Step 3—Conventional Trailer Weight Safety Report (Travel Trailer, Toad, Dinghy)

The premier self-service towing weight calculator providing the only 13 point safety report.
Caution: This is not a pre-purchase calculator—use RV Tow Check.

The appropriate worksheet for completing this report is found at Step 1. Individual glossary terms for Section C -Report are available by tapping or hovering on the symbol. Note: Glossary terms found on the Step 1 Worksheet are not repeated here.

If all your safety margins are displayed in GREEN, that's great! You have carefully paid attention to your vehicles’ load. Pat yourself on the back. Although this report is a good indicator of a safe load, Fifth Wheel St.'s vehicle and Conventional Trailer Weight Safety Report can never substitute for the advanced weighing procedure consisting of wheel by wheel weighing. Whenever possible, weigh each wheel position at a location that provides the advanced towing safety report. Visit the Wheel-by-Wheel Weighing Resources page to find a location near you.

If any of your safety margins are displayed in RED, then you are towing with a potential driving hazard. It's your responsibility to consider what you think is safe for your towing situation, whether it's 4 pounds overweight or 4000 pounds overweight. You need to take a careful look at how your vehicles are loaded. You may need to remove or relocate some items to better balance the load. In some instances, you may need to purchase a tow vehicle with higher towing capacity or purchase a trailer with less gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).

Weigh-In Without WD System Activated

The only way to obtain the true and correct tongue weight from a truck scale is to weigh on the scale with the WD system deactivated. After weighing the tow vehicle and trailer with the WD system deactivated, enter the three scaled weights in items D, E and F.

Caution: Only disconnect the WD system near the scale location. It may be extremely unsafe to tow on the highway without the WD system activated.

Benefits of Weighing with Activated Weight Distribution System
(For Trailers WD Systems)

A true and correct weight safety report weighs the vehicles in the same configuration as it is driven on the highway. It is unlikely, except for temporary mechanical failure, for one to tow their conventional trailer down the highway without the WD system activated. The benefits of weighing with the WD system activated and using this safety report are as followed:

  • Shows the weight of the front axle and the result will assist in determining if there is too much or too little weight distributed to the axle.

  • Shows the weight of the rear axle and the result will assist in determining if there is too much or too little weight distributed to the axle.

  • Shows the weight of the trailer axle(s) and the result will assist in determining if there is too much or too little weight distributed to the axle(s).

The results indicate wither the towing combination is safe or some ratings are exceeded or if there is an imbalance with the activated WD system in the normal towing condition.

Motorcoach Owners

The most common weight issue for motorcoaches is exceeding the vehicle's Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR). As for the tongue weight (TW) measurements, there is a little more flexibility in this area depending on the towing method. If you're towing a dinghy or toad with all four wheels on the ground (flat tow), expect very little TW. Even when towing a dinghy or toad on a dolly the TW will still remain fairly low but ensure you're not exceeding the rear Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). Now if you're towing a conventional trailer, read the report the same as any other conventional towing combination.

Tongue Weight

Once you know the total loaded trailer weight, it is important to adjust the trailer load balance so that no less than 10% of the trailer's weight is on the hitch ball, and no more than 15%. SAE advises the optimum tongue weight be 10% because it reduces oversteer in the tow vehicle. If you discover that the trailer tends to sway at 10% tongue weight, increase the tongue weight incrementally until the sway stops. In some configurations, an anti-sway bar may be required. Foremost, follow any owner's manual instructions. Caution: Aways adjust tongue weight without weight distribution system activated.

The simplest onsite method to quickly measure the tongue weight is using the Weigh Safe ball mount shaft and ball.

Save your report as an image for sharing.

  • Crome, Firefox, and Android users - Add Nimbus Screen Capture to your browser and save the report as a PNG or JPG image. You can move margins to fit the area to save. Simply change the default PNG extension to JPG before saving. Click here to add Nimbus Screen Capture to your Crome or Firefox or Android browser.
  •  IE/Microsoft Edge users - Sorry, you're own your own for this one. If you know of a good free addon or plugin, let us know.