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Camper Weight: How to Weigh Your Trailer Or RV
Introduction To Camper Weight
Table of Contents
It’s important to know how much your Camper, RV, or Trailer weighs for several reasons. Most importantly, it can help you determine if you will be able to tow what you want and need. We recommend that the total weight of the Camper, RV, or Trailer should not exceed 5-10% of gross vehicle weight without requiring a special permit.
This blog post will cover a few different ways to weigh your Camper, RV, or trailer so that you have an idea of what maximum load capacity is!
What Is GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)?
GVWR is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This rating is set by the manufacturer and includes the weight of the Camper, RV, or trailer fully loaded with fuel, water, propane, and all personal belongings. It is important to know your GVWR when considering a Camper, RV, or Trailer because you don’t want to exceed the Camper, RV, or trailer’s maximum load capacity!
What is GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)?
GCWR is the Gross Combined Weight Rating. The GCWR includes the Camper, RV, trailer, and tow vehicle weight. This rating should not exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle!
What Is Trailer Tongue Weight?
Tongue weight is the downward force on the hitch caused by the Camper, RV, or Trailer. This weight should not exceed 15% of GCWR!
What is Gross Axle Weight Rating?
Gross Axle Weight Rating is the maximum allowed weight on each axle. Remember to take off your Camper, RV, or Trailer’s tongue and hitch weight when calculating these maximum weight ratings!
How Do I Find GCWR and GVWR For My Vehicle/ Tow Vehicle?
You can easily find this information in your owner’s manual! Don’t have an owner’s manual? You can also look on the inside of the driver door for a sticker that contains all of the Camper, RV, or Trailer specifications. If you still cannot find it, ask your dealer, and they should be able to provide you with this information.
What Is Weight Distribution and Why Is It Important?
Weight distribution uses a weight distributing hitch to help evenly distribute the Camper, RV, or Trailer’s weight between the tow vehicle and RV, or Trailer. This is important because it can prevent dangerous swaying while towing and helps keep both vehicles on the road.
It would help if you always used a weight distributing hitch when towing a camper, RV, or Trailer.
Why Is It Important To Know Your Trailer or Camper Weight?
It’s important to know your Camper, RV, or Trailer weight for several reasons. It is helpful when considering what size and type of Camper, RV, or Trailer you can tow with your truck while still staying within limits set by GVWR and GCWR! Knowing how much your Camper weighs will also help determine if you will need a weight-distribution hitch.
Knowing these numbers will also help you not to exceed weights when packing. Exceeding weight ratings is dangerous and can cause serious damage to your recreational vehicle and your tow vehicle! Accidents can occur due to exceeding Camper, RV, or Trailer weight ratings, and we do not want that to happen!
Let’s look at an example to see how Camper weight works!
If you have a Camper, RV, or Trailer that weighs 2500 pounds and your tow vehicle has a GVWR of 7000 pounds; then the total weight should not exceed 75% of the tow vehicle’s GVWR or 5250 pounds. This would mean that if you pack anything else in your truck (including people), the RV or Trailer will exceed its weight capacity.
Are You Required By Law To Weigh Your Camper or RV?
No law requires you to weigh your Camper, RV, or Trailer, but it is always a good idea to do so. You want to be sure that you are not exceeding the weight capacities set by the manufacturer as this can cause dangerous swaying and accidents!
What Are The Different Ways To Weigh Your RV?
There are a few different ways to weigh your Camper, RV, or Trailer. You can take it to a certified truck scale, use a weight distributing hitch with integrated scales, or use a portable trailer scale.
The most accurate way to weigh your Camper, RV, or Trailer is by using certified truck scales (cat scale). This will tell you the exact weight of your Camper, RV, or Trailer.
RV Weigh Stations:
Weigh stations are a convenient way to weigh your Camper, RV, or trailer without having to go to a truck stop. They can be found in many different states and offer an accurate reading of your Camper, RV, or Trailer’s accurate weight.
Weight Distributing Hitch with Integrated Scales:
If you have a weight distributing hitch with integrated scales, then you can weigh your Camper, RV, or trailer without having to go to a truck stop or weigh station. This type of hitch has scales built into it to give you an accurate reading of your Camper, RV, or Trailer’s weight.
Portable Trailer Scale:
If you don’t have a weight distributing hitch with integrated scales, you can use a portable trailer scale. This is an affordable option that can be used to weigh your Camper, RV, or trailer without having to go to a truck stop or weigh station.
Things That Can Affect Weight of Your RV or Camper:
A few things can affect the weight of your Camper, RV, or Trailer. They include but aren’t limited to items stored inside while traveling and personal effects such as luggage! Be sure to consider these when packing so you don’t exceed your Camper’s weight capacity.
The weight of the cargo you are (how much weight you can add inside) carrying can greatly affect Camper, RV, or Trailer weight. This is especially true if you are carrying a lot of heavy items. Pack wisely and distribute the weight evenly to keep your Camper, RV, or Trailer on the road!
The people’s weight in your Camper, RV, or Trailer can also affect Camper, RV, or Trailer weight. Be sure to pack light and evenly distribute the weight when packing for a trip!
The fuel weight in your Camper, RV, or Trailer can also affect Camper, RV, or Trailer weight. Be sure to empty all tanks before weighing your Camper, RV, or Trailer!
Water and Tanks:
The weight of Camper, RV, or Trailer water tanks and waste tanks can affect RV weight. Be sure to empty all Camper contents before weighing your Camper!
Apps and Items To Assist You in Weighing Your RV or Camper:
There are a few Camper, RV, or Trailer weight apps that you can use to make the weighing process easier and ensure your Camper is in its correct range. These include:
This app allows you to calculate RV weights quickly and easily! It also calculates trailer weight limits for different trailers such as pop-ups, travel trailers, and fifth wheels.
This app is designed to help you keep track of your Camper’s weight while on the road. It also has a built-in scale so you can weigh your Camper right from your phone!
BetterWeigh Mobile Towing:
This app is designed for towing and can be used to weigh your Camper, RV, or Trailer with a weight distributing hitch.
RV Portable Scale:
This Camper, RV, or Trailer scale is perfect for weighing your Camper when you are on the go! It can be used with most digital scales and has a carrying case for easy transport.
Use a weight-distribution hitch:
A distribution hitch can help to evenly distribute the Camper, RV, or Trailer weight while towing. This will help keep your Camper, RV, or Trailer on the road and prevent swaying!
When packing for a trip in your Camper, RV, or Trailer, be sure to pack light! This will help to keep the Camper, RV, or Trailer load down and prevent you from exceeding your Camper’s maximum weight rating.
Stay within Your RV weight limits:
It is important to stay within your Camper’s weight limits. Exceeding these can cause damage to the Camper and also affect your driving ability!
When you are towing your camper, RV, or trailer behind a car it is important to drive slowly. This will ensure that the Camper doesn’t sway too much and also reduce wear on tires!
Keeping tire pressure even can help keep weight down while driving. Be sure to check your tire pressure regularly and adjust as needed!
By following these tips, you can help ensure a safe and happy trip while towing your Camper, RV, or Trailer!
Conclusion to Weighing Your RV
Weighing your RV or trailer is a simple and important task that needs to be done periodically. It’s also one of the easiest tasks in this process because you can use an external scale or app like the ones listed above, automatically calculating the weight for you. It is always better to be safe on the road than ruin a vacation with an accident or vehicle troubles.
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