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Old 05-26-2014, 11:32 PM   #1
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Trip to the scales - Hensley & Ford F150 Ecoboost

I have a Ford F-150 Ecoboost, a Hensley Hitch and a 25 FT Eddie Bauer 2012. When I bought it, everything ran level but my last two trips out I've noticed that the trailer is nose down. I checked the hitch to see if anything had slipped, and everything is as installed.

I know I have to go to the scales and check out the weight of the trailer and the stuff I'm storing in the truck bed... but I'm also speculating that tire wear or shock wear could be partly responsible for the problems. The shocks have always felt a bit wimpy and might need to be replaced with something more robust. It's been a year since I bought the Ecoboost and it is my daily driver as well as the tow vehicle.

So tomorrow I'll go. I just want a guide to what steps to take first

I'm assuming that first I yank all the stuff out of the truck bed and forward of the axles in the trailer.

Paula
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:37 PM   #2
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Hi, probably stuff that you put in the bed of truck has brought it down a bit. Shocks only dampen the bounce and have nothing to do with ride height.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:49 AM   #3
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Step One of setting up a combined rig is in acquiring information. Step Two is in making adjustments to the WD hitch and to TV tire pressure to establish a mechanical baseline to find the range of likely future adjustments. The range of adjustments is small, but knowing where to start is key. How the combined rig feels, so to speak, with a numerical basis both as starting point, and for future adjustments.

As a fulltimer whatever travels with you should stay with you for purposes of hitch adjustments and TV tire pressure corrections. A TV that is slightly tail-down with a properly-adjusted hitch isn't a problem, per se, but as you note, a nose-down TT is not.

2Airishuman thread on the Hensley Arrow is your starting point. At least the last few contributors who have used a scale to set up their HA hitches. A relative set of adjustments can be done anywhere using TV fender height measurements prior to using a scale.

Contributor Ron Gratz wrote out a handy "weighing chart" in a post on WOODALLS, here, in 2010 that shows the relationships of weight distribution. Another [name & link?] has created a computer spreadsheet to allow ease of use of same.

BRIDGESTONE TIRES, in cojuction with the RV Safety Foundation, has a .pdf file on How To Weigh an RV that deals specificlly with individual tire/wheel loads.

Where the rubber meets the road is that with which we are concerned. That the the combined rig acts in a predictable fashion without abrubt transitions of oversteer or jack-knife.

Information from the vehicles is the starting point for purposes of adjustment and advice.

I. TT: Weight placard and manufacturer numbers on tongue weight [TW], and axle gross.

II. TV: Same info. Axle loads [GAWR], Gross Combine Weight Rating [GCWR] and tire load/pressure info from door placard. The FORD instructions from the operators manual, is vital. An example, but not specific to YOUR vehicle] There are some differences among manufactures in how to set up a WD hitch.

III. A CAT SCALE [Locator] is the best place to obtain specific vehicle information about weights. I would scout the locations online or in person to find the scale that is closest to flush-mounted and that is located at the newest truck stop with the greatest amount of room and smooth paving. Often, these are located next to the fuel island which makes for easy trips back and forth to the scale master (at fuel desk, just inside doorway at a LOVES or FLYING J/PILOT chain truckstop). A pair of helpers, one to spot you onto the scale, and another at fuel desk to pay for separate weighings, would work most efficently.

This is a painstaking approach, granted, yet it has the advantage of answering questions that have not yet arisen. Those come with time behind the wheel and over the many combined conditions of road, load, traffic and weather. Others seem to me to have a resistance to using CAT Scales, so this approach also cuts down on multiple trips. A long initial bit of information-acquistion on the first trip, and far less time in the future to make any needed changes.

.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:13 PM   #4
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Here's the spreadsheet.

Cat Calc Sierra 2500 5-3-14.xls
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:38 PM   #5
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I am not painstaking. For a first run I would leave everything I normally carry in both the truck and the trailer. I would weigh the whole rig hitched and get a weight for each axle. Then I would drop the trailer and run the truck back across the scales. At the CAT scales I used it was 10 bucks to weigh the rig the first time and 2 bucks to weigh the truck alone after unhitching. If you do that much you will know a lot about how you are loaded and balanced. Takes about 30 min. to weigh, unhitch, and re-hitch.

