Wednesday, September 27, 2023


It’s easy to let your RV become overloaded, but don’t let it happen!

We are currently at an RV park with a lot of seasonal full-timers. I have noticed that these full-timers have EVERYTHING with them. A couple of grills, bikes, a motorcycle or two, chairs, cars, totes, cabanas, folding tables, screen porches. I can’t help but wonder about their RV’s weight…

The folks will be traveling to warm destinations in the fall and taking all their stuff with them. I am reminded of the reason why we have cleared out stuff and now have a much leaner RV.

Sold the house and overloaded the RV

It was the first year of our full-timing after selling almost everything. My husband and I left Minnesota at 10 degrees below zero for the promise of warm weather in sunny Arizona. No problem getting down there in our 34-foot recklessly fully loaded motorhome. The issue came when we tried to go back up from Phoenix to Flagstaff on the I-17 on a 7% uphill grade. Chug, chug, chug. The semi’s with their flashers on were passing us. At the top of the hill, my husband had to let the transmission rest and he made the mistake of saying, “We need a diesel pusher.”

I said, “No problem!” I quickly bought a new RV before he changed his mind and parked our old one and our new one door-to-door at the RV park to move stuff. Taking three days to transfer everything should have been a sign…

Fast forward to the first drive in our now virtually empty old gas RV. My husband realized quickly that the old motorhome was fine… I had just grossly overloaded it.

Don’t make these mistakes

  1. The first mistake was not checking the weight limits of our then-new-to-us RV.
  2. My second mistake was trying to keep everything I could stuff in from our house, “In case we needed it.”
  3. The third mistake was not weighing the fully loaded RV.


Now, I am wiser and make an effort to rid ourselves of extra stuff every six months. Here are a few tips. We weigh the motorhome and I am aware of the weight of the fresh, gray, and black tanks, too. As I walk the park I can tell the RVs that may have a problem in the future and it is a reminder that minimalism and RV travel need to go together.

The consequences can be bad for RVs that are overloaded. Roger Marble writes about the toll on the tires. Don’t take chances. Check your weight (RV, that is). Check it loaded including people, water, food and any extras you plan to carry.

As hard as it is, remember this: One item in, one item out.


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.


  1. Or… you do what I see a number of seasonal RVers do. They are full timers, but have a big unit they don’t travel with, and a smaller unit they do travel with. They reserve the same site for the season. At the end of the season, the big outdoor stuff goes into a self-store facility and the big RV goes into a dry storage site. They spend the off-season touring in the smaller unit without all the extras. Most feel it is a better lifestyle and less expensive than owning a stix & brix home.

  2. Great article. I hope everyone reads it. We are minimalist. Every 6 months, we assess and purge. It’s easy to accumulate when it’s your only home. When we started our journey we decided ,no storage anywhere. Into our 1st summer we cleaned out half of our ” needs” and weighed. What a joy to be underweight. I am reminded
    Everytime I see a fulltimer with. Excessive possessions.

  3. Great Article! We have a 40ft Diesel Pusher and strongly suggest you see a professional for corner weighing your RV. We were given a computer program readout with all the data of our mfg., weights, etc. Get it done, it’s well worth the small investment and peace of mind for your tires. TPMS also is a needed bonus.


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