weighing your rig, weigh station or truck stop - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-04-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
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I know there are many here that know the weight of their camper, the tongue weight and the TV weight.

If I were to drive into a weigh station to truck stop weigh place, will they come out and automatically weigh all this for me? I don't mind paying to have it all weighed, and just wondering if they do it.

If I were to attempt it, I think I may have a few really fustrated people behind me waiting with some short fuses before I got it all figured out.

Would camping world do something like this?

If I knew I was way below weight limits with full load, I sure would feel better about pulling everything.
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Old 11-04-2007, 11:38 PM   #2
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Hi Karalyn,

As an alternative, you might check out a local farmer's elevator (now that most harvesting is done). The operator at ours gladly weighed my vehicle by itself and then I towed my camper there empty and he weighed both together. As we finally left for our camping trip he weighed it again loaded. I couldn't answer your question on the weigh station/truck stop, though.

Hope this helps,
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:04 AM   #3
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I don't know about other areas but the state run scales are open here. I can pull into any of them and weigh any vehicle I want. It doesn't matter if they are manned at the time or not. I usually go when they're not weighing trucks. You might check with your DOT and see if any of the DOT scales are open for public use.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:32 AM   #4
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I don't know about other areas but the state run scales are open here. I can pull into any of them and weigh any vehicle I want. It doesn't matter if they are manned at the time or not. I usually go when they're not weighing trucks. You might check with your DOT and see if any of the DOT scales are open for public use.
I did that on the way home from NOG last month. Then I went across the road and did it in the other direction. 300 lb difference. I'm thinking the grain scales might be best.
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:01 AM   #5
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There are several other places to get weighed too. Landscape yards, the kind that sell gravel and rocks. They have scales to weigh trailers and trucks, since the sell by weight. The local dump (at least here in Portland), they have scales. They weigh my truck when I go in, weigh when I go out and charge me the difference for the trash.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:19 AM   #6
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They weigh my truck when I go in, weigh when I go out and charge me the difference for the trash.
<Ooooo Donna's gonna hit me!>

So... how do they know which is the truck and which is the trash? <DUCK!>

Roger
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:28 AM   #7
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instructions for weighing your rig at a truck stop
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I know there are many here that know the weight of their camper, the tongue weight and the TV weight.

If I were to drive into a weigh station to truck stop weigh place, will they come out and automatically weigh all this for me? I don't mind paying to have it all weighed, and just wondering if they do it.

If I were to attempt it, I think I may have a few really fustrated people behind me waiting with some short fuses before I got it all figured out.

Would camping world do something like this?

If I knew I was way below weight limits with full load, I sure would feel better about pulling everything.
Hi Karalyn,

Yes you certainly can weigh your car and trailer at a truck stop. I drove a tractor trailer long haul for a brief time and was intimidated at first but once you know the routine its quite easy. I weighed my previous trailer and will do the same with my new trailer in the spring. Look for a truck stop advertising "CAT" scales or something similar.

All you have to do is pull onto the scales with your rig. You will need to have the car on one "plate" and the trailer on another so that they are each weighed seperately.

You will need to reach way up to the little intercom. Tell them you are a private individual wanting to weigh your RV. Tell them you are coming back for a re-weigh of your vehicle. They will ask you for your licence plate # and maybe your name.

Once they tell you they have the reading, pull off ther scale and go to a safe spot nearby and disconnect your car from the trailer. Pull back onto the scale this time putting the front axle of your car on one "plate" and the rear on another "plate". Use the intercom again and remind them of your licence plate # and that you are back for a re-weigh.

Now pull off the scale and go to the cashier. They will have two print outs. The first weigh will cost about $10-$12 and the second only about $2.

You can figure out the weight of your trailer, your car, the tongue weight etc now.

Don't forget to make sure if you were standing on the car "plate" on the first weigh that you are standing in the same place on the second or you will through the readings off by your weight. Same goes for your passengers.

If you are having trouble, most truckers are quiet friendly and willing to help.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:00 AM   #8
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<Ooooo Donna's gonna hit me!>

So... how do they know which is the truck and which is the trash? <DUCK!>

Roger
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:17 AM   #9
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Phil's advise is the process I use.

