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Old 03-15-2014, 05:39 AM   #1
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Tongue Weight Calculations

It was referenced in another RV forum that the weight of your hitch/load bars/shank should be added to your tongue weight. Is that correct?

I've never read or heard anyone reference adding the weight of the hitch to the tongue weight, but have always heard to subtract it from the payload. Most WD hitches are easily 100lbs which would drastically impact the tongue load ratings for most TV's. I see how someone could see adding that weight to the tongue weight, but isn't the WD hitch system designed to transfer part of that tongue load to the rear and front axles and negate that weight?

I just bought a Sherline TW scale and I didn't see anywhere in the instructions where you add the hitch weight to that scale reading. I really hope I'm correct in this otherwise I would assume most of us 1/2 ton guys could be pushing the limits.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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I would agree with you, because those items actually lift the rear end and transfer weight to the front end, I would not add that weight to the tongue, but subtract it from the payload. JMHO
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:06 PM   #3
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If you think about it, it is still adding weight to your truck hitch. That said, a wdh transfers some of the weight back to the trailer and off the truck, I think it was somewhere around 20% of the weight but not sure of exact amount. Most don't worry about that 100 or so pounds because of this.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:18 AM   #4
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" hitch/load bars/shank " These items are part of the truck just as the same as anything that is in the bed of the truck. A generator in the bed would not be included in the tongue weight. A generator on the trailer tongue or else where would be part of the trailer weight.

True tongue weight is the difference between the total truck weight (both axles) with hitch and shank installed, minus total truck weight (both truck axles only)when the trailer is attached without the load bars engaged.

The weight of the load bars really is not enough to worry about.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:08 PM   #5
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My concern is that Nissan says the maximum tongue weight (TW) for my class IV receiver is 930 lbs (10% of the max tow rating with a WD hitch).

I'm estimating a TW of 850-900 lbs loaded so if I have to add the shank/head/bar weight I could be over that rating. I just bought a Sherline TW scale but haven't been able to check it.

I'm just trying to determine if there is any chance of causing receiver damage with my TT setup.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:09 AM   #6
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Get yourself a tongue weight scale and weigh it. Then you'll know.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:22 AM   #7
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Fatboy,
I actually just bought one (as stated in previous post), but my question is about the WD system (shank/head/bars) attached into the receiver and whether that counts toward weight on the tongue. There's no literature I can find that says if that is or isn't to be added to tongue weight.

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Old 03-17-2014, 11:00 AM   #8
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I don't think there is anywhere is will state that it "should" be added, but you will want to consider the actual weight of the hitch itself with regard to the tongue weight on the truck. It is considerable weight.
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Old 03-17-2014, 12:33 PM   #9
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When I weighed the tongue, I did it while hitched per the instructions. That weight would include the hitch.

It was really neat. As I increased the torsion on the bars for my WDH, the scale dropped a couple hundred pounds on the scale, validating i was shifting the weight to the TV.
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Old 03-17-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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The spreadsheet I have for calculating towing weights includes the weight of the hitch, bars, etc. when calculating tongue weight. So yes, I would include the weights you mentioned.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:22 PM   #11
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I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but now I'm even more confused. The Sherline instructions have nothing to do with the hitch system or truck. It simply refers to the the weight at the coupler on your trailer as the tongue weight. Neither does the Equalizer WD instructions.

I understand that the WD system adds weight at the receiver, but I cannot find any tongue weight related information that references adding that weight to your tongue weight #. Everything says that it adds to your payload.

My main concern is whether my receiver hitch can withstand the max load from my trailer after adding the weight of the WD system back into the mix. And why doesn't the Crossroads, Equalizer, Sherline, nor Nissan Tow manuals reference anything about where the WD system weight is added in the equation?

If you think about it when someone researches what they can tow and what their truck/SUV and class III or IV rated receiver can handle this would be important information to know. We all know dealers, salesmen and manufacturers all like to exaggerate their claims, but this seems like pertinent information is being omitted.

Fatboy where did you get your spreadsheet from? I'd like to see read it if it's online or a pdf or something.

Thanks for putting up with my insanity on this .
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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If you really want to know how much weight is on the receiver, tow it to some scales and weigh the truck. Disconnect the trailer, remove the hitch from the receiver and weigh the truck again. The difference will be the tongue weight taking the trailer and the hitch into consideration.
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Old 03-18-2014, 04:55 PM   #13
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You're right that would be easiest. I just don't have a weigh station close enough, and the ones on the way to our camping spots are on major highways and always backed up with semis.

Am I making sense though that it seems strange this isn't stated anywhere? Or am I just asking too much?

It just blows my mind that my pickup with a 9300lb tow rating, 1600 lb payload & 3900/4200 lb axle ratings might not be enough to tow a 7000 lb ultralight TT that maxes out at less than 80% of the tow rating simply because of the weight of the required WD hitch.

