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Curt BetterWeigh Mobile Tongue Weight and Payload Scale Review

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Review of the Curt BetterWeigh Mobile Tongue Weight and Payload Scale

Hey there, heavy haulers. Today, we're going to be taking a look at CURT's BetterWeigh. This tongue weight and trailer scale is going to provide you a better way to haul your stuff safely. This little box is able to measure your tongue and pin weight, as well as the payload in the back of your truck, the total weight of your vehicle and whenever you're hauling, as well as providing additional information for setting up your weight distribution system and setting your trailer brakes on your brake controller. And it's able to calculate all this information using the complex measuring devices inside such as accelerometers and inertia sensors, as well as information from your vehicle. And it receives this information through the data link connector, located on your vehicle.

You simply plug it in, and it's able to pull all that information from the systems' computers while you're operating the vehicle, as well as being able to identify the vehicle when it's plugged in.Now, this will typically work with vehicles that are 2008 and newer by automatically pulling that VIN information and having preset calibration data. But it'll work on any vehicle that's 1996 and newer. However, if it's older than 2008, you may need to perform a manual calibration, but that's a pretty quick and easy setup. We'll show you how to do that later in the video. Now, some of our customers had a few questions and concerns.

And we're going to go ahead and address those now. The biggest one is will this work with a modified suspension, such as a lifted truck or your airbags, or what if my vehicle has auto leveling Well, it will work with the modified suspension. We've got to lifted truck here with a bunch of components on it. We'll show you how to calibrate the BetterWeigh for those aftermarket or upgraded parts that you have.That's no big issue. Now, if you just have airbags installed and that's the only thing you have installed, then you can use the settings from the factory and go ahead and take your measurements like he normally would, the only he would want to do, if you're taking your tongue weight and stuff, you want to make sure you empty out the bags first.

That way your truck is in the factory state. So all of those settings that it pulls from your VIN will be correct. You can then take your measurements and then air your airbags up after you've loaded everything up and taken all your measurements. For auto leveling it's pretty much just the same. You just want to make sure you turn off your auto level system before taking any measurements.

You can turn it back on after you've taken all your measurements and hooked everything up, and then you can go back and hit the road.Another question people have is will this work with my manual transmission vehicle And that's a bit of a mixed yes and no question. All of the features except the entire weight, which is the vehicle plus what you're hauling will work. That's the only feature that will not work. All the other features work off of information from the vehicle that your manual transmission vehicle could provide as well as the accelerometers in the BetterWeigh. But to get the entire weight of both, it looks at engine load as well as slippage information from the transmission's computer. So without that information, since you don't really have slippage information on automatic transmission, you're manually applying and releasing the clutch, unlike your automatic, that has a lot of components inside that are moving and being monitored constantly, which can provide information to our BetterWeigh to make those calculations. And for those of you adventurers out there, wondering if you can use this off road and on uneven terrain, and that shouldn't be a problem, as long as you're on a grade less than 5%.Obviously the more level it is, the more accurate it's going to be, but you should stay within about that 5% tolerance that the system has. As long as you're below that 5% grade. Your OBD-II or your DLC, whichever you prefer to call it, is located under the dash on most vehicles. And some of our customers are wondering, well, how is this going to work with my insurance trackers or other accessories they may have plugged into their DLC. Well, this really won't work with those other devices. Unless those devices have a pass through where you can plug it in and then plug the BetterWeigh into it. Now, a lot of those things, like your insurance tracker, if you're just going to be taking a tongue weight measurement, you can just unplug that, plug the BetterWeigh in, take your measurements and then just pull the BetterWeigh off and plug your tracker back in.And other people are wondering too, will this work with my phone And as long as you've got a newer phone such as an Android or Apple, then you should be just fine to connect to it. There is further specifications on our website that you can look up the exact update that your phone needs to be at, as it's constantly changing as they update the app. One of the things you'll notice on the BetterWeigh app is there's a more features button at the bottom. And if you we're to click it, it just says that updates are on the way. There's plenty of more features coming for this BetterWeigh as they continue to develop and