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Motor Homes: Tips for Weighing Your Load Properly Date Listed : 20, Jan 2013
If you want to maximise fuel efficiency, spare your axles from too much pressure, and plan a safer trip in your motor home, it's important to monitor and maintain a reasonable weight for your recreational vehicle.
Families have a tendency to take advantage of their spacious motor homes, packing it tight with home comforts, extra baggage, and "just in case" items. Too much stuff will get you down though, and can cause mechanical problems as well as become a safety hazard. You can always have your RV checked on public scales or keep diligent records of how many pounds you're stuffing in there.
Don't be intimidated by the idea of using a public scale. You can use the internet or yellow pages to aid in your search. In some places use of scales will be free, such as a storage company lot. Others you may have to pay a small fee for.
There are different types of scales that can be used to evaluate your RV. A platform scale can measure the entire RV. A single axle scale does one axle at a time, and a segmented platform scale checks both the whole weight and that of each individual axle.
When you bring your motor home to be checked, pack it up! It should be stuffed with all of the items you plan on bringing with you on your trip-including passengers, pets, people and baggage. If you can't get the family together, you can always add items that are roughly the same weight.
If you choose a platform scale, you'll drive your front axle onto the platform, so your RV should be halfway on and halfway off the scale. You then repeat the process for the rear axle, and then the entire vehicle, taking down each measurement. If you are towing another vehicle, place only the vehicle on the scale and then add to your total measurement.
For single axle scales, you'll follow the same procedure for the platform scale, but you will not be able to take the motor home's entire weight. You'll simply have to add the individual axle numbers together. You may also weigh a towed vehicle in the same manner as you would with a platform scale.
Afterwards, you'll have to assess each individual wheel position; you do this by using only one side of the scale. Instead of doing both sides of the RV, you can just subtract the axle numbers from the individual wheels to fill in your final numbers.
The easiest way to get an accurate weight for your RV is by using a segmented scale. Drive onto the platform, ensuring that each axle is centered on the individual platforms, then add each measurement together and you have your total.
Once you've checked out your motor home, find the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating number for your RV and see how your vehicle's weight measures up. Your total value should not exceed this number, and the lower it is the better.
You'll also want to compare the Gross Axle Weight Rating for both the rear and front axles. If you're off-balance, you can always switch around items to even out the weight. It is wise to check the individual wheel weights as well. These can sometimes be off balance and need rearranging.
Checking your RV before your trip is an important part of safety and overall driving efficiency. Don't skip out on this important step. Overloading can cause serious damage to your vehicle and put you and your passengers at risk.