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Friday, August 22, 2014

How to weigh your RV for free

If you live in or travel through Oregon you can check the load on each axle and even get an approximation on your individual corner weights. I did this myself last week.

There are many truck scales across the state that are open and the electronic scale are left on after hours. You simply drive onto the pad and read the total load for that axle on the display panel located on a post about 40' ahead of you.

Now if there are no trucks using the scale you may be able to simply swing around or back up and get just the right side tire loads for each axle. With those figures its easy to subtract and get the approximate load on the left side positions.

See it in this picture where I am getting the weight on my Right Rear duals.

I say "approximate" as unlike the scale set-up used by RVSEF there will be a slight tilt away from the scale pad but I would think you should be within a couple percent of the actual side-to-side load distribution. I am pretty confident that most of you will have figures that are closer to the actual side-to-side weight distribution than just assuming you have a 50/50 side-to-side split on each axle.

With the individual corner loading you can then use the published Load/Inflation tables from your tire manufacturer company to learn the MINIMUM inflation you need based on the heavy side loads. Then simply add 10% to that inflation number for your "inflation margin" and you should be good to go. At least till you get on real, properly set-up individual RV corner weight scales.

Now I admit I do not know which other states provide this safety service to motorists, truck and RV owners, but for folks on the far west coast this is a great deal, at least till you are able to get the actual corner weights of your RV, or individual tire loads for trailers, confirmed by RVSEF.

If you know of another state that has scales available to the public as Oregon does, please post in the comments below as this information will help your fellow RVers


Locations with scales
This post relates to Motorized RVs NOT Towables. Trailers have SPECIAL considerations for setting the inflation that I cover in THIS post.

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  1. Same for Idaho. If scale is 'closed' usually digital weight read-out is on and scale is working.

  2. Personal experience. As a former trucker and long time RVer I have weighed many times. I have also done considerable research about weighing. I have weighed on Oregon scale numerous times. You cannot ASSUME anything. You must weight both sides of each axle as well as the individual corners. Laws of physics and common sense say you cannot have part of an object to be weighed on one surface with another part on another surface and get an accurate weight. That goes for one part on one scale with the other part on another scale as well. Many factors apply. Weighing my axle and then each side almost always shows side weights that do not add up to the total axle weight. BUT - since the laws of physics always apply - there is probably no better way to weigh - including having one part on one scale with the other part on another scale. This will be as close as you can get - but it will never be perfect. The last 4 times I weighed I was an average of 700 lbs off - 20,600 axle - 19,900 two sides added.

    1. Agree but being about 3% off is better than just assuming your side to side split is 50/50

  3. WA state scales are the same. Scales read out even if the station is closed in the vast majority of cases.

  4. Florida Interstate Weigh Stations will weigh RV axles, when they're not busy. I have found the staff very friendly.

  5. Here in Ontario Canada, it's the same the weigh stations will allow you to wiegh your RV.

  6. Thanks for info on other states.

    To ALL. I have updated the post for Trailer owners.


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