add more and more calibration information for the newer vehicles being released every year.Now that we've covered the features, let's show you how to set it up on various vehicles, whether it be an older one, a newer one or one with modified suspension. To get it set up, we've already got it plugged into the data link connector on the vehicle, and then we're going to download the app. Once you've got the BetterWeigh app downloaded, we can go ahead and open it up and it's going to have some warnings for us here. We're going to go ahead and get by those.And then we're going to search for the BetterWeigh. You need to make sure that you have Bluetooth activated on your device. We're going ahead and hit search and we need to make sure we give access. We're going to allow our phone to access the BetterWeigh through Bluetooth. And we can see here that it detected the BetterWeigh as well as pulled the VIN information from the vehicle. Now, if your BetterWeigh is not plugged into the vehicle, it won't be able to detect it. It does need to be plugged into the DLC to power the BetterWeigh up so it can transmit its signals. This has got our vehicle here. We're going to go ahead and select it. We'll need to select the appropriate engine for this one. We have single rear wheels, and then we also want to have the vehicle placed on level ground, which we already are.And that's it. Our calibration is now all set up. Some of your older vehicles may not be able to pull that VIN information and set up so easy. When we plugged it into our 2000 Ranger here, it didn't have the calibration information from this one, but we can go ahead and set this one up manually. We're now in our Ranger and we've plugged in the BetterWeigh. We've turned the key on in the vehicle. And we can see here that it was unable to pull the VIN on this vehicle. It did find the BetterWeigh, but it just wasn't able to pull that information.We're going to go ahead and select it. We're going to enter the VIN manually, or we can scan it. I'm going to go ahead and hit the scan button and then we can find our stickers on the inside of our door. I'm just going to go ahead and do that real quick. You can see our camera pulled up. I'm going to open the door and scan it. We can see the barcode on our sticker right there. We're just going to scan that barcode using the camera on our phone.It was able to read it. It's a little hard to see. I'm going to go ahead and bring the phone back inside the truck here so we can get a better image on the phone screen. And we can see here on the screen that after scanning it automatically populated the VIN number above. We're just going to hit continue. Now that it read the VIN and went through its starting procedure and checked to see if it had calibration data. We need to verify if it does have calibration data. To do that, we're going hit the gear at the top to pull up our settings and then go to calibration. We'll then need to do the two procedures here. We're going to start by selecting vehicle weighing. And here it does say that calibration data was pulled because it's asking us to overwrite what exists.It was able to pull information using the VIN number. It just wasn't able to pull the VIN from the vehicle. And that's pretty normal on some of your older vehicles, like our 2000 Ranger here. Now, if you have any modified suspension on your vehicle, you will still need to go through these procedures because the information that it pulls, isn't going to be accurate since you've modified the suspension. On our newer and older vehicle here, we we're able to immediately pull the information from our Ram. Our Ranger was able to pull calibration data after we scanned the VIN manually and entered it in. But one of the things you'll notice here is that our Ranger over there is just a stock Ranger, but our Ram here has got plenty of modifications on it. It's lifted, we've got suspension enhancements in the back. Even though this pulled all the information from the VIN, that information is not going to be correct.We're going to go through the manual calibration procedure now on our Ram here to set it up for its modified suspension. This procedure is going to be exactly the same if your VIN didn't pull any information whatsoever. So if your older vehicle didn't pull anything, you'll follow along with the same steps to get that set up, even if it's a stock suspension on your older vehicle. We're back in our Ram now, so can set up for the modified suspension. To do so, we're going to select the gear here at the top, and we're going to select the calibration here at the bottom. We're going to do both of these, but we're going to start with vehicle weighing and we want to overwrite the information. We're then going to enter in the gross vehicle weight rating, which is found on the sticker on the door.We're just going to go check that and enter that in. Select done and go to continue. Next, we're going to enter the max cargo weight, which is also found on a sticker inside your door and select done. And now it wants to know the current weight that's added to the vehicle. So the driver and anything that you have in your vehicle at the time, I've got me and my camera man in here as well as a few items and a fifth wheel in the back. I'm going to estimate that's about 500 pounds, that should get us pretty close. It's best if you clean your vehicle out completely to get the most accurate measurement when doing so.We're now going to go through the