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Old 02-20-2020, 06:02 AM   #1
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How to weigh GAWR?

I understand the metrics to GAWR, GCWR, GVWR, etc.

What I don't understand is, how does one actually weigh, independently, each axle?
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:20 AM   #2
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This might show the process for you.

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Old 02-20-2020, 06:20 AM   #3
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huck55, I assume you're asking about the tow vehicle's axles. If that's the case, you visit a CAT Scale. Google it and they'll show you locations. Download their App and you can do the whole process in your truck.

They'll provide you with scale readings by axle and the trailer. The scale has three platforms which weigh independently. This is also how you measure how effective your weight distribution hitch is set up.

You do a three-pass weigh. The 2nd and 3rd cost only a few $ if done within the allowed time period.

First pass, truck + trailer with WD enabled. Second pass, truck + trailer with WD disabled. Third pass, truck only. Take a tape measure and check the front and rear fender wheel opening heights. Write them down so you can analyze afterwards how much the WD leveled the truck (measure with and without WD enabled).

Sample scale ticket below (PDF's if you use their app, paper inside the station).

Hope that helps!
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:13 AM   #4
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Another alternative is a moving and storage company. One local company has a single platform scale I have used. They are tested by the state since they are used to determine charges for moving and storage.

With the single platform I weigh:
1. The tow vehicle front (steer) axle
2. The tow vehicle both axles and subtract the front axle weight to get the rear (drive) axle
3. The trailer axle(s).

This is the same set of weights you get with the CAT scale.

The best weights are obtained with a set of weight pads, one for each wheel. This will let you see how well your load is balanced front to rear and left to right. I used “Escapees” who provde weighings at their campgrounds and occasionally at rallies, as do other organizations and services.

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Old 02-20-2020, 12:33 PM   #5
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The Escapees (RV club) Smartweigh program provides individual wheel weights. It’s the most detailed weight and hitch setup method I’m aware of. https://www.escapees.com/education/smartweigh/
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:47 PM   #6
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thanks

CAT scales not near me in south jersey shore area, but escapees aren't too far.

Al - I like your idea since there are many landscape places with weight scales for when trucks pick up stone and the like.

thank you all for your help

huck
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:00 PM   #7
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Are you trying to determine the actual weights of your rig or set the WD?

Setting WD for the first time can be done using wheel measurements.
Then visit the CAT to get things dialed-in.

Bob
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Are you trying to determine the actual weights of your rig or set the WD?

Setting WD for the first time can be done using wheel measurements.
Then visit the CAT to get things dialed-in.

Bob
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If I were a newbie I’d scratch my head and say, what is “dialed in”? I would assume it’s the same as “just right“ or “fine tuned”? How do you know when you’re “dialed in”? Knowing you are within all the ratings is great reason to go to a scale, but there’s still no guarantee it’s going to make everything great.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:10 AM   #9
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If I were a newbie I’d scratch my head and say, what is “dialed in”? I would assume it’s the same as “just right“ or “fine tuned”? How do you know when you’re “dialed in”? Knowing you are within all the ratings is great reason to go to a scale, but there’s still no guarantee it’s going to make everything great.
Well...Maybe reading the previous posts would help your understanding a bit.
I offered a solution that would get him safely to the CAT Scales, that option having been explained in detail by others.👍

Bob
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:48 AM   #10
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Rather than worry about GAWR, GCWR, and GVWR I would recommend simply getting a larger tow vehicle.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:33 AM   #11
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Rather than worry about GAWR, GCWR, and GVWR I would recommend simply getting a larger tow vehicle.
Yep..then you don't have worry about anything but running over a 'troll'.😂

Bob
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
rather than worry about gawr, gcwr, and gvwr i would recommend simply getting a larger tow vehicle.



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Old 02-22-2020, 10:51 PM   #13
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Rather than worry about GAWR, GCWR, and GVWR I would recommend simply getting a larger tow vehicle.


New solutions have new problems. His TV may be perfectly adequate, he may really like it and getting a new TV may be an unnecessary expense, a waste of money. What would you really do? It is always easy to spend other people’s money.

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Old 02-24-2020, 05:59 AM   #14
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weight of the TV and rig
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:57 PM   #15
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Both the Escapees RV Club (SKP) SmartWeigh program, and the RV Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF) have weighing programs for determining individual wheel weights. These programs are often available at RV rallies, but the Escapees also have fixed locations that offer this service. One of them is at their Sumter Oaks RV Park in Bushnell, Florida. Another one is located in Livingston, Texas. They might have others, but I am not aware of their locations. The key to these programs is that first they weigh the tow vehicle, fully loaded for travel (including passengers) but without the trailer. The trailer is then connected to the tow vehicle and the weight-distribution feature is set. The combination is then weighed. With this data you know the loaded weight on every tire, the change in weight on tow vehicle tires, and can calculate the hitch weight. The only improvement on this method is if you have access to a tongue weight scale (like the Sherline) which can be used to measure the tongue weight (not connected to the tow vehicle) directly. This would give you the starting loads on the trailer tires and tongue before being connected to the tow vehicle with the WD hitch.
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Old 02-25-2020, 05:56 AM   #16
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Back in the Day....

