Visiting the WeightMaster – Getting the RV Weighed
After moving our remaining household goods to the Phoenix area for storage (reason 1, the cost was 1/3 what we paid in California for double the space and reason 2, my parents live here and can keep an eye on it while we are on the road the next year) we spent the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas unpacking boxes and packing up the cargo area and interior of our RV.
We loaded up the cargo with outdoor gear, cat supplies, a barbecue (which will be our main source of cooking), tools and maintenance products and lots and lots of food.
Then we decided to take a little road trip to Escapees RV club in Congress, Arizona to have our baby weighed by their WeightMaster.
It's extremely important for safety reasons to not only not be overweight but also that the weight is evenly distributed (along with the tow vehicle as well). RVs can get weighed at regular truck scales, but these stations usually only give you your gross weight and not necessarily the weight distribution on each tire. By visiting someone who specializes in weighing RVs, they can give you your weight on each tire, plus that of our tow vehicle.
We made our appointment for 9:00 a.m. and got up early the morning of. It was the first time that we were taking the RV out since we arrived in mid-November so we wanted to make sure that we didn't screw anything up when we left so we gave ourselves extra time to unhook everything, store everything and pull out of our spot without knocking over the palm tree in front (or our neighbors garden)!
We finished our preparations early, made it our of our slot just about flawlessly (we might have hit the corner of our neighbor's garden) and hit the road. According to Google, the ride from Sun City West to Congress was about an hour. We always have to account for more time, so we gave ourselves about 90 minutes to make it to our appointment.
The day before we drove part of the way in our Jeep to check out the route. We are still total newbies and wanted to make sure that we weren't going to run into any major obstacles. The directions that Google provided were using good choices for roads and we felt confident we wouldn't run into any trouble.
The next morning when I plugged in the address again into my phone, we got a different set of directions.
Now, why would Google do that to us?!
We decided to stick with the route we had driven the previous day. Only problem was that I didn't exactly memorize it turn-for-turn (new lesson to add to the growing list). I couldn't remember if we were supposed to go East or West, or North or South. So when we hit the first highway I got us going in the wrong direction. Not once. But twice. We had to drive pretty far down the road each time before we could turn around going the right direction.
So we were late. 45 minutes late.
I hate being late.
When we arrived at Escapees North, I immediately sought out the WeightMaster (by the way, is that a cool title or what?!) and apologized for our delay and asked if we could still be weighed.
The WeightMaster informed us that he only had 15 minutes before he had to leave for a meeting.
So I hopped to it and went to inform Mr. Misadventures that we needed to get on the scale ASAP.
And that's when I officially got my first RV related injury.
I wish I could say it was something sexy like slamming my finger in a cargo door. Or pinching my finger in the tow hitch. Or falling down the RV stairs. But no.
I slipped and fell hard on the gravel in the parking lot as I ran from the WeightMaster's office to our RV.
Total rookie mistake. Even kids know better than to run on gravel!
Besides being totally embarrassed as both the WeightMaster and my husband watched me biff it, I really screwed up my left wrist and right knee.
With my first injury out of the way, the weighing began. I had planned on taking some pictures of our RV being weighed or least the scale, but I could not think through the pain I was experiencing!
But here is a photo courtesy of Escapees RV Club:
When the process was complete, the Weighmaster provided us a report which he kindly went through with us and gave us recommendations and additional materials to read.
We did pretty well for our first time. We're not overweight but we do need to redistribute what we do have a bit more. We also learned we could 6,000 more pounds in the Jeep….that's a whole lot of sardines!
It was a really eye-opening to understand where the weight sits, the RV's washer and dryer, King size bed and refrigerator all sit on the right side of the RV, so it is important to put a lot of weight on the left. And of course, our diesel engine is in the back (along with the bedroom) so it is important to get some weight in the front.
When we returned “home” from Congress (with only one wrong direction provided, and only one super illegal u-turn taken) we shedded some of our weight and redistributed others. A repair to our cabinetry prevented us from completely setting up the kitchen. Now that Christmas is over we will be getting that last part organized and when we head out on the road in mid-January we are going to swing by the WeightMaster again on our way out.
What can I say? We are over-achievers. We want to ensure that we set out in good condition and as safe as possible. From what I keep reading there are tons of potential RV mishaps, so our hope is to mitigate as many as we can.
Stay tuned for more adventures including a very harrowing second trip from San Francisco to Phoenix.
How about you? Have you ever weighed an RV?
