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Old 07-23-2013, 11:24 PM   #1
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HELP :) My Tongue is to fat?

Iím not sure about tongue weight??? I took my rig set over the scales Iím at 16,500lb. Just the trailer over the scales attached to the truck its at 4700lb. My truck weights 10700. If you do the math my tongue weight is at almost 1100lb??? This surly this canít be right?? I have a F550 and a 31í AS (The Silver Twinkie) Can someone help? DO I need to raze the ball? Mine is adjustable. Input please.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:35 PM   #2
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Nearly 20% of the total trailer weight on the tongue seems surprising, but 1100 lb as a number for the tongue weight doesn't sound impossible, just high for a '72.

Drop the trailer on the CAT scales and measure that actual total weight of the trailer, with no weight carried on the ball. The total weight minus the weight carried on the wheels when hitched (4700 lb in the weighing you describe above) will tell you the tongue weight, assuming the departure from the scale is level with the scale. In other words, the components should add up to your 16,500 combined weight both ways (trailer alone plus truck alone, or the sum of axle weights when hitched.)

As far as the ball height, the goal is to have the Airstream running close to level when it's on the hitch. With that beast of a truck, you probably won't need much weight distribution.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:09 AM   #3
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thisisliving, your actual trailer tongue weight is hard to measure at the scale. For example, our 30'er is right at 800 lbs measured with a Sherline scale right in the center of the coupler where the ball sits. At the scale, due to hitch stringer length behind the rear axle, the axle "sees" over 1000 lbs without weight distribution.

By the looks of your chassis cab in that photo, the distance of your hitch ball is probably further behind the rear axle than mine. Leverage, my friend. It's either for you, or against you. The scales are measuring axle weights, not your trailer tongue.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisisliving View Post
Iím not sure about tongue weight??? I took my rig set over the scales Iím at 16,500lb. Just the trailer over the scales attached to the truck its at 4700lb. My truck weights 10700. If you do the math my tongue weight is at almost 1100lb??? This surly this canít be right?? I have a F550 and a 31í AS (The Silver Twinkie) Can someone help? DO I need to raze the ball? Mine is adjustable. Input please.

I agree that a report of scale values of each vehicle (same day, same scale) would be best.


CAT Scale.

First weigh: truck & trailer together

Second weigh: disconnect on scale; wheels chocked, and trailer tongue on one pad with axles on another.

Third weigh: truck alone (TT off scale in a parking slot)


Also, how old are the axles on the TT? If they're old (hardened) they'll no longer act as they should. Several threads on that subject.

Getting the TT to ride level and the truck is still within ratings should make things good to go if axles are still okay.

.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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Has your wife been hoarding rocks behind the sofa? If you don't have access to a Sherline Scale, you can try the bathroom scale method too...



Always place the trailer tongue 1 foot from the pipe on the support brick
Multiply the reading on the scale by the total distance between the 2 support pipes
Use a brick that is the same thickness as the scale so that the 2 x 4 is level when you weigh your trailer

For example, if the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the scale is 2 feet and the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the support brick is 1 foot, then you would multiply the reading on the scale by 3 to get the tongue weight. If the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the scale is 3 feet and the distance between the trailer tongue and the pipe on the support brick is 1 foot, then you would multiply the reading on the scale by 4 to get the tongue weight.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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DO I need to raze the ball?
As for this question a definite NO.

Like was said your trailer needs to ride as close to level as possible, with torsion axles if the tongue is higher the tongue gets heavier since the fulcrum is shifted farther back toward the rear axle of the trailer and the rear axle also has to carry more weight. Think of what would happen to the tongue weight if you took the tires off of one of the axles.

Bad axles could be the problem, if the trailer has sat for years with the front axle higher then the rear axle (compared to the frame) the rubber in the torsion axles could have frozen so that the front axle isn't carrying it's share of the load which would make the rear axle and tongue carry more weight even with the trailer level.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:28 AM   #7
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Thanks guys for all the great info. I have new axles, less than 100 miles. I'm going to try the scale method. I just hope I don't break my wifes new electronic scale...lol... If that doesn't work I'll just have to find some scales... But should I be concerned for now??? I guess I'm kinda of a worry wart.. Does anybody know what my tongue weight should be?
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:51 AM   #8
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A bit more than 520 lbs?

http://www.airstream.com/files/libra...8e63399933.pdf
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:51 AM   #9
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Airstream claimed 520 lb for the 31' Double, so if I were going to make a SWAG for full propane, stuff packed under the gaucho, optional spare, etc. I'd guess 850-ish pounds, based on nothing other than a conservative estimate to balance their optimistic marketing propaganda.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:00 AM   #10
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Stuff!

I had a wreck recently and totaled the Airstream and truck. And salvaging my stuff revealed the "hidden hoarder" in me - to me. It is probably human nature to regard possessions as a sign of security. George Carlin certainly made a great comedy routine about our attachment to "stuff" but if your tongue weight is that high - here's a thought. Pretend that you are going to do a major remodel, get a bunch of cardboard boxes and on a clear day EMPTY the trailer. I'll bet at least 10% goes to the garbage immediately, and another 10% goes to a charitable donation box. Wait a day, then reload the trailer after doing a spring cleaning if you want to. Carefully consider - do we actually EVER use this? Do we have 3 of these and only need 1? What the heck IS this? Keep that pile and post pictures here - you don't want to throw away the manual crank for your electric jack, but if you don't recognize stuff, you might want to find out what it is/does before you trash it.

I've still not completed the "thin it out" work on my trailer but have probably discarded, sold or given away 400 lbs of stuff. Only two more boxes to go through. I'm already happier without that stuff because I can FIND the rest of my stuff! Will my towing mileage improve? Quite possibly. That would be a win-win.

Paula
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