That dreaded tongue weight. Well maybe not dreaded but it can be a pain to get the actual weight without a lot of calculations. But this work is necessary to make sure you do not exceed your tongue weight limits. Good towing includes being under your allowed tongue weight.
There is a good weight distribution hitch on sale at harbor freight and it reaches up to 10,000 pounds. However, we tried searching their website and nothing came up for the trailer tongue weight scale. But that does not mean they won’t have any in a month when vacation season heats up.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you have the best information to make the right decisions for your towing situations. A few minutes is all you need to get this top information that should help you out.
When you are at home, you won’t have access to one of the better options available. That option is the commercial scales that dot the highway and watch for overloaded trucks and other vehicles.
When you are at home, you have two basic options. The bathroom scale or a trailer tongue weight scale. You can use other scales but these seem to be the most popular and the most used.
A couple of diagrams should give you the best idea of how to use your bathroom scale the correct way when looking for tongue weight. The diagrams and instructions come from E-trailer’s website:
The instructions for this method follow:
- Place the trailer tongue 1 ft from the pipe on the support brick
- Multiply the reading on the scale by the total distance between the 2 support pipes
- Use a brick that is the same thickness as the scale so that the 2 x 4 is level when you weigh your trailer
An example is mentioned on that website and it should explain everything. There is other information available in that article about using a commercial scale if you prefer to go that route.
If you are looking for cheap as in price and not in manufacturing quality, then you should go to Amazon. That marketplace has a long list of tongue weight scales from the very inexpensive to the fairly expensive models.
One of the inexpensive options, the RoMech 660lb Digital Hanging Scale, sells for $30 approx and it has a 660-pound capacity. For approx., $1 more, you can buy the Fuzion Hanging Scale but its capacity is only 600 pounds.
Then a final option would be the RUOQUTWK Digital Hanging Scale, which sells for about $26 and also has a 660-pound capacity. If you are looking for a higher weight limit then you may have to graduate to the more expensive tongue weight scales on that list.
Or you can try eBay or other marketplace outlets that specialize in scales to see if they have a model that will fit your weight capacity levels as well as budget levels. There are more places to look than Amazon, it is just something to use as an example.
Check your local hardware and big box stores to see what they have in stock. You never know what you will find until you do a little searching in these alternative locations.
We tried searching the Harbor freight website but nothing came up in our search. That may be due to technical difficulties with the internet. But in many of our generic internet searches for this topic, Harbor Freight did not come up at all.
What that means is that either Harbor Freight does not carry tongue weight scales or it is out of stock. We have heard that they do not sell every item full time so this may be a seasonal product or something they bring in when they have a good deal.
We did find some other alternatives where you can look. A quick search brought up Walmart which is selling one Sherline model for just over $128 but in that same list, they had a host of bathroom scales for under $50.
E-trailer had two options for $100 and $90 which you can check out at this link. Don’t forget to search their site to see if they have more models to choose from.
Or you can go to this link and see another Sherline model, one with a 1000-pound capacity and one with a 2000-pound capacity. Both models are selling on that website for $185.
If you cannot find one at harbor freight you can either wait to see if they bring any in or go to one of their competitors and get a nice scale made with top-quality parts.
You will have to use a lot of pre-made components to make this happen. If you have an engine lift device on your property, you can always attach a hanging scale to it. This works as long as the chains holding the trailer tongue can handle the weight.
If you do not have one of those devices handy, you can always construct your own out of 2 by 4s or 2 by 6s, etc., depending on the weight of your trailer. An A-frame design may be the best option but you are free to use the best design possible.
The key would be to have the wood built so it can handle the weight of the tongue with ease. There is a YouTube video showing how one is made out of PVC pipe. Unfortunately, the sound is gone after the introduction so we cannot put a transcription here for you to follow.
We will place the link at the end of the post, so you can view how this one person did it and you can slow it down to follow his steps. The sound returns once the PVC tongue weight scale is completed.
