Weigh your RV properly — axle by axle

By Chris Dougherty

Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor.

Dear Chris,
I have read a lot about checking the weight of your RV. My question is: Where does one go to have your RV weighed one axle at the time? —Bob

Dear Bob,
Checking the weight of your RV is essential, as I’m sure you know.

Staying within the weight limitations of your RV is not only important from a safety standpoint, but it helps to reduce maintenance costs on your coach. Overloaded vehicles suffer from premature wear on critical parts and systems, including the drive train, suspension, axles, wheels and brakes.

rv scale chrisMost commercial scales have separate pads the truck stops on to give weight by axle. The important point is to get out of your rig on the scale and make sure each axle is on a different pad. Now, with a trailer this may be difficult, as the trailer axles are close together. Weighing by wheel position is the gold standard, but is almost impossible on most truck stop scales, as they don’t have the room to put half the vehicle on the scale. A truck scale is better than nothing, though, and will at least tell you if you’re within your GVWR.

One of the best places to get weighed is at moving and storage companies, because you can center one set of wheels in the middle of the pad and get a more accurate weight for wheel position. The Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation offers coach weighing at various events and venues across the country, and the event schedule can be found at this website



2 Thoughts to “Weigh your RV properly — axle by axle”

  1. Tom

    This is not as much a comment as it is a question.
    when traveling down hill threw the Mountains and realized, that you are traveling too fast, At what speed can you transfer down to a lower gear for braking with out damaging the vehicle? 60 -70-80- Mph. or anything under 50 mph. Sorry I couldn’t find the where the questions sites are.

  2. Tommy Molnar

    We’ve had luck doing complicated weighing scenarios by stopping at closed state truck weigh stations, as long as they keep the scale read out operating when closed. Many times, truck stop scales have a line waiting to scale trucks, so you don’t have time to maneuver around and get different weights. Truckers have schedules, we don’t.

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