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Old 01-25-2014, 11:56 AM   #1
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Own your own scale?

Has anyone bought or looked into buying their own portable single wheel scale? It would be nice to be able to get a reading of the trailer and TV individual wheel weights for proper hitching and loading, anytime you want them. I already have a tongue weight scale. With that and a wheel scale I could get a very accurate picture of what was going on.

Ken
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:46 PM   #2
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I have a set of race car scales left over from some years ago. I haven't used them on the Airstream, but might one of these days. Really don't worry about the weights on mine I seldom run anywhere near max weight.

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Old 01-25-2014, 02:42 PM   #3
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I have two sets of four wheel weight scales. Each scale is rated for 5,000 pounds in 1 pound increments. There are two control panels (each only support four scales) that have data printout tapes that can show the information by total and the four wheel locations.

One system can be setup to monitor just one scale for the tongue weight while the other system captures the weights at each trailer tire. The five numbers added together will give the GVW of the trailer at that moment.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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I probably should add that my scales are old, as in balance weight, pure analog, no fancy digital stuff. IIRC they are accurate to 4oz. Used them on a roundy round car to get the pre-loads set up.

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Old 01-25-2014, 03:09 PM   #5
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I have two sets of four wheel weight scales. Each scale is rated for 5,000 pounds in 1 pound increments. There are two control panels (each only support four scales) that have data printout tapes that can show the information by total and the four wheel locations.

One system can be setup to monitor just one scale for the tongue weight while the other system captures the weights at each trailer tire. The five numbers added together will give the GVW of the trailer at that moment.
That's a pretty impressive system. Do you have it specifically for setting up your TV and trailer or do you have other uses for it also?

Ken
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
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Rig setup is the primary purpose.

Will be testing it in ernest next week with our new trailer.

If it works out, in the future I am considering taking it to local rallies to help others with setups.

This is not a light system, so would not want to consider it normal camping gear. Each set of four scales and controller box with cables weighs close to 150 pounds.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
Rig setup is the primary purpose.

Will be testing it in ernest next week with our new trailer.

If it works out, in the future I am considering taking it to local rallies to help others with setups.

This is not a light system, so would not want to consider it normal camping gear. Each set of four scales and controller box with cables weighs close to 150 pounds.
When you get to that point, I would really appreciate if you could find the time to do a thread on using it.

Ken
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:25 AM   #8
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First, setting up WDH, and second, TV tire pressure is the value of any set of weighbridge readings for an articulated vehicle. The two go hand-in-hand.

Using the "How to Weigh an RV" Guides from either RMA or BRIDGESTONE means load per wheel position. Before and after in the case of setting up a WDH.

If significant discrepancies are seen (front-rear or side-side) then corrections will be wanted (not perfection, but minimization) which means yet another set of readings (now up to three).

This is a thread I've wanted to do, but am not likely to move the TT for quite some time yet (not to mention changes to both TT & TV that would change readings). I know that switz will be painstaking, so I am much looking forward to his thread (that our TT and TV have similarities makes this even more interesting).

Having the best mechanical baseline -- this set of readings being central to understanding what the rig is telling us while underway -- allows one to chart and/or investigate changes in an unambiguous way.

I think we most of us understand that if we have dialled in WD correctly (subject to interpretation), then the possible range of future adjustments is short in order to account for trip-to-trip changes.

As changes to the TV tire pressure is likely to be either +/- 5-psi once close to ideal (inside not only Load vs. Pressure Table from tire manufacturer, but the even narrower vehicle manufacturer range) the fine motions of steering corrections while underway is ideally reduced.

No matter how crude the steering (straight axle / recirculating ball PS the worst as with 4WD pickups, made more so with off-road tread design & compound), the minimization of steering corrections per 100 miles is significant vis-a-vis fuel economy per the commercial truck industry which may also be read as wear & tear. For my money it is, higher quality information provided the driver; improved noise to signal ratio which also means reduced driver fatigue over the course of a day (as with a VPP hitch).

Not wanting to leave behind any fuel efficiency is good (again, as a measure of longevity which is wear reduction for tires, brakes and mechanical components), as is the best steering feedback. I also see this -- proper loading of tires -- as best possible braking distances (which would then lead us into better TT brakes/controllers).

Portable scales aren't cheap, so I will continue to go in and out of CAT Scales while underway as a preventative check or adjustment set with fresh numbers.

A best baseline is a tedious go through, but, as Robert Cross remidns us, an annual check afterwards will usually suffice (where TT, TV and loadings don't vary much).

I will offer up a definition: an "empty" TT is one with full propane and fresh water with permanent equipment aboard. IOW, those tools, equipment and supplies which travel along no matter the trip. In the same way, the TV is weighed with full fuel, driver and permanent items aboard. This adjusted empty weight of either reflects the lightest loadings these vehicles will ever see. This constitutes one end of the chart for WD and tTV tire adjustments. The other end reflects the heavier and heavier loadings.

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Old 01-26-2014, 03:52 PM   #9
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I used the scales on my Coleman Niagara popup, it was a real eye opener. The Niagara was notorious for not towing well under many conditions. The scales explained why. It was tongue light, weight biased to the left side and didn't have a whole lot of spare carrying capacity. Poor engineering on Fleetwoods part. We were able to mitigate many of the issues by transferring weight forward to the storage compartment. Thankfully we no longer have that beast.

Aaron
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