How to weigh your RV

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Portable RV Weight Scale

There is a lot to learn about the campervan lifestyle as you begin life on the road. You need to know everything from how to store your RV at home to how to inspect it. Many people know how to maintain an RV but how many know how to weigh their RV.

Do you know how to weigh your RV? This article will tell you everything you need to know about weighing your RV using various methods.

Why is it important to weigh your RV?

Knowing how to weigh your RV is important. RV’s can be as small as a normal car or as big as a 40 foot long Class A motorhome. Of course, each size RV will weigh a different amount. Furthermore, each RV will have a specific load weight.

So, there’s the weight it is itself but also the maximum weight it can carry to consider. Therefore, if you don’t weigh your RV you will never know if it is safe.

Safety

As previously highlighted, each RV will have a safe carry load. For example, a Class B Camper such as a Mercedes Sprinter may weigh 3.5 tonnes and carry a load of 1 tonne, giving it a 4.5 tonne total. That means you don’t want to exceed this load limit of 1 tonne.

What happens if you do? Imagine what happens to a horse that can’t support a carrying load; it will collapse. The same principle is true for campervans. The tires will be under immense pressure which increases the risk of a blowout. The fuel economy will also decrease as the engine struggles to support the load.

The RV will become more challenging and less safe to drive the more it is over its weight limit. It is simply not safe to do so!

Illegal

Due to the associated safety risks, it is illegal for your camper to be overweight. Laws vary all around the USA, so depending on what state you are in, you are likely to face different legislation and rules.

Some states expect your brakes to be capable of stopping the weight of your RV plus 40% additional weight. Therefore, good brakes can allow you to carry relatively heavy additional loads.

Other states want the load to be within the vehicle specification limits. For example, if a vehicle can load 1 tonne, this is not to be exceeded. If you get pulled by law enforcement, they may not have the methods to weigh your RV there and then, but they may escort you to a weighbridge. This way, they can see clearly if they believe you to be breaking any active laws in that state.

Bridges

Bridges have a weight limit. If this is exceeded, it may be damaged. The more off-grid you get in your RV, the more likely you will face such bridges.  You need to know how to weigh your RV to know what limitations you have.

The simple way around this issue is to get a navigation tool that you can put your RV’s weight, length and height in to. Using this information, it will plot a route that is safe for your RV.

Methods how to weigh your RV

Below are some of the easiest methods for weighing your RV.

Drive to a weighbridge

By far, the most simple method of how to weigh your RV is to use a weighbridge. These are what the likes of heavy good vehicles and lorries use to check their load when hauling goods all over the USA.

You are likely to find them at service stations and RV sales garages. Google ‘weighbridge near me‘ to get the most practical one for you to use.

There is a range of weighbridges – some are unmanned and others will have somebody on hand to help. Some are free, whereas others still charge a small fee to print the receipt of your weight. We recommend getting a receipt to keep as evidence of your RV weight. The law enforcement or an RV park will want to see you have it on hand. The following video shows you how to use a weighbridge.

 

Use a portable weight scale

The alternative method to using a weighbridge is to have your own scales. Of course, these aren’t cheap, but if you have the budget to invest in them, they will be useful to pack on your RV adventures. Portable weighing scales allow you to do the weighing process whenever you like or need without the worry of trying to locate a weight bridge.

Portable RV Weight Scale
Portable RV Weight Scale

The below video shows you how to use portable weigh scales. They are relatively straight forward to use and a good alternative to a weighbridge.

 

How to weigh your RV conclusion

Weighing your RV can save you from running into potential issues and will make sure your RV is safe to drive. The process of weighing an RV, regardless of using a weighbridge or your own scales, only takes a few minutes. This is time well spent and will give you peace of mind.  When living the campervan lifestyle, you want as little stress as possible when on the road and weighing your RV is crucial to this.

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