Do you have any idea how much your travel trailer weighs? Proper setup when towing your travel trailer requires knowing your trailer’s weight and tongue weight, as well as other information.
You cannot base your safety and the safety of others on the fixed helium-laced numbers the manufacture states in their paperwork. Trailer weight is an ever-changing number. Tanks empty? Tanks full? Weekend trip? Week-long trip? All of these variables affect and change a trailer’s weight.
Having the ability to accurately know your trailer’s weight is a must for safety. Calculating these numbers with a tape measurer and taking your RV to the CAT Scales at an interstate truck stop will get you an accurate baseline set up. But that takes time and is not always convenient. So how can you solve this problem?
Curt Manufacturing has a great solution. They call it “The BetterWeigh System.”
The BetterWeigh system is a little cube that plugs into your tow vehicle’s OBD plug. This small device claims to take all the guesswork out of setting up your travel trailer for safe towing.
The system is app-based for your smartphone and works with both Apple and Android-based devices. The app is available from the Apple Store or Google Play based on your phone’s operating system.
So what does it measure? The BetterWeigh System measures vehicle weight, combined vehicle and trailer weight, payload weight, tongue or pin weight, and weight distribution. The system will also help you calculate your trailer brake gain.
How does it work? The BetterWeigh system plugs into your tow vehicle’s OBD Plug and your VIN number is entered into the system. The BetterWeigh uses Newton’s Second Law of Motion, “force is equal to mass multiplied by acceleration.”
The “force” is calculated by measuring the “slip” across the tow vehicle’s torque converter as you accelerate. “Acceleration” is determined by an onboard accelerometer within the system. Once the system is installed and calibrated it can provide real-time measurements while driving or sitting still.
With the system installed and the trailer tongue above the tow ball, select “tongue weight” from the menu and follow the on-screen instruction to lower the tongue onto the ball.
With the tongue lowered onto the ball and the tongue jack not touching the ground, the BetterWeigh system will display the trailer’s lounge weight on your smartphone device.
With the trailer securely hitched to the tow vehicle and located on a straight flat stretch of road, you are ready to measure your total weight. To do this select “weight” from the menu and accelerate from a complete stop through 15MPH with medium throttle.
The app will beep once the measurement is taken. The more times you do this test the more data the BetterWeigh collects and the more accurate its results.
With your trailer receiver above the hitch ball and ready to engage, select “weight distribution” from the menu and repeat the same process as above for acquiring tongue weight.
This will give you the baseline measurement for your weight distribution. Once you have this measurement hit the “ready button” and engage the weight distribution bars from your hitch and re-lower the trailer tongue fully on the ball. The goal in this process is to redistribute the lost weight back over the front wheels of the tow vehicle. This is done by adjusting the weight distribution until the front axle weight indicator is in the green area on the scale. Once this is done, you are “Good to Go and Ready to Tow”.
Does it work?
So does this little magic box really work? From all my testing and towing over the last few months, I would have to say…….yes! The BetterWeigh system works great and gives accurate numbers that can be used to safely adjust your system. This allows you to tow with confidence and know that your setup is properly adjusted to your current weight.
This system is super easy to use and does not require multiple tools to accurately set up and adjust your towing system. Technology has come a long way and, for me, it is sometimes hard to embrace. This system simply integrates into your towing system. It takes the guesswork out of your setup by giving you the information needed to tow your travel trailer safely down the road. That is something I can embrace.
You can find the BetterWeigh system on Amazon for about $87.