I found out I was not transferring quite as much weight to the front axle as I thought (hoped?) I was. Headed back out to re-weigh this week after an adjustment.

If you have already done a weighing like this when the hitch was set up the first time then you might just address the change. Either more weight has been added or the WD system has worn a little and you are not transferring a much weight to the front. Tire pressure would have more affect than tire wear.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:06 AM   #6
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HAHA Users Guide [single post]

FALR Problem
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:27 PM   #7
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We are camped with a CAT scale nearby, so I have an opportunity to weigh our rig for the first time. In reviewing various posts and websites, I am a little confused. Here is what I have planned:

1. Pull fully loaded TV and Trailer on scale with steering, drive and TT axles on pads 1,2 and 3. Take weights.

2 Disconnect WD bars but leave attached to hitch (I have Equalizer system). Take second measurement.

3. Pull off scale, disconnect TT. Drive TV back on scale with WD bars attached to hitch. Measure steering and drive axles.

Is this correct and is there anything I've missed? I have seen a couple of spreadsheets for calculations. Any recommendation?

Thanks for your comments.


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Old 09-12-2014, 03:48 PM   #8
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I guess I am just a rebel, but I would just jack the wd bars a little higher and take a test drive,,, repeat as needed...

Springs will soften some with use, especially when subject to loading.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ktholin View Post
We are camped with a CAT scale nearby, so I have an opportunity to weigh our rig for the first time. In reviewing various posts and websites, I am a little confused. Here is what I have planned:

1. Pull fully loaded TV and Trailer on scale with steering, drive and TT axles on pads 1,2 and 3. Take weights.

2 Disconnect WD bars but leave attached to hitch (I have Equalizer system). Take second measurement.

3. Pull off scale, disconnect TT. Drive TV back on scale with WD bars attached to hitch. Measure steering and drive axles.
wOW -That is great. Somehow it just doesn't read like all of the other "weigh each axle" instructions. I really need the step-by-step instructions, and this is the best I've seen yet. Thank you.
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Old 09-14-2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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Sorry I actually posted this to the wrong thread but glad it is of use. The only correction I was told was to leave the WD bars on the trailer when taking the 3rd TV only measurement.


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Old 09-14-2014, 09:17 PM   #11
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Using the CAT scales

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ktholin View Post
We are camped with a CAT scale nearby, so I have an opportunity to weigh our rig for the first time. In reviewing various posts and websites, I am a little confused. Here is what I have planned:

1. Pull fully loaded TV and Trailer on scale with steering, drive and TT axles on pads 1,2 and 3. Take weights.

2 Disconnect WD bars but leave attached to hitch (I have Equalizer system). Take second measurement.

3. Pull off scale, disconnect TT. Drive TV back on scale with WD bars attached to hitch. Measure steering and drive axles.

Is this correct and is there anything I've missed? I have seen a couple of spreadsheets for calculations. Any recommendation?

Thanks for your comments.


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My thoughts......

They usually don't want you adjusting/fussing with your rig while on the scales, because that makes the next person wait. Also, when you do your first weigh, they give you a weight slip with a weigh number on it. When you do your second weigh, they will ask you for that number. If you have not already gone in and paid, you won't have the number. So what I do is:

1) Pull on the scale (I start with my trailer & WD hooked up). With a four foot long pole (six foot would be better), press the call button. I use the pole so I am still in the vehicle, to be sure the operator does not read the numbers while I am out of the vehicle.
2) The operator will ask "first weigh or re-weigh", I answer "first weigh", the operator will ask for truck number, I make up a number to satisfy the operator.
3) Park the rig, go inside, pay, get the first slip
4) Remove weight bars, stow them, drive back on the scale and press the call button.
5) This time I answer "re-weigh" and give the number on the bottom of the first slip
6) Park, pay, get another slip
7) Drop the trailer
8 & 9) repeat 5 & 6.

I don't think it matters which configuration you weigh first--whatever you think is convenient.
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Old 09-15-2014, 05:03 AM   #12
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The reason they don't want you making any adjustments while on the scale is that it can damage them.
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