If you want to weigh your RV, you’ll probably find a weighing station in your vicinity, or at least somewhere near the interstate. We know that many of you ask yourselves: “Where can I weigh my trailer?” In this article, we wanted to give you the most accurate and straightforward answer there is. Although finding a place where you can weigh your recreational vehicle might not be that easy for some of you, you will definitely find one within a 100-mile radius.
Before we begin to talk about the subject itself, it is good for you to know that weighing a motorhome or a pop-up trailer might be different. You’ll probably be able to weigh your pop-up trailer by yourself. Just look at the GAWR that you can find in the specifications of your camper and add the tongue weight. Then, if you want to know whether you’ll be able to tow it, compare it with the tow weight of your SUV, or some other towing vehicle that you plan to use.
Some of us don’t usually think that knowing the exact weight of an RV that we own or drive is important. However, it is. Safety is always the main reason for weighing your vehicle, but also sometimes you’ll need to provide the exact information. For example, when you’re crossing the ferry.
In the next paragraphs, we’ll provide you with every information that is important when it comes to weighing your trailer. We’ll talk about the RV stations that you’ll be able to find in your vicinity, explain how to weight a truck and a travel trailer, talk about portable RV scales and more. We’ve gathered everything in one place so that you can have a comprehensive guide that will serve you in the future.
So if this is your first time to weigh your RV, you’ve probably searched the internet far and wide for weigh stations near you, just like we did. We’ve also tried to find some weigh stations that specialize in motorhomes but to no avail. They do exist, however, but they are rare and can’t be found easily. So instead of continuing our pursuit for an RV weigh station, we focused ourselves on regular truck weighing. Why?
Most of the RV enthusiasts usually weigh their vehicles on regular truck weighing scales. Not only are they quite common and safe, they are also one of the most accurate and the best ways to weigh a trailer or other motorhomes.
Trucks usually have licenses with certain restrictions when it comes to the weight of the load that they are allowed to carry. That’s why truck scales are so numerous across the country. If a truck driver has a load that goes over the allowed limit, they’ll simply get a ticket.
We usually weigh RVs at truck stops. You can find them on every highway, and they are the most wide-spread. Almost every truck stop has a weighing scale, and that’s one of the main reasons why they are the most convenient option to go for. However, there is one thing that you should really pay attention to. You should only weigh your motorhome on scales that are certified. And how do we know when a scale is certified? They usually have a CAT sign on them. The abbreviation stands for Certified Automotive Truck. If they lack the sign, ask the workers at the station whether it’ll be safe to weigh your RV on their scales.
There are also other places where you could weigh your motorhome, like gas stations. We were surprised enough to have found that many gas stations actually have truck scales. Though, they are more common at the gas stations on interstates and highways. You will also be able to easily find them on well-equipped gas stations in larger cities. Just make sure to first ask them whether they’ll allow it and if there are any different procedures.
However, if you are unable to find the scales at truck and gas stations near you, you might want to try to stop by and ask around at the nearest concrete company, quarry, truck mechanic or anywhere else where big loads are a part of the daily job.
Ideally, we’ve found that the best and the most accurate way to weigh our trailer was at the RV Safety and Education Foundation, or better known as RVSEF. They are a non-profit organization with a focus on raising the awareness of RV drivers when it comes to safety and providing additional services and help. Make sure that they have an office in your state or city and feel free to contact them. They will always provide you with useful information, and not just about the weighing options. Though, be aware that they have schedules and tours, and that you’ll probably have to abide by it. So make sure to call them and check when and where you will be able to weigh your camper.
So why are they the best option? Simply because they will give you the most accurate weighing of your RVs. They will measure the weight by wheel position. That means that you will have a clear picture of how much pressure is applied to each wheel. You will get a comprehensive report that will help you to know exactly how to redistribute the weight and how your current tires will handle it.
RVSEF is a well-known organization that is recognized by many RV and tire manufacturers. Their methods are well received by most RV enthusiasts and you will surely get the most accurate weighing if you choose to contact them.
Apparently, there are companies that provide portable scales service. Basically, that means that you’ll be able to call them and see where they’re currently located. They are very convenient, and you will also be able to find them online. Furthermore, make sure to look for the ones that are nearest to you. Driving to the weighing station that is too far away may result in you damaging your vehicle if you are overloaded. So make sure to weigh it as soon as possible.
Lastly, you can even buy scales yourself. But be aware that they are way too expensive. You should know that the axle portable scales are affordable, but they will only measure the load that puts pressure on either your front or rear axle.
It depends on whether you’re trying to weigh one with the RVSEF or using truck scales. If the latter is your option of choice, first talk with the scales manager about safety precautions and the overall procedure. Inform them of all the needed details about your vehicle. After they give you the green light, you can proceed and place your vehicle on the scales.
We’ve found that there are usually 3 scales on weigh stations. The accurate way to position your vehicle is to place your rear wheels on the first scales. That means that the wheels of your trailer should come on the third scales. After you make sure that you’ve positioned your vehicle correctly, you will usually need to push a weigh button that is located nearby. Doing so will give a signal to the workers to start the process. Once they’re done, you will get a detailed report. The report usually contains both the overall weight of your vehicle and all the axle weights.
Finally, remember that the amount of pressure on each wheel can only be indicated by wheel position weighing. Only the experts from RVSEF will be able to weigh your camper in this manner.
Weighing on CAT scales is reasonable and cheap. Depending on the location, you will need to pay between $10 and $15 if you are weighing your RV for the first time there. However, for every next weighing, you will be charged less. Probably around $3.
Weighing our RVs at CAT stations proved to be both easy and cheap. But measuring campers in such a way will only provide you with GVWR. The abbreviation stands for Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and it usually represents the overall weight of your RV, including the cargo. The most accurate way, however, would be to measure weight by wheel position, which can be only done with the RVSEF for now.
Well, in many states the answer would be yes. Even though you are not obligated by any law to do so, it is very advisable to check your weight, especially if you have a travel trailer. We always want to make sure that our vehicle is able to tow a certain weight. Safety comes first. So the next time you’re out camping, make sure to stop at the first weigh station and check the weight of your camper.
Weigh station requirements vary from state to state. They also vary according to the type of recreational vehicle. The best way is to check the laws for each state that you’ll be traveling to. However, we’ve managed to provide you with the most common rules that are applied in most states.
Once again, we advise you to carefully read the laws and regulations regarding RVs for each state that you plan to visit.
Finally, we hope that we’ve provided you with every information that you needed to know. We also hope, that from now on, before you plan the next trip you won’t be asking yourself: ‘Where can I weigh my trailer?’