Javascript Menu by

RV Weighing

Last Changed 1/13/2019

One thing to do when you get your RV and anytime there is significant changes to it or what you are carrying, is to have it weighed.  Only when you know your RV weight do you know if your tires are adequate and at the proper pressure.

The only effective weighing of your RV is when each wheel, or dual wheel pair, is measured separately.  Trey and Susan Selman are doing per-wheel weighing through the RVSEF (RV Safety Education Foundation).  Escapees has a weighing service, Escapees SmartWeigh, that will be at Escapees rallies, and at the Livingston, TX Escapees park.  Another new weighing service, Weight To Go, has become available at RV shows and if you contact them, they will attempt to route by your location.  Add to the list Weight It Portable RV Scales.  and RV Weigh, are also available.  It would be great if more "per wheel" weighing outfits were around.

If you go to a certified truck scale, the best you can get is a "per axle" weight because the certified truck scale is designed (usually with curbs) to keep the trucker from running a set of wheels off  of the scale.  Using a moving companies scale may be an option as those scales typically don't have the curb constraints.  However, those scales usually have ramped aprons around the scale plate.  This negates one of the elements of a proper "per wheel" weighing of having the vehicle level and in the case of the trailer, the whole rig level.

The "per wheel" weighing outfits will start with a level spot. Then they use the portable scales like the DOT officers use on random stops.  if your have more wheels than they have scales, they will put spacer boards under the wheels that don't have scales under them.  This insures you are getting the correct "per wheel" weight and not one biased by tilted loading.

This is why it is critical for a trailer to be pulled level.  We see too many fifth-wheel trailers being pulled by pickups with the pin set too high.  This under loads the front trailer axle and overloads the rear axle.  This condition will be very evident in a "per wheel" weighing. At truck scales, this condition would be camouflaged by the fact that the trailer axles will be weighed as a group with the light front axle and the heavy rear axle.

When we had our motorhome weighed, the front axle was within limits, but we had all the tools located in a front left compartment, the left front tire was just over limit.  We moved the tools and balanced the loading.  This is why a per-wheel weighing is necessary.

Below  was the results when we had our rig weighed at RV Life on Wheels in Moscow Idaho.  First Red Rover was weighed and then the whole rig was weighed.

RVSEF Results
Truck Alone You will note that the rig is not symmetrical in weight along its length.

An assumption that you can just take the trailer axle weight and divide by 6 to get tire loading would be incorrect. (17,825 / 6 = 2,936) because we have one wheel with a 3,250 lbs. loading.

An E Load Range tire would be fine for the average 2,936 but would be overstressed in the 3,250 pound position.  A G Load Range tire is needed for that position, and since all the tires should be the same, all the tires need to be G Load Range which is what we have.

Ideally we should try to balance the trailer by shift loads.  Unfortunately for us, the imbalance is due to the weight of the three slides on the left side of the trailer including the refrigerator, with only one slide on the right side.  There is not much we can do to achieve balance.
   Left Right Axle
 Front 5,500 5,250 10,750
 Rear 4,425 4,175 8,600
   Gross Truck Axle Weight 19,350
Truck with Trailer
  Left Right Axle
 Front 5,100 4,900 10,000
 Rear 7,275 6,800 14,075
    Gross Truck Axle Weight 24,075
  Left Right Axle
 Front 2,975 2,900 5,875
 Center 3,250 2,725 5,975
 Rear 3,175 2,800 5,975
    Gross Trailer Axle Weight 17,825
    Trailer Pin Weight 4,725
    Gross Trailer Weight 22,550

Disclaimer: The information in this site is a collection of data we derived from the vendors and from our personal experiences.  This information is meant as a learning guide for you to  make your own decisions  Best practices and code should always be followed.  The recommendations we make are from our personal experiences and we do not receive any compensation for those recommendations.
//hide content //hide loading message