How to Determine if Weight Distribution System is Needed


Trying to calculate tongue weight to see if I should buy a WDH. Here are the numbers for my Silverado 1500 and Dutchman Aerolite dual axle hybrid. Steer: 3080 Drive: 3440 Trailer: 3980 Total: 10500 Reweigh- Steer: 3420 Drive: 2680 Trailer: 0 Total: 6100 Normally this would be 10500-6100-3980=420 tongue weight There is also a decrease of 340 on the steer and the tongue is 9.5 of the trailer Heres the catch- I wasnt in the truck on the first weigh because I had to get out to reach the call button and got weighed before I got back in. I figured that out after getting back home and unloading the kids, wife, camping gear and stowing the camper. Can I add my 200lbs back into the first weigh and rerun the numbers? Is my weight as the driver totally supported by the truck axles or does some of my weight somehow magically get distributed back to the trailer axle? If the truck carries the weight assume 150 to the steer and 50 to the drive then my numbers look like this- Steer: 3230 Drive: 3490 Trailer: 3980 Total: 10700 Reweigh- which was done correctly Steer: 3420 Drive: 2680 Trailer: 0 Total: 6100 This would be 10700-6100-3980=620 tongue weigh The decrease in steer weight s to 190 and the tongue percentage now calculates to 620/4600=13.5 These numbers look better than the first batch and perhaps indicate a WDH is not needed. It all assumes the driver weight is carried only by the truck axles. Is this true?


Helpful Expert Reply:

I love the fact you are taking the potential need for a weight distribution system seriously and the first thing I'd like to note is that a weight distribution system is strongly recommended if your trailer weight (GTW) is more than 50% of your vehicle's weight (GVWR).

In regards to tongue weight, you do not need to find the weight of the two different axles, as you can see by the cut out I added from the help article I linked for you on how to determine tongue weight. Along with the weigh scale you could simply use a tongue weight scale like the BetterWeigh Mobile Tongue Weight and Payload Scale # C51701 or Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale # 5780.

Based on your numbers it looks like you are in the correct range of 620 lbs for tongue weight, although when considering a weight distribution system what matters is your Total Tongue Weight, which is your tongue weight with the fully loaded and ready to go trailer plus the weight of any cargo behind the rear axle of your truck.

I have added a link to our entire selection of weight distribution systems as well as a link to a help article on weight distribution which I strongly recommend reading.

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helpful expert reply by:
Kyle S

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