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Old 05-09-2019, 01:54 PM   #1
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CAT Scales: Same trailer weight regardless of tow vehicle?

Would I get the same gross trailer weight on a CAT scale with two different tow vehicles? Is there anything with TV or trailer setup that might cause different weight readings of the trailer? The trailer would be loaded exactly the same in each instance.

I'm currently towing my 68 Caravel with a RAM 2500 without a weight distribution system. I'd like to also tow it with our Jeep Grand Cherokee but need to get a gross trailer weight in order to select the appropriate weight distribution system for the Jeep.

It's a 100 mile round trip to the CAT scales and I'd prefer to tow it on that route with the RAM.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:12 PM   #2
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If the hitch height when connected to either vehicle is the same then the weight you measure on the axles at the CAT scale would be the same since you don't have WDH setup.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:16 PM   #3
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It should be the same for a single axle trailer +/- 20 lbs which is the accuracy of the CAT scale. But you should unhitch the trailer and put the tongue down on the scale to get the trailer gross weight. You can also weigh the tongue separately at home using the bathroom scale method if you don't want to fuss with unhitching at the CAT scale. Add the tongue weight to the axle weight to get the gross weight.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by out of sight View Post
It should be the same for a single axle trailer +/- 20 lbs which is the accuracy of the CAT scale. But you should unhitch the trailer and put the tongue down on the scale to get the trailer gross weight. You can also weigh the tongue separately at home using the bathroom scale method if you don't want to fuss with unhitching at the CAT scale. Add the tongue weight to the axle weight to get the gross weight.
Makes perfect sense. I've got a tongue weight with a Sherline scales. So it sounds like the trailer's axle weight is all I need to get at the CAT scales.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:32 PM   #5
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I understand that CAT scales are certified by their manufacturer. How reliable are non-CAT scales found at truck stops?
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:40 PM   #6
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I understand that CAT scales are certified by their manufacturer. How reliable are non-CAT scales found at truck stops?
I can't say definitively in California, but in Texas commercial scales are subject to inspection by a division of the Dept. of Agriculture, so they're all certified.

Drive the truck+trailer combination onto the scale, weigh them together. Since you're not trying to dial in weight-distribution at this point, you can pull off the scale, unhitch the trailer and drive the truck alone across the scales and the difference in those 2 is the total gross weight of your trailer. The difference between its total weight and the weight of the trailer axle on the scale when hitched is the tongue weight, to give you an idea for your initial setup of weight distribution for the Jeep.
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