We always did the 4 wheel weighing on the race car where there was a wheel at every corner and moving weight around was relatively easy.

On the Airstream???
What/how do you move easily, with a 4ft wheelbase, non movable inside components. If the AS is running level how different are the weights. Side to side 'kinda hard.
Can anyone supply tickets to illustrate.

POI on CAT weights...the heavier the load the more accurate the results. Lighter loads can vary +- up to 25 to 50+lb.

Bob
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:16 PM   #17
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Consider Tongue Weight too

This subject is dear to my heart.

As a naval engineer, MSME, weight control DRAMATICALLY affects stability and fuel consumption. Screw it up, and capsizing could spoil your whole day.

In a like manner, not FULLY UNDERSTANDING Trailer weight control while towing a trailer with your family or loved ones could spoil your whole life.

The first two posts are very handy. The video in particular is useful, albeit a 5 minute commercial about Cat Scales, by the 2 min 10 second point, you’ve got the gist.

So the answer to huck55’s root question about weighing each axle is answered.

The attached photo collage illustrates my weight control for our 3rd Airstream, a Classic 33 delivered in Tampa (actucally Seffner) by an incredibly OUTSTANDING dealer (TY Jessica for running a tight ship). Ironically, I bought our first Airstream at this location in 2011, also a 25 ft Flying Cloud.

The photo shows how the Airstream dealer’s team carefully measured and installed my new hitch and the measurements show the wheelwell heights for Front and Rear after 3 adjustments to make the rig level.

My current tow vehicle is Ford Expedtion #3 after wearing out 4 Surburbans since 1979. Yes, that’s #7 “proper tow” tow vevicle in 41 years not counting a VW bug and VW Bus used for towing from 1970-1979 and yes, I pretty much wore them out as well.

The question you didn’t ask, but could have and SHOULD ask is what about tongue weight?

The scale shown in the top left of my photo collage is a Sherline LM-5000 purchased on Amazon for $140. I use it to measure tongue weight after loading the trailer and before I drive away. I don’t carry more than 10 gals of potable water with gray and black water tanks totally empty. Water weighs a little more than 8# per gal (8.3 if you’re picky). Why would you ever tow with nearly 1000# of water weight with all those tanks filled?

Why? As my sample Cat Scale tickets show, I’m on the naked edge. Open all 3 of Jeff the Rivet Master’s PDFs and compare his ”steer axle” weight to mine. His RAM Truck is a 2500 and so bigger than mine, probably diesel powered and so his LIGHTEST Steer axle weight is 4000# while mine are 2800# (empty delivery weight) and 2900# on my first fully loaded trip.

While helping a fellow shipbuilding naval officer (a EE farm boy from Arkansas) we called our “gentleman rancher from Vancleave” deliver 4 head of cattle to a livestock auction, the bulls got feisty and started moving around bringing the nose of his pickup truck off the road. As calmly as I could shout, “HIT THE BRAKES,” we got the nose down and I encouraged him to drive a bit slower till we unloaded.

Suffice it to say that for the “steer axle” to steer, the wheels need to be on the road. Anti-sway is one cure but “galloping” out of control must be avoided.

Much to my first wife’s chagrin (same 50 years of marriage as towing), I plan to buy F-150 (13,200 Lb) to tow the Airtstream and keep the Expedition (9,200 lb) to tow a boat that’s half the weight of the Airstream.
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:31 PM   #18
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The above 'pdf' could use a little alignment.👍

Here is the same W/O the verbiage...🤓

Bob
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TV alone.....Hitched no WD.....with WD set.......TW.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:29 AM   #19
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This subject is dear to my heart.

Why? As my sample Cat Scale tickets show, I’m on the naked edge. Open all 3 of Jeff the Rivet Master’s PDFs and compare his ”steer axle” weight to mine. His RAM Truck is a 2500 and so bigger than mine, probably diesel powered and so his LIGHTEST Steer axle weight is 4000# while mine are 2800# (empty delivery weight) and 2900# on my first fully loaded trip.
CanoeU70, thanks for taking time to read my scale tickets! Our RAM 2500 is a 6.4 gas which is why the payload is 2940 lbs. Had it been a diesel, that number would be closer to 2000.

Those scale readings were with a full tank of fresh water too. Makes the trailer ride better and we're ready to go if the first stop is power only or none at all. We never have to worry about payload or being close to the edge on axles like we did with our 1500.

-Jeff
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Old 02-28-2020, 08:04 AM   #20
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Thanks CanoeU70, Robert, and Jeff. Really good info and explanations. Weighing is all about load, both amount and distribution. A piece of that is making sure your axles/wheels/tires are not overloaded, which includes making sure tires are properly inflated.
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