Weight is an important part of camping. Your camper has a limit on how much it can weigh and your truck has a limit on its weight and pulling capacity. Exceeding the weight capacities can have disastrous results from blown tires to failed brakes or accidents due to loss of control. I’m betting most people don’t worry or even think about how much their rig weighs. Maybe I’m a little more interested because in my job weight and the distribution of the weight is critical.
The first weight I’m going to talk about is combined gross vehicle weight, this is the weight of your truck and trailer combined. When I weighed or rig we were at 15,100 pounds with a limit on the truck of 15,900 pounds.
The next weight is your gross vehicle weight for both the truck and the trailer. Our truck weighed in loaded with Kat, me, the dogs full fuel and some equipment at 6400 pounds with a limit of 6900 pounds. The trailer weighed in fully loaded with water, propane and all our supplies at 8,560 pounds with a limit of 8,500 pounds (not good).
You would think I was ok, I just needed to move 60 pounds from the trailer to the truck, nope I was 700 pounds overweight on the truck! How could we be overweight on the truck, we were 400 pounds under gross weight. The answer is that the tongue weight of the trailer was 1,100 pounds (100 pounds over the hitch capacity) which gets added to the truck weight.
The last weights are for the axle weights of the truck. Again I was over weight on the rear axle.
So how do you weigh your rig so that you can tell your weights? It actually takes three weighings on truck scales. The first weighing is fully loaded set up for the road with your distribution hitch set up. Next you weigh with everything the same but with the distribution bars taken off and put in the back of the truck. Lastly you weigh the truck with out the trailer but no one gets out and everything is the same as the first two weighing. Once you have these three tickets you can enter the numbers on this website Actual Weights to analyze the numbers.
I used a flying J truck stop to do my weighing. The process goes like this: Pull on the scales for the first time and push the button (If you have the Cat Scales app you don’t have to use the intercom).
Next pull off the scales and go get your ticket, let them know you will be doing a reweigh and they will give you a code.
Pull back on the scales without the distribution bars attached and use the reweigh code to weigh again.
Un-hitch the trailer and just pull the truck on the scales and again use the reweigh code.
Go inside and pay and pick up your tickets, then go to the Actual Weights web site and enter the info.