When on the highway while towing your RV, you may come across a weigh station and you may wonder if you can stop at weigh stations. But do RVs have to stop at weigh stations?
Well, 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 stop at a weigh station.
That said, the best way to be sure if you’re required to stop at weigh stations with your RV at any state in the US is to call the state’s DMV and ask.
Do Travel Trailers Have To Stop At Weigh Stations?
A stop at weigh stations is required by law to ensure that trucks are not overloaded, which can be a huge safety hazard as an overly loaded truck can cause damage to the roads as well as pose risk to other road users.
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 Have To Stop At Weigh Stations With A Trailer?
When on the road and you happen to see a sign that says you must have your travel trailer weighed, or there’s an officer 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 at that given time that the weighing is required.
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 there’s no sign or officer instructing you to get your trailer weighed, you can carry on with your journey.
Do Motorhomes Have To Stop At Weigh Stations?
Unlike RVs, you will need to get your motorhomes weighed at weigh stations. Many states have laws that requires motorhomes over 10,000 pounds to stop at weigh stations.
Some states also require official inspections before the motorhome or camper can be certified fit to be used on the road.
While 10,000 pounds may seem like a rare number that many motorhomes tend to weigh, the fact is that there are lots of Motorhomes that weigh over 10,000 pounds.
Motorhomes that weigh over 10,000 pounds are usually class A motorhomes, but there are also some class C and even some class B motorhomes that weigh over 10,000 pounds.
Although it has been stated previously that RVs are not required to stop at weigh stations, some states may require large towable campers to be weighed and also be inspected.
Do I Need To Stop My Vehicles At A Weigh Stations?
Stopping at weigh station are required by law for a couple of reasons.
The number one reason is for safety. Some highway roads may have certain weight limitations which means they are only able to handle a certain amount of weight before they break down.
So, driving a vehicle with a weight that is above the weight limit of a road can make it become unsafe to drive.
When you stop at a weigh station, they will sometimes check the weight of the vehicle as well as the gross vehicle weight that the vehicle is built to carry.
If your vehicle happens to exceed any of this weight limit, 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 if damage to the road, which undeniably costs the government a lot of money to repair.
The building and maintenance of roads costs a lot of money as well and heavy vehicles tend to cause more damage to roads compared to lighter ones. Some states usually tax trucks according to their weight.
So, stopping of vehicles at weigh stations is highly required so that the government is able to charge the correct amount in taxes.
Travel Trailer Guiding Laws and Regulations
The law and requirements for travel trailer varies from state to state and most laws in certain state are usually not written very clearly.
Most people do not bother stopping and they usually go on without having a run in with the law.
You may happen to pass by states that stopping at a weigh station is highly required and you may also pass by states which it isn’t.
You may be fortunate and escape being penalized for not stopping at a weigh station when driving a motorhome.
But it is advised to do proper research for every state you intend to pass through and find out if stopping at a weigh station is required or not. This will prevent you from accidentally breaking any law which can subject you to fines.
Occasions Where a Stop at a Weigh Station Is Required
If you happen to pass by a weigh station, you need to get weighed as long as the station is open. However, if the weigh station is closed, you can continue heading out.
Also, some areas have technologies installed that enables them weigh your vehicle without you stopping at a weigh station. On such areas you may find signs that directs you to the appropriate lane to be weighed.
If your travel trailer weighs above 10,000 pounds and you do not make a stop at the next weigh station, the weigh station will be alerted.
A snapshot of your license plate and even a picture of you in the driver’s seat may be provided to them.
Where to Find a Weigh Station
You can find weigh stations mostly along highways. However, if you want your rig weighed, you may need to visit a weigh station located off of the highway.
You’ll also find weigh stations on highways along state borders. Weigh stations located at these areas are known as the port of entry weigh stations.
You can also find commercial weigh stations at truck stops. You can go in and have your motorhome or camper weighed, but it will cost you a couple of bucks.
Can You Avoid Stopping at a Weigh Station?
If you want to avoid stopping at a weigh station, there are a couple of ways to do so.
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 doing a mandatory stop at any weigh-station along your route.
Many truckers do this to avoid being subjected to inspections and sometimes to save money on taxes.
But this really has no advantage monetarily for someone driving through with a motorhome. In fact, it may take more effort as you may need to take a longer route.
You can also avoid stopping at weigh stations by getting a bypass device. These devices function like EZ pass. When you purchase this device, you’ll receive a transponder which you’ll need to place in your vehicle.
Consequences Of Avoiding A Weigh Station
If you you happen to drive past a weight station without stopping, you may be pulled over.
When you are pulled over, the officer may take your information and demand that you take the next exit and turn around so you can go back to visit the weigh station.
You may also receive a fine, depending on the officer. Some may also inspect your vehicle and fine you for anything out of place.
This are reasons why its less effort to stop at the weigh station. When in doubt, you can just stop at any weigh station after all you’ll never be fined for accidentally stopping at a weigh station, but there might be consequences when you avoid a weigh station.
Conclusion | Do RVs Have To Stop at Weigh Stations?
Do RVs have to stop at weigh stations? Once again, you are not required to stop at weigh stations when towing an RV. However, you could always call the state’s DMV and ask to be certain to avoid running into trouble.
It is best to always know the rules before you head out on the road. Finding out this information ahead of time will help save you time, money, or both.