calibration process. We'll hit ready and it's going to have us start and stop several times to complete this calibration. This can take 12 to 30 times and you want to do this in a straight line. We're going to go ahead and drive to a straight line and do this and we'll come back once it's complete. Now we're here on a straightaway and we're just going to follow the directions on the screen, starting accelerating and stopping after we hit 15 miles an hour. Make sure you go straight. And it's going to tell you whether or not to do low, medium or heavy accelerationAnd we're just going to keep repeating this until the process is complete. You'll have a small bar at the bottom that'll fill up showing your progress. Once you completed the cycle several times and it completes, we'll receive a prompt here on the screen. We're going to select, okay. And our weigh calibration is complete. Now we're going to calibrate our suspension. This is going to overwrite it. We're going to go ahead and hit okay. We want to turn the vehicle off and then we're going to park it on level ground, and then lower down the tailgate. We'll then hit next. It's now initializing the vehicle. We don't want to touch it while it's doing this. This is setting up a baseline for where the vehicles at, at a rest.Now we're going to sit on the tailgate and it's going to detect the weight and be able to calibrate it using that. We do need to tell it how much weight we're going to be putting on there. And I'm going to be sitting on the back and I weigh roughly 200 pounds. We're just going to put that in there, tell it 200. We're going to sit on the tailgate here and then just hit continue. It's now going to calibrate. So we're just going to sit here and let it do its thing. Depending on how stiff your suspension is, you may need two people to do this, if your suspension is very stiff, like ours likely is here too stiff for just my weight. We may need to get more individuals with more weight to load it down. And that's just going to vary depending on how stiff your suspension is.Now I've grabbed another person who's about the same size as me. We're going to double that weight measurement, put it back in, and it's going to calibrate. Another thing you'll want to keep in mind with this is that if you have suspension systems that are adjustable, such as airbags, that this calibration is for the current setting that you have. If you adjust your airbags afterwards, that may make your readings inaccurate. It's best to have that setup how you plan on using it at the time when you're calibrating, but our calibration showed successful. We are all good to go. We'll just hit okay. And we're now ready to start using all the measurements that we have available to us. Now that we've got everything set up and calibrated, let's go check this thing out and see everything that it can do.We're going to start by checking the tongue weight, but before we use the BetterWeigh we want to get a baseline measurement so we can compare its accuracy. We've got our tongue weight scale here with our pontoon boat resting on it. You can see our jack's up. All the weight here is down on our scale. And you can see here on our scale, we're sitting at about 450 pounds. Now that we've got our baseline measurement, we're going to go ahead and lift this back up and we're going to measure it with the BetterWeigh. Now we've got our truck backed up behind our trailer. We've got the trailer completely disconnected, so we don't want any weight on our vehicle when we begin the tongue weight measurement. We'll select tongue weight. We'll tell it that we're ready with nothing on it. It's going to take a quick zero measurement.And once it's complete, we are ready to lower our trailer down and get our reading. And what's cool about this is you can watch this load up in real time. So we're loading the trailer on there, but if you we're loading on, let's say, an empty trailer, and then you had to put a bunch of weight on your trailer. You'd be able to see how much weight you're adding to that trailer as you're loading it up. And we've got it completely off the ground now, and we're measuring a little over 400 pounds, right at about 425, very close to 450 there. We're reading pretty well about the same as what our other tongue rate scale measured. And as everything settled, it did creep up a little bit and put it right at about 450. You can see here that our HaulGauge tongue weight measurement is just as accurate as our tongue weight scale.In addition to proving how accurate that is, it also shows that you can easily set up a modified suspension on your vehicle and calibrate it to give you accurate readings. And just like our traditional scale and all scales with analog gauges. We're going to have a tolerance of about 5% for our readings. That's why, even though we're seeing it on our phone, on our digital screen, that's why we get an analog readout to compensate for those variances. And just like our tongue weight measurement. We'll do it exactly the same when checking our fifth wheels and goosenecks. You just want to make sure that you select the pin weight option instead of the tongue weight option. That way the system knows that the weight's going to be positioned over the rear axle and not at the back of the vehicle, it's going to use that in its calculations.In addition to your tongue and pin weights, we can also set up our weight distribution with the app. The weight distribution setup is going to be