If you don't have an RV, weight while traveling still is a factor for many people trying to squeeze everything they need into their suitcase for a trip. Do you have tips for dealing with overweight luggage while traveling? I'd love to hear them!
Interesting post. I never thought about the importance of weight distribution in such a large vehicle.
So cool seeing this process! I didn’t realize there was so much to consider. I did almost spit out my pear/gorgonzola salad when I saw the replacement weighing image you chose. That RV is just slightly less… uh… modern than yours. 😉 (Of course I didn’t blink twice at the food you packed, though! Yum!)
@Katie, the range of RVs that are out there are incredible, but I love the spirit of what’s behind the wheel. I knew you wouldn’t think it is weird to wonder what my next meal will be!
We have weighed an RV and a trailer as many of the roads here do not allow over a certain weight. KInda fun to know too!
@GingerMommy, this RV world is so interesting!
Oh, Andi, you are learning so much – and so am I, thanks to you! I love following your (mis)adventures and hope you’re feeling okay after your little accident. Your food supply cracks me up and your RV looks like it’s meant for rock stars. Which, of course, you are 🙂
@Lois, thank you darling, if you are going to do it, might as well do it in style!
I love these posts so much! I’m super jealous of the year ahead of you but also stoked to follow along =)
@Kristin, your trip was such an inspiration to us! I am one part scared out of my mind and one part ready to rock-n-roll!
I can’t wait to follow along on your adventure! I never thought about weighing your RV before the trip – good thinking!
@Chastity, happy to have you along!
I have a 26+ ft travel trailer but have never had to weight it. My Dad has an RV but don’t think he’s had to weight it either. He did teach me early to always do our best to keep things balanced though.
@Val, I think the bigger you get the more important it is, or maybe people are just more aware these days. I wouldn’t have known before starting except from reading about in an RV for Dummies book and our sales person letting us know.
good tip! I’ve never been on an RV but i’ve always wanted to go RVing across the usa
I had no idea all of that went into driving an RV! What an interesting post. I hope your trip is fun!
@Julie, there is so much to learn, but that is part of the adventure.
I have never traveled in an RV. My husband and I have talked about it and thought it would be fun. So many things to learn about the whole process. I guess I will need to follow along on your wonderful journey to learn more. Sounds exciting!
@Pam, definitely come along for the ride! I think most people starting out would go with something smaller, we are kind of crazy!
We did an RV a couple years ago and it was crazy the difference were your weight goes can affect travel. I didn’t realize that there were scales that can tell you how the weight is distributed like this. Hope you are felling better from your fall, that is something I would do!
@Tammilee, the weight worry definitely makes you look at everything from a different lens!
Someday we hope to join the RV lifestyle. I think it would be so fun to travel and see the country this way! I wouldn’t even know where to begin once we retire, but it looks like you’ve got plenty of tips! I cannot believe all those sardines by the way… LOL
@Karissa, we are definitely learning as we go. I am sure as more and more Gen x’er start doing this there will be much more documentation out there with tips!
Oh my goodness! What an adventure you had! I hope you are now feeling okay after your accident. My husband wants to own an RV, but I’m a hotel kind of gal (haha!). I don’t mind trying out to rent one and going on a family adventure once in awhile. Hope you have a Happy New Year!
@Cara, depending on the RV you buy, it can feel as luxurious as a hotel, of course, no one is going to make the bed for you or bring you room service, but maybe your hubby will accommodate that 😉
I have never even been in an RV before! So, therefore, I had no idea you had to have it weighed. Once I read this post it made sense why it is so important.
Wow, I had no idea you had to go through all that with an RV. I thought you just packed it up and went on your way. I’m glad your injury wasn’t too bad!
Is that why they have those weight stations on the side of the road for big trucks. I always wondered what those were used for I guess google will see me tonight for it. My cousin has a huge RV so I know that thing weighs way to much
Hope you are feeling better after your fall.
Very interesting post. I never knew that the weight should be evenly distributed and that they could even check the weight on individual tires.! I am a little surprised that RV’s aren’t designed to have the weight more balanced, but there’s probably not much room to move the fridge to one side and washer/dryer on the other side.
I always wanted to go across the country in an RV – so much fun!
I had no idea about this. We are planning a road trip this summer and this is super helpful. Cheers to road trips and happy new year
So sorry to hear about your spill! Hope you are all better and have no repercussions from the injuries, Andi! No, I’ve never been through anything like this before and must admit, it doesn’t sound like much fun! Hope the days ahead with your RV are much more pleasurable! GOod luck!
Interesting trip, I’m sure. I never travelled in an RV but would love to someday!