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Old 03-07-2013, 08:16 PM   #1
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Hitch Weight Question

Picked up a '13 Airstream brochure yesterday and wondered why an International Serenity/Signature 25FB has an 886# hitch weight and and a 30' has an 880# hitch weight. Bought a Sherline scale last week and will be able to check my 2006 Safari FB LE in a week or so and will report back.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #2
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There seems to be no rhyme or reason for unloaded factory listed tongue weights sometimes. When the trailers are loaded, the actual tongue weights change. They can actually get lighter if the fresh water tank and storage areas are in the rear.

Good move on the Sherline scale. It will guide you as you actually load the trailer and get ready for the road.
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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Depends upon the axle location / center of gravity... not just length of the trailer.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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My fully-loaded trailer has a 1,370 lb tongue weight, measured by a very accurate 5-point weighing. That's with full tanks and the trailer packed to the gills. It's just 600 lbs under the 10,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) when loaded like that. The front axle supports 5,390 lbs and the rear axle supports 4,070 lbs. The weight distribution hitch is adjusted well because the trailer tows very well in wind gusts of 40 MPH and the tire wear is even. My truck's Gross Axle Weight (GAW) is 7,580 lbs when loaded with its occupants, fuel and cargo. That puts the truck at 8,950 lbs GAW when towing. The truck is 710 lbs under the GAWR in front and 1,284 lbs under the GAWR in the rear when towing. My truck and trailer are within the weight limits but you for sure wouldn't want a smaller tow vehicle with less capable brakes to stop all that fun once it starts rolling.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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As noted, it's weight distribution....my 2012 28' Intl has a higher tongue weight than the 30' or the 27 FB. Go figure.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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We have the 2013 25FB International Serenity and that 833 pound factory literature tongue weight was an illusion for me. When I picked the trailer up at the dealership, the little Sherline scale reported a tongue weight of 1,150 pounds. Obviously, the spare tire, full gas tanks, and gear under the front bed, solar roof panel, and awnings on the left side and rear and heaviest was the 120 pounds of the attached Hensley hitch added serious heft to the tongue weight.

After loading most of the "stuff" we think we will need and adding water to fill the potable tank and about 5 gallons each to the gray and black tanks, the tongue weight hovers around 1,200 pounds.

YMMV
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #7
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Without redistributing any weight, my Sherline showed an 800# tongue weight. The Trailer (without water) weighed in at 6280#. Sent photos to Can-Am looking for info on beefing up the Grand Cherokee factory hitch..
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:51 AM   #8
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Switz, the weight will change depending on where you place the scale. There is a 200lb difference from placing the scale under the hitch ball point as opposed to the jack foot.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:28 AM   #9
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No access to the hitch ball socket because the Hensley is attached all the time, so have to use the jack stand for weighing on the Sherline scale.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #10
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Weighed on the hitch.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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I'm of the understanding that tongue weight should be 12% of the AS weight and both axles should basically weight the same. There is an optimum ratio of TV front axle weight and rear axle weight though I cant recall what it is at the moment. My Reese Dual Cam system was helpful to fine-tune to attain the target numbers. Its at the point now that an adjustment of one chain link length will transfer approx 200lbs from the hitch to the farthest axles and visa versa.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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I would submit that the "optimum" TV front axle weight would be the as close to the weight on the axle loaded for camping without the trailer.

Level hitched we are within 100lbs, using CAT weights.

TV only....


With & without WD adjusted..


Bob
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:56 PM   #13
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Clarification: When I said "both axles should basically weight the same", I was referring to those on the AS.
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:45 AM   #14
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Regarding the Sherline scale. I bought one several months ago. I used it to weight the hitch of my 2008 Classic 25fb at the dealership on the day of pickup. I found the scale was giving me a different reading after several attempts. It starts about 100 lbs low. Yesterday it weighted my hitch to see what it was like with a full water tank.

I hitched up the trailer and put the scale of a block of wood and raised it off the TV hitch. Started at about 850 to 875 lbs. I repeated about 4 times. Each time the weight went up a bit until it seem to settle in at 975 lbs.

Is this the experience everyone is having on this scale?

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