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.
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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 out 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 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. The 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?!) 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 at 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 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!