Before going out in your RV, it’s important to keep in mind the full weight of it as you decide how much to load it with. Weight also includes your water tanks when they are full as well as the weight of your passengers, along with any extra items you buy along the way. Keeping your trailer at the proper weight makes for better maneuvering and safer towing. Having an overweight RV can lead to problems such as tire blowouts, uneven weight distribution, and vehicle damage to name a few. Luckily there are several things you can do to make sure your trailer is at a safe weight.
RVs typically list their dry weight, which only refers to the things that were already part of your coach when it came from the manufacturer. This does not include any extra accessories you may add on. There may also be a weight listing for the motorhome with full water, propane, and fuel tanks. There should also be a max weight that the RV would reach once it’s filled with more accessories, supplies, and passengers. That is the limit that the axles, brakes, and tires can handle. When towing, it’s important to be aware of the load rating, which is the max weight the tow vehicle can accommodate. There is also the combined vehicle weight rating, which also includes much weight it can tow behind it.
Truck stops can weigh your coach if you want to be sure you’re within safe limits. Weighing your RV should include not just the total weight of the rig itself, but the weight on each axle. Knowing the weight on each axle lets you know if it is evenly distributed, and makes sure there is not an overload in one area. Too much weight on a single axle can put a lot of strain on the springs, brakes, and tires. You may even want to check the weight more than once, especially if you are on an extended trip. It’s a good idea to weigh your rig before heading out on the road. For a more precise reading, it should be weighed with full water, propane, and fuel tanks, and if possible, be stocked with all the supplies you plan to take with you.
When packing up your RV, store your cargo so all the cargo weight is not concentrated in one area. Keep the heaviest items down low to prevent the trailer from becoming top heavy. Besides spreading out the weight along the bottom, it should also be as even as possible along the sides, so one side doesn’t become heavier than the other. If you can wait until you reach your destination before stocking up on food, that will help make your RV lighter while traveling. If you are towing, having a
weight distribution hitch is crucial. Weight distribution hitches spread the weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle to the front axle and backward to the trailer axles to reduce sway and improve handling.
Other things to keep in mind include having the proper tire pressure, making sure your cargo doesn’t move around during travel, and not taking more with you than you need. Keeping your RV at the proper weight isn’t difficult, as long you have the proper planning.
Tips for Keeping Your RV at a Safe Weight