Is Your Rig Overweight? RV Weigh Station Tips and Resources
Did you know that one of the main causes of tire blowouts is an overweight RV? And according to the RVSEF, somewhere around 60% of motorhomes are overweight. Scary, huh?
This is embarrassing but a few days ago we finally got our RV weighed, which is the first time since the remodel, yikes!
Today we’re sharing where to weigh your RV, along with some weigh station tips and resources. If nothing else, we hope this information will provide you with at least a little more peace of mind when you travel down the road in your tiny home on wheels.
RV Weigh Station Tips and Resources
Before I get to the results of our own RV weigh-in, I want to rant for just a second. If you’ve done research on best practices for weighing your own rig, chances are you ended up more confused then when you started. At least that’s what happened to me when I first looked into it.
If you’re new to RV’ing you may think, I can just go to a weigh station or have the dealership check for me, right? Not exactly…
Based on what I’ve learned there are essentially two main ways to find out if your RV is overweight, through a certified CAT scale, or through wheel position weighing.
The first option is better than nothing and a way to get a general idea, but the second option is what’s recommended for the most accurate results. This is all good and grand but as it turns out, only a handful of companies offer this service. Seriously, I could only find 5 places in the US that offer wheel position weighing! Whaaaaat???
While the companies that offer wheel position weighing seem to be stationed mostly in Florida or Arizona, they do travel to different states throughout the year. I’m including links to the companies I’ve found, and their schedules, which you can find at the bottom of this post.
Watch the Video
Check out the video below to find out if our RV is overweight after our remodel!
RV Weigh Stations: Certified CAT Scale vs. Wheel Position Weighing
The Cat Certified Scales can be found at gas stations that cater to trucks such as Love’s and Pilot. With the CAT scale you’ll be able to check your Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), which is the max weight when fully loaded, along with the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR), which is the max weight to be placed on an individual axle.
What they can’t do is tell you if an axle is overloaded on any side, and that’s where wheel position weighing comes in.
The cost for weighing your RV on a CAT Certified Scale is roughly $10-11 and another $2 for a re-weigh, which is recommended. The cost to get Wheel Position Weighing is roughly $40-60. When you take into account the cost of a tire blowout, these prices are more than worth it.
This is also what blows my mind. If weight is such a HUGE factor then why the heck is it so difficult to find a place to get your RV “properly” weighed? I think dealerships should be required to have this service available, but until then at least there are a few companies trying to make the roads safer. And if nothing else, the CAT certified scales are better than nothing and pretty convenient.
How to figure out your RV Weight Limits
Our GVWR and GAWR limits were found to the left of the steering wheel (on the wall), but they may be located somewhere else in your own motorhome. We were also able to find the max weight rating in the original brochure, and in the online brochure by doing a quick search for our RV year, make and model.
When the brochure weight limits don’t match those marked in your RV
You may or may not run into this issue, but we noticed that the weight ratings in the brochure were slightly lower then they were actually marked inside our RV. Even though we were below both we decided to call Tiffin (our RV manufacturer) to find out which was more accurate. After a quick and friendly phone call we were told that the info inside the RV was the correct information based on the chassis in our rig. I’d recommend contacting your manufacturer and having them check if you run into a similar issue.
The Moment of Truth
Since finishing up our RV remodel, we haven’t been conveniently located near one of the companies that offers wheel position weighing. We are keeping a closer eye on their schedules and plan to get it done in the future, but in the meantime we decided to use our AllStays app to locate a Love’s Gas Station and take advantage of the Certified CAT Scale.
The RV Weighing Process
The process was pretty easy. We had never gotten our RV weighed before and I think we made a bigger deal of it than was necessary. It may seem a bit daunting, but trust me, it’s quick and easy and something we should have done a loooong time ago. When we first got to the gas station we parked and walked inside to let the attendant know we needed to get our RV weighed. That step could have been skipped.
All you need to do is drive your RV onto the scales, and position your wheels onto the platforms (here’s a helpful diagram based on if you’re in an RV, travel trailer, 5th wheel, etc.).
From there you’ll see a button you can push which will call the attendant inside. They will ask you for your “trucker number” but you can just tell them you’re in an RV. In a matter of seconds they’ll tell you to pull off and that’s when you drive off the scale, park, and walk inside to get the form with all of your RV weight info. The cost was $11 for us, but again, we should have done a second weigh-in, which I think would have been an additional $2.
If you’ve never used the CAT scale, rest assured it’s much easier than you may think.
When Eric walked back to the RV with the form in hand, I held my breath as he read the results. To be honest, I felt like we should be underweight since we removed a ton of stuff from the RV, and whenever we replaced something we tried to use lighter materials. Even so, it was pretty nerve-wrecking. I really wasn’t too concerned about the materials we brought in for our reno, but was concerned about all the “stuff” we have in storage.
Luckily we came in under for all of the max ratings, whew! We were roughly 600 pounds under in the front and almost 2000 in the rear. We didn’t have our fresh water, propane, black or grey tanks full because we planned to travel for several hours, but at least now we have an idea for how much weight those would add, and we should still be good to go.
Even though we’re under in the font, we plan to move some things around to disperse the weight a little better. We mostly have wood and paint in the front basement storage of our RV, which we plan to move, use, or get rid of soon so that should help.
Overall, we’re happy to know we’re underweight and highly recommend stopping at a CAT scale to get your own RV weighed. It may not be the “best” way, but it’s better than nothing. We plan to get weighed in another month or two to compare it to the current results and then eventually get the wheel position weighing done.
We hope this post helps answer any questions you may have about getting your RV weighed or at least helps point you in the right direction.
Have you gotten your RV weighed on a certified CAT scale as well as through one of the companies that offers wheel position weighing? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience and results in the comments below!
While the companies that offer wheel position weighing seem to mostly be stationed in Florida or Arizona, they do travel to different states and some will even come to you if they’re in the area! I’m including links to the companies I’ve found, and their schedules below, but if you know of any others, let me know in the comments and I’d love to add it to the list!
RV Weigh Stations: Wheel to Wheel Weighing:
Don’t Forget About Tire Safety!
They plan to share another video on the importance of RV wheel weights soon, but that’s something else you may want to look into.
Another Resource for RV Safety that includes Worksheets:
If wheel to wheel weighing isn’t convenient for you at this time, you can always do what we did and swing through your local Certified CAT scale.