As you venture into the world of traveling in your RV, fifth wheel, or motorhome you may be wondering if you will be required to pull over to weight stations positioned around the country.
RVs do not need to pull over at weigh stations! There are a number of states that set the weight limit to over 10,000 or over 26,000 lbs. You will likely see a sign specifically stating that RVs need to pull over, and you can always check with the state laws before you travel. More often than not, you will not need to pull over at truck weigh stations, unless specifically stated.
In this article, we will dive into the often controversial matter focusing on whether or not RVers need to pull into weigh stations in the United States.
Do RVs Have to Stop at Weigh Stations
As you begin traveling there may be questions that have come to the forefront of your mind such as, if you need to pull over at weigh stations. Some travelers have traveled for years and have never pulled into a weigh station and have never thought they had to. Whereas certain weigh station laws say otherwise but are often not strictly enforced.
Needing to pull over at a weigh station comes down to the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of your vehicle and trailer. Gross combined weight means the weight of your trailer and truck as well as the items inside; the total weight of your rig with everything in it. Your motorhome would just be the entire weight of your motorhome and if you are towing a vehicle.
Most states do not care for you to go to a weigh station unless your gross combined weight is over 10,000 lbs while others do not want you to pull over unless your combined weight exceeds 25,000 lbs.
Overall when it comes down to it, you will likely not need to stop at weigh stations unless your rig is over-the0top heavy. If you drive a smaller rig that does not weigh that much, you have nothing to worry about and there is no reason you need to stop at any weigh stations. Weigh stations are not something you should stress about. Learn about the state you are traveling in and you will be fine.
Why Do Some RVs Have to Stop at Weigh Stations
The reason some heavier RVs, fifth wheels, or trailers are required to stop at weigh stations in some states is for safety concerns. Oftentimes, the roads in these states have a weight capacity that is not necessarily safe to drive on for heavier vehicles.
Another reason is that states will collect taxes based on the weight of your truck and trailer to maintain the roads that everyone drives on.
Different states have different laws in place for many reasons so take the time to research ahead of time.
What States Require you to Stop at Weigh Stations
In 20 out of the 50 states if your gross combined weight exceeds 10,000 lbs, then you are required to stop. Many states have varying gross combined weight needs that require you to pull over. These include, but are not limited to, Arizona, North Dakota, Georgia, and more.
Colorado is one state that requires you to pull into a weigh station if your GCWR exceeds over 26,000 lbs.
There are also a variety of states that allow law enforcement officers to guide any vehicle to a weigh station to be weighed and inspected. States such as Texas put law enforcement officers in charge of directing RVs that they feel need to be weighed to the nearest weigh station.
Pennsylvania is one state that requires you to pull over if you are driving a recreational vehicle, no matter the size.
There are also multiple states that have no laws or restrictions for RVs to pull over at weigh stations. Maine is one state of many that do not require motorhomes or RVs to pull over to be weighed.
It seems that the laws and rules vary by state so if you drive a larger trailer, fifth wheel, or motorhome it is recommended to take the time to research the laws in the specific states you are visiting.
You risk receiving a hefty fine if you try to get around being weighed and intentionally disobey laws that are in place. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn about the laws in the state you are visiting, taking the time to do so will keep you from paying a fine.
How Can I Keep My Rig Under the GCWR Weight
There are a few steps you can take to keep you from having to pull into the next weigh station.
- Knowing the combined weight of your truck and trailer or the weight of your motorhome. Knowing this weight before you head out on the road will help you feel confident before you hit the road. You can pull over at any truck stop and pay to get your trailer, truck, or motorhome weighed.
- If your GCWR is near 10,000 lbs is to empty out your tanks before you drive. Keeping your grey and black tank full can add unnecessary weight to your trailer and put you over the limit.
- If you are trying to avoid stopping at weigh stations altogether, you simply need to do your research and plan your route in advance. Taking the time to plan your route will ensure you are not stuck in a rut if you have to be weighed all of a sudden.
When it comes to whether or not your rig needs to be weighed, every state seems to be different. Most likely, you will not need to pull over your rig to be weighed unless it is excessively huge and you have been told you should do so.
Most states require rigs to pull over if the combined weight of their truck and trailer with everything inside exceeds 10,000 lbs. If your rig does exceed 10,000 lbs, it is wise to research the state you are visiting before you travel.
No matter where you travel in the United States, you want to be confident that while you are traveling you are obeying laws and restrictions. If you are driving a larger rig and you are unsure if you should pull over, research the state you are traveling to on a site such as Triple-A, AAA. You can also be more confident in the weight of your rig and truck by taking the time to weigh your rig at a truck stop before you take off on the road.
Most RVers go through their years of travel, never once pulling over to be weighed so most likely you will not need to, it is just wiser to be safe than sorry.