We did a search for homemade tongue weight scales and the results were very limited. You may have to use some creative thinking and innovative components to make your own.
The ideas mentioned above are just to get you started and point you in the right direction. One website we came across in this search says it is a do-it-yourself RV and that is the name of the website.
However, they just talked about the Weigh-Safe hitch that provides you with a built-in scale to measure your tongue weight. It is a good invention and should give a more accurate weight level than the bathroom scale.
As you can see, there are not that many around. The reason for this is that there are so many good inexpensive tongue weight scales already made. It may not be cost-effective to make your own when they are so cheap.
You can spend up to almost a thousand dollars for at least one model but most are in the $200 to $300 range. Amazon has that thousand-dollar model at the link we provided above.
If you want to spend the money and put your engineering prowess to the test, this might be a good project to do. If it is successful, you may be able to make money by selling copies of your DIY tongue weight scale to others.
It is an idea as there are so few DIY options listed in any search we were able to conduct for this article. But to play it safe, you should simply go to Amazon or your local hardware store and see what is available.
You are not going to need a large scale if your trailer does not weigh a lot. With the amount of top tongue weight scales available everywhere, you shouldn’t need to do this work. You have plenty of great options available to you.
This is not going to be a difficult process. But the most important part is to make sure your trailer weighs less than 3000 pounds. The bathroom scales generally only go up to 300 pounds so it is not effective for larger trailers.
All you have to do is place the tongue or jack directly on the scale. For heavier than 300-pound tongues there was some information left out of the instructions we gave above under the second diagram. Here is a fuller set of instructions to follow:
1. Park on a level surface.
To begin, make sure your trailer is parked on level ground and the wheels are chocked.
2. Lay a 2x4 stud on the ground.
Position a 2x4 or other sturdy board on the ground, directly below the trailer tongue. The board must be at least 3-1/2 feet long.
3. Position a bathroom scale at one end and a block at the other.
Place the bathroom scale roughly 2 feet from the trailer tongue, and a block or brick about 1 foot from the trailer tongue. Protect the bathroom scale with a small piece of plywood on top.
4. Center the stud on two pipes.
Insert two horizontal pipes -- one in the center of the bathroom scale and one in the center of the block.
Measure the distance from the trailer tongue. Make sure the pipe on the scale is 2 feet from the center of the tongue, and the pipe on the block is 1 foot from the tongue.
5. Rest the trailer tongue on a vertical pipe.
Position a pipe vertically under the trailer tongue, and lower the trailer jack until the coupler is fully resting on the pipe.
6. Read the scale and multiple by 3.
Take an initial reading from the scale bathroom scale, and multiple it by 3. This is the tongue weight.
That should give you an accurate weight reading for your trailer tongue. The important instruction is #6 when it says to multiply by 3. Don’t ignore that step.
There may be some confusion between these two terms but do not let either one throw you. The two terms are actually referring to the same weight limit and are often used interchangeably.
If you hear two people talking about trailer weights and one says his hitch weight is so much and the other says his tongue weight is lighter than that, they are both talking about the same thing.
These terms are used for bumper pull towing situations only. When it comes to a gooseneck and 5th wheel towing situation, you should hear the terms pin weight.
Again, it is talking about the amount of weight the trailer tongue is placing on the tow vehicle. When you are doing your weighing, you always want to be in the 10 to 15% range of the total trailer weight.
We mention this because we came across a couple of top best trailer tongue weight scale lists. What makes us mention them is the lack of variety on those lists.
One list of the best 4 scales had 3 Sherline models on it and one Curtis. On the list that had 7 of the best tongue weight scales, there was one Sherline at #1. Curtis was at #7 and Weigh Safe options filled in the other 5 spots.
Those brands are good but there are also other good models and brands to choose from.
The brand of tongue weight scales will be important. When you are looking for a good scale, the brand name will tell you how good the scale is. Even if it costs more, you want a top brand to make sure you are getting an accurate reading.
Check out the reviews of those top brands before you buy to make sure you are getting the best of the best.