Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Tires for the Rig and A Stop At The Truck Scales

Yesterday, I went to get new tires for the 5th wheel trailer. From reading RV forums I notice some people give their rigs a name. Maybe we can have a "name that rig" contest? I digress. After shopping around, and with budget constraints in mind, I settled on Les Schwab's and their Toyo brand LT235/85R-16 Open Country H/T All Position. Since they are for a trailer, there was no need for a traction type tread design and I had read that the straighter tread patterns were better than the staggered tread. One reason for choosing Les Schwab is that they are all over the country so we have a pretty good chance of finding one while traveling if the need should arise. I can't comment on the Toyo's just yet. I'll have to see how they hold up before making a comment on them.
This was the first trip out of the driveway since we got the trailer and my first foray into the wonderful world of backing up. It only took 4 tries. Betsy was the spotter, making sure I didn't back into or run over anything and did an excellent job for her first time. We plan to get a set of walkie-talkies to improve communications for those times when the spotter is not in view of the driver.

One thing that has been weighing on my mind (pun intended) is how much does all this stuff weigh. The truck has a maximum hauling capacity called GVWR (I'm not going to get into that as their are several other ratings and factors involved and you can google it if you really want to know) and the trailer axles are also rated for their maximum capacity as well as the tires. So, on my way to get the new tires, I made a quick detour into a small truck weigh station that isn't often open. I had checked it out the week before and you can see the scale readout through the glass in the door of the office. It doesn't have the split weighing platforms that the more popular weigh stations do but I managed to get several key weights recorded and was relieved to see we are still well under the maximum load ratings. I'll need to make one more trip to the scales to weigh the truck by itself so I can see what the weight is on the rear axle when it's unloaded so I can calculate the trailer pin weight. The pin is the part of the trailer that locks into the hitch in the bed of the truck. The pin weight is how much of the trailer weight is supported by the truck and is part of figuring the truck's loaded weight. ie: If the truck is rated to carry 3000lbs and the pin weight is 2500 lbs then you are 500 lbs under the maximum rated capacity. Other factors involved are weight of driver and passengers, fuel and any personal belongings. It all adds up really quickly. Just a couple of things here, a favorite widget, a few books, DVD's and you've added a couple hundred pounds or more.

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