Tow Ball Weight empty versus loaded

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:21
ThreadID: 109428 Views:2311 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
This Thread has been Archived
Hi All,

I've recently picked up a new Jayco camper trailer and trying to understand the weight distribution and tow ball load for better balance towing. The ball weight has been measured empty at 186kg which is well over 10% of the ATM weight (1508kg) which I have been told to aim for.

So is there any easy way to do rough calculation of tow ball weight if the water tank 82L that sits behind the axle is filled? I'll probably invest in a tow ball weight scale to balance it as best I can but interested to hear if people have experience with this.

Thanks,
Mr P
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:40

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:40
If you can tell us
1 the distance from Jayco axle to tow-ball, AND
2 how far behind the axle the middle of the tank is
we can help you.
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 538748

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:51

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:51
In fact, the maths is easy - you can do it yourself.

Measure the two distances.

Call the axle to ball distance x
Call the axle to middle of tank distance y
Make sure you use the same units for both.

The weight reduction at the ball will be 82 times y divided by x.

Say y is 3.5m and x is 1.1m. The the weight reduction is 1.1 times 82 divided by 3.5, = 25.7, call it 26.

So you new ball weight is 186-26, = 160kg.

Cheers
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

1
FollowupID: 823324

Follow Up By: mrpotato - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:51

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:51
Thanks Frank, I don't have the trailer with me at the moment so will measure next weekend
0
FollowupID: 823325

Follow Up By: mrpotato - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:53

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:53
Thanks Frank, very easy instructions that even I can follow!

Appreciate the help :)
0
FollowupID: 823326

Follow Up By: DmaxQld - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 07:37

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 07:37
Hey Frank, are you sure you have those measurements around the right way. Shouldn't it be x = 3.5? Your final result is correct, just a typo in your explanation which may confuse some.
0
FollowupID: 823348

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 08:44

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 08:44
Thanks Dmax, you are correct, and apologies to all. The "x"and the "y" in the example have been transposed. The rest of it and the reasoning are correct. The example should read

"Say x is 3.5m and y is 1.1m ..."

Cheers
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

0
FollowupID: 823349

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 20:32

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 20:32
Most tow ball weights are based on urban myth..... many say between 10-15% and overseas some recommend 0-5%.

Balancing has very little to do with 10% tow ball weights, too much rear bias can become unstable and dangerous as can too much forward bias.

Much depends on the tow vehicle and caravan design.

The biggest thing is don't exceed you vehicles tow ball weights and remember all tow ball weights come of the vehicles GVM, so take a Patrol with a 580Kg load capacity, take off the 186kg you have at the moment leaves you with a bit over 390kg capacity. The 390kg includes extra fuel, travelling gear, additional spare tyres, bull bar and the most important thing passengers....... as you can see it leaves very little and in most cases over the legal GVM...... take 90kg per passenger X 2 and you have 210kg for every thing else.
AnswerID: 538752

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 21:53

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 21:53
Just as amatter of interest Spud..what is stamped on the VIN plate.

cheers
AnswerID: 538758

Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 22:42

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 22:42
Id like to see what is listed on the compliance plate, would have thought 186 kgs ball weight empty for a camper that size was to much. Think my 511 coromal off road van is about that ball weight fully loaded, 16ft 9inch 3 water tanks etc.
Cheers Graeme.
AnswerID: 538763

Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 09:46

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 09:46
Is about right for my Jayco Flite.
0
FollowupID: 823354

Reply By: DmaxQld - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 07:44

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 07:44
Lots of "thinking" and assumptions being made. Please don't believe the weights from the manufacturer. From personal experience and reading lots of forums, they are almost always optimistic. Take your loaded and packed van/camper with full gas bottles and full water tanks etc. to a weighbridge and check for yourself. You will, not may, be surprised. For a few dollars, you will have accurate weight for "your" setup.

Oh, and when you are at the weighbridge, weigh your tow vehicle with all the occupants onboard. Bet you get an even bigger surprise.
AnswerID: 538767

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 09:19

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 09:19
Very true and surprising when all those bits add up to an unbelievable figure. Best to find out early too, as having something break away from home is always more inconvenient and expensive. You may not like what you see but at least you can deal with it.

Kind regards
0
FollowupID: 823351

Reply By: mrpotato - Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 10:29

Monday, Sep 08, 2014 at 10:29
Thanks everyone for the feedback, I don't have the trailer with me so can't see the compliance plate but have copy of the paperwork numbers so expect it would be the same 186kg.

I think I will load it up and go test it myself for piece of mind.
AnswerID: 538782

Sponsored Links