Published Date: June 15, 2021
When on the highway while towing your RV, you may come across a weigh station and wonder if you can stop over at the weighing station. But do RVs need to stop over at the weigh station?
The straight answer is no; a stop at a weigh station is not required when towing an RV. However, if you happen to be driving commercial vehicles that are hauling freight, you would need to stopover at a weigh station.
That said, the best way to be sure if you’re required to stop off at the weigh station with your RV in any state in the US is to call the state’s DMV and ask.
Table of Contents
Do I Need to Stop With My Travel Trailer at the Weigh Station?
As required by the law, trucks must have their truck weighed at the weigh station to check if it is not overloaded. If it is, it can be a huge safety hazard as it can cause damage on the road. Furthermore, it is a risk to road users as well.
If you are concerned about overloading your travel trailer, you can simply pull into any weigh station and get weighed, although it’s not required by law.
Do I Need To Stop With My Trailer at the Weigh Station?
When on the road and you happen to see a sign that says you must have your travel trailer weighed or an officer is directing you to pull in, it’s advisable to go ahead and get your trailer weighed.
Although a weighing routine is not usually required for trailers, there may be a particular reason that the weighing is required at that time.
It could be due to the state of that particular stretch of road, and ignoring signs like this could cause you to end up with fines.
However, if no sign or officer is instructing you to get your trailer weighed, you can carry on with your journey.
Must I Stop With My Motorhome at a Weigh Station?
Unlike RVs, you must get your motorhomes weighed at the weigh station. If you ride a motorhome weighing 10,000 LB and more, state laws require you to stop at the weighing station.
Some states also require official inspections before the motorhome or camper can be certified fit to be used on the road. While 10,000 LB may seem like a rare number that many motorhomes tend to weigh. Still, you can find many motorhomes weighing 10,000 LB and more.
Class A motorhomes are known to weigh 10,000 LB and more. While your class B motorhomes can also weigh 10,000 LB and more. But you can also find class C motorhomes with the same weight and more.
Although it has been stated that RVs are not required to stop at the weigh station, some states may require large towable campers to visit the weigh station to be inspected and weighed.This is because some big 5th-wheel campers and tiny houses may sometimes weigh more than 10,000 LB.
Do I Need To Stop My Vehicles At Weigh Stations?
Stopping at the weigh station is required by law for many reasons.
The number one reason is safety. Some highway roads may have certain weight limitations, meaning they can only handle a specific amount before breaking down.
So, driving a vehicle with a weight above the weight limit of a road can make it unsafe to drive. When you stop at a weigh station, they will sometimes check the vehicle’s weight and the gross vehicle weight that the vehicle is built to carry.
If your vehicle happens to exceed any of these weight limits, you will be required to remove some weight off your vehicle before heading back out on the road.
When a vehicle with a weight higher than that of the road limit is driven past the road, it causes lots of damage to the road, which undeniably costs the government a lot of money to repair.
The building and maintenance of roads also cost a lot of money, and heavy vehicles tend to cause more damage to roads than to lighter ones. Some states usually tax trucks according to their weight.
So, stopping vehicles at the weigh station is highly required so the government can charge the correct amount in taxes.
Travel Trailer Guiding Laws and Regulations
Travel trailer laws and requirements vary from state to state. Most states do not have written laws related to travel trailer weighing. Most travelers usually pass the weigh station and can get away with not running into the law.
You may happen to pass by states needing you to stop off at a weigh station and pass by states where it isn’t. You may be fortunate and escape being penalized for not stopping when driving a motorhome past a weigh station.
But it is advised to do proper research for every state you intend to pass through and find out whether a weigh station stop is required. This will prevent you from accidentally breaking any law, which can subject you to fines.
Occasions Where Stopping Over at a Weigh Station Is Required
If you pass by a weigh station, you must get weighed as long as the station is open. Still, if you find the place closed, you can continue riding.
Also, some areas have installed technologies that enable them to weigh your vehicle without stopping. There are normally signs directing you to the right lane for weighing the vehicle in such areas.
So, if you find the weight of your trailer is 10,000 LB and more, and you do not stop, there is a huge chance they will be alerted. A snapshot of you and your vehicle license plate will be forwarded to the weigh station.
Where to Find a Weigh Station
Weigh stations you can find along most highways. Still, if you need your rig weighed, you should have it weighed at one off the highway.
Other weigh stations are found on borders along each state. These are port-of-entry weighing stations. Furthermore, you can also find weigh stations at most truck stops.
The important thing to remember is that when you stop at a truck stop to weigh your RV, it will cost a few bucks.
Can You Avoid Stopping at a Weigh Station?
Yes, you have a few ways to sidestep the weigh station.
Number one is to be familiar with all the locations of weigh stations on your traveling route and try to avoid them. This prevents you from making a mandatory stop at any weigh station along your travel route.
Many truckers follow this method to prevent being subjected to inspections, which sometimes helps them save some bucks on taxes. But this has no advantage monetarily for someone driving a motorhome. It may take more effort as you may need to take a longer route.
Another helpful thing to invest in is a device known as a bypass for a weigh station. These devices function similarly to an EZ pass. When you purchase this device, you get a transponder you need to place inside the vehicle.
Consequences Of Avoiding A Weigh Station
If you drive past the weigh station without stopping, your vehicle will be stopped.
When stopped, an officer will capture your information. They will demand you take the following exit to turn around and have your vehicle weighed at the station.
You may also get a fine, depending on the officer. Some may also inspect the vehicle and give you a fine if there’s anything out of place.
These are some of the reasons why stopping is less effort. When in doubt, you can stop at any weigh station; after all, the likeliness of stopping accidentally at a station will not get you fined. The consequences are bigger when you avoid doing it.
Conclusion | Do RVs Have To Stop at All Weigh Stations?
Must RVs stop to weigh at a weigh station? When towing an RV, you do not need to stop at the weigh station. However, you can phone the state’s DMV and talk to them to avoid trouble.
It is best to familiarize yourself with the rules before planning your road trip. Knowing this information ahead of your travel helps you save money and time.