Bumper pull trailer and fifth wheel owners like myself are all too familiar with the uncertainties of ownership. Trailer weights and brake controller setup hassles are just two. But now, a new mobile trailer towing scale takes the guesswork out of RV driving for trailer owners. Motorhome drivers can also benefit from it. And at just $99, the CURT BetterWeigh™ towing innovation makes a great holiday gift for RVers.
CURT BetterWeigh™ Mobile Towing Scale Stands Out at SEMA
Even before we knew that this innovative RV gadget racked up the Best New Exterior Product Award at SEMA, the CURT BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale stopped us in our tracks of the ginormous event.
As full-time RVing fifth wheel owners for the last twelve years, we’ve had our share of brake controller setup issues that delay our hitch up routines and give us that uneasy feeling when driving down the highway.
We knew that CURT supplies towing products and USA-made custom-fit trailer hitches. But what we were about to discover was that the Wisconsin-based company just launched a plug-and-play mobile towing scale that takes the guesswork out of RV or commercial trailer towing. In the second part of our SEMA Holiday Gifts for RVers, we’ll show you why the product won the respect of SEMA award judges.
A Plug-and-Play RV Weight Management System
The smartphone compatible, Bluetooth enabled device plugs into a vehicle’s diagnostic port (OBD-II) below the steering wheel to measure real-time weights of your vehicle and trailer, cargo, tongue weight, pin weight, and weight distribution. BetterWeigh™ also calculates trailer brake gain to take the trial-and-error process away from the brake controller setup.
Other than during the initial installation, you won’t need an Internet connection for the product to work. It uses Bluetooth technology to communicate between the BetterWeigh™ system and a user’s Android or Apple smartphone. This gives users up-to-the-moment information for safer towing. It can even be used to calculate motorhome weights if the vehicle has an OBD-II port.
Using the small $99 device is easy. It requires no extra equipment to install or mount on the hitch itself as with similar products. You can even use it with up to four different vehicles. As long as the gasoline vehicles are 1996 or newer and diesel vehicles 2004 or newer, you can use it. It will work even if a vehicle has air suspension or is auto-leveling enabled.
TowSense technology gives real-time readouts.
Joe Larkin, Regional Sales Representative at CURT, gave us a demonstration to show how the company’s TowSense™ Technology works.
“Just plug it into the OBD-II port, download the program, take a snapshot of the VIN of the vehicle so it knows what kind of vehicle it’s dealing with so you can go through the settings. You can get your tongue weight, payload weight, weight distribution (for bumper pull and fifth wheel).”
CURT’s “TowSense technology” is basically an accelerometer that measures changes in force and acceleration of the towing setup. The calculations happen once the vehicle is in motion, taking information from the torque converter of the vehicle. By doing so, it gives the driver a real-time readout of the weights associated with towing.
The only exception to the TowSense process is when calculating payload. “To calculate the payload portion, if you’re loading your truck with material,” explained Larkin, “you have to do it empty, and then you put the weight in and then it’ll calculate what’s in the bed of the truck.”
Although BetterWeigh™ won’t let you know how much weight is on the axles or each wheel, like RV weigh scales will do, a weight distribution feature shows how extra trailer weight is distributed. It works when parked, with the weight distribution system engaged.
No More Brake Controller Setup Hassles
As fifth-wheel owners, BetterWeigh’s brake controller setup was the most appealing element for us. Larkin continued wowing us with his demonstration.
“One of the hardest things for people who are towing is getting their brake controller to the proper setting. This walks you through it. It asks what the trailer weight is, the vehicle weight combined with the trailer weight, it will ask you: Bumper tow? Fifth wheel? Gooseneck? Then it’ll tell you to set the gain on the brake controller to three. Then it’ll ask you to drive the vehicle about 15 miles per hour. Then you slide the override over until it just locks up. When lock-up occurs (the device) it will give you the most optimal setting for your brake controller.”
The mobile towing scale works with any manufacturer’s brake controller. It also doesn’t matter what kind of brakes are on your trailer. Larkin reassured us that it would work with our electric-over-hydraulic trailer brakes and existing controller.
About the only downside we could see is that if you lose your phone, you cannot adjust the brake controller. But, you can probably avoid that problem by installing the app on multiple phones.
Watch the BetterWeigh™ Video Demo
In a company press release about the SEMA award, Jesse Bauer, Director of Product for CURT Group said “We are extremely honored to win this award. CURT aspires to lead the towing and electrical accessory aftermarket industry in innovation and quality. This SEMA new product award is an affirmation that we’re on the right track with our focus on new product development. It’s been a team effort, and we’re excited to introduce the BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale along with many of our other innovative products in 2019 and beyond.”
CURT has the broadest selection of custom-fit receiver hitches for nearly every vehicle on the road today. The company is also a go-to provider of gooseneck, 5th wheel, and weight distribution hitches. They make electrical components, ball mounts, trailer balls, cargo carriers, bike racks and other towing accessories too.
The BetterWeigh™ mobile towing scale is shipping in mid-December 2019. For more information visit CURT’s BetterWeigh landing page.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.