RV Tire Safety: What does RV “weight creep” have to do with tire safety?

3

By Roger Marble
I have covered the importance of knowing your actual RV weight, as that has a direct impact on your tire loading, which then affects your tire life. The idea of “4-corner weight” is that you get on scales that can measure the load on each end of each axle because very few RVs have an exact 50/50, end-to-end load split for every axle.

Now, I know that finding a location that can measure each tire position is not easy. Large RV gatherings such as FMCA conventions and Escapees meetups sometimes have vendors offering that service. HERE is some information from another tire engineer on where and how individual weights can be measured.

Others have learned that their state scales, as in Oregon and I believe Washington state, are left “on” and they can, many times, get the weight of each end of each axle on the scale so they can calculate the actual loading.

This is my RV on a scale in Oregon. The red circle is the weight sign.

Some folks have contacted their state police and found them more than willing to provide the service. HERE is a work sheet you can use when you get the scale readings..

One other consideration for every RV owner, even those that have not yet learned their corner weights, is WEIGHT CREEP. This slow increase in overall weight occurs as we travel and add small items to our RV. This might be another tool or book or knick-knack. Individually they only may be a pound or two, but over time the total weight can become significant.

Now, I am not saying you have to search out a company to redo your 4-corner weights every year, but you can get a handle on your weight creep with a quick visit to a regular truck scale where you can learn your individual axle weight. With that new information you can compare the total for each individual axle of your 4-corner weight with the new truck scale weight. Hopefully you will not see any significant weight gain that would require you to get new corner weights, BUT you will at least know the facts and know if the extra “stuff” is adding up to a significant weight gain – which suggests that you put the RV on a “diet.”

 

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.

 ##RVT967

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Terri Foxx-Wishert
28 days ago

After we had been RVing for a year, I went through and removed a few hundred pounds of stuff – looking at what we had used and what we could consolidate. For example, an immersion blender, with attachments, replaced a blender, mixer and food processor. Now I have all of those tools in one.
Many books can now be found on Kindle, so that I don’t need to carry the hardback reference book. Same with favorite fiction books.
Are you carrying shoes that you haven’t worn in a year? Unless it’s cruise wear, you don’t need them.
Duplicate tools: I have my small set inside and my husband has his large set outside. It’s more peaceful if I have my small set that he doesn’t touch.
After the first year on the road, he consolidated his tools to a single set.
An electric blanket or an electric mattress cover may keep you from carrying multiple blankets – aren’t heavy but take up space.

And, the toughest thing of all, if you have an empty space, it can stay empty!

Marion C
29 days ago

I have read many articles that say “just weigh your rig”. But actually using truck scales is pretty intimidating for me. Consequently I have never weighed my rig. I don’t know what is for trucker use only or if every weigh station can be used by RV’s. A lot of weigh stations along interstates in PA say they are closed. Are they actually closed? And how do you use them, as in what is the protocol? And how does one go about using the weigh stations at truck stops without offending truckers? Do you have to go into a building and request/pay for it? How do you know where these are located? If anyone is willing to explain the actual process, I would be deeply grateful!

Roger Marble
29 days ago
Reply to  Marion C

First off you can watch some of the YouTube videos on how to weigh an RV at a Truck Stop. Here are some videos. Not that big of a deal. Next remember that Interstate Truck Scales are not set-up to allow individual tire position weights so don’t try. As I pointed out in this post even axle weights can help you monitor your weight. Finally remember truckers are working and have a schedule to keep so if possible try and get on a scale when there is no line and do not dawdle. Pull on the scale. Press the button to tell the Weigh Master you want a reading. When told by the weigh master, get off the scale and park out of the way and go into the desk to get your print-out. You can read posts in my blog on how to estimate the individual tire position weights.