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Old 09-30-2017, 08:18 PM   #1
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Get Weighed!

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You can learn a lot from a truck stop weigh scale. I was happy with this result. Front-rear tow vehicle axles balanced with the hitch weight and cargo. This is using a lightly tensioned Equal-i-zer hitch. Ram 2500 diesel 6-speed manual, Flying Cloud 25FB, water and gray/black tanks empty.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:52 PM   #2
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Did you do another pass or two? (truck alone, truck+trailer without WD set)
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:02 PM   #3
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As above. It takes three passes across Scale to determine WD adequacy. One can be within "limits", but badly hitched. This is the basic first step to confirm or adjust WD for a baseline.

On the same occasion:

1) with WD tensioned, cross scale with max fuel, full propane and fresh water. Waste tanks empty. Preferably loaded as if for camping with all passengers aboard;

2) second pass same as first, but WD completely relaxed;

3) drop trailer in parking spot. TV alone (but otherwise same as in #1).

While on scale first pass, a pic in side profile view of combined rig. Then closer up of hitch.

The usual order is to set WD at home while on level ground. This is a rough-in. The magazine article by Andrew Thomson is the guide: "Setting Your Torsion Bars" (V44, #1; RV Life 2015 Buyers Guide); or from his website at Can Am RV. Then off to the scale for tweaks. Then, test and refine.

The scale provides a baseline reference about this exact rig. Getting TV tire pressure to spec (actual load) is key to good ride and feel. Too much air reduces braking and handling. One wants it -- like WD settings, to be just right.



This three pass method gives adequate information for basic analysis of hitch rigging. One can separate out TT weight, and TW. Others can then make suggestions.

It's info for setting TV tire load pressure to spec (solo, loaded; and towing).

An additional pass across the scale on another day with full fuel, driver, and gear kept permanently aboard does for (solo; empty). This last is the TARE weight.

These settings (WD or tire pressure) have a short range of low to high for best performance. But one must first establish minimums. Test for maximums.

Get the Cat Scale app if you don't have it already.

And I've been at that Loves in Quanah many times.
.
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:06 PM   #4
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Thumbs up

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At least you have an idea of what everything weighs...

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Old 10-01-2017, 02:30 AM   #5
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You look well balanced to me - check your front axle weight limit. My Chev 2500hd FAWR is 4410lbs (that may be due to the factory tires and inflation specs).
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Old 10-01-2017, 01:07 PM   #6
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This weighing was after a couple of adjustments to reduce the tension on the Equal-i-zer from the original dealer set up. The GAWR for this truck is 5500 front and 6000 rear, so it is well within limits with the Airstream, at 4540 front and 4660 rear. The base weights are 4613 front and 2837 rear, with the diesel engine adding 1000 to the front compared to the Hemi.
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Old 10-01-2017, 09:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlanding View Post
This weighing was after a couple of adjustments to reduce the tension on the Equal-i-zer from the original dealer set up. The GAWR for this truck is 5500 front and 6000 rear, so it is well within limits with the Airstream, at 4540 front and 4660 rear. The base weights are 4613 front and 2837 rear, with the diesel engine adding 1000 to the front compared to the Hemi.
How the TW is distributed is center to the analysis. You've not got that info.

Look at it this way. 90-95% get it wrong. That's still where you are.

The small stuff REALLY adds up. An inch here. A link there.

"Cargo carrying" doesn't have to do with safe handling, steering and braking as "weight", by itself, isn't the problem. It's the lash-up.

You've a hitch that's only fair in design, and the least stable type of tow vehicle. It just isn't that much work to verify all is as good as it can be. That's after acquiring numbers, and testing.

So here's a test that needs nothing changed: Will your rig loaded for camping stop as fast as the TV by itself (still loaded for camping)? It should stop as fast or faster.

Is it a brake problem that causes the discrepancy? No, the first thing to check is the amount of TW distributed to the TT, and is the load on each trailer wheel equal? Each axle equal?

Poor as drum brakes are (and as fast as they go out of adjustment) it's the load per trailer tire that determines braking effectiveness.

This is basic stuff.

Slowing is easy. Stopping is hard.

Same for TV tire pressure; empty, loaded, and towing.

Some time at the scale is easy and worthwhile. Numbers provide a baseline. A reference. Finding minimums and testing for maximums.

And, Capitol Camper (on Garland Rd) if still in business should be on your list for small stuff.

Garland Safety Lane, for verifying truck alignment.

Dallas Frame & Alignment for TT (think they were sold a while ago).

Verify. Don't assume.

( These are places I went with my Dad as we learned, forty-five years ago.)

.
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:25 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the inputs!

We have traversed the country a couple of times with this setup, and it feels stable and secure. The big diesel is balanced nicely by the Airstream tongue weight, and the Equal-i-zer smooths things out over dips.

One great thing about the Cummins diesel is the exhaust brake, for controlled mountain descents without disc or drum brake heating.
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