Are you feeling sluggish? Off balance? Slower off the starting line? This isn’t about your waistline, it’s about your RV’s safe handling, braking and fuel efficiency! Do you, like the rest of us, carry TOO MUCH STUFF?
Here is a weight-loss program for RVs; ways to lose unwanted RV weight. Individually, they may not make a huge difference, but collectively, they can!
RV weight-loss program
- Bottled water is convenient and safe. It is also bulky, costly, and weighs eight pounds per gallon. Water filters are a permanent solution. Thanks to an RV marketplace that offers a large selection of RV water filters, it’s easy to add one or more yourself or with the help of an RV technician. Some models mount at the sink or shower. Others simply screw on the hose.
- Are you toting around a tackle box loaded with lead sinkers long after fishing season? The skis in summer? Golf clubs even though the whole family has switched to pickleball? Take an honest inventory of recreational gear you carry on board for each trip.
- Modern technology allows manufacturers to make almost everything smaller and lighter these days. Get a new model and it’s likely to have more features in less space, for less weight than the old model.
- Take a toolbox inventory. Here’s one place to go overboard on extra weight. Some tools are important to have along, even if you’re not handy. They may be needed by others who stop to give you a hand. On the other hand, some heavy, old tools could be replaced by new tools in, say, aluminum, titanium, and other high-tech new materials. Power tools are lighter these days. A full range of cordless power tools can be from one battery pack or compressor (for air tools).
- Are some tools and/or supplies left over from your previous RV or the snow blower, boat or ATV? Discard and replace dated supplies such as lubricants, sealants and adhesives. Safely dispose of batteries that have lost their “oomph” and sizes that no longer fit your current toys, flashlights, and electronics.
- Are fire extinguishers in the green zone and mounted in the best places? Are lighter, more effective fire extinguishers available?
- Shop for a lighter pantry. Why transport water where you can use dehydrates, powders, and concentrates? One can of tomato paste plus seasonings can be diluted to make more than a quart of tomato juice.
- In the clothes locker, replace metal and wood hangers with tubular plastic. Remove out-of-season clothing until next year. Sort separates to eliminate things that don’t go with anything else. Revisit the shoe shelf, magazine rack, and bookcase.
- One of the most important revolutions has been in entertainment electronics. New, high-tech headphones and earbuds beat the band over yesterday’s leaden, bulky speakers.
- It’s tempting to buy a nest of pans or bowls but you’ll probably use just some of them. Weed out, compare, evaluate, and rethink.
- Recruit the whole crew to the “new one in, old one out” rule when it comes to books, magazines, shoes, toys and all the other items that accumulate in your RV.
- Inch for inch, batteries are about the heaviest items in your RV. Do the math. Is it better to add bigger batteries, a better inverter and solar panels than to upgrade your generator?
OK, you’ve removed the bowling balls from the RV basement, but you’re not finished yet… The RV needs to be balanced side to side, fore and aft. You may have to shift storage spaces for optimum weight distribution. Have the RV weighed wheel by wheel.
Think thin. Your RV, tires, brakes, suspension and fuel tank will thank you for it.
Trim your RV weight and increase storage space, too
I complete a spring “diet” every year. I take all the loose equipment from inside and storage compartments out. Yes, everything. As I return it I keep a bath scale handy and I weigh myself first and then subtract my weight from the total of me and the item going in. I have a floor plan of my motor home divided in quadrants. I note the weight of each item in the quadrant I placed it. Once done I can compare to the mfg. specs and know pretty closely the total weight of my coach and how it is distributed. *nal? Yes. But every year I end up with a stack of unnecessary “stuff” that has somehow found its way into the motor home. The first year I removed nearly 1500# of excess weight.
I’ve done the math. it is better to add “batteries, inverter, and solar” if you are replacing the lead acid, gel, or AGM batteries that every RV is equipped with by the dealer unless it is a special order. A single Group 24 SLA, gel, or AGM battery weighs ~75#. The same size LiFePO4 battery weighs about half that and has twice the usable amp-hours. So, replacing 2 Group 24 SLA, gel, or AGM batteries with one Group 24-size lithium battery (which has the same AH as the 2 old ones combined), an inverter, and multiple, roof-mounted, 100W, flexible solar panels at 5# each can save weight!
That’s some expensive math.
CAT Scales can not weigh your RV side to side. But you can find out your front & back axel weight. It cost me $11 and gave me peace of mind that I was underweight while fully loaded (gas, water, food, passengers, etc.).