rv Education 101

RV Education 101 - Measure Your Trailer Weight Distribution System Easily

Hi, I’m Mark Polk with RV Education 101. The good folks at Equalizer Hitch asked me if wanted to review and test their OnTarget Towing Tool. The primary function of the tool is to make measuring your weight distribution fast and easy. After a couple of quick measurements, you know exactly what your weight distribution percentage is. So, you can make any adjustments necessary for safer towing. Weights constantly change in travel trailers. You remove weight, add weight, and move things around. You tow the trailer with weight in the holding tanks, and you tow the trailer when the holding tanks are empty. This means your weight distribution is constantly changing, and that can affect how the trailer tows. Prior to having this tool, I had to go to the scales to determine what the current weight distribution percentage is. So, let’s see how this OnTarget Towing Tool works.

To test the towing tool, I’m using my new Ram truck and our restored 1967 Yellowstone travel trailer. The hitch that I’m using was previously set up for my ’71 Dodge Power Wagon. My new truck has never been used to tow the trailer prior to this. So, it will be interesting to see what happens. Inside the box is the tool, three AAA batteries, a protective case, the Target reflector card, and a wristband. We installed the batteries. Now we’re going to follow the instructions that came with the tool.

Read all the safety warnings, particularly about the laser beam. The first step is to park on flat, level ground, chalk the trailer tires, and uncouple the trailer without pulling forward. Next, turn the tool on by pressing the read button. The default setting is the weight distribution mode. Place the reflector card on the ground, lined up with the center of the tow vehicle’s front tire and wheel well. Place the tool at the center line of the front wheel well against the bottom of the fender, aiming the laser down. Line the laser up with the Target reflector.

Press the read button to take measurement A. This is measurement A uncoupled. Measurement B is with the trailer coupled to the truck without spring bars, so it’s the full amount of tongue weight. Make this measurement at the same place and press read to get measurement B. Measurement C is with the spring bars engaged. Take this measurement in the same place again. This is measurement C. Now the OnTarget Tool calculates the current weight distribution achieved. Equalizer Hitch recommends a weight distribution reading amount between 50% and 100%. Adjust the hitch and spring bars and remeasure C until you are in the recommended range. Then you can test drive the setup and repeat any steps necessary. Proper weight distribution provides improved steering, better breaking, and improved vehicle control, keeping you safer when towing heavy loads, driving in inclement weather, passing semitrucks, or driving in cross winds. Other functions of the tool are– it makes the job of leveling your trailer easier with the electronic level feature. It can measure how deep your campsite is, using the laser distant measuring tool, and you can easily measure your clearances in wooded areas to make sure awnings and slide outs can fully extend. As far as proper weight distribution percentages go, I give the OnTarget Towing Tool an A plus. To learn more about the OnTarget Towing Tool, visit equalizerhitch.com and click on Towing Tools.

Happy camping from Mark Polk of RV Education 101

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