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Old 02-06-2018, 07:50 PM   #1
32feetoffun
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Accurate tongue weight?

I am trying to get an accurate tongue weight for my 2003 Sprinter 303BHS. Manufacturers specs say 780, but after loading, full tanks etc, I want to weigh it. Iíve seen a tongue weight scale for about $120, any suggestions on alternatives, I want accurate, but I canít see spending the cash to only use once.

Thanks!


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Old 02-06-2018, 08:03 PM   #2
flybouy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32feetoffun View Post
I am trying to get an accurate tongue weight for my 2003 Sprinter 303BHS. Manufacturers specs say 780, but after loading, full tanks etc, I want to weigh it. Iíve seen a tongue weight scale for about $120, any suggestions on alternatives, I want accurate, but I canít see spending the cash to only use once.

Thanks!


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I purchased one several years ago and have no regrets. You say one time use, do you load your camper the exact same way each time? Remember that loading past the axles reduces tongue wt. and can have as much effect as loading forward of the axles. I don't use it every time but it does give me good loading info if I'm taking fresh water with us or stocking up extra stores and clothing for an extended trip.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:16 PM   #3
JRTJH
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The most practical method would be to locate a CAT scale in your local area. Hitch the trailer complete with weight distribution bars and tow it to the scale. DO NOT drive onto the scale, park to the side, go into the facility and talk to the weigh master. Tell them you will need three weights. Then, after discussing the process with the weigh master, drive onto the scale. There are three weight pads. Pull forward until your tow vehicle front axle is on the forward pad, the rear axle is on the second pad and the trailer axles are on the third pad. Call the weigh master and get the weight. DO NOT MOVE ANYTHING. Loosen the weight distribution bars, but do not remove them. Just swing them slightly out of the way and call the weigh master for the second weight. Once that weight is completed, pull completely off the scale pads, tow the trailer out of the way and unhitch. DO NOT REMOVE THE HITCH HEAD OR THE WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION BARS. Drive the tow vehicle back onto the scale with the front and rear axles as close as you can get them to the previous location and call the weigh master for the third weight.

REMEMBER: TO BE ACCURATE, EVERYTHING (PASSENGERS AND CARGO) MUST BE THE SAME FOR ALL THREE WEIGHTS. If you have any passengers in the vehicle for the first weight, then they must be in the vehicle for every weight or your hitch weights will not calculate properly, so either go alone and sit in the driver's seat or step off the scale pads for ALL weights.

After all three weights are complete, drive off the scale pads, go inside get your weight documents and pay. The cost should be $11 for the first weight and $2 for each of the "reweighs" for a total of $15.

With the three weights you can calculate the hitch weight, the distributed hitch weight, the amount of weight distributed to the front tow vehicle axle and the amount of weight distributed to the trailer axles. You also will have the weight of your tow vehicle, the amount of weight that's on the front and rear axles when hitched and the total rig weight (GCW).

I would suggest doing this once or twice during the first year of towing, then repeat if you change anything significantly, whether it's the tension on your WD bars or a significant change in cargo. Once you get the feel of how much your rig weighs and what part of the weight is distributed to each axle, you'll be able to better manage what you load where, how you tow with tanks full/empty and you'll learn what to expect from towing performance even before you leave the driveway, because you'll know roughly where all of your weight is located and how the rig tows in that perspective.

ADDED: There are three CAT scales about 15 miles from Corona. They are the TA truck stop, the PETRO truck stop and Wriach Travel Center, all on I10, directly north of Corona.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:56 AM   #4
32feetoffun
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Thanks for the advice! I think I will head up to cat and get the rig weighed. I am curious though, I have a Hensley Arrow Hitch that stays attached to trailer when I disconnect. Is that part of the tongue weight? When I unhitch itís just the draw bar that stays with the TV. I could remove the head from the trailer and keep it attached to the draw bar for the weighing if that is the best way to be accurate.


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Old 02-07-2018, 07:05 AM   #5
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X2 on the use of a CAT scale. Good to see how much weight is being carried by the tow vehicle and trailer. I use a CAT scale at a DAVIS truck stop in VA - I-95 exit 33 traveling from NY to SC. The fee was $11.00

The specs by the manuf. will be the weight shipped from the factory. Gray, black and water tanks empty, no propane in the bottles, no added equipment installed by the dealer and nothing stored in the trailer.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 32feetoffun View Post
I am trying to get an accurate tongue weight for my 2003 Sprinter 303BHS. Manufacturers specs say 780, but after loading, full tanks etc, I want to weigh it. Iíve seen a tongue weight scale for about $120, any suggestions on alternatives, I want accurate, but I canít see spending the cash to only use once.

Thanks!


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In this reference it's on page 13.

http://www.keystonerv.com/media/2150...ion_9-1-05.pdf
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:47 AM   #7
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You can also get tongue weight with a bathroom scale and a lever.
Probably have to increase the distance between the pipes to 4 feet to stay in the scale's scale ...

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-...ue-weight.aspx
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