Here in British Columbia, we can weight out rigs for free. On my first long trip with the new Bigfoot I thought I was riding with too much weight on the rear axle of the TV. Going to the scale I weighted the front and rear axles of the TV, noticing 800 lbs greater weight on the rear axle. On our return trip, I had cranked down the wd hitch bars one link and weighted, noting we were down to about 600 lbs, which is good, as it provides greater traction on the rear wheel.

Around town, I can also use scale at the log yards, but much easier with the commercial scale plus they give you a print-out. Even when the scales are closed, they often lead the scale pad energized so can weight myself without holding up anybody.

Rick
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:26 PM   #10
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As in Oregon (as Byron described) and British Columbia (as Rick described), Alberta government-run highway scales are free and most are turned on and available even when not staffed. Most have only a single pad, so you don't get two separate weights for separate axles at the same time, although most are long enough for my entire van so I can get it's total weight in one reading.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Would camping world do something like this?
The Camping World outlets I am aware of do not have vehicle scales.

Check in your Yellow Pages for: [b]Scales, Public Weighers

Here in California, The government operated highway scales are not open to the general motoring public. They are only open to commercial trucks.
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Old 11-05-2007, 11:25 PM   #12
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Here in California, The government operated highway scales are not open to the general motoring public
I HAVE found an exception to that rule, but I suppose it was more a broken rule than a loophole..

There are weigh stations in odd places on lonely hiways, often without any "Business" at all. I have seen them on the 40 and I got weighed at one on the 395 somewhere between Bishop and nowhere south. The scale operation didn't even have a shack or the CHP officer manning it.. he sat in his cruiser to keep from freezing.

I saw no line, I pulled in and asked to be weighed and he was happy to weigh my 13 foot Burro for me, even if the rule is strictly for trucks.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:07 AM   #13
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I keep an eye out for truck scales that are currently "closed." Most times that means they are not staffed and no one is using the scales, but the scales are still turned on and working. You pull off at the scales exit, slow way down and creep forward, looking for a numeric display that may be on a post to one side of the road or on a display arm that extends over the lane way up where a truck can pass below. Have pencil and paper ready.

As your tow vehicle's front axle rolls on the weight plate the numbers will start to change. Move ahead slowly until the number spirals up a second time, then stop and write that number, which is the weight of your tow vehicle and hitch weight, down.

Creep forward again; if the numbers go up, stop and write this new number, which is the combined weight of your tow vehicle and trailer, down. (You can do some subtraction, this new number from the combined weight, to get the weight placed on the trailer's axle.)

If the numbers go down instead of up, then go up, you are now weighing your tow vehicle's back axle and the trailer. Pull forward and watch for the weight to drop a second time. This new number -- the last number before the truck scale goes to zero -- will be your trailer's axle weight.

Next you need the weight of your tow vehicle alone. You can either un-hitch and weigh it then and there by pulling forward, unhitching, backing up in the empty weigh station, and re-entering the scale lane to weigh your tow vehicle. Or you can do like I do: just weigh the tow vehicle sometime and add in the weight of your passengers, dog, and other goodies stashed in the tow. Subtracting this weight from the weight of your tow vehicle with the trailer will give you your hitch weight.

--Peter
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:30 PM   #14
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Just a note because it doesn't seem to be coming up in the discussion: truck scales are for weighing really big things... which our trailers are not. I suggest keeping in mind that the scale which can handle forty tons with sufficient accuracy and precision for that purpose will not be able to report one of our axle weights correctly to the nearest kilogram (or pound). For instance, the Alberta and B.C. scales display reading in multiples of 10 kilograms (22 lbs)... and there's no guarantee that it isn't ten or twenty kilograms off.

Tonque weight is even shakier, both because it is really low (compared to axle weights), and because we usually get it by subtraction as Peter explained: the calculation involving two readings has even more error (but not twice as much) than a single reading. I have used a bathroom scale for a tongue weight reading, both because I can do that at home, and because it is more accurate.

Grain terminals, private truck scales, the local dump, and similar setups have a similar problem... but all are much better than just guessing!

Quote:
So... how do they know which is the truck and which is the trash? <DUCK!>
The truck is the part which is able to drive back out. I've driven a pickup which would be in question until the successful departure... and in hindsight I should have left it behind.
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