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Old 10-23-2015, 01:22 PM   #1
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End of Axle Weights at CAT Scales

I am curious as to whether or not members ever obtain end-of-axle measurements when weighing their TT at the CAT scales? (I have been using the search function and have not located a previous thread addressing this topic.) While reading the weight safety section of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association manual, they encourage travel trailer owners to make two additional passes over the scales in an effort to understand the weight on the TT tires. Their reasoning is that the trailer axle weight, obtained at the scales, assumes an even distribution of weight from side-to-side and without the two additional passes you do not know the actual weight on your TT tires. I understand the design of an Airstream makes every attempt to achieve an even distribution, however, should I check the accuracy of that assumption? If anyone has actually achieved the weight measurement, was it out of balance enough to be concerning to the load limit on your tires?

I am a newbie to the Forum and an AS wannabe, so this posting is my attempt to obtain a “reality check” on what I have been reading regarding weight safety and tire safety. By the way, other treads which address tongue weight and hitch adjustments in an effort to shift weight to the steer axle on the TV are superb! Thank you for that information.

Warren
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:06 PM   #2
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RVIA's suggestion is good but the only way to do that at a CAT scale is to have one wheel off the the scale. Hence two passes, one for each side. Many scales do not have any excess room on the sides. Better to find a motorhome weighing operation that can do individual wheels/axles. RVSEF (Recreational Vehicle Safety & Education Foundation) offers at many rallies. Escapees has it at some of their locations and travels throughout the year.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:13 PM   #3
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Trailer or tow vehicle won't be dead equal across axle.

The two contributing tire engineers at this site (and their tire blogs; see Roger Marble; and CapriRacer, off site) both recommend this approach.

With a given reserve desired even at maximum load (as seen on scale tickets; wheel by wheel) one can set tire pressures high enough to best handle the load.

You're on the right track. It just takes more time to get things right.

Setting a WDH is first. Full passenger load plus gear and fuel in tow vehicle. Same for TT: full fresh water, propane and loaded for long trip.

Go for 100% FALR.

TT tires are always at max sidewall pressure due to unique demands.

Setting TV tire pressure is the real game.

It seems a pain, but only the first time. Knowing the hitch adjustment range AND knowing tire pressure range is a set of basics.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:18 PM   #4
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Some states (Idaho is one) leave their scales on when they are closed and not actively weighing trucks. You can then go and mess around to your hearts content weighing tongue only, individual axels, and side to side too. It is also all free. No tickets are printed out but you get to read the scale weight on the large digital readout, and then can record it on paper.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Some states (Idaho is one) leave their scales on when they are closed and not actively weighing trucks. You can then go and mess around to your hearts content weighing tongue only, individual axels, and side to side too. It is also all free. No tickets are printed out but you get to read the scale weight on the large digital readout, and then can record it on paper.
Same in Oregon.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Some states (Idaho is one) leave their scales on when they are closed and not actively weighing trucks. You can then go and mess around to your hearts content weighing tongue only, individual axels, and side to side too. It is also all free. No tickets are printed out but you get to read the scale weight on the large digital readout, and then can record it on paper.
This is true in many states, add Washington and Oregon to the list. Many states use a small axle scale about 10 or 12 feet long. They weigh by the axle or tandem axle set rather then the entire vehicle like some commercial scales.

One thing to be aware of is these scales work best when evenly loaded. To weigh the axle ends, obtain the total axle or axles weight centered on the scale pad then move to the right so the left wheel is centered on the scale making sure the right wheel completely off the scale pad. Then subtract from the total to get the right wheel weight. Usually the scale shack is on the left so you can't weigh the right wheel without hitting the building. If your wheel is near one edge of the scale without a similar wheel on the opposite side of the scale you will get inaccurate readings so try to keep centered as best you can..
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:49 AM   #7
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The first thing I would do is get rid of the Good Year Marathons and replace them with Michelin's.
Had a tire separation earlier this year that caused $ 9,500 damage.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:47 AM   #8
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The first thing I would do is get rid of the Good Year Marathons and replace them with Michelin's.
Had a tire separation earlier this year that caused $ 9,500 damage.
Is this like telling a GM owner "the first thing I would do is get rid of the" ignition switch? Or telling many other vehicle owners to "get rid of" their Takata airbags? Why are AS owners so forgiving of manufacturer's responsibility to sell a safe vehicle? Or is there really no evidence there are unsafe tires on Airstreams? As a new AS owner I am quite perplexed on how to reasonably understand several these threads. Or are they simply an illustration of human nature expressing personal opinion based on their own true, but unscientific, opinion?
If prospective first timer AS buyers read these threads about thr numerous malfunctions, poor design, and low quality components I can only imagine the effect on sales. Good thing AS doesn't make airplanes...
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:41 AM   #9
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If prospective first timer AS buyers read these threads about thr numerous malfunctions, poor design, and low quality components I can only imagine the effect on sales. Good thing AS doesn't make airplanes...
Greetings WestieHouse! The RV industry, has its share of faulty products. The issue with the Goodyear Marathons is not exclusive to Airstream. The RV forums are full of issues owners have with them blowing out, prematurely failing, etc. It is unfortunate that something like this continues; however, they have a near monopoly on the market for that tire type. It seems that there is no research that goes into bettering the ST tire and so people look for other alternatives. The only others are Chinese tires, with mixed results or, as many on this forum have done, followed Airstream's move to 16" wheels with "LT truck tires" that they added to the Eddie Bauer model. LT tires are also load rated but have ongoing RD and sell in more quantity market-wise. It is not a scientific response but with so many trailer owners of all makes having issues, the conclusion is that either no-one takes care of their tires or there is an issue.

Airstream uses many industry-standard parts on their trailers- at least the newer ones. The nice part about these threads is that you learn about weaknesses and can modify if you so desire. Having so many with a similar trailer type helps. Airstream has also changed some things based on ideas. Companies often continue to use the same design even when proven an issue.

When I was young my dad, a mechanic, re-engineered a pulley on our Chrysler boat engine as it ate v belts. The dealer told us they were just hard on belts--hmm. Ours never needed another after his work.
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