Weight Matters

Getting your RV’s weight right & the 9 fundamentals to avoiding a blowout:

 

Why weigh your RV?

Making sure your RV is within its weight limit is vital if you want to avoid a potentially disastrous and costly journey. An overloaded RV can be extremely dangerous, not just for you but for others on the road and is one of the primary causes of motorhome accidents.

Keeping your vehicle within its safety limits will help maintain the integrity of its handling and stopping ability, while preventing unnecessary wear to the essential load bearing components.

The axles, suspension, brakes, and wheels, can all become overly stressed, causing excessive deterioration and increasing the risk of total failure.

 

According to a survey by the Recreation Vehicle Safety Education Foundation (RVSEF), nearly a quarter of RVs were overweight by an average of 900 pounds, with 28% out of balance from one end of the axle to the other by 400 pounds or more due to inadequate weight distribution.

 

So, how do you weigh your RV properly?

First of all find a place with the right type of weigh scales. You must be able to measure the weight of the entire vehicle, each axle, and every individual wheel.

Suitable scales can usually be found if you do a local Internet search for sand & gravel yards, farms & feed mills, moving & storage establishments, RV Rallies, and commercial truck stops. Bear in mind that there may also be a fee for their services.

Always weigh your RV when it is fully loaded (If you tow anything behind make sure it is also fully loaded). This will include of your passengers, luggage, water, a full tank of fuel, propane, and all of your supplies.

 

While the overall weight of the vehicle is important, proper weight distribution is also vital. It is unlikely that you will have equal loads at each end of the same axle which could lead to the vehicle being too heavy on one side. So theoretically you could be within the safety limits for the vehicle as a whole but at the same time putting undue stress on one end of the axle and its wheel. To prevent this, weigh the end of each axle individually and redistribute weight if necessary to achieve a better balance…

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