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Old 05-13-2021, 08:29 AM   #1
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Cat scales

Do they have tongue weight instructions at Cat Scales? We one down the road.
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:06 AM   #2
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Please use the one nearby and post your results.......
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Old 05-13-2021, 09:08 AM   #3
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Can do. Maybe just loaded F150 today.
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:04 AM   #4
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Must weigh twice to get tongue weight

I used CAT scales and had to weigh twice to get tongue weight. First time on the scales gets the tow vehicle front axle, tow vehicle second axle and then the axle(s) on the trailer. You then pull off the scale and park out of the way and disconnect from the trailer. Go inside and pay for first weighing. Take just you tow vehicle back on the scale and tell them it is a second weighing. They will ask for a number from the first weigh ticket. The second weighing is cheaper and you need it to get the tow vehicle alone. From these two weighings, you can calculate tongue weight.

Also, go to youtube and search "rv cat scale". Several videos on how to do it. And you don't need the CAT Scale App on your phone. Too much trouble for a one time thing in my opinion.

- Doug
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:55 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cowboy Doug View Post
I used CAT scales and had to weigh twice to get tongue weight. First time on the scales gets the tow vehicle front axle, tow vehicle second axle and then the axle(s) on the trailer. You then pull off the scale and park out of the way and disconnect from the trailer. Go inside and pay for first weighing. Take just you tow vehicle back on the scale and tell them it is a second weighing. They will ask for a number from the first weigh ticket. The second weighing is cheaper and you need it to get the tow vehicle alone. From these two weighings, you can calculate tongue weight.

- Doug
I tried the above process, and calculated what I thought was the tongue weight. Then I went home, borrowed a 0-550lb scale, and set the tongue jack on it. The tongue weight (512lbs) was significantly higher than what I calculated. The CAT certificates are in my trailer so I don't have immediate access to them or I could tell everyone my tongue weight calculations were. ETI says empty tongue weight is 365 lbs. My weight was with propane tanks full, and all personal items ready to go on a trip, minus food. I do have the E2 WDH so that could account for vastly differing tongue weights on the CAT scale versus a stand alone scale.
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Old 05-13-2021, 12:01 PM   #6
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There is a way to get the tongue weight on a 5th wheel trailer with a sherline scale. It is shown on the instruction book that is online. If you buy a sherline get the 1,000 lb dial (easier to read). I don’t think the 5th wheel tongue weight will exceed 1,000 lbs but I Don’t know that for sure. Johnny, I have the scale here at the house if you’re in the neighborhood. You’d be welcome to use it. If you’re camping up this way
We could weight it here at the house. I’ll have it at the Mississippi River Rendezvous in September too.
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:27 PM   #7
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The only time I got weighed but when a potential owner contacted me and asked me to stop at their place of work, which was a highway scale. So I got weighed and showed my Escape and they ended up purchasing one........
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Old 05-13-2021, 02:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dlakeman View Post
I tried the above process, and calculated what I thought was the tongue weight. Then I went home, borrowed a 0-550lb scale, and set the tongue jack on it. The tongue weight (512lbs) was significantly higher than what I calculated. The CAT certificates are in my trailer so I don't have immediate access to them or I could tell everyone my tongue weight calculations were. ETI says empty tongue weight is 365 lbs. My weight was with propane tanks full, and all personal items ready to go on a trip, minus food. I do have the E2 WDH so that could account for vastly differing tongue weights on the CAT scale versus a stand alone scale.
The tongue weight I calculated from the CAT scale was 480lbs. But I would certainly trust the tongue weight scale you borrowed more than a calculated weight from a scale designed to weigh fully loaded 18 wheelers.
- Doug
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:02 PM   #9
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You cannot get accurate tongue weight with a trailer/tow vehicle connected with a weight distribution hitch because of the transfer of weight to the front tow vehicle & trailer wheels. When you weigh the truck alone, you will not have the transferred weight provided by the WDH.

Cowboy Doug described the proper procedure - do the trailer weighing without the bars or chains of the WDH connected. Subtract the truck (weighed alone) from the combined total of the truck & trailer axle to determine trailer weight. Subtract the axle weight from the calculated trailer weight to determine tongue weight.

Here is an example from my last weighing of my fully loaded 2017 21C & 2018 F150:
With Trailer Attached
Steer Axle 3080
Drive Axle 3240
Trailer Axle 4160
TOTAL 10480

Truck Alone
Steer Axle 3280
Drive Axle 2540
TOTAL 5820

So:
Trailer 4660
Tongue 500

Again, this is only accurate if you do not use the WDH while weighing.
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Old 05-13-2021, 04:43 PM   #10
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2 passes - 3 weighs

If you will do 2 passes and 3 weighs on the scales you can also determine the amount of weight transfer back to the front end of the TV from the WD hitch and can fine tune chains / bars from such.