similar to taking a tongue weight measurement. You're going to basically go through the same procedure and it'll actually give you your tongue weight measurement while you're doing it. Once you've taken the tongue weight measurement in the weight distribution procedure. It will then provide you with information to help you adjust your weight distribution system for your vehicle. It helps you adjust the tension on your chains or however your weight distribution system is set up depending on the type that you have to show you if you're putting enough weight on the front axle, if you're putting too much weight on the front axle. You'll receive several gauges to help you monitor how the weight's being distributed on your app, to help you level it all out.Leveling out your vehicle using a weight distribution system will help restore loss from braking and handling performance that you'll have due to the weight of the vehicle being all in the back, lifting up on the front end and lowering down the backend. That causes the geometry of your tires to be incorrect from how they would be at the factory. You've got less surface area contacting the road, which reduces your traction. It also prematurely wears your tires. And with the weight being more towards the back, it's not being distributed onto your front tires properly when you brake, which normally the weight goes up there, hits the front, and that's where most of your stopping power is. By leveling it back out, we're bringing it closer to your factory performance. And we're also going to improve our visibility at night because we're not having our headlights aimed up towards the sky.We're bringing them back down to the road. And here you can see what the scales would look like once you've taken the tongue weight measurement through the weight distribution section of the app. And it shows you the amount of weight that we have on the front axle, the amount of weight on the rear and then our trailer weight. Now, currently we're not hooked up. We just are showing you the scales here, but when you would make adjustments with your weight distribution system, you would see these moving. Right now we're just sitting in the back of the trailer, simulating a load on the back. If we get off of our truck, we're going to see these scales move. We're going to go ahead and take the weight off as if we we're adjusting our weight distribution system. And you can see here that the scales have moved.The front weight went from the zero that it was at back up, went up here, and then this one went back down there. Really all this is showing that the vehicle has leveled back out because there's now more weight on the front than there was on the rear. Using the app to help you set up your weight distribution system can help save you some time because normally with the weight distribution system, you're adjusting it and then taking several measurements at the back and at the front of the vehicle to verify if it's leveled back out well with this we have the computer system doing all that for us.We can just be at the back, making our adjustments and then watching our phone as the changes happen in real time. And the closer your weight distribution system is set up to equalizing the load on your vehicle, the better it's going to ride and the closer it's going to feel like a factory vehicle. We're now going to check our payload. We'll start by selecting payload and then selecting ready. And then we're just going to let the vehicle sit there on level ground so we can zero out.Now we've got our scale so we can load up our truck. We're going to load it up with just me and my camera man, and see how well it measures. I weigh almost 200 pounds. My camera is about 150, so we should expect somewhere around 350. And now we're both sitting here in the back of the truck and you can see the scale. We're just over 300 pounds, about 350 there. I'd say that's pretty darn accurate. And I'm actually pretty impressed that it was able to detect such a small amount of weight so accurately. This is a pretty heavy duty truck with a lot of suspension enhancements, making it even stiffer on our suspension. We don't really make it move that much when we get in, but yet it still knows. With it measuring so good on such a small scale, we can be sure that it's going to be even more accurate on a larger scale.And this could just as easily be mulch, rocks or bricks. And you can easily check that before you leave to ensure that you're not going to exceed the maximum payload of your vehicle. Now we've got our boat hooked up to our truck here and we've taken this boat and truck to the local scale to get some measurements. Now we're going to hop into the BetterWeigh, and we're going to take the entire measurement of our truck and what we're hauling with it and compare it to what we measured it at the scale. We'll begin by selecting the weight option at the top, and we're then going to follow our onscreen instructions. I've already set us up on a nice straightaway, and this is going to be similar to one of the calibration processes, but we're just going to go from a stop. We're going to drive straight accelerating at about mid throttle, and it actually works a little bit better if you're slightly less than mid throttle, up to about 15 and then we'll come to a stop and repeat this if it instructs us to.And it told us to try again. So we're just going to repeat this. This may take a few times, and as you're doing this, it's gathering