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Easiest Way to Determine Total Weight of a Trailer


Having read many reviews as well as all the Q/A section, I know that I should have done this over 2 years ago when we began full timing in our 1997 Airstream Safari. But noooo, Im a good guesser so I guess and so far have not experienced any towing problems other than the tow vehicle - 2000 Tundra 4,7L V8 2WD with factory tow package works hard to drag this rig over steeper grades. Never noticed much swaying in 12,000 miles of towing besides when big rigs pass quickly and the low pressure area wants us to fill the void. And other than larger bumps in the road causing truck suspension to thunk hitting rubber stops I think, pretty good overall. And Im fairly certain guessing we are exceeding the trailer GVWR by a few hundred pounds... shhhh, but I digress. I am using a Reese WD system that seems to be adequate but has the older spring bars with chains and snap up brackets. I have the spring bars angling up a bit from parallel to road surface which indicates things could be better in my set up. Seems to work fine but not ideal and no anti sway either. Contemplating purchasing a new system sometime soon. I also installed SuperSprings which do indeed support the payload we always carry as full timers. Probably guessing again carrying 300 lbs behind rear axle in bed when towing. We did weigh the trailer once at CAT scale but Im not convinced I approached weighing everything correctly. And even this left me guessing because I didnt weigh the tongue. Doh! But Im fastidious with proper loading techniques, tires, wheel bearings, brakes, speed rarely exceeds 63 mph and all manner of safety so no issues yet. Just should have started out with full knowledge of weights. Anyway, someone mentioned using the tongue scale to get a weight for the trailer by weighing each side of the trailer. Whaddya think about that? And if you think it is a viable method, then I would probably want to get the 5,000 lb scale. Which I dont think you have. Great website and advice, Ill order something from soon. Cheers


Expert Reply:

If all you are looking for is the weight of your trailer the easiest way to do that is go to your nearest weigh station, get the weight of your trailer and truck together, and then disconnect the trailer and get the weight of just the truck. If you subtract the truck's weight from the total weight you will get just the trailer weight. That would be much easier than trying to use a tongue weight scale to determine overall capacity.

Also, I can't safely condone you towing a trailer that exceeds your towing capacities. Your suspension enhancement and weight distribution might help but they aren't designed to allow you to exceed the capacities of the tow vehicle.

expert reply by:
Jameson C

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