Pass #1

Weigh#1 - TV and trailer WITH WD engaged - each TV axle on it's own weigh pad and all trailer axles on the 3rd

Weigh#2 - don't move from above, but disconnect your WD chains / bars - leave bars on trailer weigh pad (call it a reweigh)


Pass #2 - Weigh#3 - move to the parking lot and drop the trailer, circle back to the scales - TV only - each axle individually (call it another reweigh)


You can fine tune your WD chains / bars based on the difference of the TV front axle weights on Weigh#1 and #2 above.

Also, you can derive the "tongue weight" as indicated in the post above by Vermilye from Weigh#2 & #3


FYI - there are differing opinions on whether or not the WD hitch itself is included, or not, in tongue weight. I'm not going there.......
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Old 05-13-2021, 05:21 PM   #11
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Exclamation CAT Scale RV Worksheet

Just FYI, attached is a worksheet for printing to guide in getting weights and doing the calculations. It covers bumper-pull with or without WDH (skip the third-pass if you don't use a WDH) and 5th-wheel.

The Excel version which automatically calculates everything as you enter the data from your weight tickets is available for download here, no login or password required but you must download and click 'enable editing' to use it.

Have Fun!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf CAT SCALE RV WORKSHEET.pdf (109.4 KB, 17 views)
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Old 05-13-2021, 06:08 PM   #12
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Just to clarify for those new to RV towing: A 'CAT scale' and DOT 'weight station' scales are NOT the same thing.

A CAT scale is a privately/independently owned company (typically located at truck stops) to help truckers and those towing trailers determine their trailer weights so they can adjust their weights if need be, to assure they are street legal.

A DOT weight station is usually located along a highway/freeway and is run by the state to make sure truckers are within weight limits and have all their permits, etc. As an RVer, I would avoid using a DOT weight station because if you are over weight in any way, they will/can write you a ticket.

FWIW, another place you can weigh your trailer is at a local moving company that has a big scale for their big trucks. Up until last year, the moving company that I go to, used to be free, but now this place charges a small fee ($15)...but I think CAT scales also charges a small fee. Totally worth it! Thanks for the CAT scale RV worksheet, Centex! -Bea
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:18 PM   #13
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The full procedure has been described well. I'll only add that if you get scale reading with the WDH disconnected and the trailer tongue riding low (because the WDH is disconnected), the resulting tongue weight will be correct for that height, not for the normal height. With a tandem-axle trailer, a lower tongue results in less tongue weight; it is the opposite way around with a single axle.
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bea View Post
Just to clarify for those new to RV towing: A 'CAT scale' and DOT 'weight station' scales are NOT the same thing.

A CAT scale is a privately/independently owned company (typically located at truck stops) to help truckers and those towing trailers determine their trailer weights so they can adjust their weights if need be, to assure they are street legal.

A DOT weight station is usually located along a highway/freeway and is run by the state to make sure truckers are within weight limits and have all their permits, etc.
True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bea View Post
As an RVer, I would avoid using a DOT weight station because if you are over weight in any way, they will/can write you a ticket.
I don't run over legal weight limits, so I have zero concern with getting a ticket. I wouldn't want to get in the way of commercial traffic or the law enforcement process, but I avoid that by using the government scales when they are "closed"... which means unattended, commercial trucks are not required to stop, but the scales are left operating. There's normally a big sign on highway before the scale saying whether or not the scale is open, so commercial truckers know whether they need to stop.

I asked the Alberta government department responsible for these scales about using them, and the officer who answered responded that my taxes paid for them, and I should use them if I wanted. But seriously, they are provided to support safe operation of vehicles on the road, and our RV rigs are legitimate users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bea View Post
FWIW, another place you can weigh your trailer is at a local moving company that has a big scale for their big trucks. Up until last year, the moving company that I go to, used to be free, but now this place charges a small fee ($15)...but I think CAT scales also charges a small fee. Totally worth it!
Yes, CAT Scales certainly charge. If I were going to pay anyone, it would certainly be a certified service with suitable equipment offering useful reports (CAT is the largest of these, but not the only one), not some random company offering their scale as a sideline.
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Old 05-14-2021, 04:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cowboy Doug View Post
But I would certainly trust the tongue weight scale you borrowed more than a calculated weight from a scale designed to weigh fully loaded 18 wheelers.
I agree - the precision of these scales is typically increments of 10 kilograms (20 pounds), which is great for their capacity of many tons but a little coarse for tongue weight of a small travel trailer. And combining several axle weight readings to determine tongue weight means accumulating errors.
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