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Old 01-09-2016, 03:07 PM   #1
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tongue weigh-in

Today I got around to determining our 17A tongue weight for the first time, and it was a surprise.

tongue weighing 001.jpg

First, I constructed a poor-man's scale by using a 4x4 and the wife's deluxe bathroom scale (properly protected with a soft piece of cedar). the 4x4 is 36" long, and the trailer tongue foot is exactly in the center. The tongue weight is equally distributed to each end of the 4x4, so, whatever the scale reads, I just double to get the tongue weight.

I have just refilled the propane tanks (that's 70 lbs. total-tanks and propane), and the fresh water tank is full (20 gal.: 160+ lbs. behind the axle). I have 42 lbs. of stuff in the front storage box, with only a small amount of personal gear in the trailer.

So, essentially how it was when I picked it up in Sumas is how it sits: 492 lbs. on the tongue. Wow. I've got some work to do to get that weight down. Maybe I'll put a 500 lb. gorilla on the rear bumper.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #2
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It seems to be quite easy with a 17', given the axle location to get the tongue heavy - but I'll sure take that over an underweight tongue. Our has often weighed in at near 400#.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:52 PM   #3
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Does anyone have a real world tongue weight on the 21.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:53 PM   #4
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500# tongue on BlackJack, 3800# on axles
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
Does anyone have a real world tongue weight on the 21.
Also see post #78 by Jon V here on the weight spreadsheet he maintains: http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f7...-a-6955-8.html

And Jim is that pre or post diet for BlackJack?
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:39 PM   #6
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Don, it looks like you're weighing at the jack, not the coupler. The jack is a little further back, so it carries more load. It's only a few percent, but the reading at the coupler will be a little lower than at the jack. The trailer is still quite front-heavy, even if the real tongue weight is "only" 450 pounds.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:42 PM   #7
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If you go here: Trailer Loading and Towing Guide
you will find a section on weighing the tongue at the jack and at the hitch and how to apply a calculation so that you can weigh it at the jack ever after.
It's also an excellent towing guide.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
If you go here: Trailer Loading and Towing Guide
you will find a section on weighing the tongue at the jack and at the hitch and how to apply a calculation so that you can weigh it at the jack ever after.
It's also an excellent towing guide.
Thanks Glenn I bookmarked the guide and I guess I will look for a 1000 lb scale . Pat
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:32 PM   #9
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Go here: http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f9...cale-2343.html

Start reading at post #2 for previous discussion.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Go here: http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f9...cale-2343.html

Start reading at post #2 for previous discussion.
Glenn Amazon has the 1000lb scale ? Pat
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Don, it looks like you're weighing at the jack, not the coupler. The jack is a little further back, so it carries more load. It's only a few percent, but the reading at the coupler will be a little lower than at the jack. The trailer is still quite front-heavy, even if the real tongue weight is "only" 450 pounds.
Good point, Brian.
I just went out and measured: jack to ball socket, center-to-center, is 10½". ball to axle is 144". So I have a 7.3% correction to make. Thus: 456 lbs. at the ball.

Thanks, Eric, for the feedback.
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:36 PM   #12
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Wow, I'm surprised your weight is almost what mine is....
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Good point, Brian.
I just went out and measured: jack to ball socket, center-to-center, is 10½". ball to axle is 144". So I have a 7.3% correction to make. Thus: 456 lbs. at the ball.
Although I think you actually want distances to the centre of mass, rather than to the axle, this is more than close enough!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
If you go here: Trailer Loading and Towing Guide
you will find a section on weighing the tongue at the jack and at the hitch and how to apply a calculation so that you can weigh it at the jack ever after.
It's also an excellent towing guide.
Good guide; however, the correction for scale position (in the NOTE FOR MATH PROS AND PERFECTIONISTS... section) requires you to weigh both locations to calculate a correction factor... but the whole point was to avoid weighing at the coupler because it is harder to setup.

Also, this isn't really for math pros or perfectionists because if you change the loading of the trailer so the load in centred in a different place, the factor will change. A math pro would realize this when doing the algebra for the leverage, and the perfectionist would check the calibration and notice that it changes.

You'll never get it precisely right unless you measure both "tongue" (at the jack) weight and axle weight each time, and do a little more calculating. I doubt anyone cares enough to do that, or has accurate enough weights to make it worthwhile. I think Don is in good shape with his factor.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Maybe I'll put a 500 lb. gorilla on the rear bumper.
Methinks Alf prefers to ride in the tow vehicle.
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Old 01-09-2016, 09:47 PM   #15
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Trailer weights in the real world

Just looked at the trailer weights in the real world on FGRV web site. He weighted 3 escape 17b 's 320 to 380 lbs. tongue weight.
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Today I got around to determining our 17A tongue weight for the first time, and it was a surprise.

Attachment 14494

First, I constructed a poor-man's scale by using a 4x4 and the wife's deluxe bathroom scale (properly protected with a soft piece of cedar). the 4x4 is 36" long, and the trailer tongue foot is exactly in the center. The tongue weight is equally distributed to each end of the 4x4, so, whatever the scale reads, I just double to get the tongue weight.

I have just refilled the propane tanks (that's 70 lbs. total-tanks and propane), and the fresh water tank is full (20 gal.: 160+ lbs. behind the axle). I have 42 lbs. of stuff in the front storage box, with only a small amount of personal gear in the trailer.

So, essentially how it was when I picked it up in Sumas is how it sits: 492 lbs. on the tongue. Wow. I've got some work to do to get that weight down. Maybe I'll put a 500 lb. gorilla on the rear bumper.

Hi Don, Well part of it might be that huge chain, hook and shackle in your picture .... no problem though if that is what you need to keep Teresa under control ....

Tom
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:28 PM   #17
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Has anybody used a "TOWSAFE Ball Weight Scales" available in Australia? Is it accurate?
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:33 PM   #18
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If the tongue weight is less than 10% of the trailer weight, I can see the trailer being unstable when towing. What is the problem with having a greater than the recommended 15% tongue weight, assuming the tow vehicle has the capacity?


Jack
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:40 PM   #19
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I would think that it would affect the quality of ride in the tow vehicle and increase wear.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:46 PM   #20
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Hi Don,
This past August I bought an enclosed cargo trailer to haul things I had in Washington state back to Alaska. Since I didn't have any sway control devices, I wanted to know what my tongue was.


I made the same set up as you did only I placed it under the coupler and had an additional 4X4 going from the center line of the horizontal 4X4 (please see Don's photo) up to the coupler. By cranking up the jack foot, I was able to get a direct tongue weight reading.


I am very thankful for your information .... and a bit concerned. In about two weeks I'll be heading to Chilliwack to pick up my 17A. I think today I'll head back to Costco and take back a memory foam mattress topper as its kinda heavy and a couple other things that I was planning on storing "up front".... or at least until I can measure my own tongue weight. Maybe its a good idea to have your trailer weighed when new and empty.


Did you get a WDH? ... and is that included in your tongue weight calculations?


Very timely thread for me ... Thanks Don


Tom
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