Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

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jazzeddie1234
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Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by jazzeddie1234 » August 18th, 2014, 2:28 pm

I recently picked up a MDC voyager cheap and the website claims a tow ball weight of 185 kg. I have a heavy duty tow bar and suspension with a limit of 300kg which I thought would do it easy. I was sure something was wrong so I had a crack at measuring the tow ball weight using a set of bathroom scales and a 1 meter long steel tube split 50-50 between the scales and a brick. Expecting a reading of 90kg I freaked when the scales maxed out at 150 meaning I had over 300kg on my tow bar! This is with the trailer fully unloaded and all tanks/jerries empty

Did I do the calculation correctly?
Isuzu Dmax 2014 LSM,
Sports Range bull bar,
12,000lb winch, ome suspension, 135l poly long range tank

Rogers Cruiser
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by Rogers Cruiser » August 18th, 2014, 8:31 pm

There are a few mathematical issues with doing it that way.

I would go and get a cheap fish scale (up to 200kgs) and then measure it that way. Its well worth the $30 and is usefull in a range of ways.
'98-'06 - FJ-45 Ute fell over one day and didnt survive
'06-now - HJ-47 Troopy, restored and now daily driver.
'13-now - HJ-47 Ute, Farm fresh rust bucket, needs a restoration. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=152811

now - Off Road Box/Camper Trailer. viewtopic.php?f=134&t=153968&p=1792444#p1792444

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mydmax
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by mydmax » August 18th, 2014, 9:08 pm

jazzeddie1234

The towbar must be exactly in the middle; Pivot one end, towbar on top, and bathroom scales underneath the other end with gap spacings equal.
scales.jpg
Edited to get the sample weights in correct position
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Last edited by mydmax on August 18th, 2014, 10:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

jazzeddie1234
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by jazzeddie1234 » August 18th, 2014, 10:00 pm

Yep that's what I did exactly. So here is a 1000kg trailer with 300kg plus on the tow ball (empty) and meets ADR criteria.... Good thing I travel light (or now with a few bags of cement in the tail)!!!
Isuzu Dmax 2014 LSM,
Sports Range bull bar,
12,000lb winch, ome suspension, 135l poly long range tank

mydmax
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by mydmax » August 18th, 2014, 10:58 pm

How far back from centre of body work is the axle.
Seems to need a relocate to get it reasonable. That sort of weight is for a 3 ton van and many of those don't get that high.

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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 19th, 2014, 10:48 am

Eddie, you haven't gone & done anything like put full gas bottles or jerry cans in the holders for them, put your tools or a battery in up front, or even put the fridge in the slide, added your cutlery etc to the kitchen drawers have you?!!? The axle/wheels on those things looks to be an awful long way back from the hitch point due to the extended drawbar, & without doing something like filling the watertank & adding a couple of bags of cement or two spare wheels hanging off the back to help balance everything out, I'd suspect that adding ANY weight to the front would make it front heavy - and that's gonna show up in too much towball weight!!

Often these trailers are set up before they add all the 'accessories' or 'optional extras' & fitting a couple of gas bottles, a fridge (even empty), a battery, & the contents of the kitchen drawers is enough to make the 'specified towball download' look totally ridiculous.... but that sort of stuff does tend to get evened out by filling the water tank, fitting the spare tyre (it might not have been on when they did the spec testing) & loading all your gear in the slots & gaps they expect to you to fill etc. Then again, many people (& some manufacturers) just don't think about how their trailer is going to be loaded,& how placement of gear & the heavy bits can effect the towing & the loads imposed on the tow vehicle etc!! Maybe you just need to carry 4 or 6 cases of beer around all the time, still in their cartons, sitting up high and as far back in the trailer as you can... better that than a couple of bags of cement!!
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jazzeddie1234
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by jazzeddie1234 » August 19th, 2014, 10:31 pm

Just the reverse Peter... I took out the 2 jerry cans and their mounts (10kg), removed the fridge slide/tray (15kg), moved the 20kg of awning poles as far back as I could , added my 20kg hi lift jack with them, filled the water tank. Then the weight started to drop to the 240-250 mark and I only needed 25psi in the suspension to return to original ride height. The chassis distribution is 1 meter behind the axle to 4 in front which means I have to add an awful lot in the back to see a result at the towball... Next I might move the 2 batteries (1 meter ahead of axle) further back.
Filling with water is an improvement but no point if I have to keep the tank full when free camping
A last option would be to replace the heavy steel fridge box with an aluminum version (and then the bags of cement...)

I didn't have time to do a final check on the scale so will have another measure on the weekend
Isuzu Dmax 2014 LSM,
Sports Range bull bar,
12,000lb winch, ome suspension, 135l poly long range tank

jazzeddie1234
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by jazzeddie1234 » August 19th, 2014, 10:35 pm

But on reflection a full water tank is better than 6 cases of undrinkable beer!!!
Isuzu Dmax 2014 LSM,
Sports Range bull bar,
12,000lb winch, ome suspension, 135l poly long range tank

jazzeddie1234
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by jazzeddie1234 » August 20th, 2014, 11:24 pm

Quick update. Now down to 200kg with the changes (and no cement/ beer) with some options for more weight shifting I hope. Bought a $12 set of mechanical bathroom scales from target and calibrated my load sharing lever by adding a known weight and checking it added exactly half to the scales.
Isuzu Dmax 2014 LSM,
Sports Range bull bar,
12,000lb winch, ome suspension, 135l poly long range tank

Peter Aawen
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » August 21st, 2014, 11:12 am

So it really looks like your issue is probably because the specs for the trailer were either done before ALL the fittings & accessories were fitted to the trailer as mentioned earlier; they have absolutely no relation to reality; or someone was outright lying when they filled in the form for the compliance plate!? :purplex:

You gotta wonder just a little, don't you!! :irked:
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

jazzeddie1234
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by jazzeddie1234 » August 21st, 2014, 11:05 pm

Funny thing about the compliance plate....only has the vin number on it. Nothing else filled in!
Isuzu Dmax 2014 LSM,
Sports Range bull bar,
12,000lb winch, ome suspension, 135l poly long range tank

WomblingFree
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by WomblingFree » August 26th, 2014, 3:26 pm

jazzeddie1234

For around $60 you can buy a proper ball weight scale from Repco. Less if you have NRMA membership.

mydmax
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by mydmax » August 26th, 2014, 5:19 pm

Repco's ball weight thingo may not be any more proper than using a lever principle on a bathroom scale.
Most already have bathroom scales and a piece of timber and is a lot cheaper.

WomblingFree
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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by WomblingFree » September 16th, 2014, 5:08 pm

mydmax wrote:Repco's ball weight thingo may not be any more proper than using a lever principle on a bathroom scale.
Most already have bathroom scales and a piece of timber and is a lot cheaper.
Well you can stuff around with doubtfully calibrated old style scales and bits of wood plus downloaded instructions then post the results here querying if you have done it correctly
Or you can simply lower the hitch onto the 'made for the job' scales and read off the value.

Personally I can no longer be bothered stuffing around with near 200Kg of ball weight and scales and then have to lift it up again when finished but whatever works for you.

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Re: Excessive ball weight on MDC hard floor?

Unread post by GBC » November 15th, 2014, 8:27 am

Kimberley, campomatic, aor. You name it, any brand of hard floor flip trailer has a ridiculously large front bias. Last time I looked at a kimberley in 2004 I couldn't tow one with my current model hilux because of the ball weight.

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