The necessary facts of towing/RV'ing safely sure seems to be kept a mystery by the people that sell/push these products. Must be run by the government and media
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:55 PM   #14
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I'll see if I can send it to you. It's very helpful and no guessing! Just bear w/ me.
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Old 03-19-2014, 06:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadDog66 View Post
You're right that would be easiest. I just don't have a weigh station close enough, and the ones on the way to our camping spots are on major highways and always backed up with semis.

Am I making sense though that it seems strange this isn't stated anywhere? Or am I just asking too much?

It just blows my mind that my pickup with a 9300lb tow rating, 1600 lb payload & 3900/4200 lb axle ratings might not be enough to tow a 7000 lb ultralight TT that maxes out at less than 80% of the tow rating simply because of the weight of the required WD hitch.

The necessary facts of towing/RV'ing safely sure seems to be kept a mystery by the people that sell/push these products. Must be run by the government and media

Road Dog,

I've posted this a couple times on this forum, hitch max capacity is the achilles heal of 1/2 tons. The math seems to never work. Check link I posted here-->http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-...eight-tt.shtml to calculate everything. It will require you to go to a scale like the previous posters recommended, but you will be glad you did.

Your in the right to be frustrated, I sure was. I REALLY wanted to get the ST 32BH, but I couldnt get the formulas at the hitch to work in my favor.

Ended up with the 300BH..914 vs 764 hitch weight. The extra couple hundy pounds is my hitch.

The problem is no one in the process (truck mfg, truck dealer, trailer mfg, or trailer dealer) provides any "real" numbers. In part, because they can't. My hitch weighs, well. alot...around 195 lbs. A reese or eazy lift is much less.

Also, I was told on one of the other trailer forums the 10% number is not a recommend distribution of the weight to keep the trailer weight at a good proportion in front and behind your trailer axles. Guess that makes sense.

I towed quite a bit before buying the tongue scale and boy, was I surprised when I finally got that tongue weight....over 1200 with all the junk under the bed, in the front storage, etc.

Buy shifting things around and leaving "stuff" at home, adjusting the WDH, I quickly got down to the 700-800 range.

Also to add insult to injury, even if you crank up the torsion bars on the hitch to get you in the safe range, you can be putting TOO Much weight on the front of the truck...not a good thing either.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:11 AM   #16
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Yea you're in close to the same boat as me with your F-150 Eco & 300BH. I've towed my 290QB several times with no issues, I just want to be as safe as possible. That's why I just installed the Roadmaster Active Suspension and bought a Sherline LM2000.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss though I guess. I read too many forums and opinions which gets my wheels turning and stresses me out. I just get tired all the BS from retailers trying to make a buck by misleading us and putting our lives are risk. I mean we are all willing to spend our hard earned money to buy their products the least they could do is be honest and upfront about their actual limitations & capabilities. Shady salesmen, omitted info, generalized manuals, 6+2 = 10 calculations...i just get so frustrated. Ok off the soapbox was getting dizzy at these heights anyways ; ). Thanks for the comments and help everyone.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:17 AM   #17
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Yes,

time and time again, I hear the same thing. Next trip, stop at a weigh station.

I've personally never have. Do they charge for this at truck stops? Do you just pull up and buzz them on the intercom at the scale?

Anyone with answers feel free to chime in.
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Old 03-19-2014, 10:06 AM   #18
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I had my rig weighed at a CAT scale and it was around $10 and that was good for two weighs. I dropped the trailer and then weighed the TV. The scale I used was able to weigh each axle separately, not sure if all the scales are set up that way.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:23 PM   #19
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I had my rig weighed at a CAT scale and it was around $10 and that was good for two weighs. I dropped the trailer and then weighed the TV. The scale I used was able to weigh each axle separately, not sure if all the scales are set up that way.
Most truck stop scales weigh each set of axles. You get two weighs, one to see where you are and the second to see if you fixed it. Unlike a TT their tandems are moveable which shifts the weight.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:56 PM   #20
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Pull up on the CAT scale and position the front axle on the front pad, the drive axle on the next pad and the trailer on the next. If you can reach the button(GRIN) push it and they will ask for a truck number, tell them RV1 or whatever, it's just to identify your weigh ticket. make sure you stay on the scale pad with your truck or better get back in it, quickly. Pull around and unhook and go back on the scale, push the button and tell them "reweigh on RV1". Go inside to the service desk and ask for your scale tickets for RV1. Most are $10, some charge for a re-weigh, some don't. The CAT scales I've used don't charge.

If you want to weigh your rig don't go to the scales near the state lines, they are usually busy, try for the middle of the state and away from any metroplex. Usually drive on and drive off, unhook, and back on. If you don't need the TV weight (you already know it) one pass will do. Takes about 10 min total if there are no lines inside.

No excuses for not knowing where you are weightwise.... If you care.
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