information from your vehicle. It's not a bad idea after you get your first measurement to try it again, because each time you perform this, it's going to have more information from the vehicle and give you more accurate readings. Once you're done, it will tell you that it is completed. We'll select, okay. And then we're going to get our weight, which looks like we're getting about 7,000 pounds. And we can see side by side with the measurements we got at the local scale, which was reading 6,860 pounds that we're reading accurate within about 150 pounds. And that's pretty darn close when you consider that these scales here are designed to measure things that are much heavier than what we're measuring here.These are for tractor trailers that are going way up there. You can kind of see here that it only actually even measures in 20 pound increments. We're now back in our Ram, where we've got a brake controller installed, we hooked up a trailer with trailer brakes so we can test out the brake gain function of the BetterWeigh system. This will automatically detect the optimal break gain for the load that we're hauling. Now, currently our trailer doesn't have any load on it, but it's still going to give us a reading for hauling it empty. In the truck here, we're going to go ahead and select a trailer brake gain. Now we're going to need to enter the weight of our trailer. And it's roughly a thousand pounds with the combined weight of our vehicle. And we're going to go with about 7,000 pounds as a rough estimate.And we are pulling a bumper tow trailer so we'll select that. We'll then need to calibrate. And this is where it's actually going to do the determination of what our brake controller settings should be. It's going to have us start with a setting of three. Go ahead and adjust your controller. Ours is a factory controller, so you can see it changing on the dash there. Now what it wants us to do is to drive the vehicle. We're going to go to about 15 miles an hour, and then we're going to apply the brakes on our trailer, using the manual slider. Once we come to a complete stop using that, we're going to continue holding the manual slider all the way over, and we're going to then accelerate up to 15 miles an hour while holding this. If we hear that our wheels are locked up, or you can have somebody watch your tires to make sure that they are rotating or whether they're not rotating, it's going to determine the next steps. We're going to go ahead and accelerate.And we are dragging our tires. We could hear it there. If lock-up occurs, then you would hit the lock-up button. If lock-up did not occur, then you would just repeat this same process until the bar completed. We can see that the bar at the bottom there is moved from where we started, but we're going to hit the lock-up occurred because it did. So we hit that and then it tells us now to set it to two. We're going to adjust our trailer down to a gain of two. And we're going to repeat that process.And at two, we didn't get any lock-ups. We just come to a stop and we see the progress bar has moved again. It did reset when you hit the lock-up occurred button, it's going to reset your progress bar, but since we didn't get lock-up, we're just going to keep repeating this process over and over. If the instructions tell us to make any changes, we'll do so. If a lock-up occurs, we'll hit the button, but if it doesn't instruct us to do anything or we have no lock-up, then we're just going to continue repeating until the progress bar reaches the end. And once your bar fills all the way up, your calibration will be complete. We'll hit okay. And then it's going to tell you the optimum gain for the current trailer that you're hauling in its current state. Now we're hauling an empty trailer.If we go fill this up with a big, heavy load, we would want to redo the trailer brake gain procedure and get our new readout for what we're currently hauling, but we can use our results here to know that with an empty trailer, a gain of two is going to be perfect for us. The trailer gain setting is pretty nice. I liked the fact that you can just use the setting to do it, because normally to set your gain, it's a big trial and error process and your trailer is always changing as you load it. So you're constantly having to go up and down. It's nice to be able to load it up, do a quick dry cycle to get the optimal gain setting, and then hit the road. Because if your gain's set incorrectly, if it's too low, your trailer is going to be pushing your vehicle and you may not be able to come to a stop in time, especially in an emergency situation.Now, if your trailer brake gain is too high, your trailer brakes can lock up in the back. And this can cause a bit of a jarring motion on the inside. You could hit the brake in here and it locks up there that kind of makes you want to go like this because those brakes are one to lock up and this trailer's wanting to stop a lot sooner than your vehicle is, and that's just uncomfortable. And it can cause wear and tear on components. Having it properly set will allow your vehicle and your trailer to stop with the same amount of force, so it's nice and smooth. It feels very natural when you're coming to a stop and your trailer is not going to be pushing your vehicle. So, you know you're going to be safe and able to stop in those emergency events. And that completes our look at the BetterWeigh from CURT.

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