 pounds).

The issue I have had with the scale is not so much the accuracy but assuring a level platform to put it on and to make certain it is loaded axially when using it. Otherwise it has been okay.
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:20 PM   #25
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Steve, I have one and checked with Sherline before I bought it and they say the accuracy is +/- 2% in the middle range. So for the 2000 pound scale, at the 1000 pound mark the range is 980 to 1020 (i.e. +/- 20 pounds).

The issue I have had with the scale is not so much the accuracy but assuring a level platform to put it on and to make certain it is loaded axially when using it. Otherwise it has been okay.
I don't dispute it's accuracy, it's just that you are reading it from a 270 degree dial (+,-) that goes from 0 to 2000lbs. To get 20lb resolution you need a magnifying glass and a pair of accurate dividers.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:06 PM   #26
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I find the Sherline dial easy to read without the help of magnifiers.

However, since it is an analog scale, one must judge proportionally where the indicator is between the dial's graduations to interpret the precise weight. This comes quite naturally, as demonstrated when one interprets the precise time on a dial clock by the relative positions of the arms between numbers. Only with a digital scale would one be able to be more precise about the readings.

In any event, a few pounds plus-or-minus doesn't make a significant difference for our purposes here.

Regarding the leveling issue, I use a dial or bubble type measuring device to get things level and perpendicular. If these factors are off, it can cause a side-loading issue on the scale's piston which can result in inaccurate readings. I always raise and lower the trailer's tongue on the Sherline several times during any weighing session, making sure things are straight and the results are repeatable. This helps eliminate any variables regarding this issue.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:31 PM   #27
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From this I read 1037.75 pounds. Therefore less 2%, it might be 1016.75 lb or plus 2%, it might be 1058.25.

I think I will be lazy and call it 1040 lb. I even checked it couple of times and it landed in the same spot!
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:36 PM   #28
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Looks more like 1046 to me. :-)
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